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10 takeaways from the opening weekend of college football

<p type = "text" content = "On his first trip as Alabama's quarterback Tua Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide into the red zone and played a game that had both his limitless potential and his kinship underlined ignorance. " data-reactid = "16"> On his first drive as quarterback from Alabama Tua Tagovailoa led the Crimson Tide into the red zone and played a game that highlighted both his boundless potential and relative inexperience. Tagovailoa faked a handoff, spinning 360 degrees from a Louisville linebacker and gathering to whip a ball to the corner of the end zone as another Cardinals player pranced at his legs.

The play was equally improvised genius and calculated risk. when he threw the ball at Jerry Jeudy while the Louisville cornerback turned his head – the defender certainly had no idea that he was being harassed all week on highlight shows as an unsuspecting culprit on an intoxicating touchdown.

The moment also essentially ended the loudest position debate of the offseason – Tua or Jalen Hurts as Alabama's starter. Even if Hurts wins 26 out of 28 games as a starter, it is hard to imagine that he will be kicked off again, unless Tagovailoa is injured. We enter the Tua era in Alabama and the early returns show that this could be the most talented quarterback of Nick Saban's term.

While Tagovailoa has basically played just 1.5 games as the Tide's primary quarterback, it's not too early to be happy about what he might become. In his 12 seasons with the Crimson Tide, the highest draft pick Saban had at quarterback was A.J. McCarron, who went in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. The only other quarterback to be drafted was Greg McElroy, who entered the seventh round.

Tagovailoa has a long way to go to match the victories, system and leadership of these Crimson Tide greats. But the lightning we saw on Saturday night-the talent, creativity, and potential-certainly makes it reasonable to project that he could give Alabama some momentum, the position he lacked during Saban's term. Under the new coordinator and playmaker Mike Locksley Tagovailoa showed contact with deep balls, efficiently distributed the ball to the playmakers and provided some power to the Alabama passing game.

Hurts made a cameo in the first half and ended the game. of -9 passing for 70 yards. Saban threw a tantrum in his ESPN Postgame interview when Maria Taylor asked a very fair and professional question what answers the quarterbacks had given with their performances on Saturday.

"I still like both guys," he said to ESPN Field. "I think both guys are good players, I think both guys can help our team, why do you keep trying to make me say something that does not respect one of them?" I do not go to it to ask. "

The issues that veiled Alabama's off-season will die after Saturday night. This is Tua's job for the immediate future, and the tide season certainly feels like quitting with a gig in the College Football playoff.

FAU's opening match in Oklahoma sparked a wave of positive publicity for Lane Kiffin, who for a decade was one of the most divisive coaches in college football. Fired by USC and the Raiders and eliminated in Alabama the week before the title match two years ago, Kiffin has always delivered delicious drama and questionable maturity.

Sports Illustrated went to church with Kiffin. The Athletic headlined a story: "Maturity and Transformation."

The flurry of fluffy publicity came in part because of Kiffin's notable debut season at the FAU. He gambled on himself, took a paycut and revived a historically inconspicuous program for a championship title. It was impressive when FAU 11-3 went and won the Conference USA.

The jury still does not know how much Kiffin has changed. One thing is for sure: He significantly hurt his chances of finding a better job after a season with a 63-14-face factory in Oklahoma.

Some experts even predicted that FAU could play with Oklahoma, which made the tenor of loss stronger. FAU did not belong in the same time zone as the Sooners. The final could have been worse as Oklahoma led 42-0 in the half.

Athletic directors can overlook Kiffin's despondency. But nothing hurts a rising candidate like a loss on a big stage. (Troy Neal Brown also had one when the Trojans fell to Boise State 56-20). The victory will ultimately determine Kiffin's fate, and Saturday has not helped him much to develop momentum.

Is Northwestern a Big Ten contender?

Can Northwestern fight in the Big Ten with some of the traditional powers – Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State-looking pedestrians? Well, they have the longest winning streak of any Power Five team. They extended it to nine games on Thursday night with a gritty victory at Purdue.

The Wildcats could well become big-ten contenders because they have what the school calls the best home game plan in history. It's hard to beat a home game involving games against Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame. (Northwestern's toughest street game is in Michigan State on October 6, who beat it in triple overtime last year.)

