Only 83 Days to Go: Breaking Down Week One Of The 2010 Season

Much like the rest of college football nation, the off-season of expansion rumors, coaching changing, and recruiting merely keeps me occupied until the season begins.  The 2010 season kicks off in 83 days when 16 games are played on September 2, 2010.  The opening weekend provides a great blend of intriguing, great, and pathetic games.

The Best of Week One

1. Boise State vs. Virginia Tech in Atlanta Georgia.

Monday, September 6, 2010.  Once again Boise State opens their season with a must-win game to stay in the BCS title picture.  In 2009, the Broncos handled a strong Oregon team in Boise. In 2010, the task will be a little more daunting on the road against Virginia Tech.

A virtual home game for the Hokies, Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Williams will look to open up the Boise State defense which will be without ex-defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, and star cornerback Kyle Wilson.  The most intriguing matchup is a disciplined Hokie defense with seven new starters against the Bronco offense led by Kellen Moore, Titus Young, and Jeremy Avery.

The edge goes to…Virginia Tech. If this game was played on blue turf in Idaho it would be different.  A close game that the Hokies will steal.

2. Washington at BYU.

Saturday September 4, 2010.  Expectations in 2010 for Washington are high, and BYU has classified this year as a rebuilding season. Senior quarterback Jake Locker has surely not forgotten a heartbreaking defeat to the Cougars in Seattle just two years ago due to an“excessive celebration penalty” at the end of the game.  The Husky offense will have no problem scoring points with Locker at the helm,  running back Chris Polk and receivers Devin Aguliar and Jermaine Kearse.

BYU is not short on talent, but yet experience in  key positions.  Gone is tight end Dennis Pita, quarterback Max Hall, and running back Harvey Unga.  Bronco Mendenhall is comfortable with both his young quarterbacks in Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson.

The edge goes to…Washington.  The Cougars should be able to score on an unproven Washington defense, but the weapons around Locker will deem too much for BYU.

3. LSU at North Carolina in Atlanta, Georgia.

Saturday, September 4, 2010. This should turn out to be the best defensive game during week one. North Carolina returns a total of 21 starters and the Tar Heel defense was 6th nationally in 2009.  Coach Butch Davis isn’t worried with a defense that returns QuanStardivant, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Bruce Carter and Marvin Austin.  Davis is looking for increased production out of his offense in 2010.  Quarterback T.J. Yates will look to distribute the ball to receiver Greg Little and the running back combination of Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston.

Coming off a marginally disappointing season that ended with a bowl loss to Penn State, the Tigers will rely on quarterback Jordan Jefferson to continue his improvement in leading the offense.  Reciever Terrance Tolliver recorded 735 recieving yards and will be looked to replace Bradon Lafell as Jefferson’s main target.  The SEC defense is replacing seven starters and will count on the secondary to step up in 2010.  Cornerback Patrick Peterson and linebacker Kelvin Sheppard are key returning starters on the defensive side of the ball.

The edge goes to…the first team that scores 14 points wins the game.

4. Oregon State vs. TCU in Arlington, Texas.

Saturday, September 4., 2010. A homecoming game of sorts for Texas natives Jacquizz and James Rodgers this game marks the beginning of brutal non-conference schedule for the Beavers.  TCU is fresh off a Fiesta Bowl appearance and like many mid-major squads they have no problem getting fired up to play a BCS team.  Oregon State returns both Rodgers, Stephen Paea and a vastly underrated secondary.  Ryan Katz will look to replace Sean Canfield, and the linebacking corp is talented yet unproven.

The Horned Frogs have gone 23-3 over the past two season and look to return to a BCS bowl game in 2010.  The offense is experienced and talented including quarterback Andy Dalton, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley, and lineman Marcus Cannon.  The defense is quick and will look for linebacker Tank Carder to continue the Horned Frogs defensive tradition.  Much like Boise State, coch Gary Patterson knows that a single regular season loss would most likely take the mid-major squad out of the BCS title race.

The edge goes to…TCU. Oregon State historically has not performed well against non-conference teams on the road.  The past few years has seen the Beavers lose at Penn State, Cincinatti, Louisville, Utah and Boise State.

5. Pittsburgh at Utah.

Thursday, September 2, 2010.  A rematch of the 2005 Orange Bowl, both squads are heading into the season with high expectations.  Utah finished the 2009 campaign at 10-3 with a victory over California in the Poinsetta Bowl.  Sophomore Jordan Wynn took over for Terrance Cain during the middle of the season and proceeded to throw for 1,329 yards with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.  Running backs Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide will share the rushing duties for the Utes.  Returning cornerbacks Brandon Burton and Lamar Champman will be counted on to provide support for a uncertain linebacking unit.  Coach Kyle Whittingham’s defense ranked 19th in 2009.

The hopes of a great 2010 Pitt season seem to lie on the shoulders of predicted quarterback starter Tino Sunseri.  Ex-Panther Bill Stull connected with talented receiver Jonathan Baldwin for 1,111 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2009.  Sophomore running back Dion Lewis continued the Pitt running back tradition racking up 1,799 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns in 2009.  A stingy Pitt defense returns the Big East defensive player of the year in Greg Romeous which held North Carolina to 7 points in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

The edge goes to…Utah (by a flip of  coin). Pitt has better play makers on both sides of the ball, but Utah comes in with the home crowd, momentum, and two quarterbacks with game experience.

The most intriguing games of week one

1. Connecticut at Michigan.

Saturday, September 4, 2010.  One of the best stories of the past five years, the Husky football team is finally respected and will travel to Ann Arbor to play against a Michigan team looking to be a powerhouse program once again.  Coach Rich Rodriguez finally has his players just in time for a comfortable place on one of the hottest seats in college football.

The edge goes to…Michigan by a nose.  The Big House and the tradition of Michigan football will be enough for a Wolverine victory.

2. Cincinnati at Fresno State.

Saturday, September 4, 2010.  Coach Pat Hill and the Bulldogs have never feared to play any team anywhere.  The Bearcats are looking to follow up on a Big East championship and Sugar Bowl appearance. that led to Brian Kelly leaving for the Notre Dame position.

The Bulldogs are looking to replace Ryan Mathews, and a slew of receivers but will return the services of quarterback Ryan Colburn following a 8-5 season that ended with a loss to Wyoming.

The high-scoring Bearcats lost Tony Pike and Marty Gilyard but shouldn’t skip a beat with Zach Collarus, Isiah Pead and Armon Binn leading the offense.  The Cincinatti defense will be anchored by linebacker J.K. Schaffer would recorded over 100 tackles in 2009.

The edge goes to…Cincy in a close game.  The Bearcats dominated Oregon State in Corvallis in 2009, returns an experienced roster and will have no problem scoring points.

3. UCLA at Kansas State.

Saturday, September 4, 2010. The Wildcats will be looking for redemption after falling to the Bruins in Los Angeles last season.  Coach Bill Snyder is looking to continue the programs reimergance and Coach Rick Neuheisal is counting on his talented roster to finally achieve there promise.

The edge goes to…I have no idea, it’s will be to close to call.

4. Kentucky at Louisville.

Saturday, September 4, 2010. The bitter interstate rivalries isn’t the great matchup ofyear of the past but always provides entertainment. The Cardinals went 4-8 in 2009 and will look to hold the Kentucky offense led by quarterback Mike Hartline that went 7-6 last season.

The edge goes to…Kentucky by two touchdowns due to a strong defensive performance.

5. Illinois vs. Missouri in St. Louis, Missouri.

Saturday, September 4, 2010. Missouri is looking to build off a record of 8-5 in 2009 and the Illini are looking for an improvement after a 3-9 showing that has put coach Ron Zook on the fire jalepeno hot seat.  The Tiger offense is looking for a few receivers to step up, but with the returning potential stars of Derrick Washington and quarterback Blaine Gabbert the offense will be explosive.

The edge goes to…Missouri, and they will cover the spread.

The most pathetic games of week one

1. San Jose State at Alabama.

Saturday, September 4, 2010. The Spartans will travel to Tuscaloosa to build on a 2-10 year in 2009.  The defending national champions see more competition during an everyday practice.

The edge goes to…San Jose State, to cover a 42 point underdog spread.

2. Florida A&M at Miami (FL).

Saturday, September 4, 2010.  Expectations are high for the Hurricanes in 2010 and look for coach Randy Shannon to set a tone with their first game.  An FCS squad, Florida A&M went 8-3 in 2009 but will run into an excited Miami team.

The edge goes to…Miami (FL) over the Rattlers easily and causing over 6 turnovers.

3. UC Davis at California.

Saturday, September 4, 2010.  UC Davis of the FCS Great West travels to Berkley to get punished by Shane Vereen, the average Kevin Riley and a tought Cal defense.

The edge goes to…California to win and rush for over 350 yards.

4. Coastal Carolina at West Virginia.

Saturday, September 4, 2010. The Mountaineers will play host to FCS Coastal Carolina in a spring board game for a potentially great season for West Virginia.  The most underrated running back in the nation, Noel Devine will look to begin his 2010 Heisman campaign.

The edge goes to…West Virginia winning big with over 350 yards rushing.

5. Utah State at Oklahoma.

Saturday, September 4, 2010.  Bob Stoops won’t have to worry about the losses of Sam Bradford, Trent Williams, Gerald McCoy, and other talents until week two against Florida State.  Utah State finished the 2009 season at 4-8.

The edge goes to…Oklahoma by 58.

~ by philip d. on June 9, 2010.

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