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Beyond the Fort: Week 1

With week 1 behind us what did we learn in the college football world?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Camping World Kickoff - LSU vs Florida State Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 1 is in the books, and while there were not many great games or matchups on the weekend, it was great to have college football back on the TV. Let’s take a look at what we learned in week 1.

Florida State is a legit playoff contender.

#5 LSU 24 vs #8 Florida State 45

This game was considered the marquee matchup of week one. Two teams with playoff aspirations came in knowing that the loser may well be out of the chase. The game was close heading into halftime with LSU leading 17-14. The Noles made some adjustments and were able to get the ground game going in the second half. Once they did, they never looked back. Jordan Travis looked like a Heisman contender after a shaky start. Michigan State transfer Keon Coleman was a huge addition at wide receiver (as seen below). Never mind the score, the Noles were just bigger, faster, and stronger than LSU. If you don’t believe me, go watch what happened every time Florida State had a kickoff.

Clemson doesn’t even look like they can win the ACC.

#9 Clemson 7 at Duke 28

Clemson fans thought Garrett Riley was the savior they needed. To be fair, the score doesn’t reflect the work of the new Clemson offensive coordinator. The Tigers had 3 possessions inside of the Duke 10 that resulted in ZERO points. The Tigers rushed for 213 yards on 40 attempts, and I can’t think of a time I saw a team rush for 200+ yards and only score 7 points. Cade Klubnik really struggled to throw the ball downfield, but he also didn’t have many open receivers to throw to. I think this loss is what Dabo Swinney needed to force him to start using the transfer portal. Clemson is not a bad team. It’s worth noting that Mike Elko has turned Duke into a really good team. They have a first-round talent at quarterback with Riley Leonard, and his ability to run was ultimately the difference maker. The play below sparked the Blue Devils offense and got them over the hump. This is the first time since 1936 that Duke has beat Clemson by 20+ points.

Deion Sanders proved his legitimacy as a coach.

Colorado 45 at #17 TCU 42

Let’s get this one out of the way - I’ll keep it short because I know it's a sore subject. Deion Sanders told us that Colorado was coming, and he was right. The Buffaloes proved the naysayers wrong, and there were some outstanding individual performances from the team. Shedeur Sanders was almost perfect on the day, finishing 38/47 with 510 yards and 4 touchdowns. As I said in the round table last week, Sanders was the player that could give the Frogs the most trouble. Don’t get me wrong, Travis Hunter had a magnificent game, and he “is him” as Deion has been telling the world, but Shedeur was the true difference-maker. TCU struggled to make plays when it mattered, especially on defense. However, I think if you replay this game 9 more times, TCU would win at least 8 of them. Colorado was just better on the day.

Billy Napier might not make it through the season.

Florida 11 at #14 Utah 24

This was another game that had a lot of hype. It was a great game last year that almost derailed Utah’s season. The Utes came into the game without their star quarterback, Cam Rising, so we knew the offense wasn’t going to be as good. The Utes scored on a 70-yard bomb on their first play, and then only managed to put up another 200 yards in the rest of the game. They chewed up the clock when they had the ball, and they played the field position game well. Florida fans thought, for some insane reason, that they would lose a top 5 draft pick at quarterback and be better. Surprise, surprise, they aren’t. I’ll be surprised if Billy Napier makes it through the season. He’s off to a worse start than every coach Florida has fired since Urban Meyer.

Washington has the best passing attack in the country.

Boise State 19 at #10 Washington 56

I knew Washington was going to be good this year, but I was not expecting this big of a win against Boise State. So many people were talking about Colorado and their win over TCU that nobody seemed to talk about the fact that quarterback Michael Penix Jr threw for 450 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Huskies were in the debate for having the best receiving corps in the country, and I think they proved on Saturday that they really do. Kalen DeBoer is an underrated coach, and I think Washington has a real shot to win the Pac-12 this year.

North Carolina seems to have fixed their defensive problems.

#21 North Carolina 31 vs South Carolina 17

Mack Brown and Gene Chizik spent the entire offseason talking about the need for more toughness in the North Carolina program. If Saturday’s domination of the Gamecocks is any indicator, they’ve solved some of their biggest problems. Quarterback Drake Maye didn’t have his best performance, throwing for just 269 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. But UNC didn’t need him to be great. The UNC defense made South Carolina’s offense look like a JV team running scout for varsity, sacking Spencer Rattler 9 times, and hit him another 18, en route to their win. Mack Brown became the first coach to win 100 games at 2 different schools with the win. And I really want to know what he was saying to Shane Beamer after the game...

Quick Hitters

#1 Georgia handled business in a 48-7 win over UT Martin.

#2 Michigan struggled to run the ball, but still beat East Carolina 30-3.

#3 Ohio State did not look good at all on offense in a 23-3 win over Indiana.

#4 Alabama handled business in a 56-7 win over Middle Tennessee.

#6 USC was outgained by Nevada 360 to 354 but won the game 66-14.

#7 Penn State looked like the best all-around team in the Big 10 with a 38-15 win over West Virginia.

#11 Texas looked like they were already thinking about the Alabama game in their 37-10 win over Rice.

#12 Tennessee took a while to get going but destroyed Virginia 49-13. Joe Milton looked good.

#13 Notre Dame looked dominant against an inferior team once again in a 56-3 win over Tennessee State.

#15 Oregon beat Portland State 81-7 and had 746 yards of offense.......

#16 Kansas State looked pretty dominant in a 45-0 win over Southeast Missouri State.

#18 Oregon State handled business against San Jose State with a 42-17 win. DJ U looked like a whole new quarterback.

#19 Wisconsin beat Buffalo 38-17 and looked like they’re handling the transition to a new offensive scheme just fine.

#20 Oklahoma beat Butch Jones and Arkansas State 73-0.... Butch appeared to be crying on the sidelines.

#22 Ole Miss beat Mercer 73-7.......

#23 Texas A&M looked pretty impressive in a 52-10 win over New Mexico.

#24 Tulane beat a South Alabama team that had a lot of hype among Sun Belt fans 37-17.

#25 Iowa, the kings of nepotism, beat Utah State 24-14, meaning that Brian Ferentz is on his way to being fired.

Coach Perry’s Power Rankings: Post Week 1

  1. Florida State
  2. Georgia
  3. Penn State
  4. Washington
  5. Alabama
  6. USC
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Michigan
  9. Tennessee
  10. Oregon

Week 2 Games to Watch

I’m looking forward to a much more exciting slate of games next weekend. We have quite a few Power Five matchups and the Texas/Alabama showdown.

Friday, September 8

Illinois at Kansas 6:30 PM

Saturday, September 9

Nebraska at Colorado 11:00 AM

#13 Notre Dame at NC State 11:00 AM

#14 Utah at Baylor 11:00 AM

#23 Texas A&M at Miami 2:30 PM

#25 Iowa at Iowa State 2:30 PM

#22 Ole Miss at #24 Tulane 2:30 PM

Appalachian State at #21 North Carolina 4:15 PM

Cincinnati at Pitt 5:30 PM

#11 Texas at #4 Alabama 6:00 PM

#15 Oregon at Texas Tech 6:00 PM

UCF at Boise State 6:00 PM

Arizona at Mississippi State 6:30 PM

#19 Wisconsin at Washington State 6:30 PM

Oklahoma State at Arizona State 9:30 PM

Auburn at Cal 9:30 PM