College Football Returns: Week 1 Notes
Happy Tuesday College football fans! Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. Week 1 of the 2021 season is in the books and boy were there a lot of great games this past weekend. We finally got to experience College Gameday, marching bands, and teams storming the field again after a long seven month absence. As for the matchups, there was a little bit of everything opening weekend. Some blowouts, some nail biters, and even some upsets which made for an entertaining weekend. If week 1 was any indication of how this seasons going to play out, college football fans are in for a real treat. Here’s my recap for week 1:
Best Moment: Fans are BACK BABY!!
In last week’s blog we discussed the return of the fans as one of the storylines heading into the 2021 season. Well, they showed up BIG time across the country for the start of the season. The best part of college football is the fans. Period. They are an integral part of the sport and are what makes it so special year in and year out. Last year they were dearly missed and their return to stadiums all over the nation was unforgettable. Two great scenes from this past weekend were in Madison, Wisconsin and Iowa City, Iowa respectively. I can’t decide what gave me more chills: The Badger faithful jumping around or the Hawkeye home-crowd making their first wave of the season. Both awesome moments to witness.
Worst Moment: Injuries..
The one bad aspect of the football season beginning is the injuries that come along with teams taking the field for the first time. This week, multiple star players fell victim to season ending injuries right out of the gate. Minnesota’s stud running back, Mohamed Ibrahim, was absolutely tearing up the ground game for the Gophers Thursday night before coming out of the game with a leg injury. Ibrahim racked up 163 rushing yards on 30 carries against an Ohio State defense. He also scored two touchdowns before going down. Another breakout player, receiver and returner, Ronnie Bell of Michigan, took a tough hit on a punt return this past weekend. He had a huge 76 yard touchdown reception for the Wolverines before being sidelined. These two guys came out of the gate super hot and unfortunately will now have to sit out for the remainder of the season. Hate to see talented athletes go down anytime during the year but week 1 makes it that much worse. Hope for a speedy and full recovery for both of these gamers.
Provided by KARE 11 News
Team That Impressed
For the first time in the Chip Kelly era, the Bruins have started their campaign out at 2-0. They secured a huge primetime win against Coach O and the LSU tigers at the Rose Bowl Saturday night. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for three touchdowns and had control of the offensive throughout. Lookout for the Bruins this season as they may be a serious contender and could be in the mix for the Pac 12 title.
Provided by LA Times
Team that Disappointed
Man..last season the Hoosiers were one of the most surprising stories of the NCAA football season. Their commander on offense, Quarterback Michael Penix Jr., had a hell of a year before tearing his ACL midway through the season. He returned for the opener against Iowa this past Saturday but did not look like his normal self. Penix Jr. threw three picks and Indiana suffered an embarrassing loss to the Hawkeyes. I had high expectations for IU this season but they did not start off on the right foot at all. Hopefully they can bounce back from their opening loss and prove that their success last year was not a fluke.
Way Too Early Contenders For Playoffs
Obvious choice here… the juggernaut has reloaded and hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. As long as Coach Saban is the guy in charge in Tuscaloosa, the Tide have to be the favorites. Don’t be surprised if they go back to back.
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The Bulldogs completely shut down powerhouse Clemson this past weekend and had them totally confused offensively. Kirby Smart has proven in the past that he can lead Georgia to the big dance. They say defense wins championships and if Georgia continues to play like they did this past weekend, they could end up back in the title game.
3.) Ohio State
Ohio State started out pretty slow against Minnesota this past weekend. That being said, as the game progressed they found their groove and were able to pull ahead, finishing with a fourteen point victory. Minnesota is a well coached team and has several starters returning from last season. Ohio State was playing with a redshirt freshman QB in CJ Stroud who showed a ton of potential. I don’t knock them for the sluggish start. Look for them to only get stronger and have more dominant wins as the season continues.
Provided by USA Today
This team was legit last year and they are legit again this year. The Bearcats went undefeated in regular season play last year and lost a heartbreaker in the Peach Bowl to Georgia. Coach Luke Fickell has done a tremendous job with accelerating this program the past three seasons and has them looking like they did a decade ago when Brian Kelly was at the helm. Some may see this pick as a hot take but Cincy deserves some respect and recognition. Don’t be surprised if they sneak into the playoffs at the end of the year.
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Play of the Week
Micah Davis, Air Force