2021 Week 1 Recap

Week 1 (and zero) has come and gone and boy did it live up to the hype! If you guys are new here and don’t know how this works, we will post a weekly recap to analyze some of the results we saw in our simulation and real-life. We will take a look at our predicted games and other games of note each and every week. If you guys are looking for your favorite teams, check out the scores section of our webpage as well as the updated standings and rankings! For those more interested in the aesthetics of the weekend, a Top 10 uniform games of our simulated weekend will be posted shortly. But let’s get on to the results!

Games of Note and Predictions

UCF 52 – Boise State 30

Scott – UCF 34, Boise State 31

Gavin – UCF 24, Boise State 23

Well the Knights certainly showed up Thursday night. The Gus Malzahn era got off to a fantastic start as the Bounce House was up for grabs following a lengthy weather delay. Dillon Gabriel, Isaiah Bowser and the Knight offense outpaced Hank Bachmeier and the BSU offense all night. Gus Malzahn surely made an impact in his first game in Orlando. Andy Avalos should have a prime opportunity to earn his first win when UTEP visits the Smurf Turf Friday night. UCF charges ahead, and will look to contend with Cincy for the AAC.

#12 Wisconsin 30 – #19 Penn State 5

Scott – Wisconsin 27, Penn State 17

Gavin – Wisconsin 28, Penn State 21

In the first Big Noon Kickoff of the year, the Badgers proved themselves as the much better bounce-back contender from 2020 of the two teams. PSU kept it close for a half, but the Wisconsin running game eventually started to wear down the Lions’ front in the second half. Camp Randall was jumping around, and PSU could only muster a field goal on offense against the elite Badger D. The Nittany Lion defense, with a safety, almost outscored their own offense. Sean Clifford was under duress all day, and the Badgers’ defense looks to be amongst the best in the nation yet again under Jim Leonhard.

#1 Alabama 48, #14 Miami (FL) 13

Scott – Alabama 41, Miami 13

Gavin – Alabama 35, Miami 17

Well, Bama is back, and no they didn’t let their lack of returning production effect their on-field dominance. The Crimson Tide crushed the Canes in Atlanta, featuring a stellar performance from first-time starting QB Bryce Young. I was just a Tide touchdown short of hitting this one right on the money in my prediction, and just a field goal short of the actual score! Manny Diaz’s bunch has no time to feel sorry for themselves, as a Group of 5 Power in App State visits Coral Gables this week. Make no mistake: Miami should be good, but Alabama is seemingly once again on another level from the rest of college football.

#18 Iowa 37 – #17 Indiana 20

Scott – Iowa 28, Indiana 14

Gavin – Iowa 34, Indiana 24

Wow. What a statement win for the Hawkeyes. In a matchup that was supposed to be decided by a thin margin, Iowa controlled this game for 60 minutes. Led by Tyler Goodson out of the backfield, Brian Ferentz’s offense was able to put up 37 points, and the defense played pretty well against Michael Penix and the IU attack. This makes it 23(!!) games in a row that Iowa has held their opponent under 25 points, which has shown just how dominant this side of the ball has been the last few season for the Hawks. While Iowa has already picked up a ranked win, they’ll have a tremendous opportunity for another in the huge Cy-Hawk rivalry game against their rival: the top 10 Cyclones. And for Indiana, was last season a mirage? The Hoosiers have a lot of ball left to play and should be able to work out many of their kinks next week as they battle ‘aho from the FCS ranks (pun).

#21 Texas 36 – #23 Louisiana 22

Scott – Texas 33, Louisiana 20

Gavin – Texas 27, Louisiana 20

It says something that in both mine and Gavin’s preview of this game, we both labeled this game as “much-needed” for the Longhorns under a first-year coach. That shows what kind of turmoil this program has been through the last decade or so. But make no mistake, Texas looked quite strong in this one. We need to make sure we give them enough credit for not only what they pulled off, but how they looked doing so. The Ragin’ Cajuns are a great team, and I think they’ll bounce back to win 10+ games, so although this was a Sun Belt win, Texas did not choke, and that’s saying a lot these days. Freshman QB Hudson Card showed flashes at times today, but the game ball goes to star tailback Bijan Robinson. With over 200 yards on the ground, Sark seems to have gotten the memo to feed the rock to #5. Sarkisian era: 1-0. Next up is a road trip to Fayetteville against an old SWC foe.

