Five Most Impressive College Football Team Performances From Opening Week
The 2013 college football season is off and running, and here are my top five team performances from a very entertaining opening week of action.
Running back Bishop Sankey #25 (R) of the Washington Huskies celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Boise State Broncos on August 31, 2013 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated Broncos 38-6.
1)—WASHINGTON HUSKIES—Washington, in my opinion had the most impressive performance from opening week, dominating the 19th-ranked Boise St. Broncos, 38-6. The Huskies outgained the Broncos, in terms of total yards, 592-346, and kept the high powered Boise St. offense out of the end zone. Washington got a 324 yard passing performance from senior quarterback Keith Price, as well as a 161 yard rushing performance from junior running back Junior Sankey. They did this against not only a Top 25 team, but one that they lost to in their previous game, after falling to Boise St., 28-26, in the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl. It’s a long season, so it remains to be seen how good Washington really is, but as for opening week, there may not have been anybody more impressive.
Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers throws against the TCU Horned Frogs at AT&T Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.
2)—LSU TIGERS—When you beat a Top 25 team, it’s always a good win, and #12 LSU’s 37-27 win over #20 TCU may be even more impressive at second glance. LSU outgained TCU by nearly 200 total yards, 448-259, and held a 12:00 edge in time of possession. The only reason why the game was really close was because the Horned Frogs scored one touchdown on a 100-yard kickoff return, and another on a short 5-yard drive off of a fumble. LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger was impressive in his first game under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, completing 16-of-32 passes, for 251 yards, and one touchdown, and if he plays that way throughout the year, the Tigers are going to have a few more impressive wins.
Tajh Boyd #10 of the Clemson Tigers runs with the ball against the Georgia Bulldogs during their game at Memorial Stadium on August 31, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.
3)—CLEMSON TIGERS—The only reason Clemson isn’t higher is because they got outgained, in terms of total yards, 545-467, in their 38-35 win over Georgia, but the bottom line is they beat the fifth-ranked team in the country, and after last year’s 25-24 win over LSU in the Chic-fil-A Bowl, the Tigers now have back-to-back wins over perennial Top 25 SEC schools. Quarterback Tajh Boyd was 18-of-30, for 270 yards and three touchdowns. That performance makes him a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, and the win by the Tigers makes them legitimate BCS title contenders.
Safety Isaiah Newsome #1 of the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks tries to tackle wide receiver Sterling Shepard #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners August 31, 2013 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.
4)—OKLAHOMA SOONERS—Oklahoma’s 34-0 win over the ULM Warhawks may seem like a ho-hum win to many, but this ULM team went to a bowl game last year, and a team that averaged 35 points-per-game against the likes of Arkansas, Auburn, and Baylor. Not only did the Sooner defense toss a shutout, but the offense gained 429 yards. At the end of the year, this one is going to look a lot more impressive.
Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Louisville Cardinals looks to pass the ball against the Ohio Bobcats during the game at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on September 1, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.
5)—LOUISVILLE CARDINALS—Sure, Louisville was supposed to beat Ohio, and they did. 49-7, but if that game is any indication of how good the Cardinal offense will be, they are going to be really fun to watch, and really hard to beat. Louisville outgained Ohio, 615-273, in total yards, with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throwing for 355 yards and five touchdowns. The Cardinals, based on their talent, and their favorable schedule, are a candidate to run the table, and Saturday’s win showed why.
Finally, the five teams that I picked are all FBS teams, but I have to give a shout out to the McNeese St. Cowboys, an FCS team who just destroyed the South Florida Bulls, 53-21. McNeese St., who were 21-point underdogs, scored 31 points in the second quarter alone. If the Cowboys are this good, the rest of the Southland Conference needs to run for the hills.