Monday Musings: CFB Week One Notes

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Monday Musings: CFB Week One Notes

IconACC

I expected Georgia Tech to win, but did anyone expect a performance that dominating? Tashard Choice has to be given Heisman consideration and that Tech defense is outstanding. Imagine what John Tenuta could do with the athletes at an LSU or USC...

Some of the blame can probably be attributed to the emotionally-draining week that was for Virginia Tech, but you can't ignore the questions on the offensive line. Whether or not this team is for real, and whether or not this offensive line is up to the challenge of being a part of a true national contender, will be determined Saturday night in Baton Rouge...

Kirby Freeman didn't do a lot to ease the minds of Miami fans on Saturday, but there is little doubt about the Hurricanes defense as they did a good job shutting down a pretty decent Marshall offense, though the Herd did just as much to stop themselves. All in all, this didn't look like a team capable of winning the ACC...

Outside of Ann Arbor, was there any team more disappointing in week one than Virginia? The offense was absolutely pathetic, and it starts up front. They were dominated by a defensive line that in terms of talent and size was simply inferior...

Sure, it may have been James Madison, but North Carolina fans have to feel pretty good with the way Yates looked Saturday afternoon, though the running game wasn't impressive...

Ted Roof will not be the coach at Duke next year, not after the egg they laid in the second half when faced with an opportunity to end their losing streak...

Whether it's Jimbo Fisher or Jeff Bowden, it doesn't matter if the offensive line can't block. Florida State has the skill players and I believe the defense to win their division, but the offensive line is going to hold the 'Noles back...

Clemson took a leg up in the division with their win, their defense is going to be very good, we know about Spiller and Davis, and it appears Harper is going to be able to manage games enough and not make mistakes to avoid costing this talented team games...

While it was clearly a different style than Eagle fans are used to, the winning ways appeared the same as Boston College overcame an early Wake Forest barrage and Matt Ryan established that he's clearly the league's best quarterback...

Wake Forest began finding out that those teams who enjoyed fortuitous bounce after fortuitous bounce a year ago often don't get the same breaks the next season. Turnovers in the red zone killed the Deacons, and now they must turn to Brett Hodges due to Riley Skinner's shoulder injury...

This is a Tom O'Brien-coached team? N.C. State lost the turnover battle and the ground game battle against Central Florida, and then lost top rusher Andre Brown, in addition to the game. It may take O'Brien a little while to change the culture in Raleigh...

Maryland will be without Josh Portis (academics) the rest of the season, so it's Steffy's team. A pleasant surprise was freshman wide receiver Ja'Quan Williams. Williams' presence gives Friedgen even more toys to play with on offense.

 
Big East

Louisville's offense doesn't appear to have lost anything with Steve Kragthorpe replacing Bobby Petrino...

With Noel Devine stealing some carries, Pat White is probably the leading Heisman candidate in Morgantown for West Virginia. The offense ran as smoothly as expected against Western Michigan, though the pass defense helped yield a couple of long scoring marches for the Broncos...

Ray Rice's campaign for the Heisman Trophy began Thursday night in a big way, but the big news for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights was the play of Mike Teel; granted, it was against Buffalo...

Mike Ford clearly established himself as the best running back on the team and should be the man from here on out for South Florida...

Pittsburgh looked terrible on offense against Eastern Michigan. The passing game was solid, but the rushing attack managed a mere 19 yards on 13 carries in the first half. If Bill Stull's injury is serious enough to keep him out of the lineup, you have to wonder where the Panthers offense will get its points from...

Cincinnati was impressive in their opener and converted cornerback Marshawn Gillyard just gives the Bearcats another solid weapon in the passing game. Ben Mauk seemed to fit in just fine and warrant Brian Kelly's awarding him the starting job...

UConn struggled with Duke in the first half, but Lorenzen was impressive in half number two as the Huskies avoided embarrassment by pulling away in the 2nd half...

Outside of Clemson, it was a rough weekend for teams in Orange, and it started on Friday in a game in Syracuse that probably has Greg Robinson's seat burning. I knew this team was young, but they didn't even appear to be talented and young, just young.

 
Big Ten

Do we even need to discuss what happened to Michigan? Everybody already knows. Mike Hart, unfortunately, probably lost any shot at the Heisman, though the injured Hart is the only reason Michigan wasn't really embarrassed at home...

Ohio State's passing game was surprisingly enough the strength of this offense as the freshmen receivers looked right at home. Unfortunately "Beanie" Wells didn't look so comfortable, as aside from a 20 yard carry, Wells had 15 carries for just 26 yards...

Iowa is going to really miss Dominique Douglass at wide receiver (suspended due to legal problems). Douglass had 49 catches a year ago as a freshmen, but without him the passing game was non existent. It's going to Albert Young, Albert Young, and more Albert Young this year, and that might not be enough as evidenced by just 16 points against NIU...

Florida International might be the worst team in the nation, but considering some of the other scores against perceived "cupcakes" around the nation, Penn State was still pretty impressive in their opener. They've got to be given serious consideration for the Big Ten championship...

Wisconsin's defense may have been caught a little off guard with the early success of the Washington State pass defense, but they settled down and went on to easily cruise past the Cougars. The two questions on offense coming in to the season; the quarterback position and depth at tailback, were answered, and in a good way for the Badgers with the play of Tyler Donovan and Lance Smith...

Illinois did more to beat themselves than Missouri did, which is the tendency of young teams. Nevertheless, it was the third time in six years that Illinois has opened the season with a loss to Missouri. Juice Williams didn't play the majority of the game, so it leaves Illini fans wondering what might have been. The good news is he should play against the Leathernecks this Saturday. While Daniel torched the secondary, the run defense, which was fairly stingy a year ago, looked even better on Saturday...

It's obvious that Mark Dantonio has quickly put his stamp on Michigan State as very little about the Spartans on Saturday resembled John L. Smith's team. After rushing for under 100 yards a total of 7 times in 2006, the Spartans ran for 298 and held UAB to 12, easily surpassing their best run stopping performance of the previous year...

Northwestern may have only scored 27 points, but don't let it fool you. They still racked up over 400 yards of offense, though Tyrell Sutton didn't have the explosive big plays the 'Cats would have liked. With four drives of ten plus plays, the Wildcats shortened the game, reducing the number of points scored, helping to aid their defense in getting their first shutout since 1997...

We know that Tim Brewster's Minnesota team won't quit. After a tumultuous offseason that saw the loss of four players that expected to be contributors, expectations were down a bit in Minnesota, but losing at home to a MAC team is not a good sign. However, being down 21-0 midway thru the 3rd quarter and rallying was a good indication of the fight in these Gophers. Unfortunately, no matter how much fight you have, allowing over 500 yards of offense to a team that averaged just 19.5 ppg a year ago and is breaking in a new quarterback is indicative that this could be a very long year for the Gophers...

The last time Indiana topped 50 points in a game was 2001 (63 vs. Wisconsin), and the last time they won a game by at least 48 points was 1990 (58-7 vs Missouri). The Hoosiers accomplished both in their 55-7 romp over Indiana State in their first game since the death of former head coach Terry Hoeppner over the summer. Kellen Lewis and James Hardy looked even better than they did a year ago...

After getting off to a slow start, Curtis Painter and the Boilermaker offense got going as Painter threw four touchdowns to four different Boilermakers. The pass defense was solid, but the run defense, which allowed nearly 200 ypg last year showed little sign of improvement as they allowed the Rockets to run for 172 yards, and that included just 8 rushing attempts by the Rockets in the 4th quarter.

 
Big Twelve

You don't think DeMarco Murray is worth the hype? Granted Oklahoma opened with a North Texas squad competing for the honor of being the worst team in America, but five scores is still five scores. More impressive? Sam Bradford threw 23 passes, and only two were incomplete. Nobody got off to a better start than the Sooners...

