The NFL starts, the colleges play slightly more meaningful games and the high schools are in full swing. NFL week one, NCAA week two and high schools week three.
The NFL started with NBC's Sunday Night Football on Thursday night. I'm sure one team beat the other in an exciting game. Not my teams, I don't care.
Bishop Kenny finally broke out of their offensive funk with a 37-15 win over the Paxon Eagles. The Crusaders were up 37-0 after three quarters before they let Paxon get on the scoreboard in the final stanza. No detail stats available once again. What's the deal? Doesn't BK send game stats to the Florida Times-Union or doesn't the newspaper care? It's Kenny's first win and they are now 1-2 for the season. The Crusaders travel to the Westside Wolverines (formerly the Nathan B. Forrest Rebels) for their first district game next.
The Bell Blue Raiders got to play in the big house as they hosted Midland at AT&T Stadium, aka Jerry's World. Bell scored first and led 7-0 at the half, but the Bulldogs scored all 17 points in the second half for the 17-7 win. Midland dominated the stats. The big difference was the 257-73 disparity in rushing yards. Bell is off to a 0-3 record and next host the undefeated Abilene Eagles who are averaging 42 points per game. Should be a great game.
College Saturday was a mixed bag. Some good, some bad and some in the middle.
The day started with a full-on rout by the #3 TCU Horned Frogs over the vastly outmanned Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. For awhile I thought TCU might reach 100 points but they backed off a little for a 70-7 victory. SFA didn't score until the 4th quarter when the game was 63-0. The backups were as effective as the starters. The Lumberjacks had a grand total of 21 yards passing and two interceptions. Total yardage was 627-167. Next game the Frogs host local rival SMU. These cross Metroplex games are unpredictable and there have been many upsets. TCU should win easily.
The South Florida Bulls went to Tallahassee to face the #11 Seminoles. USF hung in there for a half and the score was tied at seven. After intermission, FSU took charge and won 34-14. Total yards were 441-274 in the Noles favor. USF still appears to have problems with their offense, a continuing theme from last season. The Bulls are now 1-1 and have to go to 1-1 Maryland next. The Terrapins lost to Bowling Green, not exactly a football power, 48-27 so we'll see.
The Gators played a rather sloppy game against the East Carolina Pirates. They tried several times to lose the game. Florida played two QB's again, neither of who were outstanding. Total yards and time of possession were almost identical for both teams but while the Gators were fairly balanced, ECU was all passing, they, in fact, had -13 yards rushing. They also helped the cause with two fumbles and an interception. Meanwhile, Florida had 12 penalties for 105 yards. New Coach McElwain was visibly upset during the game and in post-game interviews at both the Gators play and behavior. Seems there are some residuals from the disastrous Muschamp years. Unfortunately, McElwain is stuck with a Muschamp recruited team this year. The SEC schedule starts this week with a trip to Kentucky. The Wildcats beat the South Carolina Fighting Spurriers last Saturday.
The NFL got started this week and it looks like it may be another disappointing season for my teams.
Jacksonville started the season the same way they ended last season. Inept on offense and mediocre on defense. Not a great combination that resulted in a 20-9 loss to Carolina. Blake Bortles still has much room for improvement as an NFL starting QB. He was 22/41 for 183 yards with one TD, two interceptions and five sacks. The Jags also only had 96 yards rushing. On the plus side, the Jaguars held Carolina to 263 yards. Could we please have at least a slightly better than the 3-13 record in 2015. Next game is against the Miami Dolphins who travel north on I-95 for an in-state rivalry game.
Tampa Bay started the season with their brand new #1 draft choice, big dollar QB Jameis Winston. He immediately lived up to the hype and dollar investment by completing his first pass to the opposition that was then run back for a Titans TD, a pick 6 inauguration to the NFL. Meanwhile, #2 draft choice Marcus Mariota guided Tennessee to a 42-14 victory. This week #2 certainly beat #1. Winston actually threw for one more yard than Mariota, 210 to 209, but he threw twice as many passes, was intercepted twice and sacked four times. Marcus threw for four TDs and no interceptions. Both these teams were 2-14 last season hence the top draft choices. It looks like the Titans are more improved than the Bucs and that Mariota may have been a better draft choice than Winston. Tampa Bay travels to New Orleans this week.
Finally on Monday Night there was an NFL win. The Falcons beat the Eagles 26-24 in the battle of the birds of prey. Atlanta jumped out to a 20-3 lead at halftime and then mostly just held on for the win. Matt Ryan threw for almost 300 yards with 2 TDs, but he also threw two interceptions. Interesting for the Eagles is that their brand new big dollar running back, DeMarco Murray had eight carries for only nine yards. The Falcons don't look like an elite team, but maybe they can make it to the playoffs. They certainly have a better chance than the Jaguars or Buccaneers.
So to wrap it up, the week was 1-1 at the high school level, 2-1 in the college ranks and 1-2 in the NFL. That makes it a .500 week which is about as good as I expect this season. Only TCU can be counted on to win most weeks.