Winners and Losers from Week 5 of College Football
After a forgettable Week 4, college football bounced back in a big way, as Georgia and LSU put on a show in a classic SEC battle.
Before UGA's triumph, Week 5 kicked off with a massive Big 12 upset, with West Virginia taking down conference favorite Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, Oklahoma topped Notre Dame thanks to a host of blunders from the Irish.
In the ACC, two Heisman Trophy hopefuls helped lead their teams to blowout victories against overmatched opponents, effectively bolstering their campaigns for college football's biggest individual honor.
Later in the day, Alabama easily held off an upset bid from Ole Miss and Texas A&M exploded on offense for its first SEC win of the year.
Note: This slideshow will be updated throughout Saturday's action.
Winner: Virginia Tech and Frank Beamer's Victory Dance
Virginia Tech needed a signature win to kick off ACC play after a slow start to the season.
Not surprisingly, VT did it with defense, holding Georgia Tech to just 273 total yards in a 17-10 victory Thursday night.
The Yellow Jackets had amassed 1,036 rushing yards through their first three games but managed just 129 against the Hokies.
Frank Beamer's squad still has its offensive issues, but that didn't stop him from celebrating the Thursday-night triumph. Bleacher Report's Ken Dorset has an Instagram video of the VT coach's hilarious Hokie shuffle.
Loser: Oklahoma State Flops
Anyone who predicted the West Virginia defense holding Oklahoma State to just 21 points should immediately be hired by ESPN's College GameDay.
The ESPN preview-show hosts unanimously predicted the Cowboys would rack up at least 50 points against the Mountaineers, but it was the WVU defense that held strong in the 30-21 upset.
OSU did tally 433 yards, including a total of 374 from dual-threat quarterback J.W. Walsh. The WVU defense might have bent, but it didn't break.
A major turning point in the game came when the Mountaineers stopped the Cowboys cold in the red zone in the fourth quarter, which was their first trip inside the 20 without a touchdown on the season. Not only did OSU not reach paydirt, but it missed the field goal as well—one of many special-teams blunders on the day.
After entering the game as the highest-ranked Big 12 team and a favorite to win the league crown, Oklahoma State will have to start all over again next week against Kansas State.
Winner: West Virginia's Huge Upset
West Virginia was embarrassed by Maryland, 37-0, a week ago and also lost its starting quarterback in the process.
So rather than implode completely, the Mountaineers plugged in Florida State transfer Clint Trickett under center and came out looking like a completely different team against Oklahoma State.
Trickett took a number of hard hits and briefly left the game with an apparent shoulder injury. After going to the locker room, he reentered and led consecutive scoring drives to seal the 30-21 upset.
Ishmael Banks and Darwin Cook each picked off J.W. Walsh. Banks returned his for a touchdown in the first quarter, while Cook's interception came in the fourth and marked the end of the Cowboys' comeback attempt.
The Mountaineers will go on the road next week to take on Baylor, who has averaged just shy of 70 points per game this year.
Loser: North Carolina's Defense
North Carolina had one of its best offensive performances of the season against East Carolina, but the Tar Heel defense was another story.
UNC tallied 31 points and 465 yards on offense, but gave up 603 total yards in the 55-31 loss.
Tar Heel quarterback Bryn Renner had a solid day, throwing for 366 yards and three touchdowns, but it just wasn't enough.
ECU signal-caller Shane Carden accounted for six touchdowns: three rushing and three passing. He also connected on 32-of-47 passes for 376 yards, hooking up with 12 different receivers.
The Tar Heels won't play Clemson or Florida State in the regular season, but they still don't look capable of competing for an ACC title.
Winner: TCU Bounces Back
It had been 16 days since TCU lost its Big 12 opener to Texas Tech and the Horned Frogs were reeling after the loss of quarterback Casey Pachall.
It looked like TCU's skid would continue as it fell behind, 10-7, just before halftime against SMU.
The Horned Frogs jumped into action in the second half, though, piling on 41 of the game's next 48 points, including 31 in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Trevone Boykin had a solid day, completing 15-of-26 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns, and the Horned Frogs also scored on defense and special teams in the win.
Loser: Offense in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh topped Virginia in an ugly 14-3 affair in a game completely devoid of offense.
Neither team eclipsed 200 total yards on offense and combined to go 8-of-36 on third downs.
Pitt totalled a whopping eight rushing yards and averaged 0.2 yards per carry. UVA wasn't much better, averaging just 2.0 yards per rush for a total of 65 yards on the ground.
