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Bourbon Shots: Week 1 in Review Edition

This was a feature from last year a lot of couple people liked. Let's go around the blogs and see what people thought of Week 1 in the ACC and college football.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Alabama 34, Virginia Tech 24

Hungover thoughts (College Game Balls)
"99% of Alabama fans are class acts. But one old timer asked me as I was walking out, "What’s a Hokie?" As I began to answer he quickly interjected and said "a damn loser!" Enjoy death old man."

Not A Positive Start (The A-Line)
"Tech does not recruit at the level of the so-called ‘elite’ programs. That the record is so abysmal against them should not be so surprising. The team with the better players usually win football games and Tech does not have as much top-tier talent as Alabama, or LSU, or Georgia, or Southern Cal, or any of the teams that keep exposing Tech for the legitimate and very good Top 15 level program they are, just not a serious MNC contender unless a twice-in-a-lifetime player hits campus. One does have to wonder how much longer Tech’s passionate fan base will keep buying into the never-ending Jamerson and Merryman hype that the program is actually better than it is. Even Frank does nothing to tone down what always seem to be unrealistic expectations. Maybe he should."

Hokies’ Offense Fails to Impress in Loss (VT Hokie Fans)
"Before Virginia Tech’s season opener against No. 5 Alabama, beleaguered Hokies offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring said the offense "should be improved" this season. He was wrong. And now after only one game, his critics, which were quite vocal last season, are calling for his job. Again."

Immediate Impressions (VT Fan)
"Yeah, I know Alabama’s defense is stellar, and I know our offense has its warts. But I watch a lot of college football, including a lot of bad teams, and you just don’t see teams underutilize talent on, offense, or be less creative, or simply just not have an ‘identity’ they way the Hokies do. Our entire strategy from scheme, to game plan, to play calling just doesn’t produce results, despite plenty of talent on that side of the ball."

Do You Want to be Good, or do You Want to be Great? (The Football Girl)
"And finally, I think, you need a vision. A mission statement, as it were. Something to strive toward. And don’t tell me about the empty trophy case. Of course we have an empty trophy case. We have an empty trophy case because if we continue to win conference championships, we consider ourselves successful. And that’s okay. If you want to be just good."

Individual Play Analysis: McElroy's Bomb (Roll 'Bama Roll)
"But there's a price to be paid with spending so much of your scarce resources to stop one player, and that is exactly what the Tide is looking to take advantage of here. We had some success running the football on our previous drive, so Jim McElwain calls for a playaction pass out of the Pistol. That sucks up both of the linebackers lined up inside, Jake Johnson (36) and Barquell Rivers (52), who have to move forward to respect with the run with the Tide possessing a very good tailback and possibly as many as seven run blockers. It's a fake, though, and while both players move quickly back into zone coverage, both are effectively eliminated from the play."

1-0 Feels Pretty Good (Bama Sports Report)
"There is a lot for the team to improve on, since the game was kept close mostly by Bama’s mistakes. But Alabama handily beat a very good football team on Saturday. And that gives me reason to believe that 2009 should be a very good year."

ACC Football

Preseason Football Is A Legit Idea (Joe Ovies)
"If the college football season is built around the importance of the regular season, it doesn’t do itself any favors by throwing cold teams on the field in the first week. It could be argued that Div. I-AA teams accomplish the same task. Just ask Florida and Southern Cal after they mopped the floor with their opponents over the weekend. However, we’ve seen that powerhouse FCS teams can no longer be taken lightly in the era of collegiate parity. Just ask Duke, Virginia and potentially East Carolina."

OTB’s ACC Power Poll: Week One (On The B.Rink)
"What a topsy-turvy, up and down, roller coaster of a week for the ACC! If you have not had time to digest it, the ACC saw its worst performance against the lower subdivision FCS in its history along with zero wins versus other BCS conferences. Fast forward to Labor Day, there we found the game of the young season and one of the best in ACC history most likely with the 38-34 Miami win over FSU. The drama was just palpable–FSU drives the ball down to their opponents two yard line and have 3 shots to get it in…and fail because of a combo of time constraints, meh play-calling, and great defense."

