Quick Recaps: What Has Happened So Far?

American Athletic 

Aug. 29 BYU 35, at Connecticut 10 
And You Care Because … BYU cranked up 513 yards of total offense, getting up early on a seven-yard Taysom Hill touchdown run and two scoring passes for a 21-0 lead. UConn turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage, and failed to get into the game until it was way too late, managing a one-yard Joshua Marriner touchdown run and a 35-yard Bobby Puyol field goal. 
What Else? BYU appears to be more than ready for Texas. If the Longhorns want to get physical, even with revenge on their minds, the Cougars looked against UConn like they could probably handle it. Meanwhile, the Huskies needed the opener to come against Stony Brook – they were shaky on both sides of the ball. 
– BYU didn’t have star RB Jamaal Williams or top WR Devon Blackmon due to suspension, but it didn’t matter. Taysom Hill took the game over early completing 28-of-36 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns, and carrying the ground game with 97 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries – it was almost too easy. The O line dominated in the first half.
– The UConn defense settled down in the second half, but the offense couldn’t take advantage. The two quarterback system combined for 284 passing yards, but no rhythm, and there was no ground game whatsoever. There was no room to run – the longest dash was just eight yards. 
– BYU committed 15 penalties for 150 yards and UConn got tagged for eight flags for 90 yards. 
Game Rating: C- 

Aug. 29 UTSA 27, at Houston 7 
And You Care Because … UTSA took advantage of six turnovers and a stifling pass rush to pull off the shocker. Davis Glasco ran for two scores, Jarveon Williams ran for an 11-yard score, and Sean Ianno hit two field goals and the defense did the rest on the way to a 27-0 lead and an easy win. Houston didn’t finally get on the board until the final minute. 
What Else? UTSA will take the win without a problem, but it was hardly a thing of beauty. The Roadrunners committed 14 penalties for 115 yards, and Houston couldn’t stop giving the ball away with John O’Korn throwing four picks. 
– It’s not like the UTSA offense did much of anything. The running game went almost nowhere, and the passing attack was pedestrian, but the defense teed off with three sacks and several pressures to confuse O’Korn. 
– Conference USA got a huge win while the American Athletic suffered a massive setback. Houston has some rebuilding to do, but not like this. 
– The Cougar defense actually wasn’t that bad. LB Derrick Matthews made 16 tackles and a sack, but the offense couldn’t stop screwing up. 
Game Rating: D+ 

Aug. 28 Temple 37, at Vanderbilt 7 
And You Care Because … After a weather delay, Temple shocked Vanderbilt with seven takeaways and 30 unanswered points highlighted by a 55-yard Averee Robinson fumble recovery for a score and two touchdown passes from P.J. Jones and a three-yard scoring run. Vanderbilt only scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone in the second quarter. 
What Else? If there was ever a team that looked like it needed a preseason tune-up, it was Vanderbilt. The QB situation is a mess – Stephen Rivers, Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary all played, all had problems – and the seven turnovers were embarrassing. It’s impossible to have a worse debut than Derek Mason’s. 
– Give Temple credit for being sharp from the start, even though it only converted 2-of-17 third down chances. P.J. Walker was terrific, completing 23-of-34 passes for 207 yards and two scores, with a rushing touchdown, and spreading the ball around well. The running game didn’t really work, but the defense picked up the slack. 
– Everyone seemed to get in on the act. Temple got production from just about everywhere defensively. Ellis Avery came up with two sacks, Tyler Matakevich tied for the team lead with six tackles, Tavon Young made two picks, and overall, the energy was terrific. 
– The Commodore offensive line looked like it was two steps too slow. Vanderbilt seemed confused and indecisive. The quarterback issues had a lot to do with that. 
Game Rating: D+ 

ACC 

Aug. 29 at Syracuse 27, Villanova 26 2OT 
And You Care Because … In the second overtime, John Robertson pulled Villanova within one on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Gary Underwood, but the quarterback sneak for a possible two-point conversion was stuffed and Syracuse survived with a tough win. The two teams traded field goals in the first overtime, but holder Riley Dixon got the Orange in the end zone on a one-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime off a fake field goal. 
What Else? Villanova controlled the game and the clock, keeping the ball for a whopping 37:48 – Syracuse couldn’t get off the field. Third down stops were almost non-existent, but there was just enough of a pass rush to pick up the slack. However, not being able to stop dual-threat QB John Robertson – at least until the final play – was a problem. 
– Syracuse, welcome to Austin Dixon. Terrel Hunt completed 10-of-17 passes for 89 yards, and ran for 25 yards, but was booted for throwing a punch. The offense struggled to go anywhere without him. 
– Prince-Tyson Gulley tore off an early 65-yard touchdown run, but the ground game managed just 71 rushing yards the rest of the way. 
– The SU D might have struggled, but LB Cameron Lynch had a huge game making 15 tackles with a sack and a broken up pass. 
Game Rating: B 

