Winners and Losers from College Football Week 6
What a weekend of college football!
Courtesy of Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators we were given a colossal upset in the SEC.
However, what about the rest of the nation? No worries, as there is plenty to dish around from a slate of great games.
Well, Gators fans saw in-state rival Florida State go down to the wire against N.C. State, and the BCS is shaping up to be insane. Could Kansas State remain undefeated? Did Stanford survive against the explosive Arizona Wildcats?
Well, there were certainly some exhilarating games, and Week 6 encompassed us with a lot of pandemonium. That said, here are the winners and losers from the beginning of October.
Winner: Florida Gators
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Will Muschamp and the Florida Gators got an enormous win with an excellent team effort.
Winning, 14-6, in The Swamp, the Gators limited LSU to only 42 rushing yards on 25 attempts and 200 total yards of offense.
Forcing three turnovers in the process, Florida won the time of possession battle by nearly one full quarter, and it allowed running back Mike Gillislee to compile 146 yards and two scores.
Florida is back, and the SEC East has more depth to challenge the West in 2012.
Loser: Florida State
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Florida State's national title hopes are dashed.
Losing in dramatic fashion to ACC rival N.C. State, 17-16, the Seminoles need a lot of BCS help for any chance to get back in the mix.
Up 16-0 at halftime, Florida State was blanked in the second half. Jimbo Fisher's defense gave up a touchdown in the waning seconds to lose. EJ Manuel was held in check with just 218 passing yards, and the 'Noles offense never hit a consistent rhythm.
The killer situation was fourth down for Florida State's defense. The Wolfpack went a combined 3-of-4 when attempting the convert the final down and also only turned the ball over once.
Loser: The BCS
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The dominance of those left undefeated is going to really cause some BCS controversy in 2012.
Like 2004 when the Auburn Tigers were left out of the national title party, this season is shaping up to be just that but on a whole 'nother level.
Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Mississippi State and Rutgers are all capable of running the table.
Now yes, we'll get some clarity when conference matchups such as South Carolina-Florida, Mississippi State-Alabama, the SEC title game, West Virginia-Kansas State and Oregon-Oregon State square off.
Still, that leaves us with at least five BCS schools sitting perfect after the conference title games conclude. Lest we forget about others like the Ohio Bobcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, Louisville Cardinals and Louisiana Tech.
And although the Buckeyes are ineligible, Ohio State continuing to win cannot go unnoticed.
Loser: Dawgs Rushing Offense
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Georgia got nothing from its rushing offense against South Carolina.
At least, nothing in comparison to how well the Bulldogs were crushing defenses at the line in previous contests.
Instead, the Gamecocks brought the physical aspect to Georgia and limited the Dawgs to 115 yards on 36 carries. Todd Gurley was held to 39 yards on 13 attempts, and Georgia didn't reach the end zone until the final two minutes.
In turn, this played a key factor when Aaron Murray was dropping back to pass. The Dawgs' ground game couldn't get established to set up play-action, and South Carolina worked the trenches on both sides.
Winner: West Virginia
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The West Virginia Mountaineers got a key win on the road against the Texas Longhorns.
Winning 48-45, West Virginia is now 5-0 and 2-0 in the Big 12.
Geno Smith remains the Heisman Trophy front-runner with 268 yards on 25 completions, and he still has yet to throw an interception. Now with 24 touchdowns on the year, Smith and Co. average 52 points per game and are arguably the nation's most explosive attack.
Now, the Mountaineers must improve defensively.
West Virginia has allowed an average of 35 points per game, and other offensive firepowers like Oklahoma State and Oklahoma are capable of pulling the upset. Nevertheless, the Mountaineers offense can lead to a conference title.
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Ranked No. 3 in the coaches' poll entering The Swamp, LSU significantly struggled against Florida.
After all, Les Miles' offense came in averaging 39 points and over 400 total yards per contest.
Well, the Gators simply shut down everything LSU called, and turnovers were even more costly. To make matters worse, the Bayou Bengals went just 1-of-13 on third down and were penalized eight times for 83 yards.
Florida's defense outplayed that of LSU, and the stripped fumble of receiver Odell Beckham by Matt Elam was the turning point. The Gators made bigger plays, and it's no surprise LSU fell short.
Winner: South Carolina
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The South Carolina Gamecocks literally annihilated the Georgia Bulldogs, 35-7.
Getting out to a quick, 21-0 first-quarter lead, the Gamecocks remained in control throughout.
Quarterback Connor Shaw accounted for 240 total yards and three scores, while Marcus Lattimore ran for 109 yards and one touchdown as well.
Defensively, South Carolina was just straight up suffocating. Although the Dawgs turned the rock over only one time, Aaron Murray was sacked twice and completed just 35.4 percent of his passes.
Georgia's rushing attack was limited to 115 yards, and it's no surprise South Carolina won the time of possession battle by over six minutes. Improving to 6-0, playing at LSU and at Florida the next two weeks will test Steve Spurrier's squad.
Winner: Irish in the Windy City
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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a second field to call home: Soldier Field.
For as tough as the Irish are difficult to compete against in the Golden Dome, Notre Dame has been tougher in Chicago through its history.
