Saturday, August 30, 2008

College Football Season - Woo-Hoo!

Although it technically started Thursday, College Football season kicked into high gear today as the bulk of the NCAA locked horns for the first weekend of the season.

Some of the highlights:
#1 Georgia started their season off with a 45-21 drubbing of Georgia Southern. QB Matthew Stafford threw for 275 yards (his highest career total to date) and 2 TDs. Knowshon Moreno didn't carry the ball much (just 8 carries for 59 yards) but totaled 3 TDs and added 2 catches for 53 yards as Georgia put up 24 points in the first half, then took off and never looked back.

#2 Ohio State didn't let up in their opening matchup against Youngstown State either, as they blanked the Pengiuns 43-0. Of course the biggest impact may be the potential loss of Heisman Hopeful RB Beanie Wells as he was carted off the field with an injury to his right foot. According to ESPN, X-rays were negative and Wells was back on the sidelines wearing a protective boot. Seeing the injury it seemed like a freak thing - like he planted his foot oddly and slipped. It is unknown if he will miss time, but early indications are it isn't serious. Lost in this was frosh QB Terrelle Pryor who ran the ball for 52 yds and a TD and threw the ball for 52 yards. Back to Wells, be may miss the next game in order to be fully healed for the week 3 matchup with USC which will have huge impact on the BSC race.

Speaking of #3USC, they were no less impressive in their opening game, shelacking Virginia 52-7. Marc Sanchez looked like he suffered no ill effects returning from his off-season knee injury, throwing for a tremendous 338 yards and 3 TDs, a performance not marred in the least by 1 INT. As is the case often with USC, multiple backs contributed to production at the position: Stafon Johnson ran in a TD from the 2, Joe McKnight carried the ball 6 times for 60 yards (and added 24 more through the air) while CJ Gable rushed for 73 yards and a TD. USC also seems to have found a pair of solid recievers in Ronald Johnson (3-78yds-1TD) and Damian Williams (7-91yds). USC's next game is in 2 weeks against Ohio State.

#4 Oklahoma continued the top team trend of annhilating the opposition, pounding Chattanooga 57-2. Sooner Qb Sam Bradford threw for 183 yds and 2 TDs while the gorund game of Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray combined for 187 yards and 5 TDs. Teh game was delayed for about an hour at halftime due to lightning and while the Sooners didn't match the first half stats, they gave no quarter.

Rounding out the top 5, #5 Florida beat Hawaii with a relatively balanced attack. Heisman Winner (and frontrunner) Tim Tebow did well, though not spectacularly so (9/14, 137 yds, 1TD) and instead the Gators scored everywhere else - defense, special teams, and with great play by their running backs, most notably Jeffrey Demps who ripped off a 62 run for a TD and Chris Rainey who blew off a 33 yd TD run. It's got to be nice when the Heisman Winner from 2007 is merely a tool in a blowout win, not the reason for it. And terribly scary for upcomign foes who know Tebow is capable of breaking out when needed - and now seems to have teammates who can do the same.

The rest of the rest:
#6 Missouri beat #20 Illinois 52-41 and while Illinois made a game of it after the half, it wasn't THAT close. #7 LSU didn't repeat Michigan's blunder against Appalachian State, beating them 41-13. Like much of the nation, our prayers are with them and the whole of the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the area. #8 West Virginia doubled up on Villanova 48-21 as Pat White threw for 208 yards and 5TDs. Amazingly, Villanova had more yards (399-354) than Virginia and more 1st downs as well. That has to change of the Mountaineers want to challenge for the BCS title. The UPSET SPECIAL SPECIAL turned out to be #24 Alabama as they beat #9 Clemson 34-10. The Crimson Tide's defense was the story as they shut down Clemson, smothering the run game completely and holding the whole offense to 189 yards total. #10 Auburn took care of business and shut out tomato can Louisiana-Monroe 34-10. #11 Texas beat Florida Atlantic 52-10 on a night when they retired Vince Young's jersey. They didn't miss Young at Qb tonight, though as Colt McCoy went 24/29 for 222 yards and 3 TDs, popping back up after three late hits after which things got choppy. Hey Coach Schnellenberge - think the Longhorns are tough now? Graham Harrell, #12 Texas Tech's QB threw for a staggering 536 yards and 2 TDs as the Red Raiders spanked Eastern Washington 49-24. #13 Wisconsin beat Akron 38-17 as Badger RB PJ Hill went off for 210 yards and a pair of TDs. He is human though - and fumbled on the goal line. #14 Kansas beat Florida International 40-10 with QB Todd Reesing going 37-of-52 for 256 yards and three TDs. #15 Arizona State isn't done beating Northern Arizona yet but after 3 quarters it's 30-3 and QB Rudy Carpenter has already totalled 388 yards through the air, a TD and then another 40 yards on the ground and has now taken a seat. That's what we at the Blurb call 'over'. #16 Brigham Young beat Northern Iowa 41-17 while QB Maz Hall threw for 486 yds and 2 TDs. East Carolina stunned #17 Virginia Tech to the tune of 27-22 as TJ Lee blocked a punt and returned it 27 yards for a TD with 1:52 left the game. #19 South Florida spanked Tennessee-Martin, who they limited to just 96 yards on offense. Like with #15 ASU, #21 Oregon leads their game with authority, ahead of Washington 37-10 in the 4th quarter. Joe Paterno tied Bobby Bowden for most wins by a college coach with a 66-10 win by his #22 Penn State Nittany Lions over Coastal Carolina. And then he tried to tell us he doesn't care. Sure Joe, sure. #23 Wake Forest already pounded Baylor 41-13 on Thursday, lead by a very efficient Riley Skinner (27/36 for 220 yds and 3 TDs). Finally, Bowling Green took down #25 Pitt, 27-17 as the Panthers turned the ball over 4 times and made too many mistakes to get by the Falcons, even though they outgained them in total offensive yards.

#18 Tennessee meets UCLA on Monday.

How's that for a kickoff weekend?

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