COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP - September 3, 2013
Football is finally back! After what seemed like a long offseason, on-field action returned with a lot of excitement. Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25 from the opening weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the preseason AP rankings.
#1 Alabama 35, Virginia Tech 10: The Crimson Tide get special teams touchdowns from Christian Jones (72-yard punt return and a 94-yard kickoff return) as well as an interception return score as it handles the Hokies in Atlanta.
#6 South Carolina 27, North Carolina 10: The Gamecocks open the scoring with a 65-yard touchdown pass by Connor Shaw and then close the Thursday evening game with a 75-yard Mike Davis touchdown run as they cruise to a 27-10 win over the Tar Heels.
#8 Clemson 38, #5 Georgia 35: Tajh Boyd jumps to the top of Heisman projections in another key SEC-ACC challenge by throwing for three scores and running for two more in a shootout against Georgia, giving the Tigers their second straight win over a top-10 SEC team - they also topped LSU in last year's Chick fil-A Bowl.
#9 Louisville 49, Ohio 7: Teddy Bridgewater, last year's Sugar Bowl MVP, is exceptional, matching his career-high with five touchdown passes as the Cardinals outgain the Bobcats, 615-273.
#11 Florida State 41, Pittsburgh 13: It's way too early to truly call Jameis Winston a Heisman contender, but some predicted he was capable of a Johnny Manziel-like freshman season - and his opening game was dazzling as he was 25-of-27 with four passing and one rushing touchdown to spoil Pitt's ACC debut.
DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING
Eastern Washington 49, #25 Oregon State 46: Vernon Adams throws for 411 yards and four touchdowns while running for two more scores as the Eagles shock the Beavers, becoming just the third FCS team to beat a ranked FBS squad.
Washington 38, #19 Boise State 6: Bishop Sankey ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns and Keith Price became the school's all-time leader in TD passes as the Huskies handed the Broncos their worst loss in coach Chris Peterson's tenure.
#18 Nebraska 37, Wyoming 34: The Cornhuskers survive a late rally by the Cowboys as Ameer Abdullah and Imani Cross both run for over 100 yards to offset a 383-yard passing day from Brett Smith.
#7 Texas A&M 52, Rice 31: With six defensive starters suspended for the game and Johnny Manziel for the first half, the Aggies only lead 28-21 at the break, but Manziel is exceptional in the second half and the A&M's defense settles down in a blowout.
#10 Florida 24, Toledo 6: Despite having six players suspended, the Gators win their 24th straight season opener, holding the Rockets to just 205 yards and 12 first downs while Mack Brown rushes for 112 yards and two scores.
#12 LSU 37, #20 TCU 27: LSU showed it didn't need running back Jeremy Hill, who was held out after an offseason arrest, as Terrence Magee ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns while the Tiger defense held the Frogs to just 259 total yards.
#13 Oklahoma State 21, Mississippi State 3: The Cowboys are known for being an offensive juggernaut, but this time, their defense stepped up, allowing just three points, it's best effort against an FBS team since 2003.
#14 Notre Dame 28, Temple 6: Tommy Rees throws for 346 yards and three touchdowns while the Irish defense holds Temple to just one touchdown (while blocking the PAT).
#16 Oklahoma 34, UL-Monroe 0: Bob Stoops picked up his 150th career coaching victory as the Sooner defense held the Warhawks to just 166 total yards and nine first downs.
#22 Northwestern 44, California 30: While this game was no defensive gem, Collin Ellis has a memorable evening, intercepting two tipped passes and returning them both for second-half touchdowns as the Wildcats overcame an injury to their starting quarterback.
#23 Wisconsin 45, Massachusetts 0: New head coach Gary Andersen relies on the old Badger formula - defense and rushing - as Wisconsin pitches its first shutout since 2011 and has a pair of 100-yard rushers.
#24 USC 30, Hawaii 13: With uncertainty at the quarterback position, the Trojans turn to defense, forcing four interceptions and tallying seven sacks while holding the Warriors to just 231 total yards.
#2 Ohio State 40, Buffalo 20: The Buckeyes jump to a 23-0 lead as they extend the nation's longest winning streak to 13 games behind Jordan Hall's 159 rushing yards and two passing scores from Braxton Miller. PRESEASON BOWL PREDICTIONS
#3 Oregon 66, Nicholls State 3: Marcus Mariota throws for one touchdown and runs for two more to lead the Ducks to 772 yards of offense in Mark Helfrich's head coaching debut.
#15 Texas 56, New Mexico State 7: David Ash throws for 343 yards and four touchdowns as the Longhorns score 56 unanswered points after trailing 7-0 in the second quarter.
#17 Michigan 59, Central Michigan 9: The Wolverines rush for six touchdowns as they have their highest-scoring opening game since 1905.
