College football 2022 season is finally here, and you can tell the schedule makers know the fans just couldn't wait until Saturday. The Backyard Brawl was renewed on Thursday, and Friday had a few games that were quite intriguing from a match-up standpoint. Setup all to tide the hungry fan over for an epic Saturday! Well, it was a little more interesting than that! Here are my rapid reactions from a Friday evening filled with college football!
Virginia Tech needs to STOP scheduling Old Dominion
If your goal was to lose a football game, the Hokies put on the perfect demonstration as to how you can accomplish that goal. The Hokies turned it over five times, including four interceptions. The other was a botched snap on a field goal attempt that the ODU Monarchs returned for a touchdown. So much for keeping that Beamer Ball tradition am I right? How about being penalized 14 times for 100 yards? The Hokies were flatly unprepared and uninspired in their first football game of the year, which falls directly on the lap of new head coach Brent Pry.
This isn't the first time the Hokies have lost to Old Dominion, who beat them in 2018. Virginia Tech will not get a reprieve from the Monarchs anytime soon, either, as they play ODU for another decade in a row. ODU headman Ricky Rahne also deserves a lot of credit; this team started 1-5 a season ago, ended the year strong, and is now starting 1-0 in 2022.
The one bright spot for Virginia Tech was Dax Hollifield; he was everywhere, registering 11 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss.
Illinois at Indiana was filled with controversy and a wild finish.
How can you not talk about the controversial call in the waning moments of the first half? Illinois Tommy Devito threw a 19-yard TD pass to WR Brian Hightower. Hightower caught it, got stripped after being on the ground, and then caught the football again. Not asking for the Illini to get awarded 12 points for both TD grabs, but let's get this right. We have a replay, for crying out loud! These young men and coaches put in too much time and hard work for the officials to be impacting football games like this, and the officiating has gone way downhill in recent years as this feels like a weekly occurrence at this point.
Illinois would tie the football game on a field goal instead, and in a game that was decided by a three-point margin, it cant be understated how big of a deal that play was. Still, Illinois has to also point fingers at themselves for turning the football over three times in Indiana territory. The Illini controlled the line of scrimmage in the ball game, rushing for 216 yards and holding the Hoosiers to just 32 yards on the ground. The Illini controlled the game, the pace of the game, and yet still going into the waning moments, Indiana had an opportunity to steal the game, and 75 yards later, they did. QB Connor Bazelak, who transferred in from Missouri, led the Hoosiers down the field to the 1-yard line. Shaun Shivers ran it in for the score.
The Illinois defense is legit, and it's easy to see Brett Bielema has them moving in the right direction. This could be an incredibly successful season for the Illini. Indiana has something in that passing attack Bazelak alongside WRs DJ Matthews and Cam Camper.
TCU means speed!
Colorado is not very good, we all know that and TCU started awfully slow for the comfort of their fans on Saturday evening in Boulder. Sonny Dykes first half at TCU was one to forget, but the second half was much better. The Horned Frogs dominated at the line of scrimmage and shut out the Buffs in the second half while putting up 31 points. In the first half, the only points scored were from a Derius Davis punt return touchdown. Davis had a whale of a game adding a 27-yard touchdown run as well.
TCU had a 275-yard game on the ground, which was mostly a by-committee approach. The big note for the Horned Frogs is starting QB Chandler Morris left the game with an injury, and to this point, we do not know the severity, but they do have comfort in having a guy like Max Duggan to fill in. The TCU speed on offense and defense was evident and appears to be the strength of the roster this season. How much of an impact can the Frogs have on the Big 12 title race?
Other notes from Friday
Kansas blew out Tennessee Tech 56-10. Not something to celebrate usually but this is Kansas, and Lance Liepold has the Jayhawks moving in the right direction. These types of games have not been gimmes for the Jayhawks in the past.
Michigan State was in a tight game in the fourth quarter against Western Michigan 21-13, but they pulled away late and showed they were a team to be reckoned with when their back is to the wall.