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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The Texans didn't have an answer for Derrick Henry. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Romeo Crennel made a valorous call that might have costed the Houston Texans from winning their second consecutive game on Sunday. Up by seven with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter, Crennel decided to call a two-point conversion following Deshaun Watson's one-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

During the two-point conversion, Watson had a look at an open Randall Cobb, but Titans' defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got a hand on the ball to deflect the pass. The failed conversion allowed the Titans to take a 42-36 victory over the Texans inside Nissan Stadium. Tennessee scored 13 unanswered points, which included a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown to send the game into overtime.

"I think I would do it again," Crennel said during his media availability on Monday. "You are on the road against a divisional opponent who is undefeated, and if you could get that two-point conversion — you shut the door on them. We had a guy open, but unfortunately, the ball got tipped and we did not make it. I would do it again because it was a good choice."

The decision to not kick the field goal caused somewhat of an uproar, but it is understandable why Crennel made the call. Crennel had faith in Watson to put the Texans in a position to close the game, similar to his 4th-and-4 call during last week's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the end, Crennel's risky decisions could stem from the lack of faith he has in the Texans' depleted defense.

Houston's defense hit an all-time low against the Titans. They gave up a franchise-worst 601 total yards — with Derrick Henry accounting for 212 yards on 22 carries. But despite their struggles against the run, the Texans' secondary were just as faulty. They gave up a total of 338 yards through the air and allowed Tannehill to go 8-for-9 down the field during the Titans' final drive of regulation.

Had Houston's defense made a stop during the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, the Texans could have ended the game 2-0 under their interim head coach.

"I wanted to go ahead and get the two points — I felt like that would have put the game out of reach for them," Crennel said. "If we had gotten it, we would have been in much better shape. But we did not get it. We did not perform well in overtime, and they [Titans] won the game."

Following Sunday's heartbreaking loss, Texans safety Justin Reid said it best, "Had we converted on the two-point conversion, this would be a totally different conversation. So it is what it is."

Up next, the 1-5 Texans will look to bounce back from defeat against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers, inside NRG Stadium on Sunday. Kick-off is at 12:00 PM CT.

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