Daily Blog • September 4

Week 1 Top 25 Team Performances

        OFF OFF OFF DEF DEF DEF   Total Gm
ALABAMA Michigan 232 199 41 69 200 14 2 162 113.4
FLORIDA ST   Murray St 285 321 69 39 117 3 1 450 110.8
NEBRASKA   Southern Miss 278 354 49 185 75 20 1 372 106.5
OKLAHOMA ST   Savannah St 395 287 84 58 81 0 0 543 105.2
BAYLOR   SMU 220 393 59 142 283 17 3 188 104.5
OHIO ST   Miami, Oh 320 243 56 -2 314 10 3 251 103.5
ARIZONA ST   Northern Arizona 305 249 63 88 149 6 2 317 100.7
TENNESSEE NC State 191 333 35 119 241 21 3 164 99.1
UTAH ST   Southern Utah 277 307 34 56 95 3 -1 433 98.5
CLEMSON Auburn 314 214 26 179 194 19 1 155 97.6
NOTRE DAME Navy 293 197 50 149 192 10 3 149 97.3
N CAROLINA   Elon 243 128 62 42 127 0 0 202 95.1
OREGON   Arkansas St 283 323 57 134 303 27 2 169 93.8
BYU   Washington St 123 303 30 -5 229 6 2 202 93.4
USC   Hawaii 80 369 49 57 207 10 3 185 93.2
MICHIGAN ST   Boise St 212 241 17 38 170 13 -2 245 92.9
BOWLING GREEN AT Florida 102 226 14 219 145 27 -1 -36 92.8
NEVADA AT California 220 230 31 110 255 24 1 85 92.7
SAN JOSE ST AT Stanford 72 216 17 155 125 20 -2 8 91.6
TEXAS ST AT Houston 248 196 30 115 211 13 1 118 89.9
PURDUE   Eastern Kentucky 175 372 48 105 85 6 -1 357 89.5
IOWA ST   Tulsa 160 281 38 160 198 23 2 83 89.4
OHIO U AT Penn St 175 324 24 92 260 14 3 147 88.7
ARIZONA   Toledo 237 377 17 154 192 17 -2 268 88.7
WEST VIRGINIA   Marshall 331 324 69 131 412 34 1 112 88.3



On the first play of the season, Heisman candidate Matt Barkley threw to All-American WR Marquise Lee who Coach Kiffin feels may be one of their best WR’s of all-time at USC and Lee took a short pass 75 yards for a td. He had a great game statistically with 197 yards receiving and an additional 100 yard KR td. USC led 35-0 at the half with a 328-83 yard edge and ended the game at the Hawaii 16 yard line being stopped on 4&18 on a 16 yard run with 2:11 left.


LSU jumped out to a 24-0 lead vs North Texas but gave up an 80 yard td pass with 1:55 left in the half and only led 24-7. LSU punted on their first 2H possession but then went 74, 71 and 75 yards for td’s. They did allow NT a 66/13pl td drive with 7:28 left which trimmed it to 14 in LSU’s 41-14 win. QB Mettenberger was briefly knocked out of the game and finished 19-26-192 yards as LSU’s powerful run game rushed for 316 yards.


Louisiana kicker Brett Baer, who led the NCAA in FG accuracy last year (18-20), hit FG’s of 32, 39, 30 and 52 yards and led his streak to 15 FG’s made. Louisiana only had a 15-13 FD edge and 346-194 yard edge but took advantage of 2 TO’s and a 29 yard punt to set up 34, 2 and 26 yard scoring drives. They led Lamar 40-0 at the half with a 239-89 yard edge and punted on all four 2H poss.


In the 1H Central Arkansas actually had a 237-231 yard edge. That was interesting because Ole Miss HC Hugh Freeze had prepped for CA the previous year when HC of Arkansas St. It was undetermined as who would start between Wallace and Bruretti but Wallace started and hit 20-24-254. CA led 20-14 at the half but after UM punted on their first 3Q possession, they went 77/10pl, 75/5pl, 70/9pl and 25/2pl (after interception) and 58/7pl for td’s on their next 5 possessions to lead 49-20 with 5:57 left before allowing a 75/11pl drive for a late CA td.


Tyler Wilson set an Arkansas school record for passing yards in the season opener hitting 19-27-367 yards. Jacksonville St HC Jack Crowe was a HC at Arkansas back in ‘92 and he was fired by the Hogs after a 10-3 loss to a FCS team in The Citadel. Arkansas was playing without their top returning receiver, Cobi Hamilton who was injured in the 1H and converted QB Brandon Mitchell led with 122 yards and 4 rec’s. Knile Davis only had 70 yards rushing on 18 carries in his first game back from injury. The Hogs actually trailed 14-7 early 2Q before scoring td’s on the next 4 poss and led 35-14 but JSU went 75/10pl and got a td with :08 left in the half, 55-21. It was 35-24 and Ark finally got some breathing room late 3Q with a 49/3pl drive for a td following a fumble to lead 39-24 and JSU had a 13pl drive where they were SOD at the Hog 8 with 8:48 left.


