Night One is in the books. And it was glorious. Here's what happened:
BOWLING GREEN 32, IDAHO 15 — A foreboding opening score by UI with few crumbs of defensive dissent didn't forebode this score at all. But what we saw from that point onward was an un-BG-like performance in many aspects: huge push on the defensive line, savvy secondary play, and an established running game that set up the pass, not goofy gadget pass plays to set up less-effective pass plays.
Although long and fruitful pass plays were involved.
Matt Schilz brought a little Sheehan back to the QB role, throwing for 291 yards at a 61.3% rate. Eugene Cooper donned the role of excellent receiver, catching 2 touchdowns and netting 111 yards through the air. Your new name to learn is Anthon Samuel, a true freshman who benefited from an alert and physical offensive line by running for 139 yards on 23 tries. And if you're looking for a punter, see if the Findlay Oilers have any left on the shelves. The new guy Brian Schmiedebusch blasted a punt for 81 yards, finishing with a 58.8 average.
And with that, the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl loss no longer hurts.
TOLEDO 58, NEW HAMPSHIRE 22 — The closest UNH could get to something groovy was a touchdown in the second quarter capped by a two-point conversion out of the Polecat formation (a Mike Haywood staple). But Toledo was just playing paddycake with the Wildcat defense. The dual-QB system let Austin Dantin throw three touchdowns and Terrance Owens chuck two. Adonis Thomas hit the 100-yard mark with one score and Bernard Reedy was the top receiver with 114 yards and two TDs. A perfect offensive day: no turnovers, no sacks allowed, but there were six penalties — keep an eye on this trend.
TEMPLE 42, VILLANOVA 7 — We were promised a competitive game. We were lied to. The Steve Addazio era began with a crushing rushing performance led by Bernard Pierce: 20 touches, 147 yards, three touchdowns. Matt Brown? Not so much: just 22 on 10 carries. And Mike Gerardi seems to have cemented the quarterback spot for now, with a 14-for-20, 221-yard, 2-touchdown night. The O-line wasn't remarkable on the pass protection, allowing three sacks. But Michael Nutter still likes them, per local ordinance.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 21, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 6 — This one was rather puzzling. CMU couldn't quite get an offensive rhythm all game as two first half TDs were long Ryan Radcliff pass plays. But he also threw two interceptions and while a win is a win, this may not settle well in Mount Pleasant. Perhaps the negativity is consistent with the disgruntled faculty having to work despite wanting to strike for better wages (and who can blame them?) Frowning is contagious. There is no known cure.
Also: AKRON 0, CAL STATE FULLERTON 0 — Indeed, the score is from a soccer match, but it could've been a believable Akron football score. The Zips were on the offensive for most of the game but the tie is what they get. Hope it won't hurt their ranking too badly.
Nine more football games on Saturday. Three more wins look likely, guaranteeing a winning record for the conference in Week 1. Neat.