Aug. 28 at ULM 17, Wake Forest 10 
And You Care Because … ULM scored 17 unanswered points in the second half, culminating in a nine-yard touchdown run from QB Pete Thomas with under four minutes to play. The Wake Forest offense sputtered all game long, only generating a 38-yard field goal – the Demon Deacon touchdown came on a blocked punt return. 
What Else? Five. Five first downs, -3 yards rushing and a total of 94 yards of total offense. That’s what Wake Forest came up with in a disastrous performance with nothing going right. There was only one turnover, but the line was absolutely abysmal allowing seven sacks. 
– In his debut, former Colorado State/NC State QB Pete Thomas completed 23-of-41 passes for 189 yards and ran for the game-winning score for ULM. For Wake Forest, true freshman John Wolford had a nightmare of a time, completing just 12-of-22 passes for 97 yards and a pick. He was under pressure all game long. 
– Wake Forest LB Brandon Chubb made 18 tackles, and the defense did a decent job, but it didn’t get any help from an offense that just couldn’t generate any long drives. The Demon Deacons held the ball for just 24:37. 
– Neither offense was able to do anything to get excited about, but at least ULM was able to run the ball a bit. Centarius Donald had a nice run on his way to 117 yards, taking the pressure off Thomas and the passing attack. 
Game Rating: C- 
Big Ten 

Aug. 28 Rutgers 41, Washington State 38 
And You Care Because … Rutgers’ power overcame the Washington State flash as Paul James ran for three touchdowns including a three-yard score with just over three minutes to play to cap off a 17-point fourth quarter, and then it was up to the defense to come up with one final stop – it did. Rutgers started off the season with a 78-yard touchdown catch from Leonte Carroo on the first play from scrimmage, but Connor Halliday and Wazzu bombed away for 532 yards and five touchdown passes. The Cougars had control of the game, but a fumbled punt gave Rutgers new life late leading to the final James score from three yards out. 
What Else? Connor Halliday was terrific, completing 40-of-56 passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns with a pick, and Vince Mayle caught 12 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, but Rutgers applied pressure in key spots. Halliday was only sacked three times, but he was beaten up. 
– The Scarlet Knight combination of Kemoko Turay and Steve Longa were all over the place and popped Halliday time and again. Turay came up with two sacks. 
– Rushing yards: Rutgers 215, Washington State 6. Paul James ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. 
– This was a great moment for the Big Ten. Rutgers few to the opposite side of the country and powered its way to a win that’ll be a decent feature in its new conference’s cap. It was a gut-check game needing to come up with some key plays late, and it did. 
Game Rating: A 

Aug 28 at Minnesota 42, Eastern Illinois 20 
And You Care Because … The Gophers had no problems taking control and coasting after a sluggish first half. Mitch Leidner ran for two touchdowns and threw another on the way to a 35-0 lead before EIU finally got on the board late in the fourth. Berkley Edward ran for second half scores from one and 42 yards out to make it 42-7, but EIU closed out with a flurry on two Andrew Manley touchdown passes in the final 28 seconds. 
What Else? Can Mitch Leidner throw and can the passing game work? The answer was, sort of. There were chances there that Leidner missed on, but he completed 9-of-17 passes for 144 yards and a score while running for two touchdowns. The receivers helped a bit, but they were hardly explosive. 
– The Gopher ground game leaned on the EIU defensive front all game long. David Cobb ground out 71 yards on 14 carries, while Berkley Edwards took over late with 60 yards and two scores on four carries. 
– The defense didn’t allow EIU to go anywhere. LB Damien Wilson showed why this defense is going to be his with ten tackles and half a sack. 
Game Rating: C- 

Aug. 29 at Michigan State 45, Jacksonville State 7 
And You Care Because … Connor Cook threw three first quarter touchdown passes including two to Tony Lippett from 64 and 71 yards away, and Nick Hill barreled for touchdown runs from 17 and eight yards out in the rout. The Spartans held JSU to 22 rushing yards and forced three picks. 
What Else? Connor Cook is okay. With Oregon coming up next, all Michigan State needed to do is get through this light scrimmage with everyone intact. A big hit to Cook’s knee almost destroyed the season before it started, but he came back in, completed 12-of-13 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns, and all was right with the Spartan world. 
– It’s not like the Spartans turned in their A game intensity, but for a defense that spent last year frothing at the mouth, giving up 222 passing yards – even garbage ones, were a bit much. Helped by five sacks and a slew of tackles for loss, the run D allowed just 22 yards on 25 carries, but it also gave up a few big runs. The opportunities were there – Oregon won’t whiff on them. 
– All things considered, it was a sharp game for a season opener. There weren’t a slew of big mistakes, there weren’t any turnovers, and the Spartans committed two penalties. 
Game Rating: D 

