The opening week of the 2014 college football season came and went without any massive upsets. Several elite teams, including top-ranked reigning champion Florida State, were pushed to the limit by their first challengers of the year, though.
|2014 Amway Coaches Poll: Week 2|
|Rank||Team||Points||B/R Top 25|
|1||Florida State||1,541||Florida State|
|11||UCLA||964||Ohio State (T-11)|
|12||LSU||912||Texas A&M (T-11)|
|15||Notre Dame||605||Notre Dame|
|16||Arizona State||502||Ole Miss|
|17||Ole Miss||438||Arizona State|
|21||South Carolina||272||South Carolina|
|23||North Carolina||168||North Carolina|
|USAToday.com and BleacherReport.com|
The Seminoles jumped out to a 17-0 lead by the middle of the second quarter against Oklahoma State. But the Cowboys fought back, twice cutting FSU's advantage to three points during the second half. The underdogs' defense just couldn't get enough stops to complete the comeback.
It was still a major wake-up call for Florida State. It may be a cliche, but the national champions are going to get every team's best shot this season. Tom Spousta of The New York Times provided remarks from head coach Jimbo Fisher, who admitted his team felt the pressure.
"As a team, we're a work in progress, and I think we all know that now," Fisher said. "Last year's over. And tonight will help us get over that. I think the pressure of being No. 1 was on them; I really do. Now we can relax and be the team we can be, play better and coach better."
Next up in the Seminoles' quest to repeat is a clash with the Citadel Bulldogs.
The rest of the Top Five in the Amway preseason poll (Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn) also picked up wins.
The Crimson Tide were never able to pull away from West Virginia, who was tied with Alabama deep in the second quarter and within one score midway through the fourth. The dynamic rushing duo of T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry ensured it wouldn't turn into a shocker.
Auburn was tied with Arkansas at halftime before scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half. The Tigers' offense has no shortage of firepower, but their defense will need to step up like it did after the break to emerge as a championship threat.
There were a couple of other notable results from the opening week.
Ohio State's offense got off to a sluggish start against Navy. The Buckeyes trailed at halftime, but they outscored the Midshipmen 28-10 in the second half to pull away. J.T. Barrett made the necessary adjustments as the game went on, which is a good sign for a young quarterback.
Mike Greenberg of ESPN doesn't think they have anything to worry about despite the close call:
Georgia and Clemson were tied at 21 before the Bulldogs scored 24 straight points to get a marquee victory under their belt right away. Todd Gurley lived up to the Heisman hype with 198 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in the win.
In another Top 25 battle, LSU completed a fourth-quarter comeback to edge Wisconsin. Down by 17 midway through the third, the Tigers rattled off 21 consecutive points to stun the Badgers.
Of course, all of that came after Texas A&M got things started with a surprising blowout of South Carolina on Thursday night. The Aggies moved up seven spots in the rankings as a result.
Looking ahead, there are some intriguing battles on tap for Week 2. The biggest one of them all features Michigan State taking on Oregon in a Top 10 encounter. It will be a nice resume-builder looking toward the College Football Playoff for the winner.
Elsewhere, Virginia Tech should provide another solid test for Ohio State, USC will face off with Stanford and Notre Dame will take on rival Michigan. Perhaps the season's first major upset could be on the horizon, as well.
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