What we learned in the ACC: Week 1 (Annette)
"The ACC isn’t ready to move up the ranks in the BCS ladder of success. Not only did the ACC lose to every major BCS conference opponent it played, it also lost to the little guys. You can’t be taken seriously when the first weekend includes losses to Richmond and William & Mary. When your best wins come against Northeastern, The Citadel, Middle Tennessee and Jacksonville State, there’s no reason to even start an argument about conference supremacy, because right now, the ACC is making the Big East look like a worldbeater."

The Alphabetical 2009, Week One (EDSBS)
"A is for ACCident. When ghosts in frilly collars bearing blunderbusses show up to claim the deed to UVA from the "radical colonists who stole this land from the queen and the people of olde Englande," it has been a horrid week for the conference your foot craves kicking, the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Richmond Spiders topped Duke (who threw the ball a stunning 55 times) 24-16, William and Mary satisfied the crown by unveiling Al Groh’s inner Al Groh, NC State continued its tradition of entering the season facefirst against South Carolina, Maryland lost by 39 to Cal and Jahvid Best’s 10 carries for 137 yards (do the math,) Wake Forest lost to Baylor, and standard bearer Virginia Tech lost their shot at defending the conference’s honor in the Georgia Dome. A plague weekend for the conference, one highlighted only by the Miami/FSU spellbinder on Monday night…which even then had its moments inviting extreme skepticism."

South Carolina 7, NC State 3

Burn It! Send It To Hell! (Backing The Pack)
"I've mentioned in the past that a pet peeve of mine is punting the ball from inside the opponent's 40 yard line. Based on the studies I've seen on the subject, I'm of the opinion that it is rarely correct to punt in that situation. On State's second-to-last possession, the coaches elected to do just that despite the fact that it was the Pack's longest drive of the night, one of their rare forays into Gamecock territory, and the fourth quarter was half gone. Playing for field position there is NFL-style pansyball."

Wilson the Passer vs. Wilson the Runner (StateFans Nation)
"But many of you are also missing that even last year, Wilson was far more dangerous as a passer than a runner. Wilson’s 2008 yards per passing attempt (YPA, along with TD/INT ratio, the key QB effectiveness stat)? 7.11. His yards per carry? 3.4. It’s also quite safe to say that Wilson is more likely to fumble on a rushing attempt than to throw an interception, especially on a per attempt basis."

The Autopsy (Yet Another...)
"Mike Archer's zone coverage still has way too many gaping holes underneath at or just beyond the first down marker. That led to multiple easy, drive-extending completions at the sticks that kept State's defense winded and the game played the majority of the time on State's half of the field. Give up the stuff five yards short of the marker if you must, but there's no reason not to pressure the routes right at the sticks, especially in third-and-medium/long situations."

Georgia Tech 37, Jacksonville State 17

Breakdown 2008 vs. 2009 JSU stylez (From The Rumble Seat)
"Stats-wise we didn't play as well as last year defensively but honestly I thought our starting secondary played outstanding football and most of JSU's yardage came in garbage time. I am more confident in the Butler/Tarrant duo than I've ever been with any other group of cornerbacks going into the season. Butler had some sick plays down field in one on one situations."

Boston College 54, Northeastern 0

What We Learned In Week 1 (BC Interruption)
"Do I like this decision? Not exactly, but I can't say I dislike it either. Spaz's job is to win football games and after what he saw on Saturday, I doubt he feels he is jeopardizing the team's chances to win against Kent State by extending this "QB tryouts" another week. If it is not clear which quarterback will get all or the majority of the snaps against Clemson on September 19, I will not be happy with Spaziani at that point. Eventually, he needs to make a decision and go with it. If the player topping the depth chart performs poorly, put in #2. But there must be someone labeled the starter soon."

Viewing thoughts and grade report: Northeastern (Eagle in Atlanta)
"If the defensive line played like they were in a bit of a fog, the linebackers were flying around and certainly exceeding expectations. Kuechly was the star of the game -- active and productive. He seems like the perfect MLB for this sort of defense. LeGrande didn’t get as much attention from the broadcasters, but he was also very good and covered a lot of ground. DiSanzo showed no signs of shoulder issues and was very instinctive. The second teamers like Morrissey and Clancy both looked good too. The best part this unit was that all of these guys seemed to understand where to be and seemed to be good tacklers."

