Six games filled the schedule on Saturday, an appetizer for the larger courses that are set to come in the following weeks. Likewise, today we'll serve you with snack pack of #Nuggets to celebrate college football's return.
-- The day began with Marshall's 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky and Army's 42-0 trampling of Middle Tennessee. I mean, these were objectively terrible games that were not compelling for a second... and I couldn't find anybody complaining on Twitter. Starving men don't complain about free meals. After an offseason where it at times seemed impossible, college football was back on our television. Life was good. Nature was healing.
-- Army's rushing stats were a thing of beauty: 62 carries, 340 yards, five touchdowns. They held the ball for 35:29, including a 9:13 drive and a 12:26 drive -- that would have been longer had Anthony Adkins not shucked a tackle to complete a 22-yard touchdown run. The only drive Army didn't score on was when they ran out the clock to end the game.
-- The Middle Tennessee-Army game also saw the lowest game management moment of the day. Trailing 21-0 before the half, MTSU got off only two snaps in a goal-to-go situation despite two timeouts sitting in their pocket.
Look, I totally support Rick Stockstill forgoing the field goal there. There's no guarantee you'll get three possessions in the second half, so a field goal does you no good there. But you've got to give your team a better chance here.
-- It was an encouraging day for the Sun Belt, as Texas State and Arkansas State both produced competitive showing against 10-win teams from the American. Texas State played SMU within a score all afternoon in a 31-24 loss, and A-State built a 14-7 lead over Memphis before falling 37-24.
-- After averaging just 77 yards a game on the ground last year (127th nationally), Texas State pounded out 189 yards on an even 5.0 a pop. Keep that up and improve the passing game (Brady McBride was 21-of-39 for just 227 yards) and the Bobcats will be bowling this December.
-- Come to think of it, with only 76 teams up and running this fall, everyone's probably going bowling this December.
-- SMU's passing game stayed deadly. Shane Buechele hit 26 of 36 throws for 367 yards and a touchdown (albeit with two picks).
-- It was Week 1 for everyone out there.
-- Seth Littrell had a successful debut as his own offensive coordinator. North Texas rolled up a school record 721 yards, including the first 300 passing/300 rushing (360/361, to be precise) game in school history as the Mean Green rolled Houston Baptist 57-31. "I had a blast," Littrell said afterward.
-- It was the first 57-31 final score in FBS history, according to the Mean Green Radio Network.
-- UTEP beat Stephen F. Austin 24-14. I have nothing to add here except this.
-- Yesterday marked the beginning of my 14th consecutive season covering college football in one capacity or another. I'm always grateful to do what I do, but never more than this year. These past six months have been a brutal reminder for all of us that nothing is guaranteed in life, and so I think we'd all take a season full of Marshall 59, Eastern Kentucky 0 over the alternative. We get to watch football, and that's enough.
Let's play ball.