Previewing tonight’s College Football Week 1 Kickoff
The 2019 College Football season is here!! Week 1 is upon us, and it starts with four ranked teams playing on Thursday night. (1) Clemson, (12) Texas A&M, (14) Utah, and (17) UCF all begin their seasons tonight! Let’s breakdown their matchups.
Georgia Tech @ (1) Clemson – 8PM
Clemson is heavily favored against Georgia Tech as it begins its title defense and aims for a 16th consecutive victory. The Tigers are coming off their fourth consecutive outright ACC title, and they’ve been especially dominant at home, where they’ve gone undefeated in four of the last five seasons.
Trevor Lawrence looks to start his sophomore season off with a bang, and expect that to happen. Georgia Tech has not beaten a top-ranked team since knocking off Virginia en route to a share of the 1990 national championship. Don’t be surprised if Clemson wins by 40+, showing everyone that they are ranked #1 for a reason.
Texas State @ (12) Texas A&M – 8:30PM
Coming off a nine-win season and a victory in the Gator Bowl, Texas A&M has plenty of reasons for optimism as it hosts Texas State in its 2019 season opener. Junior quarterback Kellen Mond is back under center with the watchful eye of coach Jimbo Fisher never far away.
The Aggies suffered early-season losses to Clemson and Alabama in 2018 before rebounding to win seven of their final nine games with some massive point totals down the stretch. They will try to build on that confidence by beating up a much weaker Texas State team.
(14) Utah @ BYU – 10:15PM
Utah kicks off a season of lofty expectations Thursday night with a non-conference rivalry game at Brigham Young. The 14th-ranked Utes have been voted as the preseason media favorite not only to repeat as Pac-12 South Division champs but to capture their first Pac-12 overall title as well.
Utah has beaten BYU is their last six matchups, and expect them to make it seven tonight. Utah could easily be contending for the college football playoff this year, expect the Utes to win big in a hostile road environment.
Florida A&M @ (17) UCF – 7:30PM
Central Florida finally saw its long winning streak end on New Year’s Day and will open the 2019 season with a new quarterback under center as it hosts Florida A&M.
UCF lost to LSU 40-32 in the Fiesta Bowl after winning 25 games in a row but, despite injuries to quarterbacks McKenzie Milton and Darriel Mack Jr., the 17th-ranked Knights are expecting to be a factor on the national scene once again. Florida A&M is almost a warm-up game for UCF, expect them to win big.
UCLA @ Cincinnati – 7PM
UCLA coach Chip Kelly will learn a lot about his team early on this season, beginning with this road opener against a Cincinnati squad that returns 14 starters from last year’s 11-win team. The Bruins are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season, when the Kelly era started with five straight losses, including a 26-17 loss to Cincinnati in the opener.
The Bruins recorded their fewest victories in 30 years in last season’s 3-9 campaign, but there’s reason for optimism with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson primed to take a step forward following an up-and-down freshman year. Thompson-Robinson will be tested early by Cincinnati’s veteran secondary. In the end I think Cincinnati will win, but UCLA will look good and keep it close.