Wow! What an Opening Week.

by Wayne Root

Recapping the Top 25 losses. 
 
Some of the top programs in the country struggled out of the gates and dropped their 2021 openers. It’s all uphill for them now. We could spot a few scores being run up this weekend. 
 
Eight Top 25 teams lost in Week 1:
All the prep work went down. 
 
No. 3 Clemson
No. 10 UNC
No. 12 Wisconsin
No. 14 Miami
No. 16 LSU
No. 17 Indiana
No. 20 Washington
No. 23 Louisiana
 
The first top program to fall came on Friday night when No. 10 UNC lost on the road against ACC foe Virginia Tech. Heisman candidate Sam Howell struggled in Blacksburg and threw three interceptions, which prevented the Tar Heels from pulling off a fourth quarter comeback. Note that Blacksburg is a difficult venue to open the season. 
 
North Carolina wasn’t the only top 25 ACC team to go down over the weekend. In Saturday’s headliners, No. 14 Miami lost badly to No. 1 Alabama while No. 3 Clemson fell in a defensive battle to No. 5 Georgia. A pick-six proved to be the difference, and the only touchdown, in the Tigers-Bulldogs match-up. With Clemson, Miami and North Carolina all losing, that conference is toast. 
 
No. 12 Wisconsin also lost a low-scoring, defensive struggle to No. 19 Penn State on Saturday afternoon. Penn St played to a 0-0 halftime tie and only went 3-13 on third downs. In the other Big Ten match-up between ranked teams, No. 18 Iowa blew out No. 17 Indiana, 34-6. But it was a deceptive blowout. 
 
Ed Orgeron and the No. 16 LSU Tigers ran into an impressive UCLA ground game and lost at the Rose Bowl, 38-27. The No. 23 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns also struggled to keep pace with a talented Texas offense and fell by multiple scores. It’ll be interesting to see if UCLA is for real. They are on their bye week. 
 
Finally, in the upset of the weekend, FCS program Montana held off No. 20 Washington, 13-7. Freshman quarterback Dylan Morris threw three interceptions which sank the Huskies chances at walking away with a win in their season opener. I believe the PAC 12 North went 1-5. Throw in losses by Cal and Stanford, this conference has to be embarrassed. 

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