North Carolina 40, The Citadel 6

UNC Defeats Team From Lesser Division 40-6 (Carolina March)
"In a performance slightly better than Georgia Tech's (37-17 victors over Jacksonville State) and significantly better than what befell Virginia and Duke (home losses to FCS teams), Carolina took care of Citadel and found a running game. Time will tell if it will be as impressive against teams in D1-A."

UNC 40, The Citadel 6 (Tar Heel Fan)
"Overall the Heels looked good especially on defense and in the running game. The passing game was not in rhythm and the return game was mistake prone. In other words the two areas we thought would be solid(defense and rushing offense) were exactly that. The area where UNC was breaking in new personnel(passing game and kick/punt returns) there is still work to do. The most important thing is UNC took care of business, ultimately dominated a clearly inferior opponent and appeared to be in a good position going into a four game stretch against quality opponents."

William and Mary 26, Virginia 14

Stuck on denial (From Old Virginia)
"In fact, let's take denial a step further. No, the season isn't toast, and I'll tell you why: seven turnovers. I think the defense acquitted itself OK and had we not turned the ball over seven times, the general theme would be "the offense needs to improve but the defense looks good." (In other words, a watered-down version of the theme of last year's Richmond game.) The 16 points off turnovers turned a really lame win into a horrible loss. I'm willing to bet we don't commit seven turnovers in a game for another four years."

Clemson 37, Middle Tennessee 14

This Handshaking Stuff Has Got to Go (Block-C)
"Now what does this have to do with the pregame handshake that they engaged in? I submit that it puts an unnatural and unnecessary strain on a situation that is already filled with anxiety, nerves, and so forth. Everyone is on edge. You’ve coached these kids to murder anything with a different color jersey on and then you want to have them go and have a nice, gentle, casual handshake and wish each other good luck? You’re forcing them to be nice. People don’t want to be forced to do anything. The pregame handshake is a veritable powder keg that just needs a little spark. The emotions are starting to spill outside of the game clock. People have shown that when there is a chance for a confrontation, it’s probably going to happen sooner or later."

Clemson thumps MTSU 37-14, a closer look (Clempson Football)
"Clemson's OL actually did a good job of picking up blitzes and with 202 on the ground, the stats show they did alright after the 1st quarter, but several times we could get NO push when we needed it. 4/14 on 3rd down against MTSU aint gonna cut it. Maybe I'm complaining too much, and MTSU had 8 or 9 in the box many times, with Ford and Spiller out."

California 52, Maryland 13

Sum of all fears (Turtle Waxing)
"Maryland's opening game thrashing at the hands of California was about as bad as you could have imagined. The areas of concern were front and center in the 52-13 demolishing that the Terps endured as the offensive line and defense were exposed. I'm not sure what we should have expected from a line with little experience that starts two former walk on players. It is another example of the failures of the staff to recruit depth and talent at the position. The veterans, Phil Costa and Bruce Campbell didn't exactly look great themselves, let alone the pups at the guard positions. The fact that three of the positions have been up in the air until late in camp probably has not helped build cohesion in this group. Once you take away all the sack yardage the running game wasn't all that bad. Perhaps if the play calling was a little different the line may not have been so exposed to the ferocious Cal pass rush."

The Case Against Panic (Testudo Times)
"Don't forget, either, that this is a very similar team to the one that got destroyed by a terrible UVA team, 31-0, and turned around and shut out a good Wake team 26-0. They also lost to Middle Tennessee State before easily dealing with Cal. You're never sure what team it going to show up."

Miami 38, Florida State 34

Miami Out-duels Florida State (Tomahawk Nation)
"The 'Nole offense wasn't without fault, but they were by far the most impressive Seminole unit. The FSU passing game was very good, as Christian Ponder had a QB rating of 130, passing for 294 yards on 24-41 passing, with 2 TD's and one interception. The FSU offensive line was much improved in pass protection from a season ago, allowing only two sacks on 43 passing plays, an excellent clip. One of those sacks, however, ended in a costly fumble as Miami's Marcus Robinson sped past FSU's right tackle Zebrie Sanders to strip the ball from Ponder."

