The first full Saturday of college football in 2019 has come and gone. On paper there weren’t very many bigtime matchups, but there were some intriguing ones and it was a Saturday that left us with plenty of things to be impressed by, and plenty of things to mock, which just happens to be an area we specialize in here.
The nation’s second ranked team overcame a very sluggish start to down Duke 42-3. The Devils held Bama scoreless in the first quarter, something that happened just once in 2018, and trailed just 14-3 at the half. The Tide exploded for 21 third quarter points however, and put Duke away. Tua went 26-31 for 336 yards with 4 TDs but Bama averaged just 3.5 yards per carry on the ground.
The Buckeyes jumped on Lane Kiffin’s FAU Owls early, with Justin Fields leading Ohio State to TDs on their first four offensive drives. The former five star QB who transferred from Georgia did make his fair share of mistakes leading to some second and third quarter drives to stall, but all in all had a good day in the 45-21 win. Fields played most of the game, going 18-25 for 234 yards and 4 TDs. He added 61 rushing yards and another TD on the ground. It was the Buckeye defense that really stood out, holding the Owls to 22 yards on the ground on 33 carries, and totaling 4 sacks on the day.
Jacob Eason and the Huskies thumped Eastern Washington 47-14 and the former Georgia Bulldog was awful impressive in his debut for Washington. Eason was 27-36 for 349 yards and tossed 4 TDs.
Seeing the UNC head coach brought to tears to begin his interview on the field after beating UofSC, that’s what it’s all about right there. He even did some dancing in the locker room afterwards. Click the link to see the tweet.
Hey Mack, you can not take a knee of fourth down from here on out though!
The Cornhuskers beat South Alabama 35-21 but Scott Frost was in no mood to celebrate, saying this was one of the worst offensive showings he had been a part of in a long time. It took two defensive touchdowns and one from the special teams to bail out an anemic offense that generated just 276 total yards against a G5 team. Ardian Martinez threw for just 178 yards and had a QBR of just 30.9, while the running mustered a measley 2.2 yards per carry. The Huskers are considered by some as a dark horse contender for the B1G, but this offense will need to improve drastically if they are to have any shot.
The Cyclones needed triple overtime to get by FCS school Northern Iowa 29-26. After being ranked 21st and making their first appearance in the AP Preseason Poll since 1978, it looks like their stay in the Top 25 will be a short one.
Considered a dark horse playoff candidate by many, Auburn scored a go ahead TD with 10 seconds left to take their first lead of the game and probably knock Oregon out of the running after just one game.
After not winning the starting job and coming in off the bench, Johnson had a debut he would probably rather forget. The former Clemson QB was just 6-17 for 55 yards and threw 2 picks in a 17-7 loss at Stanford.
Kelly Bryant is another Clemson QB who didn’t fare very well in his debut for his new team as Missouri lost in Wyoming 37-31. KB did throw for over 400 yards but had multiple turnovers, one being a costly INT in the end zone that really hurt. S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C!
A big, bad SEC team playing a road game in Memphis? What? Last season the Memphis D could not stop anyone. Today, the held the Rebels to just 173 yards of total offense. S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C!
Not the best start for Jeremy Pruitt’s second season as head coach. Georgia State got their first ever win over a P5 team, beating the Vols 38-30 in Knoxville. The Panthers came in as 25 point underdogs and handed Tennessee another embarrassing setback in their desperate attempt to get back to relevance. S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C!
Oh Slick Willie…. That seat must be getting real warm right about now. After sprinting out to a 21-6 lead after the 1st quarter the announcers steadily claimed FSU was back. As Lee Corso always says, not so fast my friend. Boise St stormed back and did what they do, knocking off another big boy 36-31. After the Noles caught a huge break by having the game moved to Doak from Jacksonville due to the threat of inclement weather, they squandered it. The school offered $10 general admission tickets and the fans still didn’t show, not that they missed anything. The Broncos ran more than 100 plays and possessed the ball more than 40 minutes, leading to one very gassed Seminole defense by the time the 4th quarter rolled around. Boise had over 400 yards and 38 first downs, handing Willie Taggart and his revamped offense an ugly loss at home.
Gamecock fans love nothing more than mocking the ACC, yet have lost 3 straight games dating back to last season, all to ACC teams. Two of those to lowly ACC Coastal teams. For comparisons sake, Clemson does not have 3 ACC losses total in almost 5 years now. The Gamecock D gave up 238 yards on the ground to the young, rebuilding Tarheels and almost 500 yards total. This to a team that was picked to finish at or near the bottom of the Coastal by most. Jake Bentley was nothing short of terrible, and seemed to get worse as the game went along. He missed a wide open receiver late in the 4th that likely would have won the game for them. With next big thing Ryan Hillinski as the backup QB, one has to wonder if a QB controversy is on the horizon. Hey, wasn’t Bentley the next big thing at one time? Will Muschamp seemed to put more of the blame on the wideouts and the OL in his postgame remarks, so who knows, maybe Jake is safe for now. Either way, this was a game UofSC needed to win seeing as they are playing one of the nations toughest schedules in 2019. You know it’s bad when the SC Highway Patrol starts trolling you, but hey, it just means more…..
Overall, it was a great day of college football. Unless you wave that SEC banner of course. If every weekend is as good as today, fasten your seatbelts because it might be a wild ride!