Hot or not: A look at this weekend's college football games
Is all that extra practice finally paying off for Michigan?
Denard Robinson, in his first game as the Wolverines' starting quarterback, rushed for 197 yards, a program record for a quarterback, and Michigan rolled to a surprisingly easy 30-10 win over Connecticut before 113,090 at the Big House, the biggest crowd to ever watch a football game.
The win should lessen the heat on Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez, at least for a week. He failed to lead the Wolverines to a winning record in each of his first two seasons in Ann Arbor (Michigan hadn't suffered two consecutive losing seasons since 1962-63). He also was found to have repeatedly violated NCAA rules regarding practice time, a first for what was considered to be a squeaky-clean program.
Wins over programs that didn't become full division I-A members until 2002 are all well and good, but the true test comes next week, when Michigan travels to Notre Dame, another program hoping for some sort of rebound after a few dismal years in the wilderness.
Michigan knows all too well the embarrassment that Mississippi and Kansas are feeling on Sunday morning.
Just as the Wolverines fell to division I-AA Appalachian State to open the 2007, the Rebels and Jayhawks fell to division I-AA foes to open this season.
Ole Miss lost, 49-48, in double overtime to Jacksonville State, and the way they lost makes it even worse. Gamecocks quarterback Coty Blanchard threw a 30-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 15 to pull within 48-47, and then somehow found Calvin Middleton on the two-point conversion for the win.
The Rebels had a 21-point lead at halftime.
The excitement generated by breaking the goal line was absent in North Dakota State's 6-3 win over Kansas in Turner Gill's first game as Jayhawks coach.
Kansas outgained the Bison, 293-168, but committed three turnovers against a team that not only resides in division I-AA, but also went 3-8 in that subdivision last season.
No. 4 Florida and No. 7 Oklahoma were supposed have two of those forgettable season-opening romps against overmatched foes. They didn't.
The Gators could only score a 34-12 win over Miami (Ohio).
The offense was the problem. Center Mike Pouncey sent one snap over quarterback John Brantley's head and spiked two others into the ground. The Gators fumbled eight times, losing three of them. Through three quarters, Florida had only 25 yards in offense.
"I didn't imagine the offense's incompetence that we experienced today," Coach Urban Meyer said.
The Sooners became the seventh division I program to reach 800 wins with a 31-24 victory over Utah State, but it's safe to say most of the previous 799 were more enjoyable. The win wasn't secure until Jamell Fleming picked off a Diondre Borel pass with about five minutes left. Borel passed for 341 yards against the Sooners' green secondary.
- Matt Bonesteel