NCAA Football Week 1 Thoughts and Opinions: Mark Herzlich, WAC, Oregon, and More

David HedlindAnalyst IISeptember 6, 2010

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Mark Herzlich #94 of the Boston College Eagles blocks Erik Walker #83 of the Weber State Wildcats on September 4, 2010 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College defeated Weber State 38-20.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Mark Herzlich

If you don’t know the story of Mark Herzlich by now, you aren’t a real college football fan and you can go ahead and stop reading now. Thoughts and Opinions

A second part that most might not know about is that on Thursday, September 2nd Herzlich found out his grandfather had passed away from pancreatic cancer.

An already emotional return to football was made that much more so for him.

Herzlich didn’t finish the day with the kinds of numbers or statistics that make your jaw drop but he did have three tackles and two more assists.

For all that I am still most impressed with the stat that he ran out on the field and played. 


Some Credit to the WAC

All off-season long I kept hearing it, “Boise State doesn’t play ANYBODY!!” Now I am not saying that the WAC is suddenly anywhere near a top conference, they might not even exist next season, but let's give them some credit here.

Fresno State beat reigning Big East champions, Cincinnati, 28-14. The Bearcats started fast and were up 14-0 early in the second quarter. Fresno took off after that and never looked back scoring 28 unanswered points.


Utah State went out and gave No. 7 Oklahoma all they could handle in a seven point loss. Oklahoma gave up 421 yards to Utah State, only one less than what the Sooners had on what should have been a very over matched team.

On Thursday night Hawaii almost gave USC new head coach Lane Kiffin a scare. Hawaii rolled up 588 yards of offense, 459 through the air, and 36 points on what is normally a stout USC defense. At the end of the first half, Hawaii had to settle for a field goal after a touchdown was ruled short.

Idaho, Nevada and Louisiana Tech all handled their FCS opponents, something Kansas and Mississippi State can’t say.


Buff Duck

Oregon’s mascot does push ups with every point scored. As the Ducks rolled up points on New Mexico yesterday he did a lot of them. Oregon had 72 points in the game. But the way the Duck does this isn’t just to do 72 push-ups. As the score goes up he starts at one again. So at 7-0, seven push-ups. At 14-0 it is 14 push-ups plus the seven from before for a total of 21. It adds up for a total of 506 push-ups yesterday.


Ole Miss, Masoli, Karma, BS

People have been critical of Ole Miss and QB Masoli and saying he got what he deserved by losing to FCS Jacksonville State in double overtime. That’s crap. Masoli did everything he had to, within the rules to be able to transfer and be eligible at Ole Miss. He did his part and led Ole Miss to touchdowns in both OT periods. It is not his fault the defense couldn’t stop Jacksonville State.



Running up the Score

I am not trying to make this an Oregoncentric article but as I go around message boards it seems a lot of people look at Oregon’s 72-0 score and assume they ran it up. Oregon tried to pull back. There were backups in the game before half-time. The announcers couldn’t find names because they were listed below the three deep, or just weren’t listed. Walk ons played, I believe some scout players got some time too.

Before the half Oregon got two punt return touchdowns, by the back up return man. The second and third string guys only managed nine points on three field goals before the fourth string QB Daryle Hawkins ran one in late. In these instances what do you say to your back up players, stop at the one? Go out of bounds, even if there isn’t a defender within 10 yards of you?


Mountain West Still Top Heavy

It appears that after this weekend the top of the Mountain West is still pretty much all the conference has. Not that that is a bad thing. TCU, BYU, and Utah all handled their BCS conference opponents. Although all were in closer fights than they probably would have liked. Colorado State, UNLV, and New Mexico all lost to theirs. Air Force, San Diego State, and Wyoming all beat their FCS opponents but I don’t know if that proves much.



Who Wants to Win the Big East?


After losses by three of the schools that were considered around the top of what the Big East had to offer, winning the conference might not hold a whole lot of credibility. Pitt and Cincinnati lost to teams from the Mountain West and WAC, as mentioned above and Connecticut, who some have as a dark horse Big East contender, lost to a question mark, still finding their identity, Michigan team.


Traditional Powers

I will give some credit to Michigan and Notre Dame both of whom have been experiencing the programs most down years in history. Both teams looked pretty good, in my opinion, in their openers with teams from BCS conferences. People have been questioning Michigan and Rich Rodriguez since his arrival. People have been highly optimistic for Brian Kelly at Notre Dame. Both programs appear moving back up. But it was just one game so far.


Did That Just Happen? Why did that happen?

I am sitting here watching these couple of games for Sunday and the Tulsa vs. East Carolina game just ended. With a Hail Mary, East Carolina took a two point lead with no time left and East Carolina rushed the field. It was quite an amazing throw, jump ball in the end zone and catch.

Rushing the field however resulted in a penalty. If the clock has struck zero why would it matter? Didn’t they just win the game? Sort of. By rule they have to attempt the point after because the point difference is only two points. There is still a chance that the point after be blocked, picked up by Tulsa, and ran back for two points. So the game wasn’t over just yet. East Carolina just took a knee though.