Week 1 of College Football Brings Plenty of News
Week 1 of the NCAA Football season has come and go, with the exception of a Monday Night game. Take a look at some of the biggest news and notes:
Alabama To Stick With Both Quarterbacks
The quarterback controversy for the Alabama Crimson Tide appears to be lasting another week. Both Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts played in the Crimson Tide’s 51-14 victory over Louisville on Saturday. After the game, head coach Nick Saban told the media that both quarterbacks would continue to see action moving forward. Tagovailoa got the start for the Crimson Tide and quickly led them down the field for an opening series touchdown.
He played the first four series of the game, and Alabama scored a touchdown on three of those drives. Hurts led the team in four offensive series, but did not deliver a touchdown on any of those drives. Hurts came into the season with a 26-2 record as a starting quarterback, but Tagovailoa has more talent and outplayed the senior on Saturday.
UCLA Loses QB, Loses Opener
Chip Kelly’s UCLA team had a miserable season opener on Saturday night in Kelly’s first game as head coach of the Bruins. Grad transfer Wilton Speight had to leave the game in the second quarter after suffering a back injury. The quarterback is a grad transfer who spent his first four collegiate seasons at the University of Michigan. Speight’s final season at Michigan was cut short last October when he suffered three broken vertebrae in a game against rival Michigan State.
Chip Kelly didn’t have an update on Speight’s condition after the game. UCLA was forced to turn to true freshman Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and he struggled in his first collegiate game. To make matters worse, the Bruins lost the game, 26-17, to underdog Cincinnati.
Nebraska’s Anticipated Home Opener Postponed
The Nebraska–Akron season opener on Saturday night was forced to be postponed due to severe weather, and no make-up date has been announced. Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska was packed once again as the program announced an NCAA-record 362nd consecutive sellout.
Play was halted immediately following the opening kickoff and play was not resumed. Nebraska fans were excited for this game as Scott Frost was set to make his debut as head coach after leading the Huskers to a National Championship as quarterback.
Frost took over the Nebraska program after leading UCF to a perfect season in 2017. Nebraska is set to host the University of Colorado next weekend. The South Dakota State-Iowa State game was also forced to be postponed as severe storms reached Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones were leading 7-0 in the first quarter before play was halted.
Penn State Survives Scare From Appalachian State
The Penn State Nittany Lions survived a massive upset on Saturday afternoon when they defeated Appalachian State in overtime. Appalachian State, now a member of the Sun Belt Conference, has a history of knocking off Big Ten powerhouses. 11 years ago to the day, Appalachian State went into the Big House and defeated the 5th ranked Michigan Wolverines.
Penn State was able to avoid the same fate thanks in large part to Heisman hopeful quarterback Trace McSorley. McSorley was 21-36 for 230 yards and also ran for a pair of touchdowns to give Penn State the 45-38 victory. Penn State came into the game as the 10th ranked team in the AP Preseason poll, and have hopes of contending for a Big Ten Championship. The Nittany Lions will travel to Pittsburgh next weekend.
Ohio State Wins Opener Amid Controversy
The Ohio State Buckeyes opened their season in convincing fashion on Saturday, defeating the Oregon State Beavers by a score of 77-31. The victory was the first for coach Ryan Day who is serving as the team’s interim head coach until Urban Meyer returns from his three-game suspension.
The 5th ranked Buckeyes are expected to contend for a spot in the College Football playoffs this season, and their offense was in midseason form on Saturday. Meyer is allowed to coach the team during practice and meetings but will miss the next two games against Rutgers and 16th ranked TCU. Heisman hopeful Dwayne Haskins led the way for the Ohio State offense in the opener.
The quarterback threw for 313 yards, including five touchdowns. Junior running back Mike Weber had 186 yards on 20 carries and 3 touchdowns on Saturday.