College football blitz: Week 1 recap

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College football blitz: Week 1 recap

JaTarvius Whitlow runs in the first half.nAuburn vs Oregon on Saturday Aug. 31 2019.

JaTarvius Whitlow runs in the first half.nAuburn vs Oregon on Saturday Aug. 31 2019.

Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics/Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

JaTarvius Whitlow runs in the first half.nAuburn vs Oregon on Saturday Aug. 31 2019.

Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics/Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics/Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

JaTarvius Whitlow runs in the first half.nAuburn vs Oregon on Saturday Aug. 31 2019.

Noah Powers, Sports Editor

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After what many would call a chaotic first weekend, it is apparent we have entered the belly of the beast that is college football. We had football on TV from Thursday to Monday, and in that four-day stretch we saw a lot of ups, a lot of downs and a mashup of bedlam that reminded us all why we look forward to this time of year.

To get our recap of college football’s first full week kicked off (pun intended), let’s start with the non-surprising wins we saw over the long weekend.

Georgia Tech @ Clemson

Fresh off a dominant performance over Alabama in the 2019 national title game, Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers did what many expected them to do in their season opener.

Racking up 28 points and shutting out the Yellow Jackets before heading into the half, we saw exactly why the Tigers are revered as one of the most versatile teams in the country. A pair of touchdowns in the third quarter followed by a 10-point fourth quarter performance put Clemson ahead for the 52-14 win to open the 2019 campaign.

The Tigers had 29 first downs and 632 total yards to GT’s 13 and 294. Clemson will be met with a much heftier opponent next Saturday as they play host to Texas A&M.

Duke vs. Alabama (Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game in Atlanta)

This one surprised a lot of people. A glance at the 42-3 final does not stir much confusion, but if you saw this game at halftime, you were left wondering whether or not Duke could actually pull this thing off.

After a scoreless first quarter, and the Crimson Tide only taking a 14-3 lead at the break, Duke coach David Cutcliffe had some inspirational words for his team in the locker room.

“They think they’ve seen your best,” said Cutcliffe. “Come out here with intention, men. Come out here with intention and make every second count.”

His words were for naught however, as the Tide ran away with it, locking in with a 28-point second half and holding the Blue Devils scoreless.

Alabama put up 512 total yards to Duke’s 204.

Oregon vs. Auburn (Arlington)

In a week with a few comebacks sprinkled in, No. 11 Oregon up against No. 16 Auburn takes the cake.

The Ducks were up nearly the entire game, including a 15-point lead over halfway through the third quarter, but Auburn was not so fast to throw in the towel.

Freshman quarterback for the Tigers Bo Nix, who played like a freshman for much of the bout, came in clutch when it mattered. After delivering a touchdown pass late in the third quarter to Eli Stove to put Auburn in striking distance, Nix shot the winning touchdown pass into the hands of Seth Williams with nine seconds in the fourth.

27-21; Auburn ball game.

Once Nix gets some experience under his belt, anyone who comes up on the docket for Auburn will have a game and a half on their hands.

Big time scorers

Howard @ Maryland: Maryland 79-0

Idaho @ Penn State: Penn State 79-7

Florida A&M @ UCF: UCF 62-0

While we had plenty of games that went as expected, there were a handful that left many of us in shock.

Missouri @ Wyoming

When former Clemson star Kelly Bryant announced his transfer from the Tigers program, every team in America was all ears to learn where he would finish out his collegiate career.

And that lucky team was Mizzou. Bryant traded one Tiger for another.

So, the Missouri fan base was left in disbelief as a trip to Laramie, Wyoming ended in a loss.

Bryant’s stat line following the defeat was close to stellar. 31 completions, 423 yards in the air and a rushing performance from Bryant, Tyler Badie and Larry Rountree III that put the Tigers’ total yardage at 537. A winner on any other given Saturday for sure.

And this was not a come-from-behind by Wyoming either. A 61-yard touchdown by Xazavian Valladay put the Cowboys up 17-14. Aside from a field goal that made it 17-17, Wyoming never relinquished its lead, jumping up to a 34-17 advantage at one point.

Wyoming only had 389 yards and 16 first downs to Mizzou’s 28. But when it came down to it, three turnovers from the Tigers had a lot to do with the poor performance score-wise from what many expected, and still expect, to be a competitive Missouri team.

Georgia State @ Tennessee

This was the big one.

Tennessee, many thought, was one of the SEC teams set to make some sort of move from the bottom this season. Second-year head coach Jeremy Pruitt led the Volunteers to a lackluster 5-7 (2-6 SEC) last season. And for Tennessee, who scraped the bottom of the SEC East last go-round, the only way to go is up — or so we thought.

Georgia State came into Knoxville and left with not only a 38-30 win, but a whopping $950,000 it was paid to come play at Tennessee.

And now that the Volunteers have shaken off the dust, there are many questions we have regarding the path of this program heading deeper into the season. Definitely stay tuned.

Scores from North Carolina

North Carolina 24 South Carolina 20

N.C. State 34 East Carolina 6

Duke 3 Alabama 42

Wake Forest 38 Utah State 35

Appalachian State 42 East Tennessee 7

Charlotte 49 Gardner-Webb 28

Powers Poll Top 25

  1. Clemson (1-0)
  2. Alabama (1-0)
  3. Georgia (1-0)
  4. Oklahoma (1-0)
  5. LSU (1-0)
  6. Ohio State (1-0)
  7. Michigan (1-0)
  8. Notre Dame (1-0)
  9. Florida (1-0)
  10. Texas (1-0)
  11. Texas A&M (1-0)
  12. Washington (1-0)
  13. Penn State (1-0)
  14. Auburn (1-0)
  15. UCF (1-0)
  16. Utah (1-0)
  17. Oregon (0-1)
  18. Wisconsin (1-0)
  19. Michigan State (1-0)
  20. Iowa (1-0)
  21. Syracuse (1-0)
  22. Washington State (1-0)
  23. Army (1-0)
  24. Virginia (1-0)
  25. Mississippi State (1-0)

For scores and stats from all of this weekend’s games, click here

Sports Editor Noah Powers can be found on Twitter @noahpowersshwk. Any tips or suggestions should be forwarded via email to njp9594@uncw.edu.