“I LOVE THESE DAWGS”: Lessons from Week 1
If you learned anything from college football this weekend, it should be that you can’t taunt players if your name is Jonathan Manziel and not expect to be penalized (both on the field and through awful, long form opinion pieces). You also probably learned that the ghost of Woody Hayes has officially possessed Urban Meyer and wants him to treat every game like they are playing TTUN. And you now know that the Georgia fan base has lost all emotional control for these DAWWWWGS. But wait, there’s more!
You also witnessed ESPN’s non-stop coverage of its two favorite college football figures get exponentially worse. As mentioned earlier, Manziel was targeted with intense scrutiny, but the dumbest criticism was that of non-traditional Heisman candidate, Jadeveon Clowney. Many outside of the South Carolina sphere of fandom have grown tired of the Clowney storyline, and now ESPN is servicing these folks by running a storyline about how Clowney got gassed…in 95 degree heat…in the first game of the season. THAT CLOWNEY AIN’T AS GOOD AS ESPN SAYS, PAWWWWLLL. Of course Clowney’s going to get tired when he’s chasing around plays by an up-tempo offense who are running plays on the other side of the field. It was a down game for Clowney, who only recorded three tackles, but he’s fine, he’s got more to play.
Aside from all of the hype machine nonsense, the most surprising revelations of the weekend came from the games played by Washington and LSU. Boise State, the mid major titan killer, were actually beat by Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies who were led by a magnificent Keith Price as he threw for 324 yards who completed 23 of 31 passes for two touchdowns. Bishop Sankey turned in a great running game rushing for 161 yards and two touchdowns. This marked one of the worst losses Chris Petersen has ever been handed in his tenure as the head coach at Boise State. The Broncos were heavily favored as a BCS killer this year, and the Huskies may have put their chances in jeopardy. Meanwhile, in Dallas at the Cowboy Classic, we learned that Cam Cameron might have been the best hire made by LSU since they hired three circus trainers to make Mike the Tiger perform a jump through a flaming hoop held by Les Miles at half time. But on the real, Zach Mettenberger completed 16 of 32 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown. This is good when you consider that LSU was competing against a defensive minded Gary Patterson who has made the Horned Frogs one of the top ranked programs in the country. The rushing game is obviously going to be the Bayou Bengals’ bread and butter, with a stable of running backs that include Terrence Magee, Jeremy Hill (who didn’t play against TCU), Alfred Blue, and J.C. Copeland. If LSU shows more improvement, they can be a tough challenge for an Alabama team who only scored 14 offensive points against Virginia Tech.
We also learned that Jameis Winston is a redshirt freshman among boys who picked apart a decent Pitt defense and led the ‘Noles to a 41-13 win. Winston completed an impressive 25 of 27 passes for 354 yards with no interceptions and four touchdowns. The hype machine at the Worldwide Leader is already rolling out the Manziel comparisons in recaps so watch out for that as well as FLORIDA STATE BACK commentary. This will more or less coincide with Clemson’s ‘Shock the World’ Tour, which has been rolling on since 2007 (h/t Rory Masterson).
At this point, you probably already know that the sixth leg of this never ending tour started on Saturday night with a win against Georgia for Clemson. In a game complete with all the bells and whistles of a shoot out, Clemson won with a better efficiency rate on 3rd downs though Georgia had out gained the Tigers by 78 yards. Tajh Boyd had a fantastic night; starting off 2013 with 270 yards and three touchdowns, though Chad Morris would tell you that Boyd was suffering from Clowney fatigue. Both teams suffered from having inexperience on the defensive side of the ball and ultimately, the excited yahoos of Pickens County bested the yahoos of Athens which will most likely result in a Clemsoning against Maryland. And the ‘Shock the World’ tour rolls on into 2014.
In other news, Louisville rolled against the Ohio Bobcats, making Frank Solich’s team look like the worst team in the MAC since NIU at the Orange Bowl. Ole Miss stunned Vanderbilt in a season opener that was way more electric than the lightning that caused a delay in Williams-Brice Stadium. Alabama dominated Virginia Tech but not in a way that as soul crushing as people, such as myself, thought it was going to be (hang in there, Logan!). Northwestern won in Berkeley but not before Sonny Dykes had a few words to say about Pat Fitzgerald who also had a few words to say about Dykes. NC State lost their quarterback in their opener against Louisiana Tech thus beginning the Dave Doeren era in Raleigh. Texas and Oklahoma rolled opponents who seemed to be somewhat challenging from the outset (Dammit, Fun Belt) but ultimately proved no match. Oregon defeated Nicholls State as expected while their Pac-12 foe, USC, crushed Norm Chow’s Warriors. UCLA kept on smugging along Oklahoma State beat Mississippi State and absolutely shut down any and all offensive effort from the Bulldogs. Michigan rolled over Central Michigan while Bo Pelini kept telling himself that Tom Osborne wouldn’t regret hiring to rebuild the Blackshirts.
Attetion coaches: have you looked at your FCS opponents in 2014? Seven FCS “cupcakes” went on to beat their bowl qualifying counterparts these include Towson over UConn, North Dakota State over Kansas State, Northern Iowa over Iowa State, Eastern Washington over Oregon State (what happened to you, Cool Dad Mike Riley?), and Eastern Illinois over San Diego State. Is this the beginning of a new era? Probably not but if you’re McNeese State, sure. Keep the dream alive, you crazy playoff crazed kids.
WHILE YOU WERE BEING A SPORTS SHUT IN: One of the greatest think pieces I have ever read on the Miley Cyrus VMA performance thus far. Christina Hendricks voices her desire to be on Game of Thrones. Earl Sweatshirt gives his hot takes on breakfast and hummus. Electric Zoo Festival is canceled due to MDMA overdoses. Japan is building an ice wall to stop future nuclear reactor leaks. James Franco is making a run at an Oscar for Spring Breakers (SPRANG BREAAAAK!). Syria.