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Football Reflections: Week one and the best opening weekend of college football

After a wild weekend of football, it is important to look back and reflect on some of the best and worst moments and relive the excitement. Welcome to The Tiger Sport’s weekly reflections journal, where we are going to chronical this exciting year of college football.
Best Game of the Week: Texas vs. Notre Dame
This was the hardest category to pick. There were some insane games during this opening weekend, but Texas and Notre Dame took the cake on Sunday night. Talk about momentum swings. The beginning of this one proved it was going to be a good game with each offense marching down the field on their first drive to score. After that, Texas and true freshman quarterback Shane Buechele took control of the game, much to the delight of the pro-Texas crowd. The Longhorns took a 21-14 lead into the half but Notre Dame came roaring back. The Irish scored 21 unanswered points and eventually took a 35-31 lead early in the fourth quarter.
That’s when things got crazy. Texas scored a touchdown to reclaim the lead but had the extra point attempt blocked and returned by the Irish for two points, tying the game at 37-37. If you are anything like me, you were staring at you TV in disbelief at this point because we were heading to overtime. Texas went on offense and scored a touchdown but the Irish only took one play to answer, sending us into overtime number two. The Longhorn defense came up huge and held Notre Dame to a field goal and allowing Texas to win the game on a touchdown run from quarterback Tyrone Swoopes by a score of 50-47.
Note of the Game: Texas may have busted the theory that a two-quarterback system can’t work. Buechele and Swoopes both played instrumental roles in the Longhorn’s victory and it is hard to imagine that they would have had the same result without both of them. Head Coach Charlie Strong may accomplish a high-task in making that system work for Texas.
Upset of the Week: Wisconsin vs. LSU
 In a week where four top-ten teams went down, it was difficult to pick the most surprising. While LSU’s quarterback struggles are no surprise, it was shocking that Brandon Harris was completely unable to manage the game. Leonard Fournette was held to 138 yards rushing as a result of the lack of a passing game, making LSU’s offense ineffective. Due to the predictability of the LSU offense, the Wisconsin defense kept Fournette bottled up throughout most of the game, only giving up a few big rushing plays or else the Heisman candidate might not have even broken 100 yards. He also appeared to be injured after a big run in the fourth quarter when he limped off the field. Head Coach Les Miles did say on Monday that he was expected to play on Saturday but that is something to keep an eye on. Ultimately, Harris and the Badger defense led Wisconsin to a 16-14 upset of the fifth ranked Tigers.
Note of the Game: LSU offensive lineman Josh Boutte had an egregious personal foul on Wisconsin’s D’Cota Dixon after Dixon intercepted Harris to seal the game for the Badgers. After the play was over and Dixon was running towards the sideline, Boutte blindsided him and tackled him to the ground, where Dixon was slow to get up. Boutte was ejected from the game and will serve a one game suspension according to Head Coach Les Miles.
Offensive Player of the Week: Greg Ward Jr., Houston
Greg Ward Jr. proved that Houston is a contender for a playoff berth this year. The senior quarterback didn’t look particularly sharp in his passing throughout the game but he always managed to make the play when it was needed most. He completed 23 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns in Houston’s upset victory of Oklahoma.  
Honorable Mentions: Mike Williams, Clemson and Nick Chubb, Georgia
Defensive Player of the Week: Brandon Wilson, Houston
This senior really caught my eye in the Cougars’ 33-23 victory over Oklahoma. Wilson seemed to be all over the field and his presence was felt on the field, even when he wasn’t the one making the play. He had 10 total tackles, five solo, and a deflected pass. Oh, and did I forget to mention he returned a missed field goal 100 yards for a touchdown? Yeah, pretty impressive. Offenses better beware, Houston is trying to make a case for a playoff berth and Wilson and the rest of this Cougar defense are a force to be reckoned with.
Honorable Mentions: Justin Evans, Texas A&M and Kendall Joseph, Clemson
Surprise Performance of the Week: Deondre Francois, Florida State
All I can say is “Wow!” Everyone had questions about the quarterback situation at Florida State and the first half of their game against Ole Miss seemed to do nothing but make those questions loom even larger. The freshman struggled heavily in the first half, short arming several passes and not getting a lot of help from his star running back Dalvin Cook.
However, Jimbo Fischer, the king of halftime adjustments, did something to spark the young quarterback and the entire Seminoles offense. Francois took command of the team and ended up passing for 419 yards and threw two touchdowns en route to a 45-34 victory against the Rebels.
Comeback Player: James Conner, Pittsburgh
A special edition for this week, James Conner played in his first game since winning his battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma. It only seems fitting that Conner scored the first points of the season for Pitt in their game against Villanova. Conner rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown as well as having a receiving touchdown, the first of his career. Pitt won the game 28-7 to seal Conner’s comeback as a sweet affair.
Next Week Highlight: Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee
In a week without a lot of marquee matchups, this game has piqued my interest, especially since it is to be held at Bristol Motor Speedway. The transformation from a racetrack into a football stadium is bound to provide a unique and electric atmosphere for this game. While Tennessee is favored, their struggles with Appalachian State may stick with them for another week. I don’t expect Virginia Tech to hang with Tennessee but don’t be surprised if the Vols still don’t look to be in top form. 

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