FSU Blows Out LSU, Colorado Upsets TCU, PAC-12 Starts 13-0

September 4, 2023 by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff

A 31-0 run to start the second half led to a dominant, 45-24 win by Florida State over LSU in the Camping World Kickoff in Orlando. The weekend wrapped up with Clemson falling 28-7 at Duke.

Trailing 17-14 after LSU kicked a field goal to end the first half, the Seminoles scored on every possession after the break, except for the final victory formation.

Florida State opened as a 3.5-point underdog at the sportsbooks, though that number had dropped to 2 or less at kick-off . The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com had the 'Noles as the outright favorite by 2.8.

It was the only Top 25 matchup of the Labor Day weekend. The final game of the weekend takes place tonight when Clemson visits Duke in an ACC opener.

LSU head coach Brian Kelly was humble in defeat as he offered postgame congratulations to the better team who played a "great second half", before calling out his team. "We certainly are not the football team that we thought we were." He added, "That falls on me to get our football team to be better in most of the competitive areas that you saw tonight."

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell called the "second half a glimpse of what this team can do and where it can go." If the second half was a glimpse, the country is about to be blinded.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis had already been rising as a Heisman betting favorite. On Sunday night, he made a couple of nearly disastrous decisions under pressure in the first half, but regained his composure and wound up throwing for 342 yards with 4 TD's and a pick while completing 23-of-31 passes. He had 8 straight completions on the first three drives of the second half that led to 17 points and a 31-17 lead.

Travis was helped immensely by Michigan State WR transfer Keon Coleman who had 3 TD's and caught 9 balls for 122 yards. Coleman help right the ship and keep it sailing when Johnny Wilson was having dropsy issues, but Wilson also recovered and finished with 7 receptions for 104 yards. Even the running game found a bit of new life in the second half as the LSU defense appeared to either be worn down or totally frustrated.

For LSU, QB Jayden Daniels seemed to be about all there was to offer. He threw for 347 and a score, and ran for 64 yards. The running game was abandoned as it totaled 12 rushes by the backs, compared to 15 by Daniels.

The 'Noles and Tigers came down to a blocked extra point for FSU's upset in New Orleans last year. This game started off with LSU quickly driving to the 5 for a 1st-and-goal and getting that possession extended with a penalty on FSU, only to be turned away on a 4th-down sack as 6 cracks at scoring came up empty.

Duke 28, Clemson 7

Duke trailed Clemson 7-6 at the half, then outscored the Tigers 21-0 after intermission. Clemson moved the ball with relative ease, but similar to its last outing in the Orange Bowl, couldn't do anything good with it in the red zone. This was a conference game, of course, so it is a potentially huge result for both schools. Somehow, we can't help but think DJ Uiagalelei is smiling after the former Clemson QB lost his job and transferred to Oregon State where he is 1-0 after a solid outing on Sunday. Meanwhile, his former school struggled with Cade Klubnik who dropped to 0-2 since Uiagalelei was demoted and left.

Colorado 45, TCU 42

His son, Shedeur, shined as the Deion "Coach Prime" Sanders era began at Colorado with a scintillating 45-42 win at TCU. Two crucial interceptions in the red zone doomed the Horned Frogs who were otherwise up to the task. But Shedeur threw for a school record 510 yards with 4 TD's and no picks, and Travis Hunter was everywhere on both sides of the ball. Hunter had 11 catches for 119 yards, and an incredible interception on a diving pick near the goal line. The two-way star played for 129 snaps.

Colorado had 4 receivers go over 100 yards, led by true freshman Dylan Edwards' 5-for-135 and 3 scores. Edwards also rushed 6 times for 24 yards and a TD.

Utah 24, Florida 11

Bryson Barnes started in place of Cam Rising and threw a 70-yard TD pass on the first play of the game. Nate Johnson split time with Barnes as Rising continues to recover from his Rose Bowl knee injury.

