College football is back. While not all teams are back, a lot of teams are preparing for week 1. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 1.
Buechele, the former Texas quarterback, has found a nice home at SMU. In 2019, he passed for 3,929 yards, 34 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 62.7 percent completion. His play helped lead SMU to a 10-win season. With 14 returning starters back, SMU will be looking to replicate the success from last season with Buechele under center.
The Mustangs will take on Texas State in their season opener. Texas State ranked 107th in scoring defense last season, which means Buechele has the potential to put a lot of points on the board for the Mustangs. It could be a great start to a promising season for SMU.
2. UAB’s Start to Another Good Season
UAB has been one of the best stories over the last few seasons. After disbanding the football program in 2015, they came back in 2017. Since that point, head coach Bill Clark has led them to a 28-13 record and three bowl appearances in one of the best coaching jobs that has been seen in the sport.
The Blazers are set for another good season in 2020. They return 18 starters from a team that went 9-5 last season, which includes star running back Spencer Brown. In their opening game, they will play FCS Central Arkansas. UAB should be able to rattle off another impressive season that could see them win the C-USA.
3. Will Army Rebound?
Jeff Monken has done really well at Army in his six seasons at Army. He has posted a 40-36 record and back to back 1 win seasons in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, things did not go well last season, as Army went 5-8. They have the potential to turn it around this season, but it won’t be easy.
Army will need a new quarterback to run their triple-option attack, but they do return 13 starters. With some conferences not playing non-conference games, Army had to scramble to put a schedule together. They start off with Middle Tennnessee in week 1, which could be the start of a great season for the Black Knights.
4. Can Arkansas State Pull off the Upset?
One of the best games of the opening weekend of football features the Arkansas State Red Wolves and the Memphis Tigers. Memphis will be a tough opponent for Arkansas State, as they return double-digit starters from last year’s team, which went to the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers will be without star running back Kenny Gainwell, who has opted out of the season. They’ll rely on quarterback Brady White to carry the offense.
Memphis has been a model for group of five teams over the last few seasons. Arkansas State has been a decent program themselves though. They went 8-5 last season under Blake Anderson, who has had a successful six years as head coach. He has a 47-30 record and has never missed a bowl game. With nine starters back on offense, the Red Wolves will have a chance against the Tigers, especially with Gainwell out.
5. BYU at Navy
The marquee matchup on Labor Day will have BYU going up against Navy. This isn’t the typical Labor Day matchup, but it will satisfy the country’s desire for football. BYU went 7-6 last season, after dealing with injuries at the quarterback position. Zach Wilson is healthy and looking to lead six other starters on the offensive side of the ball. If Wilson takes a step forward, so can this BYU team.
Navy wasn’t expected to be a great team last season, but ended up winning 11 games. Ken Numatalolo has done an outstanding job with the program. They have 12 starters returning, with six on each side of the ball. If they get the triple option working with a new quarterback under center, they have the potential to compete in the AAC. This game will provide a good barometer of how good Navy can be this season.
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