The first week of the college football season wasn’t so kind for BYU in a loss to arch-rival Utah. The same could be said for the Cougars’ opponents who had mixed results to open the season.
Here’s a breakdown of how BYU’s opponents fared and who they will be playing next.
No. 14 Utah (1-0)
Week 1 result: 30-12 win over BYU
Next up: Northern Illinois (1-0)
The 14th-ranked Utes scored three touchdowns off three BYU turnovers to pull away for a 30-12 victory Thursday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Utah’s defense — which received a lot of praise and hype coming into the season — made sure to back it up by holding BYU to just 12 points, including a pair of pick-6’s from Francis Bernard and Julian Blackmon. Senior running back Zack Moss ran for a game-high 187 yards and a touchdown to help the Utes earn their ninth straight victory in the Holy War rivalry.
Week 1 result: 38-30 loss to Georgia State
Next up: BYU (0-1)
It was the biggest upset of the college football season so far as Georgia State took down Tennessee, 38-30, in Neyland Stadium. Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as the program defeated its first-ever Power Five opponent. Tennessee was favored to win by 26 points, however, with a defense that couldn’t stop anything on Saturday and with three turnovers on offense, the Vols were playing from behind most of the game. I’ve gone on record saying Tennessee is a very winnable game for BYU before the season started, Saturday’s result will likely mean BYU will be the favorites by oddsmakers after early lines in July had the Vols as a 4-point favorite.
Week 1 result: 31-23 win over Fresno State
Next up: Stanford (1-0)
USC hung on in the Coliseum Saturday night in the 31-23 victory over Fresno State. The Bulldogs were on the verge of forcing overtime, however, USC’s Pola-Mao picked off a pass in the end zone to thwart any Fresno State upset. USC’s Velus Jones Jr. returned a kickoff for a touchdown and running back Vavae Malepeai rushed for a career-high 134 yards and touchdown in the win. However, the biggest news of the night was USC quarterback JT Daniels going down with an injury. The sophomore was on crutches with a brace on his right knee for the rest of the night and will undergo an MRI exam on Sunday.
Week 1 result: 47-14 win over Eastern Washington
Next up: California (1-0)
Despite playing in his first game in nearly two years, quarterback Jacob Eason did not show any rust as he threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 13 Washington to a 47-14 victory over Eastern Washington on Saturday. The former No. 1 recruit in the country — who ended up losing the starting job at Georgia to Jake Fromm — completed 27 of 36 passes and led the Huskies to touchdown drives on four its first five possessions. Yes, it was an FCS team, but the Huskies looked dominant.
Week 1 result: 38-24 loss to Kentucky
Next up: Murray State (1-0)
Toledo jumped out to a 14-7 lead behind Mitchell Guadagni’s 21-yard touchdown run. However, the senior quarterback ended up leaving the game in the third quarter after his helmet was knocked off. The Rockets look like a decent team, however, we’ll know much about them as they face Colorado State a week before hosting BYU.
South Florida (0-1)
Week 1 result: 47-0 loss to No. 19 Wisconsin
Next up: Georgia Tech (0-1)
Nothing like getting shut out at home to open the season. The loss was the seventh consecutive for USF, which dropped the final six games in 2018 after starting the year out 7-0 and a Top 25 ranking. USF quarterback Blake Barnett completed just 13 of 30 passes for 109 yards and two interceptions in the loss. USF had just 157 of total offense compared to Wisconsin’s 433 yards. While I didn’t expect the Bulls to beat Wisconsin, I thought the Bulls would put up more of a fight.
Boise State (1-0)
Week 1 result: 36-31 win over Florida State
Next up: Marshall (1-0)
Down by 18 points in the second half, Boise State rallied for a thrilling 36-31 come-from-behind victory over Florida State in the Sunshine State. The Broncos were led by true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier who threw for 407 yards and a touchdown as Boise State defeated a Power 5 team for the sixth time since 2014. Bachmeier’s 400-plus yards was the most by in program history for a quarterback making his first start.
Utah State (0-1)
Week 1 result: 38-35 loss to Wake Forest
Next up: Stony Brook (1-0)
If you like offense, Friday’s game was for you as Utah State and Wake Forest combined for nearly 1,200 yards of total offense which featured eight lead changes. So, of course, it was a defensive play that sealed the outcome for the Deamon Deacons as they intercepted Utah State quarterback Jordan Love who had the Aggies on the verge of a game-winning score. Love finished the game completing 33-of-48 passes for 416 yards, three touchdowns and three turnovers. Junior running back Jaylen Warren added 141 yards on the ground and a touchdown in the loss.
Week 1 result: 24-0 loss to No. 22 Syracuse
Next up: Louisiana (0-1)
Liberty generated just 234 yards of total offense as the Flames fell to No. 22 Syracuse 24-0 at home. Liberty had minus four yards rushing for the entire game. The lone bright spot for the Flames was wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden who had a game-high six catches for 119 yards.
Idaho State (0-0)
Week 1 result: Bye
Next up: Western Colorado Mountaineers (0-0)
Week 1 result: 48-21 loss to Rutgers
Next up: Southern Illinois (0-1)
After jumping out to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter, it was all Rutgers after that as the Scarlet Knights scored 41 unanswered points to blowout the Minutemen. The lone bright spot for the Minutemen is that they rushed for 186 yards for an average of 5.6 yards per carry.
San Diego State (1-0)
Week 1 result: 6-0 win over Weber State
Next up: UCLA (0-1)
The Aztecs were nearly upset at home against Weber State who came in ranked No. 8 in the STATS FCS poll. Thanks to its defense and two field goals from freshman Matt Araiza, San Diego State avoided a crushing defeat in its season opener. For the game, the Aztecs allowed just 154 yards and recorded its first shutout since beating Hawaii 55-0 in 2016. SDSU quarterback Jake Constantine completed 21 of 31 passes for 119 yards in the win.
Overall opponent’s record: 5-6
Aside from Boise State upsetting Florida State, nobody else did BYU’s strength of schedule any favors with Tennessee and Utah State dropping games that it should have won. San Diego and South Florida have a chance to pick up some nice wins this week against UCLA and Georgia Tech and USC and Washington start Pac-12 play with games against No. 25 Stanford and California.