Graham Mertz, the Wisconsin transfer, was the QB for the Gators and he threw for 333 yards with a TD and a pick. But the Florida running game only had 13 traditional attempts and was held to 42 yards. The Gators were 1-of-13 on 3rd down.

The Utah defensive performance wasn't lost on Kyle Wittingham. “If you had to say what was the one phase or one thing that was the biggest difference in the game, it was the way our defense played.”

PAC-12 Starts Season Perfect - Against Virtually Nobody

The offseason was a disaster for the PAC-12, but the opening two weekends have seen its conference teams start 13-0. Of course, most of the 12 schools haven't played anyone that was expected to pose a serious challenge. The conference has played 6 games against MWC teams, 3 FCS schools, an American Conference team and a Sun Belt school. Only the two games that we highlighted above - Colorado at TCU, and Utah vs. Florida have been a Power 5 matchup.

PAC-12 Results, so far:
Week 1: USC 56, San Jose State 28
Week 2: USC 66, Nevada 14
Oregon State 42, San Jose State 17
Arizona 38, Northern Arizona 3
Arizona State 24, Southern Utah 21
California 58, North Texas 21
Oregon 81, Portland State 7
Stanford 37, Hawaii 24
UCLA 27, Coastal Carolina 13
Washington 56, Boise State 19
Washington State 50, Colorado State 24
Colorado 45, No. 17 TCU 42
Utah 24, Florida 11


Michigan and Ohio State were both ho-hum in their opening weekend performances.

The Wolverines took a 30-3 win at home over East Carolina as Jim Harbaugh served the first of a 3-game suspension. Heisman candidate running back Blake Corum had just 10 carries for 73 yards and a TD, but QB JJ McCarthy was 26-of-30 for 280 and 3 scoring strikes.

The Buckeyes were only 23-3 victors at Indiana as Kyle McCord was 20-of-33 for 239 yards and no TD's in his first start. Heisman candidate receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. had just 2 catches for 18 yards.

Tennessee had no issues in subduing Virginia 49-13 in Nashville. It was UVa's first game after canceling the final two contests last season following the deadly shooting of three players.

Louisville rallied from a 28-13 deficit to a 39-34 win over Georgia Tech in a season, and ACC opener, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

See: FBS Picks/ResultsFCS Picks/Results

22 Head Coaches Debut, Go 15-7

(SEE: Coaching Changes)
There were 25 teams in the FBS that kicked off the season with a different head coach than the one they had at the start of the 2022 season.

Navy's Brian Newberry had his debut in a week zero blowout loss to Notre Dame in Ireland, while two others made their debut at various stages of the 2022 campaign. Brent Key already had 8 games under his belt at Georgia Tech (4-4) in 2022, and Zach Arnett had a bowl win after taking over at Mississippi State following the tragic passing of Mike Leach.

That left 22 head coaching debuts this week and they were picked to go 12-10. Instead, they went 15-7.

Arizona State: Kenny Dillingham. Beat Southern Utah (FCS)
Auburn: Hugh Freeze. Beat UMass
Charlotte: Biff Poggi. Beat South Carolina State (FCS)
Cincinnati: Scott Satterfield. Beat Eastern Kentucky (FCS)
Coastal Carolina: Tim Beck. Lost at UCLA
Colorado: Deion Sanders. Beat TCU
FAU: Tom Herman. Beat Monmouth (FCS)
Kent State: Kenni Burns. Lost at UCF
Liberty: Jamey Chadwell. Beat Bowling Green
Louisville: Jeff Brohm. Beat Georgia Tech
Nebraska: Matt Rhule. Lost at Minnesota
North Texas: Eric Morris. Lost to Cal
Northwestern: David Braun (interim). Lost at Rutgers
Purdue: Ryan Walters. Lost to Fresno State
Stanford: Troy Taylor. Beat Hawaii
Texas State: GJ Kinne. Beat Baylor
Tulsa: Kevin Wilson. Beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff (FCS)
UAB: Trent Dilfer. Beat North Carolina A&T (FCS)
UNLV: Barry Odom. Beat Bryant (FCS)
USF: Alex Golesh. Lost at Western Kentucky
Western Michigan: Lance Taylor. Beat St. Francis, PA (FCS)
Wisconsin: Luke Fickell. Beat Buffalo


