Week 5 of the 2012 college football season may well go down as the “week without a defense,” meaning we have lots of offensive studs to celebrate now that the dust has settled.
Yes, in the wonderful world of studs and duds and heroes and desperados, a Saturday filled with a salvo of offensive detonations brings the yard getters out of the gridiron woodwork.
The following slideshow gives you a slew of studs and a deluge of duds from what was a memorable Week 5.
And in doing so, we remember that lurking behind every final score are the tales of individual athletes' performances that combine to write a new chapter in the dusty yet glorious tome of college football history.
Gird your loins, my friends, it’s time for studs and duds, Week 5 style.
Sophomore RB Bishop Sankey reeled off 144 yards in Washington’s shocking 17-13 win over No. 8 Stanford, including a 61-yard TD dash at the end of the third quarter.
The long run closed the gap to 13-10 Cardinal, and were the first Husky points since a field goal in the first quarter.
Sankey’s achievements are even studlier in light of the fact that Stanford touted the No. 1 rushing D in the nation coming into Thursday night’s game, meaning they’d only allowed 41.67 yards per GAME coming into Week 5.
Sophomore WR Kasen Williams' 129 yards of receiving in the upset win over Stanford included a 35-yard connection with QB Keith Price for the game-winning score.
Williams has 25 catches for 292 yards far in 2012, a number that includes three grabs for 20-plus yards and three TDs.
Freshman QB Taysom Hill and freshman RB Jamaal Williams combined for 289 yards of rushing and three scores in BYU’s 47-0 drubbing of Hawaii this past Friday night.
Hill and Williams led the way for an offense that hung up a whopping 396 rushing yards on a Warrior D that had given up an average of only 142.46 ground yards per game coming into Week 5.
Perhaps the most stunning performance combined with the most shocking result in Week 5, senior RB Benny Cunningham’s 217 yards of rushing and five TDs propelled the Blue Raiders to a 49-28 win over Georgia Tech.
The last time Middle Tennessee beat a BCS team was back in 2009, when they nipped Maryland 32-31 on their way to a 10-3 record that ended with a win over Southern Miss in the New Orleans Bowl.
In case you hadn’t heard, Northwestern is 5-0 and hung up 704 yards and 44 points on Indiana in Week 5.
Yes, scores like 44-29 aren’t really what you think of when you think of Northwestern football, and if you want to know what is going on, check out backup QB junior Kain Colter.
Colter racked up 161 yards rushing and four TDs in the Wildcats' victory, leading Northwestern to a 394-yard rushing extravaganza.
Freshman Aggie QB Johnny Manziel ripped it up in A&M’s 58-10 beatdown of beleaguered Arkansas this past Saturday.
Manziel was 29-of-38 (76.3 percent) for 453 yards, three TDs and zero pick. And if that weren’t enough, he rushed for 104 yards and tacked on another score on the ground.
The ugly side of a glowing offensive explosion is always a generous, total-tolerance defense.
Baylor and West Virginia’s defenses combined to give up 1,507 yards (1,237 through the air), 67 first downs and 133 points in the Mountaineers' 70-63 defensive juggernaut win over the Bears in their Big 12 opener.
When you are the starting QB for a team that hung up 70 points on a conference opponent, you are likely to have posted some studly numbers.
Geno Smith was a frightening 45-of-51 for 656 yards, eight TDs and zero INTs in the Mountaineers' offensive explosion into Big 12 play.
At the receiving end of Geno Smith’s pass-happy explosion this past Saturday were junior WR Stedman Bailey and senior WR Tevon Austin, who combined for 518 yards receiving and seven TDs in the big win over Baylor.
Bailey racked up 303 yards and five scores on 13 receptions, while Austin pulled in 14 balls for 215 yards and two scores.
Senior LB Michael Mauti nabbed two picks in Penn State’s 35-7 drubbing of Illinois.
Mauti’s first INT came at the end of the second quarter on an Illinois 4th-and-goal at the Penn State 4-yard line. Mauti returned the ball 99 thrilling yards, which led to a blocked field goal as the half expired.
The second pick came late in the third quarter and also occurred in Penn State territory.
The pair of INTs were Mauti’s first picks this season.
Sophomore QB Max Shortell threw three picks in Minnesota’s 31-13 loss at Iowa on Saturday, costing the Golden Gophers an opportunity to extend their perfect record to 5-0.
Shortell had only thrown one pick all season coming into Week 5, where, along with the three picks, he was 20-of-33 for 197 yards and two scores.
The other side of the story of Iowa’s 31-13 win over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon was the tale of sophomore RB Mark Weisman and his 177 yards of rushing.
Weisman’s 177 came off of 21 carries and included the Hawkeyes' first TD of the game.
If you’re wondering how Kent State nipped Ball State 45-43 despite giving up 557 yards of offense, look no further than junior back Dri Archer.
