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CFB Week One Impressions

It is finally back and the first week of the college football season didn't disappoint. There were huge upsets like North Dakota State over Kansas State, dominant performances and a fantastic game between two of the nation's better teams. So what caught my eye this week?

Clemson, 38 Georgia, 35
Clemson beat their second straight SEC opponent with a squeaker of a win over Georgia. The game
Tajh Boyd
was back and forth and both teams played well but the Tigers won and that is all that matters. The big issue for Aaron Murray was shown in this one; he can't win big games. Murray can rack up impressive stats but he is 1-10 now against Top 25 opponents including two straight losses in the SEC Championship Game. If the Bulldogs didn't have back Todd Gurley, a preseason All-American, Georgia's offense would look terrible. Gurley showed us why he is a preseason All-American, rushing for 154 yards on 12 rushes and two touchdowns. It was against a Clemson defense that has been famous for making average offenses look explosive. Clemson couldn't tackle Gurley and that leaves questions to how they will perform against psychical runners. Clemson's defense did do one thing right; they got a ton of pressure on Murray. The Georgia offensive line looked like they couldn't stop anyone and that is a real cause for concern because they are going to be facing better pass rushers than what Clemson possesses.

I think Tajh Boyd should be considered the Heisman front runner after his impressive performance in this one. Boyd threw for 270 yards and three scores and also rushed for 43 yards. For any NFL scouts questioning if he can run a read-option offense, they probably were reassured.

A huge question for Clemson was whether or not they could find a replacement for All-ACC back Andre Ellington. On 22 carries senior back Roderick McDowell ran for 132 yards, averaging 6 yards a carry. McDowell has the speed and vision to be a force and also proved he can make great moves in the open field. Plus, junior receiver Sammy Watkins is a playmaker who can help in a number of different ways, including running the ball.

South Carolina, 27 UNC, 10
The war of the Carolinas wasn't even a contest. South Carolina dominated from start to finish against an underrated UNC team, winning 27-10. They dominated on both sides of the ball, as they ran effectively and played fantastic on defense, even though Heisman candidate Jadeveon Clowney wasn't a force. This was a quality win for South Carolina but it only gets tougher from here on, as the Gamecocks get Georgia next and their annual rivalry game against Clemson, who could be undefeated when the two square off.

Senior QB Connor Shaw was competing with junior Dylan Thompson for the job and definitely impressed. Shaw proved he can throw a deep ball after a beautiful strike to explosive receiver Shaq Roland. Though the same issues he has struggled with seem to still be there; he pulls the ball down the moment he feels pressure and still lowers his shoulder when embracing contact, leaving him vulnerable for injuries. Thompson only played a little bit but made a fantastic throw to Kane Whitehurst for a 29 yard throw but definitely has happy feet.

Other Thoughts
Oregon State coach Mike Riley should definitely be worried about how his Beavers performed against FCS Eastern Washington. Junior quarterback Sean Mannion passed for 400+ yards and his Beavers were still downed in the last second. If the defense allows 49 points to Eastern Washington, what is it going to be able to do against Oregon and Washington?

The SEC should be scared of Alabama, if they aren't already for some reason. The Tide, who are famous for a strong, power ground attack were held under 100 rush yards against Virginia Tech. Even with that issue the Crimson Tide still managed to put up 35 points on the score board and found an emerging star in Christion Jones, a junior who had three total touchdowns.

Washington is definitely the dark horse of the Pac-12 conference. Bishop Sankey ran all over a strong Boise State rush defense, rushing for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Keith Price also proved that he can be a great quarterback once more this year and the defense, which has had a ton of questions during Steve Sarkisian's tenure held Boise to just six points.

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