Conference USA 

Aug. 28 at Tulsa 38, Tulane 31 2OT 
And You Care Because … Conner Floyd caught an eight-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime to give Tulsa the win in a wild back-and-forth shootout. Dane Evans helped the Golden Hurricane tie it up late in the fourth quarter on a three-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion, and after the two teams traded field goals, Tulsa’s Demarco Nelson picked off a Tanner Lee pass, and Evans closed it out. 
What Else? Welcome to the new Tulsa passing game. Dane Evans was fantastic, completing 31-of-53 passes for 348 yards and four scores, but with two picks, while sophomore Keevan Lucas caught 13 passes for 233 yards and three scores, and ran three times for 36 yards. 
– The Tulane running game was terrific. The line was excellent and Sherman Badie took off for 215 yards on 15 carries with a 90-yard scoring dash. 
– Give Tulsa credit for keeping its poise. Tulane got up 21-7 and had all the momentum after Badie’s scoring dash, but Evans and Lucas changed things around in the final minute of the first half with an 84-yard scoring play.
– The two teams combined for 1,108 yards. 
Game Rating: A 

Aug. 29 at WKU 59, Bowling Green 31 
And You Care Because …Brandon Doughty threw six touchdown passes including two in the first 27 minutes on the way to a 21-0 lead, and WKU wasn’t stopped the rest of the way going up 31-10 in the first half. Bowling Green made it a little bit interesting in the second half pulling within 14, but Doughty put the game away with two more scoring passes on to close out two 77-yard drives. 
What Else? From WKU head coach Jeff Brohm, “everything went extremely well.” You think? With 702 yards of total offense against a team that prided itself on decent defense last season, the Hilltoppers showed that there’s life after Bobby Petrino. Now the expectations suddenly change, and WKU looks like a dangerous threat to be a player in the Conference USA race. It was one game, but it was a flawless performance on both sides of the ball. 
– Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson completed 25-of-36 passes for 314 yards and a score, and Travis Greene ran for 91 yards and a touchdown, but don’t be fooled by the numbers – WKU stuffed the Falcon attack early when it mattered. 
– WKU QB Brandon Doughty was throwing darts, completing 46-of-56 passes for 569 yards and six touchdowns. Taywan Taylor caught 12 passes for 185 yards and a score. Against Illinois – a team with a potentially dangerous passing game and no secondary – expect even more fireworks. 
– This loss is devastating for the MAC. NIU might still be the star – even if it didn’t win the conference title – but Bowling Green is the defending champion and it didn’t even show up defensively. New head coach Dino Babers has to figure something out defensively with Indiana coming up in a few weeks. 
Game Rating: B 

Aug. 29 UTSA 27, at Houston 7 
And You Care Because … UTSA took advantage of six turnovers and a stifling pass rush to pull off the shocker. Davis Glasco ran for two scores, Jarveon Williams ran for an 11-yard score, and Sean Ianno hit two field goals and the defense did the rest on the way to a 27-0 lead and an easy win. Houston didn’t finally get on the board until the final minute. 
What Else? UTSA will take the win without a problem, but it was hardly a thing of beauty. The Roadrunners committed 14 penalties for 115 yards, and Houston couldn’t stop giving the ball away with John O’Korn throwing four picks. 
– It’s not like the UTSA offense did much of anything. The running game went almost nowhere, and the passing attack was pedestrian, but the defense teed off with three sacks and several pressures to confuse O’Korn. 
– Conference USA got a huge win while the American Athletic suffered a massive setback. Houston has some rebuilding to do, but not like this. 
– The Cougar defense actually wasn’t that bad. LB Derrick Matthews made 16 tackles and a sack, but the offense couldn’t stop screwing up. 
Game Rating: D+ 

