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Riding the fences – Week 1

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Each week HornSports will take a look back at the national scene in college football, so mount up and let’s ride out and check the perimeter.

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LSU scored on its first five possessions on the way to a 55-3 blowout win over Georgia Southern. Befitting a home opener versus a SunBelt team, there was no shortage of eye-popping superlatives for the Bayou Bengals on Saturday. A curious note from the game: LSU’s 55 points is their 2nd highest total in a home opener since 1933, but they did it on only 473 yards of total offense.

Speaking of offense…two Big Ten teams, Penn State and Maryland, scored 79 points on Saturday. That’s a touchdown about every five minutes. That’s hard enough to do against air which is apparently a new standard for the Idaho and Howard defenses.

As long as we’re talking offense…Iowa State and Northern Iowa played a 3OT game and neither team scored 30 points. Is that good defense or bad offense?

While we’re talking Big 10, take note that Michigan State beat Tulsa, 28-7 and it was a very, very Spartan-esque win, which is to say MSU played smothering defense and the offense did enough to win. With an experienced quarterback and a stout defense, Head Coach Mark Dantonio will be a tough out in the Big Ten East.

Florida vs Miami got Week 1 started on Thursday night, and it was not a pretty game. Whether UF’s d-line is really good or Miami’s offensive line is porous is TBD – love ya’, Week 1.

This Texas A&M band formation probably looked different when they drew it up:

Florida State led Boise State 31-13 before losing. Boise State reeled off 23 unanswered points to win, 36-31. That is most definitely not the start that Willie Taggart needed.

Speaking of losing spectacularly, take a bow Oregon.

UCF blasted their way to a 62-0 win. No one cared.

Clemson and Alabama furthered the thought that they are in a class of their own at the top of the sport. Clemson out-athleted Georgia Tech and the Crimson Tide started slow before reminding Duke that Daniel Jones is no longer on the roster.

Keep your eye on two new head coaches in the ACC: Mack Brown is back on the sideline at North Carolina and reminded everyone of why he was so successful at Texas. Geoff Collins at Georgia Tech has a look reminiscent of Brown’s early years in Austin while he was “getting the BB’s back in the box.”

Even though it’s happened several years in a row, FCS schools beating an FBS opponent is a thrilling part of nonconference play. Several FCS teams played very well, but Week 1 lacked the “shocking” upset. A handful of them will try to pull off the feat in Week 2 (while collecting a sizable payday).

Utah handled BYU, winning 30-12 in Provo. Not only is that a significant win in a rivalry game, it also sent a message to the Pac 12.

The recruiting coordinator for Clemson’s pom squad deserves a raise.

If anyone doubted how Lincoln Riley and the Oklahoma offense would fare without Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts crushed those questions on Monday night. Hurts completed 20 of 23 throws for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns, adding 176 yards rushing and 3 more scores.

Looking ahead to week 2, LSU at Texas looms as a Top 10 matchup. Here are a few noteworthy statistics that might provide insight…

  • Texas is 6-1 in their last seven home games. The Longhorns are 7-3 in September and 9-3 at night under Tom Herman.
  • Joe Burrow (LSU) has completed at least 20 passes in four straight games.
  • Texas is 48-44-4 all-time at home against ranked opponents.
  • Under Orgeron, LSU is 11-7 against Top 25 teams and has an impressive 5-2 against Top 10 foes. In his coaching career, Tom Herman is 5-4 against Top 10 teams.
  • Keep an eye on turnovers: The Horns are 13-1 when they win the turnover battle since 2017. When turnover margin is tied or Texas loses, the Longhorns are 5-9.
  • Texas is the only Big 12 team with a winning record against LSU.

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