College football is in full swing and yesterday was a fantastic first Saturday of the season! My personal favorite game of the night was the Bama/USC game but I admit it’s based one hundred percent on bias rather than actually being a competitive game. There were upsets yesterday. Two teams in the top five lost and Clemson didn’t run away with game against Auburn like I expected them to. I spent the day with my dad yesterday and we both predicted upsets with him picking Wisconsin over LSU and me picking A&M over UCLA. The games that I thought weren’t going to be good, weren’t good. I can’t see the future but it’s not hard to predict that Southeastern Louisiana wouldn’t keep it competitive against OK State. For all my friends out there who are Arkansas fans, congratulations on the win over Louisiana Tech. You got extremely lucky but a win is a win so move past it and try to get yourself ready for TCU. Mississippi State fans your bulldogs didn’t play so hot and you really didn’t deserve to win but you got incredibly unlucky with that missed field goal at the end. Georgia and North Carolina was also a great game that went back and forth with Georgia ultimately giving my man Kirby Smart his first win as a head coach. I know most of you don’t care about Memphis/Southeast Missouri but Memphis looked pretty good in their win and scored their most points in a season opener since World War II. Despite the announcement coming a day earlier that Memphis was no longer a candidate for Big 12 expansion the fans packed the Liberty Bowl with over forty-two thousand people their to support their new coach and quarterback. I was glad to see that and I hope that the community continues to show their support over the course of the season.
The game I expected to be the most competitive game yesterday definitely did not disappoint. Houston beat third ranked Oklahoma and in the process showed the country that it’s not a fluke that they’re ranked as highly as they are. They are for real and I think theres a pretty good chance that they will be in the playoff conversation at the end of the season. I would love for an undefeated Houston team to be facing Memphis at the end of the season, not that the Tigers would beat them but it would certainly be a game of high interest for me and isn’t that what really matters?
The game I was most looking forward was Alabama/USC and I went into it feeling very confident and not thinking that USC would have a chance. The Trojans put the first points on the board with a field goal and held the lead for a lot of the first half. It wasn’t until the second quarter that the Crimson Tide finally found their footing and started to run away with the game. Our quarterback situation looked disastrous at the beginning of the game. The redshirt freshman that impressed Nick Saban enough to give him the starting job over the veteran Bateman looked horrible. Bama got a first down on their first drive and then went three and out for the next few successive drives then coach Saban did something that he hadn’t done before and put in the true freshman quarterback who impressed everyone by fumbling and losing the ball on the first play of his college career. It wouldn’t have been as bad if he had fallen on the dropped ball but he tried to be a hero and pick up the ball to keep the play alive. He missed the ball and it was recovered by USC. Welcome to college freshman. Despite the negative start Jalen Hurts didn’t let the mistake get to him and he bounced back and wound up playing a heck of a game. I don’t think there is a doubt now that we have found our quarterback for the foreseeable future and there is a big play ability surrounding him that offers a lot of excitement for fans. I think the biggest thing he has going for him is his arm strength. He connected multiple times on big throws down the field showing both his strength and accuracy. The downside that I saw in the young quarterback is his run ability. He seemed to run more side to side rather than getting down the field and he seemed to hesitate most of the time before deciding which hole to run through. That might have been due to nerves since it was his first big time football game and hopefully he’ll resolve that so he can truly be a dual threat passer and runner. I thought overall the running game wasn’t all that great and I don’t know if the blame needs to be placed on the lineman or the running back but something needs to change in that aspect of the game. Alabama fans have been spoiled for years with great running back after great running back so maybe now even though our running backs may be perfectly decent they are being looked at in comparison to the great ones we’ve had recently. Our defense looked great despite the questions that some people had surrounding the secondary and they really didn’t give up too many big throws. I thought the two best aspects of our game was our passing attack and our defensive line. We’ve grown accustomed to having a strong D-line that teams can’t run against and fortunately this year doesn’t appear to be any different.
Although Bama got off to a rough start they found their rhythm in the second half and didn’t look back. Lane Kiffin for the most part called a great game against his former team that fired him and the excitement he had for enacting his revenge was evident both on his face and on the scoreboard where we kept adding points even late in the fourth quarter. We haven’t seen Ole Miss play yet but I think out of the toughest games we have on the schedule; at LSU and at Tennessee we looked so much better than either of those teams and while that really doesn’t mean anything after just one week of the season it does give us a sense of confidence going forward that could work to our advantage. Roll tide!