#PackinBlack: NC State unveils black uniforms

N.C. State will wear these on Saturday versus Old Dominion


It's time to look at the worst box score of the week

Unless you were one of the announced 40,000 people at Heinz Field or tuned into the ESPN3 stream on Saturday afternoon, you probably didn't see much of the Pittsburgh-Delaware game yesterday. And for that, you should be down on your knees thanking your divine maker.

The Panthers fried the Blue Hens, 62-0. The win was Pitt's biggest since 1977, and largest season-opening margin since 1913, and the loss was Delaware's worst in 93 years. The stats were worse than that.

Paul Chryst's team outgained Delaware, 501-57. That's a yards per play difference of 5.918 yards. Every snap. The Panthers' 62 points tied for the third-most points of any club on Saturday, while also registered one of the six shutouts thus far of Week 1. Pittsburgh achieved 28 first downs, to Delaware's five. Pittsburgh converted seven of nine third down attempts, Delaware converted one of 11.

Let's look at the passing stats:

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 2.52.59 PM

When accounting for interception return yards, Delaware's passing game achieved a grand total of 1 yard in 16 attempts. That's 2.25 inches per attempt. It's longest completion of the afternoon was for seven yards.

But that's okay, because:

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 2.57.24 PM

You'll notice that Delaware had greater success on the ground, notching a long run of eight yards. Meanwhile, 26 of Pittsburgh's 70 snaps (37 percent) went for eight yards or more.

Shall we look at the drive chart? Let's look at the drive chart.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 3.04.58 PM

Delaware had one possession of its first 11 last more than three plays, and it ended six yards behind where it started.

"It was good to get a win," Chryst said after the game.

Yes, coach, it was.

On the way down to make halftime adjustments, Arkansas' assistants got stuck in the elevator

Bret Bielema's Arkansas team looked like one of the most improved teams in the country for the first half against Auburn. But halftime brought a curve ball nobody expected.

"We ran into a little glitch," Bielema explained at the post game presser. "Our coaches never made it down from the half. They were stuck in elevators. There was kind of a little audible there that we had to deal with, but the great thing was the kids had big eyes and ears."

Bielema didn't come right out out and say that the snafu had a direct effect on their performance in the second half, but the stats tell quite the story. The Razorbacks failed to score after the break, and allowed 24 second half points, all this after giving the 2013 SEC Champs all they could handle for during the first half.

"It is what it is. We had to roll with the flow. Obviously I have coaches up in the booth who look forward to coming down here and meeting as a staff and get on the same page. We were able to communicate by phone."

"I'm not trying to make a big deal of it. They just were't able to get down here. I don't have the full story, I just know they were actually stuck."

Let this be a lesson to all staffs that take an elevator down to meet the rest of the staff and team for halftime; have a contingency plan in place. Sounds like Bielema and his guys did all they could and adjusted on the fly during a crappy situation.

(H/T AL.com)

The FootballScoop (way too early) Top 25

Well, my friends, yesterday was quite a day; and by golly we actually have 2 more games on the docket for this evening and one tomorrow night. Quite an opening weekend for college football. 

This year we plan to offer up a FootballScoop Top 25 each week. We'll give you our insight and opinions and we'll see where this takes us. Hey, if the College Football Playoff committee can do it...

Now, without further adieu...and with the disclaimer that this is week 1 folks (and three games remain to be played...and Florida's game was cancelled)...here's how we see it.

Note> In first issuance I inadvertently left Ohio State off the list. I have inserted them as a 10 a. 

