College football is back on Niners Nation!
Author's Note: If you are new to the site, or relatively new within the year, we typically have game threads every Saturday for those that care to follow college prospects and future pro's that could wind up wearing red and gold on Sunday's... or for those that just generally love the college sport as well.
Thursday kicked off the official beginning of the 2011-2012 NCAA Football season with a few games. Nothing major happened on the 1st. Ranked No. 11 in the nation, Wisconsin beat up on the unranked UNLV Running Rebels pretty bad by the score of 51 - 17, as did No. 20 ranked Mississippi State against Memphis by the score of 59 - 14.
Friday was a little bit different of a story.
The most notable game of the day was the upset of the No. 14 Ranked Texas Christian Horned Frogs at the hands of the Baylor Bears by a score of 50 - 48... No this was not a basketball game, although it certainly did seem like it had that feel at times.
Baylor's quarterback could wind up being a sleeper in the Heisman Trophy race this year. Robert Griffin is not only a threat on the ground but a very sound quarterback through the air. He complete 75% of his passes today with over 350 yards in the air. Including what he gained on the ground, he had a total of 391 yards on the day.
Griffin's top wide receiver Kendall Wright had 12 receptions for 189 yards with 2 touchdowns on the day. He looked like he could be a force though the course of the season.
Michigan State was the only other ranked team to play on Friday and won a pretty one-sided match up against Youngstown State by the score of 28 - 6. The Spartans still appeared like they needed to sharpen up a few things on both sides of the ball but overall played well.
Kirk Cousins had a remarkable 81.8 completion percentage on the day with 222 yards in the air. However, he only had one touchdown toss to go with that.
Most of the week one games this today will be relatively lopsided. But there are going to be a couple of games that should be pretty fun.
Jump over the line for a preview of some of the better games we could see today.
No. 5 BOISE STATE vs. No. 19 GEORGIA
Well Georgia will have their work cut out against the high-octane offense of the Broncos. Kellen Moore should be in the running for the Heisman again and has several surrounding talent to help make it possible. In the meantime, running back, Doug Martin will keep it rolling on the ground as he looks like a carbon copy of Emmitt Smith. The Broncos Defense will have it's work cut out as well against a quarterback like Aaron Murray. I really like Murray's skill-set and he could wind up among the leaders through the air come seasons end. Defensively, the Bulldogs lost some key guy, one of the 49ers very own in DeMarcus Dobbs even, but they have some nice replacements in players by the likes of defensive end Abry Jones, nose tackle Kwame Geathers, and cornerback Brandon Boykin.
Expect this one to be fairly close. It could go down to the very end but look for the Broncos to pull out the 'W'.
No. 3 OREGON vs. No. 4 LSU
Trouble..... trooouble..... trouble..... for those that don't know, that was a reference to the movie The Players Club. If you never saw the movie then I provided a clip for it to add context.
Anywhoo... This will be the game of the week in terms of two powerhouses going head-to-head. But both teams will be without some key guys. The two most notable would be Oregon corner, Cliff Harris (story here) and LSU's quarterback Jordan Jefferson (story here).
Even with some of the key guys out and key guys from last years squads leaving for the NFL, this game will have plenty of fireworks. Darron Thomas will still be the quarterback for Oregon. That in and of itself could be a headache for opposing coach Les Miles. Make no mistake though, the Tigers defense is always stout. They always have players that will step up come crunch time. LSU has their own force in the secondary led by junior cornerback, Morris Claiborne.
I have a feeling that this game will be close in the first half but someone (whoever makes the most halftime adjustments) will run away with it in the second half. If I were a betting man, I'd have to put my money on Oregon in this one. D. Thomas will be the X-factor.
No. 16 NOTRE DAME vs. SOUTH FLORIDA
I expect big things from the Fighting Irish this year. They have a talent filled roster and a lot of young athletes that can contribute. Dayne Crist will get the nod at quarterback leaving sophomore Tommy Rees anxiously waiting for Crist to foul things up. One, or two slight mistakes could push coach Brian Kelly to give Crist the hook and play Rees. But ultimately it's Crist's job to lose. Michael Floyd is back this year and should he keep his nose clean should have a monumental year. Floyd is sure-fire first-round talent. Notre Dame has plenty of talent to carry the rock as well. It should be a tough task for South Florida, but in recent years they've really elevated the perception of the school's program. They could be over matched in this contest but may be a tough team for other ranked teams to beat all year.
Notre Dame will probably take this one but stranger things have happened.
Here is the schedule for the the games that are in the books and the ones that are up today:
|Thursday, September 1|
|Louisville 21, Murray State 9||Box Score | Recap|
|Temple 42, Villanova 7||Box Score | Recap|
|Central Michigan 21, South Carolina State 6||Box Score | Recap|
|Florida International 41, North Texas 16||Box Score | Recap|
|Toledo 58, New Hampshire 22||Box Score | Recap|
|Georgia Tech 63, Western Carolina 21||Box Score | Recap|
|Rutgers 48, North Carolina Central 0||Box Score | Recap|
|No. 11 Wisconsin 51, UNLV 17||Box Score | Recap|
|No. 20 Mississippi State 59, Memphis 14||Box Score | Recap|
|Syracuse 36, Wake Forest 29 (OT)||Box Score | Recap|
|Utah 27, Montana State 10||Box Score | Recap|
|Bowling Green 32, Idaho 15||Box Score | Recap|
|Kentucky 14, Western Kentucky 3||Box Score | Recap|
|Arizona State 48, UC Davis 14||Box Score | Recap|
|Friday, September 2|
|No. 17 Michigan State 28, Youngstown State 6||Box Score | Recap|
|Baylor 50, No. 14 TCU 48||Box Score | Recap|
|Thursday, September 1|
|Postponed||Fordham at Connecticut|
|Sunday, September 4|
|3:30 PM ET||Marshall at No. 24 West Virginia||Tickets|
|7:30 PM ET||Southern Methodist at No. 8 Texas A&M||Tickets|
|Monday, September 5|
|8:00 PM ET||Miami (FL) at Maryland||Tickets|