College football is back! So are Georgia and Bama, and maybe even USC

To endure an offseason as a university soccer fan is to dwell inside an ecosystem of day by day panic, practically fixed tumult and, on the plus facet, the occasional heated debate over what to call a rooster. These are fraught occasions for the game, when every day brings the potential for a star participant switching groups or a marquee program swapping leagues. Since Kirby Good hoisted the nationwide championship trophy 9 months in the past, we have all been determined for one thing strong — or a minimum of one thing marginally extra secure than Auburn’s athletic division.

And so, in the end, we got precise soccer, and Week 1 delivered a crucial injection of stability. It was a reminder that typically the issues we expect we all know are literally true.

Georgia continues to be good. After an offseason during which the Dawgs despatched sufficient gamers to the draft to qualify as a greater source of NFL expertise than the Jacksonville Jaguars, absolutely they might take a step again with out Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean & Co., proper? Nope. As a substitute, Georgia welcomed Oregon to Atlanta with a completely soul-crushing demolition of the No. 11 workforce within the nation. A yr in the past, Dan Lanning was teaching the Bulldogs’ protection. This time, as Oregon’s head coach, he was on the receiving finish of a thrashing that should’ve felt completely too acquainted. And Stetson Bennett, it seems, continues to be so significantly better than anybody appears to grasp. The Bulldogs signal-caller threw for 368 yards after which (we assume) retired to a leather-based chair, donned a smoking jacket and cracked open a bottle of 1945 Château Mouton-Rothschild.

Bryce Younger and the Crimson Tide are nonetheless good too. Alabama could have fallen in final yr’s title sport, but it surely did not fall far. Younger, who completed final season with precisely zero speeding yards (Facet be aware: Can we please cease counting sacks as speeding makes an attempt?) confirmed off his wheels on Saturday in opposition to Utah State, scampering 63 yards for a landing as a part of a six-TD day.

Younger’s closest competitors for this yr’s Heisman Trophy delivered a stirring drive to avoid wasting Ohio State from a close to upset. C.J. Stroud spent a lot of Saturday night time annoyed by Notre Dame’s stout protection, however with the sport on the road, the QB got here up huge. Stroud helped engineer a 14-play, 95-yard drive landing drive that chewed up practically seven minutes within the fourth quarter, and the Buckeyes topped the Preventing Irish 21-10.

Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams appeared completely comfy of their new digs at USC, choosing up proper the place they left off at Oklahoma. Williams tossed two TDs — each to Pittsburgh switch Jordan Addison — and led the Trojans to a 66-14 win over Rice.

Iowa punted 10 occasions and gained. Utah ensured the Pac-12 blundered away its playoff hopes earlier than Labor Day. UMass misplaced by 32. Similar because it ever was.

Oh, Week 1 had its share of surprises, however not the “Hey, is that your automobile rolling into the lake?” kind of surprises that this offseason appeared to supply on a weekly foundation. As a substitute, we acquired Anthony Richardson’s star flip at Florida, serving to Billy Napier win a nail-biter in opposition to No. 7 Utah in his debut with the Gators. We acquired the utter insanity of North Carolina and Appalachian State scoring a lot within the fourth quarter that Mack Brown lost his fine motor skills. We acquired a punt blocked by a man standing too near the punter and Delaware’s coach dropping an F-bomb on dwell TV to have a good time a win over Navy.



It was all precisely the kind of bizarre we anticipate from Week 1 of the school soccer season.

There’s one thing inherently comforting about realizing that, as soon as the season kicks off, all these pesky selections about tremendous conferences and switch home windows fade into the ether, like so many Notre Dame upset bids, and disappear. And what we’re left with is sweet previous faculty soccer, stuffed with the bizarre and wild and great and, maybe once we want it probably the most, give us precisely what we anticipated.

That is the great thing about this sport. For all of the chaos and craziness, the glory of a fall Saturday all the time feels the identical.

It is by no means too early to surprise which Group of 5 workforce spends the yr complaining about being neglected by the playoff committee. So, who would possibly or not it’s in 2022?

Properly, in all probability not Cincinnati. The Bearcats nonetheless appeared sharp regardless of the exodus of expertise to the NFL after final yr’s Cinderella playoff look, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to take down Arkansas, who clearly introduced the great things to the occasion Saturday.

As a substitute, maybe it is Houston. The Cougars opened the season ranked No. 24, and after falling behind 21-7 at UTSA, they rallied to a 37-35 triple time beyond regulation win. On the draw back, three OTs was sure to intervene with Dana Holgorsen’s dinner reservations, so it wasn’t all excellent news for Houston.



Clayton Tune jumps over defenders on the aim line for the 2-point conversion to present Houston the victory over UTSA in 3OT.

A sleeper candidate is perhaps Air Drive. The Falcons crushed Northern Iowa (which, for reference, was nowhere close to the ugliest workforce from Iowa on Saturday), and is favored, based on FPI, in every of their remaining video games, too.

How about Coastal Carolina? The Chanticleers beat Military 38-28, whereas Grayson McCall threw three touchdowns. Coastal has a manageable schedule and a few pleasant haircuts and it is about time the playoff committee began taking haircare into consideration.

Checking in on notable offseason storylines

Is Texas again?

Perhaps! The Longhorns cruised to a simple win over Louisiana-Monroe, with Quinn Ewers throwing two TD passes in his debut. Positive, beating ULM would not show a lot, however given Texas’ historical past in opposition to groups like — oh, to illustrate, Kansas — this nonetheless marks an necessary step ahead. Then again, parking stays a difficulty.

Is the Pac-12 in line for a playoff berth?

No! As all the time, the Pac-12 was sort sufficient to largely remove itself from the playoff dialogue in Week 1 with losses by Utah and Oregon. Kevin Warren smells a purchaser’s market.

Is Vanderbilt the perfect workforce within the nation?

Perhaps! We will not formally say no because the Commodores are 2-0 (matching final yr’s win complete) however given its somewhat lackluster win over FCS Elon, it is honest to surprise if, in actual fact, they’re nonetheless a yr away from toppling Alabama.

Has Scott Frost been fired but?

No! Frost lastly acquired a win, even when it wasn’t fairly and it got here in opposition to FCS North Dakota. Nebraska went to halftime tied at 7, however Casey Thompson discovered his groove within the second half and the Huskers gained 38-17.

Has Bryan Harsin been fired but?

We do not suppose so! Auburn gained with ease in opposition to FCS Mercer, although that does not essentially imply just a few Tigers boosters did not discover some money of their sofa cushions and resolve to make a change anyway. We will by no means ensure.

Perhaps simply pay the up-charge subsequent time

This season, the ACC will play 10 highway video games in opposition to groups outdoors the Energy 5. No different Energy 5 league performs greater than three. And but, this is not new. By yr’s finish, the ACC may have performed practically as many such video games (64) within the playoff period because the Huge Ten, Huge 12 and SEC have mixed (78).

The primary three of those highway journeys got here Friday, when Virginia Tech first acquired caught in an elevator then shot itself within the foot, dropping to Previous Dominion 20-17 in head coach Brent Pry’s debut.

On Saturday, North Carolina and NC State each got here inside inches of struggling the identical destiny on the highway vs. American Athletic Convention foes.

UNC wanted roughly 36 slender escapes within the remaining moments in opposition to App State to keep away from embarrassment.

NC State appeared even worse. The Wolfpack blew back-to-back drives during which they’d the ball on the 1-yard line with an opportunity to go up 14, then watched ECU rating late, miss a PAT, get a cease, drive into discipline aim vary, then miss one other kick. NC State held on for the 21-20 win that, whereas a victory within the standings, absolutely deflated a lot of the preseason hype the workforce had gotten as a doable dark-horse playoff candidate.



UNC was successful 56-49 with 38 seconds remaining, holding on to win 63-61 in a surprising sequence of occasions.

In all, the ACC has misplaced 20 highway video games outdoors the Energy 5 within the playoff period — three greater than the SEC, Huge Ten and Huge 12 mixed — and it is actually doing little to assist the fame of a league that is in dire want of some good vibes.

So, why does the league maintain doing it?

The primary reply is cash. Promising a house sport for Group of 5 opponents saves ACC groups the price of paying for a one-off go to to their stadium, although there is a good argument to be made that the price of taking an L in a type of video games is even greater. The ACC has primarily determined to take a seat on a airplane with a suitcase on its lap somewhat than pay to examine a bag.

The second reply is politics, and whereas the state legislature did not immediately drive North Carolina or NC State to go to their small-school neighbors, important funding from the state is usually part of the choice making. Not each state legislature rewrites legal guidelines at a coach’s request (hello, Georgia!).

Nonetheless, politics and cash matter to everybody, however the ACC is exclusive in its strategy, and so the largest reply would possibly merely be philosophy. The league’s high soccer manufacturers — Clemson and Florida State — have performed only one highway sport outdoors the Energy 5 within the playoff period. Look to the SEC, the place Vanderbilt is chargeable for the majority of its highway journeys outdoors the Energy 5, and Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and LSU have performed simply two such video games mixed.

As one ACC administrator put it, “it is dangerous enterprise” enjoying these video games for reliable soccer manufacturers, and there is little or no reward even when all of it works out properly.

Underneath-the-radar play of the day

Wyoming kicker John Hoyland had an opportunity to cap a wild, back-and-forth sport in regulation with a 44-yard discipline aim attempt for the win. Technically talking, he missed.

That this does not rely as an automated walk-off win at any level within the sport appears like an actual flaw within the rule guide. In any case, what’s more durable — kicking a soccer between two uprights 18.5 toes aside, or dropping that kick onto the very tip of a type of uprights? We’re merely selecting to worth the unsuitable issues.

The excellent news is Hoyland acquired his shot at redemption in double OT, connecting on a 30-yarder to present the Cowboys a 40-37 win.

Underneath-the-radar sport of the day

James Madison formally joined the FBS with its opener in opposition to Center Tennessee on Saturday, and the Dukes made certain there wasn’t a lot drama to the festivities, marching to a simple 44-7 win.

