College football 2017: Week 1 villains

Andrew Kitchener Roar Guru

By , Andrew Kitchener is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger


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    College football is back underway for the 2016 season. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    In college football, for every hero, there’s a villain, and week one didn’t disappoint in that regard. Here, then, is a collection of teams and individuals who didn’t exactly cover themselves in gridiron glory this week.

    Nevada-Las Vegas
    The 2017 incarnation of the UNLV Rebels will forever be remembered for losing to FCS school Howard as forty-five point favourites. It’s the biggest upset ever, at least in terms of the point spread, and easily the biggest shocker since Michigan lost to Appalachian State in the Big House ten years ago (Michigan were 33-point favourites in that one) and USC losing to Stanford, as 39-point favourites.

    Good news for UNLV is that you can only move up from here. They hope!

    Texas A and M
    The Aggies were up. They were up big, leading UCLA 44-10 late in the third quarter in the Rose Nowl on Sunday night. Then, a brain explosion the likes of which we haven’t seen in college football in a very long time.

    Kevin Sumlin’s men could do nothing right in the final quarter, and ended up losing by a point 44-45 to a rampant UCLA squad who discovered their mojo at the same time the Aggies lost theirs.

    The implosion was hard to believe, even when it was happening right in front of my eyes. A brutal loss that’ll be taken hard in College Station. Kevin Sumlin is lucky he wasn’t fired on the LAX tarmac like USC’s Lane Kiffin was a few years ago. How much longer the head coach lasts from here on out, though, is another matter entirely.

    St Scholastica
    The Division III school didn’t have it’s best-ever outing on Saturday. They lost 98-0 to St John’s. No, you’re not going crazy. Yes, they came within two points of a century belting.

    Florida’s quarterbacks
    Turns out the reason why there was so much uncertainty about who would be the Gators starting quarterback for their season-opener against Michigan was that neither Feleipe Franks and Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire were particularly good. In fact, between them, the two pivots combined for just three points (the two touchdowns Florida scored were on interception returns) and were a combined 12-22 for 133 yards.

    Nowhere near good enough, and a bad sign heading into SEC competition. It’s been a long time since the Gators had a competent offense.

    Tim Valeski
    Perhaps the only thing worse than watching Florida on offense or Missouri on defence was the Wyoming punter’s disastrous attempt in the Iowa game. Poor kid’s going to struggle to live this one down. YouTube the clip if you haven’t already seen it.

    Tennessee’s run defence
    The Vols gave up 535 rushing yards to Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Monday night. It was the most ever surrendered by a Tennessee defence, and you can bet that defensive coordinators all over the SEC will be watching plenty of tape tomorrow. The Vols did win, but it took two overtimes, a blocked field goal in regulation and one final stop on a two-point conversion attempt by Georgia Tech. So, all in all, not the most encouraging start to what I think is a pivotal season for beleaguered head coach Butch Jones and his staff.

    Missouri’s defence
    On the other side of the football, quarterback Drew Lock broke two Chase Daniel records, but the Mizzou defence gave up an astonishing 43 points to Missouri State. Short of some drastic changes, it’s going to be a dreadfully long conference season for the Tigers. SEC offenses are going to slice through that group like a knife through hot butter.

    Florida State
    They were right there in the fight with Alabama at half time, but the second half was a different story. The Seminoles collapsed. Quarterback Deondre Francois threw interceptions on consecutive series, the Tide blocked a punt and recovered a fumbled kick-off. Alabama did what Alabama often does: ground their opposition into the field turf, and FSU didn’t have any answers.

    Making matters worse, Francois sustained what we now know is a serious, season-ending injury. That throws the cat among the pigeons in Tallahassee.

    Nothing short of an epically disastrous loss for Tom Hermann in his debut. Beaten 51-41 by Maryland, there’s going to be plenty of soul-searching taking place this next week in Austin. I think we all expected the Longhorns to be comfortable winners here, and the loss throws up so many questions about just where Texas will figure in Big XII competition. Texas sports talk radio will be interesting this week.

    Speaking of epically disastrous losses for schools in Texas. The Bears lost to Turner Gill’s Liberty, souring the debut of new head coach Matt Rhule, and were shredded through the air, giving up 447 passing yards in the 48-45 loss.

    After hiring former Connecticut coach Bob Diaco to overhaul the defence, Mike Riley probably wasn’t happy with his expensive off-season purchase, as the Husker defence gave up 497 yards of offense to Arkansas State and needed one final play as the clock went to triple zeroes to preserve a win. And it was a very close run affair, the wild 43-36 win not satisfying many inside Memorial Stadium, especially not with Oregon on the horizon.

    Josh Allen
    The darling of NFL scouts everywhere had a horrible game against Iowa on Saturday afternoon, barely making an impact as Wyoming were easily beaten by an Iowa team who relied, as per usual, on stout defence and a strong running game.

    It’s ridiculously early in the season, but a few more games like today from Allen (23-40 for 174 yards and two interceptions), and his draft stock is going to plummet. Good news, however, is that Iowa is probably the best defence he’ll see all season. The Mountain West opponents going forward are going to be a lot more forgiving.

    Brigham Young’s offense
    The Cougars didn’t trouble the scorers in New Orleans, losing 27-0 to Louisiana State. Not scoring is one thing, but, embarrassingly, they failed to make it across the 50-yard line.

    Nick Stevens
    The Colorado State quarterback was brilliant a week ago against Oregon State and bad Friday night, throwing two interceptions and no touchdowns against in-state rivals Colorado in Denver. I didn’t expect him to struggle as badly as he did.

    Southern California’s defence
    The Trojans escaped Western Michigan with a not-all-that-convincing 49-31 win over the Broncos, and in the process, their defence gave up 263 rushing yards. To a Mid-American Conference opponent. Ugly.

    This Trojan fan is worried about what Stanford might do to the USC front seven in a week’s time. Plenty of work to do for Clay Helton and co, but at least the Trojans won their season-opener, unlike a year ago.

    Oregon State
    The Beavers were belted by a Colorado State team that looked red-hot last week…who went on to score just three points this week. So that doesn’t say much for the Beavers. Fast forward seven days, and they needed a late touchdown pass to eek out a win against FCS team Portland State. Fair to say that things aren’t looking great in Corvallis. There could be some ugly scoreboards once conference play begins.

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