The start of the college football season began on yesterday and here are a few quick observations I noticed:
South Carolina 41 So. Miss 13- South Carolina came out and dominated on both sides of the ball. Usually coach Spurrier's teams in Carolina have been notoriously bad to start the season, but were very impressive last night. Especially impressive was Stephen Garcia, who was under much criticism from the Ol ball coach. Garcia responded by going 16 of 23 for 193 yards and a rushing touchdown. Garcia made some beautiful and confident throws to big target Alshon Jeffrey and scatback freshman Ace Sanders. Marcus Lattimore looks to live up to his billing as the 2nd rated running back coming out of high school going for 14 rushes for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns. It seems the evaluation of Garcia served as motivation for the Senior QB and to his credit Steve Spurrier knows just the right fire to set under his play callers. Connor Shaw caught a glimpse of action, connecting on a 15 yard strike to D.L. Moore. If you are looking for a darkhorse contender in a down year for the SEC east, South Carolina looks to fit the bill.
Ohio St. 45 Marshall 7- Terrelle Pryor looking to build from a strong Rose bowl performance, looked very effective in the dismantling of Marshall going 17 for 25 and 243 yards with 3 touchdown passes. Pryor should have the benefit of doubt now and is maturing and coming into his own. Brandon Saine rushed for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 9 carries with some spectacular runs. This was just a scrimmage for the boys from Columbus. The true test comes next week when they face Miami (FL). Good tune up game.
Miami 45 FAMU 0 - Not much to say about this one. Jacory Harris threw for 210 yards and 3 TDs. Leonard Hankerson looks much improved with 6 receptions for 115 yards and 2 TDs. Harris showed his quick thinking on one play when the Rattlers looked confused on defense, he quickly found a wide open Hankerson for a quick and easy TD. No surprises here and as I eluded in the previous column, the big showdown for the Canes will be next week traveling to number 2 ranked Ohio St. I'm looking forward to that one, should be an exciting offensive game with two of the better QBs in college football facing each other.
Upset of the day- Utah 27 Pitt 24- Sophmore running back Dion Lewis was suppose to be a sexy Heisman pick, after a scintillating freshman campaign but got off to a bad start against a very game Utes team. Lewis was held to 75 yard on 25 carries, just an average of 3.0 yards per rush. New starting QB Tino Sunseri had some bright spots connecting for a 44- yard pass to Joe Baldwin but he also threw a game ending interception to seal the victory for Utah. Super sophmore QB Jordan Wynn connected on 21 of 36 passes for 283 and 3 TDs. The game was sloppy in terms of penalties with Pitt accounting for 12 and Utah 11. Pitt, ranked 15th in the coaches poll, had better get together with Miami (FL) coming to town in two weeks. Seems like Miami (FL) is playing everyone this year.
Just the first day in the beginning of a new year in college football and this weekend should be tantalizing for fans with some great match ups:
Game of the Week -LSU vs North Carolina
Most Intriguing game-Oregon State vs TCU
Rivalry Game of the week- Kentucky vs Louisville
Under the radar game- Uconn vs Michigan
Coach better get it right game- Purdue vs Notre Dame (Brian Kelly first ND game)