College football week 1 is in the books. After every week fans can take away things from what happened on the field. Here are five things learned from college football week 1.
1. Bo Nix is Clutch
Bo Nix is a true freshman, but that didn’t stop Auburn from starting him in their season-opener vs. Oregon. While he, and the rest of the offense, struggled for a lot of the game, he did come up clutch when it mattered most. He was just 13 of 31 passing for 177 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but he remained calm down the stretch.
With just over two minutes left, Auburn got the ball down by one. They went on an 11-play drive and scored a touchdown when Bo Nix hit Seth Williams for a touchdown with nine seconds left. Even running back JaTarvious Whitlow noted in the postgame press conference how calm and cool Nix was. Nix will have to work on getting going earlier, as things looked pretty ugly, but he did show up at the very end.
2. Boise has a Chance to Make the New Year’s Six
Things looked like they could get out of hand when Florida State took a 24-6 lead over Boise State. The Broncos battled back to make it 31-19 by the time halftime hit. Freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier helped lead a good second-half comeback, as the Broncos won 36-31.
Florida State had a rough season last year, but still has talent on their roster. Boise State should feel good about the win for a variety of reasons. They beat a decent team on the road and had to deal with last-minute changes in scheduling due to Hurricane Dorian. The Mountain West Conference looks to have some stiff competition, but Boise State has the opportunity after a good week 1 win to get in the New Year’s Six.
3. The Mountain West had a Great Weekend
To go along with Boise State’s big win, the Mountain West had a great weekend. On Friday night, Nevada was able to knock off Purdue with some late-game heroics. After trailing late in the game they needed a 56-yard field goal from a then walk-on Brandon Talton to win the game.
Another surprising result came when Wyoming was able to beat Missouri on Saturday. The Cowboys kept the ball on the ground and were able to grind away a victory 37-31. Wyoming was expected to be a decent Mountain West team, but beating, Missouri, an SEC team that was expected to win around eight games this year, was not expected.
Boise State, Nevada and Wyoming were joined by Hawaii who upset Arizona in week 0. It is still early in the season, but the Mountain West already has victories over the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC.
4. The SEC is Struggling
While Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia and other teams at the top of the SEC did as expected or better in week 1, teams in the middle of the SEC or bottom of the SEC struggled. As already noted, Missouri went on the road to Laramie, Wyoming and lost to the Cowboys. Ole Miss dropped a game to Memphis, which was expected, but still hurts. South Carolina lost to North Carolina. The worst loss of the weekend for the SEC though was Tennessee losing to Georgia State, a team that had two wins last season.
Not only did all of those teams lose games there were some close calls as well. Arkansas nearly lost to FCS-level Portland State. Mississippi State let Louisiana hang around for way too long. Kentucky took a while to get going vs. Toledo. In week 0, Florida played really sloppy and just barely beat Miami.
The top four to five teams in the SEC look to be above the rest, which means there can be some crazy things going on behind them. The Conference will likely bounce back, but there is much more uncertainty with some of these teams.
5. The FCS Doesn’t Get Enough Credit
The FCS is just like the FBS in a lot of ways. There are a lot of teams that are worthy of recognition, but not all the FCS programs get it. Some FCS teams are in fact better than some FBS teams, even if it is harder for them to be successful.
This weekend, there were plenty of results that showed that some FCS teams aren’t too far away from FBS-level talent. Central Arkansas defeated Western Kentucky. Wagner was close to defeating UConn, Houston Baptist played UTEP close and James Madison took West Virginia to the wire. Northern Iowa took Iowa State to three overtimes. There were some blowouts of FCS teams at the hands of the FBS, but overall the FCS programs held their own given what limitations they have.
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