While Oklahoma got off to a very impressive start, the same cannot be said of Texas. The Longhorns offense lacked the explosiveness Texas fans are accustomed to seeing as they were outgained on the ground and via the air by the pesky Indians of Arkansas State. Texas though managed to convert 9 of 15 third downs while limiting ASU to a pitiful 3 of 12, which ultimately provided the difference in the football game. The much maligned Horns pass defense didn't look very good, allowing 272 yards through the air. This was the first time since 1999 a non BCS conference school played the Longhorns to within 10 points......

As openers go, Texas A&M did what was expected. The offense wasn't clicking on all cylinders, but against Montana State, they didn't have to. Considering that Michigan lost to Appalachian State, a 38-7 win over a decent FCS team is nothing to scoff at. Neither Goodson or Lane topped 100 yards rushing, though quarterback Steven McGee did...

So much for Oklahoma State's high octane attack. Much like Ohio State learned against Florida in Tempe back in January, the Cowboys discovered that perhaps the speed in the SEC is just a bit faster than what they are used to. For an offense that averaged 200 ypg both rushing and passing a year ago, getting held to just 266 total might be a wake up call for the Cowboys. Their 71 yards rushing easily was lower than their lowest total of a year ago and well below their 208 yard average...

Texas Tech had absolutely no trouble on the road against SMU. While their offensive outburst was no surprise, their defense stifling an SMU offense considered among the best in Conference USA was...

Some things never change. Baylor couldn't very well stop TCU, couldn't move the ball, and when they tried to, couldn't protect it.

It took Nebraska about 20 minutes to really wake up, but when they did, they looked like the old Big Red Machine as they rolled through Nevada. So much for flinging the ball all over the place. Sure, the Huskers racked up over 600 yards of offense, but 400 of them came on the ground and over 200 via Marlon Lucky. The key to the Huskers season was finding someone to be THE running back. Lucky sure looked the part Saturday afternoon in Lincoln...

Missouri needed some breaks to hold off Illinois in St. Louis as the Chase Daniel for Heisman campaign began with Daniel throwing for 359 yards. The absence of Marcus Woods though was felt by the Tigers as the running game couldn't do anything, an absolute must for this team to have a chance to accomplish it's lofty goals. The Tigers ran for just 71 yards...

Kansas State controlled the football game for 3 1/2 quarters in Auburn, but unfortunately for the Wildcats, the offensive line couldn't contain Auburn, more specifically Quentin Groves, down the stretch. The Wildcat offensive line was clearly outmatched as they couldn't protect Josh Freeman who gamely still threw for 268 yards, nor could they run the ball (27 yards). Even more disconcerting for Ron Prince though were the 16 penalties that cost the Wildcats 141 yards...

Kody Hawkins was impressive in his debut, and despite Hugh Charles missing the vast majority of the game, the Colorado offense looked light years ahead of last year's version. The pass defense struggled a bit at times, but the freshmen trio of Hawkins, Demetrius Sumler and Scotty McKnight has to leave Buffs fans feeling good about the future...

Could the season have started any better for Kansas? After winning the job from Kerry Meier, Todd Reesing went 20/29 for 261 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions against the defending MAC champs who brought back 14 starters. The Kansas offense looked sharp, as in addition to Reesing's performance both Jake Sharp and Brandon McAnderson topped 100 yards on the ground while the Jayhawks held Central Michigan to under 300 yards of offense. The win moved Kansas to .500 against current MAC teams...

Just like Minnesota did, Iowa State lost at home to a MAC team as the Cyclones looked rather lost on defense trying to contain the Golden Flash backfield tandem of quarterback Julian Edelman and tailback Eugene Jarvis. The Cyclone offense wasn't much better as Bret Meyer struggled immensely, though J.J. Bass was the silver lining in the cloud that appears to be the 2007 season.

 
IconPac Ten

USC may not have been overly impressive, especially considering the number of key players Idaho (as if the Vandals actually have key players) lost over the summer, but the Trojans won, and got to play a number of different players. You can bet the attack was scaled back as well in preparation for their big showdown with Nebraska in two weeks...

Oregon let Houston hang around for a little while, but a big 21 point outburst in the waning moments of the third quarter put the game out of reach. The onslaught began when Patrick Chung intercepted a pass in the end zone that could have given Houston the lead and culminated with an 80 yard touchdown run by Dennis Dixon. Oregon's offense, in particular Dennis Dixon, looked outstanding. However, the run defense was atrocious as the Cougars gashed Oregon for over 300 yards on the ground, and over 500 total. While the final score indicates a dominating win, this was a game that was much more competitive than the score indicated...

Some have made the argument that people are giving UCLA too much preseason hype, and in particular, hyping the defense too much, all over just one game a year ago. Well, if the Stanford game is any indication, those who still have doubts about the defense (which returns 10 starters) may not be that far off. Stanford averaged just 10.6 ppg and 232 ypg a year ago. Saturday afternoon they scored 17 points and had over 400 yards of offense, including 331 through the air. The good news for UCLA is the offense looked improved as Ben Olson was very efficient and Khalil Bell was outstanding on the ground, finishing just 5 yards shy of 200...

Dennis Erickson's debut as Arizona State's head coach went as smoothly as any Sun Devil could have hoped for. Taking on an upstart San Jose State program and familiar foe in Dick Tomey, the Sun Devils romped in an opener that was about as impressive as anybody's in the nation. The Sun Devils rolled to over 500 yards of offense while the defense held San Jose State to just 115. Ryan Torrain picked up the pace from a year ago with 123 yards and 3 touchdowns...

California heard all they needed to hear all summer about how much faster teams in the SEC are. Well, the elite ones perhaps. Cal's speed was more than on display Saturday night as the likes of DeSean Jackson (4 rec, 45 yds, 77 yd pr td), Lavelle Hawkins (7 rec, 90 yds), and Justin Forsett (156 rush yds, td) led Cal to an impressive 45-31 win. Defensively Cal still struggled against the pass, but after allowing the Vols 216 yards on the ground last year, they limited Tennessee to just 111, and 42 of those came on one play...

It may not much matter who plays quarterback for Oregon State this fall, just so long as Yvenson Bernard and that defense stay healthy. The Beavers held Utah to under 200 yards of offense (though Brian Johnson's being knocked out of the game certainly didn't hurt things from Oregon State's perspective) and Bernard ran for over 150. Interesting enough, it snapped a streak of three straight games in which the Beavers had run for 101 yards or less. The passing game though did struggle as neither Sean Canfield nor Lyle Moevao separated himself as the starter. Hopes are that the return of Sammie Stroughter can help reignite the passing attack which threw for just 129 yards, 46 fewer than their lowest output of 2006...

All the talk in the summer in Tucson was of the new spread offense that Arizona would employ to take advantage of Willie Tuitama's talents. Well apparently it was all just talk. The Wildcat offense managed just 16.6 ppg a year ago, costing the team a postseason shot as the defense was above average. The defense again played well, but the offense only had 11 first downs and 255 yards, and if not for a very, very late score, the Wildcats would have been shutout. Saturday was the 9th time in their last 15 games that Arizona scored 16 points or fewer...

The Jake Locker era began with a bang for Washington on Friday night, and while an ambitious schedule will temper expectations for 2007, the excitement being generated in Seattle by the Huskies performance might be an indication that Ty Willingham's seat might cool a bit as the Huskies rolled through Syracuse in a tough road opener...

Two first quarter touchdowns in Madison had Washington State feeling good. Unfortunately for the Cougars they only scored one more and the defense couldn't stop Wisconsin from running or throwing. Alex Brink was efficient, but perhaps too efficient, barely averaging over 10 ypc. The offense wasn't completely anemic against a stingy Badger defense, so hope is there in Pullman that these Cougars can make a bowl. The defense though must improve from their performance against the Badgers though. It was the third straight game the Cougars have allowed 35 plus points...

