Studs and Duds from Week 5 in College Football
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Week 5 was, by far, the most entertaining slate of games yet in the 2013 college football season. Big names and top teams squared off against strong competition, and most of them stepped up to the challenge. Most of them.
There were wild finishes, blowouts, heavy rains and plenty of noteworthy—both good and bad—performances to chronicle.
Here's a look at both the studs (and duds) for the most recent week:
Stud: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Thomas started this season looking like one of college football's biggest duds, a dual-threat senior with all the tools to succeed but none of the results to match that potential.
Then came Thursday's trip to Atlanta, and Thomas came alive.
Thomas actually accounted for more yards than Virginia Tech had as a team, throwing for 221 and rushing for 58 in the Hokies' 17-10 upset victory over previously unbeaten Georgia Tech. He threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Coles in the first quarter, then added a 5-yard TD run in the second to gain a 14-0 lead.
Other than Thomas, the remainder of the Hokies' offensive players accounted for minus-3 yards.
Stud: Taysom Hill, QB, BYU
A week after completing less than 38 percent of his throws in a "Holy War" loss to rival Utah, Hill had maybe his best game ever at quarterback in BYU's 37-10 win over Middle Tennessee State.
Hill, a sophomore, completed 14-of-19 passes for 177 yards to go along with 165 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Hill has 565 yards on the ground this season, already good enough for second on the BYU single-season list for quarterbacks.
Stud: Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois
The opponent (Miami, Ohio) was nothing to write home about, but anytime a quarterback tosses five touchdown passes before heading into the locker room for halftime, it's worth a mention.
That was Scheelhaase on Saturday in Illinois' 50-14 win over the Redhawks, completing 19-of-24 passes for 278 yards. He hit four different receivers for the scores, with two TD passes going to tight end Matt LaCosse.
Stud: Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
Davis had minimal impact in the first half of South Carolina's trip to Central Florida, a game the Gamecocks trailed 10-0 at halftime and in which they lost their starting quarterback, Connor Shaw, to a shoulder injury.
Then Davis took control, rushing for 150 yards in the second half as South Carolina held off UCF 28-25.
Davis finished with 167 yards and three TDs, the first coming on a 53-yard run that turned what looked like a potential big-time upset into a superb comeback triumph.
Stud: Shane Carden, QB, East Carolina
East Carolina's first road win over North Carolina in 38 years was full of superlatives, most noticeably those by Carden.
The junior personally outscored the Tar Heels in ECU's 55-31 win, accounting for six touchdowns in the game. He threw for 376 yards and three TDs and also added three rushing scores to pace a 603-yard offensive output for the Pirates.
Studs: Pittsburgh's Defense
A week after allowing 55 points and 532 yards (albeit in a road win at Duke), the Panthers' defenders buckled down and stifled a decent Virginia offense en route to a 14-3 win.
Pitt held the Cavaliers to 188 total yards on 70 offensive plays, forcing two turnovers in the process.
Studs: Quarterbacks recruited by Georgia coach Mark Richt
Georgia's 2010 recruiting class was yet another strong one, featuring two quarterbacks that would ultimately contend to pilot the Bullogs' offense. Aaron Murray won the job, while Zach Mettenberger became known more for off-field legal troubles than his on-field performance and ultimately was kicked off the team.
The two recruits met for the first time as opponents on Saturday, and neither disappointed in a one-for-the-ages 44-41 by Georgia over LSU.
Murray threw for 298 yards and four touchdowns, including the game winner with less than two minutes left, while Mettenberger had the best game of his LSU career with 372 yards and three TDs.
Stud: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
How nice of Miller to get injured after two games, thus letting fifth-year senior Kenny Guiton finally get a chance to start. And shine.
But Miller was back in action against Wisconsin and didn't look like he'd skipped a beat, throwing for four touchdowns and adding 83 rushing yards in Ohio State's clutch 31-24 win over the Badgers.
Enjoy the bench, Kenny.
Stud: Texas State coach Dennis Franchione
Franchione's long and winding road through the coaching ranks at schools throughout the South and Southwest hit a milestone on Saturday night, but not until after a 3-hour weather delay.
The 62-year-old earned his 200th career victory as Texas State upset Wyoming 42-21 in a game that was halted for more than three hours with the score tied at 7 due to inclement weather in the San Marcos area.
Franchione, in his third year of his second stint at TSU, is now 200-116-2 as a head coach.
Dud: Vad Lee, QB, Georgia Tech
Much noise had been made about how Lee was shaping up to be the best quarterback the option-happy Georgia Tech program had produced in the Paul Johnson coaching era. Throwing for seven touchdowns in less than 40 pass attempts will do that for you.
But Lee came down to earth Thursday against Virginia Tech, logging a dismal 29.2 completion percentage in the Yellowjackets' 17-10 home loss.
Lee completed just 7-of-24 passes, two of which were intercepted. Forced to throw more with Virginia Tech's front line stifling the option attack—Georgia Tech came in averaging 345 rushing yards a game but had only 129—the timing between Lee and his receivers was awful.
Dud: Mattias Ciabatti, P, South Florida
There haven't been many things to be happy about in the first year of Willie Taggart's tenure at South Florida, but there's been plenty of cringeworthy moments. Ciabatti's epic 2-yard punt (from the Bulls' own end zone) is one of them.
A bright note, though: Ciabatti finished the game averaging more than 37 yards on seven kicks, which means other than the above shankapuntamous his other six punts averaged 43 yards apiece. So, there's that.
Dud: B.J. Denker, QB, Arizona
Arizona's quarterback had excelled with his mastery of the read-option through three games, but his ability to throw was still in doubt because the Wildcats had faced inferior competition and Denker wasn't expected to do much.
That changed Saturday, and the senior failed. Miserably.
Denker completed just 14-of-35 passes for 119 yards, getting picked off twice in Arizona's 31-13 loss at Washington. Even taking into account the heavy rain and winds that existed through much of the game, Denker was inaccurate and unable to hit open receivers.
Dud: Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame
Notre Dame quarterbacks are human, just like the rest of us.
Despite what the can't-say-anything-wrong-about-them NBC broadcasters might say, it is possible for a passer wearing the golden helmet to have a bad game. Just ask Tommy Rees, who had one of the worst in recent memory for a Fighting Irish QB.
Rees completed just 9-of-24 passes for 104 yards, and while he did throw two touchdowns, he was also picked off three times in a 35-21 home loss to Oklahoma.
Rees was intercepted on consecutive passes in a 16-second span in the opening quarter, the first of which was returned for a TD and the second of which led to another Sooners score for a quick 14-0 lead.
Former USC coach Lane Kiffin
The hot seat under Kiffin entering the season reached the combustion stage following Saturday's embarrassing 62-41 loss at Arizona State. Kiffin was fired by USC before he could get on the team bus after arriving in Los Angeles early Sunday morning, making him the first coach to get a pink slip this year.