With Week 1 of the college football season in the books, let’s take a look back at the best moments from the opening weekend. Before we get started, however, there is a bit of a disclaimer.
On Monday night, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller blew up the Internet with his miraculous spin move and score.
While that may have been one of the best plays of the week, it is the freshest in our minds. So, in order to relive some of the better moments that have may now been overlooked, let’s check out the top ten plays of the opening weekend that are not this:
Now, onto the other ten.
10. Sure, this is just a routine 34-yard field goal, but the man who nails the kick is far from routine. Penn State kicker Joey Julius, standing at a stout 5-foot-10, 259 (!) pounds, has the dimensions of a fullback but exudes confidence as the Nittany Lions placekicker. Julius is reminiscent of former FSU star kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who weighed around 240 during his college career.
Janikowski has been more than serviceable during his current 16-year career in the NFL, and excited to see if Julius has what it takes to play on Sundays.
9. Northwestern stunned No. 21 Stanford this weekend, beating them 16-6 as the Wildcats contained the Cardinal offense all game. This game’s best highlight came after the final whistle as Northwestern assistant head coach Jerry Brown was caught on camera dancing with his team in the locker room.
Get your groove on Jerry.
8. Leading 7-0 early in the second quarter against Arizona State, Texas A&M’s Christain Kirk decided to up the ante with this electric 79-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Kirk does a great job to make the first two defenders miss and then let his speed do the rest, scampering up the sideline to give his Aggies a 14-point lead.
7. Ole Miss junior defensive end Robert Nkemdiche is a name to watch out for this season. Early in the Rebels’ game against UT Monroe Nkemdiche burst through the offensive line to block a 31-yard field goal attempt.
Nkemdiche then flexed his offensive muscles, lining up in the fullback position and catching a ball in stride on his way to his 37-yard gallop into the end zone.
6. If you watched UCLA open its season against Virginia Saturday, you might guess that UCLA QB Josh Rosen was a seasoned veteran, leading the Bruins to a win while throwing for 351 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Watch Rosen deliver a perfect dime to his WR Thomas Duarte for his 2nd TD of the day.
Take into account that Rosen is 18 years old, a true freshman, and that was his first NCAA game, and my ears began to perk up.
5. A halfback dive, designed to gain only a few yards, quickly turns into a 37-yard touchdown run as Alabama’s Derrick Henry burst through the line-of-scrimmage, ignoring arm tackles on his way to his monstrous day on the ground against Wisconsin (147 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 11. 6 yards/carry, earning SEC offensive player of the week).
4. In the most exciting game of the weekend (you’ll see more from this game soon), Nebraska opens up the scoring against BYU with a 14-yard TD reception from Jordan Westerkamp.
Watch as Westerkamp catches a screen pass, breaks a tackle and then reverses the field in search of some more real estate. Keep your eyes on the Cornhuskers’ QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. who delivers an edge-setting block after his WR starts heading back in his direction.
I’m not sure how much his coaching staff wants Armstrong to be setting helmet-first lead blocks, but he is showing everyone he is willing to do it all for this team.
3. From possibly the most unsuspecting matchup of the weekend came one of the most exciting highlights. Fort Lewis University took on Montana State University, where we saw Fort Lewis running back PJ Hall take a monumental hit from Montana State linebacker Mac Bignell.
Fort Lewis Qb Jordan Doyle should know better than to lob a pass into the flat like that; If I was that running back, I wouldn’t let Doyle hear the end of it. “C’mon man! You’re better throwing it away at that point!”
2. After Purdue quarterback Austin Appleby’s first pass of he game was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, he knew the day couldn’t get any worse. Free from any worry of failure, we see Appleby run the read-option to perfection on this play, stiff-arming a defender to the ground with his left arm while throwing a touchdown pass with the right.
1. With BYU down one, one second on the clock, out of field goal range, all they could do is ask for a prayer.
That prayer was answered in the form of Mitch Matthews making a heroic play on the goalline, shielding the football from Cornhusker defenders and securing the catch to win the game with nothing but zeros on the clock.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports