Tuesday , May 26 2020

College football Week 1


Payeer

1:35 PM ET

  • ESPN staff

College football season is in full swing Saturday. Here is how to watch Week 1’s biggest games, including tonight’s Oregon-Auburn showdown, along with viewing information and notes for each Top 25 game. We’ll highlight the best of our experts’ picks, betting tips and important stuff like … a bacon vending machine at Ohio State.

Here’s everything you need to get ready for a full day of action:

Jump to:

Top 25 games | The latest from Week 1

Saturday’s best

Oh no, Tennessee

In this, the 150th anniversary of college football, the Georgia State Panthers, which began playing all way back in … 2010, went into Knoxville and took down the Vols as 25-point underdogs.

“Let’s go celebrate.” @CoachSElliott #PantherFamily pic.twitter.com/pcvL1OMt4f

— GSU Football (@GeorgiaStateFB) August 31, 2019

Mack is back!

UNC coach Mack Brown beats rival South Carolina in his return to Chapel Hill, thanks to incredible catches like this.

Juggling one-handed TD catches? Yes please 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wSzbixWZe8

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 31, 2019

And that led to moments like this:

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Mack Brown gets a little choked up describing his emotions after North Carolina’s comeback win against South Carolina.

On-field proposal!

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Two Liberty fans get engaged during the first half between the Flames and Syracuse.

The Mountain Hawks swoop

Freshman punter Ryan Oliver of the St. Francis Red Flash learned how things work out there in the Patriot League on the road at Lehigh. Drop the ball, pay the price.

Lehigh showed the punter no mercy 😳 pic.twitter.com/SEawE2nUgZ

— ESPN (@espn) August 31, 2019

Honoring a legend

Kentucky paid tribute to one of the most popular players in school history, quarterback Jared Lorenzen, who died in July.

Kentucky’s band formed a 22 to honor Jared Lorenzen. pic.twitter.com/WxXPoceltS

— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 31, 2019

“OH PORK,” it says

We know you’re skipping this to read the tweet anyway, but I just wanted to type the words “Ohio Pork Council” and “bacon vending machine.”

The Ohio Pork Council invites Buckeye fans to visit the Bacon Vending Machine, located near section 37A in the south stands, at tomorrow’s game against Florida Atlantic and each home game for the remainder of the season. @OhioPork#Baconhttps://t.co/6iVvUiJ58P pic.twitter.com/yFuG710EMc

— NationalHogFarmer (@NHF_Magazine) August 30, 2019

Game winner? Check. Scholarship? Check. All-time school legend? Check.

Solid first game for Nevada kicker Brandon Talton on Friday night. The freshman nailed a 56-yarder with no time left — the longest game-winning FG by a freshman kicker as time expired over the last 15 seasons — to lead the Wolf Pack to a 34-31 victory over Purdue.

It’s a good night for @btalton111.#BattleBorn // #NevadaGrit pic.twitter.com/0IezKayVJs

— Nevada Football (@NevadaFootball) August 31, 2019

Shiny objects update

Sideline accoutrements are all the rage, of course. Let’s check in on some Week 1 celebrations.

Mississippi State has a new “StarkVegas” chain.

.@HailStateFB has some new bling 🤩 pic.twitter.com/NHgRfXpzFm

— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 31, 2019

Morehead State stays sturdy and upright.

— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) August 30, 2019

Nevada keeps things dry.

.@NevadaFootball queue the TURNOVER TOWEL pic.twitter.com/jdyako6rVE

— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 31, 2019

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0:35

Louisiana QB Levi Lewis connects with Nick Ralston for an 11-yard touchdown pass and Lewis celebrates with a cane.

When Rutgers was No. 1

Rutgers, which hosted the first college football game (against Princeton, on Nov. 6, 1869) is wearing long-sleeve uniforms as a throwback.

Where college football was born. Embracing our roots in these long sleeve uniforms from @adidasFballUS. #𝙏𝙝𝙚𝘽𝙞𝙧𝙩𝙝𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚 x #AdidasFootball pic.twitter.com/7071OrwWXN

— The Birthplace (@RFootball) August 29, 2019


The latest: Injury updates and news

  • Mississippi State suspended seven players for its opener against Louisiana.

  • Alabama lost star linebacker Dylan Moses, likely for the season, with a severe knee injury.

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1:12

Players from Auburn and Oregon hype up their Week 1 matchup at AT&T Stadium.

  • Game picks and gambling notes:Who will win the biggest games, including Saturday night’s Oregon-Auburn showdown? Find out with our expert picks.

  • Get the most for your entertainment value with Mark Schlabach’s guide to the most watchable teams in college football.

  • “Stanford Steve” and “The Bear”: Week 1 picks, bets and nuggets

  • ESPN+ best bets from Bill Connelly, Preston Johnson, Doug Kezirian and Phil Steele.

  • FPI’s football edge against the spread.

  • Oregon-Auburn matchups via ESPN’s new PlayStation Player Impact Rating.