The ACC contest also featured five turnovers. Things could get ugly when these teams face tougher competition.
Winner: South Carolina RB Mike Davis
Meanwhile in Orlando, South Carolina running back Mike Davis had an incredible day on the ground.
South Carolina wasn't particularly impressive and had to overcome a 10-point deficit to knock off UCF, 28-25, but Davis was outstanding.
The sophomore had 167 rushing yards and three touchdowns, two from 13 yards out and the other from 53.
The Gamecocks needed a big day out of Davis after quarterback Connor Shaw left the game with a sprained shoulder during their first offensive series.
Loser: Almost Too Much Cruise Control for Tennessee
It looked like it would be smooth sailing for Tennessee against South Alabama after the Volunteers opened up a 31-7 lead in the third quarter off a touchdown run by Rajion Neal.
Up by four scores, the Vols flipped on cruise control.
However, the Jaguars responded with three unanswered scores and were just a few yards away from a game-tying touchdown. Fortunately, UT reeled in its third interception of the day in the end zone to avoid the collapse.
As of Saturday afternoon, the Vols were tied with Virginia Tech with a nation-leading 11 interceptions on the year.
They'll need to keep that trend going, as Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama loom on the schedule over the next month.
Winner: Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase
Nathan Scheelhaase had an enormous day as Illinois smashed Miami (Ohio), 50-14.
The senior tossed five touchdown passes (all in the first half), while also recording just five incompletions.
In completing 19-of-24 passes for 278 yards, the Illini quarterback notched his third game with a completion rate higher than 70 percent and his third performance with more than 275 yards through the air.
While the Illini likely won't be in contention for the Big Ten title, they look much improved from their 2-10 run last year.
Loser: 2-Yard Punt
If the Guinness Book of World Records had been on hand for Miami (FL)'s 49-21 win over South Florida, a record might have gone down.
South Florida punter Mattias Ciabatti shanked what could be the worst punt in history, a two-yard clunker.
Bleacher Report's Ken Chin has a GIF of the epic dud.
Winner: Georgia Keeps Title Hopes Alive
Georgia and LSU's high-scoring affair didn't disappoint.
The two Top 10 SEC foes went back and fourth, jumping each other like a high-stakes checkers game until UGA was left standing in the end.
The Bulldogs totaled 494 yards—just shy of 300 passing and 200 rushing—in the 44-41 win. Aaron Murray was outstanding, throwing for 298 yards and four touchdowns, including a game-winning 25-yard strike to Justin Scott-Wesley in the final two minutes.
Georgia did, however, lose star running back Todd Gurley to a sprained ankle just before halftime. Fortunately, he'll have some time to heal before UGA's next serious test on Nov. 2 against Florida.
After the monumental win, the Dawgs remain an overwhelming favorite to win the SEC East division, which could mean an opportunity to appear in the BCS title game.
Loser: LSU Down but Not out
While the loss to Georgia is crippling for LSU, not all is lost for the Tigers. LSU faces arguably the nation's toughest schedule this year, so at least one loss was almost inevitable.
The Tigers can still make the conference title game if they can take down Alabama and Texas A&M late in the year.
While their fate is still largely undecided, one thing was learned about the Tigers in this game: They are one of the nation's most talented teams.
Zach Mettenberger was fantastic, throwing for 372 yards and three touchdowns. If he continues to play well, LSU will have a chance to win no matter its opponent.
Winner: Oklahoma Dominates Notre Dame
Oklahoma never trailed on the road against Notre Dame. The Sooners used an efficient performance to control the Irish throughout in the 35-21 win.
OU didn't commit a single turnover, while the Irish threw three interceptions. Blake Bell was outstanding under center, connecting on 22-of-30 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
His 54-yard link-up with Sterling Shepard in the fourth quarter sealed the deal for the Sooners.
After Oklahoma State's loss, OU might now be the team to beat in the Big 12.
Loser: Tommy Rees
The story of the day for Notre Dame could have been the monster game from running back George Atkinson III.
The junior amassed 148 yards and a touchdown on the ground on just 14 carries, but his performance was nullified by an awful game from quarterback Tommy Rees.
Rees finished just 9-of-24 for 104 yards and threw three interceptions in the 35-21 loss.
Those blunders not only neutralized Atkinson's big day, but also cost Notre Dame a shot at victory.
