While the sport’s best attempt is to distract us in the summer talking about transfer portals, restructuring, NIL and governance — oh, and some good college football playoff extensions — we’ve gotten into 1st week.
It can sometimes be hard to remember why we love the sport, but a fun, stimulating palate on Thursday night should quickly evoke memories. In this semi-live blog, we’ll track stats, oddities, and general oddities throughout the season. While you’re watching the team on the big TV, you can watch Saturday’s game on the second screen. Welcome back, football; we miss you.
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- Rutgers is already at Rutgers; I think we know the Scarlet Knights will have some QB trouble, but it’s a bit much:
In the first and 10th, Johnny Langan (listed as tight end) had a steal and ran for 4 yards. It is worth mentioning that Langan was a quarterback at Bergen Catholic Prep School in high school.
Then, in the 2nd and 6th, Gavin Wimsart caught the ball and passed it to running back Kyle Monangai for a 3-yard advantage.
In the third and third, Evan Simon caught and threw an incomplete pass.
- Annnnd, dare we say, is Iowa back?
Not only was the kickoff poor, how it started, perhaps the worst punt you’ll see this season: a frayed ball that, as the Ravens flew by, could fly 25 yards, most like A top driver for a tee.
- Back at Rutgers, it’s less than ideal yardage:
After six games to reach the 8-yard line at Boston College, how did the driving chart look like:
- by interference
- wrong start
- Fired for throwing five yards
- Play image from the top of the punt
- Fantastic old school Mike here with former Texas coach Everett Withers, and:
- No, really…Iowa is back:
- certainly The Hawkeyes got safety, of course they did!
Iowa State went up 5-3 as linebacker Jack Campbell tackled a great base form. It’s probably not an offense, but at least points.
- Blocking bets is one thing, but blocking bets is another:
- Quick question: the navy… okay?
- Another quick question: Are Iowa fans okay?
- See how ECU put one of the biggest exclamation points on the goal line you’ve ever seen — the Buccaneers really, really don’t want NC State to score from the 1-yard line.
You know what they say: the best offense is a good defense. At this point, Iowa is taken literally. The Hawkeyes got their second safety to go 7-3 and added 4 points for the defense and 3 for their special teams:
- Good news: ECU takes TD to give himself a PAT to tie the game! Bad news: the PAT in question is… well, look at it:
Oregon vs. Georgia, 3:30pm (-17/Atlanta)
The champs are back, and they’re playing close to home in a live game that can hardly actually be considered a neutral. Georgia’s tight end should be the story this season, as the offense looks set to adapt to veteran QB Stetson Bennett. The three-headed monster of Arik Gilbert, Darnell Washington and Brock Bowers makes for the Ducks (and everyone else in college football) A nightmare of a duel. Luckily for them, former UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning took over as head coach for his first game, and that’s organized knowledge for them. Unfortunately for the Ducks, it went both ways, as starter Bonix was 0-3 at UGA in the previous game with Auburn, and his last two games were particularly bad. He’s in a new place with new talent around, and we’ll see how he stacks up against Georgia’s new defense, replacing the extraordinary talent that got the team to a national championship.
Cincinnati & Arkansas, 3:30 p.m. (-6.5)
Cincinnati’s roster is being raided by the NFL, which is both a good and a bad thing, especially when you consider that it’s on the road against an SEC team. Arkansas State has been great and fun under coach Sam Pittman, and is one of the few teams that has truly returned a head coach and coordinator for three consecutive seasons. The Boars have continuity and identity and will try to bully the Bears on offense. But don’t expect Luke Fickel’s Cynthia squad to go down without a serious fight if they do lose.
Houston (-4) vs. UTSA, 3:30 p.m.
The Roadrunners’ coveted season is just around the corner as they look to start the year with an in-state win. But Houston has big ambitions this season, and even without running back the spring-injured Alton McCaskill, this offense should light up the scoreboard. However, the Cougars bring enough defense to seriously contend for the New Year’s No. 6 spot in G5 before the season ends, but the Roadrunners could be an early spoiler.
Utah (-2.5) vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
For Billy Napier, perhaps there was no worse opponent at the start of his tenure than this scrappy Utah team who planned to drag the Gators into a bar brawl for 60 minutes physical football match. The Utes have high hopes for the Pac-12 title, and if the season goes right, their hopes could be even greater. Florida’s running game is expected to be good, but the big question is how good is Anthony Richardson’s passing with a cannon?
Army vs. Coastal Carolinas (-2), 7 PM
If you like unique offenses, this is the game for you. The Army’s choice is precision surgery, and the trio’s classic version. Coast has a new approach to school and Grayson McCall has a great quarterback. Watch out for Army Dominance Andre Carter II, as how the coasts are planned around the lanky defending force will go a long way in determining the course of the game.
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (-17), 7:30 p.m.
The Marcus Freeman era kicked off with a helmet game over the weekend against a team that many had already made in the national championship game. How Notre Dame plans to defend Ohio State’s explosive passing offense will be fascinating. When he was in Cincinnati, Freeman’s defense was one-on-one all day. That could be tough for Ohio’s weapons. On OSU’s defense side, see how far new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has transformed the unit from a largely single high-screen 1 and screen 3 outfit to something more. That rigidity has been Ohio State’s death knell for championship-caliber opponents over the past few years.
FSU vs LSU (-3/Sunday/New Orleans), 7:30pm
The weekend mystery box will open in the SuperDome on Sunday night. New coaches Brian Kelly and FSU want to get back to their expected heights, expect surprises in this game, but like last year’s opener between FSU and Brian Kelly’s team, be careful. Results at the beginning of the season.