College football Week 1 winners, losers, overreactions: Georgia remains top dog, Texas A&M has a ways to go

The first week of the college football season technically started a week ago, but Saturday was the nation’s first all-day game. With regional rivalries producing some of the best results over the weekend, the full-scale debut marked a refreshing change from a long offseason filled with off-court headlines.

Old Dominion shocked Virginia Tech 20-17 Brent Prie’s debut on a Friday night.Then, in what has been dubbed the biggest home game in history on Saturday, Appalachia gave North Carolina everything it could handle before. Fall 63-61 Failed 2 point conversion. UTSA’s 2-point conversion also fell in front of a crowded house in a 37-35 loss to No. 24 Houston in three overtime, just days after Cougars coach Dana Holgorsen accused the Roadrunners of injecting crowd noise into the Alamo Dome.Toka misses a point and field goal Losing a 21-20 Heartbreaker to No. 13 North Carolina.

Of course, there are also many large state operations to be undertaken. No. 2 Ohio State defeated No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10 in the heavyweight bout. Florida beat No. 7 Utah 29-26 after quarterback Anthony Richardson’s final touchdown. No. 3 Georgia State tied No. 11 Oregon State 49-3 in Atlanta.

College football’s surge and deadly trough were on full display during the opening weekend, with the country’s worst regional rivalry taking center stage. Week 1 was the perfect palate cleanser after yet another offseason reshuffle and postseason headlines.

Here are the winners, losers, and overreactions from the first week of the college football season.


Georgia: Rumors of Georgia’s demise appear to be greatly exaggerated. Despite losing a whopping 15 players in the NFL draft, the Bulldogs didn’t miss a single step in dispatching Oregon. Georgia became the second team in college football history to score a touchdown in its first seven games against an Associated Press top 25 team. Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV had a career-best 368 passing yards while 15 different guards had multiple tackles. Bulldogs War Machine is still fully operational.

Arizona State wide receiver Jacob Coyne Perhaps the most underrated offensive player in the country last year, after posting 1,354 yards and qualifying for bowling with a moribund UTEP program, Coyne appears poised to do the same for the Wildcats a year later. The Maricopa, Arizona, native threw eight passes and three touchdowns for 152 yards in his first game as the Wildcats in a 38-20 win over San Diego State. It was Arizona’s first road win over Colorado since October 5, 2019.

Florida Coach Billy Napier: There’s no better way to start a coaching career than by winning a top 10 opponent. The Gators hit all the right notes on their way to a win over No. 7 Utah State thanks to a strong rushing performance from quarterback Anthony Richardson. Suddenly, Florida State in the SEC East doesn’t look like an afterthought. The Oct. 29 game against Georgia should be circled. Napier became the first coach in Gators history to beat a ranked opponent in his first game using the program.


North Carolina QB Devin Leary: With the Wolves entering the year with the highest preseason rankings since Lou Holtz led the program in 1975, expectations are high for Leary. However, Leary’s efforts against East Carolina concern me that a new offensive player’s room won’t easily fit into Raleigh. Leary completed half of his 33 passes for 211 yards and 6.4 yards per pass attempt. He threw a poor interception, which the ECU later converted to a touchdown, which would have tied the game if it weren’t for the missed bonus point. If the Wolfpack is going to be a true ACC contender, Leary must better complement the seasoned defense.

Texas A&M’s offensive line: The Aggies went through growing pains on offense last season, but hopefully the team can find its best form in 2022 and become a playoff-minded team. However, despite a 31-0 win over Sam Houston, the Aggies’ offense was only 3.4 yards per carry and was under pressure a few times. With Appalachia and No. 16 Miami coming to town in the next few weeks, our efforts have to get better.

Overreaction in week 1

Ohio State’s offense has holes: Heading into Week 1, three teams have high hopes for winning the national championship: Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State. The aforementioned Bulldogs had one of the most impressive victories over ranked opponents in recent memory, and Alabama played a perfect football game against Utah.

Then there’s Ohio State, which needed a few miraculous plays from quarterback CJ Stroud to create an offense against Notre Dame.Granted, the Buckeyes had their toughest matchup over the weekend, but in Injuried Starring wide-ranging Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Notre Dame’s defense dictated most of the game.

Ohio State has a chance to grow from those struggles, especially as Jim Knowles’ defense becomes more comfortable. So far, however, any notion that Ohio State is the perfect title contender for Alabama or Georgia seems like wishful thinking.

Pac-12 cooked: Last season, UCLA beat LSU with a helmet sticker in the Rose Bowl. The Tigers ended up being bad, but that’s okay. After beating LSU, the Bruins ranked 13th in the national rankings and helped build credibility for the entire Pac-12.

A year later, Cameron Rising’s ill-advised interception in a loss to Florida was ready to do the exact opposite. The Utes top the Pac-12 preseason polls and are considered the league’s favorite team to make the college football playoffs. However, after another loss to the Gators in the playoffs, a leading Pac-12 team trailed by eight goals. One win or one loss doesn’t mean a season, but the benefits of doubt simply don’t exist in “championships.”

That loss, combined with the Ducks’ embarrassment in Atlanta, left No. 14 USC the only unblemished Pac-12 playoff contender. Good luck.

Competition is still king: There’s no better setting to start Week 1 than the Ohio Bank, as a backyard brawl emerges from the ashes after an 11-year absence. In every way, No. 17 Pete’s go-ahead win at West Virginia is the perfect table for college football’s 2022 debut.

Over 70,000 people watched the game at Acrisure Stadium — still Heinz Field in our hearts — the largest crowd in Pittsburgh’s sports history…it’s quite a sports city. Legendary players like Pitt’s Tony Dorset and West Virginia’s Adam “Pac-Man” Jones grace the sidelines. When city and country rivals come together just 75 miles apart, the beer in the due stadium is exhausted.

On top of that, the game ended in the weirdest way possible, with Pitt’s MJ Devonshire grabbing a ball that bounced off West Virginia’s Bryceford Wheaton, Return it 56 yards for a six. This moment is gratifying for the victors and terrifying for the losers.

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