Winners and Losers from Week 1 of NCAAF: The “Week Zero” slim slate from a week ago eased us all into college football season, but the real opening weekend didn’t mess around. It was chock-full of showcase showdowns and not without a few surprises, either.
The scheduling gurus did us all a favor and spaced out some marquee games with Ohio State-Minnesota opening things up on Thursday with a few other games. Virginia Tech gave college football its first major upset on Friday when it dispatched North Carolina, and after a loaded Saturday, we’re still not done.
Notre Dame and Florida State battle tomorrow night, and Ole Miss-Louisville finishes us off on Labor Day.
Georgia-Clemson and Penn State-Wisconsin gave us defensive beauties. The defending national champion played like it, Oklahoma’s nail-biting narrow victory over Tulane provided drama, and much more ridiculousness happened. Iowa State and Oregon had severe scares, too.
College football is in yo face, and it’s looking like 2021 will not disappoint. Here are some of the biggest winners and losers from all the action.
Check back for updates from the later games.
As far as tests go, Minnesota provided No. 4 Ohio State with all it wanted Thursday night. But the Buckeyes proved up to the test in a back-and-forth battle that allowed coach Ryan Day’s team to not only gauge its mettle, but also show the world its talent.
It was on full display against an upset-minded Golden Gophers team in a 45-31 Buckeyes win.
After a hotly contested preseason quarterback battle, redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud won the job, and though his debut was not without some hiccups, he was largely brilliant with the big plays. The California native threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns. With a full arsenal, all he really has to do is be the maestro.
The nation’s best wide receiver duo performed at an elite level as Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson combined for 197 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Explosive true freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson showed the world what he’s about, making a 70-yard house call on a catch.
Running back Miyan Williams added 125 rushing yards on a 13.9 average, and it’s obvious if Stroud can just limit his mistakes, the Buckeyes have the weaponry to do plenty of damage in the race for the College Football Playoff.
This is not a team without flaws on the defensive side, but Ohio State is going to be right there in the mix, to nobody’s surprise. They flashed in a big win over P.J. Fleck’s Gophers.