Sep 05, 2017

ACC & Big 12 Week 1 Recap: Sideline Shenanigans, a Double-OT Thriller and a One-Handed Grab in Lawrence

Standings and Results


Big 12

AP Top 10

1. Alabama
2. Ohio State
3. Clemson
4. Penn State
5. Oklahoma
6. Southern California
7. Washington
8. Michigan
9. Wisconsin
10. Florida State

Tough Times in Tallahassee

As if a season-opening loss was not tough enough, the Florida State Seminoles are now without star quarterback Deondre Francois for the rest of the season after suffering an injury to his patellar tendon late in the fourth quarter.

On Monday, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher named James Blackman the team’s starting quarterback going forward. Blackman will get his first start on Saturday against Lousiana-Monroe before the Seminoles open their conference slate when Miami comes to town in two weeks.

One bright spot to come out of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game for the Seminoles was their defense, whiche held Alabama to just 13 first downs and 96 passing yards (with 53 coming on one play). It was the fewest first downs Alabama has had since Nov. 14, 2015, when they also had just 13 first downs in a 31=6 win over Mississippi State. The Seminoles defense was cornered deep in its own end several times due to offensive and special teams mishaps but was able to limit or avoid ‘Bama damage altogether each time to keep the team in the game.

A Different Kind of Monday Night Football

While Saturday’s meeting between Alabama and Florida State may have been the most highly anticipated opener of all time, Monday night’s kickoff game between Georgia Tech and Tennessee closed out the first week of the season with a doozy.

The Ramblin’ Wreck got off to a great start, keeping Tennessee’s offense off the field with several long scoring drives. In the end, Georgia Tech won the time of possession battle 41:18 to 18:17 and ran for 535 yards. But the option offense wasn’t enough to close out the game, and Tennessee’s offense turned the corner in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points including the game-tying touchdown with less than two minutes to play.

In the second overtime, Georgia Tech answered the Volunteers’ touchdown, but head coach Paul Johnson chose to go for two and the win rather than settling for the extra point and going to a third overtime. Here’s how the decision played out:

Despite giving up over 600 yards of offense in the game, the Volunteers were able to get the only stat that mattered — a W. Tennessee joined some select company, becoming just the fifth team since 2000 to allow 500 or more rushing yards in a game and emerge victorious.

The action on the field wasn’t the only thing catching the attention of viewers at home. Many noticed that after each turnover the Volunteers defense forced, the defensive player would run over to the sideline and dunk the ball into a trash can. In case you missed it, check out one of the “dunks” below:

Texan Troubles

Several major programs in the Lone Star State got off to tough starts in their 2017 campaigns during Week 1.

Texas, which received a No. 23 preseason ranking in the AP poll, hosted Maryland in head coach Tom Herman’s Longhorn debut. The Terps wore special decals on the backs of their helmets as a sign of solidarity with Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, however that support didn’t extend to the game, itself, as Maryland upset the Longhorns on the road in Austin, 51-41.

Later in the day, a little ways up Interstate 35, things didn’t go much better for Texas’ Big 12 colleague, Baylor. The Bears had a new coach of their own, as former Temple head coach Matt Rhule made his debut on the Baylor sidelines. The game, against FCS program Liberty, was closely contested the whole way through, but the Flames regained their lead in the fourth quarter and didn’t look back, earning a 48-45 victory in Waco.

The win was the first over a Power Five Conference Team in program history for Liberty, which will join the FBS ranks in 2019, and the program’s third victory against an FBS opponent since former Kansas coach Turner Gill took over in 2012. Following the game, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. gave students in attendance a nice surprise before they left to continue their celebration.

Texas A&M, meanwhile, isn’t in one of our eligible conferences, but nevertheless blew a 34-point lead late in the third quarter against UCLA, losing 45-44 on a fake spike touchdown pass from Heisman hopeful Josh Rosen with 43 seconds remaining in the game. Upon further review, the ball appeared to be moving in the arms of receiver Jordan Lasley as he came down and eventually stepped out of bounds in the corner of the end zone. But the play was not reviewed on the field, and UCLA held off the Aggies’ last-chance drive to complete the largest comeback in college football since 2006 (a 35-point comeback by Michigan State against Northwestern).

Take II in the Camping World Bowl?

West Virginia and Virginia Tech squared off at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland, Sunday night. It was the first meeting between the two programs vying for the Black Diamond Trophy since 2005, two seasons after leaving the Big East Conference. The Mountaineers hold a 28-22-1 record all-time against their southern counterparts, but the Hokies were able to hold off a last-drive effort from former Florida quarterback Will Grier and the Mountaineers, winning 31-24.

This was the first time in 51 meetings that the game wasn’t played in Virginia or West Virginia, but both teams are plenty familiar with Camping World Stadium. Both teams played in Orlando last season in losing efforts (Virginia Tech in ACC Championship vs. Clemson; West Virginia in Camping World Bowl, then known as the Russell Athletic Bowl, vs. Miami). It is possible they meet again in Orlando this year based on conference tie-ins, but with a full season to play we’ll leave the projections to our pals in the media.

Prior to the game some of our bowl scouts caught up with a few Mountaineers fans tailgating and gave them a gift card to Camping World to help aid their future tailgates this season.

Heading into Week 2 with a season-opening victory over a longtime rival should have Virginia Tech feeling good. This fact courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info should have the Hokies and their fan base feeling real good:

Second Heisman Campaign Underway

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson started his Heisman follow-up season the same way he started 2016, with an offensive show en route to victory. Improving on his Week 1 output from last year by 80 yards, Jackson totaled 485 yards (378 passing and 107 rushing) to lead the Cardinals past Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Purdue fell just short in head coach Jeff Brohm’s Boilermakers debut. Brohm played quarterback for Louisville from 1989-93 before embarking on a seven-year NFL career.

Play of the Week

Kansas’ Chase Harrell makes a leaping one-handed catch for a score against Southeast Missouri.

Tweet of the Week

Move over Carrot Top, College Football sidelines are taking over the prop game! Whether it’s Miami’s Turnover Chain, Texas A&M’s scepter or the Ole Miss NWO Title Belt, we can only imagine what is in store for the rest of the season.

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