2014 Who's Not ... Week 1
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Summa Cum Lousy
Houston QB John O’Korn
Friday night was supposed to be somewhat of a coming-out party for O’Korn, the sophomore who played so well at times as a rookie. Instead, he may need to go back to the staff for extra help after going 21-of-43 for 204 yards, no touchdowns and four picks. The UTSA defense played very well, but O’Korn has too many weapons to put forth such a feeble effort.
Well, the good news is that, unlike last year, the Beavers didn’t open the season with a loss to an FCS team. But it was close. The Beavers couldn’t escape Portland State until late in the second-half, and one measly touchdown in nine red-zone trips is an ominous sign for when the Pac-12 portion of the schedule begins.
Is it December yet? Colorado
The Buffs started fast in the annual Rocky Mountain Showdown with Colorado State … and then entered a catatonic state. Colorado was outscored, 31-7, over the final 32 minutes, showcasing many of the same problems that have plagued it over the past decade. Run D will be a particular issue in 2014 after Alabama transfer Dee Hart and JUCO transfer Treyous Jarrells piled up 260 yards and three scores on just 39 carries.
Being Voted Off College Football Island: Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt
The Orange’s most important player nearly cost his team the opener versus Villanova. Hunt lost his cool in the second quarter of a 27-26 double-overtime win, getting tossed following a weak punch of a Wildcat defender. Not only did Hunt risk injuring his own hand, but he could face ramifications for Syracuse’s next game at Central Michigan.
Heisman Nopeful: UCLA QB Brett Hundley
No, not all Hundley’s fault. The junior has a tremendous future ahead of him, but his supporting cast could prevent individual honors in 2014. The line allowed five sacks to an underrated Virginia D, and the receivers lack the speed to stretch the opposition. Hundley ran for a score, but failed to throw a touchdown pass as he frequently got flushed from the pocket.
The school that sought to unionize during the offseason evidently went on strike this afternoon. The Wildcats suffered a damning home loss to a Cal team that didn’t defeat a single FBS opponent in 2013. Northwestern bowed to the passing of Jared Goff, and clearly miss RB Venric Mark, bad news for a program hoping to rebound from its own losing season.
The Ohio State Offense
The Buckeye attack was a little worse than expected in its first game without injured star QB Braxton Miller. Young J.T. Barrett should improve with more snaps, but how about the rebuilt O-line, which made too many mistakes on the Navy game? Under no circumstances should an Urban Meyer-coached offense go the first 41 minutes without reaching end zone versus a service academy.
Start evacuating the bandwagon of … South Carolina
The Gamecocks didn’t just have their 18-game home winning streak snapped on Thursday night. They saw it get obliterated by Texas A&M and its first-time starting quarterback, Kenny Hill. South Carolina had no answers for the Aggie passing game, immediately raising doubts about its No. 9 ranking and its bid to win the SEC East this season.
Team of the Weak: Vanderbilt
Inclement weather delayed Derek Mason’s coaching debut at Vandy. The night would have gone much better for the ‘Dores had the game been cancelled altogether. Vanderbilt was an unmitigated disaster, turning the ball over seven times in an unthinkable 37-7 loss to two-touchdown underdog Temple, which last beat an SEC team in 1938. James Franklin was 4,000 miles from Nashville this weekend. And it felt like it.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: The Wake Forest Offense
It’s no surprise the Deacons struggled out of the gate on offense; new coach, true freshman quarterback, a dearth of quality skill position players. But five first downs, minus rushing yards and 94 total yards versus a Sun Belt D are undeniable signs it’s going to be a long and challenging year for Wake and rookie head coach Dave Clawson.
Needing a vote of confidence: Illinois coach Tim Beckman
The Illini barely survived Youngstown State, 28-17. Barely. In fact, Illinois trailed the Penguins at the 10-minute mark of the final quarter before QB Wes Lunt rescued the team from the fire. After starting 6-18 in his first two years in Champaign, Beckman must get his kids to play markedly better if he expects to be back in 2015.
Needing a vote of confidence II: Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads
Ames loves Rhoads, but the local guy is in danger of wearing out his welcome. His Cyclones have strung together four straight losing seasons, and a fifth in a row is nigh after an opening day, 20-point loss to North Dakota State. Iowa State was schooled in all phases, getting outscored 34-0 over the final three quarters.
For the first 40 or so minutes of the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, it looked as if the perennial exodus of Tigers to the NFL had finally caught up to the program. LSU was lethargic and ineffective in the face of a Wisconsin team playing with a completely rebuilt front seven. The Tigers had a shockingly difficult time getting off the ball, while Badger back Melvin Gordon ran wild.
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