Archer did it all for the Golden Flashes and racked up 72 yards rushing, 104 yards and two TDs as a receiver, and then tacked on 174 yards and an additional score (via a thrilling 99-yard return) as a kick returner.
In another Week 5 defensive showdown, Miami (Fla.) and NC State combined for 1,315 yards and 56 points on Saturday.
One of the big questions in this ACC explosion is, how in the world did NC State manage an eye-popping 664 yards of offense and still lose the game?
Well, how about committing an egregious six turnovers?
Four fumbles and two picks usually equals only one thing…and it starts with an L.
Junior QB Stephen Morris flat-out lit it up in the Hurricanes' 44-37 win over NC State by going 26-of-49 for 566 yards, five TDs and one pick.
Morris’ numbers have risen each week of the 2012 season, which at least partially explains how a very young Hurricanes team has managed to go 4-1 thus far.
Sophomores Rashawn Scott and Phillip Dorsett combined for 371 yards receiving and four scores in Miami’s triumph over NC State.
Scott gained 180 yards and two scores on six catches, while Dorsett busted out for 190 yards and two TDs on seven grabs.
Air Force hung up 516 yards of offense on Colorado State in their 42-21 victory this past Saturday, and the other part of the story is that they ran for 459 yards and passed for a mere 57.
The guy who has been carrying the pill week-in and week-out for the 2-2 Falcons is senior RB Cody Getz, who has eclipsed the 100-yard mark every week.
Getz upped the ante in Week 5 by blitzing for 222 yards on 25 carries, including a 52-yard run in the first quarter that set up Air Force’s opening score.
In a Week 5 chock full of offense, senior RedHawks QB Zac Dysert did his part by going 34-of-49 for 519 yards, six TDs and zero INTs versus Akron. And if that weren’t enough, he also rushed for an additional 109 yards.
At the end of the day, Miami popped off 709 yards and beat the Zips 56-49.
Another target that benefited from an offensive explosion, sophomore RB Dawan Scott caught 10 passes for 181 yards and two scores in the RedHawks' 56-49 score-fest win over Akron.
Part of the tale of the tape of Tulsa’s 49-42 win over UAB on Saturday is a Blazers rushing attack that gained only one positive yard on the ground.
Yes, UAB rushed for a grand total of one yard on Saturday.
Marshall posted 540 yards of offense in their 51-41 loss to Purdue, a number that included 445 yards of passing.
Yes, sophomore Thundering Herd QB Rakeem Cato was 44-of-68 for 445 yards and five scores versus Purdue, so, how did Marshall manage to lose by 10 points?
Well, Cato threw three costly picks and Marshall now stand with a 2-3 record.
Tyler Bray did go 24-of-45 for 281 yards and two scores in Tennessee’s 51-44 loss to Georgia on Saturday.
But when you are an unranked team and you lose by seven points to the No. 5 team in the land (on the road), it’s best not to have three picks listed next to your name in the box score.
The freshman rushing express of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley rolled for a combined 294 yards and five scores in the Bulldogs' huge win over Tennessee.
Marshall reeled off 164 yards and two scores on only 10 carries, while Gurley took his 24 touches and came up with 130 yards and three TDs.
Junior WR DeAndre Hopkins caught 11 passes for 197 yards and one score in Clemson’s 45-31 win at Boston College, further cementing his slot as the Tigers' No. 1 receiver.
Perhaps the biggest “wow” factor in the week from a rushing standpoint, junior RB Beau Blankenship hammered out a whopping 269 yards and two scores on an eye-popping 43 carries in Ohio’s narrow win over UMass.
The Bobcats ultimately carried the day, 37-34, a win that required 17 fourth-quarter points and kept Ohio U. undefeated.
The Buckeyes defense held Michigan State to only 34 yards rushing and zero rushing first downs in their huge 17-16 win over the Spartans.
If that doesn’t float your boat, how about the fact that they held Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell (who had 253 yards last week versus Eastern Michigan and 210 yards in the opener versus Boise State) to a mere 45 yards?
One of the ugly points of darkness in the Vandals' 66-0 beatdown at the hands of North Carolina is the performance of junior QB Dominique Blackman.
Blackman went 19-of-35 (54.3 percent) for 109 yards, zero TDs and a whopping four picks.
Another week, another Louisiana Tech win over a BCS team.
This week the victim was Virginia, who hung up 625 yards on the Bulldogs but still lost 44-38 to the team from the WAC with a bunch of offense and just enough defense to survive.
Part of the story of Week 5’s La. Tech triumph was Virginia QB Michael Rocco, who went 14-of-23 for 278 yards, two scores and three costly INTs before leaving the game.
Rocco has thrown six TDs against eight INTs through five games in 2012.
Running back Leighton Settle and QB Jordan Lynch combined for 296 of NIU’s 407 total rushing yards in their 55-24 beatdown of Central Michigan.
Settle reeled off 152 yards and three scores on 23 carries, and Lynch tacked on 144 rushing yards and one score on 21 touches.
