Auburn secures signature win, Texas is in hot water, Big Ten struggles early
Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons | Penn State quarterback and potential Heisman candidate Trace McSorely helped the Nittany Lions stave off a potential Week 1 upset.
Week 1 of the college football season has come to a close, and it was full of all the drama that fans have come to expect from the sport.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Week 1 action.
Ohio State was just fine without Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer served the first game of his three-game suspension for mishandling abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith on Saturday as the Buckeyes took on Oregon State. They didn’t seem to miss their head coach too much as they took care of business with a 77-31 blowout win.
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is getting some early Heisman buzz after finishing 22 for 30 with 313 yards and five touchdowns. It’ll be interesting to see if the Buckeyes can continue their momentum in the next two weeks when they take on Rutgers and then head down to Fort Worth, Texas, to face No. 16 TCU.
Big Ten Struggles
While Ohio State dominated, their Big Ten counterparts struggled a bit. No. 11 Michigan State barely avoided an upset at the hands of Utah State, scoring a late TD to win 38-31. Spartans’ star running back LJ Scott didn’t have a great game, running the ball 23 times for 84 yards. The Spartans will need to get Scott going if they want to have a chance at the College Football Playoff.
No. 14 Michigan took on No. 12 Notre Dame and couldn’t get anything going on offense, taking 57 minutes to score its first offensive touchdown en route to a 24-17 loss.
No. 10 Penn State squandered a 14 point second-half lead against Appalachian State, who took the Nittany Lions to overtime. On the bright side, Penn State QB Trace McSorley, an early Heisman candidate, looked good, throwing for 230 yards and a TD while running for 53 yards and two touchdowns. While it’s a small sample size, the early returns on the Big Ten and specifically the Big Ten East aren’t great.
Auburn wins first top-10 matchup of the season
The Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game pitted No. 9 Auburn against No. 6 Washington at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the same place where Auburn lost the 2017 SEC Championship Game.
The Tigers had a much better result over the weekend as their defense stepped up and helped lead them to a 21-16 win.
Jarrett Stidham, one of the top-ranked quarterbacks in the country, threw for 273 yards and a touchdown. If Stidham plays well and the defense plays the way they did on Saturday, expect to see Auburn in the College Football Playoff.
Texas disappoints, again
It seems as if every year for the past four of five years, Texas gets enough preseason hype to make fans believe that it’ll finally be the year they break through and return to their roots as a perennial contender.
This year was no different as the No. 23 Longhorns entered their week one matchup against Maryland with a lot of hype around the program.
However, the Longhorns went down quietly as three fourth-quarter turnovers, including two interceptions from quarterback Sam Ehlinger, doomed Texas as Maryland picked up a 34-29 win.
Like Ohio State, Maryland was playing without its head coach. D.J. Durkin is on administrative leave while the program is under investigation following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair after a team workout in May. Maryland left his spot open on the first play of the game and took a delay of game penalty in his honor.
Texas does not have an easy schedule this year, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Longhorns have a down season.
By: Joe Clark | Guest Writer