College Football, Week 1 – Georgia impresses from the start


After a « week 0 » which served as an appetizer, the regular season of the university championship really began this weekend. Big posters were already on the program, and favorites like Georgia or Ohio State responded. The debut of several new coaches, such as at USC or Oklahoma, was also highly anticipated. Finally, there was the dose of weekly madness with the return of the « Backyard Bowl » and a moon game between North Carolina and Appalachian State.


The reigning champion imposes

  • (3) Georgia (1-0) 49 – (11) Oregon (0-1) 3

Winners of the national title last season, the Bulldogs have logically seen many players leave for the NFL. In total, a record 15 « Dawgs » were selected during the Draft, including 5 on the only 1er round. Despite good recruitment, one could thus wonder about Georgia’s ability to maintain the same level of performance.

Well, we were quickly reassured by this team, which gave Oregon no chance in its first game. A meeting already almost bent at halftime since Georgia was already leading 28-3.

Now coached by former Bulldogs defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, the Ducks could do nothing to stop Georgia’s forward march. QB Stetson Bennett delivered an excellent performance, with 368 yards (25/31) and 2 touchdowns, and the ground game unfolded with 5.3 yards per carry on average and 4 total touchdowns.

On the Oregon side, the beginnings of QB Bo Nix were not easy. The former Auburn QB never managed to advance his team and he finished with only 173 yards and 2 interceptions. In summary, the Bulldogs are in place offensively and defensively.

First shock won for Ohio State

  • (2) Ohio State (1-0) 21 – (5) Notre Dame (0-1) 10

It was the biggest shock of this 1time day, between 2 programs ranked in the top 5 before the start of the season. And it is the Buckeyes who mark the spirits first and who already sign a significant success for the playoffs.

We expect a lot from Ohio State’s offense this season, and we were a little disappointed in this first game. Well in place, Notre Dame’s defense limited the impact of CJ Stroud for much of the game. As a result, the Fighting Irish were even ahead 10-7 at halftime. It was ultimately the running game that took over for the Buckeyes, notably with 91 yards for Treveyon Henderson and 84 yards and 1 touchdown for Miyan Williams. Then CJ Stroud finally found solutions at the end of the game to put his team to safety. The QB finishes with 223 yards and 2 touchdowns.

If the offensive performance did not fully convince, that of the defense is very reassuring. The Buckeyes have been very good in this area, allowing only 253 yards in total, including a good solid ground.

Anthony Richardson and Florida offer Utah

  • Florida (1-0) 29 – (7) Utah (0-1) 26

After another disappointing season, the Gators decided to change coaches and Billy Napier arrived in Gainesville. His team didn’t really get favored in the predictions before the start of the regular season, but the manager got off to a perfect start with a victory against a top-10 opponent.

The man of the match is clearly the QB of Florida, Anthony Richardson, who showed the extent of his talent. He thus launched for 168 yards and ran for 106 more, scoring 3 touchdowns in this sector. Between sharp runs and surprising feints, he proved his potential. He must now be regular, but the Gators can make noise if this is confirmed.

On the other hand, this defeat is a snub for Utah, which arrived with great ambitions this year. Ranked in the top 10, the Utes were thus seen as legitimate candidates for the playoffs, and as much to say that it now looks much more complicated to consider.

Serene beginnings for USC and Oklahoma

  • (14) USC (1-0) 66 – Rice (0-1) 14
  • (9) Oklahoma (1-0) 45 — UTEP (0-1) 13

After a turbulent offseason, many coaches were making their debuts this weekend. Among them, two were particularly expected: Brent Venables in Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley at USC.

Let’s start with Riley and the Trojans, a team that has changed a lot in the last few months. The “hype” is important, and the beginnings should not be missed. After a sluggish start to the game against Rice – 7-7 after 1er quarter – USC then unrolled to afford an easy first win. The connection Caleb Williams (249 yards) – Jordan Addison (54 yards) has already shown promise by standing out on 2 touchdowns. And because of false starts from other major Pac-12 programs (Oregon and Utah), the Trojans are already favorites in the conference.

USC Trojans
Successful debut for the Lincoln Riley Trojans (Photo: USC Trojans)

On the Sooners side, Brent Venables took the place of Lincoln Riley, and he too started with a comfortable victory. And thanks to a hot start, with 21 points in 8 minutes, they never flinched. Oklahoma’s new QB, Dillon Gabriel, also responded with 233 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Arkansas takes down Cincinnati

  • (19) Arkansas (1-0) 31 – (23) Cincinnati (0-1) 24

Another interesting poster between two underdogs ranked in the top 25, this match between the Razorbacks and the Bearcats did not disappoint. Arkansas made the break several times in this meeting, leading 14-0 at halftime and 21-7 a little later. But Cincinnati never gave up and managed to come back to 4 small points in the 3th quarter. The Razorbacks eventually prevailed, inflicting the Bearcats’ first regular season loss since December 7, 2019.

Note the excellent game of QB Arkansas, KJ Jefferson, who throws for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns, and adds 62 yards and 1 other touchdown on the ground.

The return of the Backyard Bowl

  • (17) Pittsburgh (1-0) 38 – West Virginia (0-1) 31

You have to go back to 1895 to see the genesis of the Backyard Bowl, and an 8-0 victory for West Virginia over Pittsburgh. Since then, a total of 105 matches have been played between the two rival universities, separated by only 105 kilometers. But this rivalry, one of the oldest in the country, was put on hold in 2011 after the conference changes of the two programs (AAC for Pitt, Big 12 for WVU). In 2015, the universities announced the return of the Backyard Bowl for the 2022 to 2025 seasons, then a few months ago another series of 4 games was validated for 2029-2032.

This weekend, it was therefore the return of this rivalry, for the 105th times the story. The match turned out to be very close in 1time half-time, with few points (10-10). Then the meeting got lively, and the two teams surrendered blow for blow. Eventually, Pittsburgh had the last laugh, thanks to a pick-6.

Thanks to this success, the Panthers accentuate their domination in this Backyard Bowl, with 62 wins against 40 for West Virginia (and 3 draws).

Crazy game between North Carolina and Appalachian State

  • Appalachian State (0-1) 61 – North Carolina (2-0) 63

What we also like in College Football is the madness of certain matches. And we were served from the 1time day, with a crazy meeting between the Tar Heels and the Mountaineers.

North Carolina seemed in control, leading by 20 points (41-21) early in the 4th quarter. Then madness gripped Boone’s Kidd Brewer Stadium. Appalachian State will quickly score 2 touchdowns and the two teams finally find themselves tied 49-49 with 4 minutes remaining. And these last 4 minutes have been even crazier… North Carolina regains control (56-49) 2 minutes 50 from the end, then the Mountaineers respond but miss the conversion at 2 bridges (56-55). Always aggressive, they attempt an onside-kick, which ends in touchdown for the Tar Heels (63-55). But there were still 19 seconds to play, enough for a final touchdown for Appalachian State… Alas, the 2-point conversion fails a few centimeters from the in-goal…

In the end, the Mountaineers gained 338 yards and scored 40 points in the final quarter, but they still ended up losing.


Other important results

  • (1) Alabama (1-0) 55 – Utah State (1-1) 0
  • Georgia Tech (0-1) 10 – (4) Clemson (1-0) 41
  • (6) Texas A&M (1-0) 31 – Sam Houston (0-1) 0
  • (8) Michigan (1-0) 51 – Colorado State (0-1) 7
  • (10) Baylor (1-0) 69 – Albany (0-1) 10

The best performances of Week 1

passes

  1. Will Rogers (Mississippi State): 38/49, 450 yards, 5 TD – 1 INT
  2. Stetson Bennett (Georgia): 25/31, 368 yards, 2 TD
  3. Tanner Mordecai (SMU): 23/32, 432 yards, 4 TD

Races

  1. Anthony Grant (Nebraska): 23 carries, 189 yards, 2 TDs
  2. Frank Gore Jr (Southern Miss): 32 carries, 178 yards, 2 TDs
  3. Brealon Allen (Wisconsin): 14 carries, 148 yards, 2 TD

Receptions

  1. Ricky White (UNLV): 8 receptions, 8 receptions, 182 yards, 2 TDs
  2. Kris Thornton (James Madison): 12 receptions, 155 yards, 3 TD
  3. Jacob Cowing (Arizona): 8 receptions, 152 yards, 3 TD

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