Week One had some incredible moments and exciting games to offer. The FBS Independents had themselves an interesting week, going 2-2 as a ‘conference’.
Notre Dame started their redemption tour on the right foot, blowing out the Temple Owls 49-16. Army had the other win, as they sank Fordham 64-6. UMass did UMass things, and lost by 10 to Coastal Carolina in Amherst (38-28). And finally, BYU forgot they had a game, as they lost to LSU 27-zip.
Now that you have the scores, these are some of the things I think that I think in this early season.
Josh Adams And The Running Game Needs To Be The Focal Point In The Irish Offense
This isn’t a matter of whether I trust the passing game or not; I thought all in all, Brandon Wimbush had a solid first career start. They have a lot of athletic options to throw the ball to. But it was the running game, and specifically Josh Adams, that caught my attention.
Granted, we’re talking about Temple’s defense. You don’t have to burst my bubble; I can do it myself. But Adams turned 19 carries into 161 yards for two touchdowns, including his first touch on the year. But it wasn’t just him; Dexter Williams had 124 yards on only 6 carries, and Wimbush carried 12 times for 106 yards. All in all, the Irish had 422 yards on the ground and 5 (!) total touchdowns.
I’m not surprised at how good of a player Adams has become. I’m surprised that the Irish, for some God-forsaken reason, have yet to give him the ball as much as possible every single time out. He’s a damn impressive back with good wheels and good size. Their offensive line is in the elite tier in college football in my opinion. They need to be in control of the clock to rebound from last year’s disappointing season. Brian Kelly, keep running the damn ball.
BYU Fans, Start To Worry About Tanner Mangum
It’s not fun to go get blown out. It’s even less fun to get shut out. BYU looked as bad as you can; they quite literally never made it past the 50-yard line on Saturday. This LSU team is absolutely legit this season, and they simply had no answer for Heisman candidate Derrius Guice.
It was a total team loss, and I get that. However, it’s the quarterback that gets the wins and losses next to his name. And through two games, Tanner Mangum has simply not looked good. I know they beat Portland State (congrats, guys, really), but he completed less than 60 percent of his passes. He followed that up by going 12-24 with a pick. We know that the kid has tools. We know he’s smart and has had the playbook at his disposal for three seasons now. But the Cougars simply aren’t as good of a running team as they have been in years past, and if they’re going to compete this year for a good bowl game, they’re going to need Mangum to shoulder that load. He can start by actually completing some passes (hard hitting analysis, I know).
Marquis Young Looks Good For The Minutemen
It’s no secret that basically the only reason people might’ve known about UMass’s offense is because of Adam Breneman, and for good reason. But I think Marquis Young, the Minutemen’s talented bell-cow, has made the strides he needed to in order to take that next step.
UMass has lost two close games, and in both games, he scored two touchdowns. That being said, he’s only gotten 32 carries so far for a total of 123 yards. I know you have to feature Breneman and you like Andrew Ford throwing the ball. But this kid can ball out if you give him the opportunities to. He’s quick, he’s got soft hands, and at this point in his career, he has a strong grip on the playbook. I do not think 16-20 touches per game is enough for him. Get the man the ball.
I’m looking forward to this next week of football. Notre Dame welcomes Georgia to South Bend next Saturday Night. Army plays host to the University of Buffalo. BYU has a fun little in-state tilt against Utah. And finally, UMass will pursue their first win of the year against Old Dominion.
Cover Photo from Chicago Tribune.