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September 2, 2007

College Football Rewind: Week 1

Video: Ga. Tech-Notre Dame | Florida-WKU | Colorado-Colorado St. | West Virginia-W. Michigan

Just think: In the last 12 months Wake Forest has won the ACC, Rutgers has gone 12-2, Boise State has gone undefeated and beaten Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, and Louisville has won the Orange Bowl. And now Michigan, with 860 wins in its history, has lost at home to some team from Boone, N.C. Hey, Temple, you're on the clock. The rich keep getting richer in college football, but the power programs hardly have the monopoly on skill, potential and wins.

Team of the week: Appalachian State

Is there really any doubt? When you woke up Saturday morning, maybe you knew the NCAA had renamed Division I-AA the more cumbersome Football Championship Subdivision. If you followed college football closely, you might have known Appalachian State had won back-to-back I-AA championships. But you probably didn't know who Armanti Edwards was, or that Appalachian State has some pretty good football players. One game, even if it was exiled to the Big Ten Network, can be quite the eye-opener. Just ask Michigan.

Breakouts & Breakdowns

Breakout: The LSU defense dominated moreso than expected. The Tigers shut out Mississippi State on Thursday, holding the Bulldogs to 10 rushing yards (0.4 yards per carry) and forcing six interceptions.

Breakdown: An emotional opener may have played a role in Virginia Tech's slow start against East Carolina, but the Pirates handled the Virginia Tech offensive line and held the Hokies to 33 rushing yards.

Breakout: DeSean Jackson's 77-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee is the kind of highlight that can win a Heisman. Cal picks up its first statement win since beating USC in 2003.

Breakdown: It could be a long year for the Auburn offense. The Tigers needed a surge in the final two minutes against Kansas State to overcome a mere 62 rushing yards and two interceptions in a 23-13 win.

Breakout: Western Kentucky is hardly a powerhouse, but Tim Tebow showed he's more than a fullback in a quarterback's jersey by completing 13 of 17 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns. (He still ran eight times for 38 yards and a TD).

Breakdown: Former Texas Tech assistant Sonny Dykes was supposed to jump start the Arizona offense, but that didn't happen against BYU. Arizona was held to 255 yards in Provo against the Cougars.

Breakout: The Wisconsin offense will be centered around RB P.J. Hill and TE Travis Beckum, but first-year startingg quarterback Tyler Donovan could have a favorite target in Luke Swan. Swan caught eight of Donovan's passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.

Breakdown: At least Notre Dame can thank Michigan. One of college football's other legendary programs fell apart at home as well. Against Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and its new offensive personnel never scored a touchdown, rushed for minus-8 yards, allowed nine sacks and lost three fumbles. Oh, and the defense gave up 33 points.

Breakout: Boston College will be just fine without Tom O'Brien. Jeff Jagodzinski has two bona fide playmakers on his first team at B.C. Matt Ryan passed for 408 yards and five touchdowns, and DeJuan Tribble had three interceptions, including two in the red zone.

What you might have missed
• A couple of touching tributes at Indiana and USC. Indiana honored Terry Hoeppner with a pregame video played in front of Hoeppner's wife, three children and four grandchildren. USC didn't field a kicker for its first extra point attempt against Idaho to honor fallen kicker Mario Danelo.
• TCU shut out Baylor 27-0 without him, but the Horned Frogs still missed star defensive end Tommy Blake. Blake missed much of the preseason while on medical leave with an undisclosed illness. Team doctors thought he could play 10-15 snaps, but later decided against it.
• Cody Hawkins' spotless record as a starting quarterback stayed intact as the Colorado redshirt freshman led his team to a 31-28 win over Colorado State in overtime. Hawkins, who has won 60 consecutive games going back to youth football, passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams.
• Utah's offense took a bigger hit than just a 24-7 loss to Oregon State. In his first start since a season-ending knee injury in 2006, Utes quarterback Brian Johnson will miss at least three weeks with a separated shoulder. Starting running back Matt Asiata will miss the season with a broken leg.
• Big Ten coaching debuts were a mixed bag. Michigan State piled 55 points on UAB and even used a fullback in Mark Dantonio's first game as coach. Tim Brewster's debut didn't go as well at Minnesota. The Gophers lost, 32-31, at home to Bowling Green.
• Fans' patience with Virginia coach Al Groh has got be running thin. For whatever reason, Virginia scheduled a home and home against Wyoming and then managed to lose, 23-3, in Laramie. Along the way, Virginia gained only 110 yards.
• Duke's futility continues. The nation's longest losing streak extended to 21 games with a 45-14 loss to Connecticut.
Breakdown: There was no doubt the Oregon State offense would suffer with the graduation of quarterback Matt Moore and absence of receiver Sammie Stroughter, but it might be even worse than we thought. No receiver had more than two catches against Utah on Thursday while Beavers quarterbacks completed only 12 of 30 passes.

Breakout: The wait for Jake Locker was worth it. Behind the redshirt freshman quarterback, Washington steamrolled Syracuse, 42-12, in the Carrier Dome. Locker passed for 142 yards while running for 83 and two touchdowns.

Breakdown: Maybe the problems at N.C. State weren't all Chuck Amato's fault. In the O'Bowl (Get it? Tom O'Brien vs. George O'Leary.), N.C. State lost 25-23 to Central Florida, giving the Wolfpack non-BCS losses to UCF, Akron and East Carolina at home and Southern Miss on the road since 2006. But at least they beat Appalachian State 23-10 in last year's opener.

Breakdown: Suspensions keep piling up in Columbia. A suspension for South Carolina starting guard James Thompson put him on the bench next to starting quarterback Blake Mitchell and backup running back Bobby Wallace and backup defensive back Chris Hail.

Quote of the weekend

"Man, right when 'Sandman' started playing and I saw everybody jumping around, I just got goosebumps all over my body and I couldn't hold back my emotion. I just turned back and told my teammates, 'This is what we came here for. We're playing for all 32 families. Just go out there and give it your all.'" -Virginia Tech linebacker Xavier Adibi

Stat that counts: 3

Counting last year's losses to Ohio State and USC to end the season, Michigan has its first three-game losing streak since 1979.

All eyes on…

Virginia Tech. If the Hokies' offensive line struggled with East Carolina's defense, how will it handle Glenn Dorsey when Virginia Tech goes to LSU?

Michigan. The Wolverines couldn't contain Appalachian State's spread offense. Now Oregon comes to town. Quarterback Dennis Dixon passed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 141 yards and a score against Houston on Saturday.

TCU at Texas: Arkansas State outgained Texas 397-340 despite losing 21-13 in the opener. Upset-minded TCU is coming off a shutout of Baylor.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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