Independents 

Aug. 29 BYU 35, at Connecticut 10 
And You Care Because … BYU cranked up 513 yards of total offense, getting up early on a seven-yard Taysom Hill touchdown run and two scoring passes to get up 21-0, and coasted from there. UConn turned the ball over on its first play from scrimmage, and failed to get into the game until it was way too late, managing a one-yard Joshua Marriner touchdown run and a 35-yard Bobby Puyol field goal. 
What Else? BYU appears to be more than ready for Texas. If the Longhorns want to get physical, even with revenge on their minds, the Cougars looked against UConn like they could probably handle it. Meanwhile, the Huskies needed the opener to come against Stony Brook – they were shaky on both sides of the ball. 
– BYU didn’t have star RB Jamaal Williams or top WR Devon Blackmon due to suspension, but it didn’t matter. Taysom Hill took the game over early completing 28-of-36 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns, and carrying the ground game with 97 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries – it was almost too easy. The O line dominated in the first half.
– The UConn defense settled down in the second half, but the offense couldn’t take advantage. The two quarterback system combined for 284 passing yards, but no rhythm, and there was no ground game whatsoever. There was no room to run – the longest dash was just eight yards. 
– BYU committed 15 penalties for 150 yards and UConn got tagged for eight flags for 90 yards. 
Game Rating: C- 

MAC 

Aug. 29 at WKU 59, Bowling Green 31 
And You Care Because …Brandon Doughty threw six touchdown passes including two in the first 27 minutes on the way to a 21-0 lead, and WKU wasn’t stopped the rest of the way going up 31-10 in the first half. Bowling Green made it a little bit interesting in the second half pulling within 14, but Doughty put the game away with two more scoring passes on to close out two 77-yard drives. 
What Else? From WKU head coach Jeff Brohm, “everything went extremely well.” You think? With 702 yards of total offense against a team that prided itself on decent defense last season, the Hilltoppers showed that there’s life after Bobby Petrino. Now the expectations suddenly change, and WKU looks like a dangerous threat to be a player in the Conference USA race. It was one game, but it was a flawless performance on both sides of the ball. 
– Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson completed 25-of-36 passes for 314 yards and a score, and Travis Greene ran for 91 yards and a touchdown, but don’t be fooled by the numbers – WKU stuffed the Falcon attack early when it mattered. 
– WKU QB Brandon Doughty was throwing darts, completing 46-of-56 passes for 569 yards and six touchdowns. Taywan Taylor caught 12 passes for 185 yards and a score. Against Illinois – a team with a potentially dangerous passing game and no secondary – expect even more fireworks. 
– This loss is devastating for the MAC. NIU might still be the star – even if it didn’t win the conference title – but Bowling Green is the defending champion and it didn’t even show up defensively. New head coach Dino Babers has to figure something out defensively with Indiana coming up in a few weeks. 
Game Rating: B 

Aug. 28 at Central Michigan 20, Chattanooga 16 
And You Care Because … Down 16-0 after the second of two Tommy Hudson first half touchdown catches, Central Michigan took over scoring 20 unanswered points with Cooper Rush connecting on touchdown passes to Jesse Kroll from 18 yards out and Courtney Williams from 26 yards away, and Thomas Rawls running for a score from six yards away. 
What Else? Don’t just assume this was an ugly win over an FCS team – it was – but Chattanooga is good enough to have pulled this off. CMU could’ve and should’ve lost, but the secondary tightened up in a huge way after the first half finishing with four picks, and the offense didn’t screw up when it had to keep thing moving. 
– Thomas Rawls carried the Chippewas with 123 yards and a score on 25 carries. CMU only averaged 3.3 yards per carry, but held on to the ball for 36:53 
– LB Justin Cherocci picked up where he left off last year with a team-leading 11 tackles, but it was Tony Annese who came up with the big performance picking off two passes. 
Game Rating: C 

Aug. 28 at Northern Illinois 55, Presbyterian 3 
And You Care Because … The Huskies did whatever they wanted as Joel Bouagnon scored from one, 23, nine and one yards away, and Da’Ron Brown caught a 39-yard touchdown pass to open things up on the way to a 55-0 lead. Presbyterian only managed a 31-yard field goal late in the third quarter. 
What Else? NIU outrushed PC 424 yards to 69 and came up with 36 first downs to six. The D allowed just two first downs in the first half – the Huskies looked like they took this game seriously. 
– Matt McIntosh did his part in his first game in place of Jordan Lynch, completing 10-of-14 passes for 87 yards and a score and running for 27 yards on four carries. He let the backs do the work – Akeem Daniels ran 15 times for 118 yards, and Joel Bauagnon ran 16 times for 97 yards and four scores. 
– It wasn’t all perfect – NIU PK Tyler Wedel hit from 32 and 26 yards, but missed from 21 yards out. Josh Orne missed a 31-yarder in the fourth. 
Game Rating: D 

