Southern California’s Matt Barkley needed just one throw to show why he is a favorite for the Heisman Trophy.
Michigan’s Denard Robinson dug himself a big hole in less than a half.
Barkley opened his senior season with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee and the top-ranked Trojans rolled past Hawaii 49-10 on Saturday night. Barkley threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, cementing his early status as the player to beat in the race for college football’s top individual prize.
Robinson was pounded by Alabama’s defense in a 41-14 rout of the Wolverines. Robinson completed just 11 of 26 passes and threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 16 yards late in the first half to put the Crimson Tide ahead 31-0.
Some other highlights from the opening weekend of college football:
RUSH TO JUDGMENT: _ Clemson’s Andre Ellington and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell had the most memorable running games of the opening week. But the best effort of Week 1 belonged to Air Force’s Cody Getz.
Ellington (231 yards on 26 carries) and Bell (210 yards on 44 carries) led the Tigers and Spartans to nationally televised victories. But Getz, who had just 102 yards in all of 2011, picked up 218 yards on just 17 carries and scored three touchdowns in the first half as Air Force blew out Idaho State 49-21.
TOP PERFORMANCES: _ Getz’s big day helped Air Force rack up 484 yards on the ground, the best of any team in the opening week. Illinois was tops in rushing defense by allowing minus-6 yards in a 24-7 win over Western Michigan, while Western Kentucky let up just 11 yards passing in a 49-10 win over Austin Peay.
AGGIE AIR SHOW: _ New Mexico State’s future is uncertain, since WAC football is dissolving after this season and the Aggies have nowhere to land. Realignment could cost the nation a chance to watch the high-powered sophomore duo of Andrew Manley and Austin Franklin. Manley threw for 367 yards _ 236 of them to Franklin _ and three touchdowns in New Mexico State’s 49-19 romp over Sacramento State.
MASS BLACKOUT: _ Massachusetts’ offense hardly looked FBS ready in its debut at the sport’s highest level. The Minutemen, a longtime FCS power who joined the MAC in 2012, were held to 59 yards and just three first downs in a 37-0 loss at Connecticut. The Huskies scored on offense, defense and special teams. The only thing UMass did in threes was rushing, gaining a paltry 3 yards on the ground.
WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING: _ Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib led the nation with 500 total yards against Northwestern, including 470 yards passing against the Wildcats’ shaky secondary. Northwestern rendered all those yards useless. Backup QB Trevor Siemian hit Demetrius Fields for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left and the Wildcats stunned Syracuse 42-41 in the Carrier Dome.
NUMBERS GAME: _ Eastern Michigan’s Bryan Pali and Kevin Johnson combined for 33 total tackles in a 37-26 loss at Ball State. … Despite a number of matchups between major-conference teams and lower-level competition, no player in the country scored more than three touchdowns last week. … Oklahoma State would be tied for 14th in the nation in scoring offense with 49 points _ if its win over Savannah State were called at halftime. It wasn’t, and the Cowboys hung 35 more on the woeful Tigers. … Ohio converted a staggering 13 third downs in its 24-14 win over Penn State.
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