College Football Week 1: Which Suspended Players Were Missed from Opening Week?
Clemson barely survived against a dangerous Auburn team despite not having Sammy Watkins in the lineup.
(If only Michigan could say the same without having Fitzgerald Toussaint in Dallas.)
In trying to change the nature of their programs, coaches are teaching their teams discipline by suspending players, and though most got away with it in the first week of action, others did not.
Even in victory, some teams showed a few chinks in the armor and missed the production of their suspended player.
These are those players.
It wasn't easy, but with Sammy Watkins, it might've been.
The Clemson Tigers defeated Auburn 26-19, and they had to ride the back of RB Andre Ellington to get the victory. Ellington rushed for more than 230 yards for Clemson in the victory, but the Tigers passing game was obviously missing its main target.
DeAndre Hopkins also had a huge day for Clemson with 119 receiving yards and one touchdown, but other than him, Tajh Boyd had limited options to throw to.
Had Watkins been present, the production of the offense through the air would've been much better.
Perhaps no other player was missed more than Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Michigan's offense was atrocious against the Crimson Tide defense, as Denard Robinson tremendously struggled against Alabama's always fierce defensive front.
Because Alabama dominated the trenches, having Toussaint in the backfield wouldn't have made that big of a difference as far as the running game goes.
However, it would have given Nick Saban something else to think about, and it would have given Brady Hoke more available options offensively.
It also could have helped cool Robinson's nerves with the familiarity, too.
It's a good thing Georgia was playing a cupcake.
The Bulldogs struggled defensively, as they gave up 17 first downs and 347 total yards. More specifically, Georgia gave up 199 yards rushing.
That's a big no-no against an opponent that doesn't even compare talent-wise on paper, but Georgia is getting an excuse in the form of Alec Ogletree.
It became apparent how much the Bulldogs rely on Ogletree at linebacker when Buffalo RB Branden Oliver kept pounding away at the Bulldogs defense.
Though it's still uncertain as to when he'll return to the team, Ogletree will be needed against Missouri next weekend.
Da'Rick Rogers wasn't needed at all in Tennessee's victory against N.C. State.
Where he will be needed, though, is in SEC play.
Rogers' replacement, Cordarrelle Patterson, looked absolutely incredible in his first game with the Vols, and he made Rogers' absence look less noticeable.
But just imagine what this team could have been with Rogers still in the lineup.
Imagine seeing Tyler Bray throwing to Rogers, Justin Hunter and Patterson. The possibilities for this team would be limitless, and the Vols could have made a run in the SEC East.
Without Rogers, they may lack the firepower needed to make a run at an SEC championship.
Tyrann Mathieu wasn't missed against North Texas, but he will be in the future.
Forget the return game—Odell Beckham Jr. proved against the Mean Green that he's got that covered. But as for Mathieu's versatility on defense, it will surely be missed.
The Tigers tried to use Luke Muncie and other linebackers in the same way they used Mathieu by blitzing them off the edge, and it was far less effective. The creativity that Mathieu gives LSU's defense is no longer there, and that could cost this team as they get deep into SEC play.
But against opponents such as North Texas, his absence will be nonexistent.