5 Matchups To Watch in Week 1 of College Football

Week 0 is in the rearview mirror, and the college football season is officially upon us. Here are five games to watch for in week one of the college football season.

5 Games to Watch in Week 1 of College Football

Colorado at (16) TCU

Saturday will mark the Colorado football debut for Deion Sanders, who signed a five-year 29.5 million dollar deal with the Buffaloes after a successful stint at Jackson State University.

Colorado is coming off a horrendous 2022 season that saw them win just one game. The team underwent a culture change with a huge roster overhaul with 47 players entering the transfer portal and 86 new players entering the fold. One of the most notable newcomers is Shadeur Sanders, who will be under center on Saturday for the first time in gold and silver. Sanders thrived at Jackson State, throwing for 70 touchdowns to go along with nine rushing touchdowns in 24 total games, and will look to bring this same energy and spark to Colorado.

It will not be an easy game for the new-look Buffaloes as TCU comes into the season ranked number 16 in the NCAA after a tremendous 2022 season that saw the Horned Frogs make the National Championship game. TCU finished last year with a 13-2 record in Sonny Dykes’ first year at the helm. The Horned Frogs are returning just ten starters from last year’s team and only three of these players are on the offensive end. The defense is full of experience and production and will be the core strength of the team.

With both teams undergoing extreme makeovers, this will be a much-watched game in Fort Worth on Saturday.

East Carolina at (2) Michigan

The Michigan Wolverines come into the season with high expectations, ranked number two in the nation after a 13-1 record a year ago. On paper, this game looks like it will be a walk in the park for Michigan, however, they will have to do so without their head coach. Jim Harbaugh was suspended for three games for alleged violations during the COVID-19 dead period. The team will have a rotating cast of coaches for the three games including Jesse Minter on Saturday, and Jay Harbaugh (Jim’s father) and Mark Hart the following week.

This is a tough blow for the Wolverines, and the Pirates will look to play spoiler and end Michigan’s playoff chances before they even begin. We will see how the Wolverines respond with new voices in the locker room in the coming weeks.

Tennessee-Martin at (1) Georgia

The Stetson Bennett era at Georgia is officially over after two consecutive national championship victories and a 29-3 record as the team’s starting quarterback. Carson Beck will take the reins and will look to continue to position Georgia as an SEC powerhouse.

Beck impressed in limited action, throwing for 310 yards and four touchdowns in 2022. He has shown solid mechanics in the pocket and is not afraid to scramble for yards when needed. Beck will be under a lot of pressure as Georgia looks to become the first team to win three straight National Championships since Minnesota from 1934 to 1936.

A victory against Tennessee-Martin would be the first step toward the goal. TN-Martin had a solid 2022 season with a 7-4 record and as huge underdogs, they will come into the game with something to prove.

(5) LSU at (8) Florida State

In one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season, LSU will take on Florida State in Brian Kelly’s second year in Baton Rouge.

The Tigers will be without running back John Emery against the Seminoles as the star running back focuses on academics. This will be a big blow as Emery played very well last year, rushing for six touchdowns in 11 games. Jayden Daniels returns as the starter for LSU following a stellar 2022 campaign. Daniels scored a combined 28 touchdowns through the air and on the ground and rushed for 885 yards.

Florida State has a talented quarterback of their own in Jordan Travis. Travis threw for 24 touchdowns and ran for seven touchdowns a year ago, including an impressive 71-yard scramble against North Carolina.

Both teams will be up for the challenge as they possess a boatload of talent on both sides of the football. Expect this game to come down to the wire and have huge implications on the potential College Football Playoff race.

(9) Clemson at Duke

The Clemson Tigers will take on the Duke Blue Devils for the first time since 2018 on Saturday. Both teams shined last year, with Clemson posting an 11-3 record, and Duke finishing with a 9-4 record.

Cade Klubnik will be the starter for the Clemson Tigers this season. He is faced with high expectations following in the footsteps of National Championship-winning quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence. He flashed potential last year in limited action and is part of a dynamic offense that features star running back Will Shipley, who ran for 1,182 yards last year and 11 touchdowns. The Tigers have a lot of talent on the defensive end including Jeremiah Trotter Jr who finished with 114 tackles and 7.5 sacks in 2022.

Duke is historically known as a basketball school, but they played very well last year under first-year coach Mike Elko, winning nine games for the first time since 2014. The offense lacks star power, but the defense possesses a lot of size and depth. The Blue Devils will need a big day from that defensive unit if they have any chance of beating the Tigers.

College Football is officially back and look out for these matchups and many more this weekend!

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