College football Week 1 winners, losers, overreactions: Georgia remains top dog, Texas A&M has a ways to go


Week 1 of the college football season technically started a week ago, but Saturday was the first full day of action across the country. With regional rivalries yielding some of the weekend’s best results, the full-fledged debut marked a refreshing change from a long outdoor season filled with headlines off the pitch.

Old Dominion shocked Virginia Tech 20-17 in Brent Pry’s debut on fridaynight. Then, in a Saturday game described as the greatest home game in its history, Appalachian State gave North Carolina everything it could handle before. fall 63-61 on a failed 2-point conversion. UTSA’s 2-point conversion also backfired in a 37-35 triple-overtime loss to No. 24 Houston to a packed house just days after Cougars coach Dana Holgorsen accused the Roadrunners of pumping crowd noise into the Alamodome. Finally, East Carolina missed an extra point and a field goal for lose a 21-20 . heartbreaker to No. 13 NC State.

Of course, there was also plenty of great national action to go around. No. 2 Ohio State survived No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10 in a heavyweight prize fight. Florida upset No. 7 Utah 29-26 behind a late touchdown from quarterback Anthony Richardson. And No. 3 Georgia leveled No. 11 Oregon in Atlanta 49-3.

The towering highs and lows of college football were on full display during an opening weekend that focused on the most vicious regional rivalry in the country. After another offseason of reshuffles and playoff chatter in the headlines, Week 1 was a perfect palate cleanser.

Here are the winners, losers, and overreactions from Week 1 of the college football season.


Georgia: Rumors of Georgia’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, it seems. Despite losing as many as 15 players to the NFL Draft, the Bulldogs didn’t skip a step in knocking Oregon out. Georgia became only the second team in college football history to score a touchdown in the first seven drives against an AP Top 25 squad. Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV had a career of 368 passing yards, while 15 different defenders had multiple tackles. The Bulldogs’ war machine remains fully operational.

Arizona wide receiver Jacob Cowing Perhaps the country’s most underrated offensive player last year, after posting 1,354 yards and receiving and wearing a dying UTEP program to qualify for the bowl, Cowing looks poised to do the same for the Wildcats a year later. . The Maricopa, Arizona native caught eight passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns in his first game as a Wildcat to lead a 38-20 win over San Diego State. It was Arizona’s first road win since October 5, 2019, against Colorado.

Florida coach Billy Napier: There aren’t many better ways to start a coaching journey than getting a win against a top-10 opponent. The Gators hit all the right notes en route to a No. 7 Utah defeat thanks to a dominant rushing performance from quarterback Anthony Richardson. Suddenly Florida doesn’t seem like an afterthought in the SEC East race. The rivalry game with Georgia on October 29 must be circled. Napier became the first coach in Gators history to beat a ranked opponent in his first game with the program.


NC State QB Devin Leary: Expectations were high for Leary as the Wolfpack entered the year with their highest preseason rankings since Lou Holtz led the program in 1975. However, Leary’s attempt against East Carolina worries me that a new chamber of attacking players won’t fit in easily. raleigh . Leary barely completed half of his 33 passes for 211 yards and 6.4 yards per pass. He threw a poor interception that ECU later turned into a touchdown that should have evened the game if not for a missed extra point. If the Wolfpack are to be true ACC candidates, Leary must be much better at complementing an experienced defense.

Texas A&M’s offensive line: The Aggies suffered growing pains on offense last season, but there was hope the unit could find its rhythm in 2022 as part of a team with playoff aspirations. However, despite beating Sam Houston 31-0, the Aggies offense put in just 3.4 yards per carry and allowed several pressures. Now Appalachian State and No. 16 Miami coming to town in the next few weeks, the effort should get better.

Week 1 Overreactions

Ohio State Offense Shows Cracks: Heading into Week 1, there were three teams with outrageous expectations of winning the National Championship: Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State. The aforementioned Bulldogs delivered one of the most impressive wins over a ranked opponent in recent memory, and Alabama played a perfect soccer game against the state of Utah.

And then there was Ohio State, which took a handful of miraculous moves from quarterback CJ Stroud to make a foul against Notre Dame. Admittedly, the Buckeyes had the toughest game of the weekend, but they looked eminently mortal after the injury to star Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The defense of Notre Dame dictated the game for much of the night.

There’s a chance Ohio state could grow out of this fight, especially as Jim Knowles’ defense gets more comfortable. However, the idea that Ohio State is an impeccable title contender along the lines of Alabama or Georgia seems desirable so far.

Pac-12 is cooked: Last season, UCLA took a huge helmet decal win over LSU in the Rose Bowl. The Tigers were terrible in the end, but it didn’t matter; beating LSU launched the Bruins to number 13 in the national rankings and helped make the Pac-12 as a whole credible.

A year later, Cameron Rising’s ill-advised interception in a loss to Florida is about to do just the opposite. The Utes were selected to top the preseason Pac-12 polls and were considered the league favorite to make it to the College Football Playoff. However, losing to the Gators puts a leading Pac-12 team behind the 8-ball when it comes to the playoff picture. One win or loss doesn’t make a season, but the benefit of the doubt just isn’t there for the Conference of Champions.

That loss, mixed with the Ducks’ embarrassment in Atlanta, leaves No. 14 USC as the only unscathed Pac-12 playoff contender. Good luck.

Rivalry remains king: There was no better setting to kick off Week 1 than the banks of the Ohio River as the Backyard Brawl rose from the ashes after an 11-year absence. By all accounts, Pitt’s come-from-behind win over West Virginia was the perfect table setter for college football’s full-length debut in 2022.

More than 70,000 people attended the game at Acrisure Stadium – Heinz Field still in our hearts – the largest crowd in Pittsburgh’s sports history…and that’s quite a sports city. Legendary players like Tony Dorsett of Pitt and Adam “Pacman” Jones of West Virginia lined the sidelines. The dang stadium ran out of beer when bitter enemies of city and country, only 75 miles apart, converged.

Most importantly, the match ended in the craziest way when Pitt’s MJ Devonshire grabbed a ball that bounced off the hands of West Virginia’s Bryce Ford-Wheaton and gave it 56 yards back for a pick six. The moment was as satisfying for the victors as for the losers.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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