Football Feelings

September 7, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Welcome Back 

We’re back after a long Labor Day Weekend full of sports. College Football’s kickoff weekend was wild from start to finish. And it’s Week 1 this week in the NFL with the season-opener on Thursday night (Cowboys vs. Bucs). But first, we’re crowning the champ of the PGA Tour and checking in on the U.S. Open. Plenty of sports for everyone.

Letter Rip!



Football Feelings: Running Back Opening Weekend

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

From Notre Dame’s OT Thriller to Alabama’s Beatdown, These Were the Best Games From Week 1 in College Football


The wait is over! College football’s opening weekend brought a long-awaited return for fans at full capacity across the country. The No. 3, No. 10 and No. 12 teams all fell in Week 1, and a plethora of young quarterbacks made their college debuts. Here are the top highlights and recaps from the first weekend on the gridiron.


#9 Notre Dame Holds Off FSU (41-38, OT)

The Sunday night thriller in Tallahassee nearly brought the biggest upset of the weekend when Florida State took Notre Dame into overtime with an 18-point 4th quarter, but the Irish prevailed with a field goal. ND’s senior QB Jack Coan was the star of the game (26/35, 366 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT).


#5 Georgia Shuts Down #3 Clemson (10-3)

The Clemson Tigers had only lost three games since the start of the 2018 season (39-3), but they opened 2021 with a brutal offensive performance against the Georgia defense. New Clemson QB D.J. Uiagelelei struggled (19/37, 178 yards, 1 INT).


#4 Ohio State Survives Minnesota Scare (45-31)

The Buckeyes trailed the Golden Gophers at halftime (14-10) in Thursday night’s marquee matchup, but the No. 4 team in the country rallied for 35 second-half points. New OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud got things going late (13/22, 294 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT).


#2 Oklahoma Thwarts Tulane’s Upset Bid (40-35)

The Sooners were rolling early in Norman after putting up 37 points in the first half, but a late surge from Tulane made things interesting. Sophomore QB Spencer Rattler was brilliant in the first half before failing to score in the second (30/39, 304 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs).


#1 Alabama Crushes #14 Miami (44-13)

A no-doubter for the Crimson Tide to open their title defense. Alabama buried Miami at a neutral-site opener, and new QB Bryce Young was as good as advertised (27/38, 344 yards, 4 TDs).


Other Scores & Highlights

Six FCS Teams Beat FBS Opponents

#6 Texas A&M def. Kent State (41-10)

#7 Iowa State def. Northern Iowa (16-10)

#8 Cincinnati def. Miami (OH) (49-14)

Virginia Tech def. #10 North Carolina (17-10)



Cantlay Claims the Tour Championship

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Patrick Cantlay (-21) Edges Jon Rahm (-20) for FedEx Cup Playoff Title


There was no shortage of drama to conclude the PGA Tour season on Sunday at the Tour Championship. Patrick Cantlay (-21) began the final event of the year on top of the leaderboard in starting strokes, and he never faltered. Cantlay carded a final round 69 to hold off Jon Rahm (-20) by one stroke on the final day to claim the PGA Tour’s $15 million prize. The 29-year-old finished his best season ever with four of his six career wins coming in 2021 before capturing the Tour Championship.


Watch: Patrick Cantlay Wins PGA Tour Championship


Final Leaderboard

P. Cantlay (-21)

J. Rahm (-20)

K. Na (-16)

J. Thomas (-15)

V. Hovland (-14)

X. Schauffele (-14)

B. DeChambeau (-13)

D. Johnson (-11)


Other Notable Scorecards: A. Ancer (-10), T. Finau (-8), R. McIlroy (-7), L. Oosthuizen (-7), S. Garcia (-7), J. Spieth (-4), P. Reed (-2)


Next Major Golf Event: Ryder Cup (Sept. 24-26)


Additional Storylines

CNN: Patrick Cantlay Draws on ‘Self-Belief’ as He Wins Golf’s Tour Championship

PGA: Patrick Cantlay: A Man & FedEx Cup Champ in Full

ESPN: Patrick Cantlay Earned A Lot More Than the $15 Million That Comes With Winning the FedEx Cup



The Calendar Slam is Still Alive

Photo: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Quarterfinals Action Brings Final Rounds of U.S. Open as Novak Djokovic Nears History


The U.S. Open fields have been trimmed down over the holiday weekend with one familiar name still alive — Novak Djokovic. The slam king of 2021 is into the quarterfinals despite back-to-back rounds where he dropped the first set. Djokovic rallied in each match to win the remaining sets without a doubt as he moves within nine sets of a historic calendar slam.


