Recap Week 1

What a start!  The number 3 team in the nation goes down, as does its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.  In addition a pair of Division 1AA teams took down a pair of Division 1 opponents, and Army won its opener. 

It began on Thursday night with the latest start to the college football season since 1981.  The day also proved to be the Waterloo for the two previous football coaches of Boston College, as well as for another coach who used to diagram offensive plays a few miles up the road in Durham, New Hampshire.  Word came down early in the morning that “old friend” – Jeff “Greener $ Pastures” Jagodzinski – had been fired as offensive coordinator by the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, one week before the season started.  YIKES!!   Then on national television, for the second consecutive year, another “old friend” Tom O’Brien and his North Carolina State Wolfpack, gave the nation a stinkeroo performance in losing to South Carolina 7-3.  How bad was it – well with 12 minutes left in the game, NC State had amassed a paltry 99 yard of total offense. 

The final indignation came at the end of the Boise State vs. Oregon game, a 19-8 embarrassing performance by Oregon that saw its high octane offense garner a total of 151 yards of offense and only 6 first downs.  This Steven King nightmare also saw one of the Oregon players, tailback LeGarrette Blount; sucker punch Byron Hout of Boise State.  It was a night ending indignity for newly minted Ducks head coach Chip Kelly, who at one time was the offensive coordinator at UNH.  Kelly to his credit, suspended Blount for the rest of the season, but it wasn’t the way he wanted his coaching career to debut.

Elsewhere to the north, Syracuse, who has won a total of ten games in the last four years, looked like a real football team for 59 minutes against the University of Minnesota.  Unfortunately, the game is played in 60 minute or in this case overtime, and that’s when quarterback Greg Paulus, the former point guard at Duke, who hasn’t played in a real football game in over five years, tried to make a play, and instead, threw a game changing interception, allowing Minnesota to kick the winning field goal 23-20 in overtime.  But there appears to be some renewed life in the ‘Cuse program, particularly on the much maligned defensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to follow, especially with the charismatic Paulus leading the parade, and the equally likeable new head coach and former ‘Cuse player Doug Marrone.

A couple of Big Ten squeakers, Northern Iowa had the highly ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on the ropes for the entire game, with two chances to win by kicking a game ending field goal, but Iowa, not once, but twice, blocked the attempt, holding onto a 17-16 victory. Amazing.  The other near ringer came in the Horseshoe in Columbus, when Navy, with less than two minutes remaining, was a two point conversion away from tying the game.  But the Ohio State defense finally rose up and intercepted the conversion returning it for its own two points in escaping with a 31-27 victory.  It was the 31 consecutive opening win for the Buckeyes, but it had to be discouraging for the Scarlet and Grey faithful, especially with USC coming to town on Saturday.  The most disturbing part of the game was the performance of the OSU secondary and this against a running team.  It is not a good recipe in preparing for the Trojans, in a game in which that outcome, will once again, determine the reputation of the Big Ten.

In South Bend, the Domer faithful have all jumped back onto the Charlie Weis bandwagon, as Notre Dame looked scintillating in destroying Nevada 35-0.  Quarterback Jimmy Clausen looked like the reincarnation of Joe Theisman, but the real eye opening was the physicality of the defense.  Nevada is a talented offensive team, but highly respected coordinator Jon Tenuta worked his sorcery, game planning Notre Dame to its first shutout in the Weis era.

Back in Stillwater, in the school’s most anticipated game in its history, Oklahoma State – aka Boone Pickens University – took on SEC power Georgia.  It was the Ok State defense which gave the big boys from the SEC a lesson in tenacity, as the Cowboys defeated Georgia 24-10.  But to Georgia coach Mark Richt’s credit, it was the first time the Dawgs have ventured outside the South for an opener since 1958, and the first time Georgia played a top ten opening day opponent since 1968. 

In Knoxville, the Lane Kiffin era started in a big way, as Tennessee hung a 63 spot on Western Kentucky, while piling up 657 yards of offense.  It was UT largest margin of victory in 2000, but it won’t be that easy next week against an improving UCLA team.

Happy Valley began its quest on a happy note as the ageless (82) Joe Pa and his Nittany Lions opened the season with a 31 – 7, victory against overmatched Akron.  The game  saw PSU had racked up 344 yards of offense to Akron’s 8 in the first half.  YIKES!!  It’s too bad the NCAA allows teams to schedule these Cupcake U matchups.

May the force be with you, as Air Force flew all over Nichols State 72-0. 

