College Football Corner: And away we go!

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws downfield against Oregon during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)(AP/Ron Jenkins)
Bo Nix rallied Auburn past Oregon to wrap up one wild Saturday in College Football. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Week one of the College Football season (don’t even bring up Week Zero, which I feel should be spelled “Weak Zero” for reasons previously stated here) is still in full swing with games on the slate Sunday and Monday. With no preseason like the NFL, the college games can take you by surprise opening weekend.

Like in Tallahassee, where Florida State’s road back from a rare losing season took a serious speed-bump when the Seminoles blew an 18-point lead in a loss to Boise State.

Or perhaps Knoxville, where singing “Rocky Top” couldn’t rally Tennessee past Georgia State.

Or even Charlotte, where on a neutral field Mack Brown woke up the glory of decades gone by to begin his second term as head coach with a come-from-behind win over South Carolina (for the record, the Gamecocks refer to themselves as “USC” or “Carolina”-when everyone knows that Southern Cal is the real USC and North Carolina is the real Carolina).

Or perhaps Arlington, Texas, where No. 16 Auburn scored with 19 seconds left to send No. 11 Oregon and the Pac 12 to second-tier status in the Power Five world (I almost want to refer to it as the Power Four Plus One).

Who’s ready to do this whole thing again next week?

Maryland (1-0) jumped out to a 28-0 first quarter lead en route to a 79-0 rout of Howard. One knows that the MEAC is hardly the Big Ten East, but as opposed to previous opening day squeakers (7-6 over William & Mary, anyone?) it’s nice to make a statement as opposed to a question mark Labor Day weekend.

  • Terrapin Triumphs: Josh Jackson threw for 245 yards and four touchdowns while Dontay Demus caught 3 passes for 100 yards and two scores. The defense dominated the day, holding the Bison to two for 17 on third down and 68 total yards. Special Teams blocked one punt for a safety and returned another for a touchdown.
  • Terrapin Troubles: Even though they scored 56 points in the first half, the offense still went three for seven on third down. The Maryland fans also either had issues with traffic or their alarm clocks, as there were wide swaths of empty seats. I know it was Labor Day Weekend, but you could have easily left for the Eastern Shore at 3:15 p.m.

Next: Saturday at noon against Syracuse.

Navy (1-0) punted just once in their 45-7 rout of Holy Cross; the tone was set when the Midshipmen took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards on nine plays to take the lead for good. Caveat: They put 51 points on the board last fall against Patriot League foe Lehigh and won just once thereafter.

  • Midshipman Medals: Malcolm Perry completed six of nine passes for 103 yards while directing an option offense that ran for 428 yards. Diego Fagot notched seven tackles to lead the defense that held the Crusaders to 2.4 yards per carry and three for 12 on third down.
  • Midshipman Miscues: A pair of fumbles (one lost) will definitely get some attention in the film room, while the team’s only punt return went for minus-seven yards. Hey — you find blemishes in a 38 point win.

Next: Sept. 14 against East Carolina.

Virginia Tech (0-1) took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter at Boston College before turning the ball over five times over an eight possession span that saw the Eagles take a two-touchdown lead. The 35-28 loss was the Hokies first season-opening defeat to an unranked team in 11 years and sets them back in the Coastal Division race before September even begins.

  • Hokie Highlights: Ryan Willis throws for 344 yards and four touchdowns, while Hezekiah Grimsley notches four receptions for 98 yards and a score. Rayshard Ashby tallied 13 tackles and a sack. Oscar Bradburn averaged 45.5 yards per punt.
  • Hokie Humblings: Five turnovers! BC had short fields for two of their three touchdowns in the second quarter while a red zone interception took at least three points off the board right before halftime.

Next: Saturday at noon Old Dominion comes to Blacksburg.

Virginia (1-0) hadn’t beaten Pitt since 2014, but Saturday night at Heinz Field the Cavaliers came through against the defending division champs with a 30-14 victory. Did the mojo from Men’s Basketball and Lacrosse find its way onto the gridiron?

  • Cavalier Congrats: U.Va. won the physical battle, and outgained the Panthers by 51 yards on the ground. Bryce Perkins threw a pair of touchdown passes. The defense held Pitt to 91 second half yards on 37 plays, twice intercepting the Panthers after intermission. Joey Blount provided the pass rush heat with a pair of sacks.
  • Cavalier Concerns: The passing game averaged less than ten yards per completion and the team was fortunate to lose neither of its two fumbles. In Kippy & Buffy news, my winesnob pal tells me the 2013 Joseph Phelps Insignia they tailgated with should have been kept on the shelf for another year or two.

Next: Friday night at 8 p.m. against William & Mary.

Dave Preston

Dave has been in the D.C. area for 10 years and in addition to working at WTOP since 2002 has also been on the air at Westwood One/CBS Radio as well as Red Zebra Broadcasting (Redskins Network).

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix (10) throws downfield against Oregon during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)(AP/Ron Jenkins)
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up