The defending champs beat the Citadel 37-12. There were signs of progress and distress in near equal measure.
Jameis Winston was much more efficient, and avoided turnovers against a lesser foe. Importantly, Winston got several receivers involved in the passing attack, but he must have the confidence to maintain this diversity in high stakes games. The Noles made a more concerted effort to run the football, and Karlos Williams looked better. He is a one cut, downhill runner, and not very effective when he diverts from that identity. Mario Pender and Dalvin Cook both ran very well, and it seems likely that FSU will again feature a three-headed platoon at running back.
The defense could not get the run-heavy Citadel off the field in three downs or less, and conceded 12 points to a team that should have been shut out. FSU has failed to control, let alone dominate, the line of scrimmage for the second week running. Championship defense begins up front and is supplemented by causing turnovers. This was an also ran performance.
A HUMILIATING WEEKEND FOR THE BIG 10
The much-maligned Big 10 fueled the fire of their critics by shitting the bed in three high profile games. Unranked Michigan was shut out by a better, than believed Notre Dame. Unranked Virginia Tech traveled to the Horseshoe and beat #8 Ohio State by two touchdowns, giving the Buckeyes their first loss in a home opener since 1978 when Jimmy Carter was President. Finally, #7 Michigan State was eventually overrun by #3 Oregon. Michigan State did not suck, but this was a territorial game for both teams in terms of establishing credibility with the selection committee, and consequently a disproportionately crushing loss.
PAT HADEN, RHODES SCHOLAR, ATHLETIC DIRECTOR AND PITCH INVADER
The chest puffed indignation of the studio guys was in full peacock mode after USC Athletic Director Pat Haden allegedly received a text message from the USC coaching staff and invaded the pitch for an animated discussion with the referee after three calls went against the Men of Troy. Most of the indignation seemed to stem from Haden’s role on the selection committee, and whatever presumed impropriety that entailed, but the incident was pretty funny as it occured and did not compromise the integrity of the Trojans three point win over Stanford nearly as much as the Cardinals moronic incompetence.
Two of my former basketball/football players had big weekends. John Boston pounced on a loose ball to score a touchdown for the Florida A & M Rattlers against Miami, and Blake McClain continued to establish himself as a core defender for the Kentucky Wildcats with his second solid game in as many weeks. I am so happy for both of these guys, and look forward to seeing more from them as the season progresses.