College Football Games Week 1: Saturday's Studs and Duds
The first full day of NCAA-football action is in the books. There were some impressive performances around the nation, too many to list them all here.
Many schools use the opening week of the season, even the first couple of weeks, as a warm-up before starting conference play. It gives them a chance to evaluate talent and, most importantly, inflate their stats against lesser opponents.
Take a look at some of the best and worst performances of Saturday’s cornucopia of college football.
Stud: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Braxton Miller started out rough in the first quarter, leading the Buckeyes’ offense to a measly 48 yards of total offense and a 3-0 deficit at the hands of the lowly Miami RedHawks.
He looked like a dynamic, and different, player from the second quarter on.
He finished with 207 yards on 14-of-24 passing with two touchdowns. He also led the team with 161 yards and another score rushing the football.
Dud: Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Denard Robinson came into the 2012 college-football season as one of the favorites to compete for the Heisman Trophy. His dynamic skill set and game-changing speed are second to none.
However, the Alabama Crimson Tide defense, which lost four starters in the first two rounds of the NFL draft last April, bottled him up along with the explosive Michigan Wolverines offense.
Robinson finished with a decent showing but struggled throughout most of the game. His final stats included 11-of-26 passing for 200 yards with two interceptions to one touchdown. On the ground, he didn't fare much better, racking up one touchdown and only 27 yards on 10 carries.
His longest run of the game was nine yards.
Stud: Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith accounted for five total touchdowns and led the 11th-ranked Mountaineers to a 69-34 victory over the Marshall Thundering Herd.
Smith was nearly perfect through the air, completing 33-of-37 passes for 323 yards and four scores. When he took to the ground, he was pretty unstoppable as well. On eight carries, Smith racked up 65 yards and a touchdown.
Dud: Perry Hills, QB, Maryland
Perry Hills, starting his first collegiate game, completed 16-of-24 passes for 145 yards and surrendered three interceptions to the William and Mary Tribe.
Maryland, an ACC school, had to come from behind to sneak away with a narrow 7-6 victory and escape the near-upset by the much-lesser-known school from the Football Championship Subdivision.
Stud: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Florida State defense, led by Bjoern Werner’s impressive four sacks and five tackles for losses, held Murray State to only 156 yards of total offense.
Werner, a junior, contributed four of the six sacks the Seminoles' defense accrued on the day.
Sure, it was against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent, but Werner proved early on why the Florida State defense should be feared in 2012.
Dud: Casey Brockman, QB, Murray State
Casey Brockman, the Ohio Valley Conference preseason player of the year, was sacked six times on his way to a horrible start to the season for the Murray State Racers.
Brockman averaged a measly 3.3 yards per completion while combating the fierce Seminoles defense.
Overall, he completed 19-of-36 passes and only accrued 117 yards. He also threw one interception and could not lead a successful drive.
Stud: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Robert Woods hauled in two touchdowns, but it was Marqise Lee who electrified viewers with his exciting speed.
Lee hauled in a game-high 10 receptions for 197 yards. That's almost 20 yards per catch for the 6'0" sophomore from California. One of those was an incredible 75-yard touchdown pass from Matt Barkley on USC's first play from scrimmage.
Oh yeah, he also returned a kickoff 100 yards for another touchdown. No big deal.
Dud: Darius Robinson, CB, Clemson
Darius Robinson, the oft-targeted junior cornerback of the Clemson Tigers, was torched by Emory Blake for a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter of Clemson's narrow win over the Auburn Tigers.
Robinson is known for getting beat, and Blake absolutely burned him by at least 10 yards on the bomb from quarterback Kiehl Frazier.
Studs: Oklahoma State Backfield (Joseph Randle, Desmond Roland, Jeremy Smith)
The Pokes amassed 395 yards on the ground on their way to piling on an 84-0 annihilation of Savannah State.
Nine of those touchdowns were scored on the ground.
Joseph Randle scored twice and racked up 107 yards on only six carries. Desmond Roland added 104 yards on only nine carries and three touchdowns. Jeremy Smith only carried the ball five times for 37 yards but also found the end zone twice.
Even freshman Corey Bennett got in on the action. He carried 12 times, after the game was already a blowout, for 91 yards and a touchdown.
Stud: Giovani Bernard, RB, UNC
Giovani Bernard had three total touchdowns, as the North Carolina Tarheels shut out Elon by a 62-point margin.
The sophomore, listed as a linebacker on ESPN.com, scored in the passing game, rushing game and on a 70-yard punt return.
Oh yeah, who in the world is Elon?
Stud: De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
De'Anthony Thomas proved why he is one of the most explosive players in college football.
In barely more than a quarter of action, Thomas scored three times on only seven touches. The game was over soon after the second quarter started, and there was no telling what kind of damage he could have done had he been left in the game.
Let's pretend he had and assume that he finished with 10 total touchdowns.
That would have been something.
Stud: Sam Durley, QB, Eureka
Sam Durley set the NCAA record for passing yards in a game with his 736-yard performance Saturday.
He threw for five touchdowns on the way to giving his team a 62-55 win over Knox for the Abraham Lincoln Bowl victory.
The Eureka Red Devils had only six players catch passes as a part of Durley’s record-setting day. Two of them broke the 200-yard mark.
The previous record was 731 yards, set by Zamir Amin of Menlo College in 2000.