Two ranked teams played on the Thursday that officially kicked off the 2016 college football season: Tennessee, struggling at home against Appalachian State, and Louisville, having no problem crushing Charlotte, as Lamar Jackson put on a show for the Cardinals, involved in 8 touchdown plays.
Appalachian State (0-1) 13 #9 Tennessee (1-0) 20: Bottom line? The preseason hype might end up being true, but for now it’s unwarranted, and maybe put on pressure that made the Vols struggle in their season opener in front of 100,000 and more at Neyland. Tennessee had two turnovers, including a Joshua Dobbs interception, as the senior quarterback never really settled into a rhythm. The Mountaineers scored first, and in the end, Tennessee came back, forced overtime, made idiotic mistakes in overtime, but a controversial refereeing call, which might not have been held by every officiating crew, allowed Tennessee to open the season with a win, mostly thanks to a defense that held it together. Jalen Hurd with the fumble recovery ended up as the hero.
Charlotte (0-1) 14 #19 Louisville (1-0) 70: The Lamar Jackson show, plain and simple. Despite the Cardinals offensive line not exactly doing great initially and once again looking like the team’s weak spot, the first team offense and defense were perfect going by the score. Louisville led 56-0 at the half, with Jackson throwing six touchdown passes (286 yards, 17-for-23) and rushing for two more touchdowns and 119 yards. More than anything, this game shows what a bad decision it was to let the 49ers get into FBS without proper FCS time in between, but TV market money is everything these days. They were held to only 48 yards on the ground, and 208 yards of offense.
Other scores (non top-25 teams)
The SEC had its first conference game, as South Carolina sludged through their visit to Vanderbilt, beating the Commodores 13-10, coming back from 0-10 down to score the game winning field goal with 35 seconds left. In an entertaining game in Minneapolis, Minnesota beat Oregon State 30-23 in a B1G vs Pac-12 game, turning the game around in the fourth quarter after trailing by six going in. Rodney Smith put them in front with one of his two touchdowns (125 rushing yards), and quarterback Mitch Leidner added one late, also one of two rushing touchdowns for him.