This past week I debuted writing an ESPN Insider article and the headline article had Alabama controlling the line of scrimmage vs Michigan and that they did. The Tide finished with a 20-11 FD and 451-269 yard edges. In fact, in the 1H Bama had a 279-119 yard edge and that included Michigan driving 75/3pl for a td with 2:20 left in the half trailing 31-0. Denard Robinson hit 11-26-200 and was limited to 27 yards rushing on 10 carries. The Wolverines were playing without their top RB Toussaint and Vincent Smith led the RB’s with 33 yards on 11 carries. The defending National Champs looked very strong in their opener.


Two key players were missing for the Clemson/Auburn game that was played between a split crowd at the Georgia Dome. Sammy Watkins, Clemson’s star WR was out and for Auburn they were missing starting center Reese Dismukes. The game turned into a FG battle with the 2 teams combining for 3 td’s and 7 FG’s. Andre Ellington rushed for 231 yards on 26 carries. Auburn led 19-16 in the 4Q when Clemson got a td with 9:17 left then forced a punt and went on a 79/11pl drive for an 18 yard FG with 1:24 left. Auburn only got to its own 42 but was sacked and fired incomplete on the final play. Clemson did finish with a 528-374 yard edge and 28-17 FD edge.


Tulane ran its losing streak to 11 consecutive games, their longest streak since 1963. They trailed just 10-6 at the start of the 4Q when Rutgers got 2 big plays, a 14 yard IR td by Jones and then a 43 yard td pass to Coleman made it 24-6. Tulane went 65/5pl for a td with 5:07 left but was SOD on its own 26 with 2:06 left. RU only had a 309-262 yard edge.


It was one of the bigger upsets in college football history this past weekend when Texas St, which was about a 5 td underdog, playing their first game as an FBS member, stunned Houston - a team that finished #18 last year (13-1). Houston had a new coaching staff and was replacing Keenum but did have a veteran QB in David Piland who hit just 17-44-211 yards. There’s nothing fluky about the win as Texas St had a 444-326 yard edge and 23-15 FD edge and with a 73 yard run by Marcus Curry, they led 14-3 mid 1Q and never trailed. TSU led 27-10 at the half with a 300-194 yard edge. Houston trailed 30-13 and got the ball 3 more times and were SOD at their own 35 and their own 41 twice.


When I spoke to Indiana coach Kevin Wilson in the offseason, he had talked about the emphasis on making QB Tre Roberson more of a passer and less of a runner. Things appeared to work out pretty well in the opener as Roberson hit 26-36-280 yards and ran just 7 times for 19 yards. Indiana St RB Shakir Bell who was a runner-up for LY’s Walter Payton Award rushed for 192 yards on 24 carries for the Sycamores. IU fans could never breathe easily with the game tied at 7, running into the K on a 34 yard FG had them go for it on 4&1 and Indiana got a td and they would lead 24-10 at the half. Indy had a 42 yard FG hit the upright and a 46 yard FG blocked with 3:32 left only leading 24-17 and ISU on 4&12 at the Indy43 was SOD with 2:02 left. ISU got it back, down 7, and got to the Indy36 but their Hail Mary fell incomplete.


Last year Kansas St opened the season with a poor effort in the opener vs an FCS team. They struggled again despite the final score of 51-9. In fact, it was just 9-6 at the half with KSU getting a 25 yard FG with :18 left for that lead. Missouri St had a 70/10pl drive in the half but fumbled into the EZ for a TB. It was just 16-9 into the 4Q when KSU got a 43 yard PR setting up a 32 yard drive for a td, a 95 yard td run by RB Hubert, an 8 yard drive for a td after an interception and then a roughing the K gave them a FD and they got a 46 yard td run on the next play with 3:43 left. They closed the scoring with an 89 yard PR td with 1:56 left and only had a 493-418 yard edge and 21-19 fd edge despite the lopsided score.


The UT Martin/Memphis game had a 2.5 hour weather delay. When they came back, UTM went for it (trailing 10-7) on 4&10 and converted and got a td 5pl later for a 14-10 lead. Memphis got a td with :52 left to apparently force OT and then forced a punt by UTM but fumbled the punt with just :17 left at their own 27 and UTM would cash in with a 43 yard FG to pull the upset. UTM did have a 392-39 yard edge and 25-20 FD edge.


