Week 5 saw the first major upset a ranked team this season. West Virginia, who was shutout by Maryland in week 4, upset 11th ranked Oklahoma State in Morgantown. UCF almost pulled off an upset of 12th ranked South Carolina, and Hawaii came within 5 of 25Fresno State. The top ranked Tide shutout 21Ole Miss, and Oregon and Stanford blew out their conference opponents. Notre Dame is no longer ranked after losing by 14 points to Oklahoma. Who knows what will happen next week?
How I Fared: I was a perfect 5-0 in the games I previewed this week, which brings me to 21-6 overall. I also had my best week on ESPN Pick ‘Em, earning 51 out of 55 points possible by correctly picking 8 out of 10 games.
9Georgia 44 6LSU 41; This was the game of the week, and it lived up to the title. These two traded scores the entire game, neither team leading by more than a TD at a time. The winning TD was a 25 yard pass from Aaron Murray to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 left to play. When LSU got the ball back, they were unable to convert on 3rd and 4th downs, turning the ball over and securing Georgia’s win. The third down was one of only 5 LSU was unable to convert on. Aaron Murray once again showed his worth to the team going 20/34 for 298 yards, 4TD and an INT, along with rushing for a TD. Chris Conley had 112 receiving yards and a TD with Michael Bennett catching the other two scores. LSU’s QB Zach Mettenberger also had a good game going 23/37 for 372 yards and 3TD. One TD went to Jarvis Landry who also had 156 receiving yards, and the other two went to Kadron Boone. Odell Beckham Jr. had 118 yards receiving yards as well. These two teams have been known for having a pretty good rushing attack. Each team carried the ball 36 times, but UGA outgained LSU 196-77, even with RB Todd Gurley leaving the game with a sprained left ankle after gaining 73 yards. Keith Marshall led the Bulldog rushing attack with 96 yards. Though they did not net many yards on the ground, LSU’s Jeremy Hill and Kenny Hilliard each ran for a TD. This game was hard fought and showed both teams are threats in the SEC and the country.
West Virginia 30 11Oklahoma State 21; Yes, you did read that right, West Virginia did in fact beat the 11th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys. This game wasn’t even a question at the beginning of Saturday. The way the Mountaineers have been playing, there was no way they even had a chance to beat Oklahoma State. Clearly we, and Oklahoma State, underestimated West Virginia. Or maybe overestimated Oklahoma State. WVU was not going to let the Cowboys come into their house and make them look bad (or worse than what had been shown already). Though watching the game, neither team looked very good. The two combined for 18 punts, Oklahoma State’s longest drive was 2:28 and WVU had two longer than 3 minutes, but the majority were under 2 and a half. On 3rd down WVU was 8-22 and OSU was 6-20. Neither team proved to be very good, but WVU proved they were better than we thought and Oklahoma State proved they were worse. I think this outcome is mostly reflective of the mindsets of the players, and just goes to show that you can’t underestimate anyone.
12South Carolina 28 UCF 25; This game was going on at the same time as the Oklahoma State WVU game. Unlike that game, South Carolina was able to hang on, barely. UCF was leading the Gamecocks 10-0 after the first half. QB Connor Shaw left with an injured shoulder(which was bound to happen sooner or later the way he plays the position). South Carolina came out of the half angry and scored 28 unanswered points in the first 20 minutes. The rest of the 4th quarter belonged to the Knights. With about 2 minutes left in the game, UCF had scored 15 points to come within 3 points of SCAR. UCF then attempted an onside kick and was unable to recover it. Each team turned the ball over 4 times in the game. South Carolina’s backup QB Dylan Thompson was 15/32 for 261 yards and an INT, and also scoring a rushing TD. Mike Davis was the hero for the Gamecocks rushing for 167 yards and 3TDs. UCF QB Blake Bortles was 25/36 for 358 yards, 2TD and 2INT. Both TDs were caught by Rannell Hall in his 142 yard receiving day. Was this simply a case of underestimation or injury, or are there some problems in Columbia?
Arizona State 62 USC 41; This blurb is less about the game and more about what happened after. The head coach of USC, Lane Kiffin, was fired Sunday morning when the team returned from their loss to Arizona State. The Trojans have lost 7 of their last 11 games and were preseason #1 last season. After going 3-2 so far this season (0-2 in Pac 12 play), athletic director Pat Haden decided it was time to make a change. Star receiver Marquise Lee was also injured in the game. Things are not looking good for the Trojans.
