Week 1 of the college football season is here. We got a little bit of a preview last Saturday getting to watch UCLA vs. Hawai’i and several other underwhelming contests. There are a few nuggets tonight though including a pair of Pac-12 programs making their season debuts. If your eyes are going to be glued to your TV tonight then follow along with the action right here to share in the experience with your fellow Husky fans.
Suggested Viewing Guide (all times PT)
4:00 PM: Boise State at UCF (-5.5), ESPN
(Note: This game has had lightning delays and probably won’t start on time)
You’ve got 3 options for the beginning of the evening depending on what your priorities are. I think the best overall game is the one that’s on first with the perennial best team in 2 G5 conferences taking each other on. Both programs have their first game under a new head coach with ex-Oregon DC taking over at Boise State and former Auburn head man Gus Malzahn helming UCF. A win by Boise here would help out the strength of schedule for the Pac-12 which has plenty of games against the Mountain West in the non-con this year like normal.
4:30 PM: Weber State at #24 Utah (Pac-12 Networks)
If you’re the type of person who prefers to focus on Pac-12 schools then you can check out the Utes against an in-state FCS opponent. Unfortunately this isn’t really a scouting opportunity since the Huskies aren’t scheduled to play Utah this season. However, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Washington ultimately plays them in the Pac-12 title game. Utah is hoping that Baylor transfer QB Charlie Brewer will be able to elevate the program to new heights and we’ll see if that can happen.
5:00 PM: #4 Ohio State (-13.5) at Minnesota (FOX)
Most of the national attention will be on this game since the Buckeyes are the biggest name playing on this opening Thursday. This game is the only one on the schedule before Ohio State takes on Oregon in the massive non-conference showdown. If Minnesota is able to keep this close or even spring the upset then you can be sure that Oregon fans will be convinced they have a shot the following Saturday. West Coast native CJ Stroud takes over at QB for Ohio State with Justin Fields off to the NFL.
7:30 PM: Southern Utah at #25 Arizona State (Pac-12 Networks)
This one is a potential scouting opportunity since the Sun Devils will be coming up to Seattle later this year. The extra layer of intrigue is of course that ASU is still under investigation by the NCAA and has 3 assistant coaches currently on administrative leave. How is the team reacting to all of the dysfunction? If the answer is that it isn’t bothering them then this should be a devastating offensive attack. Regardless, I think against Southern Utah they shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever.
FRIDAY GAMES Suggested Viewing Guide
3:00 PM- #10 North Carolina (-5.5) at Virginia Tech
There’s a lot of hype around the Tar Heels as they enter the season ranked in the top-10 led by projected 1st round draft pick QB Sam Howell. They start off the season on a Friday night on the road in Blacksburg which historically hasn’t been a great setting to get a win. This doesn’t seem like it’s going to be a fantastic Hokies squad though so watch mainly to see if UNC looks like a team that could theoretically challenge Clemson in the ACC (they can’t).
6:00 PM- Northern Colorado at Colorado
Another Pac-12 scouting opportunity as Washington will also be making the trek to Boulder later in the year. I’m most interested to see what happens with the QB situation after returning starter Sam Noyer transferred late to Oregon State and then his expected replacement Tennessee transfer JT Shrout suffered a knee injury. The depth is perilously thin at the most important position in sports and if anyone else goes down then the Buffs are in serious trouble.