College Football Season Kickoff


Photo Credit: Paul Herrick

Tyler Alexander, Sports Editor

The college football season kicked off Thursday with a match-up between two SEC foes: the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Vanderbilt Commodores.  The Gamecocks’ Marcus Lattimore led number nine ranked South Carolina to a 17-13 win over Vanderbuilt.

On Friday, Michigan State, ranked 13th in the country, snuck out with a victory over Boise State, with a rank of twenty-four.  Powered by Le’veon Bell’s 210 yards and two touchdowns, Michigan State won 17-13.

Heisman Trophy favorite Matt Barkley looked in midseason form, throwing for 372 yards and three touchdowns against Hawaii.  The number one ranked team in the country, USC, started their 2012 campaign with an electrifying 75 yard pitch and catch from Barkley to receiver Marqise Lee.  The Trojans would rout Hawaii 49-10.

The marquee game of opening week was number two ranked Alabama, facing off against number eight ranked Michigan in the Cowboys classic in Arlington.  The potent Michigan offense, led by Denard Robinson, was held at bay by what looked like the 2011 Alabama number one ranked defense.  Alabama’s swarming defense held the Michigan Wolverines to only fourteen points.  The Alabama Crimson Tide rolled to a 41-14 victory over the eighth ranked Michigan.

All other ranked teams that played this weekend went on to win their respective games, some by scoring an absurd amount of points.  Oregon’s always high octane offense managed to put up 57 points, 50 of which were scored in the first half.  Florida State and West Virginia each put up 69 points in their respective games.  Oklahoma State proved that even without Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden, they still have what it takes, racking up 84 points in a blowout agianst Savannah State.  The opening of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State proved to be a promising one, beating Miami of Ohio 56-10.

The Ohio Bobcats managed what may have been the biggest upset of the weekend, spoiling Bill O’Brien’s debut at Penn State.  Following an emotional 2011 season, the Penn State Nittany Lions were searching for a glimmer of good news in their 2012 season opener.  Instead they ran into a feisty Ohio squad led by Tyler Tettleton.  Tettleton accounted for three second half touchdowns en rout to a 24-14 victory.  Penn State couldn’t manage a single second half point in front of 97,000 passionate fans at Beaver Stadium.  The distraught Nittany Lions had fans across the country pulling for them after all that occurred last year.  In the end, their emotions got the best of them, and they were unable to pull out the victory.

Controversy surrounded a thrilling Syracuse-Northwestern game.  Syracuse Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib obliterated a 35-13 deficit in the third quarter, by throwing four second half touchdowns making the score 35-41 Syracuse.  In the end however, backup Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian would have the last laugh.  A bad call on Syracuse defender, Keon Lyn, kept the critical Northwestern drive alive.  On this drive, Siemian hit Demetrius Fields for a nine yard touchdown with forty four seconds left.  Northwestern stole a victory right out from underneath the Orange 42-41.