Wow, what a thrilling Week 1! There were so many great games last week that it’s extremely difficult to single out the five most note-worthy victors. I tried my best to highlight the little guys beating the giants, the winners of the wild, close games, and those Georgia Bulldogs that almost shutout Dabo Swinney. Not often the winner’s defense outscores Clemson’s offense. Well, without further ado, let’s get started!
5. Notre Dame
This game more than almost any other this week reminded us of what we missed last year and how much emotion can be packed into a college sport. Florida State’s rocking crowd went nuts as McKenzie Milton helped them claw back from an 18-point hole that in previous years they wouldn’t have emerged from. When Ryan Fitzgerald’s field goal tied it, we all knew this was a special kind of ballgame. I’m sure The Fighting Irish are glad to have this one, especially after earning it on the road in OT.
4. Virginia Tech
Before the first full Saturday we had a top-10 team lose to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Unranked and under-the-radar, the Hokies pounced on UNC at the perfect time—when they were rusty—and seized a huge 17-10 win that should propel their season to new heights.
Thanks to an amazing 4th quarter drive against Duke, the 49ers now have their first ever win over a Power 5 program. With a light schedule ahead of them, gunning for a bowl is not out of the question. Meanwhile, Duke fans will be even more impatient for the Champions Classic to ring in hoops season.
Now that was old school! Georgia got their biggest win since the 2018 CFP triumph over Oklahoma with a 10-3 defensive masterpiece against the mighty Clemson Tigers. A return trip to the playoff is well within their reach with this one out of the way, but will they score enough offense when they need it? We’ll see.
Several FCS programs turned heads during opening weekend, including East Tennessee State who smacked Vanderbilt 23-3 in the ugliest SEC loss I’ve ever seen, but this one made no sense at all. Montana of the Big Sky Conference shocked #20 Washington 13-7 on the road in a game they came into with a paltry 5% chance of winning. The Huskies were favored by over three touchdowns, but now are hiding their faces in public because the Grizzlies, a powerful FCS team, will start their FCS season with tons of momentum. The Big Sky better watch out, because the Grizz were the biggest winners of Week 1.