Green Wave quarterback D.J. Ponder was 21-of-44 for 160 yards, one TD and a dismal three picks in Tulane’s 63-10 Week 5 drubbing at the hands of the streaking ULM.
Unbelievably, the program that just joined the FBS in 2009 and has won only nine games in three seasons is 4-1 after five weeks of play in 2012.
Part of WKU’s stunning success this year can be traced back to junior RB Antonio Andrews, who racked up over 100 yards of rushing in wins over Kentucky and Southern Miss and then blitzed for 215 this past Saturday.
Yes, Andrews’ 215 yards and one score on 29 carries is a big part of the reason the Hilltoppers beat Arkansas State 26-13 to move to 4-1 on the season.
Senior DL Quanterus Smith registered a whopping 3.5 sacks in Western Kentucky’s 26-13 win over Arkansas State, bringing his sack total on the season up to 6.5, a mark good enough to tie him for No. 3 in the nation.
SMU’s defensive unit did a stellar job this past Saturday, holding No. 15 ranked TCU to 220 yards of total offense and only 30 yards rushing.
So, what went wrong and how in the world did the Ponies lose 24-16 to the Frogs?
Well, it’s not nice to point fingers, but QB Garrett Gilbert threw five picks in a performance that included going 15-of-40 (37.5 percent) for 190 yards and one score.
Junior Rocket RB David Fluellen was listed as “probable” for Saturday’s trip to Western Michigan due to a head injury, a status that should have read “will probably run for a bunch of freaking yards.”
Fluellen ripped off 213 yards and three scores on 21 carries in the 37-17 win, setting a season-high mark for himself and propelling his team to a 4-1 record.
Another victim of the Week 5 interception bug, WMU junior QB Tyler Van Tubbergen coughed up three picks in the loss to Toledo.
Van Tubbergen was 26-of-46 for 232 and one score, and the three picks were the only three he’s thrown all season.
Though other guys threw for more yards and scores on the week, David Ash was the QB that finally got it done for Texas when he had to.
Ash was a solid 30-of-37 (81.1 percent) for 304 yards, three scores and one pick, and he was a huge component of the Longhorns' scrappy 41-36 win over Oklahoma State.
Even though the Cowboys ultimately dropped their Week 5 thriller to Texas, Joseph Randle still cranked out a performance worthy of stud mention.
Randle rushed for 199 yards and two scores on 25 carries, earning his fifth consecutive 100-plus yard performance on the season.
Senior RB D.J. Monroe returned two kicks for 120 yards in the win over Oklahoma State, a performance anchored by a thrilling 100-yard dash for a TD late in the first quarter.
Yes, a full field-length return for a score is an even bigger deal when you wind up winning the game by five points.
The Utah State Aggies are a two-point loss at Wisconsin from being perfect in 2012, and leading the way is sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton from Houston.
Keeton posted a season-high 402 yards in Saturday’s 35-13 win over UNLV, a mark that included four TD tosses and just one INT.
One of the few highlights of what seemed like a lackluster Alabama performance versus Ole Miss on Saturday night, sophomore WR Christion Jones chalked up 142 yards and one TD via three kick returns.
Jones’ biggest zip came early in the second quarter when he darted 99 yards for a Tide TD, a huge contribution to Alabama’s relatively narrow 33-14 victory.
A full 161 of Oregon State’s 180 rushing yards in the Beavers' Saturday-night thriller over Arizona came via freshman RB Storm Woods.
Woods reached the mark on 25 carries and contributed a TD to the bottom line of a 38-35 final score.
Woods is a guy to watch moving forward. His numbers keep improving and the Beavers keep winning. He ran for 36 yards and no scores in the opening win over Wisconsin, he ran for 96 yards and a single score in the win over UCLA, and then he exploded against the Wildcats.
In a contest where all the QBs threw some picks into the basket, Katz set the bar a little too high with three INTs.
Things get even more desperate when you look at a total statistical resume that includes going 13-of-23 for only 160 yards, two scores and then those three nagging INTs.
Katz and the Aztecs wound up losing their Week 5 road trip to Fresno State by a score of 52-40.
One of the major factors in Oregon’s somewhat slippery 51-26 win over Washington State on Saturday night was the hard running of senior standout RB Kenjon Barner, who posted his second-best single game stats of the season.
Barner blitzed for 195 yards and 20 carries and took the ball to the house three times. If that weren’t enough, Barner tacked on another 37 yards and an extra TD receiving.
If you want to put Barner’s numbers in perspective, he personally provided 195 of Oregon’s 300 rushing yards on the night.
Though balance isn’t an expected virtue of any Mike Leach-run offense, Wazzou brought disparity to a whole new level in their scrappy clash with Oregon.
Sure, the Cougars had only managed to gain an average of 59 yards of rushing coming into Week 5’s game in Seattle, but even that doesn’t make posting a rushing total of minus-eight yards seem right.
That’s negative-eight yards of rushing versus 410 yards of passing for a grand total of 402 yards of offense.