The Wildcats have a veteran defensive front seven and Dam Jeremy Larkin looked comfortable as the property back against Purdue with 143 yards on 26 carries.

But the biggest variable from the game will be as coach Pat Fitzgerald uses Clayton Thorson the rest of the season. Thorson was referring to what Chicago Tribune school officials said was a "pitch count" medically prescribed after an ACL tear. He shared snapshots with Walk-on TJ Green. (Green closed the game that ennobles Northwestern for a foolish unnecessary bump on Purdue defensive tackle Lorenzo Neal.)

If Thorson can recover and drop his pitch count, do not be surprised that the Wildcats continue to swell. 19659021] UCF Still Looks Like National Champion

There is still room for the Heisman train on the McKenzie Milton. The dynamic UCF junior quarterback finished eighth in the Heisman race last season and revealed on Thursday night that he is on a higher trajectory this season. Milton threw five touchdown passes in a 56-17 Connecticut blowout on Thursday, completing 24 of 32 passes for 346 yards. UCF has won 14 games in a row, the longest series in the nation.

When Josh Heupel made his debut, some UCF fans mocked the idea that he would have led UCF's offensive at a higher pace than former coach Scott Frost. Heupel's offense comes from the Baylor line and Frost is the Oregon, the two standard-bearers for pace in the spread-offensive lineage. The most impressive statistic of the night could be that none of UCF's eight scoring drives lasted longer than 2:39 pm

Look out for this pace to accelerate further, which is a bad one for both North Carolina and Pittsburgh Message is on UCF September schedule.

Wake Forest could be a dynamic offensive

Few players author impressive quarterback debuts as Wake Forest's true freshman Sam Hartman. After the suspension of the dynamic veteran quarterback Kendall Hinton, who will miss the first three games, he has made the start. Hartman led Wake Forest to a win over Tulane and completed 31 of 51 passes for 378 yards. Tulane coach Willie Fritz piled the box and dared Hartman beat him, and he did just that.

Much of the temporary production went to an established star, Greg Dortch (12 catches for 149) and a rising Surratt legend (19659025). 11 catches for 150 yards). Wake's escape makes her fit for another solid season, which will turn into a home game on Thursday against Boston College on September 13th.

Bobby Petrino's Hot Seat in Louisville

Few coaches had a worse night than Bobby Petrino of Louisville. His new defensive coordinator gave up 51 points when Brian VanGorder caught the defensive coordinator of the Notre Dame where we had last seen him – at the intersection of over-compressed and incompetent.

Although it's no sin to lose to Alabama, the way Louisville has voiced concerns about Petrin's future. He has earned three of his family members among the 10 on-field coaches in his team – one son and two in-laws – and $ 650,000. Two of them are defensive coaches. If you hire a questionable defensive coordinator, stick it with two of your relatives and then spend 51 points, it brings the head coach's negligence from that side of the ball into the fluorescent view. (That's no problem as well, coach Chris Klenakis, arrested in August for DUI and reported to have run into oncoming traffic and nearly hit by a truck, is on vacation)

Petrino's buyout is close to $ 6 Millions after this year, that's not a lot of money in a place that wants to make a change in culture. (And with local hero Jeff Brohm sitting out there.) Look for this embarrassing Louisville effort to amplify this drumbeat.

Ohio State delivers without Urban Meyer to the sidelines

As the controversy surrounding former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith invaded Columbus last month, a calm confidence pervaded the Ohio State football staff. No player deserved more consistent praise than redshirt college quarterback Dwayne Haskins. When Haskins signed with the state of Ohio, Urban Meyer named him the most talented quarterback he'd ever signed. That seemed hyperbolic for a guy who recruited Tim Tebow and Cam Newton, but the first flashes show why there was so much praise.

Haskins showed up for interim coach Ryan Day, threw five touchdown passes and finished 22 for 30 minutes 313 yards in the Buckeyes 77-31 breakout of Oregon State. "He's obviously a gifted passerby," Day told reporters after the game. "And he really does that, really good."

<p class = "canvas atom canvas text mb (1.0em) mb (0) – sm mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Meyer will return to Ohio State on Monday, Although he will not be training for the next two games, he will be in the building preparing the Buckeyes and leading the staff.
Could This performance and the return of Meyer leave some of the drama that runs the program data-reactid = "77"> Meyer will return to Ohio State on Monday to resume his coaching duties. While he will not be training for the next two games, he will be in the building, preparing the buckeyes and leading the staff.
Could this performance and the return of Meyer be something of the drama that the program was for the past month?

