What was already one of the more thrilling college football weeks of the year continued on Saturday as we had 5 top 25 matchups, a top 5 team struggle, and a good amount of storylines to talk about in the coming week. So let’s just dive right into it.
Ohio State makes a furious comeback: Last night we sent out a tweet listing our top 6 schools after week 4. Ohio State was not listed, because at the time (midway through the 4th quarter) they were losing by 13 points to number 9 ranked Penn State. However, we soon found out how very wrong we were about the 4th ranked Buckeyes, as they made a furious comeback and stole the game 27-26 in Happy Valley. Ohio State trailed the majority of the game, with Heisman hopeful quarterback Dwayne Haskins struggling mightily; however, Haskins and the offense came alive in the 4th quarter, as he constructed two long 4th quarter drives, including the one that left the Nittany Lions only 2:01 on the clock. Ohio State had to withstand a record performance from Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, who accounted for 461 yards of total offense, including 175 rushing yards to go along with 2 touchdown passes. However, it was Haskins and Ohio State who got the last laugh, as Penn State went for it on 4th and 6, running a read option that was blown up in the backfield to secure the Buckeyes’ 5th straight win of the season.
Fighting Irish deliver a statement win. Notre Dame came to play Saturday night. In their second ranked matchup of the year, the 8th ranked Irish delivered a pretty good beatdown to the 7th ranked Stanford Cardinal, by a score of 38-17. It was a story of how Notre Dame’s season has gone so far. The offense looked good to start the game, then the opponent came back to make it close, then the defense suffocated them to clinch the win. However, this time, Notre Dame wasn’t playing Michigan or Vanderbilt, they were playing Heisman hopeful Bryce Love and a Stanford team that just made a miraculous comeback the week before against Oregon. It didn’t matter though as the Irish held Stanford in check the entire 2nd half, only allowing 3 points. Meanwhile, Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book took advantage of getting the ball so much and threw for 278 yards and 4 touchdowns in the game.
Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia roll. Not every top 10 team had a ranked matchup this week, as number 1 ranked Alabama, number 2 ranked Georgia, and number 6 ranked Oklahoma all played unranked teams. Alabama was at home against Louisiana-Lafayette, and they rolled the Ragin’ Cajuns to a score of 56-14. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went 8-8 for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns in mainly just the 1st quarter. The real story here is that Jalen Hurts killed any rumors of him transferring, as he played in his 5th game of the season. The number 2 ranked Georgia Bulldogs had a field day with the Tennessee Volunteers, beating them 38-12. For a minute, it looked like Tennessee might contend with Georgia, as the score was 24-12 and the Vols had the ball to start the 4th quarter, but in the end it was the Bulldogs who pulled away. Freshman quarterback Justin Fields had some valuable time on the field, scoring 2 rushing touchdowns during the game; but don’t expect there to be any quarterback controversy in Athens as coach Kirby Smart said postgame that “there is no plan” regarding Justin Fields playing time. Number 6 Oklahoma was at home against the Baylor Bears, and earlier in the day it was announced that quarterback Kyler Murray wouldn’t start due to being late to practice. Murray clearly took the hint. Murray sat the Sooners’ first offensive series, but upon entering, he lit up the scoreboard, accounting for 7 touchdowns, tying Baker Mayfield’s school record. Murray passed for a career high 432 yards and set a school record with an efficiency rating of 348. It was a big day for the Sooners, and a big day for their Heisman candidate quarterback.
Clemson struggles against Syracuse. Coach Dabo Swinney probably wishes he had Kelly Bryant on Saturday. Earlier this week, Bryant announced his intentions to transfer after losing the starting quarterback job to freshman Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence started the game, and struggled against the Syracuse defense, but the real worry set in right before halftime as Lawrence was falling on a play and was hit in the head, immediately showing concussion like symptoms. The team announced he would not return to the game, leaving former 3rd string quarterback Chase Brice to lead the Tigers out of the 16-7 halftime deficit they faced, and to a win. Brice, who looked like he hadn’t played a game all season, played well when it mattered most, leading the Tigers on 2 4th quarter drives that resulted in touchdowns and shocked a Syracuse team that was looking to ruin Clemson’s season.
So there you have it, the main stories from week 5 of the College Football season. I’ll go ahead and give my top 6 teams following this weekend’s action below:
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
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