College Football Week 1 Recap: Revenge of the FCS, SEC Plays Good Teams, and Johnny Manziel Talked Trash
FCS Wrecks a Few FBS Teams
The chaos started when North Dakota State defeated last year’s Big-12 Champions, the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan. McNeese State had the most dominating win, beating USF 53-21 in a game where McNeese got paid $400,000 to participate. Eastern Illinois beat San Diego State 40-19 and Northern Iowa beat Iowa State 28-20.
The most notable win was Eastern Washington over the 25th-ranked Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis. The Eagles were up 12 at halftime and scored with 18 seconds left to beat the Beavers 49-46. EWU quarterback Vernon Adams seemed unstoppable in the air and on the ground en route to probably the biggest win in EWU history.
SEC Teams Threw Down in Season Opening Games
The SEC has been made fun of often for playing cupcakes in the preseason. This season, the SEC had the three best games of the 2013 season thus far.
Georgia lost the game of the week to Clemson in South Carolina but hopefully voters won’t penalize the Bulldogs for manning up and playing one of the few good non-conference games. In a tight game it was losing the turnover battle and botching a field goal attempt that resulted in a 3-point loss for Georgia. It is tough to determine whether the defenses were that bad or the offenses were that good, but either way the game was exciting throughout. Georgia running back Gurley and Clemson wide receiver Watkins were the highlight players.
LSU kept it interesting with TCU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Zach Mettenberger looked average at quarterback for the Tigers, which is a huge step in the right direction and nice change of pace for LSU fans. TCU was outgained by almost 200 yards. Running back Terrence Magee stepped in for the suspended Jeremy Hill and rushed for 95 yards on 13 carries.
Lastly, Alabama had an unimpressive 35-10 win over Virginia Tech. You know there are high expectations for a team when a 25-point win is considered unimpressive. Alabama benefited greatly from short fields and special teams plays, which skew the score a little. The Tide was even outgained by the Hokies 212-206.
Of note, AJ McCarron had a disappointing performance while Logan Thomas had a game that looked like vomit. McCarron was basically dared to throw the entire game by Virginia Tech who stacked the box with nine defenders and AJ McCarron only went 10/23 for 110 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. That looks good compared to Logan’s 5/26 for 59 yards and an interception. Now the Tide have a week off before playing at College Station against the Fighting Manziel’s.
Johnny Manziel Plays and Doesn’t Disappoint
In a little over a quarter Johnny Manziel went 6/8 for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air while rushing for 19 yards on the ground by virtue of 6 carries. Johnny Football was seen celebrating with the hand signal for “show me the money” and the motion for signing autographs. Maziel was pulled after taunting a Rice player in the fourth quarter. That’s this week’s tale of how the world of Manziel turned.
Washington, UCLA, Oregon, and Texas Cruise
Washington had perhaps the most telling performance of the week. It is still too early to be certain but the Huskies outgaining the Broncos 592-346 is impressive. Keith Price had a great day through the air passing 23/31 for 324 yards and 2 touchdowns to only one interception. Bishop Sankey rushed 25 times for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Boise State might still be struggling but normally the smurfs are well prepared and competitive in every game they play, which wasn’t the case Saturday.
UCLA was pretty dominant against the troublesome Nevada Wolfpack, winning 58-20 and outgaining them 647-353. Brett Hundley continued a dominance streak throwing 22/33 for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hundley also rushed 7 times for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns. It would be important to note that the Bruins slowed the rushing success of Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo in the second half, which will be important next week when the Bruins play Nebraska and Taylor Martinez as well as when the Bruins hit the conference games in their schedule.
Oregon blew out one of the worst teams in college football 66-3. Oregon set a school record 772 yards of total offense, 500 of which came on the ground. For the first time ever Oregon had 3 players rush for over 100 yards. De’Anthony Thomas could be used as a workhorse as he was fed the rock early and often, rushing 18 times for 128 yards.
Texas was anointed as a national title contender and Big-12 favorite by many this preseason and the Longhorns sure made some people nervous waiting until 1:08 left in the first quarter to take the lead. It was all Texas the rest of the game en route to a 56-7 final score. David Ash threw for 343 yards and 4 touchdowns to 2 interceptions while also rushing for 91 yards on 8 carries.
Players of the Week
Tajh Boyd: Boyd went 18-30 for 270 yards and 5 total touchdowns; effectively putting Clemson in national title discussions pending wins over the tricky Terrapins and the dangerous Virginia Cavaliers.
Christian Jones: First player since 2002 to score a touchdown on a punt return, kickoff return, and receiving touchdown.
Vernon Adams: Led EWU over Oregon State by throwing 23-30 for 411 yards and another 107 yards on the ground with 6 total touchdowns.
Highlights of the Week