Colorado's win at TCU was the biggest upset, but Baylor's 42-31 loss at home to Texas State is a close second. Like Deion Sanders at Colorado, GJ Kinne got the upset of a Big 12 school in his first game as head coach of the Bobcats. We have also have to factor-in Duke's 28-7 win over Clemson.

Next would be Wyoming knocking off Texas Tech 35-33 in double-overtime in Laramie, followed by Purdue falling 39-35 at home to Fresno State. Northern Illinois was a 27-24 overtime winner at Boston College.


This season has 117 of the 133 FBS schools facing one FCS opponent, and Army playing two such games for a total of 118 FBS-FCS matchups.

Of the 16 FBS schools that do NOT play a FCS program, 7 are in the B1G (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin). 6 more are evenly split between the Big 12 (Houston, Oklahoma, Texas) and Pac-12 (Colorado, USC, Washington). The other three are Liberty (CUSA) , UTSA (American), and Virginia Tech (ACC).

A whopping 42 of the 87 games this weekend featured a FBS-FCS matchup. Over the past 20 years, only 8% of those have resulted in an upset. This week's spreads in the Congrove Computer Rankings ranged from a high of 57.68 for Georgia over UT-Martin, to a low of 8.29 for Western Michigan over St. Francis (PA).  Three other FBS-FCS games had a projected margin of less than 10 points with UNLV favored by 9.81 over Bryant, UAB by 9.81 over NC A&T, and Charlotte by 9.98 over South Carolina State. None of those teams had issues covering those margins.

The 42-0 weekend by the FBS program improved its collective record against FCS schools to 1,728-148 (.921) since we began tracking this in 2003.

The FBS was 112-8 (.933) vs. the FCS last year when 116 of the 131 FBS schools played at least one such game while Appalachian State, Army, Marshall and New Mexico State each played two.

Here are the FCS wins in 2022:
September 2: William & Mary 41, Charlotte 24
September 3: Delaware14, Navy 7
September 10: Weber State 35, Utah State 7
September 10: Incarnate Word 55, Nevada 41
September 10: Holy Cross 37, Buffalo 31
September 10: Eastern Kentucky 59, Bowling Green 57 (7 OT's)
September 17: Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24
September 24: Sacramento State 41, Colorado State 10

Streaks - Current FBS Longest

GEORGIA - Won 18 straight over-all. Won 11 straight true road games.
Last: Won 48-7 over FCS member UT-Martin on Saturday, September 2 to kick-off 2023 season.
Next: Hosts Ball State on Saturday, September 9.

ALABAMA - Won 21 straight home games.
Last: Won 56-7 at home over Middle Tennessee on Saturday, September 2 to kick-off 2023 season.
Next: Hosts Texas on Saturday, September 9.

MICHIGAN - Won 15 straight conference games.
Last - Won 30-3 at home over East Carolina on Saturday, September 2 to kick-off 2023 season.
Next: Hosts UNLV on Saturday, September 9.

NORTHWESTERN - Lost 12 straight over-all, and 8 straight at home.
Last: Lost 24-7 at Rutgers on Saturday, September 2 to kick-off 2023 season.
Next: Hosts UTEP on Saturday, September 9.

USF - Lost 13 straight conference games, 17 straight FBS games, and 19 straight road games.
Last: Lost 41-24 at Western Kentucky on Saturday, September 2 to kick-off 2023 season.
Next: Hosts FCS remember Florida A&M on Saturday, September 9.