The first of five nights in Week 1 action kicked off on Thursday night with plenty of fireworks for ranked squads. In fact, in three of the four games featuring a ranked team, the combined scores were 155-21. It was lopsided to say the least. But these games did offer us a glimpse of what could be to come from the likes of Clemson, Texas A&M and UCF as all three begin their runs toward what they hope to be extremely successful seasons.
Let’s take a look back at all the action around college football on Thursday night.
Week 1 college football schedule, scores — Thursday
All times Eastern
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Weather delay halts Holy War
The Holy War is Thursday’s nightcap and it was every bit of the defensive struggle it promised to be. In fact, the only touchdown in the first half was a pick-six from Utes linebacker Francis Bernard. The Utes got on the board offensively with a pair of touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to go up 23-6, but yet another pick six — this one from defensive back Julian Blackmon — put Utah up 30-12 before a weather delay stopped action.
Check out this one-handed grab from Rashod Bateman
It won’t win Catch of the Year, but this one-handed nab from Bateman in Minnesota’s season-opener against a fiesty South Dakota State team is pretty sweet. It’s not a complex route — Bateman just runs past his defender, who trips up — but the catch to go up 13-7 was legit. South Dakota State hung around, though, and at one point took a 21-20 lead in the third quarter. However, a late fumble led to a go-ahead touchdown for the Gophers, who prevailed 28-21 over the FCS power.
Kellen Mond leads Texas A&M over Texas State
If there’s a quarterback in the SEC West who can lead his team to challenge Alabama, it might be Mond. The superb junior dropped some beautiful dimes against the Bobcats and had four total scores in a 41-7 game. While Texas State may not pose the stiffest defense against this Aggies offense, the early returns conjure plenty of excitement for what Mond can do this year.
Clemson dismantles Georgia Tech, but Lawrence struggles
Clemson, the reigning national champions, were big favorites (-36.5) against Georgia Tech. Sure enough, Tigers made good on those expectations in a 52-14 victory. The combination of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne led Clemson to a pair of first quarter scores to go up 14-0. Then, after stopping Georgia Tech cold on a goal-line stand, Lawrence hit Tee Higgins on a long bomb for a another touchdown to go up 28-0. Lawrence was hit-or-miss with two first-half interceptions, neither of which were great decisions. Still, there was simply too much for this new-look Georgia Tech team to stop. Individual plays like this one from Higgins:
Dorian Thompson-Robinson struggles in UCLA loss to Cincinnati
The Bruins made the cross-country trip to kick off coach Chip Kelly’s second season with the program and the results definitely didn’t go as planned. UCLA had just 218 yards of offense in a 24-14 loss. Most of those yards came courtesy of Demetric Felton, whose 71 yards rushing and 91 yards receiving accounted for nearly three-fourths of the yards on the field. Thompson-Robinson particularly struggled with two interceptions and two costly fumbles. Cincinnati has a good defense, but those mistakes are unacceptable for the start of Year 2.
Wimbush starts strong for UCF
Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush got things going quickly for his new squad, UCF, against Florida A&M in a 62-0 shutout. The dual-threat weapon capped off the first drive of the season with a 37-yard touchdown strike to Gabriel Davis to get the scoring started at the bounce house. Overall, Wimbush was effective with 168 yards passing and a couple of touchdowns. The Knights have had no trouble against Florida A&M, out-gaining them by a whopping 694-96 in total yards — and now turn their sights to FAU.