#21 UCLA 58, Nevada 20: The Bruins explode for 41 second half points as Brett Hundley passes for two touchdowns and runs for two more in a blowout of Nevada.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 2, 2014
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Georgia vs. Louisville
CBS Sports (Dennis Dodd): Georgia vs. Florida State
SI.com (Stewart Mandel): South Carolina vs. Louisville
SI.com (Andy Staples): South Carolina vs. Florida State
SI.com (Pete Thamel): South Carolina vs. Louisville
SI.com (Zac Ellis): South Carolina vs. Louisville
SI.com (Martin Rickman): Georgia vs. Louisville
SI.com (Lars Anderson): Georgia vs. Texas
SI.com (Ben Glicksman): Texas A&M vs. Louisville
Phil Steele: Georgia vs. Notre Dame
Associated Press (Ralph Russo): South Carolina vs. Louisville
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach): Georgia vs. Oklahoma State
ESPN.com (Brad Edwards): Georgia vs. Texas
WDSU Offsides Blog (Fletcher Mackel): Alabama vs. TCU
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Georgia vs. Oklahoma State
Orlando Sentinel (Matt Murschel): LSU vs. Notre Dame
College Football News: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Athlon Sports: Georgia vs. Louisville
Yahoo! Sports (Dave Miller): LSU vs. Florida State
www.Al.com (Jon Solomon): South Carolina vs. Notre Dame
Bleacher Report (Josh Sachnoff): South Carolina vs. Stanford
Prediction Machine: Georgia vs. Stanford
SB Nation (Byron Kewel): Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State
Vote for Manning Stars
College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Player of the Week. The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for that you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
Manning Award Stars of the Week
While 30 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players may be added later in the season and every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at some of this week's top quarterback performances:
Vernon Adams, Eastern Washington
23-of-30, 411 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 97.0
Adams also rushes for two touchdowns as the Eagles shock Oregon State, 49-46, becoming just the third FCS school to defeat a ranked FBS program.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
18-of-30, 270 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 78.6
Boyd also rushes for a pair of scores as he leads the Tigers to a critical 38-35 victory over Georgia in the only opening weekend match-up between top 10 teams.
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
23-of-28, 355 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 97.2
Bridgewater threw two touchdowns before his first incomplete pass and matched his career-high for TD passes in a 49-7 rout of Ohio.
Derek Carr, Fresno State
52-of-73, 456 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 82.2
Carr stars in a wild 52-51 overtime victory against Rutgers, tallying the 10th 300-yard game of his career, breaking the Mountain West record for completions and tossing a 25-yard TD to clinch the win.
Baker Mayfield, Texas Tech
43-of-60, 413 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 78.5
Believed to be the first true freshman walk-on to start a season-opener for a BCS school, Mayfield throws for four scores and runs for another as the Red Raiders cruise to a 41-23 victory over SMU.
Corey Robinson, Troy
30-of-32, 319 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, QBR: 91.9
Robinson sets the NCAA record for accuracy (minimum 30 completions) and becomes the Sun Belts career leader in passing yards and completions in a 34-31 win over UAB.
Jameis Winston, Florida State
25-of-27, 356 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 96.3
Winston has one of the top debuts in Florida State history as the redshirt freshman is near-perfect tallying five touchdowns in a 41-13 ACC road victory to open the season.
Connor Wood, Colorado
33-of-46, 400 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 82.8
Trailing entering the fourth quarter, Wood leads the Buffaloes to a 41-27 win over Colorado State, capping the day with a 75-yard TD connection - after opening the game with an 82-yard scoring strike.
Top Upcoming Games
(current AP rankings, all times Central)
#12 Florida at Miami, Fla. (11 a.m., ESPN): The Gators and the Hurricanes meet up for their annual showdown in the Sunshine State.
#2 Oregon at Virginia (2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): The high-octane Ducks travel across the country for a battle with the ACC's Cavaliers.
#6 South Carolina at #11 Georgia (3:30 p.m., ESPN): Despite the touch loss to Clemson, Georgia is still a very viable contender in the SEC, however, the Gamecocks looked strong in their opener and with a victory can seriously wound the Dawgs' hopes for a big-time season.
#14 Notre Dame at #17 Michigan (7 p.m., ESPN): The last scheduled game in a rivalry that dates back to 1898, with the last four meetings being wild and unpredictable and all being decided by seven points or less.
Arkansas State at Auburn (6:30 p.m., ESPN3): New Auburn coach Gus Malzahn hosts the Red Wolves, the team that he directed to 10 wins and a bowl win over Kent State last season.
Western Kentucky at Tennessee (11:20 a.m., ESPN3): Former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino was passed over by both Kentucky and Tennessee when they had coaching vacancies this offseason; instead, he was hired by Western Kentucky - and defeated Kentucky in his first game.
Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Pick of the Week, top highlights, impressive off-field performances, great games and amazing plays. This week, we're linking to GamecocksOnline for its highlights of the opening game against North Carolina - primarily to show the first TD of the college football season, a 65-yard connection between Connor Shaw and Shaq Roland.