College Football season is officially here!
I knew it was football season once again when I turned my television to ESPN at 6 pm sharp and saw Lou Holtz’s beautiful, wrinkly, potentially fake-tanned, definitely covered in makeup, smiling face. Oh how I love thee, Lou Holtz. Let me count the ways. Basically, it starts with his slurring and spattering voice that is only slightly harder to understand than the actual words coming out of his mouth. Somewhere admist the “thuffering thuckatashes,” there are supposedly nuggets of football wisdom, but I’ll be damned if I can figure out what they are. But for some reason, that crazy old coot is music to my ears. And that reason is: College Football has finally arrived!!!
No more previews, overviews, reviews, topviews, sideviews, insider views, nor any other views matter now. It’s all about what you do – more specifically, what you do on the field. And there were teams doing just that last night. For the first time in far too long real, live college football was on my television, and in my heart. Sigh.
South Carolina and Southern Miss kicked things off (for me at least). Steve Spurrier had his little, uh, Gamecocks out in full force. Southern Miss was overmatched. Stephen Garcia finally started living up to some of his potential, scoring the game’s first touchdown after a hard, athletic run. Marcus Lattimore, highly touted recruit, burst on the scene with an impressive display of power and speed. After a slow start out of the gate, South Carolina really turned up the heat. The final score was an embarrassing 41-13.
UAB lost a heartbreaker 32-31 at home against Florida Atlantic. The Owls blocked a potential game-winning field goal by the Blazers to end the game. Just brutal. But there was at least one bright spot for the Blazers: David Isabelle rushed for a school record (for a QB) 214 yards, scoring 3 times. Unfortunately he only completed 9 of his 19 passes for a measly 79 yards, 1 TD, and 1 Int (which also was caught for a TD). And so it goes.
Ohio State and Miami (FL) both put on impressive displays in their season openers. Ohio State silenced the Thundering Herd from Marshall 45-7 on the back off early season Heisman favorite Tyrrell Pryor. Miami shutout in-state foe Florida A&M 45-0. Jacory Harris is also making an early case for himself in the Heisman race. Every game counts these days. Both Pryor and Harris tossed 3 TDs.
Utah and Pitt brought us our first OT action of the year…on the very first day! Utah controlled the action for most of the game, but the steely Panthers from Pitt clawed their way back into the game, refusing to quit. With 3 seconds left on the clock, Pitt set up for a game-tying field goal to send it to OT. It’s up, and it’s good… oh wait, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham pulled a Bush League move and called timeout right before the ball was snapped. Replay. They set up again. It’s up, and it’s no good! Utah wins … oh wait, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham pulled a Bush League move and called timeout right before the ball was snapped. Great, Utah still has one more timeout. Are they gonna use it again? Nope. This time the kick is good and it counts. OT. Utah wins the toss and elects to go on defense first. Wise Choice. First play – interception. Utah runs it up the middle a few times and kicks a field goal (sans Time Out shenanigans) to win.
USC vs. Hawaii (who was basically representing the rest of the world). Lane Kiffin’s first game as USC tyrant, I mean, head coach. The Trojans are limited to just 70 scholarship players this season due to the majority of the players being financed by the booster clubs. Lane Kiffin held the team out of contact for the majority of fall practice to prevent injury, and some rustiness definitely showed. Trojan defenders missed many a tackle on the shifty, speedy receivers of Hawaii. But USC still had a ton of top end talent, which proved to be the difference. QB Matt Barkley looked sharp, finding new favorite target WR Ronald Johnson for 3 TDs, plus another 2 more (that’s 5 total, not too shabby). But what really caught my attention was how Lane Kiffin went out of his way to change the perception of USC. I know it’s been a bit of a dark spot for you USC, but never fear, Lane Kiffin? is here. It didn’t take Lane very long to let us know the new face of USC football. Pretty much the same arrogant, cocky, meany-pants approach as before. Kiffin decided to go for 2 on his first three touchdowns. Me being wildly optimistic I thought, “Well, maybe they don’t have a scholarship kicker right now…or any kicker.” But no, on the fourth TD, they brought in the kicking team and the kicker blasted it through the middle of the uprights. Nope. Lane Kiffin’s just a schmuck.
Well, shenanigans and hi-jinx certainly ensued, but nothing was great enough to distract me from the glorious news that college football had returned and all (almost) is well with the world.
Here’s to a great year. Cheers!