Week one of school is in the books. You’ve only been given a syllabus and a pop quiz. You’ve had all summer to study for the pop quiz but you have no idea what the answer to the questions will be. Did you do your homework thoroughly or did you just go through the motions?
The three FBS schools in Utah all experienced the highs and lows of the first week of college football. What were their overall grades? Here are the results in a traditional A-F format and, just for fun, in the Harry Potter O.W.L Outstanding-Troll format:
Game Result: 38-17 win over North Dakota on August 31st, 2017
The Good: Tyler Huntley threw his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter and never looked back. He amassed 227 passing yards and 70 rushing yards. A hair under 300 all-purpose yards isn’t bad for a Freshman under the college spotlight for the first time.
The Bad: If there is anything more than a 0 in the turnovers column then that’s one too many for Kyle Whittingham. The defensive minded head coach probably hit the panic button when Huntley made a typical freshman mistake in his first drive. The interception resulted in North Dakota making the first score of the game in the form of a 32 yard field goal. The Utes were put on upset alert for maybe a quarter but then got it together. Still, this turnover is probably the only thing Kyle will talk about the whole next week against a tougher opponent in BYU. Winning the turnover battle has been the key in their rivalry dominance over the last few decades and he can’t afford to see many picks or fumbles in Provo next week.
The Ugly: Not much ugly here besides maybe some of the crazy hairdos on some of the Ute players. Tight end Harrison Handley has a mop on his head and who knows what wide receiver Darren Carrington has but at least the helmets cover most of that up.
American Grade: A-
Wizarding Grade: Exceeds Expectations. Gryffindor would be proud.
Utah State Aggies:
Game Result: 10-59 loss to Wisconsin on 9/1/2017, the day that Albus Potter boarded the Hogwarts train 19 years after the Second Wizarding War.
The Good: The first half. Seriously for most of the first half the Aggies were up 10-0. If not for an unfortunate targeting ejection to their NFL caliber cornerback Jalen Davis they might have had the lead going into halftime but the score was knotted up at 10 apiece going into the break. The Aggies were still far exceeding the expectations against the #9 team in the country at that point.
The Bad: The “jump around” tradition at the start of the fourth quarter. Wisconsin is a well respected program but this 20 year tradition is one of the most overrated traditions in college football. The Badgers may have been the first college to jump around to this song but they aren’t the first college to play annoying songs at games. They are pretty clever for putting two and two together for figuring that it might be catchy to jump around during a song called “Jump Around” but the birthday scene in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire made this song cool 4 years before Wisconsin did. Next.
The Ugly: The second half for Utah State was much worse than “Jump Around”. For recency effect let’s put it on par with Taylor Swift’s new single “Look What you Made me Do.” The Aggies made Wisconsin feel embarrassed and angry the first half and the Badgers didn’t care. They just took what they wanted in the second half en route to 59 unanswered points and shutting out the Aggies in the second half. Senior quarterback Kent Myers also threw 4 picks. Yikes.
American Grade: C-
Wizarding Grade: Poor. The first half was Exceeds Exceeds and the second half was Troll so it averages out to be the report card of the Weasley twins.
Game Result: 27-0 loss to the LSU Tigers at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The Good: The BYU defense fought hard considering that they were on the field for 42 minutes. They made sure that LSU had a few scoreless drives and held the Tigers to field goals in the third quarter to keep the game from being a complete blowout.
The Bad: Tanner Mangum recorded his second bagel of his career. The first was as a true freshman when he got Einstein Bageled by Michigan in the Big House in 2015. The score was 31-0 which made Michigan probably almost as happy as when Ohio State lost to Clemson 31-0 last year in the College Football Playoff. Anyways, the only good bagels are the ones with the strawberry cream cheese spread. This game was a bad mix of onion and choice and jalapeño. Yuck.
The Ugly: It’s bad enough that the passing game was pedestrian. Tanner knows that he as the quarterback will get all the glory when he throws miracle Hail Marys against powerhouses like Nebraska and Boise State, and all the blame when he gets bageled. However, he doesn’t deserve nearly as much blame as the run game. That was one of the main concerns going into Saturday’s contest and the Cougars proved that they still haven’t found an adequate replacement for Jamal Williams.
BYU was held to -5 rushing yards which is the fewest allowed rushing yards by LSU since 1982. That year LSU held Ole Miss to -50 rushing yards which was a school record. LSU has traditionally been a defensive juggernaut but there is no excuse for not at least getting SOME positive yards.
American Grade: D-
Wizarding Grade: Dreadful. It would be a troll if not for the valiant effort by the defense. Troy Warner and Sione Takitaki would make pretty dangerous Beaters in the game of Quidditch.