Aug. 28 at Akron 41, Howard 0 
And You Care Because … Kyle Pohl was on first throwing four touchdown passes with two to Mykel Traylor-Bennett in the blowout win. The Zip defense didn’t allow Howard to get anything going, giving up just 216 yards of total offense and was never threatened – Akron was up 21-0 in the first quarter and coasted. 
What Else? This was an almost-perfect game for the Zips. QB Kyle Pohl completed 22-of-35 passes for 304 yards and four scores. What was missing? The ground game didn’t go anywhere. It’s not like the O line was blowing anyone off the ball, but Pohl led the way with just 48 yards. 
– Linebacker C.J. Mizell led the way with ten tackles and a recovered fumble. The defense flew into the backfield with four sacks and ten tackles for loss. Howard never found anything that worked. 
Game Rating: D- 

Mountain West 

Aug. 29 Colorado State 31 … Colorado 17 
And You Care Because … Dee Hart rumbled and pounded his way for 139 yards and two touchdowns, and Treyous Jarrells added 121 yards and a score as Colorado State scored 24 unanswered points to get past the Buffs. Colorado took a 17-7 lead on the second Sefo Liufau to Nelson Spruce touchdown pass of the game, but that was it for the offense – the Ram running game took over. 
What Else? The Ram offensive line was fantastic. It got better and better as the game went on, but it also helped to have an Alabama running back in Dee Hart transferring in and cranking out 6.3 yards per carry with 139 yards on 22 runs. He also led the team with 35 receiving yards on three catches. 
– Colorado didn’t put the Rams away. There were chances in the first half to take full control, and the touchdown early in the second half stopped the momentum after the Rams scored late before halftime, but all of a sudden, the Buffs couldn’t tackle and there was no stopping Hart. 
– It’ll get lost in the shuffle, but CSU PK Jared Roberts had a tremendous night, putting four of his six kickoffs into the end zone and nailing a 52-yard bomb. 
– Addison Gilliam did what he could for the Colorado defense, making ten tackles and three tackles for loss, but the line got beaten up and battered – this was a gassed D. Fortunately, until late October, Arizona State is the only team on the schedule who can run. 
Game Rating: B 

Aug. 30 at Arizona 58, UNLV 13 
And You Care Because … Anu Solomon threw for 425 yards and four scores and the Arizona offense came up with 787 yards in the blowout. Solomon connected with Austin Hill for a 92-yard score on the first play of the third quarter to put it well out of reach after putting the Wildcats up 14-0 on two scoring passes in just over a minute. 
What Else? New parts, even better results. UNLV might not be a brick wall, but the Rich Rodriguez offense showed it could air It out a bit with Anu Solomon shaking off a rocky first 12 minutes to be fantastic the rest of the way. 
– It wasn’t just Solomon and the passing attack – Terris Jones-Grigsby ran for 124 yards and a score, averaging 9.5 yards per carry, and Nick Wilson added 104 yards and a touchdown averaging 14.9 yards per pop. 
– Blake Decker got the starting quarterback nod for UNLV, and while he threw for 252 yards and ran for a team-high 56 yards, he couldn’t keep up the pace. 
– UNLV’s Devonte Boyd caught six passes for 102 yards and Devante Davis added eight grabs for 100 yards. 
Game Rating: C+ 

Aug. 28 Ole Miss 35, Boise State 13 in Atlanta 
And You Care Because … It wasn’t pretty in any way, but Ole Miss was able to pull away late. Down 7-6, the Rebels got three touchdown passes from Bo Wallace in just over five minutes in the fourth quarter, connecting with Laquon Treadwell from 14 yards away, getting helped by Quincy Adeboyejo on a 31 yard touchdown, and finding Cody Core for a 76-yard touchdown to pull away. 
What Else? Yuck. Boise State QB Grant Hedrick gave away four interceptions, Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace threw three. The Rebels committed 14 penalties, Boise State nine. The Rebels couldn’t run the ball, Boise State couldn’t complete enough downfield passes. 
– Bo Wallace has to be far more careful. He exploded late and threw for 387 yards and four scores, but the three interceptions kept Boise State in the game. 
– Grant Hedrick threw for 265 yards, but he had an awful game making too many careless mistakes and with several poor choices. The game was there for the taking, and he and the offense couldn’t do it. 
– Ole Miss star Robert Nkemdiche only made three tackles and broke up a pass, but he was unblockable early on. Boise State had to adjust, and it seemed to make Hedrick have to hurry a bit too much. 
Game Rating: C 

