The college football season is finally underway. It’s been a long summer, but we can all sit back and get ready for awesome weekends like we had in Week One. Here is a look at some of the Top 25 action that we saw this weekend, as well as how it effects odds and polls moving forward into Week Two.
#1 Florida State 37 – Oklahoma State 31
Coming off a National Championship win, many teams will often load up their first few games of the season with lower caliber teams that will help them build some momentum moving forward. That wasn’t the case with FSU, as they scheduled a tough Oklahoma State team in Texas, where it seemed as if there was just as many Cowboy fans as there were Seminoles. It would take an extra effort from Jameis Winston, but the Seminoles were able to hold off the Cowboys for a 37-31 victory. Winston threw for 370 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran scored on a 28-yard run as well. However, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner wasn’t perfect, as he threw two interceptions, including one in the red zone in the second quarter. For the Cowboys, J.W. Walsh threw for 203 yards and a touchdown, and he was also the leading rusher on the team with 51 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Florida State still has the best odds in the Nation at 18/5, will play next weekend against the Citadel; while the Cowboys will look to rebound against Missouri State.
West Virginia 23 – #2 Alabama 33
The #2 team in the land also had a bit more trying of a game, as Alabama used a 10-point third quarter to extend their narrow halftime lead. The Blake Sims era has started at Alabama, as he went 24/33 for 250 yards. However, he didn’t throw a touchdown, as instead it was TJ Yeldon who scored twice on the ground. Derrick Henry also scored for the Crimson Tide. For the Mountaineers, Clint Trickett threw for 365 yards on 29/45 passing, and Josh Lambert scored on three separate field goal attempts. Mario Alford also had a 100-yard kickoff return to tie things up with just under two minutes left in the half, though Adam Griffith hit a 41-yard field goal to give Alabama the lead going into the locker rooms. ‘Bama has the second-best odds in the nation at 6/1, and they’ll play Florida Atlantic next weekend. Virginia will look for their first win of the season on the road against Towson next weekend.
South Dakota 13 – #3 Oregon 62
The Top 5 team that had no trouble with their opponents on Saturday was Oregon, as they trounced South Dakota 62-13. Marcus Mariota started his Heisman-hopeful campaign with 267 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. One of the touchdowns came on a 62-yard pass on the first series of the game. Byron Marshall led the Ducks in both rushing and receiving yards, as he had 89 on the ground and pulled down 138 in the air. He also had two touchdowns, as did running back Royce Freeman. Granted, the Ducks played a subpar Coyotes team that didn’t have a chance from the opening snap, but they certainly looked like one of the best teams in the nation on Saturday night. They sit at 7/1 odds and will be tested by a much better #8 Michigan State team next weekend.
Louisiana Tech 16 – #4 Oklahoma 48
The Sooners were led in their rout on Saturday night by quarterback Trevor Knight, as he racked up 253 yards on 19/34 passing. Keith Ford was a huge target, pulling down 65 yards receiving and rushing for an additional 51. Ford would score twice on the ground, and Samaje Perine pitched in with a touchdown of his own on the ground. Even though the scoreboard says that the Sooners won by 32, this game wasn’t nearly as close. The Bulldogs scored two touchdowns late in the game, but it came against a variety of Oklahoma’s backups. The Sooners are at 12/1 odds to win the National Championship this season. Be sure to check back with sportspicks.com handicappers before they take on Tulsa next Saturday.
#5 Ohio State 34 – Navy 17
All eyes were on JT Barrett as Ohio State took on Navy on Saturday, and needless to say he looked great under the pressure. Barrett was an impressive 12/15 passing, which amassed 226 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also led the sooners with 50 yards rushing on 9 carries. The win extends Ohio State’s regular season winning streak to 25 games, and they’ll hope to continue that against Virginia Tech next weekend. The Buckeyes certainly still have their work cut out for them after losing Braxton Miller, and they are now at 20/1 odds to win the National Title this season.
