Saturday’s biggest sports news: A boxer beat a non-boxer at boxing, though it took longer than expected.
Also going on, however: College football officially returned. It’s not in full swing yet, but FBS had five games on Saturday, all part of what we’ll call Week 0. Everybody else’s season starts between this Thursday and next Monday.
It was a good taste. None of Saturday’s games will be remembered nationally for more than a few blinks, but a few of them were fun. It’s cool when the first college football games of the year are quintessentially college football. Here are a bunch of things about Saturday’s games, ranging from sloppy to silly to just really cool.
1. Colorado State opened a dope new stadium and beat a Power 5 team in it. The Rams put it on Oregon State, 58-27, in the first game at the well-named CSU Stadium. The atmosphere in Fort Collins looked incredible, and so did a Rams offense that had 58 points and more than 500 yards of total offense. Really, that stadium’s great.
Sample play: linebacker Tre Thomas running back a pick-six as his teammates stampede Oregon State QB Jake Luton.
2. Hawaii traveled 5,000 miles to sweep a 20,000-mile home-and-home with UMass.
The Minutemen visited Honolulu in the last regular-season game of 2016, and the Rainbow Warriors beat them. The Bows made their return trip and won a thriller, 38-35.
It’s the longest geographic stretch for a home-and-home series in major college football history, I’m pretty sure.
3. Oregon State called a play with a Crying Jordan cue card, then fumbled on that exact play. It’s one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen.
Seriously, they used the international meme signal for failure …
… and then failed.
4. USF went down 16-0 to a bad Mountain West team and still almost covered a 22-point spread. But the No. 19 Bulls didn’t, winning 42-22 at San Jose State.
Along the way, USF had the worst special teams quarter you’ve ever seen. The Bulls:
– Kicked the opening kickoff out of bounds, drawing a procedure penalty.
– Shanked a punt 18 yards, letting it go out of bounds at their own 22-yard line.
– Let a San Jose State punt bounce when they shouldn’t have, costing itself about 20 yards in field position.
– And let this punt block happen despite only two guys rushing:
USF followed that up with … the sexiest coffin corner punt in recent memory.
That’s a 45-yard punt that settled well inside the 1-yard line, coming off the immaculate foot of USF punter Jonathan Hernandez.
5. BYU looked unimpressive in leading FCS team Portland State by only one score for most of the game and winning 20-6, but it was led out of the tunnel by flag-bearing, 6’7, 410-pound former rugby player Mo Langi, so it wasn’t all bad.
6. Long-haired Florida A&M quarterback Ryan Stanley had the season’s first touchdown in all of NCAA-regulated football.
Debate turned to which Bama player will score the season’s last touchdown.
7. A player at FCS team Texas Southern walked the ball into his own end zone, took a knee, and safetied himself. Two points for Florida A&M, which won, 29-7:
8. BEEF REF reappeared. I’m talking, of course, about Mike Defee, the on-field official who led the crew that called the national title game last season and later became the subject of a conspiracy theory that caught up a random South Carolina student and her dad.
Defee is still a physical marvel, though he’s not quite in “title game shape.” That’s fine. Neither am I, and we’ve both got an entire season to get into form.
9. Oh. Stanford and Rice played in Australia. Stanford won by a zillion (62-7).
Here’s a picture of David Shaw with a koala. It’s the only thing you really need to know.