“Razzle Dazzle, Lane Kiffin’s in town, folks!”


Ole Miss were full of tricks on Kiffin's Oxford debut but Florida was too strong (Image credit: olemisssports.com)

So yelled the ESPN commentator Joe Tessitore shortly after a double play from a bright Mississippi team making its first appearance of the season under Kiffin’s leadership. We’ll get on to Ole Miss later, but last weekend certainly had its share of razzle dazzle – offensive firepower, huge passing numbers and a couple of big upsets. Here’s the highlights of the week…


Didn’t see that coming…



KJ Costello threw for an SEC record 623 yards (Image credit: LSU Athletics/Chris Parent)

Mississippi State 44-34 LSU


LSU became the first defending champions to lose their opening game since Michigan in 1998. Two new additions to Mississippi State were the difference makers here. Coach Mike Leach took the shackles off the Bulldogs’ offense with his Air Raid attack putting LSU under real pressure. Fellow newcomer and Stanford transfer QB KJ Costello had never thrown for 400 yards until last weekend. Against LSU he threw for an SEC record 623 yards and five touchdowns. He attempted 36 passes in the first half alone. Across the sideline, LSU QB Myles Brennan found Joe Burrow’s shoes big to fill as he struggled without a decent run game to support him and looked a little ragged in the pocket.


Kansas State 38-35 Oklahoma


The proverbial game of two halves. No.3 Oklahoma were cruising against Kansas State, up 35-14 with 1:32 to go in the third quarter, Spencer Rattler building on an impressive debut by completing 13 of his first 15 passes. He would finish with 387 yards and four touchdown passes but three interceptions plus some great special teams play saw Kansas State score 24 unanswered points, culminating in a 50 yard field goal which gave them a shock win. QB Skylar Thompson passed for 337 yards and rushed for 3 touchdowns.


Texas held ‘em


Texas 63-56 Texas Tech


Up 56-44 with 2:44 left in the game and on the brink of an upset, ESPN gave Texas Tech a 99.9% chance to win the game. In a post-game interview, Texas coach Tom Herman said at that point QB Sam Ehlinger (262 yards, 5 TD passes) told him Tech had left them too much time and that they would tie it up and win in overtime. Herman added: “If Sam Ehlinger was trying to sell me oceanfront property in Arizona, I’d probably write him a cheque, he’s usually right on.”


Sure enough, the Longhorns quarterback completed a touchdown pass to Brennan Eagles before a recovered onsite kick led to a touchdown pass to Joshua Moore and a two point conversion to draw level. Another TD pass to Moore in overtime gave them an improbable comeback win.


Across the SEC in their first week…


Florida TE Kyle Pitts scored 4 TDs vs Ole Miss (Image credit: clarionledger.com)

Florida 51-35 Ole Miss


This was so much fun to watch. Lane Kiffin, known for his innovative offenses, didn’t disappoint in his first game in Oxford. Faced with a quarterback battle in camp. Kiffin put both on the field together in the early stages, Matt Carrol lining up under center and last year’s starter John Rhys Plumlee moving across the field at receiver. Double throws and trick plays kept Florida guessing, but the Ole Miss defense couldn’t stop the Kyles. QB Kyle Trask looks the part – relaxed and calm whilst making good decisions. His best decisions usually ended up in the hands of Kyle Pitts, whose 170 receiving yards and four touchdown catches cemented his reputation as the best college football tight end in the country. Trask threw for an impressive 416 yards and six touchdowns as Florida had just too much for Ole Miss and look a real threat to take the SEC East division from Georgia.


Alabama 38-19 Missouri


On College Football Final, Jessie Palmer said Alabama QB Mac Jones “has been given the keys to a Ferrari” with their offense. The Crimson Tide barely got out of second gear, and allowed backup QB Bryce Young able to get few snaps under his belt in the second half. Jaylen Waddle caught two touchdown passes and gained 134 receiving yards.


Georgia 37-10 Arkansas


QB JT Daniels wasn’t cleared to play for the Bulldogs and they struggled on offense but DB Richard LeCounte led their defense with two interceptions as Georgia won comfortably.


Kentucky 13-29 Auburn


Auburn sophomore QB Bo Nix threw three touchdown passes, two to star 6’3” receiver Seth Williams who is being watched by NFL scouts.


Tennessee opened with a 31-27 win over South Carolina and Texas A&M made hard work of their game with Vanderbilt, winning 17-12.


Elsewhere…


In the ACC, Pittsburgh overcame fellow ranked ACC rivals Louisville 23-20 and Miami are looking strong. Their defense kept the Turnover Chain busy, recording six sacks and 13 tackles for loss in a 52-10 mauling of Florida State. Virginia Tech saw off North Carolina State 45-24 and Syracuse got off to a good start in their new Dome, beating Georgia Tech 37-20.



UCF QB Dillon Gabriel has started the season impressively (Image credit: AP/Gerry Broome)

UCF have a claim to be the best team in Florida, however. QB Dillon Gabriel has passed for over 400 yards and thrown for four touchdowns in back to back games as they despatched East Carolina 51-28. AAC rivals Cincinnati eased past Army 24-10.


Dave Aranda opened his account as Baylor’s head coach with a 47-14 win over Kansas. The former LSU defensive co-ordinator’s team could be a threat to Oklahoma and Texas in the Big 12. Conference rivals Oklahoma State beat West Virginia 27-13.


Look out for...



BT Sport/ESPN is showing Baylor at West Virginia, Oklahoma at Iowa State and Auburn at Georgia (known as the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”) this weekend.


Texas A&M have a tough trip to take on No.2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa and No.1 Clemson host Virginia.


With the announcements of a return for the Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC conferences, it feels like college football is back.


Here’s this week’s AP Top 25 to finish:


Rank


1 Clemson

2 Alabama

3 Florida

4 Georgia

5 Notre Dame

6 Ohio State

7 Auburn

8 Miami

9 Texas

10 Penn State

11 UCF

12 North Carolina

13 Texas A&M

14 Oregon

15 Cincinnati

16 Mississippi State

17 Oklahoma State

18 Oklahoma

19 Wisconsin

20 LSU

21 Tennessee

22 BYU

23 Michigan

24 Pittsburgh

25 Memphis

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