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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

What we learned from college football week one

Editor’s note: College football is nothing without its fans, and its fans are nothing without their passion. In an attempt to capture that unique intensity and overreactability, we’ve asked sports editor and The South enthusiast Bremen Keasey to give us a weekly breakdown of college football happenings around the country like only a true fan could.

Another college football season has dawned on us, and not a moment too soon. As with the start of actual college, or at least in the good classes, we start to learn things. Here’s what we’ve learned so far about week one of the college football season.

‘Bama has a QUARTERBACK

As if Alabama head coach Nick Saban didn’t have a terrifying enough Death Star of a football program, they seemed to have added a real life, honest-to-god, capital-q quarterback.

Turns out sophomore signal caller Tua Tagovailoa’s game winning second half against Georgia in the national championship game last season was not a fluke. Nope, he is a dangerous weapon that the CIA, FBI, NSA and every other government organization might need to find and disable. With a near perfect QBR rating of 99.1, two passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and a gazillion beautiful looking throws in a 51-14 win over Louisville, Tua is turning out to be less of a star and more of a supernova.

I messaged one of my friend who is a huge Tide fan the night of the game saying “Looks like Tua is pretty good.” He messaged me back “This is the most excited I’ve been about Bama football, ever.” This is a kid who grew up in the Nick Saban era and has seen five national championships in the last 10 years. Tua’s got folks believing down in Tuscaloosa. Maybe they’ll rename the town Tua-scaloosa.

Who likes to overreact? I DO! I DO!

Ahhhh, remember the turnover chain? Good times.

Yeah, the No. 8 Miami Hurricanes were unable to break out the turnover chain as the No. 25 LSU Tigers got the win 33-17 down in “Jerryworld” (Dallas’ AT&T Stadium) on Sunday night.

It’s a scoreline that seems like a blowout, especially because for stretches LSU seemed to dominate the game. It was 27-3 Tigers at halftime and felt worse.

But then in the second half, Miami looked a lot better and the Tigers looked like they might choke it away. Miami actually outgained the Tigers 342-296. Their much-maligned quarterback, Malik Rosier, had two picks including a pick-six, but he also had over 250 yards and two total touchdowns.

And while LSU’s transfer quarterback Joe Burrow was kind of efficient, he still looked like an LSU quarterback, which is not a great sign for the Tigers.

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A win is a win, but remember, this is the first week of the season. Remember when Texas beat Notre Dame a couple years ago and everyone thought Texas was back? Me too. In case you weren’t aware, Texas is not back. They just lost to Maryland for the second straight year. Notre Dame also finished 4-8 that year, which I bring up not only because that was objectively hilarious, but also because it was a super hyped first week matchup that meant basically nothing for the rest of the college football season (other than the fact it meant Notre Dame went 4-8, instead of 5-7).

Sure, maybe the Tigers will take this confidence and the ability of senior running back Nick Brossette who averaged a powerful 5.7 yards per carry and two touchdowns and make noise in the SEC West. Maybe the Canes will bounce back and give Clemson a fight in the ACC. All I know is I’m ready and willing to give my first official overreaction of the college football season: GEAUX TIGERS!! LSU TO THE PLAYOFF!

Never schedule app state

Appalachian State was almost at it again this weekend.

After their famous win against the Michigan Wolverines in 2007 in the Big House, the App State Mountaineers became college football legends as the ultimate David that would give you a difficult game if you decided to schedule them. In 2016, they pushed the Tennessee Volunteers to overtime, but the Vols ended up barely scraping by in their own stadium.

This year, Penn State invited the Mountaineers to their town, and the ‘Neers proceeded to scare the crap out of Penn State.

After a 28-point fourth quarter, App State was beating the Nittany Lions 38-31 with a few minutes left in the game. I was scrambling to find the Big Ten Network on my TV to watch the game, ignoring the closing moments of Washington vs. Auburn. PSU Quarterback Trace McSorley threw a clutch touchdown with less than a minute left to tie the game back up. App State got the ball back and was driving, but the ‘Neers got to a fourth down and four. Instead of going for it with 15 seconds left, App State decided to kick a 56-yard field goal and missed, sending the game to overtime at 38-38

Who knows what would’ve happened if App State decided to go for it. In the end, Penn State scored first in overtime and intercepted Mountaineer quarterback Zach Thomas in the endzone to give Penn State the 45-38 win. But I think the lesson to all major programs is not to schedule App State.

The Wisconsin Badgers are scheduled to play Appalachian State in 2020 at Camp Randall.

I’m not nervous, you’re nervous.

NOTRE DAME IS BACK!!!!!

Haha, just kidding. They did beat the No. 14 Michigan Wolverines in South Bend 24-17, but again let’s not overreact. The Irish have a ridiculous schedule partly because they refuse to fully join a conference in football (of course, they’re technically with the ACC, because as we know, South Bend is a beautiful city on the Atlantic coast, not a disgusting greyscape in Indiana). They play Stanford, Florida State, Virginia Tech and USC this year, and their offense did not look very electric against Michigan.

That’s not to say that Notre Dame didn’t deserve the win over the Wolverines. The Irish came out of the first quarter up 14-0 and probably had some Michigan boosters looking through Harbaugh’s contract for the section that’s labeled “Can we actually fire this guy?” But the game ended up a lot closer than Notre Dame’s early performance indicated. The Michigan’s defense stepped up and wreaked havoc while the Wolverines’ offense tried to claw its way back. Then with some clock management that would make Les Miles happy, Michigan seemed to dawdle to the line for a two-minute drill late in the fourth quarter down by one score. Quarterback Shea Patterson improved as the game went on, but he was also sacked three times, capped by a strip sack that ended Michigan’s final drive.

Maybe we’ll get an obnoxiously good Irish team, meaning I’ll be forced to look at Brian Kelly’s purple rage face on my television more times this year. Or maybe they’ll go 4-8 again.

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