After dispatching Wake Forest, the Baylor Bears, and their starry quarterback Robert Griffin, the best quarterback in the nation that nobody knows, may indeed be on its way to a bowl invite. 

As we stated, the biggest shocker of the day took place in Dallas which saw the third ranked Sooners of Oklahoma, lose to BYU 14 – 13. Not only was OU uncharacteristically sloppy, but for the most part, were totally outplayed.  But the biggest blow wasn’t to their ego; it was to the shoulder of its Heisman Trophy defending quarterback Sam Bradford, who will be out between two to four weeks with an injured shoulder joint.  But all is not lost for the Sooners, the talent is there to hold the fort until Bradford returns, somewhere between the second and fourth week, and hopefully, before the Texas showdown.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  It was another bad performance in a big game for a team from the ACC.  In a slug fest, a 34-24 victory for the Sons of Bear Bryant, the ‘Bama D showed that it might be even better than last year’s squad, as they completely dominated the Hokies, and stifled VA Tech’s quarterback Tyrod Taylor into a 9-20-91 yards of passing, pathetic performance.  Alabama’s first year starter, junior quarterback Greg McElroy, looked like a seasoned veteran, while tailback Mark Ingram was virtually unstoppable against a very good VA Tech defense.  And amazingly, VaTech is now 0-21 on the road against top five teams.

The Al Groh death watch is officially on in Charlottesville, as William and Mary of all teams, embarrassed the Cavaliers 26-14.  Al Groh is officially on the clock.      . 

David Cutcliff is finding out just how hard it is to win a football game at Duke as the defending Division 1AA Champion Richmond Spiders, defeated his Blue Devils, 24-16,      adding another black mark against a seemingly overmatched program. 

In the good news category, first year coach Rich Ellerson and his Black Knights of Army won its opener 27-14 over Eastern Michigan.

On a gambling note, the University of Florida opened up as a 73 point favorite over Charleston Southern, but it subsequently dropped to 63 by kickoff.  Final score 62-3 Florida:  here’s today’s lesson:  when you can get 60!! Take the points!!!

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our week two preview.  Until then – Peace Out.   pk

What a start!  The number 3 team in the nation goes down, as does its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback.  In addition a pair of Division 1AA teams took down a pair of Division 1 opponents, and Army won its opener. 

It began on Thursday night with the latest start to the college football season since 1981.  The day also proved to be the Waterloo for the two previous football coaches of Boston College, as well as for another coach who used to diagram offensive plays a few miles up the road in Durham, New Hampshire.  Word came down early in the morning that “old friend” – Jeff “Greener $ Pastures” Jagodzinski – had been fired as offensive coordinator by the Tamp Bay Buccaneers, one week before the season started.  YIKES!!   Then on national television, for the second consecutive year, another “old friend” Tom O’Brien and his North Carolina State Wolfpack, gave the nation a stinkeroo performance in losing to South Carolina 7-3.  How bad was it – well with 12 minutes left in the game, NC State had amassed a paltry 99 yard of total offense. 

The final indignation came at the end of the Boise State vs. Oregon game, a 19-8 embarrassing performance by Oregon that saw its high octane offense garner a total of 151 yards of offense and only 6 first downs.  This Steven King nightmare also saw one of the Oregon players, tailback LeGarrette Blount; sucker punch Byron Hout of Boise State.  It was a night ending indignity for newly minted Ducks head coach Chip Kelly, who at one time was the offensive coordinator at UNH.  Kelly to his credit, suspended Blount for the rest of the season, but it wasn’t the way he wanted his coaching career to debut.

Elsewhere to the north, Syracuse, who has won a total of ten games in the last four years, looked like a real football team for 59 minutes against the University of Minnesota.  Unfortunately, the game is played in 60 minute or in this case overtime, and that’s when quarterback Greg Paulus, the former point guard at Duke, who hasn’t played in a real football game in over five years, tried to make a play, and instead, threw a game changing interception, allowing Minnesota to kick the winning field goal 23-20 in overtime.  But there appears to be some renewed life in the ‘Cuse program, particularly on the much maligned defensive side of the ball. It will be interesting to follow, especially with the charismatic Paulus leading the parade, and the equally likeable new head coach and former ‘Cuse player Doug Marrone.

