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Aug
19
2016

​College Football Kickoff: Week 1 Primer

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College Football officially kicks off next Friday, approximately at 10 PM Eastern time. While there will be plenty of football on and everybody’s favorite team will be playing, here’s your destination for the MUST WATCH games, starting late Friday morning, that is, if you don’t have work.

Friday – Aug. 26

California vs. Hawaii, 10 PM EST

ESPN

College Football officially kicks off Friday night at 4 AM on the east coast with the California Golden Bears facing off against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in Sydney, Australia. The two schools have faced off four times in their respective history with each school having a 2-2 record. Hawaii won that last matchup in 21-7 when the teams faced each other in 1994. Their game in Sydney, Australia will be dubbed the “Sydney College Football Cup” and will be the first ever college football game played in Australia.

Thursday – Sept. 1

South Carolina @ Vanderbilt – 8:00 PM EST

ESPN

An early SEC contest pits the Vanderbilt Commodores on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Can the Gamecocks win in Will Muschamp’s debut or can Derek Mason and the Commodores get 2016 off to a fast start? A victory puts one of two coaches in the driver’s seat of their respective season in this early season SEC matchup. The Commodores have not won a season opener since 2011 when they defeated Elon 45-14.

 

Saturday, Sept. 3

Georgia Tech vs Boston College – 7:30 AM EST

ESPN2

If you’re up early Saturday morning, no worries, there will be football on, coming to you from Dublin, Ireland. The Golden Eagles have their work cut out for them against a hungry Yellow Jackets team. Boston College is 2-6 all time against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets enter 2016 looking for their support players to step up and help quarterback Justin Thomas. Thomas couldn’t do much on his own last season causing the Yellow Jackets to struggle through much of 2015 despite starting the season in the top 25. The Golden Eagles enter 2016 looking for the offense to keep pace with their heavily favored defense. If the offense can put drives and points together this season, consider 2016 a success for the Golden Eagles.

 

Oklahoma vs Houston – Noon EST

ABC

In the 2016 Advocare Texas Kickoff, Big 12 favorite Oklahoma meets the Houston Cougars for the first time since 2004. In 2004, the Sooners defeated the Cougars 63-13, this time around, things won’t be so easy. The Cougars return dual threat quarterback Greg Ward Jr. who led the Cougars to two upset victories last season over Louisville and Florida State. The Sooners return quarterback Baker Mayfield who finished fourth in Heisman voting last season while leading Oklahoma to a  11-2 season. Mayfield returns with a sour taste in his mouth after the 37-17 thumping the Clemson Tigers put on them in the Orange Bowl. With a victory over the Cougars could be the jump start he needs to get over the hump.

 

LSU vs Wisconsin – 3:30 PM EST

ABC

The SEC meets the Big Ten in this Week 1 afternoon matchup which pits Leonard Fournette against a tough Wisconsin defense. Things could get good in a hurry for Fournette as the Badgers don’t return much run support and especially if quarterback Brandon Harris can keep the passing attack on the positive side. The Badgers enter 2016 looking to return to the top of the Big Ten, but the schedule is anything but easy to start off. They did manage to get 10 wins in 2015, but this season could start off with another loss. The Badgers have opened the last two seasons with losses.  LSU is 3-0 all time against the Badgers with their last win coming in 2014 when they won 28-24.

 

Georgia vs North Carolina – 5:30 PM EST

ESPN

These two teams have not met since 1971 when the Bulldogs won 7-3 in the Gator Bowl. Georgia hit some rough patches last season before finishing 10-3 and firing head coach Mark Richt. Georgia faithful have brought in Kirby Smart to strengthen the defense in hopes of getting to an SEC title. Smart’s career starts against running back Elijah Hood and the UNC Tar Heels. Hood rushed for 1,463 and 17 touchdowns last season and returns looking to increase his offensive production. The Tar Heels look to Mitch Trubisky to take over quarterback duties in Week 1 against a sound SEC team. This game should be fun to watch.

 

USC vs Alabama – 8:00 PM EST

ABC

These two team haven’t met since 1985 when Alabama won 24-3 in the Aloha Bowl. The Crimson Tide defense will have their work cut out for them against USC quarterback Max Browne and receiver Juju Smith-Schuster but it will be a prime time match up worth watching Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. The Crimson Tide enter 2016 as early National Title favorites with their vaunted defense and retooled offense. The Trojans enter 2016 as Pac-12, a year removed from a few off the field incidents that marred an 8-6 season. Head coach Clay Helton enters 2016 looking for an upset as well as some early respect from one of the best teams in the nation.

 

 

Clemson @ Auburn – 9:00 PM EST

ESPN

The Auburn Tigers enter 2016 with questions at quarterback and hope Jonathan Franklin III can answer them in a hurry as Clemson is not a team to be taken lightly. The Tigers return Heisman favorite quarterback Deshaun Watson as well as running back Wayne Gallman on offense as well as linebacker Ben Boulware on defense.  Defensive ends Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson anchor what should be an underrated Auburn defense in 2016. The Clemson Tigers have won the last two meetings between the teams but Auburn leads the overall record 13-34-2.

 

Sunday – Sept. 4

Notre Dame @ Texas – 7:30 PM EST

ABC

With one year under his belt, Charlie Strong and the Texas Longhorns should have a better 2016 season, but the Fighting Irish will be their first challenge. The Fighting Irish have won the last five meetings including a 38-3 victory last season. The Fighting Irish return with a quarterback controversy on their hands as Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer should split playing time all of 2016. The defense looks to fill some holes on the front 7 but should be back up to speed. The Longhorns return a young but experienced team looking to retake the Big 12 conference as their own. Sunday should be a close game in Austin.

 

Monday – Sept. 5

Ole Miss vs Florida St – 8:00 PM EST

ESPN

Remember the last time the Seminoles started a freshman at quarterback? His name was Jameis Winston and he led them a National Championship that season. Such is the case for freshman Deondre Francois this season with Sean Maguire nursing an ankle injury. That can’t be The Ole Miss Rebels return possibly the best quarterback in the SEC in Chad Kelly but things get questionable from there on offense. On defense, defensive end Marquis Haynes returns looking to anchor the defensive effort. These two teams have met once in school history, when the Rebels won 33-0 in 1961.


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