Football

Week One College Football Final Word

College Football Week one final word
Notre Dame vs. Florida State. Robert Franklin, South Bend Tribune

Wow. What a start for the College Football season. We had upsets, last minute field goals, scares to the top teams, surprises and disappointments. We also had so many new quarterbacks, some did well, others left much to the imagination.

Let’s dive in! – here are my final words on College Football week one.

A Hollywood Ending. Almost.

McKenzie Milton is back, and he almost brought Florida State out of the bottom of the ACC with him. In what was a very exciting back and forth game that came down to a last second field goal in overtime, the Fighting Irish held off Milton and the Seminoles, 41-38.

Milton, the former UCF QB, was back on the field for the first time in three years after suffering a catastrophic leg injury with the Knights, one in which many thought he would never be coming back from. There were some that thought he may never walk again, but there he was on Sunday, bringing the Seminoles back.

But this story, one I’m sure that is being pitched to movie companies everywhere, didn’t have the happy hollywood ending. Instead, the Irish were able to hold off Milton, and hit a 41-yard field goal to win it.

Takeaways from the game

Milton caught the hearts of everyone

Whether you’re a Fighting Irish fan, a Seminole fan, or don’t even like College football, how could you not be emotional seeing Milton’s journey. He hadn’t played in nearly three years, and he stepped back in like nothing happened. I’m not sure what this means for the rest of the season, but I’m thinking you have to give Milton a chance to start the next few games, he gave a real spark to the Seminoles, one that was needed after their starter, Jordan Travis, could hardly do anything with the Irish defense all over him.

Don’t forget about Jack Coan

Though all of the spotlights were on Milton, there was another quarterback playing again. That was Jack Coan, who transferred from Wisconsin. All he did was break the record for passing yards in an opening game for Notre Dame. He threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns. Coan is a different quarterback from Ian Book; he may not have the biggest cannon for a arm, but he is just so efficient and never gets rattled. I’m interested to see his journey the rest of this year.

Kyle Hamilton is a beast

Hamilton was all over the field, playing like the projected top-10 pick that he is. Some of the plays that he made were just jaw dropping, like running all the way across the field to the opposite sideline to intercept the throw. Amazing stuff.

Florida State should feel good

The Seminoles made a lot of improvement from last year, bringing in a bunch of transfers to shore up their holes. The defensive line was playing great all night, and the offensive line held up. I think they have a chance to be a contender in the ACC this year.

Notre Dame is in for a Roller Coaster of a season

I think Notre Dame is going to be a good team, but not a great team. They have a lot of turnover on the offensive line and they are building the cornerback room from parts that may not be the best fit. But they play hard and they have talent, and the main thing is, they have good coaching. So I see them getting better, but I also see them in a lot of close games this year.

Bulldogs shut down Tigers in defensive slugfest.

This game reminded me of those classic Alabama vs. LSU games from a few years ago.

There wasn’t much offense to see as the defense dominated the game from both sides. The final score of 10-3 was a surprising one to see, especially considering how elite Clemson has been recruiting on the offensive side.

But the story of the game for me was that the Georgia defense dominated, limiting Clemson to 180 total yards- and just 2 net yards rushing – and sacking new quarterback D.J. Uiagelelei seven times.

I predicted before the season that I thought this was Georgia’s year, and this is a good start to that prediction. I was wowed by the defensive performance of Georgia. This is championship level that is needed to overcome the Alabama’s of the world. My only concern is that JT Daniel struggled a bit throughout the night. Was that the Clemson defense or is trouble ahead? I think they will need to score a lot more when they play Alabama.

Other thoughts

So much happened this weekend, I condensed down the top highlights below:

College Football Quarterback Debuts

CJ Stroud (Ohio State)

After a slow start, Stroud bounced back to finish a big win over Minnesota by completing 13 of 22 passes for 294 years and four touchdowns. I was worried about that slow start, and I feel he was bailed out a bit by his star wide receivers. I am interested in how he improves as the season goes on.

Bryce Young (Alabama)

In his first start as Alabama’s quarterback, Bryce Young set school records for passing touchdowns and yards in a debut as a starter in their big win over Miami. He looked like the perfect Alabama quarterback who will lead to a explosive output all year.

Haynes King (Texas A&M)

Haynes King looked like a first-time quarterback through four quarters in the win against Kent State. But he flashed at times, enough to see the potential that is there, he obviously has improvements needed, but I think he has a chance to be really good.

Emory Jones (Florida)

Is there a quarterback controversy already? Emory Jones started but really struggled, and Anthony Richardson proved to be a potential worthy challenger.

Hudson Card (Texas)

Card played well, passing for 224 yards and two touchdowns, and did not turn the ball over. I think he will play more of the role of game manager this year as they have a dominant running game to depend on, but I could see his output increasing as the year goes on.

Anthony Brown (Oregon)

Anthony Brown had a solid debut as starter for Oregon. There are a few things that need to be cleaned up before heading to Ohio State this week. I’m thinking he will be better next week after watching film and making adjustments, but we will see.

Charlie Brewer (Utah)

Impressive start at Utah for Charlie Brewer leading the offense to 40 points and a nice victory over Weber State. I’ll be interested to see if this continues as the competition gets stronger.

College Football Surprises and Disappointments

Washington losing to Montana

It may be time to look at the quarterback position and make some adjustments!

The ACC in Disarray

Without Notre Dame in place, the ACC may struggle this year. Clemson, North Carolina, and Miami – all considered powers in the conference – each took a loss this week. On top of that, you had Lousiville getting blown out by Mississippi, Georgia Tech losing to Northern Illinois, and Duke losing to Charlotte! Some bright spots would be Florida State giving Notre Dame a game, Virginia Tech looking good against North Carolina, and North Carolina State being dominant against South Florida.

UCLA and Chip Kelly are back

UCLA had a huge win over LSU, dominating them from the beginning. I think LSU will be in trouble again this year. Where is Joe Burrow when you need him!

Ohio State pulls away from Minnesota

This was a better game than many expected, but I think it comes down to CJ Stroud and him developing in real-time. It should be an interesting game against Oregon coming up.

Down goes Illinois

A week after a big win against Nebraska, they lose against UTSA! How bad is Nebraska!

Say bye to Indiana’s Big-10 title hopes

I just didn’t see Iowa winning in this dominating way, but when playing at Iowa, you can expect some crazy things!

Oklahoma survives against Tulane

Watching this game, I didn’t understand how so many pundits out there were saying this was going to be an outstanding Oklahoma defense this year. They continue to have problems tackling and stopping big plays.

UCF winning a great game at Boise State

This was an exciting game to watch, and I think both teams have a chance to win the AAC this year with their quarterback play.

My prediction record after College Football Week One

15-5

I lost another upset pick, but overall happy with my record through these first couple of weeks. Now that we have seen the teams in action, I’m thinking the record will go up from here!

My Personal College Football top 10 (and playoff predictions)

After the first week, here is who I have in my College Football top 10:

  1. Georgia
  2. Alabama
  3. Ohio State
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Clemson
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Texas A&M
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Iowa
  10. UCLA

Here is my predictions for the College Football playoffs:

  1. Georgia
  2. Ohio State
  3. Alabama
  4. Clemson

My Heisman Predictions after Week One

  1. Bryce Young
  2. Desmond Ridder
  3. Spencer Rattler
  4. Jack Coan
  5. CJ Stroud

Looking ahead to College Football Week Two

Here are your biggest games for week two.

  • Oregon at Ohio State
  • Iowa at Iowa State
  • Washington at Michigan
  • Utah at BYU
  • Stanford at USC

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