#3 Clemson 26 – #5 Georgia 20

Scott – Georgia 35, Clemson 31

Gavin – Clemson 31, Georgia 24

Well that lived up to the hype. In an absolute thriller, the Tigers edged out the Dawgs to give UGA yet another “almost” on Kirby Smart’s resumé. Both defenses and offenses looked extremely talented in Charlotte Saturday night. The lack of deep threats really hurt Georgia, as several of J.T. Daniels’ weapons were out due to injury. Clemson had injuries on their O-line as well, and while DJ Uiagalelei had a shaky debut at times, he did enough against an outstanding defense to get what mattered: a 1-0 start. Clemson’s defensive line had a remarkable performance, sacking Daniels six times and keeping the run game in check for most of the night. While both of these teams should be favored the rest of their regular seasons, this is a massive win for Clemson and the ACC come Selection Sunday. Georgia has very little margin for error now. By the way, this is quite a blow to my playoff projections, but not in real-life I suppose.

UCLA 37 – #16 LSU 36

Scott – LSU 38, UCLA 35

Gavin – LSU 38, UCLA 23

Chip Kelly finally might have his team cooking in Westwood. The Bruins pulled off the upset against the Tigers, and all of a sudden, the Bruins, led by their rushing attack may be a legit Pac-12 contender in 2021. Knowing the mindset of much of the LSU fanbase, they will not take this one well. This is especially true after their disappointing attempt at a title defense from last year. Is Coach O on the hot seat? I’m not sure if he should be quite yet, as a 1-point loss to this UCLA team is nothing to scoff at in my book. The defense is still concerning though as DTR and the Bruin offense had success throwing and running the ball for the entirety of the game. These two programs will be fascinating to watch moving forward.

#9 Notre Dame 30 – Florida State 26

Scott – Notre Dame 42, Florida State 17

Gavin – Notre Dame 28, Florida State 20

In the Sunday night primetime game, Doak Campbell was absolutely electric and made for one of the best environments I have seen in the sport. To see Osceola and Renegade march out onto the field got all of the juices flowing. The Noles used this to their advantage, putting up a valiant effort against a power in ND. For a second, I thought Mike Norvell was about to pick up his signature win as coach at FSU, but Jack Coan had other plans. The Irish did just enough early on against an improved Seminole defense. Although the game looked out of reach, McKenzie Milton led Florida State back to within a score, but they just missed out on sealing the deal. Is Notre Dame worse than we thought? Or is FSU better than we thought? Maybe both? We will see in due time, but this was an absolute classic between two blue-bloods.

Upset Picks:

Kansas State 12 – Stanford 11

Scott – Kansas State 27-19

Much like the real-life contest, KSU absolutely shut down Stanford, as neither Cardinal QB could generate much against the Wildcat D. While Skylar Thompson and the K-State offense were not efficient in the red-zone, kicking four field goals, it was just enough and a win is a win for Chris Klieman. As for David Shaw’s bunch, they now travel to the Coliseum to play a Top-15 SC. Yikes.

Maryland 46 – West Virginia 42

Gavin – Maryland 35-28

In what was looked at as a massive game for each program’s direction, the Terps pulled off the upset against WVU. This could flip each team’s season as whether they make a bowl game or not. Taulia Tagovailoa had just enough to outlast Jarret Doege and the Mountaineers in a true shootout through and through. All of a sudden, Maryland has a very real chance at 4-0. Although Neal Brown registered his conference’s only loss Saturday, he should have a cupcake next week with the LIU Sharks.

