College Football: Five Things We Learned From the Thursday Openers

Dave WalkerCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2010

The 2010 NCAA college football season is finally underway as a small group of schools got the season started Thursday night.

We all saw the scores, the stats, and the big plays, but what did we learn from these few games?

We learned quite a bit from just seeing a few top 25 teams in action, and here are five of them that stand out.

USC's defense is like paper mache.

If you watched the game late last night you saw a USC defense that showed its inexperience in the secondary and missed a lot of tackles.

Many will say the tackling part is due in part to them not tackling at all during fall practice due to there lack of scholarship players on this side of the ball. This may be true, but USC definitely needs to go back to work, and Lane Kiffin had better schedule some Oklahoma drills if they want to win games when the Pac Ten season gets underway.

Inexperience at QB shows.

The Pitt-Utah game was a prime example of a team having to make-up for their lack of experience at the quarterback position.

At times it looked like Sunseri was flustered and couldn't hit a receiver if he was two yards away, and other times he looked like the next Dan Marino. Experience in critical road games is essential and we can all keep our eyes on teams like Oregon State and others take to the road.

Cupcakes are just that.

We saw no major upsets, which is why the FBS powerhouses schedule the Presbyterian's of the world.

After the Appalachian State debacle a few years ago, teams have been more careful about what "cupcake" FCS school they schedule. Look for more of the same this weekend as powerhouses like FSU and take on Samford.

Minnesota can run the ball.

I will be the first to admit that I thought Mid Tennessee would win that game. But the Gophers surprised me with a huge road win.

The key for the Gophers will be running the ball, and if you watched the game down the stretch, that is exactly what they did with Bennett and Eskridge. If they can find a way to continue to run like that, they could be the surprise out of the Big 10.

South Carolina has an offense.

It appears that Stephen Garcia may finally have gotten it, or at least gotten some help at the skill position.

The short passing game along with the running of Marcus Lattimore may finally be enough to give the Gamecocks a legitimate shot at SEC contention. The 449 yards and 41 points sure look good on paper, but it would look better next week against Georgia.

So what can we expect to find out next?

It is simple. We find out if Boise will remain in contention. We find out if any "cupcake" can pull off a major upset. We find out if John Brantley is the next Tebow. We also find out if Lee Corso can look any more ridiculous than he already has when he tries on yet another head piece.