Top 25 games

Check back here throughout the day for the latest results and quick takes from Week 1 in order by kickoff time; all times ET; lines courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook):

Northwestern at No. 25 Stanford
Time:4 p.m.
How to watch:Fox
Line:Stanford -6.5
And our best line:Last season, Stanford averaged 107.9 rush yards per game, which ranked 122nd in the FBS. Northwestern allowed 129.6 rush yards per game last season, fourth-fewest in the Big Ten.

No. 22 Syracuse at Liberty
Time:6 p.m.
How to watch:ESPN+ and ESPN App
Line:Syracuse -18
And our best line:Syracuse is ranked in the preseason Top 25 for the first time since 1998. New Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze has been hospitalized during fall camp due to a staph infection and will coach from a bed in the coaches’ box rather than on the field.

No. 3 Georgia at Vanderbilt
Time:7:30 p.m.
How to watch:ESPN and ESPN App
Line:Georgia -22.5
And our best line:Jake Fromm threw 30 touchdown passes last season, third-most in Georgia history (Aaron Murray had 36 in 2012 and 35 in 2011), but he loses his top five receivers from last season.

Georgia Southern at No. 6 LSU
Time:7:30 p.m.
How to watch:SEC Network and ESPN App
Line:LSU -27.5
And our best line:LSU, which finished 10-3 last season, is the only SEC team returning at least eight starters on both offense and defense.

Middle Tennessee at No. 7 Michigan
Time:7:30 p.m.
How to watch:Big Ten Network
Line:Michigan -34.5
And our best line:First chance to see how Michigan’s offense will look under new coordinator Josh Gattis.

No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 16 Auburn (in Arlington, Texas)
Time:7:30 p.m.
How to watch:ABC and ESPN App
Line:Auburn -4
And our best line:Auburn, which struggled on offense last season, is starting Bo Nix, the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Tigers since 1946. Oregon returns 10 offensive starters, including QB Justin Herbert, the potential No. 1 overall NFL draft pick next year.

Miami (Ohio) at No. 20 Iowa
Time:7:30 p.m.
How to watch:Fox Sports 1
Line:Iowa -21.5
And our best line:Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa had 10.5 sacks last season (tied for most in the Big Ten) despite averaging fewer than 30 snaps per game.

Louisiana Tech at No. 10 Texas
Time:8 p.m.
How to watch:Longhorn Network and ESPN App
Line:Texas -19.5
And our best line:Texas comes in with its highest preseason ranking since opening No. 5 in 2010, but has to replace six starters on offense and eight on defense.

New Mexico State at No. 23 Washington State
Time:10 p.m.
How to watch:Pac-12 Network
Line:Washington State -31.5
And our best line:Washington State is coming off the first 11-win season in school history. The Cougars haven’t reached double-digit victories in consecutive seasons since 2001 through 2003.

Sunday: Houston at No. 4 Oklahoma
Time:7:30 p.m.
How to watch:ABC and ESPN App
Line:Oklahoma -23
And our best line:Jalen Hurts arrives from Alabama to take the reins of Lincoln Riley’s prolific OU offense. Houston’s D’Eriq King was responsible for 50 touchdowns last season, behind only Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins (54 each).

Monday: No. 9 Notre Dame at Louisville
Time:8 p.m.
How to watch:ESPN and ESPN App
Line:Notre Dame -19
And our best line:Notre Dame, with its highest preseason ranking since 2006, faces a Louisville team that went 2-10 before firing Bobby Petrino and hiring former Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield.

No. 1 Clemson 52, Georgia Tech 14 (Thursday)
It would be easy enough to criticize Trevor Lawrence’s opening performance (2 INTs in 23 attempts) but the Tigers aren’t worried about their QB long-term. More encouraging was the performance of the defensive line, which was a legitimate question mark entering the opener and looked good, coming away with two sacks while showcasing some depth that’ll be needed next week against Kellen Mond and Texas A&M. —David M. Hale

No. 2 Alabama 42, Duke 3
It was a lot more methodical offense under Steve Sarkisian than Alabama fans grew accustomed to last season with Mike Locksley calling plays, but it was nonetheless effective as Tua Tagovailoa kicked off his season by completing a sparkling 26 of 31 passes for 336 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions — in just three quarters of play. Meanwhile, the defense didn’t crumble without veteran inside linebacker Dylan Moses, who suffered a season-ending injury last week. Despite starting a pair of true freshmen at inside linebacker, the defense more than held its own, limiting Duke to 3 points.— Alex Scarborough

No. 5 Ohio State 45, Florida Atlantic 21
Quarterback Justin Fields made history in his highly anticipated debut, becoming the first OSU player to have five TDs in his first game. defense held FAU to -14 yards in the first half despite the absence of leader Jonathon Cooper. However, Cincinnati and former coach Luke Fickell come to town in Week 2 and Fields will need to make quicker decisions and better pre-snap assessments if he wants to keep cruising. —Tom VanHaaren

No. 8 Florida 24, Miami 20 (Aug. 24)
The Gators put together one of the sloppier performances to open the season and were fortunate to beat Miami. But the real question is whether that was a product of Week 0 or the way we can expect Florida to play once it faces its next FBS opponent. Florida needs to get more consistency from veteran quarterback Feleipe Franks, improve its run game and cut down on the turnovers. Defensively, tackling needs to get better, and so does safety play. —Andrea Adelson

No. 12 Texas A&M 41, Texas State 7 (Thursday)
A four-interception performance was a promising start for an Aggie secondary that was a frequent target of criticism all offseason. But the Week 2 test — vs. Trevor Lawrence and Clemson — will be much stiffer than Texas State. Kellen Mond looks even better than he was a year ago, and that’s huge. The biggest offensive question out of Week 1? Consistency and communication on the offensive line. That must improve when the Aggies face the nation’s elite. —Sam Khan Jr.

No. 13 Washington 47, Eastern Washington 14
QB Jacob Eason certainly looked the part in his debut for his hometown team, but the difficulty ramps up significantly next week against a very good Cal defense. The Golden Bears completely flummoxed the Huskies offense in Berkeley last year, so they’ll be a confident bunch for this intriguing early-season Pac-12 game in Seattle. —Kyle Bonagura

No. 14 Utah 30, BYU 12 (Thursday)
It’s time to start looking forward to Utah’s trip to USC on Sept. 20. The Utes validated preseason hype, for now, in their 30-12 win against rival BYU and have what should be two easy home games (Northern Illinois and Idaho State) before heading to a place where they’re winless in eight tries dating back to 1925. RB Zack Moss has a real shot to lead the nation in rushing. —Kyle Bonagura

No. 15 Penn State 79, Idaho 7
There are tons of new faces on Penn State’s team, especially on offense, but the Nittany Lions looked as explosive as ever in a 79-7 season-opening annihilation of Idaho. The reality is that nobody expected Penn State to have much trouble in this game, and with two more home games upcoming against Buffalo and Pittsburgh, it may still be a while before we get a true read on the Lions. But it’s clear that James Franklin and his staff continue to recruit and develop at a high level, and this is also a defense that should give Penn State a chance in every game it plays this season.— Chris Low

No. 17 UCF 62, Florida A&M 0 (Thursday)
The spotlight was on UCF’s quarterbacks going into the opener against FAMU, and they did what was expected against an overmatched opponent. Brandon Wimbush and Dillon Gabriel combined for five touchdown passes, and it would not be a surprise if they continue to split snaps. Of far greater importance was the Knights losing starting cornerback Brandon Moore to a serious leg injury. Moore was hurt in the third quarter, with the game well in hand, and now the Knights must replace one of their most veteran defensive players. —Adelson

No. 18 Michigan State 28, Tulsa 7 (Friday)
The Spartans’ defense didn’t skip a beat from last season, wreaking havoc against Tulsa’s offense, holding them to minus-73 team rushing yards, fewest in school history and the second-fewest by a team in the past 20 seasons. Quarterback Brian Lewerke showed the promise he displayed in his sophomore season and could make the Spartans a sleeper team to watch. —VanHaaren

No. 19 Wisconsin 49, South Florida 0 (Friday)
The Badgers had an unusual season in 2018 with injuries and bad luck. But with Jonathan Taylor, who averaged 10.2 yards per touch, the offense will be just fine with new starting quarterback Jack Coan. The involvement of Taylor in the passing game — a career-high 48 receiving yards with two TD receptions — could be a good wrinkle for the offense and helps Coan in his adjustment going forward. —VanHaaren

No. 21 Iowa State 29, South Alabama 26 (3OT)
UNI scaring the heck out of an in-state FBS school is almost a tradition at this point, so the near-upset wasn’t a total surprise. Still, our first glimpse of ISU’s offense in a post-David Montgomery and post-Hakeem Butler universe was discouraging. The Cyclones produced just one gain of more than 20 yards, and Brock Purdy averaged just 9.3 yards per completion. Big plays won’t be any easier to find when Iowa comes to town. —Bill Connelly

No. 24 Nebraska 35, South Alabama 21
This wasn’t the “We’re back!” announcement Nebraska fans were hoping for. The Huskers scored three non-offensive touchdowns in the second half but needed all three to hold off a game South Alabama squad. The defense was mostly fine, but more was expected of this offense than two touchdowns and 4.2 yards per play against what was one of the worst defenses in FBS last year. Lots of fine-tuning to do before next week’s trip to Colorado. —Connelly

No. 25 Stanford 17, Northwestern 7
The most pressing question following Stanford’s season-opening win against Northwestern relates to the health of senior quarterback KJ Costello, who left at the end of the first half after taking a hit to the head (which somehow did not draw a targeting flag). With Costello sidelined and highly-touted backup Davis Mills in the game, Stanford didn’t score any offensive points. If Costello can’t go next week, it would mean Mills’ first career start would happen at USC as the Cardinal opens conference play.— Kyle Bonagura

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