DEL OLALEYE

Week 1 college football around the country recap

Former Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin got off to a slow start with his new team in Arizona. Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Games have Begun

Football coaches generally like to fall back on the 24/48 hour rule when talking about moving on after a big victory or a bad loss. That rule doesn’t apply to fans. Winning a big game will get you through the work week, while losing that game makes you want to hide from the sports world until your team takes the field again. In my case, using Netflix to hide from the college football world was the play this weekend. Nothing like watching your favorite team who was ranked in the top 10 be taken behind the woodshed by a “lesser opponent” It can change your whole perspective on the season. Enough about me or this will turn into a therapy session.

The Edwards and Sumlin tenures begin Arizona

Maybe Herm Edwards won’t be the disaster we all thought he would be on the college level. A comfortable 49-7 win over UTSA by his Arizona State team doesn’t change the potential trajectory of Edwards’ tenure but the Roadrunners weren’t terrible last year and the Sun Devils handled them with ease. That result by itself isn’t a national story but it is interesting that on the same night Kevin Sumlin’s tenure at Arizona got off to a very different start. The long time college head coach saw his Wildcats lose at home to BYU. Traditionally, BYU would be considered a tougher opponent than UTSA but BYU struggled quite a bit last year. BYU was 4-9 in 2017 and going into the game Arizona had a dark horse Heisman candidate in quarterback Khalil Tate. None of that mattered on Saturday as Tate and Arizona’s offense never got going and Sumlin’s Arizona tenure began with a 28-23 loss in Tucson.

The Four Playoff Teams from 2017 all roll

Alabama: They were the only one of the four to face a Power 5 school but they made Louisville look like Florida Atlantic. The Age of Tua has begun as Alabama went up and down the field with Tagovailoa leading the offense. Nick Saban decided to finally do what everyone had been predicting since last January. He named Tua Tagovailoa the starter.

Clemson: Kelly Bryant started for Clemson and he looked like the Kelly Bryant we saw last year. At least the Kelly Bryant that didn’t have to play Alabama. He was effective and efficient. Clemson’s phenom freshman quarterback Tyler Lawrence played in the first half with the first team offense and played well also. The opponent for the Tigers was Furman and the level of competition provided really did nothing to answer the quarterback questions at Clemson. With the Clemson quarterback drama all set to continue you can catch the next episode in College Station when the Tigers take on Texas A&M.

Georgia: They played Austin Peay. That’s all the space I’ll use on them.

Oklahoma: Kyler Murray took over for Baker Mayfield and the Sooners offense didn’t seem to notice while Lane Kiffin’s second season at FAU started much like his first. The Owls were blown out in the season opener last year by Navy. The beating they took from Oklahoma in Norman on Saturday had a different feel to it because of how well FAU finished last season. A 63-14 final was a bit surprising considering Lane Kiffin’s team won their final 10 games to close out the 2017 season. The Sooners weren’t impressed and Kyler Murray looked like a video game create-a-player in his first start. He reminded me of the early iterations of football games on game consoles against Florida Atlantic. In those games you could put a really fast player at quarterback and he would completely dominate the game with his athletic ability.  It didn’t hurt that Murray had Rodney Anderson to hand the ball of to either. Anderson may be the best back in the Big 12 and the one hundred yards he put up on just five carries was impressive.

Hate Watch Game of the Week: Florida vs Kentucky

Florida currently owns a 31-game winning streak over the Wildcats. If you’re an unbiased observer or just a fan of ending prolonged misery you should be rooting for Kentucky to go into The Swamp and the get the job done. If you’re like me and can’t stand the Gators, watching the Florida faithful freak out over their new coach losing at home to Kentucky is reason enough to hope the streak ends.

Current Hate Watch record: 1-0

Thanks to Virginia Tech’s defense and five turnovers by Florida State,  HWGOTW got off to a great start. Final Score: 24-3 Hokies over the Noles.

 

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Zack Greinke earned his 10th win of the season in Sunday's finale agains the Rangers. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With the first two wins of the series under their belt, the Astros entered Sunday looking to take care of business before heading on the road. Despite the Rangers taking the first lead of the day, the Astros responded on offense and defense to erase the deficit to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 3, Rangers 1

Astros' Record: 61-39, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (10-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dennis Santana (0-1)

Greinke, with some help, notches a quality start

Zack Greinke was doing well in the early goings of Sunday's finale. Despite allowing back-to-back singles to start the game, he stranded both runners to finish the top of the first. He followed that by erasing two more runners in the second, starting a stretch of eight straight batters which he would retire to make it through one out in the top of the fifth without allowing a run.

Texas finally added a blemish to his day at that point, getting a solo homer to grab their first lead in weeks. Greinke rebounded from it, sitting down the next two batters to finish the frame, then posted a 1-2-3 sixth. He returned for the top of the seventh, but would end his day with a struggle, loading the bases with no outs on a single, hit batter, and walk. That prompted Dusty Baker to bring in Cristian Javier, who saved Greinke's stat line by getting a strikeout and double play to keep the Rangers from scoring. Greinke's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 86 P.

Houston grabs the lead

Houston's starter would leave in line for the win, thanks to the work of Cristian Javier, but also some timely offense in the two innings prior. With not much going for them in the first four innings, the Astros tried to take advantage of Chas McCormick being on base in the bottom of the fifth, sending him for a potential hit and run with Abraham Toro swinging.

That turned into two runs, with McCormick able to slow his run as Toro would launch a two-run go-ahead homer to erase the Rangers lead quickly. They extended the lead to two runs in the next inning, with Yordan Alvarez working a walk and then later scoring on an RBI single by Kyle Tucker, making it 3-1.

Astros finish the sweep

After cleaning up the inherited mess in the top of the seventh, Javier remained on the mound in the top of the eighth and made it through a 1-2-3 inning to give him six outs against five batters. With it still a two-run game in the top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save opportunity. He notched it, sitting down the Rangers 1-2-3 to finish the sweep, handing Texas their twelfth straight loss.

Up Next: The Astros will head out west for an eight-game road trip starting with a three-game set with the Mariners kicking off at 9:10 PM Central on Monday. In the opener, Luis Garcia (7-5, 2.86 ERA) for Houston is slated to go opposite Darren McCaughan (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who will make his second career appearance and first start for Seattle.

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