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins throws a pass against Oregon State during the second half of a NCAA college football game Saturday, September 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State beat Oregon State 77-31. (AP Photo / Jay LaPrete)

The rest of Big Ten East falls

The other high-end rivals in the Big Ten East did not fare well on Sunday. Yahoo's Pat Forde was in South Bend to document Michigan's on-going battles in their 24/17 loss to Notre Dame. (It took 57 minutes for Michigan to score an offensive touchdown.) Michigan State barely squeaked a win against Utah State on Friday night when the Spartans scored late in the fourth quarter before scoring two minutes to still win 38-31. Penn State was also taken in overtime against the Appalachian State before the prevalent, 45-38. (It was the 11th anniversary of Michigan's Appalachian State anger in the Big House, and somewhere the former quarterback of Mountaineer's Armanti Edwards watched his alma mater with a smile.)

What does Michigan's loss and the two near upsets mean in the big Image? Probably more skepticism towards the Big Ten East. Michigan's loss is not a big factor in perception since they were outsiders. Michigan State has a rich history of deterring early lethargy for 10-win seasons, and this is expected to be one of the better Utah state teams in years. The most dangerous part could be that Penn State wastes a 14-point lead in the second half to work overtime. It is dangerous to make too much general generalization from a small sample size, but the supposedly praised Big Ten East depth will be considered somewhat more cynical from this point on.

Auburn takes the season's first signature win

Nobody on Saturday beat a better number 9 Auburn, who survived a slugfest with No. 6 Washington, 21-16. This will be the victory of the opening weekend, which may have the most juice in the college football playoff race, as it is a victory outside the conference. (That means if Auburn loses to Alabama and does not play for the SEC title, they would have one of the best results in the country.)

There's still plenty to play before it becomes relevant. In the short term, there is a black cloud over the Pac-12. Not only did his top contender lose, but UCLA lost to Cincinnati in Chip Kelly's debut, USC pedestrian faced UNLV and Arizona was pushed around by BYU, losing 28-23, and the league's top Heisman quarterback candidate, Khalil Tate, 17- went from -34, who goes for 197 yards and a TD.

College Football delivers … on and off the field

There were two touching moments that are worth mentioning on Saturday. The first came in Maryland 34-29 upset No. 23 Texas. At Maryland's Scrimmage offensive, they took on the 10-player field to honor the deceased former lineman Jordan McNair. Texas respectfully rejected the punishment in the spirit of tribute. The win marked the second season in a row that Texas fell in the opening game against Maryland. For Maryland, the win by interim coach Matt Canada shows that the program remained strong internally after McNair's death. (Head coach DJ Durkin was suspended after an ESPN report claims a "toxic culture" in the Maryland program.) There is no timeline for his future.)

The other touching moment came in Athens, Georgia, during the half-time of Georgios 45-0 outbreak of Austin Peay. Georgia coach Kirby Smart's wife, Mary Beth Smart, offered the family of Austin Peay offensive coach Joshua Eargle a $ 5,000 check from the Kirby Smart Family Foundation.

In the weeks leading up to the game, there was a GoFundMe page launched by Eargle Family. It was dedicated to raising money for his daughter, 5-year-old Landrey Eargle, who was born with a rare genetic mutation that has required extensive and expensive medical treatment. (She is the only person in the United States and the fourth in the world to have the mutation.) After the family emptied their bank accounts and crippled credit card debt, they attacked the public for help. [19659047Georgiafansandcountlessothercollectedthecollegefootedreactingthen136800dollarswerecollectedforthemedicalcareofLandreyEargle(ThisJoeRexrodeanFribedhasleavedtheRideofFamily)

"It has already changed their lives," said Kristen Eargle, Landrey's mother, before the game. "It has lifted a load and moved a mountain that was immobile, it is humiliating, I will cry over and over, I will be in the shop and I will cry, it changes life."

Georgia fans hired a large percentage of the money taken in for Landrey, but Kristen added fans from all over: Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama, Memphis, and so many others. "College football can split on Saturdays," she said. "It can be so unifying and empowering."

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " More from Yahoo Sports: [19659047] • "No f-ing way": Raiders players respond to Mack trading
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