The first week of college football provided us with a taste of the excitement that is sure to come in 2015.
Thrilling finishes brought fans to their feet. Electric players flew around the field and intriguing storylines developed throughout the nation. Here are some of the highlights of college football’s opening week.
No. 1 OHIO STATE at VIRGINIA TECH
The defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes and starting quarterback Cardale Jones continued their dominance Monday night against an upset-minded Virginia Tech squad in Blacksburg, Va.
The Hokies were outmatched against the Buckeyes, losing 42-21 after a second half blowout from the Buckeyes.
The Hokies played the Buckeyes well in the first half, leading 17-14 at halftime before the game quickly shifted after Virginia Tech’s quarterback suffered a broken collarbone.
VT could only muster 2.8 yards per play after Brewer was sidelined. From then on, Virginia Tech was left in the aftermath of Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller’s explosive play.
Miller accounted for 140 total yards of offense and two touchdowns, entering his name into the Heisman conversation once more.
No. 3 ALABAMA vs. No. 20 WISCONSIN
Alabama and Wisconsin faced off in Arlington for the Cowboys Classic over the weekend, marking one of the biggest games of the opening weekend.
Alabama’s newly-named quarterback Jake Coker was solid in his Crimson Tide debut, throwing 15 of 21 passes for 213 yards and a score.
The real meat of the Alabama offense was the two-headed monster at running back in Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake though.
Henry, a surefire Heisman candidate, ran for 147 yards and 3 touchdowns while Drake provided 77 yards and a touchdown of his own to secure the Crimson Tide’s 35-17 victory over the Badgers.
TEXAS at No. 11 NOTRE DAME
After arguably the worst performance of the weekend, Texas head coach Charlie Strong’s squad did nothing to convince the pundits that they improved from last season.
Texas was throttled by No. 11 Notre Dame 38-3 at South Bend, Ind. in their 2015 season opening game on Saturday.
The Longhorns only managed to gain 163 yards of total offense against the Fighting Irish. Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes only completed 7 of 22 passes for 93 yards.
Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire’s performance was vastly different. Zaire completed 19 of 22 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns.
Texas gave up 527 total yards to Notre Dame. Texas had ranked 25th in total yards given up in 2014 but looked soft and confused against Notre Dame.
No. 2 TCU at MINNESOTA
TCU did just enough to leave Minnesota with a win last week. The Horned Frogs scraped out a 23-17 victory over Minnesota. Minnesota was unable to capitalize on a last-minute possession.
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin went 26 of 42 for 246 yards, a touchdown, and one interception. Boykin was impressive running the ball however, managing a team high 92 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
The Horned Frogs only gained 449 yards of offense, a far cry from their high-powered attack last season.
Two turnovers and a couple of miscommunications certainly played into TCU’s woes as well, leaving at least 21 points on the field against Minnesota.
TEXAS A&M vs. No. 15 ARIZONA STATE
The Aggies showcased their talent against the No. 15 Sun Devils, winning the game dramatically with 38-17 win.
The Sun Devils were projected by many to compete for a Pac-12 South title. Some lobbied for ASU as a playoff contender in preseason. The Aggies put Arizona State’s dreams to bed, along with some of their own doubters.
A&M’s biggest challenge the last few seasons has undoubtedly been on defense, as the Aggies have fielded historically bad units the last two seasons.
With newly-hired defensive coordinator John Chavis coming in from LSU to coach the Aggies’ defense, A&M’s fortune on defense has already seen substantial change.
The Aggies only allowed the Sun Devils to gain 291 total yards, holding the explosive D.J. Foster to 61 yards of offense during the night.