The Citadel college football games Live Week 0 was a nice appetizer of five games, but Week 1 is where we really dive into the 2021 college football season with 84 games spread out across six days.
Not only is the slate large, but it is also loaded. There are five matchups pitting preseason AP Top 25 teams against one another, including the “whatever you do, don’t miss it” clash between No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia on Saturday night
The Citadel college football games Live And we have predictions for all of it.
After this week, most of the analysis will pertain to what we’ve seen thus far this season. We’ll also aim to be a little less loquacious in future installments. But we wanted to dig deep into this initial buffet of games.
B/R’s predictions for each Week 1 game are broken into four sections: AP Top 25 teams, best games between unranked teams, FCS against unranked FBS games and the rest of the slate. In the FCS/FBS section, instead of forecasting the scores of those 33 games, we’ve ranked which ones are most likely to result in a loss for the FBS team.
The AP Top 25 games are listed in ascending order of ranking. Each other section is presented in chronological order of kickoff time. Unless otherwise noted, games are assumed to take place on Saturday.
AP Nos. 25-21
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Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCall
Coastal Carolina QB Grayson McCallVasha Hunt/Associated Press
No. 25 Arizona State vs. Southern Utah, 10:30 p.m. ET (Thursday)
Southern Utah got taken to the cleaners by San Jose State in Week 0 in what was their 25th loss in their last 30 games.
The Citadel college football games Live This Week 1 matchup with Arizona State isn’t going to be any prettier.
SJSU did most of its damage via the passing game, but look for ASU to smoke the Thunderbirds with its rushing attack. Rachaad White, DeaMonte Trayanum and quarterback Jayden Daniels all return for the Sun Devils after combining for 933 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in only four games played this past fall.
When they do take to the air, look for the LV Bunkley-Shelton breakout season to begin.
Prediction: Arizona State 55, Southern Utah 7
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No. 24 Utah vs. Weber State, 7:30 p.m. ET (Thursday)
At least this “FCS against a ranked Pac-12 opponent” game features an underdog that has been competent in recent years. While Southern Utah has gone 5-25 since the start of 2018, Weber State has gone 37-11 since the start of 2017. That includes a few close calls against both San Diego State and Nevada in 2019.
But it also includes a 31-point loss to Utah when less was expected of the Utes than is the case this year.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham treated the transfer portal like a farmer’s market this past offseason, picking up two new quarterbacks, three new running backs and two new wide receivers, all but one of whom came from Power Five programs. Whittingham also added both a linebacker and a safety from Washington to help plug some holes in what should be a very good defense.
It’ll take some time to get used to watching Baylor’s Charlie Brewer either handing the ball off to LSU’s Chris Curry and Oklahoma’s T.J. Pledger or throwing to USC’s Munir McClain and Oklahoma’s Theo Howard, but this should be a relatively easy warm-up to help integrate those new guys.
Prediction: Utah 38, Weber State 16
No. 23 Louisiana at No. 21 Texas, 4:30 p.m. ET
See No. 21 Texas for prediction
The Citadel college football games Live No. 22 Coastal Carolina vs. The Citadel, 7 p.m. ET (Thursday)
On the one hand, The Citadel was the FCS team that played No. 1 Alabama to a 10-10 draw in the first half of a November 2018 game, and the Bulldogs scored a surprising road win over Georgia Tech in September 2019.
On the other hand, they went 2-10 last season, including a game against Clemson in which they had 38 total yards compared to 49 Clemson points in the first half.
Coastal Carolina isn’t as good as that Clemson team was, but the Chanticleers should have little to no trouble shutting down this triple-option offense. It’s just a question of how long they want to leave quarterback Grayson McCall in there to pad his stat line.
Prediction: Coastal Carolina 52, The Citadel 7
No. 21 Texas vs. No. 23 Louisiana, 4:30 p.m. ET
Is Texas back or is Louisiana still here?
Aside from needing to replace running backs Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas, the Ragin’ Cajuns basically have the same starting roster that went 10-1 with road wins over Iowa State, Appalachian State and UAB last fall. Head coach Billy Napier could have taken just about any opening he wanted this offseason, but he opted to remain in Lafayette for at least one more season.
A win here would cement him as the most coveted Group of Five coach in the country.
Were this a battle decided on paper by recruiting stars, Texas would win in a landslide. However, experience and team chemistry aren’t exactly on the Longhorns’ side for t