Saturday Takeaways: A Look Back At Week Zero

What a relief it is that college football is back. After a summer spent counting down the days until a new season begins, we finally hit zero. Week Zero. The seven-game slate in the FBS had a lot to offer and here, we take you back to review the best, the not-so-great, and above all, the most important happenings from the first weekend of football. Welcome to the Saturday Takeaways.

Irish Donʻt Disappoint

There was nothing to complain about, for Notre Dame fans at least, during the Fighting Irishʻs 42-3 win over Navy in Ireland. Transfer QB Sam Hartman spun the ball like he always has, firing four touchdowns in a little over three quarters. Two of those scores went to four-star freshman wideout Jaden Greathouse, whose first collegiate catch was a 35-yard touchdown.

Audric Estime led the team in rushing yards, but it was clear the Fighting Irish will use plenty of legs in the backfield throughout the season. GiʻBrian Payne, Jeremiyah Love and Jadarian Price each were given the ball four or more times, with Price and Estime being the only ones to find the endzone.

Defensively, Notre Dame had no problem with Navyʻs triple option attack. The Midshipmen were held to 128 rushing yards, Navyʻs lowest total since Week 5 of last year.

First Impressions Are Everything

Conference USA looks a lot different this year. After losing six members to the American Athletic Conference, the C-USA picked up the New Mexico State Aggies and Liberty Flames from the pool of Independents as well as the Jacksonville State Gamecocks and Sam Houston Bearkats from the FCS level.

In Week Zero, the Aggies and Gamecocks would each get an opportunity to display their talents to the world. Jacksonville State, led by the legendary Rich Rodriguez, made the most of their FBS debut by also picking up a conference win over UTEP. “Jax State” used a ferocious defensive effort to hold the Miners at bay in the sweltering heat of eastern Alabama.

As for Jerry Killʻs New Mexico State squad, they were upset in front of an energetic crowd still riding high off of a win in the 2022 Quick Lane Bowl. The Aggies were sunk by the UMass Minutemen, under the direction of 68-year old Don Brown. The Minutemen, using the running abilities of Georgia Tech transfer Taisun Phommachanh and KayʻRon Lynch-Adams, put up 28 points in the fourth quarter to stay in front of NMSU through the end of the game.

New Mexico State will get a chance to redeem themselves quickly, as they go on the road to play Liberty in Week 2.

Commodores Come Away With Questions

Itʻs hard to say expectations are high for Vanderbilt this season, and after their Week Zero performance against Hawaii, the expectations may have dropped a little more. Vanderbilt was beat in nearly every statistical category, yet held on to win the game.

Vanderbilt limited the Rainbow Warriors to 40 rushing yards, but Hawaiiʻs quarterback Brayden Schager was crazy accurate and totaled 351 yards and three scores. The secondary stepped up in the end, sealing the game with an interception.

Saturdayʻs showing really does not prove that Vanderbilt will stand their ground in the SEC. The Commodores had trouble running the football, ending up with just 39 yards on the ground. QB AJ Swann did show a lot of leadership on the field and made good throws while on the run, but Vandy was never able to distance themselves from the opponent. What could have been an energizing win like last year’s result on the islands, ended up being just a lucky win in the end.

Up next for Vanderbilt is Alabama A&M and then a road test at Wake Forest.

Get the latest sports news via Fantom Sports Industries. Follow us on Twitter via @Fantom_sports. Like us on Facebook via Fantom Sports Industries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel via Fantom Sports. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Shop Fantom Sports Industries Merch. 

Invest in your favorite athletes like stocks with “Prediction Strike!” Use code FANTOM when you sign up.