Factiously Random and Fictionally Meaningless Thoughts (Scalp 'Em)
"Memo to ESPN: If you were going to show prior to the game kicking off all those Wide Rights and Wide Left or the missed two point conversion in 1987 or other various FSU disappointments in playing the Hurricanes do you think it would too much trouble to show The Miami Muff please?"

College Football

Nebraska 49, Florida Atlantic 3

Post Game Overreaction (Corn Nation)
"Youth was served. Rex Burkhead got nine carries on the night, finishing with 39 yards and his first career touchdown. Cody Green got into the game in the fourth quarter with a mighty cheer from the Sea of Red. His first series was a three and out, but his second proved that fans can be excited about him as a backup as he shook off some tackles on a 49-yard run that set up a fourth quarter touchdown. Like Burkhead, he scored his first career touchdown on a fourth down option play, finishing the night with two carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. True freshman Eric Martin played, his biggest play being a *very* questionable personal foul penalty - one of those where a player is penalized for hitting too hard."

FAU Post-Mortem (Big Red Network)
"To those concerned about the yardage "piled up" by the Owls: It just didn't feel like they were moving the ball very much when I was actually watching the game. Never did the Husker look like they weren't in control on defense. There were a few mishaps with players being caught a little out of position. So I guess the one thing I can complain about (that happened far less often than last year) was the defense not being set when the ball was snapped and a safety or linebacker out of position. Blake Lawrence in particular had to make up a lot of ground to tackle the running back after he was caught out of position. His athleticism prevented a touchdown, but they did end up scoring on the field goal a few plays later."

FAU Kept Out of the End Zone (Husker Mike)
"All told, it was a pretty good season opener. Plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the team and the season, yet also plenty of things for the coaches to work on and improve. At some point, we'll need to see Zac Lee try to stretch the field with his arm, but that wasn't required tonight. It's good to know that Nebraska can keep things pretty vanilla and still rack up a 49-3 victory."

Boise State 19, Oregon 8

Is it time to panic? (Addicted To Quack)
"There was absolutely nothing to like offensively. The line had the issues that we all expected, and the play calling did nothing to rectify that. For example, on the play on which the safety occurred, it did not appear to be an option play, as Masoli wasn't even looking at the other end. It was a predesigned run. Why in the world does that play get called when you have a weak line and you're that deep in your territory?"

What happens next for Boise State (OBNUG)
"I'll be sweating out every single game on the schedule until the Broncos take four-score leads. Then I'll be sweating out the polls every week hoping that MWC schools don't pass BSU. And then I'll be sweating out the outcome of games involving Boise State's common opponents that determine strength of schedule. I could sweat through, like, a billion T-shirts between now and December."

Kelly making right calls (George Schroeder)
"We didn’t see the beginning anyone expected (during or after the game) from Kelly. It’s clear the expectations for this team were outsized, and a lot of questions suddenly loom for the Ducks. We’ll have to wait and see how they respond. But Kelly’s continuing response to Blount’s meltdown is encouraging."

BYU 14, Oklahoma 13

BYU Over Oklahoma (Vanquish The Foe)
"There are a lot of players I could discuss here, but on the offensive side you have to start with Max. The concerns with Hall's record of choking in big games were well founded. After the end of 2008 Hall was carrying not just a monkey on his back - but King Kong. Hall came, saw and conquered. Sure there were flaws. But he shrugged off a couple of interceptions, stayed cool and collected, and led the Cougars to score the would-be game winner with 3:03 remaining. Clutch. He finished with 329 yards passing, two touchdown passes and a respectable 147.99 passer rating. There were a couple of those 4th quarter completions to Pitta and others, where he shot off some rockets that simultaneously weaved perfectly through multiple Sooner defenders. Overall, outstanding night for the senior."

Buffalo 23, UTEP 17

New Season, Same Dramatics (The Goose's Roost)
"Junior Brandon Thermilus, whom CBS College Sports’ color analyst Akbar Gbaja-Biamila called "Thurman Thomilus," did his job filling in for James Starks, rushing for 79 yards and a touchdown. Senior Mario Henry added 55 yards and a touchdown of his own. They weren’t spectacular but held their own and showed that the UB run game will still be effective without its all-time leading rusher."

Oklahoma State 24, Georgia 10

I've been hurt, and we've been had ... (Hey Jenny Slater)
"The thing is, looking at how tough our schedule is this year, we don't have a true breather game until we host Tennessee Tech between the hedges in November, and that dramatically decreases the likelihood we'll have an opportunity to empty the bench and give any of the backup guys some playing time. Which means that if we do see Murray or Mettenberger on the field before then, more than likely it will have come about due to a Cox implosion. At which point, of course, we'll be throwing a true freshman to the wolves. Are we having fun yet?"

Michigan 31, Western Michgan 7

Modern Marvels (MGoBlog)
"Over last five years, Michigan has been just as likely to be in an actual game (6) with a supposed tomato can as the expected blowout (6). (I am counting the '07 EMU game as an actual one, as it was 16-14 halfway through the third; the others need no justification.) Hell, even in 2006—when Michigan was a Crable helmet hit away from driving to the national championship game—Ball State had first and goal with an opportunity to tie late in the fourth quarter. In no way is a 31-0 halftime lead typical in the recent history of Michigan football except against Notre Dame."

USC 56, San Jose State 3

Closing the Book on San Jose St. (Conquest Chronicles)
"So lets talk about Barkley...I think pretty much everyone is happy with his performance. He kept his composure he never looked rattled and he really didn't make a mistake thought at times it appeared that he wasn't seeing the field with some of the throws he was making. The only real criticism I had was that when the game was put away the coaching staff really never let him loose. He needed to air it out a few times to get a feel for what opposing defenses can do especially when SC heads to Columbus next week to take on a Buckeye team that will be looking to make some amends for last year AND yesterday."

Texas 59, UL-Monroe 20

Week One Notes (Burnt Orange Nation)
"All our anxiety about Fozzy Whittaker and whether Texas could find a big play threat at tailback? Gone. The anxiety now rests squarely with Fozzy and -- with the promising debut of redshirt freshman D.J. Monroe -- whether by the time he gets healthy there will be a role for him. Setting aside what it means for the depth chart, the most exciting aspect of what Monroe brings to the team is an explosiveness Texas is going to need to run the table this year."

Iowa 17, Northern Iowa 16

Iowa Crushes Northern Iowa in 17-16 Laugher (Black Heart Gold Pants)
"The highlight of the game came at the very end, of course, when Northern Iowa was trying to register a single field goal in order to bring the score to some semblance of respectability. Iowa dutifully blocked the kick back into the Panthers' faces, then iin a stunning display of audacity, declined to recover the ball in order to allow UNI to attempt the kick again! Not since Casey strode the basepaths of Mudville did a titan of sport display such hubris! But though karma punished Casey that day, fate itself took a back seat to the Hawkeyes' whims; UNI's second kick was also swatted, sealing their ignominy."

Tennessee 63, Western Kentucky 7

Yes, there are things to learn from this game (Rocky Top Talk)
"I mean, who yanks the No. 1 recruit in the nation who's been eating chunks of yards in a backup role to punish him for a minor oversight that has absolutely no impact on the outcome of the game? Lane Kiffin, that's who. Because it's not about the opponent or the circumstances. It's about Tennessee. It's about the details. It's about starting early, performing well, and finishing late, and it doesn't matter who's on the other side of the field. Kiffin is going to do what he does, and his guys are going to follow. Bryce Brown, by the way, returned to the game two plays after getting chewed out, and he did not go out of bounds willingly again."

Minnesota 23, Syracuse 20 (OT)

Paulus'd: Syracuse Loses A Heartbreaker (Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician)
"Syracuse fans saw potential. Today. Lots and lots of it. This team can win some games. They just need to get out of their own way. The penalties. The dropped passes. The bad decisions. All of it correctable. All of it sure to be corrected by Doug Marrone."