Aug. 28 at San Jose State 42, North Dakota 10 
And You Care Because … San Jose State offense did whatever it wanted to scoring the first 21 points of the game on two Blake Jurich touchdown passes and a scoring run. Jurich added a third touchdown pass early in the fourth – his second to Tyler Wilson – and Tyler Ervin returned a punt for a score. 
What Else? How is life going to be after David Fales? North Dakota might not have been a proper test, but he completed 22-of-25 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 20 yards and a score. 
– There wasn’t much of a need to sell out to get into the backfield, but after a down year, DT Travis Raciti was active, tying for the team lead with six tackles with a half a sack. 
– The Jarrod Lawson-less ground game had its moments, but it didn’t do enough considering the North Dakota defense was dealing with the passing attack. SJSU averaged just 3.8 yards per try, but Thomas Tucker ran well for 81 yards. 
Game Rating: D+ 

Pac-12 

Aug. 28 Rutgers 41, Washington State 38 
And You Care Because … Rutgers’ power overcame the Washington State flash as Paul James ran for three touchdowns including a three-yard score with just over three minutes to play to cap off a 17-point fourth quarter, and then it was up to the defense to come up with one final stop – it did. Rutgers started off the season with a 78-yard touchdown catch from Leonte Carroo on the first play from scrimmage, but Connor Halliday and Wazzu bombed away for 532 yards and five touchdown passes. The Cougars had control of the game, but a fumbled punt gave Rutgers new life late leading to the final James score from three yards out. 
What Else? Connor Halliday was terrific, completing 40-of-56 passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns with a pick, and Vince Mayle caught 12 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown, but Rutgers applied pressure in key spots. Halliday was only sacked three times, but he was beaten up. 
– The Scarlet Knight combination of Kemoko Turay and Steve Longa were all over the place and popped Halliday time and again. Turay came up with two sacks. 
– Rushing yards: Rutgers 215, Washington State 6. Paul James ran for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. 
– This was a great moment for the Big Ten. Rutgers few to the opposite side of the country and powered its way to a win that’ll be a decent feature in its new conference’s cap. It was a gut-check game needing to come up with some key plays late, and it did. 
Game Rating: A 

Aug. 29 Colorado State 31 … Colorado 17 
And You Care Because … Dee Hart rumbled and pounded his way for 139 yards and two touchdowns, and Treyous Jarrells added 121 yards and a score as Colorado State scored 24 unanswered points to get past the Buffs. Colorado took a 17-7 lead on the second Sefo Liufau to Nelson Spruce touchdown pass of the game, but that was it for the offense – the Ram running game took over. 
What Else? The Ram offensive line was fantastic. It got better and better as the game went on, but it also helped to have an Alabama running back in Dee Hart transferring in and cranking out 6.3 yards per carry with 139 yards on 22 runs. He also led the team with 35 receiving yards on three catches. 
– Colorado didn’t put the Rams away. There were chances in the first half to take full control, and the touchdown early in the second half stopped the momentum after the Rams scored late before halftime, but all of a sudden, the Buffs couldn’t tackle and there was no stopping Hart. 
– It’ll get lost in the shuffle, but CSU PK Jared Roberts had a tremendous night, putting four of his six kickoffs into the end zone and nailing a 52-yard bomb. 
– Addison Gilliam did what he could for the Colorado defense, making ten tackles and three tackles for loss, but the line got beaten up and battered – this was a gassed D. Fortunately, until late October, Arizona State is the only team on the schedule who can run. 
Game Rating: B 

Aug. 30 at Arizona 58, UNLV 13 
And You Care Because … Anu Solomon threw for 425 yards and four scores and the Arizona offense came up with 787 yards in the blowout. Solomon connected with Austin Hill for a 92-yard score on the first play of the third quarter to put it well out of reach after putting the Wildcats up 14-0 on two scoring passes in just over a minute. 
What Else? New parts, even better results. UNLV might not be a brick wall, but the Rich Rodriguez offense showed it could air it out a bit with Anu Solomon shaking off a rocky first 12 minutes to be fantastic the rest of the way. 
– It wasn’t just Solomon and the passing attack – Terris Jones-Grigsby ran for 124 yards and a score, averaging 9.5 yards per carry, and Nick Wilson added 104 yards and a touchdown averaging 14.9 yards per pop. 
– Blake Decker got the starting quarterback nod for UNLV, and while he threw for 252 yards and ran for a team-high 56 yards, he couldn’t keep up the pace. 
– UNLV’s Devonte Boyd caught six passes for 102 yards and Devante Davis added eight grabs for 100 yards. 
Game Rating: C+ 

