The Biggest Upset Ever, and more from the opening college football weekend
Howard 43 UNLV 40
The biggest upset in college football history happened, as Howard, a 45 point underdog shocked Vegas oddsmakers and college football fans alike. The Bison, an FCS team quarterbacked by Caylin Newton, younger brother of NFL quarterback Cam Newton, raced out to a 21-9 lead. The Rebels came back before the half and held the lead the majority of the second half until the Rebel defense broke with a final score by Newton with seven minutes left in the game.
USC 49 WMU 31
While the number four team in the nation playing a close game against the Broncos from Kalamazoo raised some eyebrows, the feel-good story of the weekend came in the form of Jake Olson, a long snapper from USC. Olson, born with retinoblastoma, and losing total sight by the age of 12, came into Saturday’s game and snapped the ball perfectly on a PAT. Heisman trophy contender and SC quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 289 yards on 23 completions. The Broncos played tough and matching the Trojans touchdown for touchdown until under seven minutes to go in the game, as SC pulled away finally.
Maryland 51 Texas 41
Tom Herman has one record ensured after his first game as the Longhorns’ coach: most points given up in debut game. The Terrapins came into Austin and rained on Herman’s parade, scoring multiple touchdowns on special teams. What really set the Longhorns back was mediocre defense, giving up 27 points in the first half in a game that was not as close as the score indicated. Texas quarterback Shane Buechele showed flashes of brilliance and threw for 375 yards for one of the few bright spots of the day in Austin for Texas fans.
Michigan 33 Florida 17
Much like his counterpart at Alabama, Jim Harbaugh has merely reloaded his defense after losing 10 starters this previous off-season. The Wolverines overcame two pick-sixes by quarterback Wilson Speight and gave the Gators a trademark Harbaugh game, amassing 215 yards on the ground along with forcing three Florida turnovers. Florida, to its credit, despite having 10 players suspended for the season opener kept it close for the majority of the game. With questions lingering at quarterback for the Gators, McElwain has to return to the drawing board for answers in Gainesville.
Penn State 52 Akron 0
Two words. Or a name rather – Saquon Barkley. As he goes, so too do the Nittany Lions. The Heisman hopeful rushed for 172 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns. Quarterback Trace McSorley began his senior campaign with 280 passing yards along with two touchdowns. Coach James Franklin has this team firing on all cylinders in the hopes for a repeat Big Ten title and more in a highly competitive Big Ten conference.
Alabama 24 Florida State 7
The teacher is still undefeated against his pupils as Nick Saban is now 10-0 versus former assistant coaches, winning by at least 14 in each contest. Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles kept it close in the first half, but Alabama’s physicality on both sides of the ball wore them down. As much as the loss hurts in Tallahassee, the most devastating news came Sunday night as Deondre Francois injured his knee. A torn patellar tendon in the left knee means surgery for the sophomore and the end of his season. Freshman quarterback James Blackman is the next man up, but the question on everyone’s mind is, if the offensive line couldn’t protect Francois, what will happen to the true freshman?