by Des Norris
Blimey! What an opening weekend that was!
The 2016 college football season kicked off in Dublin, Ireland (of all places) with Georgia Tech rallying for 10 points in the space of six thrilling minutes to clinch a dramatic 17-14 victory over Boston College. Dedrick Mills provided the late heroics in the Aviva Stadium with the game-deciding touchdown late into the fourth quarter.
The action followed in a similarly exhilarating vein throughout the weekend with upsets, near scrapes and comebacks a plenty.
Undoubtedly the losses suffered by LSU and Oklahoma were the biggest surprises of the weekend.
Bob Stoops’ miserable week 1 record at the helm of a preseason Top 10 (which now reads three defeats) was compounded as the Sooners threw away a first quarter lead to eventually lose 23-33 to a combative Houston team.
Elsewhere, after a summer full of hype No. 5 LSU was humiliated at Lambeau Field as Les Miles’ charges were outmaneuvered and outmuscled by the Wisconsin 16-14. The sour point of the game came when Josh Bonte was ejected for a horrendous head hit on D’Cota Dixon.
Week 1 wasn’t all about giant killing though, as Alabama proved. The No. 1 team set out its stall early with a resounding 52-6 victory over USC, helped in no small part by freshman QB Jalen Hurts, who threw two touchdowns and crossed the end zone for two more.
Clemson also recorded a winning start to the 2016 season, albeit after having to withstand a nervy finish against Auburn (19-13).
Conference USA favorites Southern Miss slayed Kentucky, storming back from a 25-point deficit to eventually win out 44-35. Nick Mullens justified his reputation as one of the top talents to watch in C-USA by running for two 1-yard touchdowns and passing for two TDs as the Golden Eagles scored 34 unanswered points to get off to a perfect start to the season.
Kentucky wasn’t the only SEC team left licking its wounds after the opening week. Mississippi State blew a 20-7 lead heading into the final quarter but somehow contrived to lose 21-20 to South Alabama, who recorded its greatest ever result.