Two more games on Monday
The end of the first weekend of the college football season is finally here, with two games to be played on Monday. Both are intersectional affairs that offer up some intrigue in regards to postseason possibilities (Fresno State at Rutgers) and coaching changes (#18 Tennessee at UCLA). Before these games are previewed, here's a little bit on what happened in the two games that took place on Sunday.
Kentucky 27, Louisville 2
What on earth happened to the Cardinals? An embarassing performance for the homestanding Cards, who barely managed to put up 200 yards of total offense in this one. Kentucky's defense came to play, so you can't put all of this on Louisville's shoulders, but you really have to wonder if this is a harbinger of things to come for UofL. Neither team was very good on offense, but Kentucky QB Mike Hartline finished the game without an interception while Louisville's Hunter Cantwell threw three. With six combined turnovers (5 for Louisville), this was a flat-out ugly football game. But once again the credit should go to the UK defense, who clearly understood that their new signal-caller would need some help.
Colorado 38, Colorado State 17
The Buffaloes took control of this game in the second half, and a pair of youngsters helped lead the way. Darrell Scott ran for 54 yards on eleven carries and a touchdown, and Josh Smith (who happens to be Scott's uncle) ran a kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown. Which the Rams promptly followed with a kick return by Josh Mosure to close out the second quarter scoring (35 combined points). Colorado QB Cody Hawkins played well for the Buffs, throwing for 214 yards on 20-29 and a score. CSU running back Gartrell Johnson ran for 95 yards on twelve carries, but the line had a tough time keeping QB Billy Farris upright. The Rams will improve under Steve Fairchild, showing the fight that they've been known to display in the history of this series. As for Colorado, challenging for the Big 12 North may be a season away but they should make things a bit more interesting this fall.
Fresno State @ Rutgers (4 PM on ESPN)
The Bulldogs have designs on making a run at a BCS bid, but they've got quite the test in their season opener. The Scarlet Knights have one of the better receiver tandems in the nation (Kenny Britt and Tiquan Underwood), which will test the FSU secondary. On the other side of the ball, QB Tom Brandstater leads a Bulldog attack filled with capable options. But I like Rutgers in a close one.
#18 Tennessee @ UCLA (8 PM on ESPN)
Game one for Rick Neuheisel at his alma mater, and it's also the debut for new Tennessee offensive coordinator Dave Clawson. Can UCLA QB Ben Olson make it through the game in one piece? If not, the Bruins could be in serious trouble. As for the Volunteers, you may end up being pleasantly surprised by new QB Jonathan Crompton. And they've got one of the best running backs in the SEC in Arian Foster. It's a long trip for the Vols, but I like them to fly home with a win.