Arkansas 21 – #6 Auburn 45
The Arkansas Razorbacks gave the Auburn Tigers a tough match throughout the first half, as things were tied at 21 heading into the locker rooms, but the Tigers were able to blow things open in the third and eventually end up winning their first SEC matchup of the season 45-21. The Tigers were noticeably more on the ball after half, once Nick Marshall came into the game. Marshall, who was instrumental in leading Auburn last season and is considered a favorite for the Heisman this season, had to sit out the first half due to a suspension. However, he came in after half and was a big part of the rally that gave the Tigers their first win of the season. Transfer D’haquille Williams was also huge in his first game for Auburn, as he caught 9 receptions for 154 yards and found the end zone on a 18-yard pass from Jeremy Johnson. Despite being the sixth ranked team in the nation, the Tigers have the fourth best odds at 10/1. They’ll play another relatively easy game next weekend against San Jose State, before facing their biggest challenge against currently ranked #20 Kansas State.
#7 UCLA 28 – Virginia 20
The Virginia Cavaliers were 21-point underdogs heading into their matchup with #7 UCLA on Saturday, but that didn’t stop them from giving the Bruins a scare in their first game of the season. UCLA had a huge second quarter, scoring 21 points. However, Virginia was able to keep pushing in the second half thank to Matt Johns. However, it was Brett Hundley and company that got the win, thanks mostly due to the defensive efforts of the Bruins. Both Ishmael Adams and Eric Kendricks scored off interceptions in the second quarter, and Randall Goforth scored on a 75 yard fumble recovery. Hundley is considered a Heisman candidate this season, but he failed to score through the air on Saturday. He did, however, score on a 6-yard run late in the third quarter. The Bruins will be happy to escape Virginia with a closer-than-expected win, and they’ll welcome the Memphis Tigers to town next weekend.
Jacksonville State 7 – #8 Michigan State 45
The Spartans played their first game of the season on Friday night, and they opened things up with a big 45-7 win over Jacksonville State. Spartans’ quarterback Connor Cook had to be helped off the field early in the game, but he’d return and score three touchdowns on 285 yards passing. Nick Hill also found the end zone twice on the ground. Michigan State’s defense was also firing on all cylinders, as they only allowed the Gamecocks to amass 244 total yards. In the rout, the Spartans had more passing yards, passing touchdowns, and rushing touchdowns than they had in the first two games of last season, so you can say that the team with 30/1 odds is ready to play. However, they’ll be up against a huge test next weekend when they play Oregon.
#21 Texas A&M 52 – #9 South Carolina 28
It has to be difficult to fill the shoes of one of the biggest names that college football has seen in recent memory, but Kenny Hill did just that when he broke Johnny Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards on 44/60 attempts on Thursday night. Not only did he break records in his first game, but Hill also helped the #21 Aggies upset the #9 Gamecocks in impressive fashion with a 52-28 final score. On the other side of the ball, Dylan Thompson was just 20/40 passing for South Carolina, though he did find the end zone on four occasions. South Carolina was a favorite in this one, though the 52 points in an opening game is the most they’ve allowed in the Steve Spurrier era. The Gamecocks will played against East Carolina next weekend, but then will face off against another Top 25 team in Georgia. As for the Aggies, they’ll hope to make their way up the polls and they’ll look for Hill and company to have an even bigger game against Lamar next weekend.
Here is the rest of the results from this weekends Top 25 games
UC Davis 0 – #11 Stanford 45
#16 Clemson 21 – #12 Georgia 45
#14 Wisconsin 24 – #13 LSU 28
Fresno State 13 – #15 USC 52
Rice 17 – #17 Notre Dame 48
SF Austin 16 – #20 Kansas State 55
Florida Atlantic 7 – #22 Nebraska 55
Liberty 29 – #23 North Carolina 56
San Diego State 18 – #24 Missouri 38
#25 Washington 17 – Hawaii 16