Awesome? Naw, Son: Week 1

By Patrick Vint on September 3, 2018 at 11:04 am
Those Who Stay Will Lose on the Road Again
© Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports


New Winfield > New Mexico

It must be nice to have the Vikings around for P.J. Fleck.  Not only is the state's population distracted away from the Gophers' shortcomings by the NFL franchise's own history of failure, but the presence of pro football players in town could occasionally drop a genetically-gifted offspring in Fleck's lap.  Like, for instance, the son of one of the best cornerbacks of the last decade.

Winfield broke six New Mexico State tackles on his way to the end zone in a 74-yard punt return, effectively breaking the Aggies' spirit in the process.  The Gophers ran out 48-10 winners.

Moore Moore Moore

Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore set the program record for single-game all-purpose yards against Northwestern.  The previous record was 312 yards.  Moore had 302 at halftime.

Oh, I forgot to mention: It was his first college game.  Moore, a four-star true freshman from Louisville, picked Purdue over Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, hometown Louisville and just about everyone else in the country.  Looks like those guys knew what they were doing.

Of course, we're talking about Purdue here, and so Moore's performance was in a losing effort (in actuality, a bunch of his yardage came from kickoff returns after Northwestern scores).  Needing a stop to get a final possession, Purdue's Lorenzo Neal suplexed a guy, drew an unnecessary roughness flag, and gave Northwestern the first down it needed to run out the clock.

The Longest Taunt

Maryland beat Texas Saturday.  Maryland, a team without a coach, beat Texas Saturday.  Maryland beat Texas for the second consecutive season, which is worth mentioning because Maryland. Beat. Texas.

Early in the game, when Maryland was truly beating the pants off of Texas, receiver Jeshaun Jones caught a pass, turned upfield, and saw no defenders for thirty yards.  He took the opportunity to focus on the closest defender, a well-beaten safety, by staring him down for fifteen yards.

The announcers were incorrect: This, somehow, was not flagged as taunting, because apparently staring down an opposing player, then slowing down to bring him closer when you cross the goal line, isn't within the definition of taunting.  And if that guy knew that beforehand, he should immediately enroll in law school.  He has an amazing career ahead of him.


Get Back in the Carr

The Fourth Annual Michigan Hype Train Derailment came early this year, as Jim Harbaugh's rag tag bunch of five-star recruits stuck in antiquated schemes fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter at Notre Dame and had no chance of recovering.  The final score was 24-17, but it never really felt that close, which gave the NBC crew calling the game some time to look back in the archives and set the narrative.


That's right: Michigan has not won a true road game against a Top 25 team since 2006.  That's seventeen straight losses over twelve years and four coaches.  When the only teams higher than you on a college football-related list are Vanderbilt, Kansas, Purdue and non-90s Colorado, you're probably in trouble.

Zip Up

Nebraska's home opener against Akron was cancelled due to weather, but not before Frost could confirm the prophesy by performing the legendary Nebraska Tunnel Walk, a tradition so revered that every team in America has done it every week since the 1930s because stadiums have tunnels.  Frost then walked back in the tunnel and stayed there until the game was cancelled.

(Dramatic reenactment)

The weather issue was obvious to anyone with a bad seat and good binoculars in Lincoln Saturday; the radar was showing plagues-of-locusts-level storms long before the scheduled kickoff.  But it took a three-hour delay before the game was postponed or cancelled, and nobody really seemed to know whether it was going to be replayed.  Fox Sports, desperate for the ratings that only ancient fallen powers -- rather than recent fallen powers like Baylor, which was their backup telecast -- could bring, announced that the game would be played Sunday morning.  Nobody bothered to ask Akron, which had checked out of its hotel Saturday morning and had no place to stay.  Eventually, sanity won out over television, Fox news was found to be wrong, and the game was cancelled.  Nebraska fans are claiming victory and demanding that Akron forfeit to get their million-dollar payout.

So Nebraska fans got to see Scott Frost walk out of a tunnel, then walk back in the tunnel.  Unfortunately, that means thirteen weeks of winter.

You Give Me Your Number, I Call You Up

This isn't Big Ten, but it's too good to miss: North Carolina A&T is a historically black college with a history of beating FBS teams.  They did it in 2016 against Kent State.  They did it in 2017 against Charlotte.  The Aggies went undefeated last year, and are a traditional powerhouse at the FCS non-playoff level.

Despite the obvious warning signs, East Carolina scheduled A&T for its opener this year.  The original kickoff was postponed due to lightning, but in classic Jesus Quintana fashion, A&T didn't mind waiting until Sunday to go for a three-peat.  And when the Aggies scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat ECU, its coach went full-on ODB.

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