Our Pick Results:

Scott 8-1

Gavin 9-0

Sheesh. I guess it wasn’t a great week to go 8-1 with my only loss being a one-possesion one. We must be getting better at handicapping our simulator in our second go-around. (I fully expect terrible showings from us both next week to regress to the mean.)

Other Games of Note:

Nebraska 19 – Illinois 10

Back in Week 0, Scott Frost exacted some revenge on the Illini and new coach Bret Bielema. Frost’s job status will be a hot topic this entire season.

#4 Ohio State 64 – Minnesota 35

What a debut for the newcomer QB CJ Stroud. Ohio State’s offense is on an entire different level from the rest of the B1G. The Gophers put up a fight, but OSU’s weapons are too athletic for Minnesota at this point.

#10 North Carolina 36 – Virginia Tech 33

Yes, it is a conference opener in a hostile environment. But, it took some magic from Sam Howell to escape Blacksburg with a victory. Is UNC a bit overrated? Or did VA Tech take a big step forward? Time will tell.

Northwestern 53 – Michigan State 6

In another season-opening conference game, this one provided a lot of shock value. Not with who won, but how they did so. I can honestly say as a lifelong Northwestern fan, there aren’t too many times I remember the Cats hanging 50+. Maybe the extra year learning the system was all the Hunter needed to succeed at quarterback. Is MSU this bad?

#3 Oklahoma 59 – Tulane 3

After being moved to Norman because of Hurricane Ida, the Sooners gave their fans quite an appetizer for the 2021 campaign. This is why people think OU can win the whole thing, as the offense and defense completely gutted a well-coached Green Wave squad.

USC 42 – San Jose State 26

While the Trojans made it clear they were not going to nap on the defending MW champs, SJSU hung in this game for a good while at the Coliseum. However, Stephen Carr and Kedon Slovis were just too much for the pesky Spartans. Clay Helton avoids a huge stumble.

Texas Tech 32 – Houston 15

In another head coach job security game, Matt Wells earned a huge dub over future conference rival Houston in the Texans’ stadium. The defense shut down Clayton Tune and Dana Holgorsen’s offense for a majority of this one.

California 39 – Nevada 13

In an insanely trendy upset pick, Cal silenced the doubters and completely negated Carson Strong and the electric Nevada offense. Justin Wilcox showed Jay Norvell and company what a strong Power 5 defense can do to a high-powered G5 offense. This was a quality win for the Golden Bears.

BYU 43 – Arizona 30

After losing so much from the dream season a year ago, BYU’s offense showed great promise in Vegas against Arizona. While this is a complete rebuild for Jedd Fisch and the Wildcats, they fought hard against the Cougars. And for Kilani Sitake, he avoided this potential lookahead game and has made it to Week 2 unscathed. His next task: end the streak and win the Holy War against his rivals.

Portland State 30 – Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

Todd Graham’s Warriors got quite a scare late Saturday night. In a sleepy environment, Portland State took Hawai’i to OT in Honolulu, at the temporary home of Hawai’i football: The Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex, or for short: The Ching. After Aloha Stadium was shut down, The Ching will be hosting games until a new stadium is built. The Viks almost pulled off this shocker, but a gutsy two-point conversion call by Graham in OT gave Chevron Cordero the game winning conversion. The Ching remains a safe haven thus far for the ‘Bows.

Ole Miss 48 – Louisville 39

Finally, on Labor Day night, this beautiful weekend of football came to a close with Matt Corral absolutely torching the UL secondary all night. The Cards tried to come back late, but they could not get it back to within one score. Lane Kiffin would like to see a more complete team effort all around, but this is a great start for the Rebs’ non-conference slate. Scott Satterfield has some questions to ask moving forward.

That’ll do it for Week 1! Be sure to check out our full results and standings pages, follow us on Twitter @ncaafbsim , and keep checking back for updates!

-Scott

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