  Team Result  Comments 
#1 florida-state.60   Beat Oklahoma State 37-31 (Dallas)  Didn't play their best game and truly didn't look sharp; but beat a quality opponent on the road.
#2  oregon.60  Beat South Dakota 62-13 Handled business.
#3  texas-am.60  Beat South Carolina 52-28 Went into a hostile environment and simply owned the place. 
#4  oklahoma.60  Beat Louisiana Tech 48-16 Handled business. 
#5  michigan-state.60  Beat Jacksonville State 45-7 Handled business. 
#6  stanford.60  Beat UC Davis 45-0 Handled business.
#7  alabama.60  Beat West Virginia 33-23 (Atlanta) Alabama is loaded at running back and their offensive line creates holes. Defense didn't play their best game. Still got the stops when they were needed against an offense that has playmakers. 
#8  georgia.60  Beat Clemson 45-21  All the running backs. The defense get downright dirty in the 2nd half, allowing seemingly no yards. None. 
#9  baylor.60  Plays tonight  
#10  auburn.60  Beat Arkansas 45-21 The offense will score a plenty. 
#10a osu logo old Beat Navy 34-17 (Baltimore) Issues were identified...let's see how Urban addresses them this week. Team can improve from here; but will it. 
#11  notre-dame.60  Beat Rice 48-17 Offense looked right in the opener.  
#12  lsu.60  Beat Wisconsin 28-24 (Houston) Quarterback and offensive line play need to improve over next few weeks before SEC play begins. 
#13  arizona-state.60  Beat Weber State 45-14 Handled business. 
#14  usc.60  Beat Fresno State 52-13 A tough week for the program ended about as well as they could have scripted. 
#15  nebraska.60  Beat FAU 55-7 That one was for Carl. 
#16  ucla.60  Won at UVA 28-20 UCLA has athletes all over the field; but it didn't all come together Saturday at UVA. The offensive line play looked particularly off.  
#17  ole-miss.60  Beat Boise State 35-13 Needs an improved running game if they are to content in the West. 
#18  penn-state.60  Beat UCF 26-24 (Ireland) Had the lead most of the game...and then drove for the game winning field goal at the end. That's what good teams do.
#19  Arizona-60  Beat UNLV 58-13 Handled business. Offense was on fire. 
#20  texas.60  Beat North Texas 38-7 Handled business.  
#21  CSU  Beat Colorado 31-17 (Denver) Running game looked impressive. 
#22  clemson.60  Lost at Georgia 21-45 Team is a bit young and thin. Defense is talented but wore down against a punishing Georgia offense.
#23  UCF  Lost to Penn State 24-26 (Ireland) Young QB, Holman, who played the second half against Penn State was exciting (see Winston, Jameis).  
#24  oklahoma-state.60  Lost to Florida State 31-37 (Dallas) Gave Florida State way more than they wanted.  
#25  west-virginia.60  Lost to Alabama 33-23 (Atlanta) Showed (themselves) they can compete with Alabama. A couple of plays here, or there, and that game was winnable.  

Deserving of mention: Pitt, Missouri, Mississippi State, Wisconsin, ULL, Maryland. 

Louisville hosts Miami Monday night. That one could impact this ranking. 

Buckle up, folks. This season is going to be unlike anything we've ever seen before

The 2014 college football season is officially three days old. Within those three days, this is what we've seen:

- A national title contender lose its Heisman Trophy favorite quarterback for the season.

- USC endure a week straight out of one of Barnum and Bailey's three tents, and then find a way to run 105 plays with 62 scholarship players. 

- Steve Spurrier lose his second season opener in a quarter century as a head coach, and first in a decade at South Carolina by allowing a school-record 680 yards of total offense. 

- The top-ranked defending national champions begin their title defense in the same stadium where the champion will be crowned four and a half months from now, and immediately receive a greater challenge than it saw at any point during the regular season. Unranked Oklahoma State had the ball with less than five minutes to play and 50 yards of FieldTurf ahead of darting quarterback J.W. Walsh until P.J. Williams forced and then recovered a fumble.

- Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin went on the most awkward first date of all time as No. 2 Alabama struggled to separate itself from a team that missed a bowl a season ago.  

- LSU nearly see its FBS-record 45-game regular season non-conference winning streak come to an end in a resounding thud, only to see Les Miles eat some grass and drink some tiger blood as the Tigers completely flattened Wisconsin in the fourth quarter.

- Georgia turn a 21-21 halftime deadlock into a 45-21 statement win behind a 198-rushing yard, four total touchdown performance by Todd Gurley.

- Auburn gave one of its quarterbacks the first half and promptly saw him complete 12-of-16 passes for 243 yards and two touchdowns, and then play another quarterback in the second half and witnessed him ignite a running game that finished with 302 yards on the ground.

- Popular national title pick UCLA traveled cross-country and spent much of its Saturday afternoon getting pushed around by a team that went 2-10 last season. 

Again, this season is three days old. We've barely gotten started. Madness hits the West Coast next week. USC at Stanford in the afternoon, and Michigan State at Oregon at night.

We already know this historic 2014 season will arrive at a destination completely foreign to this 145-year old sport. But the ride to get there will hit all of us in ways we never could have imagined.

And that's what makes this the best sport in the world.


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