With two losses, ND will now be bounced from the polls. And with a meeting with Arizona State coming next week, it'll be an uphill battle back into the rankings for the Irish.
Winners: Jameis Winston and Tajh Boyd's Heisman-Worthy Performances
While one Heisman Trophy favorite, Teddy Bridgewater, was out of action, Tajh Boyd and Jameis Winston took advantage and had enormous days.
Boyd led Clemson to a 56-7 triumph over Wake Forest, completing 17-of-24 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran 17 times for 69 yards and a score.
The senior hit his favorite target, receiver Sammy Watkins, six times for 113 yards and a touchdown.
The road was a little rougher for Winston and Florida State. The Seminoles had to overcome a 14-point second-quarter deficit to eventually hold off Boston College, 48-34.
Though it wasn't as convincing of a win, Winston led the way with 330 passing yards and 67 rushing yards. He also had four touchdown passes, including one from 55 yards and another from 56.
Both quarterbacks are very much in the Heisman Trophy race.
Loser: Duke's Defensive Struggles vs. Troy
Duke went to its first bowl game in nearly two decades last season and has its eyes on another bowl bid this season.
However, the Blue Devils nearly saw those hopes go up in flames against Troy.
They did escape with a 38-31 win, but they were tied twice with the Trojans and led by just four points before a field goal in the final minute.
The Duke defense struggled mightily and was gouged for more than 500 yards. If the Blue Devils expect to win in ACC play, they'll need to tighten up defensively.
Winners: Brandin Cooks and Oregon State
Brandin Cooks' ridiculous 2013 campaign continued with another stat-stuffing game against Colorado.
The junior caught nine passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns to help Oregon State smother Colorado, 44-17.
Cooks was the biggest benefactor of a massive day from quarterback Sean Mannion, who tossed six touchdown passes and 414 yards. He has now thrown for more than 350 yards and three or more touchdowns in all five of the Beavers' games this year.
Meanwhile, Cooks has 90 or more receiving yards in every game, nine receiving touchdowns and four games with multiple touchdown catches.
Loser: The Big Ten vs. Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois: 2, Big Ten: 0.
The Huskies smashed Purdue, 55-24, for their second win against a Big Ten opponent this season.
NIU beat Iowa, 30-27, in Week 1 but needed a last-second field goal to do so. The Huskies left little doubt in the outcome this time around, forcing the Boilermakers into five turnovers.
In the winning effort, they scored on the ground, through the air, off an interception return and a kickoff return, while also connecting on a pair of field goals.
Quarterback Jordan Lynch tossed three touchdown passes and his backup, Matt McIntosh, added another in the fourth quarter.
At 4-0, the Huskies could be poised to run the table and reach their second straight BCS bowl.
Winners: Iowa and Florida Smother Conference Opponents
Iowa and Florida both went on the road against conference opponents Saturday and never even gave their foes a chance at victory.
The Hawkeyes dominated Minnesota, 23-7, behind a big day from running back Mark Weisman. While Weisman bruised his way to 147 yards on 24 carries, Iowa also benefited from a 74-yard Damond Powell touchdown reception just before halftime.
The Iowa defense held the Gophers to just 165 total yards.
Later in the day, Florida did much of the same to Kentucky in a 24-7 win. The UF defense led the way by limiting the Kentucky offense to 173 yards. UK’s only score came off a fake field goal.
The Gators also saw a big day from their running back, Matt Jones, who amassed 176 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Florida has now won 27 straight games over UK, while Iowa has won 10 of the last 13 meetings with Minnesota.
Both will head back home next week, as Florida hosts Arkansas and Iowa takes on Michigan State.
Loser: Ole Miss' Empty Upset Bid
Ole Miss headed to Tuscaloosa with hopes of upsetting top-ranked Alabama, but instead just learned that it isn’t quite up to par with the nation’s best.
The Rebels couldn't muster much of anything in the 25-0 loss.
Alabama running backs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake gashed the Ole Miss defense for a combined 220 yards. Yeldon had a 68-yard touchdown run at the start of the second half, while Drake scored from 50-yards out in the fourth quarter, putting the icing on the cake for the Crimson Tide’s convincing victory.
The 'Bama defense successfully silenced Ole Miss' most explosive offensive player, running back Jeff Scott. Scott netted just 28 rushing yards, and the Rebels offense gained only 205 total yards.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Rebels, who will head back to Alabama to take on Auburn next week.
After shutting the door on Ole Miss, the Tide will take on winless Georgia State next week.
