NCAA Football Report (Week 1)

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Another season is underway in the NCAA as schools got their New Year’s underway with many looking toward New Year’s Eve as their goal.

Those semi-finals on December 31st are sure to be a hot topic for the rest of the year as teams all try to find their way to the playoff.

For the top programs, and some unknown ones, it all starts here in the first week where a season can’t be won but can certainly be lost.

As every team gets going there are inevitably questions about whether or not they can overcome whatever obstacles they have to win games.

Every team has to deal with something different and some won’t know until the season gets further in.

Still there is always something to overcome and for two teams this year the obstacle is very similar and one that many teams have gone through before.

The Florida State Seminoles and Oregon Ducks were two very high-profile teams last year with both making the first year of the playoff.

Those great years were largely due to their two superstar quarterbacks that helped lead the team for years.

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will forever be linked as they competed through the entire 2014 season as the two best quarterbacks in the league.

They both fought for the Heisman and to be the top pick in the NFL draft while trying to win a national champions.

After the 2014 season both had won a Heisman, Winston in 2013 and Mariota last year, with Winston being the only one to win a national championship, in 2013.

Winston also became the first overall pick in the draft with Mariota being taken one pick behind him.

It was a great year for both quarterbacks and both teams but that time is over and as 2015 approached both teams were left with major hurdles.

They had lost their best players and the leaders both on and off of the field while needing to keep their programs rolling.

It doesn’t take much for a program to start to fail and more than one has seen that happen when the biggest player leaves the team for the NFL.mma-sidebar.fw

It is never an easy thing to replace a player that has become a fan favourite and has played well.

It becomes even tougher when that player was the star of the team and one of the few superstars in the league.

That is the role that Vernon Adams Jr. and Everett Golson will need to play this year. Luckily for the Seminoles their replacement has been in the fire of expectation before.

Golson began his NCAA career as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Over the last two years he was considered the leader of the Irish through their rebuild to a contender.

The Irish are the only team with a national broadcaster as every game is on national TV, which is the environment that Golson grew up in.

Last year the emergence of Malik Zaire caused a problem at Notre Dame where it seemed like Golson was going to be put on the bench.

Instead of becoming a backup, Golson decided to transfer to Florida State where he would do a Master’s degree after graduating from Notre Dame, that being the reason or him to start this year despite transferring.

Golson will not match the hype that came with Winston but he has all of the skills to bring the Seminoles back to the playoffs as he helped the Irish back to the national stage and although he will be compared to Winston all year he may very well achieve what Winston did.

In his first game he proved that throwing for 205 yards and four touchdowns. The tougher job may be for Adams who will take over from Mariota who was not only a great player but a great person.

It is a lot to live up for Adams as he is following a Heisman Trophy winner and fan favourite. He is not completely lost as a starter though as he, like Golson, is a graduate transfer from Eastern Washington.

He may have never had the exposure that Golson had and will not be used to the spotlight playing for Oregon.

Still he is the type of quarterback that the Ducks love and he too proved it in his first game with the Ducks.

Adams threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 94 yards. Both Adams and Golson are under a microscope this year as they will always be the quarterbacks that followed two legends.

As they continue to play they will try to establish their own reputations but short of winning a national championship they will spend the year as the replacements for two legends.

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Key Scores:
#2 TCU Horned Frogs 23 – 17 Minnesota Golden Gophers
– The second best team in the nation coming into the season has a lot to prove as they hope to make the playoffs a year after just missing out but wins like this won’t help as they barely got by the unranked Gophers

BYU Cougars 33 – 28 Nebraska Cornhuskers
– It was one of the first games on the first Saturday of the season and it was an interesting one as both teams went back and forth with the Cougars coming out on top after a last second Hail Mary giving them the win

#11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 38 – 3 Texas Longhorns
– The Texas Longhorns had a chance to prove that they were ready to compete this year as they took on the Irish in their first game in primetime and they did not look good as new Notre Dame QB led the Irish to a 1-0 record

#1 Ohio State Buckeyes 42 – 24 Virginia Tech Hokies
– The Buckeyes looked like they were headed for an upset in their first game since winning the National Title as the Hokies led at halftime but a strong second half from the defending champions led to a big win to start off their title defence

Next Week:
Stephen F Austin Lumberjacks vs. TCU Horned Frogs (Saturday September 12th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Horned Frogs did not have the most impressive debut after pre-season polls had them near the top of the rankings but they will look to recover against the Lumberjacks, a game they should win easily if they want to remain near the top

Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Saturday September 12th; 3:30 pm ET)
– The Buckeyes began their season with a win despite a shaky start and they hope to continue a good start by welcoming in Hawaii and taking a win

Oklahoma Sooners vs. Tennessee Volunteers (Saturday September 12th; 6:00 pm ET)
– There are only a few teams that will play great competition in the second week of the season and the Vols and Sooners are two of them as this game will push one team further up the rankings while the other will fall off early

Oregon Ducks vs. Michigan State Spartans (Saturday September 12th; 8:00 pm ET)
– The Ducks had a good debut without Marcus Mariota but they will step up the competition as they take on a traditionally strong defensive team that is sure to test their new quarterback as both teams attempt to take a win and a better shot at the playoff

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