Join the conversation: CFB Saturday Live

Video: Nick Saban talks opening win

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
8:36
PM ET
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Nick Saban saw plenty of positives and negatives for his team in Alabama's win over West Virginia.

Alabama 33, West Virginia 23

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
8:27
PM ET
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The Crimson Tide rushed for 288 yards and three touchdowns to beat West Virginia, 33-23.

Stanford 45, UC Davis 0

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
8:16
PM ET
video Kevin Hogan threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns as Stanford took down UC Davis 45-0.

Missouri 38, South Dakota St. 18

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
8:06
PM ET
video Maty Mauk threw for three touchdowns in Missouri's 38-18 win over South Dakota State.

Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
7:56
PM ET
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Tommy Armstrong Jr. passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns as Nebraska racked up 779 yards of offense in a 55-7 win over Florida Atlantic.

Notre Dame 48, Rice 17

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
7:45
PM ET
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Everett Golson accounted for five touchdowns in his return with Notre Dame, leading the Irish to a 48-17 win over Rice.
Move over, Red Lightning.

There might be a new "celebrity" ball boy this year in college football. Check out the SEC speed on this Auburn ball boy as he sprints down the sideline during Melvin Ray's 49-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

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FSU suspends Chris Casher

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
6:59
PM ET
No. 1 Florida State has suspended defensive end/linebacker Chris Casher for the Florida State Seminoles' opener against Oklahoma State on Saturday because of an "academic-related matter," the school announced. Click here for the full story.
On Saturday afternoon, the Big Ten delivered perhaps the two best catches of the early season. First, Nebraska wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp reached behind his back to grab a pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. during the Huskers' 55-7 win against Florida Atlantic.

Nebraska players and coaches were abuzz after the game. "That was the greatest catch I've ever seen in my life," defensive coordinator John Papuchis said.

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Then in Iowa, receiver Tevaun Smith made an amazing one-handed catch for a 6-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the Hawkeyes' 31-23 win against Northern Iowa.

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BALTIMORE -- The game wasn’t supposed to go quite like this.

Ohio State was supposed to pummel Navy for four quarters on Saturday. It was supposed to immediately show life could go on without injured quarterback Braxton Miller, that it could look like a Big Ten contender no matter what. It was supposed to resume last season’s dominating red zone offense right off the bat.

[+] EnlargeEzekiel Elliott
AP Photo/Patrick SemanskyDespite Ezekiel Elliott's touchdown, Ohio State showed its offense has a lot of room for growth.
It wasn’t supposed to show up on ESPN’s “Upset Alert” midway through the fourth quarter.

“Best thing about it,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said, “is it’s in the rear-view mirror.”

Yes, the Buckeyes moved on with the eventual 34-17 win, finishing with a solid fourth quarter. But it was clear from their faces on the sideline that this opener didn’t go quite as expected. Navy led at halftime, 7-6, and trailed by just a field goal early in the fourth.

Defensive lineman Donovan Munger stood off to the side, staring up at the huge video screen while biting his lower lip throughout the fourth quarter. His teammates didn’t crack a smile, even when the Buckeyes broke off a nice run. And there seemed to be no sense of relief, no sense of accomplishment, until that final whistle sounded and bass blared from the locker room.

It’s not quite time to hit that shiny, scarlet panic button. But maybe it’s time to reassess where this team is right now. Neither Meyer nor offensive line coach Ed Warriner was pleased with the line’s performance in the first half -- 19 rushes, 66 yards, 3.5 yards per carry – and it still has a while to go to meet last season’s performance.

With nine new starters on offense, four of whom are on the offensive line, the Buckeyes aren’t quite sure what their identity is yet.

“I think we’re still figuring it out,” running back Ezekiel Elliott acknowledged. “We got a lot of weapons and we spread the ball around. I think we’re going to keep developing.”

That wasn’t supposed to be how Ohio State’s opener transpired. This was supposed to be the easy W, not a dogfight. It was supposed to be a comfortable victory, not one that put the sea of scarlet at M&T Bank Stadium on edge. The good news for Ohio State is that two-touchdown fourth quarter will act as a huge boost to the team’s confidence. And it showed this can turn into a good team. But, on Saturday afternoon, did this really look like a squad that’s anywhere near as good as Big Ten rival Michigan State?

Even the defense, which boasted the nation’s No. 9 run defense last season, showed some cracks. Navy’s triple-option is certainly a unique scheme, but 370 yards and 5.9 yards per carry are also some pretty big numbers. That’s more than Navy averaged last season (325.4 yards per game, 5.5 ypc). Again, that -- allowing more than Navy’s average -- wasn’t entirely expected.

“They gained a lot more yards than what we wanted,“ defensive tackle Adolphus Washington said. “But, at the end of the day, the best team won.”

There is some good here. J.T. Barrett looked much more comfortable in the second half and went 4-of-4 for 130 yards and two scores. He also added 39 yards rushing. But, after that sluggish first half in a conservative scheme, it’s clear this offense is still a work in progress.

Big offensive plays were difficult to come by in those first two quarters. But, in the end, those plays saved the Buckeyes. Devin Smith took a pass 80 yards for a score in the third to give OSU a lead it wouldn't relinquish. A relieved Ohio State crowd exchanged high-fives, the band played on, and Brutus the Buckeye streaked down the sideline.

Navy’s good, but Ohio State was supposed to better. Much better. If not for those big gains -- or finding a handful of plays that worked to perfection in the fourth -- this outcome could’ve been different.

Without Miller, question marks swirled around this team before the opener. After its performance against Navy, there’s one big question remaining: Is the real Ohio State the one that struggled through two or three quarters -- or shined especially in one?

Washington smiled when posed that question. He leaned against the wall, grinned and simply said: “Definitely that last quarter.”

We’ll see. Win or lose, Week 1 wasn’t supposed to go like this. But, with that victory in the rear-view mirror, maybe the Buckeyes can parlay that success and challenge the cream of the Big Ten. Just like they’re supposed to.

UCLA QB Brett Hundley expects better

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
5:21
PM ET
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After escaping Virginia with a win, quarterback Brett Hundley knows more is expected of him and the UCLA offense.

Ohio State 34, Navy 17

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
5:19
PM ET
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Adam Rittenberg recaps Ohio State's season-opening win that saw the Buckeyes struggle but escape with a win over Navy.

UCLA 28, Virginia 20

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
4:17
PM ET
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UCLA scored three defensive touchdowns en route to a 28-20 win over Virginia.

When kicks go bad: The butt punt

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
3:21
PM ET
Youngstown State's Joey Cejudo attempted a punt during Saturday's game at Illinois. It didn't go far. A lineman's butt got in the way.

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Watch: Skydiver totally misses stadium

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
2:48
PM ET
You've seen it before. Skydiver floats in from the clouds and lands at midfield before a football game. Crowd cheers. Game begins.

Well, things didn't go quite as planned before Saturday's UCF-Penn State game in Dublin, Ireland.

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