Winner: Texas A&M Offense
Texas A&M was fantastic on the ground and through the air in its 45-33 win over Arkansas.
Johnny Manziel put up another strong performance, connecting on 23-of-30 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding 59 rushing yards.
This came despite poor weather conditions and an injury to star receiver Mike Evans.
These factors led A&M to go to the ground in the second half. The Aggies ran 44 times for 262 yards, as running backs Ben Malena and Trey Williams combined for three scores.
A&M's clean performance featured zero turnovers, 523 total yards and eight conversions in 14 tries on third and fourth down.
Loser: Texas A&M Defense
As strong as the Texas A&M offense is, its defense still has major issues.
The Aggies yielded 483 yards to Arkansas in the 45-33 win—282 through the air and 201 on the ground. The Razorbacks averaged 7.8 yards per pass and 6.7 yards per rush.
A&M's poor defensive play allowed the Hogs to stay in the game and keep the deficit as low as five points in the fourth quarter.
A&M has now allowed 82 points in two SEC games this season.
Winner: Washington's Wet Win
Rain poured down in Seattle as Washington topped Arizona, 31-13.
The weather slowed the UW offense and forced it to lean on running back Bishop Sankey to do the heavy lifting.
The Huskies' runner had 40 carries and turned them into 161 yards and a touchdown. He outdueled Arizona's star running back Ka'Deem Carey, who notched 132 yards and a score off 30 carries.
Washington quarterback Keith Price had a relatively slow day, completing 14-of-25 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was hauled in by All-American tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
With their first Pac-12 win in the books, the Huskies will now take on conference favorites and BCS title hopefuls Stanford and Oregon in their next two games.
Loser: Kenny Guiton
Plenty was made of Ohio State's "quarterback controversy" after Kenny Guiton was outstanding in relief of the injured Braxton Miller over the last few weeks.
However, Miller returned against Wisconsin and showed why he was able to win the starting job over an obviously capable signal-caller in Guiton.
Miller completed 17-of-25 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns, while also running for 83 yards.
While those aren't astronomical numbers, there is no question who is the leader for the Buckeyes.
Winner: Ohio State
It wasn't the most convincing victory, but Ohio State picked up a crucial win over a ranked foe in Wisconsin.
The Badgers gave a valiant effort, but the Buckeyes emerged as the better team in the 31-24 win.
Carlos Hyde ran for 85 yards after only carrying the ball five times in last week's blowout of Florida A&M. Senior receiver Philly Brown had the big offensive day for the Buckeyes, hauling in two touchdown receptions and a team-high 85 yards.
Ohio State will continue its BCS run on the road next week against Northwestern.
Winner: Stanford Dominates
Stanford looked every bit like a Top 5 team in its win over Washington State.
The Cardinal dominated the Cougars in every facet of the game. Despite the spread only being nine points in favor of the Cardinal, they cruised 55-17.
WSU was outgained in yardage 560 to 373 thanks to a big day from Stanford’s Kevin Hogan. The Cardinal signal-caller connected on 16-of-25 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were brought in by Devon Cajuste.
The intensity ratchets up for Stanford next week, as it will host a hot Washington squad that will be out to prove it is a legitimate Pac-12 contender.
Loser: USC's Pain Continues
It appeared as though USC was going to go shot-for-shot with Arizona State when the Trojans took a 21-20 lead right out of halftime from a 24-yard touchdown dash from Tre Madden.
However, ASU quickly answered with a 74-yard touchdown pass. Then USC’s Cody Kessler threw a touchdown pass of his own—only it was caught and returned by Sun Devil defender Alden Darby.
From there, Arizona State rolled to a 62-41 victory, while the Trojans totaled four turnovers in their second conference loss.
To make matters worse, their star receiver Marqise Lee was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury.
Winner: Oregon's Complete Victory
Not even torrential rain or the loss of running back De’Anthony Thomas to a leg injury on the opening kickoff can stop the Oregon offense. At this point, nothing the UO offense does should come as a surprise, no matter the circumstances.
However, the way the Ducks shut down the explosive California offense is impressive.
The Bears had averaged nearly 440 passing yards and 34 points per game heading into this contest. UO had other plans, holding them to just 176 yards through the air and 16 points, 13 of which came after the game was already decided.
With Thomas out, sophomore Byron Marshall and freshman Thomas Tyner had huge days on the ground, combining for 224 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
UO will head on the road to face Colorado next week.