Plenty has happened throughout the last five days at Flushing Meadows, including the upset and shocking news of Naomi Osaka’s potential tennis break. Here’s the latest look at the remaining brackets for the men’s and women’s singles.


Men’s Singles (Quarterfinals)

(1) N. Djokovic vs. (6) M. Berrettini

(4) A. Zverev vs. L. Harris

(12) F. Auger-Aliassime vs. C. Alcaraz

(2) D. Medvedev vs. B. Van de Zandschulp


Women’s Singles (Quarterfinals)

(11) B. Bencic vs. E. Raducanu

(4) K. Pliskova vs. M. Sakkari

(5) Elina Svitolina vs. L. Fernandez

(8) B. Krejcikova vs. (2) A. Sabalenka


View Today’s Schedule


Additional Storylines

NBC News: Naomi Osaka Thinking About Taking a Break From Tennis ‘For a While’

ESPN: Novak Djokovic Rallies From 1st Set Loss to Keep Calendar-Year Grand Slam Alive



Franco Flies Into History

Photo: Rob Tringali / Getty Images

Wander Franco Ties Mickey Mantle for Longest On-Base Streak (36) for Player Under 20


Another night, another milestone for Rays’ rookie Wander Franco. The 20-year-old shortstop took his first pitch of Monday’s game off the center-field wall and landed on third base to extend his on-base streak to 36 games. The longest streak in the majors continues to grow, and Franco has now tied Mickey Mantle for the most consecutive games with a base hit for any player under 21. The Rays won Monday’s showdown with the Red Sox (11-10, 10 innings). Franco can break the record tonight in Fenway.


Watch: Wander Franco Ties Mickey Mantle’s On-Base Record


MLB Quick-Hitters


Scherzer Ks 13: Max Scherzer boosted his Cy Young hopes with a 13-strikeout gem Monday against the Cardinals. The Dodgers’ right-hander allowed just one unearned run in eight innings of a 5-1 win.


Vlad Jr. Joins Father-Son 40 Club: Blue Jays’ slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smashed his 40th home run of the season in Monday’s 8-0 win over the Yankees. In the process, Guerrero Jr. and his father joined Prince Fielder and Cecil Fielder as the only father-son duos to record 40 HR seasons.


Cubbies Comeback?: The Cubs reeled off their seventh straight win on Monday over the Reds (4-3) to post the longest win streak in the majors after seemingly dismantling their roster before the trade deadline. Chicago is now 64-75 and just nine games back of the NL wild card race.



⚽️ SOCCER: USMNT & Canada Draw in WC Qualifier

The U.S. men’s national team outplayed Canada in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Sunday, but the Canadians forced a draw (1-1). Brenden Aaronson scored his fourth international goal for the USMNT’s only score of the game.


🏎️ NASCAR: Hamlin Wins Race 1 of Playoffs

Darlington Raceway played host to the first NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs race on Sunday for the Round of 16, and Denny Hamlin grabbed the opening race victory. Hamlin held off Kyle Larson in a thrilling finish. Four of the 16 drivers will be eliminated in the next two races.


⛳️ GOLF: Europe Captures Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup — the women’s golf equivalent to the Ryder Cup — pitted the United States and Europe in team play over the past week. The European side was victorious (15-13) after dominating the Saturday foursomes out of the gate.



🏈 NFL Execs ‘Nervous’ Before Week 1

While fans around the country happily welcomed the first full week of college football this season, some within the NFL were a little more apprehensive. After multiple players visited their former college teams’ opening games this past weekend, this week’s COVID-19 test results could soar. (B/R)


🎾 Naomi Osaka’s Break From Tennis

Following weeks of emotional stress and media attention at Wimbledon and the Olympics, Naomi Osaka could be stepping away from the game. In tears after the third-round loss to Leylah Fernandez, the defending champion said she did not know when she would play her next tennis match. (NY Times)


🏀 The WNBA’s Top-25 Players in History

Ten current players, including five-time Olympians Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, and three players who were three-time MVPs highlight the list of “The W25,” which was unveiled Sunday by the WNBA as it celebrates its 25th anniversary season. (ESPN)




Share The Sportsletter with family and friends using your unique Team ID and you’ll get rewarded with team gear as you rack up points and climb the ranks!