With seven wins by the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) over the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), a top-10 match-up between Georgia and Clemson, and the return of headline-grabber Johnny Manziel, the first week of the college football season is in the books and it has been one of the most memorable in recent memory.
Unlike other years, the Southeastern Conference opened the season with several tough opponents, including Clemson, TCU, Toledo and Virginia Tech.
How did the SEC match-up this weekend? We cover just that in our weekly SEC round-up.
Alabama (1-0) 35
Virginia Tech (0-1) 10
While the Alabama offense was only able to muster 206 yards of offense, sophomore Christion Jones carried the team on his back returning a punt for a touchdown, a kick-off for a touchdown, and caught a receiving touchdown on his way to winning the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week award.
Arkansas (1-0) 34
Louisiana-Lafeyette (0-1) 14
In Bret Bielema’s first game as head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, led by quarterback Brandon Allen (15-22, 230 yards) and running backs Jonathan Williams (151 yards) and Alex Collins (131 yards), Arkansas easily handled a team that has been known to play tougher than their name.
Auburn (1-0) 31
Washington State (0-1) 24
In Gus Malzahn’s return to Auburn, led by running back Corey Grant (146 yards) the Tigers escaped the Cougars in a game that was slated to be much more of a blowout.
Georgia (0-1) 28
Clemson (1-0) 35
In one of the best games in recent memory, the back-and-forth battle between the Bulldogs and Tigers was a game for the ages. Clemson led by quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Roderick McDowell kept Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley just a bit short in a shootout that could have gone either way. To make matters worse, Georgia has lost wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell for the season after injuring his ACL celebrating a touchdown.
Kentucky (0-1) 26
Western Kentucky (1-0) 35
Bobby Petrino made his return to the sideline for the Hilltoppers, and pulled off a win against a Kentucky team that has seen momentum building in its favor over the past few months. Hilltopper quarterback Brandon Doughty ended with 271 yards passing and kept new Kentucky coach Mark Stoops at bay.
LSU (1-0) 37
TCU (0-1) 27
In an epic battle at Cowboys Stadium, the Tigers were able to keep the Horned Frogs from snatching away an upset. Led by quarterback Zach Mettenberger (251 yards), and a balanced rushing attack of Terrence Magee (95 yards) and Alfred Blue (89) yards, the Tigers took an early lead and didn’t look back.
Mississippi State (0-1) 3
Oklahoma State (1-0) 21
Bulldogs Head Coach Dan Mullen has been having a rough go of it over the past few seasons, and it begins again as they never really stood a chance against Oklahoma State after the first quarter. Led by a balanced rushing attack of J.W. Walsh and Jeremy Smith, the Cowboys pulled off the easy win.
Missouri (1-0) 58
Murray State (0-1) 14
Unlike quite a few FBS teams that struggled against the FCS, Missouri did exactly what they should have done with quarterback James Franklin throwing for 318 yards (by the beginning of the third quarter) and wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham catching four receptions for 83 yards. After struggling to a 5-7 record last season, the Tigers seem to have a much more fluid offense.
Ole Miss (1-0) 39
Vanderbilt (0-1) 35
In the only conference match-up of the week, the Rebels squeaked out a come from behind victory over the Commodores. The Rebels led by Laquon Treadwell’s nine receptions, featured many of their prized recruits from the 2013 class including Robert Nkemdiche, Evan Engram, Tony Connor, and Laremy Tunsil. The ‘Dores amassed 300 yards passing, but it just wasn’t quite enough and could not hold on to their 21-10 lead.
South Carolina (1-0) 27
North Carolina (0-1) 10
The Gamecocks, led by running back Mike Davis’ 115 yards on the ground, never struggled with the Tar Heels after quickly getting ahead 17-0. All-world defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was able to muster up three tackles, but struggled with conditioning and the hot, humid Columbia weather.
Tennessee (1-0) 45
Austin Peay (0-1) 0
In Butch Jones’ first game as the Volunteers’ Head Coach, Tennessee did not struggle with FCS opponent Austin Peay. The Volunteers collected only 132 yards through the air, but had 315 on the ground in a game that ran away quickly.
Texas A&M (1-0) 52
Rice (0-1) 31
With Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel sidelined for the first half, Rice kept it close going into half time, down just 28-21. However, Manziel’s return allowed the Aggies to outscore the Owls 24-10 in the second half, behind 94 yards of passing with three touchdowns, with 19 yards of rushing. Manziel was criticized for some of his antics during the game and continued to keep the conversation about him as a person, not as a football player.