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Georgia Football

Legge's Thoughts: College Football is Back - LET'S GO!

August 27, 2022
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ATHENS - Kirby Smart’s No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs are fewer than seven days away from the season opener in Atlanta with the No. 11 Oregon Ducks.

I bet Nebraska coach Scott Frost wishes he had another seven days to get things right. What a bad loss for the Huskers. The 31-28 loss to Northwestern was befuddling. 

Up 28-17, Nebraska’s offense ended the game going: 

Onside kick
Three and out
Three and out
Interception 
Four plays and a punt
Three and out
Interception

That’s a recipe for losing. Some coaches, teams and programs know how to win. Right now Nebraska knows how to lose. And that’s a hard habit to break (all apologies to Chicago). I ended watching that game thinking that Nebraska wasn’t horrible, but they “found” a way to lose. 

Having been to the College World Series three times (and if you are keeping score at home that means I’ve been to Nebraska three times too many), I can attest to how serious that fanbase is about their program. That is a very serious football crowd, and right now they are going through it.

All that said - I’m not 100% convinced the Huskers’ season is over. But the home game with Oklahoma seems pretty big right now. And we don’t know much of anything about the Sooners. 

We do know that everyone else kicked off before 10 PM was rather blah. I’ll tell you right now that I expected to see more from Utah State. The Aggies won their league a year ago, and because I watch a fair amount of football west of the Rockies my take was that UConn, which has been horrid, would really struggle with Utah State. 

Didn’t happen. That game was too tight. 



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Illinois kind of slopped around with Wyoming. FSU looked perfectly fine against Duquesne, but I’m not sure what the Dukes have to offer - QUICK (no Google) - what state is Duquesne located in? It isn’t in Louisiana, which is where the Noles’ next game and foe is - LSU. 

UNLV scored 52 against Idaho State. Western Kentucky and Austin Peay went back and forth before the Hilltoppers got a 38-27 win. FAU hammered Charlotte 43-13. 

The start of the FAMU-UNC game was really a much tougher game for the Heels than it should have been. Carolina went up 28-14 at the half thanks to Mack Brown going for it on fourth and goal with seconds to go before the half. Carolina scored a touchdown. A 21-14 score might have been a little worrisome. Going into the fourth the Rattlers had momentum, but were down 11. It wasn’t the most convincing performance I have ever seen from North Carolina. After pushing the lead to 42-24 UNC put the game away. 

Saturday was a good start to what is going to be an excellent ten days of sport. I love the US Open. It is a great event, and it starts Monday. The night matches are the best matches typically. It is a cool event. Saturday wasn’t the full of the start of college football, but it was good enough. Thursday night is one of the better soft starts of college football we’ve seen in a while. 

I do like the drawn out nature of the opening weekend. If you live college ball that means you get a chance to see at least one decent game from Thursday to Monday. It isn’t like the first full Saturday - which is even better - but it is its own fun way to kickoff the year. 

Consider we get to watch future College Football Playoff participant Pitt open the season against J.T. Daniels and West Virginia. Once and future College Football Playoff Michigan announced Saturday that two different quarterbacks will start in the first two games of the season - even for Jim Harbaugh that’s odd. 

ESPN’s Desmond Howard is the one picking both Pitt and his old school Michigan to get to the CFP. But it was his declaration that Texas A&M would win the national title that got a lot of attention, and that was... what’s the word - odd. But not picking Alabama, Ohio State or Georgia (or even Clemson or Notre Dame) to be in the CFP - are we just dumping the ping pong balls in the hopper to pick out randomly now? 

Does nothing matter? Do our eyeballs work? 

Bizarre. 

I mean - it was really bizarre. 

Kirk Herbstreit reacted by covering his face and giggling. David Pollack’s reaction was that he “wasnt’t that brave.”

How much bravery is required to to jump off a cliff?

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt came out in all white (a very clean look) and got down early to Hawaii. It seemed like Vandy was a touch nervous. Vanderbilt QB Mike Wright, who went to Woodward, is Über athletic. But if he thinks he’s going to scramble himself to success in the SEC… not happening. He’s going to be productive in the SEC when he’s running when folks least expect it - or when the play breaks down. 

A 14-point outburst from Vanderbilt just before the end of the first quarter jumpstarted them. By the half Vandy stretched the lead to 21-10 - as it turns out Vanderbilt outscored Hawaii 63-3 after getting down in the first quarter. The 35-point explosion in the third quarter helped. 

But Vandy coach Clark Lea made a curious/bad decision to go for it on fourth down with about a minute to go before the half. He had three timeouts, but didn’t use one. By the time Vandy snapped the ball 20 seconds or so were left on the clock. 

Vandy didn't convert, and 14 seconds remained. If you are going for it - take a timeout. If you are not - let the clock run and punt. He did neither. While that move didn’t cost him this time it was horrible clock management, and an inexcusable mistake for a coach. We need better than that. It isn’t good enough. 

That all said - we’ve got such a huge weekend of football ahead of us.

Thursday: 

6:00 - St. Francis (PA) at Akron

Hey, it’s on right? So if it’s on it’s on

Position on the 3-TV setup: Right from 6 PM-7 PM

7:00 - West by God Virginia at Pitt 

LET’S GO! 

J.T. Daniels heads to Pitt to start for his third college program. That’s amazing. He’s started for as many colleges as most of us will have wives. He will compete against Kedon Slovis, who also started at USC. Wierd. Backyard Brawl kicks off the college season. I’m here for it. 

Position on the 3-TV setup: Right starting at 7 PM

7:00 - Ball State at Tennessee 

I am very curious to see this game. Ball State was a mid-level MAC school in 2021. They should not hang with the Vols (-33.5). This is more about how the Vols look. Everyone in the league will be watching. 

Position on the 3-TV setup: Middle from 7 PM - 8 PM; Left starting at 8 PM

8:00 - Penn State at Purdue 

I’m pretty eager for this one. I think this is a dangerous game for Penn State (-3). In fact, I think they lose straight up. Why? Road game on a Friday night - that’s not a good combination. James Franklin better have his guys locked in. And if we are being honest with ourselves Penn State hasn’t been locked in for some time now. 

Purdue has enough guys for this game to be trouble for those from Happy Valley. 

Position on the 3-TV setup: Middle starting at 8 PM 

8:00 - Louisiana Tech at Missouri 

Missouri (-19) starts the season with a fun game against the Bulldogs on a Thursday night. That’s all I have to say. 

Position on the 3-TV setup: Going to have to earn its way onto the setup… not likely until one of the two 7 PM games goes off. 

10:00 - Northern Arizona at Arizona State

These games are the best. Give me the Sun Devils at night - any night. I need it. 

Position on the 3-TV setup: Left starting at 10 PM

10:30 - Cal Poly at Fresno State

This game isn’t going to watch itself. 

Position on the 3-TV setup: Middle starting after Purdue beats Penn State

Friday isn’t as good, but don’t miss:

Western Michigan at Michigan State (-19.5) - ESPN 7 PM

Illinois at Indiana (-4.5) FS1 8 PM

TCU at Colorado (+10) - ESPN 10 PM

 
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