Marc Daniels Monday Notebook: One Week Later, Frosty's Farewell & The QBs

Georgia Southern v Nebraska

Photo: Getty Images

In last week's Notebook I touched on how one play can change a game, a season and even a career. Last week, Florida and FSU celebrated victories that could have different endings if Utah's pass is not intercepted and LSU makes the kick and goes on to win in overtime. Suddenly the Gators and the Noles were back!

But you are never as good and never as bad as you look in week one and this past weekend UCF and Florida learned that.

The Knights rolled in their opener blowing out South Carolina State 56-10 and new quarterback, John Rhys Plumlee passed for over 300 yards and ran for a hundred and accounted for five touchdowns. UCF then ran into a Louisville team who got rolled at Syracuse the week before. In a potential season saving game, the Cardinals rallied and handed the Knights a rare home loss 20-14. In the game, Plumlee went 16-for-34 for 131 yards. He was sacked four times, under pressure all night. He did run for 83 yards but the Louisville defense forced Plumlee to beat them by throwing the ball. They trusted their defensive backs could cover UCF receivers. The Knights were without Auburn transfer Kobe Hudson(didn't dress) and then lost Ryan O'Keefe(late second quarter injury). UCF also committed 11 penalties for 111 yards and saw their final ten possessions lead to seven punts, two missed field goals and a fourth down stop.

In Gainesville, Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson gave a "wow" performance in the Gators' victory over Utah. It made fans think the next great had arrived. One week later, Richardson and Florida came back down to earth in a 26-16 loss to Kentucky. The Gators were outscored 13-0 in the second half and physically outplayed on both sides of the ball in the final 30 minutes. Richardson was 14-for-35 for 143 yards and two costly interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown and ran for a total of four yards. He looked inexperienced, overwhelmed and outplayed by Kentucky's Will Levis. 

Florida's resume includes a good win against a very solid Utah team and a loss against a very good Kentucky team. Gator fans may have thought winning 10 games was possible after last week and now might be rethinking that as they learn Richardson, Billy Napier and the Gators are still a work in week later...

The end has come for Scott Frost at Nebraska. Frost was fired after the Cornhuskers lost 45-42 to Georgia Southern. He went 16-31 in Lincoln and takes over $15M with him as he leaves. I'll write about Frost this week but I wonder about his coaching future. My guess is Scott needs time away, wherever that is. The pressure mounted and he felt it. It was the weight of an entire state that was just too much. AD Trev Alberts, in his Sunday press conference, seemed to give an indication that the school and its fans can't live in the past. It can't just assume that success in the past guarantees success in the future. I think he was making it clear to fans that times have changed. Just because Tom Osborne dominated during his time, Osborne and his teams are not walking through the stadium gates to play again. Is it tougher to recruit to Nebraska these days? Maybe. Is it harder to compete for conference titles playing in the Big Ten? Sure it is. But it is not impossible to win at a place that offers the resources and one of the most passionate fan bases in the country. Get ready for the normal list of names the media loves to throw out and Alberts may hire one of them. As for Frost- my guess is he still wants to coach. Maybe he joins Chip Kelly's staff at UCLA as a coordinator. Not sure there is a Power 5 school that would hire him now. There will be plenty of G5 programs who would love him. I still think Frost may have wanted the Nebraska job at some point, just not in 2018 when he took it...

Nuggets: The Sun Belt had three huge non-conference wins on Saturday. Marshall went to South Bend and beat Notre Dame 26-21. Georgia Southern beat Nebraska 45-42 and Appalachian State pulled the biggest upset of the day winning at Texas A&M 17-14. One common thing among all three, and a growing trend in college football, is how a team's quarterback can be such a difference maker. Marshall's Henry Colombi was 16-for-21 for 145 yards and a TD at Notre Dame. Colombi began his college career at Utah State before playing at Texas Tech. His experience was a calming factor for the Thundering Herd in their historic win. Georgia Southern's Kyle Vantrease was 37-for-56 for 409 yards and a score in the win at Nebraska. He started 26 games in five seasons at Buffalo. He transferred to Statesboro for a sixth season and he carved up the Cornhuskers like a veteran would, never bothered by the hostile crowd and underdog role. Appalachian State's Chase Brice was 15-for-30 for 134 and one score in the win over Texas A&M. In week one, he threw for 361 yards and six touchdowns in their heartbreaking loss to North Carolina. Brice began his career at Clemson backing up Trevor Lawrence and Kelly Bryant. He may have saved Clemson's national title season in 2018 when he engineered a 12-play 94-yard game winning drive in a win over Syracuse when he came in after Lawrence was injured. Brice left Clemson for Duke before playing his final season as a 24-year old vet for App State. All three quarterbacks that led Sun Belt teams to huge wins are all veterans who have found a final home to make a mark. Look around college football and you will find many like them and in college football a great and experienced quarterback can be the difference in several wins....Notre Dame, now 0-2, looks like a 7-5 team at best...Bryce Young is good...BYU is legit...USC's offense is fun...Clemson's best quarterback is its backup...Jimbo Fisher will not win a national title at Texas A&M...Kansas is 2-0...And it's just two weeks into the season...

Final note: Did you know Coca-Cola created the six-pack. Yes, Coke, not beer, is where the concept came from as the company wanted to encourage people to take bottles home to share with family and first created the concept to sell in packs of six.

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