To that end, Irish fans all over the world should be asking for Notre Dame to play in Chicago whenever the Bears are traveling on Sundays. It would significantly enhance Notre Dame's odds at perfection, thus giving more debate to the BCS.
Loser: Miami Hurricanes Offense
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The Miami Hurricanes entered their contest against Notre Dame by averaging over 35 points per game.
And then Stephen Morris and Co. were restricted to a measly three points.
Now, much can be attributed to the number of dropped passes by the Hurricanes receivers. Early on, Morris was putting the ball on target, especially during the first drive, but those receivers were just unreliable.
As the game continued, Notre Dame quickly adjusted and didn't give up anything downfield. The 'Canes gained only 285 total yards and were 4-of-12 on third down. In addition, Miami lost the time of possession battle 39:08 to 20:52 and sit at an unsurprising record of 4-2.
Winner: Bradley Roby
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Ohio State's Bradley Roby is one of the nation's more underrated defenders.
Recording three interceptions and making 47 tackles in 2011, Roby has stepped up his game in 2012.
Against Nebraska this week, Roby picked off Taylor Martinez two times and took one back for a touchdown. His pick-six was on Nebraska's second possession of the game, and it immediately put the Buckeyes up, 7-0.
Despite the 'Huskers regaining the lead shortly thereafter, Roby's presence helped Ohio State limit Martinez's effectiveness throughout. And ultimately, it wasn't surprising to see Urban Meyer's team gain control in the second half to win.
Winner: The State of Ohio
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The state of Ohio has three undefeated teams right now.
The Ohio State Buckeyes slammed the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Cincinnati Bearcats are 4-0 by destroying Miami of Ohio and the Ohio Bobcats survived Buffalo, 38-31, to get to 6-0.
With Ohio State holding on, that's 16-0 between all three as we begin October college football, so the state has a lot to be excited for.
Just imagine if all three finished perfect: That would be crazy good.
Loser: Washinton State-Oregon State Offensive Execution
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Oregon State got a sloppy, sloppy win over Washington State on Saturday.
Turning the rock over three times, the Beavers possessed the ball for 39 minutes and 15 seconds but scored just 19 points.
Additionally, Oregon State was flagged 11 times for 110 yards and went only 9-of-20 on third down.
As for Washington State, the Cougars turned it over four times and gained a mere 20 rushing yards on 14 carries. To no one's surprise, Wazzou was held to only six points and recorded only 14 first downs.
This was an ugly game across the board; however, with the Beavers now 4-0, the BCS controversy is only heating up.
Loser: Virginia Tech in the Trenches
Virginia Tech may have scored 34 points against North Carolina, but the Hokies got worked at the line of scrimmage.
Attempting to run the rock 25 times versus the Tar Heels, Frank Beamer's offense gained just 40 rushing yards, which averaged to 1.6 yards per carry.
On the flip side, North Carolina smashed Virginia Tech on the ground for 339 rushing yards on 45 carries and four touchdowns. Averaging 7.5 yards per rush, the Tar Heels collected 27 first downs and upped their record to 4-2.
The Hokies lost, 42-34, and are 1-3 in their last four contests.
Winner: Kansas State
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Yes, it was Kansas; however, Kansas State is winning in dominant fashion.
Crushing the Jayhawks, 56-16, the Wildcats improved to 5-0 and build momentum for Iowa State next week.
Running back John Hubert proved to be a great complement to Collin Klein with four touchdowns this week, so keep an eye on him as 2012 continues.
Along with upending the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Kansas State smashed Missouri State and Miami (Florida) to start the year. Aside from a mediocre showing and scare against North Texas, the Wildcats are piling up convincing wins.
Now, on the road against the Cyclones will be no easy task. After all, Iowa State basically ruined Oklahoma State's national title hopes last season. But if Collin Klein and Co. go into Jack Trice Stadium and dominate, Kansas State significantly increases its odds at perfection.
Winner: Collin Klein
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Collin Klein is a legit Heisman Trophy contender.
No, his numbers aren't nearly as explosive as Geno Smith's or Matt Barkley's. However, this guy simply wins games for K-State.
Since taking full responsibility under center for Bill Snyder last season, Klein's record is 15-3, and the Wildcats have immediately become a college football force.
With 245 total yards and four total touchdowns against Kansas, Klein remains one of the nation's most dynamic threats.
Loser: Charlie Weis
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Charlie Weis is failing miserably as Kansas head coach.
Known for being an offensive genius, Weis' offense has managed just 20 points per game in 2012.
Unexpectedly, the Jayhawks are 1-4, and Weis' lone win came over South Dakota State in Week 1. Don't anticipate Kansas winning a Big 12 conference game until Weis looks to improve the defense. The Jayhawks allowed 475 total yards to Kansas State.
Winner: Bill O'Brien
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After starting out 0-2, the Penn State Nittany Lions are now 4-2.
Considering what Penn State's football program has endured since last season, coming into that kind of situation is a lot to take in.
