The first full College Football Saturday of the year is coming to a close. We have a few late games, as well as Sunday and Monday action, but the biggest games of the weekend are done or have effectively been decided.
In Week 1, it was some of the biggest programs in college football that impressed us most.
Obviously there could be some fireworks in LSU-Miami tomorrow or Florida State-Virginia Tech on Monday night. For now, though…
These were the five most impressive performances of College Football Week 1 (so far).
Starting with the prime time games tonight:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
WHAT. A. CATCH. pic.twitter.com/nIbX0Dii7o
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) September 2, 2018
It wasn’t perfect. However, by game time, Michigan had become a slight favorite on the road. Many, myself included, didn’t think Brandon Wimbush, who really struggled to throw the ball last fall, would make a dent in the vaunted Don Brown defense.
Wimbush stalled out later in the game, but he opened things up on fire, and hit some impressive passes down field. More importantly, Notre Dame dominated Michigan in the trenches, holding Wolverine backs to 1.9 yards per carry, and getting plenty of shots on quarterback Shea Patterson, who left the game a few times. Notre Dame held on for a 24-17 win, forcing a big fumble to seal things with around one minute left.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Tua Tagovailoa picking up where he left off for Bama pic.twitter.com/fEaAcHpxUd
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 2, 2018
Alabama’s game against Louisville was never really in doubt heading into the season, but the Crimson Tide still managed to impress us.
The defense was as incredible as always, not allowing a Cardinals score until the game was well-decided. The offense could hit new heights though.
Tua Tagovailoa established himself as the guy for Nick Saban’s team, flashing his incredible arm to the tune of 227 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 attempts, before exiting for Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones to finish things up. The game isn’t quite over yet, Alabama has a 51-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Ohio State Buckeyes
I'm going to have to start a Haskins thread way sooner than I thought pic.twitter.com/pdGeaTtQnQ
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 1, 2018
Speaking of teams that might hit new heights on offense with a young, dynamic quarterback under center: Dwayne Haskins looks like the real deal.
He was 22-for-30 for 313 yards and five touchdowns against Oregon State today, in a 77-31 Buckeyes win. Allowing 31 points to the Beavers is a bit disconcerting, but that offense is going to be pretty impossible to stop, with an ever-improving Haskins, and two backs like J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, who had a cool 186 yards and three touchdowns today.
Kyler Murray is GOOD at this football thing pic.twitter.com/0ZYJTuRxrP
— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) September 1, 2018
We were all excited to see two-sport star Kyler Murray today, but there was no guarantee that he would step right in and Oklahoma’s offense would be what it was with Baker Mayfield behind center.
That still may be the case. Murray and the Sooners passed every test today though. Lane Kiffin and the FAU Owls, one of the better Group of Five teams in the country last year, returning a bunch of talent, went to Norman, and the game was over from the moment it started.
OU had a supremely balanced effort, with 334 yards through the air, and 316 on the ground. Oklahoma won 63-14.
Boise State Broncos
Boise State really has its own “Turnover Throne”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 2, 2018
Boise State entered the year as the favorite to capture the Group of Five bid for a New Year’s Six bowl game. They cemented that favorite status tonight.
Last year, the Broncos hosted Troy, which has been a double-digit game winner the last few years. The Trojans are one of the best programs in the Sun Belt. Boise State won that won 24-13.
They returned the favor today, and on paper, it looked like it should have been a pretty solid game again. The Broncos had other ideas, sacking Troy 56-20. Brett Rypien continued his impressive college career, throwing for 305 yards and four scores. Sean Modster was unstoppable for the Broncos, with seven catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns.