The discussion all week is going to be whose fault it was for Texas A&M blowing a 44-10 lead in the third quarter, or UCLA coming back from a 34-point third quarter deficit. It really depends on how you want to spin things, but these are both true facts. The easy answer is that Josh Rosen played out-of-his-mind good, throwing for nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns, including a fake spike, go-ahead toss with under a minute to go that would make Dan Marino blush.
FAKE SPIKE, FTW. pic.twitter.com/71bBLcI3Lp
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 4, 2017
Sure, you could also blame Texas A&M’s failure to close out a 34-point lead with less than a half of game left. This is especially damning when you actually look at the play calling the Aggies went with down the stretch. However, it can be argued that Kevin Sumlin is doing us a favor by having his team collapse earlier this season, as opposed to actually looking good in September.
Sumlin is going to be a great hire for some MAC team next season, though.
2. Virginia Tech
A game that felt like it should’ve been played in mid-October, West Virginia/Virginia Tech was everything you’d expect from a rivalry finally renewed after 12 years. The brightest spot of this incredibly fun game was Tech quarterback Josh Jackson, who threw for threw for 205 yards and a score while also running for 101 yards and a score. Oh, he’s also a freshman, so if you don’t think Virginia Tech can compete in a crowded ACC for the next few years, you’re sorely mistaken.
West Virginia actually looked good, despite some fears that expectations were too high. Will Grier looked like his juicing days from Florida, and nearly engineered a last-second comeback. Alas, the Mountaineers failed, so time to update the Black Diamond trophy Twitter account.
TERPS! You didn’t just drop half a hundred on Texas in Tom Herman’s inaugural game as head coach, but you did so by throwing just 15 passes. It takes a special kind of Big Ten disregard for what it takes to beat a favored Big XII school on the road that should have you beat in terms of talent at every position and damn it, you pulled it off brilliantly. Not only that, but you chose not to do it the old fashioned, sporting way of blowing them out. No, instead you opted to dangle a potential comeback in front of Texas like a stick before yanking it away, letting them get within a field goal before casually scoring twice more in the fourth to get Tom Herman’s tenure started in hilarious fashion.
Hell Longhorns, if you wanted to lose to Maryland at home in your opener, you should’ve just kept Charlie and saved yourself the trouble of filling out the paperwork.
What the hell are you doing, Huskies? Not only did you elect to travel across the country to play on a Friday night in Piscataway, but you did so knowing the risks that come from getting within 500 yards of Rutgers football. Sure, you eventually managed to take care of business, but we’re going to have to stick you in a decontamination chamber for the week to get that stink off of you. You can look for commendation for scheduling a power five opponent to open your season, but when you do so to look good under the guise of scheduling “competition”, you have to actually succeed at the looking good part.
Wisconsin awoke from its slumber just in time to swat away the pesky fly that was Utah State. It looked like the Badgers might have overslept for their Friday night tilt against an up-and-coming Mountain West team, but after going down 10-0, they rumbled off 59 unanswered to win what turned into a laughably easy contest. Is the lack of a run game even after the rest of the offense started producing cause for concern? Yeah, probably. Will it matter in the Big Ten West? Almost certainly not.
There were no winners here. Michigan won, according to the scoreboard, but they also produced the bulk of the offensive production for Florida as well. Wilton Speight threw more touchdowns to Florida than he did to his own team, which isn’t exactly the way you want to start off a season in which you’re considered by some to be a Heisman dark horse candidate. Ultimately, the most exciting part of this game was the kicker battle, which is the most Michigan vs. Florida football thing possible in 2017.
The positive for Florida: the defense is still really good, even if the offense that didn’t try to defraud the university may never get going.
Hell yeah, Boilermakers! Sure, Purdue didn’t beat Louisville at Lucas Oil Stadium, but they lead 14-10 at the half and had ample chance to tie the game before finally falling 35-28. It’s easy to be huffy and talk about how there aren’t any moral victories after a loss like that, but in this case I disagree. Playing a probably underrated Louisville squad with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback to the wire in your head coach’s first game is cause for at least a little optimism. Purdue’s out-of-conference schedule means they probably won’t win a ton of games this year, but they might look a lot better than you would have thought coming in.
8. Alabama/Florida State
This game was horrendously boring and you’re an idiot for thinking it wouldn’t be.