News, thoughts and more from the world of college sports across the nation and Long Island.
UConn and Rutgers disappoint
A few quick notes on the opening weekend of college football.
Rutgers: How long are we to drink the Kool-Aid. Instead of kicking the extra point to force a fifth OT in their 52-51 4OT loss at Fresno State, the Scarlet Knights went for two. Ok, so you like to see coaches taking chances. It can make the games more exciting for the fans. But losses in college football are tough to swallow. One setback can mean the difference between a BCS bowl and an also-ran bowl somewhere in the Midwest in front of a half-empty stadium. To be fair to Rutgers, Derek Carr is an excellent quarterback. He completed 52 of 73 passes for 456 yards and five touchdowns…On a positive note, Rutgers’ Gary Nova threw for 348 yards, five TDs and just one interception.
Connecticut: The Huskies’ 33-18 home loss to Towson was downright embarrassing. Towson shredded UConn’s front seven for 201 yards on 50 carries. Anytime a team runs the ball 50 times, it’s clear they have no respect for their opponent’s rush defense. Paul Pasqualoni’s crew, meanwhile, managed just 84 yards on 28 carriers (3.0 per rush). If that couldn’t get it done against an FCS team like Towson, it certainly won’t work against AAC teams. This could be a very long season for Connecticut.
No. 8 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia: Granted the SEC is the toughest conference in the country. But they routinely schedule lightweight non-conference opponents. Kudos to the No. 5 Bulldogs for playing at No. 8 Clemson to start the season. Tigers QB Tajh Boyd will be a handful for Georgia…Alabama also gets its due also for playing Virginia Tech. The Hokies are a little down this season, but it’s better than seeing the Crimson Tide against some hyphenated-directional mid-major.
Temple vs. No. 14 Notre Dame: We’re pretty sure you’re wondering why this game is listed here. But we want to see what the Irish look like with Tommy Rees at QB. Everett Golson’s dismissal will put a lot of pressure on Rees and the rest of the offense.
USC’s offense: The Trojans defense was lights out against Hawaii. Their offense left something to be desired. USC’s two-QB combo of Cody Kessler and Max Wittek finished a combined 15-for-29 for 172 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. That won’t get it done against a schedule that includes Notre Dame, Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA.