Each week we’re going to look at the winners and losers from the weekend’s college football action. It could be a whole team, an individual, a coach or anyone else who has a big week or an absolute shocker.
With the first full slate of games this past weekend, there’s already plenty of opportunity for hyperbole and early panic (particularly if you’re an FSU fan). Most of the ACC teams were in action, with #1 ranked Clemson and Trevor Lawrence getting off to a good start against Wake Forest. #5 Oklahoma were also in action, with Spencer Rattler making his first start for the Sooners.
- Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Heading into the season the Ragin’ Cajuns were viewed as a pretty decent team who are the consistent 2nd or 3rd best team in the Sun Belt behind App State. That is until they rolled into 23rd ranked Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium and acted more like ragin’ bulls and handed them a 31 – 14 beating. After App State were less than impressive in their win vs Charlotte, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cajuns took this momentum into their remaining Sun Belt schedule as it looks to build towards trying to prise the Mountaineers off their conference vice like grip.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Spoiler alert for later in the article; FSU were bad. Real bad. But don’t take that away from a solid Yellow Jacket’s performance. FSU might not be the College football powerhouse of old, but they still need a certain amount of respect when you play them. GT showed them no respect however and managed to edge out a low scoring battle in Tallahassee where it finished 16-13. Freshman QB Jeff Sims was the standout on offense as he utilized no fewer than 10 different receivers totalling 277 yards with 1 TD. He also finished as the Yellow Jackets leader rusher on the day with 13 carries for 64 yards.
- Micale Cunningham
We mentioned Cunningham this week on the pod and I think we are all in unity that we want to see him succeed. It wasn’t the hardest of games for Louisville as they beat Western Kentucky 35 – 21, but Cunningham’s leadership of that offense shone through as he ended the day with 343 passing yards with 3 TD’s and 1 INT, whilst adding 24 yards and a single rushing touchdown to pad his overall stats. He’s an impressive young man and is surfacing as the leader of the Louisville Cardinals in Scott Satterfields’ revolution.
- Florida State Seminoles
It was all looking so good as the Noles went down the field on a scripted first drive of the game, James Blackman threw a dart to Keyshawn Helton in the end zone and Georgia Tech looked like they were in for a long afternoon. But, that ended up being a rare highlight on an afternoon which saw four of FSU’s starting offensive line get injured, Blackman make some questionable throws and the Yellow Jackets fight back for a 16-13 victory. It was hardly the start that new coach Mike Norvell wanted, but the former Memphis Coach will at least be happy with Asante Samuel JR’s two interceptions in the first half.
- Iowa State Cyclones
The Cyclones came into the season with a lot of hype surrounding them. Junior Quarterback, Brock Purdy, has sparked intrigue and weapons such as Breece Hall had only helped catapult the Cyclones into the preseason top 25. However, Purdy and co were humbled by the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday, falling to a 31-14 defeat to get their campaign underway. A lot of this can possibly be put down to first game rust, with Purdy often slow to make his reads and throwing behind his receivers regularly. However, it simply wasn’t good enough on special teams – with a series of missed tackles led to the Cajuns scoring on a 95 yard kickoff return and an 83 yard punt return.
- Tate Martell
Fresh off being beaten to the Miami Hurricanes starting Quarterback role by D’Eriq King, Tate Martell’s limp college career took another dip on Thursday night. Martell didn’t suit up for the game and Head Coach, Manny Diaz, revealed that the former four-star recruit had been suspended for undisclosed reasons. It’s hard to see the QB1 ‘star’ ever reinvigorating his football career, especially as he only threw one pass for the ‘Canes in 2019, but if you did have any hope then surely this latest setback is the last straw?
Another week without the SEC beckons next week, but college football is well and truly back – let us know who your winners and losers were @Full10YardsCFB.
(Header image credit: Juan Don Moore/ACC media Services)