Winners and Losers from Week 6 of College Football
Week 6 of college football featured several resume-padding performances from Heisman Trophy candidates.
Florida State's Jameis Winston and Clemson's Tajh Boyd each put together impeccable stat lines against ACC foes. They will play each other in two weeks.
In the SEC, Alabama's AJ McCarron got back on track, while Georgia's Aaron Murray was clutch as he led his team to a comeback win on the road against Tennessee.
Oregon's Marcus Mariota was outstanding later in the day, throwing five touchdown passes, while Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk also threw his hat in the Heisman ring.
Ohio State's Braxton Miller didn't have a Heisman-caliber performance, but the Buckeyes still found a way to win on the road against Northwestern. Elsewhere in the Big Ten, one conference member notched a monumental loss, while another found its groove against a rival.
Carry on to see a full breakdown of college football's Week 6 winners and losers.
Winner: Brett Hundley's Hat Trick
Winning on the road in conference play is rarely easy, but UCLA took care of business away from home Thursday night against Utah.
UCLA's star quarterback Brett Hundley put on an amazing all-round performance against the Utes. The redshirt sophomore notched a rare touchdown trifecta: one passing, one rushing and one receiving. He also had 303 total yards between the three disciplines.
Meanwhile, the Bruin defense intercepted Utah six times, including one by freshman Myles Jack in the final minute to seal a 34-27 victory in Salt Lake City.
While a road win is great, the Bruins didn't look like a team capable of challenging Stanford and Oregon for the Pac-12 title.
UCLA will take on Cal next week at home before going back on the road against the Cardinal and Ducks in consecutive weeks.
Loser: Texas WR Mike Davis
Texas wide receiver Mike Davis had the worst cheap shot of the year on Iowa State defensive back Deon Broomfield on a play where the Longhorns scored a touchdown.
As video shows, Davis dove straight into the knees of the ISU defender. Neither was anywhere close to the ball and Broomfield didn't look particularly interested in making a play, but Davis took him out anyway.
As of Saturday afternoon, Davis' actions were still under review by the Big 12, as tweeted by David Ubben of Fox Sports Southwest.
Winner: Jameis Winston
As if his 55-yard scrambling Hail Mary against Boston College last week wasn't enough, Florida State's electric freshman quarterback Jameis Winston had another "da-da-da" SportsCenter Top 10 moment this week against Maryland.
The Seminoles stomped the Terrapins 63-0 on Saturday, with Winston leading the way with five touchdowns. The one worthy of the highlight reel started out with Winston being bottled up in the pocket, escaping in Johnny Manziel-esque fashion to find his tight end Nick O'Leary in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
Bleacher Report's Kyle Newport has multiple angles of the spectacular play.
That play was part of an overall incredible day for Winston against a UMD squad that ranked No. 6 in the nation in total defense entering the game.
Winston thrashed the Terrapins for a career-best 393 yards as the Seminoles rolled.
The hype continues to build for FSU's Oct. 19 trip to Clemson.
Loser: Iowa State
The Iowa State-Texas game was laden with controversy.
In addition to Mike Davis' knee-knocking hit, there was also a questionable no-call on a fumble late in the game that allowed the Longhorns maintain possession. They'd score the game-winning touchdown soon after.
With just over one minute to go, Longhorn running back Johnathan Gray was stopped cold on a run up the middle at the goal line. Just as the play was blown dead, ISU linebacker Jeremiah George ran out of the pile with the ball.
Gray was ruled down by contact, and the play was reviewed, but the call wasn't overturned. Looking at the replay, though, it's easy to see why the Cyclones believe they were robbed.
Regardless, the Horns kept the ball and quarterback Case McCoy punched it in the end zone two plays later, giving Texas the 31-30 victory.
After the game, ISU head coach Paul Rhoads made it clear what he thought about the play.
Winner: Crimson Tide's Passing Game
AJ McCarron and the Alabama passing attack wasn't off to the best of starts this season.
Against lowly Georgia State, McCarron turned that trend around in impressive fashion.
In Alabama's 45-3 win, McCarron completed 15 of 16 passes for 166 yards and four touchdowns before being pulled in the blowout. One of his four scores was a pretty pass lofted up for DeAndrew White, who brought in a jaw-dropping catch over the top of a GSU defender.