It took 51 passes, but Stanford quarterback T.C. Ostrander threw for 331 yards. Anthony Kimble was efficient on the ground and the offense looked like it has made strides from a year ago. Unfortunately the Cardinal defense was ripped apart on the ground, much akin to it's performance in 2006.

 
SEC

Another team with a very impressive season opener was the one from Athens. Georgia came into the year with questions about their offensive and defensive lines. While the questions aren't completely answered, the answers don't appear to be as gloomy as some predicted. The defense recorded 5 sacks and stifled the explosive Cowboys, holding them to just 266 yards of offense. Meanwhile Matthew Stafford had what Mark Richt said on Tuesday was, "the best game of his career"...

Florida easily won their season opener against Western Kentucky, but it's still hard to tell where the Gators stand. They look as well stocked as anyone at the skill positions, but there's still some lingering concerns over the defense. Tim Tebow looked good throwing the ball, but the competition wasn't too much above the high schools he was throwing against back in 2005...

Tennessee fans can't be feeling good about 2007, and for that matter, Phil Fulmer has to feel the seat getting a tad bit warmer. The Volunteers couldn't run it very well, and they couldn't stop the run either. In addition, they tackled like a high school team, not an SEC team playing in prime time on national tv. Southern Miss is no gimme this week...

South Carolina may have underestimated Louisiana Lafayette a slight bit. That, and the fact that Blake Mitchell didn't play, contributed to a less than inspiring victory. Tommy Beecher and Chris Smelley though did combine to go 21 of 29 for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. The South Carolina run defense wasn't exactly dominating, allowing quarterback Michael Desormeaux and tailback Tyrell Fenroy to rush for a combined 204 yards on 37 carries...

Kentucky had no problem running through Eastern Kentucky as Andre Woodson, Rafael Little and Dicky Lyons did what they typically do. A good sign for the Wildcats was the performance of backup tailback Tony Dixon...

Everyone's chic pick for upstart of the year, Vanderbilt, began it's quest for it's first postseason berth since 1982 by beating up on hapless Richmond 41-17. While Chris Nickson was outstanding, the Commodores running game struggled to really get going, a troubling sign for a team in the SEC...

LSU's defense was dominant, but the offense was anything but in their opening night win Thursday over Mississippi State. The Tigers are no closer to finding a complimentary receiver to Early Doucett, but they know they can count on Matt Flynn...

For about 50 minutes, the Auburn Tigers did not look like the best team on the field Saturday night. In the final ten though, the Tigers defensive line took over, and eventually their depth wore down the visiting Kansas State Wildcats. Auburn's inability though to protect Brandon Cox and to run the ball effectively, plus the loss of Brad Lester to academics, leaves a lot of unanswered questions for the Tigers. 1-0 is still 1-0, but this 1-0 comes with a lot concerns. Auburn's 62 yards rushing marked the second straight game (67 vs Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl) the Tigers failed to top 70 yards on the ground. If the Tigers want to contend in the SEC West, that's a trend that has to stop...

Alabama opened up with Western Carolina and used the game to basically let a lot of guys play. Terry Grant cemented his hold as the team's top tailback though with an impressive performance as he helped lead the Tide to their most points since also scoring 52 against the same Western Carolina team back in 2004. The Tide didn't turn the ball over and had four scoring drives consisting of ten plays or more...

Arkansas got off to a good start and Darren McFadden ran for 151, caught 2 passes for 30 yards, and threw for 42 yards combining for 2 touchdowns as Arkansas ran for over 300 yards. The Hogs may have allowed 214 yards passing, nearly 30 yards more than their average a year ago, but they limited Troy to just 17 completions in 48 attempts...

Mississippi State's defense played as well as one could hope considering how horrible their offense was. The Bulldog defense was on the field far too long, and often in bad situations thanks to Michael Henig's six interceptions. The offense, which was bad a year ago, appeared to have taken steps backwards...

