While You Were Cheering: Recapping the CFB World, Week 6

Week 6 already?

Unfortunately, the CFB season is flying by before our very eyes.

Fortunately, THINGS GOT WEIRD!

Seven AP Top 25 teams (including three Top 10) lost by varying degrees of upset. For example, LSU losing to Florida on the road is a tough pill to swallow but not altogether unimaginable, but Auburn losing to Mississippi State is a different story (a defining win for Joe Moorhead’s young tenure).

To recap:

  • #5 LSU lost to Florida on the road, 27-19
  • #7 Oklahoma lost to #19 Texas in a heated Red River Rivalry on a last second field goal after coming back from 21 points down
  • #8 Auburn lost to Mississippi State while allowing 349 rushing yards to the Bulldogs
  • #13 Kentucky lost to Texas A&M in overtime on the road
  • #14 Stanford got blasted by Utah (at home). Even without Bryce Love to a really solid Utah team, I don’t think you can defend a 19-point loss at home
  • #20 Michigan State lost to Northwestern at home on homecoming, while holding the Wildcats to only 8 yards on the ground
  • #25 Oklahoma State lost a shootout at home to Iowa State, with walk-on QB Brock Purdy starting his first career game and promptly unloading for 318 yards and 4 TDs.

Uncomfortable Top 25 wins:

  • #10 Washington outlasted UCLA, winning 31-24
  • #17 Miami got past Florida State, 28-27
  • #21 Colorado got a solid win over Arizona State, 28-21
  • #23 NC State entered the 4th quarter up 28-10 but won 28-23 over an AJ Dillon-less Boston College

Things got weird in the lower P5 and G5 world as well, which we will cover shortly. Thankfully, Michigan did not get weird, taking care of Maryland 42-21, looking comfortable against a lesser opponent, but with a very difficult stretch ahead. Given the delay and the lengthy game of penalties, injuries (get well soon, Mike Dwumfour), and replays, there was plenty to miss in the other games of the day. Here’s what happened while you were cheering:

  • Paul Johnson Gets Personal
    • Georgia Tech crushed Louisville on Friday night, 66-31, but this one carried a little more weight than just another step closer to Bobby Petrino’s impending doom. I’ll try to break down the beef for you quickly: after Louisville’s current defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder took the head coaching job at Georgia Southern in 2004 (a few years after Paul Johnson had resigned to take the job at Navy), he quickly criticized Johnson’s triple option offense, despite Johnson’s success for the Eagles. Years later, Johnson is still running the triple option offense at Georgia Tech and put up a casual 66 points on VanGorder’s defense. Check it out:
  • MTSU Upsets Marshall
    • In a game that was tied at 17, Middle Tennessee State scored on 4 of their 5 second half possessions to get a big win over Marshall, 34-24. This game seemed lopsided going in; MTSU was 108th in S&P+ and Marshall was 65th.
  • Eastern Loses (Another) Nailbiter
    • Eastern Michigan lost one of the Directional Schools Battle to Western Michigan, 27-24, but had a 17-14 lead at halftime. Despite going 5-17 on 3rd down conversions, Eastern still collected almost 400 yards of offense and won the turnover battle…but not the game. Eastern falls to 0-3 in the MAC despite being one of the better teams according to S&P+. Bruh:
  • The SEC East Still Exists
    • South Carolina vs. Missouri was actually one of the games of the weekend despite fighting through multiple weather delays. With time winding down, Missouri kicker Tucker McCann nailed a 57-yard field goal to give Missouri a 35-34 lead with 1:18 to play. Not to be outdone, South Carolina drove the ball to the Missouri 16 and kicked a 33-yarder of their own to win the game 37-35. Drew Lock had a pretty forgettable day, connecting on 17 of 36 passes for only 204 yards and 2 interceptions; not the performance you want going into Bama week.
  • Syracuse Maximizing Weirdness
    • After going toe to toe with Clemson last week and nearly pulling off the upset (3rd-string QB, yada yada yada), Syracuse goes to Pitt…and loses in overtime. These teams were separated by over 30 spots in S&P+ going into the game and Eric Dungey has proven to be one of the more talented quarterbacks not only in the ACC, but the P5 conferences in general. Pitt set a season high in team rushing yards while holding Syracuse to their second-lowest total of the year (Clemson held them to fewer). Long story short, this was a very non-Pitt game, but an interception in the end zone seals the win for Narduzzi, 44-37.
  • Is Ohio Bad?
    • Ohio was one of the favorites in the MAC going into the season, but they have not played up to that preseason laud. They fell to 94th in S&P+ after beating a very bad Kent State team 27-26 on Saturday, winning via 4th quarter comeback on a Nathan Rourke rushing touchdown. All signs are pointing to the Buffalo vs. Ohio matchup for the MAC East division on November 14.
  • Air Force Won a Game!
    • And looked great doing it! Navy vs. Air Force is a game straight out of 1900, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. In a game that featured 16 total pass attempts, Navy scored the first touchdown with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter and then struggled mightily to move the ball the rest of the game; they went 3-and-out on 7 drives. Air Force held the Midshipmen to 129 rushing yards and scored 35 unanswered points en route to their 2nd win of the season.
  • Battle of the Mountain West City Colleges
    • After losing in Week 1 to Stanford, San Diego State lost Juwann Washington but has not lost a game, including wins over Arizona State and now Boise State by the score of 19-13, who was the G5 favorite to begin the season. This was uncharacteristic of Boise State, only putting up 229 total yards and 0 passing touchdowns (they had 13 through the first 4 games)., but San Diego State has played themselves into the 13th ranked defense on S&P+. This changes the landscape of the Mountain West conference, largely in favor of SDSU.
  • A Big Win for Matt Rhule
    • Baylor beat Kansas State 37-34 on a field goal with 8 seconds remaining and both teams managed to drop spots in S&P+, but this is a big win for Matt Rhule’s young tenure in Baylor. It doesn’t teach us much about Baylor as a team, considering this is their best win of the season, but with Texas and West Virginia on the schedule in the next two weeks, it will help psychologically. KSU’s Alex Barnes rushed for 250 yards on only 22 carries, an average of 11.4 YPC, but this is clearly the exception and not the rule, as he has not topped 4.4 YPC against FBS teams. This was an even match of bad teams that have very difficult schedules ahead.
  • UNLV Misses Armani Rogers
    • Even though he was completing his passes at a 41.8% rate, QB Rogers made that UNLV offense move with his feet. He broke a toe last week and will be out for the next six weeks, causing UNLV’s offense to come to a screeching halt against New Mexico, who is 110th in defensive S&P+, losing 50-14. UNLV only mustered 43 rushing yards and did not score until 2:25 remained in the 4th quarter, when it was already 36-0. This is a huge blow for the Rebels and things look bleak in the coming weeks, as they have Utah State, Air Force, Fresno State, and San Diego State all in the next 5 weeks.
  • UTEP Back?
    • Not really. Actually not at all. Even though UTEP climbed out of the S&P+ basement (130th to 126th), they lost to North Texas (50th, 32nd entering the game), 27-24. North Texas should have taken care of business much more efficiently; they never held more than a 10-point lead over the Miners, which looks bad especially considering they scored on 3 of their 4 second half possessions. UTEP has now lost their last 3 games by only 19 points (I know, but for UTEP that’s great!), and very possibly could win their game against Rice on November 3.
  • Arizona Is Just…Oh Man
    • They beat Cal, 24-14. But Khalil Tate remains trapped (8 rushes for 40 yards, 7 for 23 if you remove his long rush of 17 yards) and this game was just ugly. There was not a second half offensive touchdown. Here are the drive charts for each team:
      • Arizona: Interception, punt, fumble, missed field goal, punt, end of game
      • Cal: punt, punt, pick-six, turnover on downs, interception, fumble, pick-six, field goal
        I’ll just leave this one here. This game happened, that’s about all we have to say.
    • Here’s a great example of the second half of this game:
  • Hawaii: Good Team
    • Cole McDonald leads the country in damn near every category in football this season (Hawaii has an extra game under the belt and haven’t played great opponents, but whatever), but missed the Wyoming game because of an unspecified injury, forcing Hawaii to start a true freshman against Wyoming’s defense, which is what kept them competitive last year. Hawaii came up big down the stretch, fighting their way to a 17-13 win, in which Hawaii QB Chievan Cordeiro went 4-4 for 59 yards and a touchdown in their final drive that ended with 1:26 left. This is a sign to me that Hawaii is for real, overcoming all of these obstacles to grind out a win over a very good Wyoming defense without their star quarterback, and starting RB Dayton Furuta has some inspiring words for the future of the program:

It was weird at the top of the polls, but not so much down below. Teams mostly took care of business as they were supposed to, save for a few games, and most games weren’t close. In other fun news around the country:

  • Alabama continues to be so good it isn’t even fun. Tua has not played in the fourth quarter yet this season.
  • Nick Fitzgerald became the SEC’s all time leading rushing quarterback, passing Tim Tebow’s total…the same day Tebow was inducted into Florida’s extremely exclusive Ring of Honor (Fitzgerald and Mississippi State also piled on 349 rushing yards on Auburn).
  • Speaking of Auburn…
  • Oklahoma fired DC Mike Stoops after their loss to Texas in the Red River Rivalry. I get it, but I also don’t. Oklahoma’s brand has always been outscoring teams, not by stopping them. What good is this going to do mid-season when this team still has a very realistic shot at the playoff? But while I have you, regarding Red River:
  • This week in Turnover Props: Turnover Prop Trash Talk!

    FSU had the turnover backpack in Week 1 (it was meant to be a play on words of ‘securing the bag’), and Miami tweeted this out after barely beating a very bad team.

  • UAB won the uniforms game this week:

Next weekend’s slate is looking even less appetizing than this one, save for a few matchups:

  • Michigan vs. Wisconsin (College Gameday!)
  • Texas Tech vs TCU (beauty of a Thursday night game)
  • Air Force vs San Diego State (Friday)
  • Arizona vs Utah (Friday)
  • Duke vs Georgia Tech
  • Georgia vs LSU
  • Texas A&M vs South Carolina
  • UCF vs Memphis
  • Washington vs Oregon
  • UCLA vs Cal (Booty Bowl!)
  • West Virginia vs Iowa State
  • Hawaii vs BYU
  • Colorado vs USC

Not a ton of intriguing matchups, but plenty of games worth keeping an eye on. Thanks for reading and checking on what happened while you were cheering!

Photo Credit: ESPN

Bill Getschman