Week 1 College Football Preview

Week 1 of College Football is finally here! Hussam Patel gives his top three game previews and games that you need to watch.

Week 1 of the 2022 college football season is finally here. Here are the top three Week 1 college football games you need to watch, and a preview of each.

Arkansas vs. Cincinnati preview

#23 Cincinnati Bearcats v #19 Arkansas Razorbacks. 3:30 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Arkansas -7, o/u: 52

Cincinnati Week 1 College Football Preview

There might be big talent losses in several areas, but the offensive front is loaded with all-stars and veterans, and it should be among the best in the nation at keeping defenses out of the backfield

Coach Luke Fickell’s comments raise some alarms heading into the Razorbacks stadium. He admitted that the Bearcats are not suited to play against a loud SEC home crowd.

Cincinnati lost a talented quarterback in Desmond Ridder, can they replace his production week 1 against the Razorbacks?

The biggest key in winning this top 25 matchup in week 1 for the Bearcats is containing Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson.

Arkansas Week 1 College Football Preview

Razorbacks quarterback K.J. Jefferson was good last year; however can he be special against a good defense in the Cincinnati Bearcats in week 1?

Without a doubt, Jefferson will be the key for the Razorbacks. Furthermore, their running game should help him out. The team led the SEC in rushing.

The passing efficiency should be there against a revamped Cincinnati secondary that lost a slew of NFL talents. With the loss of Treylon Burks to the NFL, coach Pittman wants to see how good receiver Drew Sanders can be. 

Utah vs. Florida preview

#7 Utah Utes v Florida Gators. 7 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Utah -2.5, o/u: 53.5

Utah Week 1 College Football Preview

Linebacker Devin Lloyd might be gone, but former Gator Mohamoud Diabate is a good one to try helping the cause. 

The defensive front will once again be a killer in the backfield, and the tackles are massive human beings who’ll gum up the works.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham brings a veteran, disciplined team against the Gators in Week 1. The Utes are led by standout QB Cam Rising, who threw for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns to five interceptions, along with 74 rushes for 499 yards and six touchdowns.

Florida Week 1 College Football Preview

Gainesville’s own Anthony Richardson, with his superb athleticism and arm, is the face of the team as its quarterback. Richardson’s supporting cast is full of returning players. 

Head coach Billy Napier squares off against a top-10 team in Week 1 as his first game as the Gators coach. Napier brings along a few of the good parts from Ragin’ Cajun days; the offensive line really will be a strength, and the running back situation is about as deep as any in the SEC.

The Gators will have to rely on a good rotation on the defensive front and return top NFL draft prospects in Brenton Cox Jr., Gervon Dextor, and Jason Marshall Jr.

Florida’s run defense has to prove it can be night-and-day better than it was last season, as Patrick Toney is in charge of the defense this season.

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State preview

#5 Notre Dame at #2 Ohio State. 7:30 P.M. EST, ABC

  • Line: Ohio State -16.5, o/u: 58.5

Notre Dame Week 1 College Football Preview

New head coach Marcus Freeman’s biggest test is right out of the gates Week 1 against last year’s college football finalist Ohio State. No pressure, Marcus.

It’s the debut of new quarterback Tyler Buchner. Notre Dame needs to establish a running game that is much more effective than that in order to support Buchner. Furthermore, stud tight end Michael Mayer will be targeted most of the game due to an injury sustained by wide receiver Avery Davis.

Al Golden is the new defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. Will he and his secondary hold up against a talented trio of another batch of Buckeye receivers in Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Emeka Egbuka?

Notre Dame fills the loss of Kyle Hamilton with Northwestern transfer Brandon Joseph, and eyes will be on EDGE rusher Isaiah Foskey who has first round potential in this year’s draft cycle.

Ohio State Week 1 College Football Preview

Ryan Day’s squad returns Heisman hopeful quarterback C.J. Stroud against a top-5 team in Notre Dame in Week 1 of college football. No one boasts Ohio State’s skill position talent, and it may very well be the reason why they are heavily favored.

The Buckeyes feature three of the top 12 players in the Heisman odds with quarterback C.J. Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson, and receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. 

The Buckeyes defense was its major problem last season against top teams in Alabama, Michigan, and Oregon. Ryan Day brought in Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State to shore up the run defense. 

The linebacker play from Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg will come into focus to stop the Fighting Irish ground attack.

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Billy Napier: Florida Gators Head Coach

Florida head coach Billy Napier
Photo from Gators Football official twitter account

Billy Napier

The Florida Gators have hired former University of Louisiana head coach Billy Napier to replace Dan Mullen at the helm of their football program.

Napier fits the Gators needs. His recruiting prowess is a massive change for a program going from Dan Mullen, whose biggest weakness was recruiting. This is not an unexpected hire, but it is still a good one. Napier has shown that not only does he recruit well, but he also builds the staff to be able to recruit. Napier will be looking to fix a floundering recruiting class, and has a lot of work to do. However, if there is someone who will be able to do it, Napier appears to be that guy.

New Gators Head Coach Billy Napier
Photo by Scott Wachter, USA Today Sports

Napier’s Resume

Napier has been a head coach for the past four years, but before that was an assistant at a lot of the nation’s best programs. After playing quarterback at Furman, with two seasons as the starter, Billy Napier spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Clemson.

He spent a year as the quarterbacks coach at South Carolina State before returning to Clemson as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for the Tigers where he spent the next three years. Head coach Tommy Bowden was fired and Napier was promoted to quarterbacks coach under interim head coach Dabo Swinney.

Swinney was named full time head coach, with Billy Napier as his quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. After a record setting season in his first year, Clemson’s offense struggled in his second season. Napier was then fired as offensive coordinator.

Billy Napier spent a year as an offensive analyst at Alabama. Billy Napier became the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach at Colorado State the following season. Napier followed Alabama assistant and future (now past) Florida head coach Jim McElwain.

Napier accepted a job as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida State. However, he only stayed for a month before accepting the position of wide receiver’s coach at Alabama. Napier spent four seasons at Alabama. He was then hired as the offensive coordinator at Arizona State.

Following a season there, Napier became the head coach at the University of Louisiana. In 4 seasons at Louisiana, Napier led the program to a 39-12 record. This includes one conference championship as well as participating in two more, including one this season.

What to Expect Moving Forward

According to reports, Napier expects to coach in the Ragin Cajun’s Sun Belt Championship game before coming to Florida. Billy Napier’s first task as head coach is to build his staff. He potentially has a few key guys in place if he chooses to keep them.

Nick Savage is beloved as a strength and conditioning coach. Florida also has some young position coaches that he could look to retain. He will almost certainly go elsewhere for coordinators and recruiting staff.

Napier has a lot of work to do in terms of recruiting. The current recruiting class is ranked 31st by 247sports and 39th by Rivals. He will have a lot of work to do to turn the class around in a short amount of time. The early period for national signing day is December 15-17. The regular national signing day is February 2.

With how Napier wants to play, he will need an influx of offensive line talent. He will also need to add more to a defense that is losing a lot of talent. There were a lot of players who decommitted under Mullen, and he could possibly flip them back. The transfer portal will also need to be used due to the lack of time to recruit normally.