2018 Season Total Tracker: Week 1

You can find the entire list of totals here.

Going to try to do this every week, but I think I quit after about a month last year. No promises. Not going to touch on all 19 of the 3* plays, but just a few of the more significant results from week-to-week.

5*

FAU (over 8.5) loses 63-14 to Oklahoma

(FAU 0-1)

Uhhhhhhhhh, well, could’ve been better! In the grand scheme of things, it’s only one loss and it’s a game that was a planned loss. With that said, I’d feel a lot better if it had been the slightest bit competitive for at least a quarter.

The positive news is that the schedule obviously gets exponentially easier – aside from a road trip to UCF – and things will only get better. It also helps to know that FAU started off on maybe a worse foot last year – getting wrecked by Navy at home – before eventually steamrolling the entire C-USA.

I’m not officially worried yet, but I’d really appreciate a win over Air Force this week.

4*

East Carolina (under 3.5) loses 28-23 to North Carolina A&T

(ECU 0-1)

This was a much more positive development. I felt I generously gave ECU five winnable games this year and this was clearly the most likely and the Pirates blew it. A&T even gifted them 14 penalties (for 113 yards).

But ECU turned the ball over three times and only averaged 4.0 yards per play. They’re terrible and I have no sympathy for them.

Maryland (over 5) wins 34-29 over Texas

This was HUGE. Obviously, things still aren’t the best surrounding the program around College Park, but it doesn’t appear to have affected the on-field product yet.

Again, the offense is pretty damn good without Max Bortenschlager running the show. The Terps didn’t put up monster numbers, but 400 yards and 34 points against what’s supposed to be the Big 12’s best defense is a pretty good day.

With that game out of the way, Maryland has a great chance to start off 4-0.

Florida State (over 8) loses 24-3 to Virginia Tech

Prepare to get spin zoned off the planet.

Things can’t get any worse/uglier. I don’t know if this makes it any better, but a lot of FSU’s problems last night were self-inflicted. I’m not sure the penalties will go away because it’s kind of a Willie Taggart special, but I assume Willie might reconsider going Wildcat on 3rd & Goal from the 10 from here on. I also assume they won’t lose every turnover battle 5-0. I also assume that Ricky Aguayo will make the majority of his short-to-intermediate kicks. I’m also assuming the Noles won’t have a touchdown called a non-touchdown every game, in which the Noles for some reason hurried up to snap the ball instead of lobbying for a review and on said hurry-up snap got whistled for a false start.

There were also some positives from last night, believe it or not. After all, before that garbage time drive after the game-ending fumble, FSU’s defense had only given up 235 yards of offense. I also thought Deondre Francois was halfway decent aside from the desperation interceptions.

The obvious issue that I’m not sure gets solved is the offensive line. Hard to do much of anything when you can’t block, regardless of how much talent you have at the skill positions. VT blitzed all night and the Noles didn’t have many answers.

But the O-Line can be minimized if the Noles can just be better on first down. They’re still in the early stages of installing the offense and you’d think things will get a lot crisper as the season goes on. If they can just get drives started with positive plays, Taggart’s tempo offense becomes a lot more lethal. Your O-Line doesn’t have to be that good if you can just wear the defense out with superior athletes operating at a high pace.

But clearly there’s still a long way to go. I’m not giving up yet, though.

Just forget I said any of this if they lose to Samford.

3*

Tennessee (under 5.5) loses 40-17 to West Virginia

The Vols were dogs heading in, but you never really know what to expect in Week 1, especially under a new head coach. Obviously, they can get a lot better, but I’m not sure they have enough time with that brutal five-game stretch starting in three weeks.

There’s still three wins built in to the schedule with some truly awful competition, but the offense still isn’t near where it needs to be to face top teams in the SEC. There were some individuals that performed well against WVU, but 300 total yards of offense against a defense that is borderline Top 100 isn’t much to write home about.

Temple (over 6.5) loses 19-17 to Villanova

There’s really no sugar-coating this one. It was an unmitigated disaster. There’s really nothing good to say about it. I’d almost prefer they keep losing the next couple weeks, so at least the Buffalo and Maryland overs can keep going.

Texas (under 8.5) loses 34-29 to Maryland

This was a doubly great game for the totals. From a Texas perspective, they looked largely the same as they did a year ago. They still don’t have a true feature back to work with and the pass game still has its peaks and valleys and ends up fairly mediocre.

UCLA (over 5.5) loses 26-17 to Cincinnati

Not an ideal start for the Chipper. At least the defense was pretty good.

 

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