No video games within the opening week of the 2018 faculty soccer season have fairly the pizazz of final yr’s assembly between No. 1 Alabama and No. three Florida State.
However there nonetheless are sufficient fascinating matchups to whet the urge for food of followers ravenous for extra soccer ever because the finish of Alabama’s thrilling School Soccer Playoff championship recreation time beyond regulation conquer Georgia .
Auburn faces Washington in a neutral-site contest between top-10 groups. Michigan and Notre Dame renew their rivalry for the primary time since 2014. An lively offseason teaching carousel has new eras starting at big-name applications throughout the map from Florida to Oregon.
Here is a information on objects to observe within the season’s opening weekend:
No. 6 Washington vs. No. 9 Auburn at Atlanta
That is the one opening-week recreation pitting a pair of top-10 groups. It additionally options a couple of potential Heisman Trophy contenders in Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Washington quarterback Jake Browning and Huskies working again Myles Gaskin.
Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
West Virginia already has launched a Heisman marketing campaign for Grier, the Related Press preseason All-America first-team quarterback. Grier threw for three,490 yards and 34 touchdowns final yr. He additionally ought to profit from the return of David Sills, who caught 18 landing passes final yr to tie for the FBS lead.
Grier has an intriguing matchup Saturday with new Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt , who coordinated the Alabama protection that allowed the fewest yards and factors per recreation of any FBS workforce final yr.
If Grier performs poorly and his workforce loses to a Tennessee squad that went Four-Eight final yr, his Heisman candidacy might come to a fast finish.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
three: That is what number of defensive linemen from No. 2 Clemson made the Related Press preseason All-America workforce. Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins have been first-team picks, whereas Dexter Lawrence made the second workforce. The preseason all-Atlantic Coast Convention line of defense consists totally of Clemson gamers: Ferrell, Wilkins, Lawrence and Austin Bryant.
5: The variety of new coaches within the SEC this yr (not together with Mississippi’s Matt Luke, who was an interim coach final yr however obtained employed on a everlasting foundation after the season). That is the SEC’s highest whole since 1946, when the league had six new coaches.
73: No. 1 Alabama has defeated unranked opponents an FBS-record 73 straight occasions. Alabama opens the season Saturday by going through unranked Louisville in Orlando, Florida.
39-11: That was the Massive Ten’s document towards nonconference opponents final season. The Massive Ten’s .780 successful proportion in nonconference video games was the very best of any league.
.729: Michigan’s all-time successful proportion, which leads all FBS faculties. The 14th-ranked Wolverines open the season at No. 12 Notre Dame, which ranks fourth in successful proportion regardless of not too long ago being compelled to vacate 21 victories from the 2012 and 2013 seasons . Boise State is second and Ohio State is third.
198: Factors scored final season by Florida Atlantic working again Kevin Singletary, a determine that led all FBS gamers. Singletary and the Owls carry a 10-game successful strea ok into their season opener Saturday at No. 7 Oklahoma.
UNDER THE RADAR
BYU at Arizona
Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate is likely one of the recreation’s most fun gamers and now will get an opportunity to indicate how he is refined his recreation below new Wildcats coach Kevin Sumlin . Arizona opens towards a BYU workforce keen to indicate that it is moved previous its 2017 struggles. BYU went Four-9 final season and did not beat a single Energy 5 opponent. This recreation is a rematch of a 2016 season opener that BYU received 18-16 on a discipline purpose with 4 seconds left.
HOT SEAT WATCH
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Kingsbury is coming into his sixth season as Texas Tech’s coach and owns a 30-33 mark that features a 6-7 document final season. The Crimson Raiders have completed under .500 three of the final 4 years. They can not afford to open with a loss to a Mississippi workforce that misplaced quarterback Shea Patterson to Michigan after going 6-6 final yr. Saturday’s matchup in Houston might come right down to how Ole Miss receiver and AP preseason All-America choice A.J. Brown fares towards a Texas Tech secondary that features preseason all-Massive 12 picks Jah’Shawn Johnson and Justus Parker, although Johnson’s shoulder harm makes his standing unsure for this recreation.