NCAA Week 1 – The Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State Buckeyes took benefit of marquee alternatives on this opening full weekend of school soccer to cement themselves as giants to be reckoned with over the course of the 2022 marketing campaign. Georgia refused to even entertain questions on its standing on the prime of the game in opposition to Oregon, whereas Ohio State wanted about half of the sport in opposition to Notre Dame to spherical into kind earlier than sitting on the Combating Irish late.
To recap a exceptional slate of opening video games, we’ll dive into the numbers from these two contests and hit a number of different fascinating video games alongside the way in which.
- All Rankings referenced are from Brian Fremeau’s FEI numbers heading into the weekend.
- EPA/play consists of particular groups and penalties, so combining EPA/rush and EPA/move numbers will not give the identical complete as what the highest line quantity reveals.
Marquee Video games
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs 49, No. 25 Oregon Geese 3
Final 12 months’s Georgia staff boasted a generationally stingy protection that led the Bulldogs to their first championship in 42 years. Stetson Bennett determined to open the 2022 marketing campaign by main an offensive efficiency that was simply as spectacular as what Georgia confirmed on the opposite aspect for many of 2021. This was an upper-Ninetieth percentile efficiency nearly throughout the board for the Bennett-led offense. The scariest factor could also be that the extremely considered tight finish corps did little or no to propel this efficiency. Kenny McIntosh really led the receiving assault out of the backfield, catching all 9 of his targets for 117 yards. Ladd McConkey picked up from his spectacular freshman marketing campaign, including 5 catches and two essential carries for Georgia. Past that, Bennett discovered open receivers and trusted that his guys have been higher than something the Geese may throw out in protection. He was proper, to the tune of 12.0 yards per move try and almost a full EPA per move.
On the opposite aspect of the ball, Bo Nix began for a brand new staff however misplaced his fourth straight to Georgia. His two early interceptions helped dig an insurmountable deficit. Oregon was simpler on the bottom, but it surely did not matter. There was no world through which the Nix-led offense may sustain with Georgia on Saturday afternoon. Jalen Carter dominated the inside of the road as anticipated, and true freshman Malaki Starks was disruptive from the again of the Georgia protection.
Georgia confirmed extra proof that it has ascended to the Alabama Loss of life Star stratosphere of the game, the place rebuilding is not a factor. The SEC slate for Georgia is comparatively delicate this 12 months, and there doesn’t appear to be a lot standing in the way in which of a berth in Atlanta to open December. It says lots about what Kirby Good has constructed that Week 1 can inform us that a lot so conclusively.
No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes 21, No. 5 Notre Dame Combating Irish 10
Within the last heavweight recreation of the evening, Ohio State obtained a a lot harder take a look at from what a way more formidable opponent. The Buckeyes did not erase Notre Dame like Georgia did to Oregon, however they did reveal their very own resolve to stay a pressure all through this fall. As an alternative of the uncontainable play-making that was anticipated, Ohio State confirmed an environment friendly model of offense to go together with what was principally a suffocating protection.
After Jaxon Smith-Njigba left the sport, C.J. Stroud appeared content material to slowly construct environment friendly drives and keep away from any form of mistake that will give the Combating Irish a brief discipline. Notre Dame loved a bonus of two yards per move try on this recreation; a quantity that not many would have predicted earlier than Saturday. Nevertheless, Ohio State used its consistency on the bottom and its depth of expertise on the skin to proceed pummeling away at a powerful Notre Dame protection. TreVeyon Henderson ended the sport with extra complete EPA on the bottom than C.J. Stroud had within the air. With an offense in a position to do such harm both manner, it is tough for a protection to maintain them sufficiently contained.
On the opposite aspect of the ball, Ohio State allowed a piece play to Lorenzo Kinds to open the sport after which determined that was about all that the Irish would do Saturday evening. That single play was value nearly 5 EPA, however Notre Dame completed the evening with about negative-three complete EPA from its offense. The operating recreation, together with the elusive Tyler Buchner, may do nothing, and Tommy Reis clearly didn’t belief Buchner sufficient to show issues absolutely over to the passing assault. On the finish of the sport, Notre Dame had tried solely 18 passes, though its common move was far simpler than its common run. Ohio State will nonetheless want a solution when a strong opponent is prepared and in a position to throw the ball 35 or 40 occasions, however which may not occur till January. For now, Ohio State awaits information on Smith-Njigba whereas figuring out that it may win video games in several methods when pressed.
No. 22 Florida Gators 29, No. Utah Utes 26
Billy Napier gave the Florida trustworthy one thing to roar about on Saturday evening within the Swamp. This was an exciting contest between two groups who appeared the a part of New Yr’s Six contenders. Each offenses put up above common numbers nearly throughout the board, however Utah’s crimson zone failures price the Utes dearly. For Florida followers, Anthony Richardson was all the pieces they hoped. He orchestrated two fourth-quarter landing drives to perfection. General, Richardson put up 9 EPA via the air and 11 on the bottom. The Cam Newton comparisons will not cease if Richardson is ready to string collectively performances like that, particularly in opposition to defenses of this caliber.
Cam Rising loved his personal success main the Utah offense, however his interception on the final significant snap of the sport was a dagger for the Utes followers who confirmed out impressively in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Rising posted strong EPA numbers himself, including an nearly equal seven EPA on the bottom and thru the air. Celebrity tight finish Brant Kuithe accounted for about that very same complete himself, catching 9 balls on 13 targets.