Weber St’s HC Todd McBride retired prior to the season and John L. Smith took over but left for the Arkansas job so they were led by DC Jody Sears who is the interim HC this year. Fresno St opened with 97 and 74 yard drives for td’s and a quick 14-0 lead and it was 24-3 at the half with a 289-122 yard edge. It was just 24-10 when Fresno got a 38/1pl td pass after an interception to go up 30-10 then went 69/10pl for another td with 3:31 left to extend the margin to 37-10. They did have a 515-274 yard edge and Derek Carr hit a very efficient 20-25-298 yards.


The Oregon Ducks could have topped 100 points vs Arkansas St had they kept the 1st stringers in. An amazing stat to me was that with 7:06 left in the 2Q, the Ducks led 50-3 and then pulled their starters. It was 50-10 at the half and Ark St would do most of their damage in the 2H. The Ducks had a 417-228 yard edge at the half and ASU would get 55, 71 and 75 yard drives all for td’s on their final 3 possessions trailing 50-13 late in the 3Q. It appears Chip Kelly made the right choice at QB as Marcus Mariota hit 18-22-200 and Bryan Bennett, who played the rest of the game was just 10-17-108.


Oklahoma was on upset alert after UTEP had blocked a punt for a td early in the game and actually it was 7-7 at the half and OU only led 10-7 after 3Q’s. At half OU had a slim 168-129 yard edge. UTEP was SOD at its own 41 with 13:33 left and the Sooners, 7pl later, got a td. OU punted then got a 65 yard td run by Williams with 2:55 left to extend the margin.


Washington only had a 328-327 yard edge vs San Diego St. After an interception UW went 35/7pl for a td and took their 2nd drive 62/9pl for a td to lead 14-0 but it was 14-6 at the half. A 44 yard FR td gave UW a 21-6 lead. The Aztecs closed to 21-12 with 12:06 left then were SOD on 4&6 at the UW9 with 4:44 left.


Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown each rushed for over 100 yards for the Texas Longhorns. Texas finished with only a 436-345 yard edge and a key play was when a short pass to Robert Herron saw him break 3 tackles and race 82 yards for a td giving Wyoming about 25% of its offense for the day. At the half Texas led 24-9 and extended it to 31-9. David Ash hit 20-27-156.


The Toledo/Arizona game was an amazing offensive game. The two combined for 57 FD’s with Arizona having a 33-24 edge and UA had a 624-358 yard edge and the two teams almost got 1,000 yards offense. Combined they ran 182 plays in the game. Amazingly, at the end of regulation the score stood 17-17 as both left a lot of points off the board. UA had a 71/12pl drive and settled for a 26 yard FG and UT went on a 16 play drive but missed a FG. UA fumbled at the UT26 and only led 14-10 at the half despite the fact the two teams had combined for 559 yards. UA later had a 24 yard FG at the end of a drive that hit the upright and missed a 25 yard FG at the end of regulation but won it in OT.


Texas Tech did dominate Northwestern St with a 37-6 FD and 500-84 yard edges. The most impressive player to me was actually backup QB Michael Brewer. Seth Doege hit 23-34-199 but Brewer was brought into the lineup at the start of the 4Q with the game just 27-6. Brewer led a 55/7pl, 63/12pl and 53/7pl drive for a 37 yard FG and 2 td’s in his 3 poss. He hit 10-13-122. Eric Stephens, coming back from last year’s injury, rushed 16 times for 58 yards.


Louisville had a 466-373 yard edge with Kentucky blowing some scoring opportunities. UK fumbled at the UL22 with 3:15 to go in the 2Q, missed a 42 yard FG and were tackled on a fake punt which allowed UL a 38 yard td drive. The Cards still dominated the game and they brought in backup QB Stein for the final 4 series. While UL did not score, UK fumbled on 2nd & gl from the 5 at the 3, was SOD on 4&9 at the UL12 then SOD on 4&2 at their own 41 on the final 3 poss.


SMU blew some scoring opportunities vs Baylor or could have made a game of it. In the 1H they went on a 51/9pl drive but missed a 43 yard FG, went 66/16pl but settled for a 22 yard FG. Trailing 14-3 they had a chance to get back in it when at the end of a 73/13pl drive on 2&gl from the 9 they were intercepted at the 2 with just 2:41 left in the half. BU would get a 50 yard td pass with 2:02 left then after a punt drove 50 yards and added a 44 yard FG on the half’s final play for a 24-3 lead at the half with a 314-197 yard edge. SMU fumbled and it was returned 66 yards for a td, was intercepted setting up a 60 yard td drive by BU and it got out of hand. BU led 52-10 with backup QB Petty directing a 25 yard td drive after a 37 yard PR. SMU would actually get a td with 4:49 left and after a BU td, SMU went 72/4pl for a 40 yard td pass with backup QB Preston with 2:25 left.