The 5 Best Adjustments Made by College Football Coaches in Week 1
Sometimes things don't quite go the way the coach drew it up in practice.
It could be due to first-game jitters, injuries or even suspensions, but the best coaches know how to get their team to adapt to any situation.
The two best places in a game to evaluate a coach are how his team plays in the beginning of the first quarter and at the beginning of the third. If a coach can get his team turned around at the half with some in-game adjustments, more often than not he'll win the game.
So, which coaches made the best in-game adjustments in college football's Week 1? Read on.
Mark Richt, Georgia
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Georgia defense looked a bit sloppy in the first half against lowly Buffalo, and part of the reason for that was that the Bulldogs were missing several of their starters for this game.
Baccari Rambo, Alec Ogletree and Sanders Commings were all kept out of the game for violation of team rules. In addition to that, LB Chase Vasser is serving a two-game suspension for his run-ins with the law.
All of this helps explain why the Bulls were able to score 16 points on Georgia and keep the game within eight points in the first half.
After getting his team together at the half, Richt's team didn't give up another point until late in the fourth quarter when the game had already been all but decided.
Still, Georgia can't afford these kind of slow starts moving forward into SEC play.
Jim Mora, UCLA
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Jim Mora's defense had its hands full with upset-minded Rice in the first half. The Bruins gave up 24 points in the first half to make this game competitive.
After some halftime adjustments, however, they didn't allow the Owls to score for the rest of the game.
Yes, it's only Rice, but adjusting at the half when your team has been struggling is a key attribute of a good coach.
Bronco Mendenhall, BYU
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Washington State made BYU a bit uncomfortable on their first drive as it seemed that the Cougars couldn't stop the new Mike Leach Air Raid offense.
Then, Jordan Johnson picked off Jeff Tuel. The BYU defense adjusted and Washington State didn't look as crisp again.
BYU also rebounded after losing their best WR in Cody Hoffman early in the game to a leg contusion. TE Kaneakua Friel stepped up and grabbed two touchdown passes.
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
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One of the hardest things for any coach to do is to give up one of their own signature styles on offense or defense to win the game.
That's what Steve Spurrier had to do to get the win against upset-minded Vanderbilt. While a typical Spurrier offense features the pass, South Carolina had to depend on the run.
In fact, the Gamecocks only had 67 yards pass to 205 yards rushing.
QB Connor Shaw doesn't have college football's greatest arm in the world, but he does have decent feet. Spurrier played to his team's strengths and won the game even though it wasn't pretty.
Nick Saban, Alabama
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Some questioned how Alabama would adjust to losing most of their defensive starters to the NFL and facing Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
With Nick Saban on the sideline, people need not have worried.
The Crimson Tide defense kept Robinson to under 50 percent passing, picked him off twice and limited him to only 27 yards on the ground.
Also, since Eddie Lacy wasn't 100 percent (although he did score a nine-yard touchdown early in the game), true freshman T.J. Yeldon got the call and was up to the challenge. Yeldon rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.