They say you gotta take one game at a time. That you can't look ahead on the schedule, or you're going to get burned. Well, that's only true if "you" happen to be a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes, or a boring, crusty sportswriter. We're neither, so why not join us in recapping how our opponents did last week, and what that might mean for some shameless looking ahead?
Miami (OH) - LOST 56-10 At #18 Ohio State. The Redhawks will get a chance to right their ship next week when they host the FCS Southern Illinois Salukis.
UCF (1-0) - BEAT Akron, 56-14. I know I'm not the only LGHL writer who saw part of this game and got a little bit nervous for next week. UCF QB Blake Bortles was highly efficient in picking the Zips apart (13-16, 168 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT), and the Knights were able to ride an opportunistic defensive (4 takeaways) and a strong, balanced rushing attack to an easy win. Akron was able to have a little success throwing the football, but this was ever bit the blowout that the box score says. On the other hand, Akron may be one of the worst 10 teams in FBS football. Guess we'll find out next week, when UCF travels to Columbus (1-0).
Cal (0-1) - LOST to Nevada, 31-24. The reopening of Cal's Memorial Stadium was supposed to be a celebration for the Golden Bears, but somebody forgot to tell the Wolfpack, as they sprung the relative upset here. Nevada QB Cody Fajardo was the big story, throwing for 230 yards and adding another 94 on the ground. Farardo's dual threat ability kept Cal guessing enough to open up big lanes for running back Stefphon Jefferson, who added three scores. Cal QB Zac Maynard was 17/30 for 247 and 2 TDs in a losing effort. Trouble with dual threat QBs eh, Cal? Doesn't bode well for your Columbus trip. Cal faces 0-1 FCS Southern Utah next week.
UAB (0-1) - LOST to Troy, 39-29. Some signs of life out of UAB, but turnovers and mental mistakes proved too costly in their attempt to upset Troy. UAB QB Jonathan Perry piled up 302 yards in the air and 46 on the ground, and 3 total TDs. UAB gave up 202 yards rushing to Troy's Shawn Southward as well, showing there is still work to be done with the Trogdors, er...Blazers. Things don't get any easier, as they must travel to face #9 South Carolina next week (1-0).
#13 Michigan State - (1-0) BEAT #23 Boise State, 17-13. I feel like Michigan State, to paraphrase one Denny Green, is who we thought they were. Their defense was outstanding, holding Boise to 206 total yards. Their passing game is a work in progress, as Andrew Maxwell showed promise, but also chucked three picks in doing so. What we might not have realized is how good Leveon Bell could be for Michigan State. He put the team on his back with 210 yards on 44 carries, and with more performances like that, we'll have to have Bell as the Michigan Man in the Heisman conversation. MSU plays at Central Michigan (1-0) next week.
#17 Nebraska - (1-0) BEAT Southern Miss, 49-20. Oh my God...is that...Taylor Martinez's music?? "Good T-Magic" was on full display, as he toss 5 TDs and no interceptions, and Nebraska uncorked a whopping 632 yards on offense. The only damper on the day was Rex Burkhead, Nebraska's starting RB, leaving with a knee injury. If he's healthy, and Martinez doesn't beat the Huskers with his own mistakes, Nebraska is going to be a force in the Big Ten. They have a very interesting game next week at UCLA (1-0).
Indiana - (1-0) BEAT FCS Indiana State, 24-17. Sure, it was a close win, at home, against a bad FCS team, but when you're Indiana, you take those wins any way you can get them. Tre Robinson looked good, going 26-36 for 280 and a score, and Indiana didn't commit a turnover and rolled up over 450 yards on offense. They did give up 191 yards rushing to Shakir Bell, and even though he is one of the best running backs in FCS, that bodes poorly for the upcoming season. Still, a win is a win. The Hoosiers will try to make it two in a row next week, when they travel to UMass (0-1).
Purdue - (1-0) BEAT FCS Eastern Kentucky, 48-6. Purdue QB Robert Marve may be like that doofus hippy you went to high school with (wait, how are you STILL in college? Aren't you like, 30??), but he had a pretty good Saturday, throwing for a career high 295 yards and 3 TDs, complicating the Purdue QB situation. EKU was held to under 200 yards, which s what you want when you're facing an FCS team in an opener. They face a much stiffer test next weak, as they travel to South Bend to face #23 Notre Dame (1-0).
Penn State - (0-1) LOST to Ohio 24-14. Yes, we knew that Penn State wasn't going to be very good this year. Yes, Ohio may very well go undefeated given their crappy schedule, and they should at least finish with more wins than the rest of PSU's non-conference schedule (Virgina, Navy, Temple). You figure Penn State still has to be very disappointed. You should be able to rush for 100 yards as a team against a MAC squad if you're in the Big Ten, and with McGloin unlikely to be able to carry a squad by himself (reread that last thought), well... Damn. They travel to face Virgina (1-0) next week.
Illinois (1-0) - BEAT Western Michigan 24-7. The good news is that the Illini defense was still plenty salty, and Nathan Scheelhaase was efficient during the first half. The bad news is once he got hurt in the 3rd quarter, Illinois couldn't do squat on offense. 248 yards is not enough offensive production to get it done in the Big Ten (Illinois was actually out gained by WMU). If Illinois has any hopes of making noise this year, they better find other contributors, or pray nothing happens to Scheelhaase again. They travel to face Arizona State next week (1-0).
#10 Wisconsin - (1-0), BEAT FCS Northern Iowa 26-21. *FART NOISE*. You'd think that a school with Big Ten title aspirations, and a coach for a penchant for running up the score should be able to handle an FCS school by more than five points. NIU QB Sawyer Kollmorgen threw for 265 yards 3 scores, and had a shot to win this one at the end. Wisconsin's Heisman candidate Montee Ball ran for 120 yards and a score, on 32 carries. The Badgers will travel to Oregon State next week, who will be playing their season opener (their matchup with Nichols State was postponed).
#8 Michigan - (0-1) MURDERED by #2 Alabama 41-14. What else is there to say? Sure, Michigan was without their second best player, but I don't think it would have mattered. They only had 69 yards rushing (269 total), Robinson was harassed and ineffective all game long, and they had three turnovers. The Wolverines likely aren't this bad, but Saturday night, they showed America they certainly aren't ready to compete with the nation's elite squads. They'll have a chance to lick their wounds next week, when 1-0 Air Force comes to town.
That's the word on last week's games. Anybody surprise you? Do you feel differently about any upcoming games after watching our future foes in action?