In the second half, backup signal-caller Blake Sims followed suit, connecting on 14 of 18 passes for 130 yards and a score.
Together, their five incompletions were matched by their five touchdowns. Fifteen receivers combined to haul in the 29 completed passes, none of which were named Amari Cooper.
Cooper has been hampered by a toe injury and did see action, though he didn't make the stat sheet.
Loser: David Pollack
On the set of ESPN's College GameDay, analyst David Pollack said, "Now I'm gonna stick my foot in my mouth probably." He then proceeded to do just that while talking about the college football playoff selection committee.
Pollack said that he wants committee members "who can watch tape, who have played football." GameDay anchor Chris Fowler then asked, "So no women belong on the committee then?"
Pollack gave an affirmative shrug, while the other hosts quickly expressed their disagreement.
The result was Pollack being blasted on Twitter. Bleacher Report's Patrick Clarke has a breakdown of the public reaction.
Winner: Nebraska Sans Martinez
Despite quarterback Taylor Martinez being out again with a toe injury, Nebraska rolled anyway against Illinois in its Big Ten opener.
Redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong Jr. was at the helm of the Cornhusker attack, and behind his play and a monstrous day from running back Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska jumped out to a 30-5 lead and cruised to a 39-19 victory.
Armstrong was efficient in his second start, connecting on 8 of 13 passes for 135 yards and two scores. He didn't have to do too much thanks to Abdullah, who tallied 225 yards and two touchdowns, single-handedly outrushing Illinois.
Armstrong and the Huskers also benefited from an incredible one-handed grab by receiver Kenny Bell. The catch was so good it looked like it even caught the Illini defenders off guard.
The Nebraska defense surrendered just four third-down conversions in 15 tries and forced two turnovers.
Loser: Penn State Dropped by Indiana for First Time Ever
Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and junior receiver Allen Robinson each had enormous performances, but Penn State lost 44-24 to Indiana in its Big Ten opener.
Hackenberg completed 30 of 55 passes for 340 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, finding Robinson 12 times for 173 yards and two scores.
But while the two continued their lethal rapport, the PSU defense didn't back them up.
The Nittany Lions surrendered 486 total yards, including 321 through the air from Hoosier quarterback Nate Sudfeld, in the loss.
Indiana had been winless against Penn State in 16 tries before Saturday.
Winners: Logan Thomas and Virginia Tech
It has been tough sledding for Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and the Hokies offense this season.
However, the 6'6", 257-pound senior came through with his best performance of the season in VT's 27-17 win over North Carolina.
Thomas connected on 19 of 28 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, and the Hokie defense forced three turnovers to top the Tar Heels.
The UNC defense put the game in the hands of Thomas as it keyed in on the VT rushing attack, holding the Hokies to 1.4 yards per carry. But with the game on his shoulders, Thomas responded in a big way.
Virginia Tech is now 5-1 overall and 2-0 in ACC play.
Virginia suffered an embarrassing loss and its third defeat in four games, as it fell to MAC foe Ball State 48-27.
The Cavaliers' defeat wasn't just a crazy upset—they were beaten handily by the Cardinals.
UVA had four turnovers and allowed more than 500 total yards, as Ball State jumped ahead early in the second half and kept the offense rolling through the last two quarters.
The Cavaliers are now 2-3 overall, and the remainder of the season doesn't look promising.
At what point will UVA recruits take notice? The Cavs currently hold two commitments from players inside the top 10 of the 247 Sports composite rankings, safety Quin Blanding and defensive tackle Andrew Brown.
Winner: Rutgers Wins Thrilling AAC Debut
Last time Rutgers was locked in an overtime shootout, it was edged by Fresno State, 52-51, in Week 1.
This time around, the battle-tested Scarlet Knights prevailed in 55-52 triple-overtime firefight.
They withstood an aerial assault from former Texas and current SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert. The senior completed 45 of 70 passes for 484 yards and five touchdowns.
Gilbert tossed three touchdowns (and an insane two-point conversion) in the fourth quarter to bring SMU back from a 35-14 deficit and force overtime. He also ran in two scores in overtime, but with the loss, Gilbert will now be left to ice his shoulder from all that throwing and reflect on how his defense let him down.