Florida followers really feel significantly better about Saturday evening’s outcomes, however this can be a recreation that may present encouragement for each groups. USC and UCLA will each take a look at this Utes protection in methods just like Florida; Utah confirmed it ought to compete bravely in opposition to each of these faculties and can possible be important favorites in all 9 of its different video games. For Florida, the thrill that was pointing to the long run may be nearer to actuality now. The Gators went toe-to-toe with a fantastic Utah staff, Anthony Richardson proved his mettle when it mattered most, and Florida may (may!) be undefeated getting into the LSU-Georgia-Texas A&M stretch that begins in mid-October.
No. 40 Arkansas Razorbacks 31, No. 16 Cincinnati Bearcats 16
Arkansas kicked off a season of excessive hopes whereas Cincinnati started its quest to show that this can be a program able to sustaining success after final 12 months’s large accomplishments and subsequent departures to the NFL. Ben Bryant, the Cincinnati-to-Japanese-Michigan-and-back-to-Cincinnati switch, began the season as Luke Fickell’s quarterback alternative and held up acceptably. Bryant was strong, placing up optimistic EPA via the air and on the bottom, however he could not hold tempo with Okay.J. Jefferson and the playmakers on the Arkansas offense.
Each groups ended up with barely unfavorable EPA on the bottom, whereas Jefferson’s six EPA passing surpassed Bryant’s two and largely proved to be the distinction within the recreation. This was a battle between two very evenly matched groups. I count on by the top of the season, the numbers will see each of those groups within the 15-to-20 vary of the nationwide rankings. Cincinnati is not pretty much as good as final 12 months, however will probably be a pressure in its last AAC season. Arkansas is not within the prime tier of the SEC, however it should show able to aggressive battle in opposition to a really tough schedule.
No. 34 Pittsburgh Panthers 38, No. 52 West Virginia Mountaineers 31
The resumption of the Yard Brawl collection thrilled viewers and kicked off a supremely entertaining weekend of school soccer. Pittsburgh was in full boom-or-bust mode on offense, placing up a monster 35% explosive play price but additionally permitting a 29% havoc price and a 21% run stuff price. Kedon Slovis seems to be a worthy successor to Kenny Pickett, however Pittsburgh goes to should tighten up its glitchy run protection for the Panthers to stay in ACC Coastal competition because the 12 months progresses. West Virginia had been dominant on the bottom and allowed nearly none of its runs to get stuffed; nonetheless, Neal Brown made a fateful determination to punt on fourth-and-short within the fourth quarter and gave up management of the sport within the course of. That was a brutal determination for the Mountaineers.
No. 12 Penn State Nittany Lions 35, No. 27 Purdue Boilermakers 31
Penn State gained an in depth name in a tricky highway setting to cap off Thursday evening’s motion. The Nittany Lions passing recreation nonetheless has query marks, and the magical arm of Drew Allar lurks within the wings. This was a win Penn State needed to have, however the ceiling for this season may change drastically relying on the reply that James Franklin and his employees land on on the quarterback place.
No. 53 North Carolina Tar Heels 63, No. 33 Appalachian State Mountaineers 61
Within the Week 1 nominee for recreation of the 12 months, Appalachian State scored with 31 seconds left, went for 2 to attempt to acquire the lead however failed, and seemingly had misplaced the sport. On the following onside kick, North Carolina unwisely determined to return the kick for a landing and gave the ball again to the Mountaineers. A 20 second scoring drive gave Chase Brice yet another likelihood to tie the sport on a two-point scramble, however he got here up only a yard brief. Each offenses have been supremely environment friendly all through this recreation. North Carolina has a profitable quarterback in Drake Maye, but it surely stays to be seen whether or not the Tar Heels protection can put up a lot resistance to enrich the offense.
No. 35 North Carolina State Wolfpack 21, No. 89 East Carolina Pirates 20
In one other recreation that featured an ACC college travelling to face an in-state opponent from the Group of 5, the Wolfpack began their much-hyped marketing campaign with a lackluster efficiency. A pair of missed kicks from East Carolina within the fourth quarter allowed NC State to flee with a win, however this didn’t appear to be a staff who will battle with Clemson for ACC Atlantic supremacy. Devin Leary was mediocre, and the Wolfpack protection didn’t stop East Carolina from hitting numerous explosives. It is Week 1, however this recreation raised numerous query marks for this NC State staff.
No. 45 Houston Cougars 37, No. 85 UTSA Roadrunners 35
One other Group of 5 barnburner noticed Houston maintain off UTSA in 4 overtimes. Neither offense was extremely environment friendly, however there have been dynamic performs all through the sport from each Clayton Tune of Houston and Frank Harris of UTSA. The Cougars should be higher on offense to stick with Cincinnati and UCF within the AAC race, whereas UTSA seems primed to contend for the C-USA crown as soon as once more.
Wanting Forward: High 35 Battles in Week 2
- No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide at No. 23 Texas Longhorns
- No. 13 Iowa State Cyclones at No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes
- No. 21 Kentucky Wildcats at No. 22 Florida Gators
- No. 32 Tennessee Volunteers at No. 34 Pittsburgh Panthers
- No. 33 Appalachian State Mountaineers at No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies