All of the teams in the top 5 won their games yesterday and all did so with ease except for one.
#1 USC 49 – Hawaii 10
USC destroyed Hawaii. The Trojans put up 20 points in the first quarter and 15 in the second before they let off a little after half. Matt Barkley looked like himself throwing for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns. Both receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods scored touchdowns, but Lee had a spectacular game with 10 receptions for 202 yards. 75 of those yards came on a pass from Barkley just 14 seconds into the game. That set the tone for the Trojans, who blanked Hawaii in all quarters but the third. Penn State transfer Silas Redd did get some action in the game and finished with 9 carries for a total of 61 yards and 1 touchdown. With the passing attack the Trojans have, Redd’s carries may be limited throughout the season.
#2 Alabama 41 – #8 Michigan 14
Michigan entered this game with high hopes and thoughts that they could compete and give the Crimson Tide a run for their money. Nick Saban and the Tide had other plans. Alabama had a 21 – 0 lead on Michigan heading into the second quarter after AJ McCarron and receivers Michael Williams and DeAndrew White hooked up for 14 and Eddie Lacy tacked on 7. The Tide didn’t give up a touchdown until there were 2 minutes left in the second quarter. Michigan entered halftime with a total of 99 yards and that was only after Denard Robinson’s 71 yard pass to Jeremy Gallon. The Tide were just as dominant in the second half giving up only 7 more points to the Wolverines at the end of the third. It’s safe to say that while Alabama’s offense was in question coming into this season after the Tide lost running back Trent Richardson and wide receivers Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks, not to mention tight end Brad Smelley. This game either proved that Michigan’s defense is just that bad or Alabama’s offense is just that good. The Bama defense is still unreal.
#3 LSU 41 – North Texas 14
Les Miles and the LSU Tigers had one major question to answer this season, “will Zach Mettenberger be able to lead the Tigers to dominance?” and after game one it appears we have that answer. Mettenberger threw for 192 yards and 1 touchdown. He was knocked out of the game early on when he was clocked in the chest while looking the other way. He went to the locker room to be evaluated and returned to the game shortly after. LSU didn’t exactly need Mettenberger to throw the ball though because running backs Alfred Blue and Kenny Hilliard both rushed for over 100 yards. This was the first time two LSU running backs have rushed for more than 100 yards in a season opener since 1982 when Garry James and Dalton Hilliard. The LSU defense was dominant as well and their front line was in the North Texas backfield all night. Also LSU may have answered the question of how they will deal without having Tyrann Mathieu on special teams.
#4 Oklahoma 24 – UTEP 7
Oklahoma was the only team in the top 5 that struggled on opening night. The Sooners could only muster up 7 points before half. They were forced to punt five times in the first half and had missed a field goal. Their only touchdown of the half came on a blocked punt that was returned by Nathan Jeffery for 24 yards. The Sooner offense struggled despite returning quite a lot. Their defense only allowed 255 yards and one touchdown, but with the offense relying on a few big plays that won’t be enough to keep up with West Virginia (69-34) and maybe not Oklahoma State (84-0). Question is out on the Sooners now.
#5 Oregon 57 – Arkansas State 34
The score of this game is very misleading. The Ducks were up 50 – 0 at halftime and came out after half looking like they were just not interested in playing the Red Wolves any more. Oregon accounted for 605 yards of total offense. The biggest thing we learned from this game is that Oregon may have found themselves a quarterback that can take them all the way. Marcus Mariota tossed three touchdowns and was 19-of-23. The stats from Oregon’s offensive performance doesn’t make any one player stand out more than the rest because they spread the ball around so well. It’s early, but the Ducks look like the best the Pac 12 has right now.