College football is back (!!!) and the quest for the BCS championship trophy is underway. The first weekend was full of blowouts, monster stats, exciting plays, and even a “Freudian slip” by one the sport’s most well known broadcasters. As we’ll do every Monday throughout the season LTSB will run down the top 10 with a few quick observations from the weekend that was for each team.
1. USC – Matt Barkley (372 yds, 4 TD) is good. So is Marqise Lee (197 yds, 1 TD). The two hooked up for a 75 yd TD on the first play from scrimmage for the Trojans. Lane Kiffin will do pretty much whatever it takes to get Barkley the Heisman, including having him in games USC is up 42-10 over outmatched opponents in the fourth quarter so he can throw more touchdowns. One time Trojans offensive coordinator, and current Hawaii head coach, Norm Chow was caught by cameras saying “It was more fun when I was on the team running up the score” during the fourth quarter. Okay he didn’t really say that. But he was probably thinking it.
2. Alabama – They’re better than Michigan. Alot better. This was supposed to be a no-lose situation for Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson. Play well in a loss, he looks good. Play well in a win, he vaults himself to, or near, the top of the Heisman list. Neither happened. The Tide defense made Denard look pretty average, as they do to seemingly every opposing quarterback. Alabama has a true freshman running back named T.J. Yeldon. Remember that name.
3. LSU – The Bayou Bengals can run the football. Kenny Hilliard (141 yds) and Alfred Blue (123 yds) both topped the century mark. Odell Beckham Jr looks like he’ll be just fine replacing Tyrann Mathieu on special teams. The sophomore wide receiver took a punt 70 yds to the house and returned another 76 yds but that one was negated by a penalty. But all this was against North Texas, so there is that.
4. Oklahoma – The Sooners beat UTEP, but it wasn’t pretty. They were up 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter. Landry Jones did about what you would expect (222 yds, 2 TD). So did standout WR Kenny Stills (121 yds, 1 TD). Oklahoma surrendered more rushing yards (207) than they ran for (205). They’ll get another chance to fine tune things when Florida A&M comes to town next weekend.
5. Oregon – Redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota has a pretty good grasp on Chip Kelly’s offense. De’Anthony Thomas could be a dark horse Heisman candidate if Oregon played enough close games for him to get on the field in the fourth quarter. And the entire third quarter for that matter. The Ducks were up 50-10 on Arkansas St at halftime before snoozing through the second half. Don’t get caught up in the fact that Oregon gave up 500+ yards of offense.
6. Georgia – You’ll hear the name Todd Gurley alot this season. The freshman running back had 100 yds and 2 TD’s on the ground. And a 100 yd kick return for a score. Aaron Murry didn’t have to be at his best, but he was still pretty good (258 yds, 3 TD). What is expected to be one of the nation’s top defenses was without safety Bacarri Rambo, linebacker Alec Ogletree and corner back Sanders Commings who were all suspended. They still had enough to get by Buffalo.
7. Florida State – The Seminoles beat FCS school Murray State 69-3. Nothing else to see here.
8. Michigan – The bad news for the Wolverines is they lost. The good news is twofold. First, it’s only week 1. Second, they lost to the country’s second best team. Running back Fitzgerald Toussaint was suspended for the game by head coach Brady Hoke. Had he played Michigan still would’ve lost. What took place on Saturday night is what happens when a team so heavily reliant on one player gets a bad game from that player.
9. South Carolina – Remember last year when Marcus Lattimore looked like he might lead the SEC in rushing before going down with a season-ending injury? He looks like that guy again. To say the Gamecocks passing game struggled would be an understatement. Quarterback Connor Shaw hurt his throwing shoulder, which certainly didn’t help matters, but did return in the third quarter. After an 11-2 season a year ago a 17-13 victory over Vanderbilt to start 2012 will give Steve Spurrier plenty to use as motivation this week. But a win is a win right?
10. Arkansas – This was John L. Smith’s first game as a head coach since 2006, mostly because Bobby Petrino was riding around on motorcycles with a mistress during the offseason and ended up getting fired. New coach, same result for quarterback Tyler Wilson. The senior, who threw for 3,638 yds and 24 TD’s last year, got the new season off to a good start with 367 and 3. Running back Knile Davis had 70 yds and a touchdown in his first game since the 2011 Sugar Bowl. He suffered a broken ankle prior to the start of last season.