UNLV 56 New Mexico 42; As some of you know, I am from Las Vegas, so when UNLV wins a game like this one to increase their win total from last year, I’m going to talk about it. This was one of two shootouts in the Mountain West this past weekend. UNLV and New Mexico traded blows through the first 3 quarters, tying the game at 42. In the 4th quarter, UNLV was able to hold New Mexico to no points while scoring 14 of their own. UNLV is now 3-0 in their last 3 games since going to Caleb Herring as the starting QB. In this game, he went 24/34 for 293 yards and 4TDs, 3 of which went to Devante Davis and the other went to Taylor Barnhill. RB Tim Cornett rushed for 178 yards and 3TDs, and Marcus Sullivan added another score on the ground. Now, if you aren’t already, you should sit down before reading the next sentence. New Mexico rushed for 497 yards. Four hundred and ninety seven. Almost 500 yards. RUSHING. 3 players went over 100 yards. This includes 108 yards and 2TD for QB Cole Gautsche, who was also 4/9 for 74 yards and a TD in the air, (the appropriately named) Kasey Carrier rushed for 192 yards and a TD, and Carlos Wiggins ran for 119 yards and 2TD as well as catching a TD. And, just in case you forgot, 497 total rush yards for New Mexico. But it wasn’t enough to beat the (Runnin’) Rebels.
Nevada 45 Air Force 42; Look! Some more MWCtion (sadly, that doesn’t have the same ring to it as MACtion does). Nevada is my home state and as long as they aren’t playing the Rebels, I root for the Wolf Pack. This game was another shootout, but came down to the wire. UNR had to score a TD with 1:45 left in the game to go up by one. They were then able to complete the 2-point conversion to go up by a FG. The game was sealed when Air Force QB Karson Roberts threw an interception with :56 left to play. Nevada QB Cody Fajardo was 38/54 for 389 yards and 3TD and also rushed for 2 more scores, including the game winner. RB Don Jackson also had a TD on the ground. AFA QB Karson Roberts was 5/10 for 55 yards, a TD and an INT, but did most of his damage on the ground running for 161 yards and 2TD. Broam Hart, Jon Lee, and Anthony LaCoste each ran for a TD as well. What a night for my two home state teams!
10Texas A&M 45 Arkansas 33; Though this game was a loss for the Razorbacks, they showed good things are coming in the future. The Hogs even had a chance to swing the momentum their way at the start of the second half. After Arkansas had made a FG at the end of the 1st half to cut the lead to just 4 points, they would be receiving the kickoff to start the second half, giving them the chance to take the lead. But A&M’s Deshazor Everett made a good read and picked off Brandon Allen and took it 34 yards for a TD. From the perspective of someone at the game, that was point I realized Arkansas was playing a heck of a game, but was just not as experienced a team. I also experienced one of the most electric moments in DWWRRS, that I was present for: a sack of Johnny Manziel. The only time I remember it being louder was when Ryan Mallett connected with Ronnie Wingo Jr for a TD on the first drive against Alabama in 2010. For Arkansas, this was the true freshmen’s time to shine. Both Alex Collins and Hunter Henry had 100+ yard games. RB Collins with 116 on the ground(his 4th 100+ yard game of the season) and TE Henry had 109 receiving yards. Jonathan Williams(not a freshman) combined for 120 all purpose yards and caught 2TDs with Keon Hatcher catching a TD as well. Manziel was forced to show off his passing accuracy in this game. And he did, going 23/30 for 261 yards and 2TD, and rushing for only 59 yards. He got help in the ground game from Ben Malena with 2TDs and Trey Williams with a TD. WR Mike Evans was on the receiving end of both of Manziel’s TDs and had 116 yards receiving. While Arkansas showed they are definitely building a strong foundation, fans must realize Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Razorbacks weren’t even supposed to compete with A&M, many were expecting a repeat of last year’s conference opener. The Hogs proved they can fight tusk and claw with one of the best teams in the country. Will they be able to do it again in The Swamp?
1Alabama 25 21Ole Miss 0
2Oregon 55 California 16
3Clemson 56 Wake Forest 7
4Ohio State 31 23Wisconsin 24
5Stanford 55 Washington State 17
8Florida State 48 Boston College 34
14Oklahoma 35 22Notre Dame 21
15Miami(FL) 49 USF 21
16Washington 31 Arizona 13
20Florida 24 Kentucky 7
25Fresno State 42 Hawaii 37
Tennessee 31 South Alabama 24
Idaho 26 Temple 24
Missouri 41 Arkansas State 19
Vanderbilt 52 UAB 24
*Stats and Scores from ESPN.com