Who's Hot & Not ... Week 1
Who's Hot ... Week One
No, no one expected an upset from the Ragin’ Cajuns, but can you display a pulse? Not only were they routed 55-7, the most points scored by the Dawgs in almost six years, but they managed just 128 total yards and five first downs. Even when the hosts emptied the bench, Louisiana couldn’t execute providing signs of another dismal season in Lafayette.
9. New Mexico
Mike Locksley promised to make progress after going 1-11 a year ago. He must’ve been referring to Week 2. The Lobos might have well been an NAIA team the way they performed versus Oregon, getting trucked in every possible phase of the game. Oddly enough, had Chip Kelly not called the, er, Ducks off in the second half, the final score would have been much worse than 72-0.
National TV. A chance to host a Pac-10 team. On excitement alone, the Rockets will make Arizona break a sweat, right? Uhh, no. Tim Beckman’s kids made the Wildcats appear to be Rose Bowl favorites, losing 41-2 at the Glass Bowl. The offense generated just 10 first downs and 183 yards, and Wildcat QB Nick Foles misfired just five times and threw for 360 yards.
Yeah, the Knights opened with a 31-0 victory. No, no one in Piscataway is celebrating. In handling lowly Norfolk State, Rutgers may have raised more questions than it answered Thursday night, executing poorly and looking ill-prepared. While you don’t want to get too worked up about an opener, clinging to a 6-0 lead midway through the third and struggling to pass protect against the Spartans might be harbingers of things to come.
6. The USC D
In a far cry from the Pete Carroll days, the Trojans got torched for nearly 600 yards by Hawaii on Thursday night. The big issue was a pass defense that made Warrior QB Bryant Moniz look like the second coming of Colt Brennan or Timmy Chang. You can chalk it up to a new system or youth in key spots all you want, but the opening performance does not bode well for when Pac-10 play begins. It does, however, help QB Matt Barkley and WR Ronald Johnson, who’ll benefit from a preponderance of shootouts.
5. The Pitt pass rush
Hey, no one doubted that Greg Romeus, Jabaal Sheard, and the rest of the Panther would have their hands full with the Utah O-line, but no sacks and one tackle for loss? Inexcusable. The Panthers needed to apply more pressure on Jordan Wynn, who wound up getting the edge protection he needed from all-star Caleb Schlauderaff and newcomer John Cullen.
Maybe being a trendy pick to upset Michigan in the Big House was too much pressure for the Huskies. Or maybe this year’s team has more holes than originally believed. Whatever the reason, Connecticut got humbled by a Rich Rodriguez team—again—in a 30-10 whooping. The Huskies looked slow, and Zach Frazer still may not be the answer at quarterback.
3. Ole Miss
With all of the summer attention focused on Jeremiah Masoli, everyone lost track of a Rebel defense that might be the Achilles’ heel of the 2010 team. Ole Miss got soft after building a 31-10 lead, eventually bowing to Jacksonville State, 49-48, in a double-overtime classic. To put the magnitude of the upset in financial terms, the Rebs spent close to $10 million on the football program a year ago. The Gamecocks? Under $3 million.
The defense gets a pass, but the offense was hideous, generating just 293 yards, 96 on the ground, and one field goal against North Dakota State. The line didn’t do its job, nor did QB Kale Pick, who got pulled in the fourth quarter for redshirt freshman Jordan Webb. With Georgia Tech visiting this week, the situation gets much tougher for the Jayhawks and rookie head coach Turner Gill.
1. The Florida O-line
Arguably the biggest disappointment of the opening weekend, the Gators were inept on a level that no one could have predicted. The countless bad snaps by C Mike Pouncey will deservedly get most of the attention, but how about the entire group’s inability to control the front seven of Miami, of Ohio not Florida? Oddly enough, this group appeared to be one of the best front walls in the country in the preseason, which lends hope that Saturday’s disaster will wind up being an anomaly.