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Eddie’s Week 1 College Football Recap

CFB

I have historically struggled Week 1 and this season was no different. I missed some things that were elementary but we learn every week from our mistakes and I personally specialize in conference play so each week gives me a lot of perspective.

Week 1 is the best week to learn. There are also huge overreactions each week but no more so than Week 1. You must be very cautious to not fall into the one game sample size trap.

Every week I will review what we learned that you and I can both use from a handicapping aspect. We will cover things that surprised me and things that flat out shocked me.

Boise St.

Boise is out for blood. I laid the price for them to win the Mountain West Conference. They have a huge edge on the defensive side of the ball and leaned on them last season. They have an NFL QB but a new wide receiver corp. It made no difference as Rypien looked like the best pocket passer in college football.

Troy

Troy has an outstanding defense and looked completely lost for answers vs Boise. Boise has the best non-power 5 defensive line and if they can score like that, they are New Year’s bound at a minimum. Expect Boise to be favorites of 14 plus points every week except at Oklahoma St.

Syracuse

The Orange might be for real on offense. Western Michigan doesn’t play great defense so let’s note that first. Babers has been working for three seasons to find the speed element. If they scored 25 instead of 55 it was the pace that they went about things. Dungey at QB now has a year under his belt in the system and if he can stay on the field (injured last 2 seasons by November) they are a live dog in every game. They are going to score and so is the opposition, but Babers is one of the few who thrives in end game spots.

Kent State

Kent State has a quarterback! Illinois has very little to offer from a strengths standpoint but they are experienced in the secondary. Even with its lack of success, they still should have had an edge. Kent had 450 yards plus of offense and they might not have had that in the last 5 years versus very bad MAC defenses. They are going to be a tough team to bet against as big dogs.

Utah State

This is a legit team. We knew that going in but I had zero idea they would push Michigan State around at times.  They have a great run D that has been three years coming and MSU had no advantage there at all. The Utah State team was a bit of a rebuild on offense last season with a new QB and wide receiver unit. They implemented a hurry up spread in 2017 but they are now flat out one of the toughest outs is the nation. They don’t have a lot of flaws.

Florida Atlantic

Lane Kiffin might have a big problem on his hands. First let’s be clear that they will be good. Very, very good possibly. The size differential of OU on the OL and DL can’t be ignored but FAU. While he wasn’t great, they had a four-year starting quarterback to lean to who was efficient. When I see both QB transfers struggle on minimal gain passes I am concerned as they will play a C-USA schedule that features mostly great run D’s and lackluster pass D’s. Fortunately for him, he has the best running back in his conference and won’t face that type of offense until UCF and then Marshall.

Texas Tech

Coach Kingsbury might not have a quarterback to play the shootouts.  Both QB’s who played looked lost at times and while Texas Tech has the most experienced defense in the big 12 they still play at a pace that depends on them scoring. Kingsbury is beyond the hot seat.

Kansas 

Committed to the run in the offseason and Nichols State beat them outright. The most experienced team in the nation lost at home versus Nichols “freaking” State. I was looking to back them. I think I’ll pass for now on that idea. They did not get 100 yards rushing and they allowed 7 sacks. That’s shocking!

UCLA

300 total yards versus a much smaller defensive front than they face all season. Chip Kelly was innovative 10 years ago. But unfortunately for him, everyone runs the same offense as him nowadays and Cincinnati proved that Luke Fickel was the hire we thought he might be. He lacks offense but boy can he coach some defense. UCLA doesn’t have the run offense yet and will rely on a lackluster quarterback to win.

SMU

It took until the fourth quarter before Dykes let his 4,000+ yard passer of 2017 actually run the offense. They scored 23 rather quickly doing so. That was half the story. They allowed 440 yards passing yards. His pass D was his only strength unit on defense. He was the worst hire of 2018 and if he gets blown out by TCU he will get more pointsy.

Arizona

Another shocking result. It isn’t the biggest shocker that BYU beat Arizona outright it’s the fact that Khalil Tate had 8 runs for 14 yards. Sumlin wanted to change the offense (puzzling) but no one had any clue he would get so conservative. Why would we? Sumlin who was a top 10 offensive mind at Houston would never think so inside the box as we saw in week one back then. Not taking any credit away from BYU who looked great on D but they also weren’t shown any of the wrinkles that made Arizona click last season.

Stanford

Stanford scored 31 with almost no production from Bryce Love and that is scary. San Diego State has a serious defense. Stanford is for real in an offense and defense type of way. They play an incredibly tough schedule but if they can pass while teams key on Love they could be ultra-special in 2018. We will find out Saturday for sure.

Temple

Temple a team I was really high on and lost as 15-point favorites to Villanova. They had no ability to run the ball and Nutile, who looked incredible towards the end of 2017, looked lost when pressured. They have to find a run game as all their receivers are deep threat types. They also lost all but one defensive back in the offseason. If they can’t slow the game down it could get ugly. We again find out right away on Saturday.

Iowa

Iowa won rather easily pulling away in the second half versus a decent NIU defense. But Iowa is going to need better passing if they are to beat future defenses. QB Stanley who I was low on at the midpoint of last season set Ohio State on fire and changed my mind. Yesterday he was 11/23 for 110 yards and that isn’t going to cut it when they need to score points. Again, we find out right away this Saturday.

Appalachian State

App state scored 28 second half points. A team built on All-American secondary players and tremendous run D, with a freshman QB and breaking in all new wide receivers, took Penn state to their limit and forced OT after a missed 57-yard field goal. Penn state might not be very good or might have just had first week jitters but its clear App State, if they have that kind of offense, might steamroll the Sunbelt.

Liberty

Liberty the smallest defense in the FBS and allowed just 10 points against ODU, who has a good OL and running back but abandoned their game plan choosing to pass with no past proven ability. Liberty showed me they can flat out throw the football against an inexperienced defensive backfield. We find out this week if they can maintain that.

Ohio state just scored again. Oh wait, that was Alabama. Oh, I mean Oregon. An over-heavy Week 1 is noteworthy as we will see some very interesting moves in the next couple weeks.  Don’t over adjust your dial. One game sample sizes have killed more than a few bankrolls.

Get on board with Eddie’s college football picks each week at BettorIQ.

Eddie Walls
CFB

Specializes in small conference games and finds value in both sides and totals. Professional gambler who always gets the best of the numbers. Can give you a full strength and weakness report on all 130 college football teams, coaches, coordinators and players over a large sample size.