Tuck: Freshman Impact College Football

The great unknown of every college football season is, what will the freshman do?  In the case of more than one place this past weekend, the results were impressive.

Miami’s Duke Johnson flashed his impressive wheels and great balance ripping of touchdown runs of 54 and 56 yards in the Canes 41-32 victory at Boston College.

Alabama debuted TJ Yeldon in the backfield and all he did was become the first freshman in Crimson Tide history to rush for over 100 yards in his first game.  Yeldon totaled 111 yards on just 11 carries in the Tide’s thumping of overrated Michigan.

Georgia trotted out freshman RB Todd Gurley and all he did was tote the ball 8 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns and bring back a kickoff 100 yards for another touchdown.

Oh, and by the way, it’s worth noting those guys were replacing Lamar Miller, Trent Richardson, and Isaiah Crowell.  On paper, it looks like big trouble, and then you kick it off and find out maybe it won’t be as tough as you first thought.

And yes, and I can’t leave out the most outstanding quarterback debut for the team I picked to win the national title.  How about Oregon losing Darren Thomas at QB, and they might have gotten better with a true freshman.  Marcus Mariota (MARY-O-TA) went 18-22 for 200 yards, 3 TD, and led Oregon to a 50-3 lead…with 7:06 to play in the 2nd quarter!

Here is my submission for the Insider’s Top 25 Poll.  And yes, I am very flexible and only reacting to the one week of football in 2012 that we are all aware of.  I can’t predict the future, so for the poll I go on what I know at the moment.  Say it with me, “Be fluid.”

1. Alabama

2. Oregon
3. LSU
4. USC
5. FSU
6. Michigan State
7. Clemson
8. Oklahoma State
9. Ohio State
10. Tennessee
11. South Carolina
12. Notre Dame
13. Arkansas
14. Nebraska
15. North Carolina
16. Texas
17. West Virginia
18. Nevada
19. Missouri
20. Louisville
21. Oklahoma
22. Arizona State
23. Virginia Tech
24. Ohio
25. Northwestern

Worth Noting:

Dennis Franchione coaches at Texas State, and if you missed it, he led them to one of the biggest upsets in college football history over the weekend.  The Bobcats beat Houston, and did it soundly, 30-13, as 34.5 point underdogs!  When Stanford knocked off USC in 2007 they were 38.5 point underdogs.  Oh, and that was Texas State’s first game as a I-A team.

Houston fired their offensive coordinator, errr, he resigned two days after the game.  Mike Nesbitt stepped aside after the Cougars scored their second fewest points in a game since 2007.

Division III QB Sam Durley broke the NCAA passing yards record tallying 736 in a 62-55 win for Eureka.

Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez didn’t quite do that, but the running quarterback has improved throwing for 354 yards and 5 touchdowns in the Huskers win over Southern Miss.

Hello Le’Veon Bell.  The Michigan State runner only touched the ball 50 times for 265 yards in Sparty’s rally past pesky Boise State.

Vegas does some crazy things, and making Oklahoma State the biggest favorite in college football history would qualify.  The Cowboys were a 67.5 point favorite over Savannah State and they covered, winning 84-0.  The previous largest line was Hawaii as a 60-pt favorite over Northern Colorado in 2007.  They didn’t cover, winning 63-6.