Oregon Ducks celebrate as Kenjon Barner scores 1 of his 5 touchdowns
As we all picked up our respective remotes on Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday morning, or even Sunday afternoon, none of us were prepared for the roller coaster ride that week 1 took us on. Oh wait there was a game Monday night, too?
All four beautiful days of college football got us all back into the swing of our favorite season of the year. The weekend was filled with big plays, lots of points, and great performances by great players. There were almost too many good games to watch. You know when you make a statement like that, that it was a week 1 of college football that exceeded expectations.
So without further ado here are the five teams of week 1 that exceeded expectations.
For me, a week 1 win for the Terps came as a surprise. This was a team who was 2-10 a year ago, including a loss to Middle Tennessee St. Their only wins were a squeaker over James Madison and a narrow upset over Clemson.
Many thought Navy would run all over the Terrapin defense, well they did, but they only scored 14 points. Despite giving up 412 rushing yards and allowing Navy to have the ball for a total of 39 minutes and 26 seconds, the Terp D came up big when they needed it most.
The Midshipmen were in the red-zone 7 times, and scored only 2 touchdowns. The other five times were not self-inflicted either, the Maryland defense just refused to let them cross the goal-line.
The offense for Maryland has some room for improvement, especially in the passing game. But they ran the football quite well and quarterback Jamarr Robinson led his squad down the field for the eventual game-winning field goal.
At the end of the day nobody expected Maryland to play as well as they did today, and not many expected them to win, but the Terrapins prevailed and they are off to a 1-0 start.
The Wolverines came into their home at the Big House this weekend as the underdog. Many thought it would be another rough start for Rich Rod and a big week 1 L to the new Big East favorite UConn Huskies. Everyone thought this would be coach Randy Edsall's chance to really show the nation how good they are and come into a hostile environment and steal one. Kirk Herbstreit even picked the Huskies to win the Big East, and take down the Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Need I say more? Good luck Notre Dame defense.
This could be a head-scratcher to some. But hear me out.
Purdue is a very good football team, and Notre Dame flat-out beat them.
The Irish left a lot of points on the board as well, and yet they still dominated. So many expected the Irish to win, but I'm not sure many expected Brian Kelly's first game would be controlled very well by the fighting Irish. They ran the football well, quarterback Dayne Crist had a solid performance, and the defense was stellar.
Minus a few mistakes this was an impressive all-around win for the Irish, many expected a close one, and they Irish didn't allow it to be. They have a tough test next week as they welcome the new look Michigan Wolverines into South Bend. We'll see if the defense can get it done for a second week in a row.
Sure Oregon was supposed to blow out New Mexico. But 72-0? Are you kidding me?
Yes this one was expected but you can't tell me any saw a 72-0 annihilation of the Lobos of New Mexico. No Masoli, no LaMichael James, no problem.
The Ducks did it without their star quarterback Jeremiah Masoli who now plays for the Ole Miss Rebels. They also did it without LaMichael James who is still on the team but was suspended for this game. The Ducks showed they are still the high-powered offense they were a year ago even with a few minor changes. To me that exceeded my expectations.
Coach Houston Nutt of Ole Miss called this the most painful loss in his career.
I couldn't agree more.
A team called the Gamecocks that went into Oxford and beat Ole Miss and is not South Carolina automatically makes this list.
Was it better than Appalachian St. over Michigan? Very debatable. But nevertheless, what a game! I mean it wasn't like Ole Miss played horribly and lost the game, Jacksonville St. played better and won the game.
The Rebels were winning by a huge margin at one point, that's what made this even crazier, the 'Cocks came from behind in the second half, it wasn't like they got off to a shocking lead and Ole Miss realized who they were playing and came back. It was the powerhouse SEC team that dominated like they should and then fell asleep.
When the final whistle blew the Gamecocks decision to go for two was being celebrated by the whole team on the Ole Miss home turf. Just an outstanding upset in Week 1 that no one saw coming.