So, in the event you’re scoring at dwelling, JMU now has as many wins over FBS opponents in a single sport at this degree than UConn has since 2018.

Heisman 5

There’s little level in making any broad pronouncements after only a week of video games, however we expect it is protected to say Bryce Younger continues to be good and all UMass gamers have formally been eradicated.

1. Alabama QB Bryce Younger

“The Wire” summed up Week 1’s influence on the Heisman race properly: “The king keep the king.” Younger threw 5 TD passes and ran for one more, racking up 295 complete yards regardless of barely enjoying greater than a half.

2. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett

Bennet threw for 368 yards in opposition to the No. 11 workforce within the nation. That is a fairly good follow-up to a Nationwide Championship sport.

3. Alabama LB Will Anderson Jr.

This play is prohibited in 17 states. My phrase.

4. USC QB Caleb Williams

In his USC debut, he averaged 11.3 yards per cross and in addition 11.3 yards per rush. That is good stability.

5. Florida QB Anthony Richardson

Enjoyable reality: Cam Newton as soon as performed at Florida. Enjoyable reality No. 2: Richardson is perhaps the second coming. He threw for 168, ran for 104 and scored thrice within the Gators’ win over Utah.

Hey, these guys aren’t so dangerous

Within the Pac-12, it was USC’s dip into the switch portal that drew probably the most consideration, however there is a case to be made Arizona could have benefited much more.

The Wildcats had been a nationwide punchline for the higher a part of the previous three seasons, ending 2021 with a 1-11 report. However this offseason, Arizona dipped into the deep finish of the switch portal and added some key gamers, together with QB Jayden de Laura and receiver Jacob Cowing.

The outcomes had been felt instantly with a powerful 38-20 win over San Diego State in Saturday’s opener. The passing sport dominated, with de Laura throwing 4 touchdowns, whereas Cowing hauled in three of them, a part of a 152-yard day.

Arizona’s 38 factors had been probably the most the workforce had scored since November 2019, whereas San Diego State has now allowed 38-plus in two of its final three video games after 46 straight holding opponents beneath that complete.

Probably the most faculty soccer factor of the week

Greg Schiano made this an unimaginable selection in Week 1.

On one hand, Schiano reached elite degree galaxy mind teaching on Rutgers’ first sequence of the sport Saturday in opposition to Boston School, which the Scarlett Knights performed with out beginning QB Noah Vedral.

Schiano’s QB on first down: Johnny Logan, who’s technically listed as a decent finish. (He ran for 4 yards.)

His QB on second down: Gavin Wimsatt. (He handed off. Acquire of three.)

His QB on third down: Evan Simon. (He threw incomplete.)

Add a delay of sport, and Rutgers may formally declare that its first drive included extra QBs than yards gained.

However that wasn’t the top of the ridiculous (or elegant, relying in your perspective) from this sport.

Halfway by means of the primary quarter, Wimsatt transformed a third-and-5 with a completion to the BC 10-yard line, organising a first-and-goal. Three performs later, Rutgers punted.

Sure, you learn that proper.

A 2-yard run was adopted by an offensive cross interference flag, a holding name, a false begin and a sack. By fourth down, Rutgers arrange store on the BC 43-yard-line, and referred to as within the punter.

The wildest half? All of it labored out. BC threw a decide on the subsequent drive, and Rutgers turned the interception into 6 factors — the great distance.

And lest anybody assume all of this wasn’t completely scripted, the Scarlet Knights pulled off a come-from-behind 22-21 win following a 12-play, 96-yard landing drive with 2:43 to play. Similar to Schiano drew it up.

Huge bets and dangerous beats

The whole for Iowa-South Dakota State closed at 42, the bottom complete for any sport Saturday on the time of kickoff. And maybe in the event that they’d performed 43 overtimes, they could’ve taken a run at that quantity. As a substitute, the ultimate rating — 7-3 and not using a landing — got here up 32 factors shy.

On the flip facet, the overall for North Carolina at Appalachian State was simply 56, a quantity each groups coated on their very own. In truth, they really mixed for 62 factors within the fourth quarter alone — a tally that, based on ESPN Stats & Data analysis, was only one level shy of the FBS report for a fourth quarter, set by Navy and North Texas in 2007.

Georgia is sweet. This is not information. However Georgia is especially good — for bettors, specifically — when it performs a non-conference sport vs. a Energy 5 foe. With Saturday’s dominant 49-3 win over No. 11 Oregon, the Bulldogs have coated six straight in opposition to non-SEC Energy 5 groups, successful by a median of 37 factors. The Georgia protection has allowed only one landing — vs. Michigan with 4:25 to play in a sport already in hand — in its final 4.

Layne Hatcher’s 10-yard TD cross on third-and-6 with 2:23 to play had completely no influence on Texas State’s ugly loss to Nevada. Nevertheless it did carry the rating to 38-14 — a complete of 52 factors — in a sport with an over/underneath set at 51.5. And in the event you had your underneath ruined due to a meaningless Texas State Bobcats TD, properly… welcome to soccer season. We’re simply getting began.


Source: page/gamedayfinal090322/college-football-today-week-1-takeaways-insights

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