Football is fully back! Well, it has been since at least Wednesday, but Saturday makes it feel all the more real, doesn’t it? There are five — yes, five — games between AP Top 25 opponents, the most ever for a Week 1, so it’s safe to say we’re in for a real treat. And with fans being able to attend in full force this season, there’s no shortage of excitement to go around.
Come back here throughout the day for the latest results, reaction and revelry from throughout the land.
Early game of the day: No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin
The Nittany Lions and Badgers went a combined 21-6 in 2019 and 8-8 in 2020. That first team had a pair of statistically unlikely losses during a jarring 0-5 start (it outgained Indiana and Nebraska by a combined 480 yards but fell a combined eight points short) but rebounded to win its last four games; the latter team couldn’t keep its starters on the field due to injury and COVID protocol, couldn’t run the ball all that well despite its reputation and fell into a massive midseason funk before rebounding.
James Franklin’s and Paul Chryst’s squads are generally among the most reliable in the country. You can’t count on them to be elite, but 2020 aside, you can count on them to be very good. The winner of this battle at Camp Randall will have an excellent shot at a top-10 finish, but the loser could battle a nagging “Here we go again” feeling right out of the gate. That’s doubly true if Penn State loses, as the Nittany Lions still face road trips to Ohio State, Iowa and a potentially pesky Maryland squad later in the season (plus home games against Indiana, Michigan and Auburn). Read more from Bill Connelly’s Week 1 preview (ESPN+)
Well, this seems … ill-advised.
When it’s Week 1 of College Football 😅 pic.twitter.com/HUBLZi0VNC
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 4, 2021
Run, Ralphie VI, Run!
A new era.
Run, Ralphie VI, Run.
— Ralphie (@CUBuffsRalphie) September 1, 2021
Wondering what the Oregon Duck has been up to lately? Well, probably safe to say it’s best that the football season is back.
— The Duck (@TheOregonDuck) August 24, 2021
Tulsa and Oklahoma were originally supposed to play in New Orleans, but the aftermath of Hurricane Ida caused the game to move. Oklahoma then painted a Green Wave on its field for its opponent.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 3, 2021
Utah football honored Ty Jordan, who died in December, by dedicating the 22 portal to him; that was his number.
— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) September 3, 2021
— Utah Football (@Utah_Football) September 3, 2021
Here’s the deal: Gardner-Webb and Campbell just announced an annual BBQ bowl football game. The winner of the game will be the recipient of a hefty trophy that is topped with none other than a hog. And it gets better. The losing team will have to provide a barbecue feast from its region to the winners.
How does a rivalry game get better than that?
Gardner-Webb and Campbell Announce Annual BBQ Bowl Football Rivalry Game https://t.co/MIDoFDnLbB
— Gardner-Webb Football (@GWUFootball) September 3, 2021
A new season means time to debut some new threads, or even some classic combos.
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) September 2, 2021
North Texas is rocking with a tribute to former coach Hayden Fry.
— North Texas Football 💯 (@MeanGreenFB) September 2, 2021
And Washington also went with a throwback look.
THE 1991 THROWBACK UNIFORM 🔥
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) August 31, 2021
Now this isn’t necessarily your typical uniform, but we want to know where someone could find such an outfit? Asking for a friend.
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) September 3, 2021
Games have been underway since Wednesday, and there has been no shortage of highlights, including this 99-yard kickoff return TD from Weber State‘s Rashid Shaheed.
Rashid Shaheed receives the kickoff and sprints down the field to score a 99-yard touchdown for Weber State.
And this long TD from Ohio State.
TreVeyon Henderson sprints 70 yards untouched into the end zone as the Buckeyes extend their lead.
Then, we got an incredible comeback from UCF, and this INT sealed the deal.
Boise State’s Hank Bachmeier throws an interception late in the fourth quarter to cement a UCF win .