West Virginia QB Geno Smith had a monstrous game in the Mountaineers’ Big 12 debut against Baylor, which West Virginia won 70-63. His most impressive stat of the day: he had more touchdowns than incompletions. Smith went 45-51 with 656 passing yards and 8 TDs. His receivers, Stedman Bailey (303 yards and 5 TDs) and Tavon Austin (215 yards and 2 TDs) helped him out.
My first reactions to this shootout of a game: (1) I was one of the select few who had picked the Mountaineers to with the Big 12 title; (2) watching Smith the last few years, I really didn’t see him as an NFL prospect but with a game like this he’s clearly something special; and (3) how much fun would it be to see the two best offenses in the country, Oregon and West Virginia, in the national title game? One can only dream…
The week’s biggest upset occurred on Thursday night as Washington defeated No. 8 Stanford. The Huskies defense held Stanford to only 235 yards after three years of getting run over by the Stanford offense.
For scores and analysis from the first week of Big Ten conference play, check out our Big Ten Week 5 Recap.
Week Five Power Rankings:
1. Alabama (5-0)
Result: defeated Ole Miss 33-14
Next Week: IDLE
For the first time all season, ‘Bama trailed early at Ole Miss. However, it only lasted 15 seconds before kick returner Christion Jones ran a kickoff 99 yards for a TD. It was the fifth straight week that the Tide have scored over 30 points and held their opponent to less than 14. The offense didn’t look too solid against a weak Rebels team, but again it was the defense that was the difference maker.
2. West Virginia (4-0)
Result: defeated Baylor 70-63
Next Week: at Texas
It’s hard for me not to repeat myself in regards to the West Virginia-Baylor shootout above. But wow, 656 yards and eight TDs by Geno Smith alone is incredibly impressive. The offense totaled 807 yards and no turnovers. Even though the defense allowed 63 points, the Mountaineers should be tough to beat. A visit to Austin to play the Longhorns will be a great game to watch.
3. Oregon (5-0)
Result: defeated Washington State 51-26
Next Week: vs Washington
CenturyLink Field hasn’t been too kind to the favorite in the previous two football games this week but Oregon prevailed thanks to a 21-point third quarter. Ducks freshman QB Marcus Mariota finally looked human, throwing two interceptions. The offense was lead by RB Kenjon Barner, who scored four TDs (three rushing and one receiving). A big Top 25 matchup with Washington awaits next week.
4. Florida State (5-0)
Result: defeated South Florida 30-17
Next Week: at NC State
The second-ever meeting of in-state schools proved to be a tough road test for the ‘Noles. Heading into half, the ‘Noles lead 13-3 before turning it up in the second half. After a USF TD run, Florida State answered with a TD pass from E.J Manuel, a 23-yard FG and a 12-yard fumble return that helped put away the Bulls.
5. Georgia (5-0)
Result: defeated Tennessee 51-44
Next Week: at South Carolina
Georgia has scored 40 or more points in all of their games this season. The running game looked dominant with freshmen Keith Marshall accounting for 164 yards and two TDs and Todd Gurley running for 130 yards and two TDs. Any division title (and possibly national title) hopes will be on the line next week at South Carolina what should be the showcase game of week six.
6. Texas (4-0)
Result: defeated Oklahoma State 41-36
Next Week: vs West Virginia
Are the Longhorns back? My biggest question regarding Texas heading into the season was with their offense and QB play. David Ash emerged as the starter and has continued to play well, especially when they needed it. Ash went 30-37 with 304 yards and three TDs in a comeback victory in Stillwater. Ash did throw his first interception of the year after throwing eight last season.
7. Washington (3-1)
Result: defeated Stanford 17-13
Next Week: at Oregon
It was kinda disappointing to see the Huskies get destroyed against LSU a few weeks back. I for one had Washington ranked in my preseason Top 25 especially with a talent like QB Keith Price. It’ll be interesting to see if they can contain the Ducks next week in Eugene. It doesn’t get any easier after Oregon as they will welcome USC to Seattle the following week.
8. South Carolina (5-0)
Result: defeated Kentucky 38-17
Next Week: vs Georgia
QB Connor Shaw continues to play well, battling through the nagging injuries. Shaw displayed his throwing accuracy again in the victory over Kentucky. He only had three incompletions after throwing 20 straight completions last week. RB Marcus Lattimore helped establish the run as he went for 120 yards and two TDs. The Gamecocks will need all hands on deck for a HUGE SEC East game at home vs Georgia next week.
9. Ohio State (5-0)
Result: defeated Michigan State 17-13
Next Week: vs Nebraska
The victory over Michigan State wasn’t pretty but the Buckeyes got the job done. The Buckeyes’ defense kept Spartans RB LeVeon Bell in check. It’s a shame that Ohio State is bowl ineligible this season but I have no doubt in my mind that the Buckeyes’ will be contending for a national title in the future with Urban Meyer at the helm.
10. Northwestern (5-0)
Result: defeated Indiana 44-29
Next Week: at Penn State
This may be a bit bias coming from a guy who lives near Evanston, but Pat Fitzgerald‘s Wildcats are producing winning efforts. The Wildcats have three victories over BCS conference schools (Syracuse, Vanderbilt and Boston College). They could be looking at a 7-0 record heading into their matchup vs Nebraska in two weeks. However, their schedule is not favorable down the stretch which could total up some losses.
Week 6 Schedule Highlights
No. 4 LSU at No. 10 Florida (3:30 p.m. EST, CBS)
No. 5 Georgia at South Carolina (7 p.m. EST, ESPN)
No. 8 West Virginia at No. 11 Texas (7 p.m. EST, FOX)
No. 21 Nebraska at No. 12 Ohio State (8 p.m. EST, ABC)
No. 23 Washington at No. 2 Oregon (10:30 p.m. EST, ESPN)
Miami at Notre Dame (at Soldier Field) (7:30 p.m., EST, NBC)
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