Bill O'Brien, however, has turned out to be the right choice for the Nittany Lions' new era. Down 28-17 in the fourth quarter to undefeated Northwestern, the Lions came back to win, 39-28.
Something positive is happening in Penn State, now 2-0 in the Big Ten.
Winner: Frank Solich
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Folks, the Ohio Bobcats are becoming a Cinderella story in 2012.
Taking their record to 6-0, the Bobcats are now 33-9 under Frank Solich since 2009.
Prior to Solich coming to town in 2005, the Bobcats had been to just two bowl games, the most recent being in 1968. With Solich, Ohio has since gone to four bowl games in the past six seasons.
Not to mention, Solich had a solid career for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1998 through 2003. There, he went 58-19 and finished ranked inside the Top 10 three times. In short, the Bobcats are going to be a great non-BCS challenger for quite a while.
Loser: Casey Pachall
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The TCU Horned Frogs fell, 37-23, to the Iowa State Cyclones and are now 4-1. The reason for the loss, however, can be attributed to the absence of quarterback Casey Pachall.
According to Brett McMurphy and David Ubben of ESPN.com:
Coach Gary Patterson announced the suspension hours after police say Pachall was pulled over for running a stop sign near TCU's Fort Worth campus.
Certainly an unfortunate set of circumstances for head coach Gary Patterson and his team. Considering that Pachall had thrown 10 touchdowns to only one pick through 2012's first four games, his off-the-field decision-making cost TCU a win.
Winner: Josh Nunes
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Andrew Luck who?
Josh Nunes is proving to be the man for the Stanford Cardinal.
Throwing for 360 yards and two touchdowns on 21 completions en route to an impressive comeback win over Arizona, Nunes also carried the ball for 33 yards and three more scores.
This performance was emphatically impressive also, as Nunes was coming off a rough outing against the Washington Huskies. That can only give more confidence to Stanford and David Shaw's offense as 2012 progresses.
Winner: Matt Scott
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The losing quarterback in the Arizona-Stanford shootout, Matt Scott, was equally as impressive as Josh Nunes.
Connecting on 65 percent of his passes, Scott sliced for 491 yards and three touchdowns (one interception).
Six different players on Arizona caught three-plus balls and two had 10-plus. With this kind of insane production from the Wildcats, if the defense improves Arizona will finish strong despite facing a gauntlet of a schedule.
Loser: Indiana Football
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The Indiana Hoosiers squandered a 27-14 lead against Michigan State at home. Losing, 31-27, the Hoosiers are now 0-2 in conference play this season, and it's not going to get any easier.
With conference games against Ohio State, at Illinois, home against Iowa and Wisconsin and on the road versus Penn State and Purdue remaining, the Hoosiers could certainly close out 0-8 in the Big Ten.
Even worse, Indiana has managed only three conference wins the past four years.
Winner: Military Keeping It Old-School
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If you like old-school football, allow the military to satisfy that hunger.
This week we got to see Air Force and Navy square off, and the two offenses combined for 648 rushing yards on 118 carries.
Leading the ball-carriers was Cody Getz of Air Force with 204 yards on 29 attempts and one score. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Navy's defense tightened up in overtime and the Midshipmen won, 28-21.
Elsewhere, the Army Black Knights got an impressive win over Boston College, 34-31. Army stayed true to its run-heavy philosophy and racked up 516 rushing yards on 79 attempts. Quarterback Trent Steelman scored three times and his 29-yard scamper was the game-winner for Army.
For those loving physical offenses, Army, Air Force and Navy simply know how to get it done.
Loser: Chandler Whitmer
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The Rutgers Scarlet Knights are for real, and the Connecticut Huskies got a taste of that this week.
Quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw four interceptions to the Scarlet Knights defense, and on the day Whitmer finished with 191 yards, going 14-of-32 with no touchdowns.
What's interesting is that Whitmer was sacked just one time by Rutgers. So, it's not like he was under constant duress every time he dropped back.
The Scarlet Knights just blanketed across every level, and the disguised coverages affected Whitmer's decision-making.
Loser: Northwestern Offense
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Entering the game against Penn State, Northwestern was 5-0 and averaging almost 34 points per game. In addition, Pat Fitzgerald's offense was getting the Wildcats 255.8 rushing yards a contest as well.
Facing a tough Nittany Lions defense, though, Northwestern managed only 247 total yards and got 112 on the ground. Obviously, the Venric Mark punt return touchdowns did take away from offensive production.
That said, the Wildcats were still forced to punt eight times and possessed the ball for only 20 minutes and 43 seconds. Going 4-of-13 on third down, Northwestern recorded only 14 first downs. The overall lack of execution led to Penn State's 22 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
Winner: Duke Football
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Don't look now, but the Duke Blue Devils are tearing it up.
On Saturday Duke waxed Virginia, 42-17, and improved its record to 5-1 overall.
Interestingly enough, the Blue Devils were outgained by the Cavaliers and had fewer first downs, less time of possession and fared worse on third down.
Still, the Dukies came out on top in dominating fashion, and the defense forced two turnovers as well.
With winnable games coming up against Virginia Tech and North Carolina, Duke could definitely be 7-1 when it lines up against Florida State.