We are one Saturday into the college football season, but we're already looking at year's worth of quarterback drama.
If you were seeking out a quarterback controversy in a big game, this weekend provided it. Looking for a story of a young gun coming out blazing? That was there, too. Underdogs? Got it. Even season-altering injuries popped up for the horror enthusiasts. Saturday -- extending through Monday -- had it all.
Following a weekend full of them, here were Week 1's biggest quarterback stories and a quick takeaway for each.
Deondre Francois, Florida State: Late in the loss to Alabama, when the game looked out of reach, Francois went down with a knee injury; on Sunday, we found out that it was season-ending one. After a heroic effort as a freshman last year behind a leaky offensive line, Francois looked outstanding against a physical Alabama defense Saturday night and even in a loss looked good enough to give Florida State hopes of a rematch in the postseason. His injury means Jimbo Fisher inserts a true freshman in James Blackman to lead the troops. Blackman is talented but he's not ready for a national title run. Takeaway: Catastrophe
Wilton Speight and John O'Korn, Michigan: Speight threw three touchdowns on Saturday. One was to Michigan wide receiver Tarik Black and two were to Florida defensive backs. Michigan dominated the game but what could have been a 30-point win was trimmed to 16 due to Speight's mistakes. Michigan's national title caliber defense is going to need some help in the future. Takeaway: The ceiling on Michigan's season is Speight-high
Feleipe Franks, Malik Zaire and Luke Del Rio, Florida: The Gators do not have a quarterback, at least not one Jim McElwain trusts. Franks, a redshirt freshman, was named the starter but could only muster three points and a fumble against Michigan's nasty defense before being pulled in the third quarter. Malik Zaire came to Florida expecting to start, but his Saturday evening efforts didn't muster any points and his fumble was in the Michigan end zone. Luke Del Rio is the only quarterback that didn't take snaps, and he's the one that went 5-1 as a starter for Florida last year. Takeaway: What else did you expect?
Jacob Eason, Georgia: During the first quarter, Eason went down with a non-contact injury to his knee. It has been diagnosed as a strain that will keep him out but not for the season, but it could still mean a big blow to Georgia's SEC East title chances. It also leads to the unveiling of freshman Jake Fromm, who threw for 143 yards and a touchdown in relief and looked plenty comfortable in the starter's chair. Like Eason, Fromm was a top 100 recruit and an Army All-American. Takeaway: Recruiting well is a good thing
Sam Darnold, USC: Darnold is human. Pump the breaks on the Heisman. Slow down on the No. 1 pick in the draft talk. Darnold threw two interceptions. On second thought, he's still good and USC still won so everything is still in play. Takeaway: Remember the Rose Bowl?
Josh Rosen, UCLA: Rosen isn't human. Chosen Rosen delivered college football's second greatest comeback in history, taking the Bruins back from 34 points down late in the third quarter. If UCLA can find a way to protect him, Jim Mora might get to keep his job this season and Rosen may climb back above Darnold in the NFL stock market index. Takeaway: Let's just hope Rosen survives the year.
Nick Starkel and Kellen Mond, Texas A&M: Texas A&M's quarterback battle produced two players that combined for 9-of-30 passing for 89 yards. Mond, a freshman, got most of the work due to a Starkel injury, and he only completed 3 of 17 passes. That ineptitude is what allowed UCLA's miraculous comeback, and it's what is going to force UCLA into a Wildcat offense for the rest of the season if Starkel can't get healthy. Takeaway: Kevin Sumlin needs a realtor
Shea Patterson, Ole Miss: The run game is still non-existent and the defense is still questionable, but don't worry about the Ole Miss passing attack. Shea Patterson threw for 429 yards and four touchdowns against South Alabama and confirmed that this team is going to be fun to watch at the least and major spoiler at best. Takeaway: Ole Miss is going out guns blazing
Kelly Bryant, Clemson: Bryant is the heir to Deshaun Watson's throne after beating out Zerrick Cooper and freshman phenom Hunter Johnson for the starting quarterback job. But how will Bryant really fill those big shoes? With the talent around him, he won't have to. He was 16 of 22 for 236 yards and a long touchdown strike to Deon Cain as Clemson rolled 56-3. National title aspirations are still viable. Takeaway: He'll do
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn: Stidham rushed for a touchdown and threw for two more in his highly anticipated start for a talented Auburn team. His 185 yards passing isn't going to set any records, but the 41 points Auburn produced looks comforting. Auburn can start to get confident now. Verdict: Stidham isn't Jeremy Johnson
Tyrell Pigrome, Maryland: Aside from an early interception, the diminutive Pigrome was awesome in an upset win over Texas. When he went down with an injury in the fourth quarter, though, it looked like things might unravel. Then true freshman Kasim Hill stepped in and led a touchdown drive that included a strike on third-and-long. Hill almost won the job over Pigrome and he looks very ready to take over if need be. Takeaway: Who made Maryland a 19 point underdog?
Will Grier, West Virginia: He threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns, and it was a joy to watch. If this is the quarterback that was under center last fall for the Mountaineers, they would've won the Big 12. Takeaway: Hope Jime McElwain wasn't watching
Josh Jackson, Virginia Tech: Only a redshirt freshman, Jackson rushed for over 100 yards, threw for nearly 300 and made the big plays when he needed to. This isn't some default starter that backed into the job, he looks like the type of guy that gives the Hokies a good shot at winning the Coastal Division. Takeaway: Hope Mark Richt was watching
Brandon Harris, North Carolina: A talented thrower that has yet to figure out how to parlay that skill into being a talented quarterback, Harris was supposed to thrive in Larry Fedora's offense after transferring from LSU. After completing 7 of 16 passes for 60 yards with two interceptions, Harris gave way to Chazz Surratt under center and he may not get his job back. Takeaway: Maybe it wasn't Les Miles' fault
Brandon Wimbush, Notre Dame: The guy that was supposed to be more talented than both Malik Zaire and Deshone Kizer finally got his first start, and the Irish didn't even really need him. They just needed their big offensive line and their speedy running backs to dispose of Temple. Wimbush looked solid, pitching in 106 rushing yards and 184 passing yards as Notre Dame took care of business. Takeaway: Talk to me next week
Anu Solomon, Baylor: After winning the job over last year's starter Zach Smith, Solomon put up 278 yards passing, 97 yards rushing and 45 points Saturday night against Liberty. It's just that Liberty's Stephen Calvert just happened to throw for 447 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-45 upset. The bigger story is that he Stephen goes by the name Buckshot, which is his legal middle name. Takeaway: Buckshot Calvert!