Ole Miss was outgained by nearly 200 yards as their new look linebacker corps struggled mightily to stop the Memphis Tigers. Yet, the Rebels found a way, with a late stand on a two point conversion, to pull out a 23-21 win over their rivals from Memphis. It marks the third straight win for Ole Miss over Memphis by, with all three by four points or less. Seth Adams did what Brent Schaeffer couldn't do last year; complete half of his passes and protect the ball, and ultimately that proved to be enough thanks to the Rebel defense bending but not breaking as they forced 5 turnovers. The turnovers saved the Rebels as their defense couldn't stop Martin Hankins as he completed 41 of 60 passes for 343 yards. Fortunately for Ole Miss, of his 19 incompletions, 4 were in fact completions to Rebels defenders. The Rebels offense looked good on their first possession, but it was the only true scoring drive the Rebels had all day. A blocked punt and an interception were returned for scores. The interception went for 99 yards. All told, Ole Miss wins the award for luckiest team of the week.

 
East Coast

Marshall was actually more competitive against Miami than the final score indicated. At the half the Herd actually had more total yards of offense than the Hurricanes, but untimely penalties, missed kicks, and turnovers cost the Herd...

Memphis was similar to Marshall as the Tiger offense had absolutely no problem moving up and down the field. Martin Hankins though could not protect the football and turnovers cost the Tigers big time, nevertheless, Tiger fans should feel pretty good about their chances in Conference USA. The run defense that was so bad a year ago held BenJarvus Green-Ellis to just 79 yards on 23 carries...

Navy's rather soft schedule should be enough for them to make a bowl game, but this looks like Paul Johnson's weakest Navy team since Johnson's first year in 2002. The secondary is a joke, but the majority of the teams on the Midshipmen's schedule don't possess the passing game to take advantage of it...

Temple actually looked somewhat competitive against a bowl team from 2006, which is a major step for Al Golden's program considering that last year only 2 of their 11 losses were by 11 points or less...

East Carolina's Skip Holtz has an interesting quandary now at quarterback. Patrick Pinkney showed some impressive flashes running the spread offense against Virginia Tech, as did the entire offense. Holtz now has a flashy runner in Pinkney and the more typical passer in Rob Kass, who was suspended for the opener. If East Carolina can avoid the mistakes that cost them in week one, with their defense, they will be a major player in what might be the most improved division (Conference USA East) in college football...

Part of that improved division is Central Florida, who withstood a furious rally by N.C. State to pick up a huge non conference victory over the Wolfpack in Raleigh. The win marked the first for O'Leary at Central Florida against a BCS conference team. Kevin Smith established himself as one of the best backs in the country that you've probably never seen

 
Midwest

Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts has quietly made this a legit Sun Belt program as the Indians nearly stunned Texas. Reggie Arnold burst on the scene as a freshman last year, but it was the play of a different sophomore, quarterback Corey Leonard, that has Indian fans buzzing about a possible second bowl trip in three years this season...

Central Michigan may have won the MAC a year ago but the losses on the offensive and defensive lines of NFL talent may have hit harder than people thought as the Chippewas suffered their worst loss since 2002...

Against a weak defense, Tulsa's offense did what it was supposed to do, gain a lot of yards. They would have liked more points, but considering starting tailback Courtney Tenial didn't play, it's safe to say the debut of Guz Malzahon's offense in the state of Texas went over well...

For those in Dallas who were making plans to watch a bowl game involving the SMU Mustangs, scratch those plans. The Mustangs suffered a critical loss over the summer with the loss of Reggie Carrington, their projected starter at middle linebacker. The Mustangs defense was hoping to be mediocre, at best, but they were as far from even mediocre as you can get on Monday afternoon. The offense, expected to be one of the most explosive was rendered one dimensional after falling behind early, and the passing game couldn't keep up. Justin Willis was extremely disappointing as he threw for two interceptions and only totaled 180 yards of offense...

