In a week of should-have-been blowouts, some games are still worth talking about
Sept. 4, 2007
By Carolyn Braff
Carolyn is an assistant editor and writer for CSTV.com.
College football season is notoriously short. Teams don't get the luxury of 162 contests, or even a preseason, to work out their kinks, audition personnel or test new schemes in settings that don't matter. Every game counts, so early-season opponents should test a congealing team and prepare them for the season.
Unfortunately, most do not.
In Week 1, the doormats usually outnumber the dark horses, and this year was no exception. There were plenty of cakewalks between programs that should not be in the same sentence, much less the same stadium (see Oklahoma 79, North
The Brilliant - FCS (I-AA) No. 1 Appalachian State 34, FBS (I-A) No. 5
What should have been
"We're sort of shocked but not really shocked," Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore said. "That may be one of the great victories in college football - maybe the greatest. You've got to remember that these kids have won two national championships, and that [Saturday's win] is not bigger than those because the championships are in our league, our division."
That league, that division, includes teams like
For next year's Week 1 slate, schedule more of these. They're much more exciting, and much less is expected, than 45-0 shutouts between conference opponents LSU and
Other good un-matchups:
The Bad - No. 9 Virginia Tech 17,
The Virginia Tech defense picked a bad day to not show up. In a game billed as an emotional-must win for a community hoping to move on, the Hokies all but gave the game to East Carolina, playing uncharacteristically poor defense and failing to produce a run game. Against a Conference USA team picked to finish second in the weaker East division, the Hokies should have had no problem putting away their opponent, especially in such a nationally spotlighted contest at home. Granted,
This game was a classic case of the better team playing down to its competition.
Virginia Tech had the nation's best defense in 2006, but ECU's defense looked tops on Saturday, holding the Tech offense scoreless for more than three quarters of football. The Hokies were woeful in the run game, averaging just 1.1 yard per carry and gaining only 33 yards on the ground. The Pirates out-possessed the Hokies 31:33 to 28:27, out-sacked them 4-0 and nearly outscored them.
"We're not happy with the way we performed," senior linebacker Xavier Adibi said. "They had a lot of yards on us, so we're going to watch film on Monday and get better."
With a trip to LSU just days away, they need to get better quickly. And never play an opening game that poorly again.
Other bad un-matchups: No. 4 Texas barely snuck by
The score says No. 1 USC creamed
The Ugly - No. 10
The four Top 25 matchups on college football's opening night produced a combined score of 212-20. Not exactly a nail-biter of an evening, but Louisville takes the cake, demolishing
What reason could
The Cardinals racked up 655 yards of total offense, averaging one touchdown every four plays in the first half. By the third quarter, even the
The 72 underclassmen on the Racers' roster had little to take away from the shellacking but a bowed head and wounded pride. And
Attention scheduling managers: Never again.
Other ugly un-matchups: No. 16 Rutgers topped
No. 24 Boise State scored touchdowns on each of its first seven possessions to bury
No. 23 Hawai'i blasted Northern Colorado 63-6 in Colt Brennan target practice. Other than inflating the QB's statistics, this game was useless all around.