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College Football Recap: Week 1

September 2, 2012

In all honesty it was a pretty dull opening weekend for college football. Week 1’s big game of Michigan versus Alabama was a dud. Mike Leach’s Wazzu debut put more TV watchers to sleep than the time did Thursday night. No ranked teams lost to unranked teams (No. 16 Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech Monday night), and most top teams took care of business easily.

However, the over-riding theme of college football’s opening week was the near-upset. Like I said, every top team took care of business, but several left their fans reaching for the aspirin. The Oklahoma Sooners, a team that is somehow collectively thought of as the fourth best team in the country, almost lost to UTEP. UTEP! It was 7-7 early in the third quarter before OU went on to win 24-7, and while the Sooners didn’t allow UTEP to score an offensive touchdown they allowed sophomore Nathan Jeffery to rush for 177 yards, or 11 more than he rushed for all of last year. The Miners rushed for a total of 207 yards, over 50 more than what they averaged last year, and 70 more than what Oklahoma allowed per game last year.

Vanderbilt almost upset No. 9 South Carolina in Nashville Thursday. The Gamecocks were fairly unimpressive, eventually winning 17-13, but their offense was limited after QB Connor Shaw hurt his shoulder midway through the game. Shaw finished 7-for-11 passing, but he gained 92 yards on the ground to complement Marcus Lattimore, who was returning from a torn ACL, and his 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Only four Gamecocks caught a pass from Shaw, who will have to improve on what was a mediocre 2011 passing the ball to keep the better SEC defenses honest. Lattimore’s clean and successful return is good news for USCe.

FCS Northern Iowa threatened No. 12 Wisconsin in Madison. The Badgers went up 19-0, but UNI came within five, 26-21, midway through the fourth and had the ball on the Wisconsin 41 with three minutes left but failed on a 4th-and-1. Heisman finalist Montee Ball wasn’t successful running the ball, only averaging 3.8 yards a carry on 32 attempts. The Badger D also gave up 265 passing yards and three touchdowns through the air. Only three times last year did Wisconsin give up more than 265 yards passing.

Florida – apparently the 23rd best team in the country, which if true is a sad statement for about 75 percent of teams – was pushed to the brink at home by a Bowling Green team that went 5-7 last year. It was 14-14 midway through the third before UF scored the last 13 points of the game. Florida still doesn’t know who its quarterback is going to be, and neither Jeff Driskell nor Jacoby Brissett is an enticing option. Neither played well Saturday. Mike Gillislee ran for 148 yards on 24 carries, but BG’s defense was the 17th worst against the run last year. There’s no way Florida is a legitimate top 25 team this year.

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From → College Football

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