A couple of Big Ten squeakers, Northern Iowa had the highly ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on the ropes for the entire game, with two chances to win by kicking a game ending field goal, but Iowa, not once, but twice, blocked the attempt, holding onto a 17-16 victory. Amazing.  The other near ringer came in the Horseshoe in Columbus, when Navy, with less than two minutes remaining, was a two point conversion away from tying the game.  But the Ohio State defense finally rose up and intercepted the conversion returning it for its own two points in escaping with a 31-27 victory.  It was the 31 consecutive opening win for the Buckeyes, but it had to be discouraging for the Scarlet and Grey faithful, especially with USC coming to town on Saturday.  The most disturbing part of the game was the performance of the OSU secondary and this against a running team.  It is not a good recipe in preparing for the Trojans, in a game in which that outcome, will once again, determine the reputation of the Big Ten.

In South Bend, the Domer faithful have all jumped back onto the Charlie Weis bandwagon, as Notre Dame looked scintillating in destroying Nevada 35-0.  Quarterback Jimmy Clausen looked like the reincarnation of Joe Theisman, but the real eye opening was the physicality of the defense.  Nevada is a talented offensive team, but highly respected coordinator Jon Tenuta worked his sorcery, game planning Notre Dame to its first shutout in the Weis era.

Back in Stillwater, in the school’s most anticipated game in its history, Oklahoma State – aka Boone Pickens University – took on SEC power Georgia.  It was the Ok State defense which gave the big boys from the SEC a lesson in tenacity, as the Cowboys defeated Georgia 24-10.  But to Georgia coach Mark Richt’s credit, it was the first time the Dawgs have ventured outside the South for an opener since 1958, and the first time Georgia played a top ten opening day opponent since 1968. 

In Knoxville, the Lane Kiffin era started in a big way, as Tennessee hung a 63 spot on Western Kentucky, while piling up 657 yards of offense.  It was UT largest margin of victory in 2000, but it won’t be that easy next week against an improving UCLA team.

Happy Valley began its quest on a happy note as the ageless (82) Joe Pa and his Nittany Lions opened the season with a 31 – 7, victory against overmatched Akron.  The game  saw PSU had racked up 344 yards of offense to Akron’s 8 in the first half.  YIKES!!  It’s too bad the NCAA allows teams to schedule these Cupcake U matchups.

May the force be with you, as Air Force flew all over Nichols State 72-0. 

After dispatching Wake Forest, the Baylor Bears, and their starry quarterback Robert Griffin, the best quarterback in the nation that nobody knows, may indeed be on its way to a bowl invite. 

As we stated, the biggest shocker of the day took place in Dallas which saw the third ranked Sooners of Oklahoma, lose to BYU 14 – 13. Not only was OU uncharacteristically sloppy, but for the most part, were totally outplayed.  But the biggest blow wasn’t to their ego; it was to the shoulder of its Heisman Trophy defending quarterback Sam Bradford, who will be out between two to four weeks with an injured shoulder joint.  But all is not lost for the Sooners, the talent is there to hold the fort until Bradford returns, somewhere between the second and fourth week, and hopefully, before the Texas showdown.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  It was another bad performance in a big game for a team from the ACC.  In a slug fest, a 34-24 victory for the Sons of Bear Bryant, the ‘Bama D showed that it might be even better than last year’s squad, as they completely dominated the Hokies, and stifled VA Tech’s quarterback Tyrod Taylor into a 9-20-91 yards of passing, pathetic performance.  Alabama’s first year starter, junior quarterback Greg McElroy, looked like a seasoned veteran, while tailback Mark Ingram was virtually unstoppable against a very good VA Tech defense.  And amazingly, VaTech is now 0-21 on the road against top five teams.

The Al Groh death watch is officially on in Charlottesville, as William and Mary of all teams, embarrassed the Cavaliers 26-14.  Al Groh is officially on the clock.      . 

David Cutcliff is finding out just how hard it is to win a football game at Duke as the defending Division 1AA Champion Richmond Spiders, defeated his Blue Devils, 24-16,      adding another black mark against a seemingly overmatched program. 

In the good news category, first year coach Rich Ellerson and his Black Knights of Army won its opener 27-14 over Eastern Michigan.

On a gambling note, the University of Florida opened up as a 73 point favorite over Charleston Southern, but it subsequently dropped to 63 by kickoff.  Final score 62-3 Florida:  here’s today’s lesson:  when you can get 60!! Take the points!!!

That’s it from cyber space.  We’ll be up and running Wednesday night with our week two preview.  Until then – Peace Out.   pk

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One response to “Recap Week 1

  1. Why “William and Mary of all teams?” Were you at the game? What did you see that I missed? A lot of quality people like Michael Tomlin, Darren Sharper, Lou Holtz, Marv Levy, etc. have come out of the W&M program, and frankly, W&M was the better team this past Saturday. Your comment is unnecessary.

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