The college football season got started last night from coast to coast and for the most part things went according to plan. Ohio State and Miami were big winners and Utah scored what some consider an upset victory against Big East favorite Pittsburgh. USC pulled away from Hawai’i in the late game and one school won their first game.
Here are my three stars and three duds from Thursday night’s action.
1. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
17-for-25, 247 yards, 3 touchdowns
The Buckeyes need for their quarterback to deliver on a consistent basis this season if hopes of a BCS Championship are to remain intact. Last night Pryor took advantage of a poor Marshall defense to put up some impressive looking numbers. Still want to see Pryor put up numbers like this in a big regular season game though and he will get that opportunity next week when Miami visits Columbus.
2. Kealoha Pilares, Hawaii
5 receptions, 176 yards, 3 touchdowns
Though it came in defeat Hawaii wide receiver put on a show with his five catches against USC last night. Pilares averaged 35.2 yards per catch and reached the end zone three times as the USC secondary showed they have some work to do. With just one game Pilares stands one touchdown shy of his entire 2009 total of four touchdowns.
3. Georgia State
Defeated Shorter in first ever college football game, 41-7
Playing in their first college football game in the Georgia Dome before over 30,000 fans the Panthers won their first college football game against NAIA opponent Shorter. Quarterback Drew Little was 13-of-17 and connected for a pair of touchdown passes. “I’ve never been more proud of a group of young men than I am of this group,” said head coach Bill Curry.
Georgia State begins their football history as an FCS independent and will join the Colonial Athletic Association in 2012.
1. Conference USA
Conference goes 1-3 on opening night
Marshall looked bad against high-powered Ohio State but the Thundering Herd helped Ohio State on more than one occasion with poor defense and special teams. Southern Miss was blown out at South Carolina and UAB dropped a tight one to Sun Belt conference contender Florida Atlantic. Tulane was the lone victor for the conference but even that was hairy. The Green Wave defeated FCS opponent Southeastern Louisiana 27-21 and needed a fourth quarter turnover to pull away from the Southland Conference opponent.
At least Houston and UCF are playing on Saturday…
Defeated Middle Tennessee State 24-17
Not that anybody is expecting a whole lot out of the Golden Gophers this season but going on the road at Middle Tennessee State, who is without their star quarterback Dwight Dasher due to legal issues, should not have needed a ten point fourth quarter to come from behind to win. Fortunately for Tim Brewster and company they go home with a victory but have some concerns on defense with just two returning starters form last season.
Defeated Norfolk State 31-0 after sluggish first quarter
The final score may be a bit misleading. The Scarlet Knights ended up having their way with the visiting Spartans but they must have needed whatever verbal assault surely came out of head coach Greg Schiano’s mouth at halftime to get them going. Rutgers stumbled through the first half and went to halftime up just 6-0, thanks to a controversial timing call at the end of the first half, giving Rutgers one extra second to allow for a second field goal before the half. Still, Rutgers is a team from a BCS conference and they let an average at best FCS team hang with them for a half. We expect more from you Rutgers.