College Football Monday – Week 1
Live Fans Ring in the New 2021 College Football Season
#1 Bama Rolls Over Miami
Georgia and Penn St. Post Strong Victories in Key Matchups
Teams of Week – Georgia and Penn St.
Upset of the Week – UCLA over LSU – 38-27
Offensive Player of Week – QB Bryce Young – Alabama
Defensive Player of Week – DT Jordan Davis – Georgia
Upcoming Key Weekly Matchups – 9/11
Oregon @ Ohio St, Iowa @ Iowa St.
Legendary Former HC Bobby Bowden Honored at Notre Dame- Florida St Opener
Irish Beat a Fired up Seminole Club in Overtime
The 2021 college football season is here with millions of avid fans finally getting to attend live games. America’s campuses were alive this Labor Day weekend with a wide range of games, many highly competitive games that had immediate impact on the top 25 rankings. Alabama stays the course with a strong victory, though other highly regarded clubs disappointed and either lost or struggled to hold off an opponent.
The Notre Dame-Florida St. matchup honored the passing of legendary former Seminole HC Bobby Bowden. The honoring of Bobby Bowden comes after his passing earlier this year at 91. Bowden was an outstanding coach who won two national titles and numerous ACC honors. He set a high standard at FSU and one of the true gentlemen in the sports who I am proud to call a friend. The game was a thriller as the Irish survived relinquishing an 18-point early lead to recover in overtime and win vs a charged-up FSU club. The closely contested game might bode well for the Seminoles this season after producing three consecutive sub .500 seasons.
#1 ranked Alabama opened with a powerful bashing of Miami behind new starting QB soph Bryce Young who threw for 4 TDs and 344 yards. Bama rolled despite half new starters many of offense. Miami was never in the game as the Tide posted over 500 yards on offense in an impressive opener.
HC Nick Sabin never losses a step despite the large roster turnover and plugs in the next SEC star. Young threw only 22 passes as a true freshman behind Mac Jones last season, though ran the Bama offense flawlessly vs Miami. The Tide has turned into a QB factory in recent years after years of savvy poised leaders with only average type athleticism and NFL talent. Currently, three recent young Bama QBs will start this week in the NFL, rookie Mac Jones and veterans Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts.
The Crimson Tide tough defense held Miami to just 88 yards rushing while picking off 2 passes in a dominant performance. They hold the #1 ranking off the strong opener and await their SEC opener in later September.
Both the Georgia-Clemson and Penn St – Wisconsin matchups were excellent games in a display of old-time college football centered around ground games, field position and strong defenses. The Georgia Clemson game featured two Heisman Trophy candidates in QBs, JT Daniels and DJ Uiagalelei. Both were harassed throughout the defensive struggle and neither were able to get comfortable in the pocket. Both few for less than 200 yards and 1 key interception. Neither ground game was impressive with Clemson being held to 2 yards. Georgia celebrated the huge win over a top 5 club, hoping to ride this momentum into the tough SEC schedule. This highly successful program has come up short vs the elite clubs that has kept them an also ran in the powerful SEC. Clemson was held to a pathetic 2 yards that put enormous pressure on their passing game.
The Penn St- Wisconsin matchup was reminiscent of a ’80 or ‘90s Big Ten classic. Both teams attempted to run with ball with little success. Wisconsin plays the old school game of run the ball and if it fails, continue to run the ball. They posted 174 yards on the ground and held an incredible 42:51 minutes to 17:09 advantage, though not able to total more than 10 points. Even the return of the Dance Around at the start of the 4th quarter could not generate more than a final FG in the 16-10 loss. Three turnovers killed the Badgers with the opportunistic Nittany Lion defense keeping them in the game until second half heroics pulled out the victory.
Ohio St-Minnesota. The Gophers gained a 14-10 halftime lead and had their eyes on a huge upside. The Buckeyes responded with a 35-point second half that sealed the 45-31 win. The Gophers lost star runner Mohamed Ibrahim to a knee injury that most likely ends his season and possibly his college career.
Frank Coyle is a long-time scout with nationwide ties with coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a long-time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards – Heisman, Outland, Thorpe, Nagurski, Lombardi, Biletnikoff etc for the past 28 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He was a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN and Sporting News on a year-round basis related to NFL and College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.