Everyone keeps talking about the Appalachian State win, but wins for FCS teams are becoming more commonplace. Nichols State beat a Rice team that made a bowl game last year. David Bailiff inherited a team that played way above it's head a year ago and benefited greatly from winning the turnover battle. It showed Saturday with a loss to the Colonels...

Caleb Hanie was impressive and Kyle Bell looked completely recovered from his ACL injury of a year ago as Colorado State narrowly lost to Colorado. Unfortunately for Hanie and the Rams, his one interception came in overtime that ultimately cost the team the football game. Saturday was Colorado State's third loss by three points to the Buffaloes in the past four years...

Wyoming was ultra impressive in their season opening win against Virginia, though the Cavs didn't help themselves any at all. The lines, big questions coming in for the Cowboys, easily outperformed Virginia on both sides of the ball. Wynel Seldon, who had an outstanding freshman year before falling off a bit last year, may be the bigger name, but it's Devin Moore who offers the big play potential and who might be the best tailback option in Laramie...

TCU is licking it's chops as they feel they have a legit shot against Texas this weekend. Tommy Blake will likely play, so the Horns defense, which was dominant against Baylor, will be ready to go. The Frogs found some nice depth behind Aaron Brown at running back as Joseph Turner, Ryan Christian and Justin Watts all received significant carries...

Calvin Dawson might have been the only bright spot, but he was a very bright spot for Louisiana Monroe. If you missed the chance to watch him play last Thursday night against Tulsa, shame on you, you probably won't get the chance again...

It was ugly, but UTEP began their quest to get to a 3rd bowl in 4 years (not bad for a team who from 1968 thru 1999 only made one) by beating New Mexico 10-6. The Miners offense though was terrible, and that's an understatement. The chances of this team competing with the likes of Houston and Tulsa in the west seem slim to none at all. Trevor Vittatoe couldn't figure out New Mexico's defense, completing just 6 of 21 passes...

Tyler Sheehan surprisingly beat out Anthony Turner for the starting gig at Bowling Green and promptly led the Falcons to a road win over Big Ten foe Minnesota. Minnesota became the third Big Ten team that Bowling Green has beaten, and second in four years...

Kent State, for the first time under Doug Martin, beat a BCS conference school, and got their season off to a good start as many expect the Golden Flashes to make a bowl for the first time since a 1972 Tangerine Bowl loss to Tampa.

 
IconWest

Did anyone expect anything different from Boise State? The Broncos cruised past Weber State and Taylor Tharp looked sharp. How he fares against better competition will be interesting, but the Broncos sure looked good to start the year...

Chase Holbrook struggled in the opener for New Mexico State, well, struggled by his standards, and that's not a good sign for the Aggies who are trying to make their first postseason appearance since 1960...

UNLV is in real trouble, but because Rocky Hinds is out with an injury, it just might buy Mike Sanford one more year, despite the fact they had to rally to beat lowly Utah State...

Utah's offense performed fine with Brian Johnson, not so much without him. His return is the absolute key to the season for Utah, and with Air Force and UCLA up next, the potential exists for an 0-3 start...

Aside from Boise State and Washington, does anyone on the schedule have any chance whatsoever against Hawaii? If anyone has an easy path to an unbeaten season, it's the Warriors...

BYU may have found some positive answers to their questions on offense. Facing a defense considered by many one of the best in the Pac Ten, the Cougars offense was surprisingly efficient. New quarterback Max Hall played exceptionally well against a secondary regarded as one of the nation's best. Hall threw for 288 yards with 2 scores and no interceptions. Redshirt freshman running back Harvey Unga seems to have taken on the task of replacing 1,000 yard rusher Chris Bown as Unga ran for 67 yards and caught 9 passes for another 127. Defensively BYU picked right up where they left off last year when they allowed just 14.7 ppg, holding Arizona scoreless for over 59 minutes...

Rodney Ferguson ran for 132 yards and the New Mexico defense barely yielded over 200 yards, yet they still found a way to lose to UTEP to open the season thanks to red zone woes, as red meant stop for the Lobos.

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