CI Week 1 Highlights

It's been eight crazy months since LSU knocked off Clemson to claim the 2019 national championship and while at times it was unclear if any college football games would be played this fall, UAB kicked off the FBS season on Thursday night when it hosted Central Arkansas. An hour later, the first game between two FBS programs was underway when Southern Miss and OL Coach Ryan Stanchek (@CoachStanchek) hosted CB Coach Josh Jones (@Coach_JonesUSA) and RB Coach Larry Warner (@coachWarnerRB) from South Alabama. Overall, seven CI FBS coaches picked up wins in Week 1. Keep reading to see who else.

Sandon McCoy leads Army to big 42-0 win over Middle Tennessee
One of the few things that felt normal about Saturday was watching the Black Knights' triple option operate like a well oiled machine. On Army's first possession, RB Sandon McCoy capped a 9 play, 43 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run. From there the rout was on. McCoy added two more touchdowns in the second quarter to lead a Black Knight offense that finished with 340 rushing yards on an average of 5.5 yards per carry on 62 attempts. While Army's offense has historically been able to carve up opposing defenses, an overlooked reason for the Black Knights resurgence under Jeff Monken has been a stalwart defense. The defense had an up-and-down campaign last season, but looks to be back in top form based on Saturday's early returns. LB Jon Rhattigan produced the biggest defensive play of the day when he intercepted a pass and ran it back 43 yards for a touchdown to put Army up 35-0 in the third quarter. Congratulations to TE Coach Matt Drinkall (@DrinkallCoach), OL Coach Saga Tuitele (@CoachTuitele) and ILB Coach Shiel Wood (@ShielWood) on the win! Drinkall is in his first season as tight ends coach after spending the 2019 campaign as an offensive analyst. He spent the previous five seasons as the head coach at Kansas Wesleyan, where he guided the Coyotes to a 13-1 record in 2018 and an appearance in the NAIA semifinals. Tuitele returned to West Point this past offseason after previously coaching the Black Knights' offensive line from 2007-08. No stranger to high powered rushing attacks, Tuitele led the top ranked rushing offense in the FCS as the offensive coordinator at Cal Poly from 2013-15 and also worked with the top ranked rushing offense in the FBS as the offensive line coach at New Mexico in 2016. Wood is in his first season at Army after spending last season as the special teams coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Georgia State. He spent the 2018 season as the safeties coach at Georgia Tech and previously served as defensive coordinator at Wofford where he helped the Terriers win a conference title and reach the FCS Quarterfinals on two occasions.

Memphis wins season opener over Arkansas State in Ryan Silverfield's home debut
In 2019, Memphis completed the most successful season in modern program history as the Tigers posted a 12-2 record, won the AAC and reached the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers' offense propelled the success, finishing in the top 10 in scoring as WR/RB Antonio Gibson earned First Team All-AAC. While Gibson moved on after being selected in the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft, Memphis Passing Game Coordinator/WR Coach John Simon (@johnsimon31) has another star pupil to work with this season in Damonte Coxie. In the Tigers' 37-24 win over Arkansas State, Coxie finished with eight receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown. Congratulations to Simon on the win! Prior to joining the Memphis staff in 2019, Simon spent three years as the running backs coach at Arizona State where he oversaw a significant improvement in the ground game as the Sun Devils finished the 2017 season ranked in the top 30 in rushing after finishing approximately 50 spots lower in 2016. He previously coached at Louisiana-Lafayette and Southern Miss, and is a graduate of the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy.
UAB sets Conference USA record with 19th straight home win
Few defensive coordinators have dominated over the past two seasons the way that David Reeves (@CoachReeves_UAB) has for UAB. In both 2018 and 2019, Reeves directed a Blazer defense that finished in the top 10 nationally in Total Defense and in the top 5 in several other categories. He was a semifinalist for the Broyles Award in 2018 and a nominee again in 2019 as UAB won two division titles and one conference title. On Thursday, the Blazers were facing a team in Central Arkansas that already had a game under its belt, but it didn't take long for UAB to find its stride. The Blazers went on a 17-0 run to open the second half and ultimately cruised to a 45-35 win. LB Kristopher Moll led the way defensively, finishing with eight tackles, two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries. Congratulations to Reeves on the win and great start to the season!

One more CI coach will be in action tonight as Navy and Run Game Coordinator/OL Ashley Ingram (@CoachAIngram) host BYU tonight at 8:00PM EST on ESPN. Go Mids!

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