Aug. 28 at Utah 56, Idaho State 14 
And You Care Because … Utah rolled at will breaking a 7-7 tie with 35 straight points to pull away. Travis Wilson threw a touchdown pass and ran for another but the special teams starred with a punt return for a score from Kaelin Clay to go along with a kickoff return for a touchdown. 
What Else? Travis Wilson was efficient and effective, completing 13-of-18 passes for 265 yards and a score and running for a touchdown. He didn’t have to take any chances. 
– This was a perfect tune-up game in several ways, at least offensively. The special teams were fantastic – Kaelin Clay was the star of the show with his two returns – the O line worked and the passing attack was solid. 
– Oh yeah, the run defense. DE Nate Orchard had a nice game with a team-high eight tackles with 2.5 sacks, but the run D gave up 133 yards to Xavier Finney, who averaged close to six yards per pop. Idaho State didn’t threaten after the first quarter, but they could run a bit. 
Game Rating: D 

Aug. 28 at Arizona State 45, Weber State 14 
And You Care Because … Arizona State jumped all over Weber State for a 31-0 halftime lead and was up 38-0 before finally giving up a touchdown late in the third. D.J. Foster ran for three scores and Taylor Kelly combined with Gary Chambers for an eight-yard scoring pass. 
What Else? This was hardly a proper test for the Arizona State defense, but it was a chance to get in some live reps and start to figure out what it has. Salamo Fiso led the way with seven tackles and a sack. 
– What will the Sun Devils do without Marion Grice? D.J. Foster ran 15 times for 147 yards and three scores. The passing game was terrific with Jaelen Strong catching ten passes for 146 yards. 
– With New Mexico’s running game up next, there won’t be any worries about the secondary, but there can’t be a better performance – the offense did just about everything right. 
Game Rating: D- 

SEC 

Aug 28 Texas A&M 52, at South Carolina 28 
And You Care Because … Texas A&M came out roaring, scoring on its opening drive and not stopping the rest of the way cranking up 680 yards of total offense – the most ever allowed by a South Carolina team – with Kenny Hill picking apart the Gamecock D for 511 yards. The Gamecocks came up with two big pass plays with a 69-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hill and a 46-yarder to Damiere Byrd to pull within 17-14 early in the second quarter, but the Aggies were unstoppable rolling up 21 straight points to pull away. 
What Else? Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill completed 44-of-60 passes for 511 yards and three scores, and ran seven times for five yards. He was cool, calm and flawless, and while he wasn’t Johnny Manziel in terms of flash, he was brutally effective. 
– South Carolina QB Dylan Thompson had one of the quietest 20-of-40, 366-yard, four score, one pick day you’ll ever see. With RB Mike Davis not quite right, and only running for 15 yards on six carries, the passing game had to keep up, but couldn’t. 
– Hill’s favorite target? Malcome Kennedy, who caught 14 passes for 137 yards, but he spread the ball around without a problem. He had more than his share of options being given plenty of time. South Carolina generated just one sack and almost no pressure. 
– South Carolina simply couldn’t come up with a stop to get the defense off the field. A&M ran a whopping 99 plays and had the ball for 37:38. 
Game Rating: B- 

Aug. 28 Ole Miss 35, Boise State 13 in Atlanta 
And You Care Because … It wasn’t pretty in any way, but Ole Miss was able to pull away late. Down 7-6, the Rebels got three touchdown passes from Bo Wallace in just over five minutes in the fourth quarter, connecting with Laquon Treadwell from 14 yards away, getting helped by Quincy Adeboyejo on a 31 yard touchdown, and finding Cody Core for a 76-yard touchdown to pull away. 
What Else? Yuck. Boise State QB Grant Hedrick gave away four interceptions, Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace threw three. The Rebels committed 14 penalties, Boise State nine. The Rebels couldn’t run the ball, Boise State couldn’t complete enough downfield passes. 
– Bo Wallace has to be far more careful. He exploded late and threw for 387 yards and four scores, but the three interceptions kept Boise State in the game. 
– Grant Hedrick threw for 265 yards, but he had an awful game making too many careless mistakes and with several poor choices. The game was there for the taking, and he and the offense couldn’t do it. 
– Ole Miss star Robert Nkemdiche only made three tackles and broke up a pass, but he was unblockable early on. Boise State had to adjust, and it seemed to make Hedrick have to hurry a bit too much. 
Game Rating: C 

Aug. 28 Temple 37, at Vanderbilt 7 
And You Care Because … After a weather delay, Temple shocked Vanderbilt with seven takeaways and 30 unanswered points highlighted by a 55-yard Averee Robinson fumble recovery for a score and two touchdown passes from P.J. Jones and a three-yard scoring run. Vanderbilt only scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone in the second quarter. 
What Else? If there was ever a team that looked like it needed a preseason tune-up, it was Vanderbilt. The QB situation is a mess – Stephen Rivers, Patton Robinette and Johnny McCrary all played, all had problems – and the seven turnovers were embarrassing. It’s impossible to have a worse debut than Derek Mason’s. 
– Give Temple credit for being sharp from the start, even though it only converted 2-of-17 third down chances. P.J. Walker was terrific, completing 23-of-34 passes for 207 yards and two scores, with a rushing touchdown, and spreading the ball around well. The running game didn’t really work, but the defense picked up the slack. 
– Everyone seemed to get in on the act. Temple got production from just about everywhere defensively. Ellis Avery came up with two sacks, Tyler Matakevich tied for the team lead with six tackles, Tavon Young made two picks, and overall, the energy was terrific. 
– The Commodore offensive line looked like it was two steps too slow. Vanderbilt seemed confused and indecisive. The quarterback issues had a lot to do with that. 
Game Rating: D+ 

Sun Belt 

Aug 27 Georgia State 38, Abilene Christian 37 
And You Care Because … It was a thriller to open up the season. It might not have been Texas A&M-South Carolina on the Must Watch scale, but the rest of the first weekend should be so lucky to get a game with this sort of finish. Nick Arbuckle led Georgia State to ten unanswered points in the final 4:38, culminating in a 26-yard Wil Lutz field goal with four seconds to play. 
What Else? The two quarterbacks were unstoppable. ACU’s Parker McKenzie picked apart GSU for 403 yards and four scores, while GSU’s Nick Arbuckle completed 31-of-47 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns with two picks. Old Dominion may be an FBS member, but the D is still very much at an FCS level. 
– It’s just one game, but where is GSU’s firepower going to come from without Albert Wilson? Joel Ruiz caught seven passes for 111 yards and two scores. 
– GSU LB Joseph Peterson came up big when he had to with an interception and a key quarterback hurry to go along with a game-high 11 tackles. 
– Penalties were almost disastrous for GSU committing ten for 99 yards including a hold that negated a late long touchdown pass. 
Game Rating: A 

Aug. 28 at ULM 17, Wake Forest 10 
And You Care Because … ULM scored 17 unanswered points in the second half, culminating in a nine-yard touchdown run from QB Pete Thomas with under four minutes to play. The Wake Forest offense sputtered all game long, only generating a 38-yard field goal – the Demon Deacon touchdown came on a blocked punt return. 
What Else? Five. Five first downs, -3 yards rushing and a total of 94 yards of total offense. That’s what Wake Forest came up with in a disastrous performance with nothing going right. There was only one turnover, but the line was absolutely abysmal allowing seven sacks. 
– In his debut, former Colorado State/NC State QB Pete Thomas completed 23-of-41 passes for 189 yards and ran for the game-winning score for ULM. For Wake Forest, true freshman John Wolford had a nightmare of a time, completing just 12-of-22 passes for 97 yards and a pick. He was under pressure all game long. 
– Wake Forest LB Brandon Chubb made 18 tackles, and the defense did a decent job, but it didn’t get any help from an offense that just couldn’t generate any long drives. The Demon Deacons held the ball for just 24:37. 
– Neither offense was able to do anything to get excited about, but at least ULM was able to run the ball a bit. Centarius Donald had a nice run on his way to 117 yards, taking the pressure off Thomas and the passing attack. 
Game Rating: C- 

Aug. 28 at New Mexico State 28, Cal Poly 10 
And You Care Because … New Mexico State got two second half scores from Larry Rose III, scoring 14 unanswered points to pull away. Tyler Rogers threw two touchdown passes for the Aggies, while Cal Poly only managed one touchdown on a three-yard Brandon Howe run and didn’t score in the second half. 
What Else? Don’t blow this off as merely a win over an FCS team – New Mexico State’s defense showed up. Cal Poly doesn’t throw much, and ended up with just six passing yards, and the Aggie D did its best to shut down the Mustang O in the second half. 
– Derek Ibekwe was all over the field. The freshman linebacker came up with 14 stops, while Rodney Butler chipped in with 11. The linebackers were disciplined, especially in the second half, and didn’t get caught make a slew of overpursuits against the tricky attack. 
– Tyler Rogers was cool and calm, He threw a pick, but he didn’t take any real chances completing 18-of-27 passes for 118 yards and two scores with a pick. Larry Rose III took care of the workload running 30 times for 149 yards and a score and catching four passes with a touchdown. 
Game Rating: C-