The game to kick off the college football season was Murray State at Louisville. The Cardinals started out strong with a 21-0 lead in the first half led by their quarterback Will Stein (226 yds 2 TDs) which is a good passer on the move. But then the game got sloppy with seven turnovers committed by both teams. Louisville allowed for it to be competitive, but they still came away with the win. Final score: Louisville 21 Murray State 9.
Villanova at Temple was broadcasted on ESPN3.com and I decided to catch it to see if there is any drop off in Temple after the departure of head coach Al Golden. Temple had no problem in their first game of the season and exuded their dominance over Villanova. Bernard Pierce appears to be a very talented running back that has speed on the edge. He finished with 147 yards on 20 carries. Final score: Temple 42 Villanova 7.
Mississippi State was the first SEC team to play this season and they traveled to the Liberty Bowl to play Memphis. As expected, the Bulldogs rolled over the Tigers in tallying their most points scored in a game since 2000. Vick Ballard had a dazzling performance racking up 166 rushing yards with three touchdowns on just 10 carries. Mississippi State’s specials teams return game does need to improve before SEC play. Final score: Mississippi State 59 Memphis 14.
UNLV may be the Running Rebels, but the Badgers were doing most of the running. Wisconsin rolled over UNLV with a strong ground attack with 241 rush yards and a good showing by quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson had 255 passing yards, 62 rush yards, and three total touchdowns in his first game as a Badger. The Running Rebels still had 146 rush yards against a Badger defense that seemed too lackadaisical at times. Final Score: Wisconsin 51 UNLV 17.
Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky was surprisingly closer than expected. The score was only a 7-3 with Kentucky leading after the first half. The Hilltoppers came into the game with a lot of moxy for a team just 2-10 a season ago and were not all intimidated by their SEC foe. Tailback Bobby Rainey managed to get over 100 rushing yards for WKU, but it took 28 carries to do so. Linebacker Andrew Jackson (6’1 255lbs) may have been the star of the game for the Hilltoppers with 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. The Wildcats seemed a little lost without Randall Cobb, but quarterback Morgan Newton had a big 58 yard run and a huge throw late in the fourth quarter to secure the win for Kentucky. Final Score: Kentucky 14 Western Kentucky 3.
I ended up catching part of the fourth quarter and overtime of what ended up being the game of the night in Wake Forest at Syracuse. The Orange scored 22 straight points including a two point conversion to come back despite having a field goal blocked late in the fourth quarter and beat the Demon Deacons in overtime. Final Score: Syracuse 36 Wake Forest 29.
Here are the rest of the scores for Thursday night:
Central Michigan 21 South Carolina State 6
Florida International 41 North Texas 16
Toledo 58 New Hampshire 22
Georgia Tech 63 West Carolina 21
Rutgers 48 North Carolina Central 0
Utah 27 Montana State 10
Bowling Green 32 Idaho 15
Arizona State 48 UC Davis 14