College football is back, and the first week of the 2021 season was nothing short of exciting. Stadiums across the country are finally packed with loud fans and thrilling match ups are creating electrifying atmospheres once again. Now that week 1 of the 2021 college football season is in the books, let’s break down some of the most interesting outcomes.
The season kicked off on Thursday, September 2nd with 4 match ups throughout the day. The most notable game on Thursday was #4 Ohio State vs Minnesota. Quarterback C.J. Stroud made his debut as a Buckeye where he went 13-22 for 294 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim also had a stellar performance with 30 rushing attempts, 163 yards and 2 touchdowns before sustaining a season-ending leg injury late in the third quarter.
Friday, September 3rd had a captivating contest between #10 North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech. The Hokies sold out Lane Stadium for the first time since 2019 as they edged out the North Carolina Tarheels 17-10. The upset dropped North Carolina to #24 in the latest AP Poll, and Virginia Tech claimed #19.
ACC fans didn’t have a lot to celebrate after week 1 other than the Virginia Tech win. The Miami Hurricanes fell to Alabama 44-13, and Clemson lost a close game to Georgia 10-3 in the Duke’s Mayo Classic. The Clemson backfield was held to 2 rushing yards and quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was sacked 7 times. The Bulldog’s defense proved their worth with a 74-yard pick-six and holding the Tigers scoreless until 9:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Georgia Bulldogs are serious College Football Playoff contenders this year.
The Hokies weren’t the only team with an upset in the first week of college football. Nineteenth ranked Penn State went on the road to #12 Wisconsin where the Nittany Lions beat the Badgers 16-10 in a tight defensive battle. The match up was the first game between 2 AP-ranked teams that was scoreless at half-time since 2016. The Nittany Lions jumped 8 spots to #11, and Wisconsin fell to #18.
Multiple ranked teams survived close games during week 1 as well. Eleventh ranked Oregon squeezed out a 31-24 win over Fresno State, #2 Oklahoma beat Tulane 40-35 and #9 Notre Dame kicked a game-winning field goal in overtime to overcome Florida State 41-38.
With the second week of the season about to begin, here are some key match ups you definitely don’t want to miss. The Oregon Ducks and the Ohio State Buckeyes will meet in The Shoe for a riveting out-of-conference meeting between the #12 and #3 teams in the week 2 AP Poll. Another game to put on your calendars is #10 Iowa against #9 Iowa State. The Hawkeyes have won 45 of the 67 meetings.
The thrills and excitement of college football are back, and the energy of fan-packed stadiums is creating captivating home field advantages again. With the first week of the college football season concluded, who do you think is primed for an elite College Football Playoff run?