Week one has come and gone and what a glorious opening to the college football season! Upsets and near-upsets lined the fields and early Heisman hopes were dashed as we all consumed the sport we love the most. Now that the dust has settled on opening weekend, here are a few things we learned about the American Athletic Conference.
- Geoff Collins has work to do. Philly is a long way from Gainesville where Collins recently assembled the 6th ranked defense in the nation just two years ago for the Gators under McElwain. That’s a stark contrast to what we saw from Temple during the first weekend in September as FCS Villanova ruined the Owls home opener winning 19-17. This shocking home opening loss to Villanova is compounded by how it occurred. Villanova QB Zach Bednarczyk threw three touchdown passes against Geoff Collins vaunted defense finishing 29 of 40 with 254 yards and one interception. Two of those touchdowns were in the first quarter. If a team that went 3-5 last year in the Colonial Athletic Conference can drop multiple touchdowns on your defense in the first quarter, can you imagine what the high powered offenses in the AAC will do to it?
- The Bearcats have a ground game. One of the storylines that has been swept under the rug during week one is Cincinnati’s dominant victory over Chip Kelly lead UCLA. The 26-17 final score indicates a game that was closer than it really was. The complete dominance of UCLA’s defensive line by the Bearcats caught everyone, including myself, off guard as RB Michael Warren II racked up 141 yards and three touchdowns behind Cincinnati’s senior lead offensive line. This marks consecutive losses by UCLA to teams in the American Athletic Conference with last year’s defeat at the hands of Memphis. Luke Fickle’s first recruiting class last year was instrumental in Saturday’s win as redshirt freshman QB Desmond Ridder and sophomore RB Michael Warren were both instrumental in this win.
4Q- UH 59 Navy 35, 4:45
SIX PASSING TOUCHDOWNS FOR MCDONALD!!!
Tonight's 59 points are the most points scored in one game since 2010 against UNLV. pic.twitter.com/zrECZ3zcVH
— Hawaii Football (@HawaiiFootball) September 2, 2018
- Navy can’t stop the pass. Ken Niumatalolo has seen just about everything in his 13 years at the helm of the Midshipmen. However, QB Cole McDonald’s Rainbow Warrior squad may have already scuttled Navy’s season. The 59 points given up by the Midshipmen on Saturday were the most since December 19th, 2012 when Brock Osweiler and Vontaze Burfict lead Arizona State to a 62-28 victory in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. McDonald’s 428 yards passing and 6 touchdowns may be the start to a very long season for Navy if admiral Niumatalolo can’t figure out how to turn his adrift secondary around.