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9 Grueling Truths we learned during week 1 of the 2023 College Football season

Publish Date: 09/04/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Week one truths

A non-competitive week one of the 2023 season showed us that teams like scheduling cupcakes. It also showed us that Coach Prime and Colorado are set up for an interesting season that will be exciting to watch. Overall the schedule ramps up in week 2 and gives us games like Texas vs Alabama, so don’t let week one fool you, its about to get interesting from here on out!

1) Do you Believe?

It was clear the Buffaloes outshone expectations. Sanders’ son Shedeur had an outstanding game and set Colorado’s single-game passing record. WR/DB Travis Hunter made 11 catches on offense and an interception on defense while playing over 100 snaps – two crucial pieces on their rosters against the Horned Frogs. Colorado did not look outmatched.

Colorado was aware that going in, and made sure they celebrated after winning with pride after taking care to celebrate after. Colorado should now be far more competitive and entertaining than it was as a 1-11 team in 2022.

But the Buffalos face a killer schedule, and let’s not kid ourselves: TCU is a middle-of-the-pack Big 12 team. Still, Deion looks set to prove his critics wrong.

Video: TCU-Colorado highlights: Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes shock the Frogs

TCU-Colorado highlights: Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes shock the Frogs

2) The Number one pick in the 2024 NFL Draft will be…

Caleb Williams has already played two games this year since returning from injury in the Pac-12 title game against Utah. He’s picked right back up where he left off.

After throwing for 278 yards and four touchdowns against San Jose State in a Week 0 victory, Williams threw more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (four) in USC’s 66-14 win against Nevada during its Week 2 matchup. Williams also had some spectacular highlights during that win: he hit his target when hitting an opponent twice from behind!

Williams is the best quarterback in College Football and he looks like he might be able to return the Trojans of the glory days of yesteryear!

Video: Caleb Williams improvises on spectacular play for USC | ESPN College Football

Caleb Williams improvises on spectacular play for USC | ESPN College Football

3) Michael Pennix is the real deal

Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. lit up Boise State’s defense for 450 yards and five touchdowns during Washington’s 56-19 victory against Boise State.

Penix amassed more than 4,000 passing yards during his debut season at Washington in 2022 and emerged as a Heisman contender; should Washington’s pass game remain as potent as seen on Saturday, this could put Penix even higher up the Heisman podium list.

Rome Odunze caught seven passes for 132 yards, Ja’Lynn Polk had 101 on three receptions and Jalen McMillan scored two receiving TDs on eight grabs as Washington receivers kept getting behind Boise State secondary – and Penix delivered accurate passes when that occurred. The Huskies are a very real playoff contender.

Video: Michael Penix Jr. Week 1 Highlights | No. 10 Washington vs. Boise State | 2023 Season

Michael Penix Jr. Week 1 Highlights | No. 10 Washington vs. Boise State | 2023 Season

4) Tom Allen is a moron

Allen seemed to be trying to cover the spread; he wasn’t trying to win the game. Number one, who thinks they can win running the option in the Big Ten? Once again, Coach Allen’s game management makes me think he would even suck in Madden! Indiana three years ago had a tremendous season; fast forward three years, and you will find the reason for that great season now playing in the great state of Washington.

Video: Ryan Day reacts to Ohio State's 23-3 win over Indiana

Ryan Day reacts to Ohio State’s 23-3 win over Indiana

5) The Volunteers might be better than last year

Milton entered 2023 as one of college football’s most exciting quarterback prospects. Following Hendon Hooker’s stellar play in 2022 and a subsequent knee injury that caused him to miss two games during that season, Milton seemed more than capable of leading Tennessee’s high-octane offense during 2023.

On Saturday, nothing happened to change those thoughts. Milton went 21-of-30 for 201 yards and two TDs in Tennessee’s blowout win against Virginia in Nashville, though these stats appear modest at first glance. With one pass traveling over 60 yards before being dropped and another seemingly TD throw falling inches short of scoring territory, he showed that anything is possible with him at quarterback. The Vols will be a serious contender in the SEC this season.

Video: Tennessee vs Virginia - Game 1 Highlights

Tennessee vs Virginia – Game 1 Highlights

6) Iowa still has offensive issues

Iowa defeated Utah State, 24-14, on Saturday during former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara’s Iowa debut. Iowa scored on both its opening drives; McNamara hit Seth Anderson for an initial season-opening passing touchdown since 1991 before fellow Michigan transfer Erick All caught a 3-yard pass and scored.

Brian Feentz offensive coordinator was retained for 2023 with a clause in his contract requiring Iowa to win seven games and score 25 points per game, after having only seven passing touchdowns in 2022. But things quickly declined thereafter, and that could prove costly in the future.

Video: IOWA UTAH STATE

IOWA UTAH STATE

7) Travis Hunter is the real deal

Deion Sanders made an immediate, impactful statement with Colorado’s 45-42 upset win against No. 17 TCU in Fort Worth, and Travis Hunter was on full display – his No.1 recruit standing out prominently during CU’s 45-42 triumph. Hunter committed to play for Sanders at Jackson State, then followed him to Colorado for his college debut and played both ways 129 snaps total in that debut matchup. Hunter caught 11 passes for 119 yards as a receiver, including an incredible 43-yard reception on a crucial third-and-16 play late in the fourth quarter. As a cornerback, Hunter played lockdown coverage with three tackles and a diving interception that kept TCU out of their end zone in the third quarter; it showcased his remarkable talent like never before in college football. We haven’t seen such an exceptional two-way player since, Charles Woodson.

Video: Colorado's Travis Hunter puts up HISTORIC numbers on BOTH sides of the ball in upset over No. 17 TCU

Colorado’s Travis Hunter puts up HISTORIC numbers on BOTH sides of the ball in upset over No. 17 TCU

8) Penn State can win the Big Ten!

Drew Allar amassed 325 yards and three touchdowns, including a 72-yarder to Keandre Lambert-Smith on his second pass attempt of the evening. Lambert-Smith led all receivers with four catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns; Harrison Wallace led PSU with seven catches for 72 yards, while Florida State transfer Malik McClain had four receptions of his own for 58 yards with one touchdown score – all good signs for Penn State and Nittany Lions success this evening!

The Nittany Lions are a well-balanced offensive team and are very strong up front in the trenches. Ohio State looks to have quarterback issues, leaving just Michigan for Penn State to get by.

Video: Every attempt from Drew Allar's breakout Week 1 start vs. West Virginia | NBC Sports

Every attempt from Drew Allar’s breakout Week 1 start vs. West Virginia | NBC Sports

9) Ohio State has issues

Ohio State earned a 23-3 season-opening victory against Indiana on Saturday, but its offense struggled mightily in its debut. Kyle McCord started his second career as C.J. Stroud’s replacement; though there were some positive moments during the win. Ohio State was far removed from the explosive offense seen last year during their College Football Playoff semifinal loss against Georgia. Although Ohio State scored on its opening drive of the afternoon, they didn’t reach the end zone again until late in the third quarter. At Indiana, one of the worst teams in the Big Ten, Ryan Day’s play-calling was conservative; McCord threw an ugly interception, and there were holes in pass protection that must be filled prior to Ohio State’s trip to Notre Dame later this month.

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