Rutgers tallied 474 yards and essentially made one more play than SMU did to notch the win.
Could the Knights possibly challenge Louisville for the AAC crown? RU and UL play this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Louisville.
Kansas jumped out to a 10-point lead at home over Texas Tech, and it looked like the Jayhawks just might be on the way to their first Big 12 win since Nov. 6, 2010.
Of course, it was too good to be true.
TTU outgained KU 518-273, and the Jayhawks logged four turnovers. Kansas now travels on the road to face TCU in Week 7.
Winner: Michigan Sound in Victory
Michigan was nearly upset in each of its last two games and only beat Connecticut and Akron by a combined seven points.
This week, an upset was never really a possibility in Ann Arbor, as the Wolverines strolled to a comfortable 42-13 win over Minnesota.
Turnovers had been an issue for Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, but not in this game. The Wolverines signal-caller completed 13 of 17 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown and zero turnovers. Tight end Devin Funchess had a big day, hauling in seven receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Nearly all of the issues that plagued the Wolverines in their last two games were addressed in this win.
Loser: Georgia Tech's QB Struggles
Georgia Tech played three different quarterbacks in its 45-30 loss to Miami (FL), and none of them played particularly well.
Starter Vad Lee had a fumble and an interception and averaged just 2.2 yards per carry and only 63 passing yards.
Freshman Justin Thomas came in and went 0 of 3 passing with an interception, while gaining just eight yards on three carries.
Sophomore Tim Byerly was the best of the three, running three times for 33 yards and a touchdown. But even Byerly struggled in the passing game, connecting on one throw for three yards.
Three quarterbacks in one game is a mess to begin with, but it's even worse when none of them play well.
Winners: Tajh Boyd and Clemson
Clemson went into hostile territory and disproved the notion that it can't win on the road.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd shredded Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, as the Tigers won decisively, 49-14.
The Tigers signal-caller put up Heisman-caliber numbers, completing 20 of 27 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns.
Three of his receivers had big days in the process. Sammy Watkins had four catches for 126 yards and a score, Adam Humphries brought in three for 118 yards and two touchdowns and Martavis Bryant caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. All three averaged more than 25 yards per reception.
The Tigers will take on Boston College next week. Then on Oct. 19, they'll host Florida State with ACC title, BCS title and Heisman implications likely on the line.
Loser: Kansas State's Turnovers vs. Oklahoma State
Kansas State quarterback Daniel Sams only had six incompletions against Oklahoma State, but three of them were interceptions and two of those came in the fourth quarter.
Sams had an otherwise excellent day, but KSU turned the ball over five times, allowing OSU to escape with a 33-29 win at home.
The KSU signal-caller threw two touchdowns and ran for 118 yards and a touchdown, but it wasn't quite enough.
KSU, the defending Big 12 champion, is now 0-2 in league play, while OSU improved to 1-1.
Winner: Aaron Murray's Heisman Campaign
With essentially every one of Georgia's playmakers out of the game at a raucous Neyland Stadium, quarterback Aaron Murray stepped up and carried the Bulldogs to a nerve-wracking victory.
Tennessee gave UGA all it could handle, but an overtime fumble by the Volunteers set up the game-winning 42-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan, and the Dawgs escaped with a 34-31 win.
Murray completed 19 of 35 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns and notched a crucial 57-yard run that set up a fourth-quarter touchdown. He also led a cold-blooded touchdown drive to tie the game with just five seconds left on the clock.
Murray became the SEC's all-time leading passer in the winning effort.
He may not post quite the gaudy stats of some of his Heisman competitors, but Murray has as many clutch plays in crucial situations as any player in college football.
Winner: Marcus Mariota, Oregon Win Big Again
Oregon endured a relatively slow start on the road against Colorado without star running back De’Anthony Thomas.
Then the Ducks notched 49 of the next 55 points to smash the Buffaloes 57-16.
UO quarterback Marcus Mariota submitted another great game in his case for the Heisman Trophy, throwing for 355 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. He also ran seven times for 43 yards and two scores.
The Ducks amassed a ridiculous 755 total yards while their defense held Colorado to zero third-down conversions in 15 tries.
After rolling through soft competition, Oregon will have a few tests coming up against Washington, UCLA and Stanford over the next month.
Loser: TCU Offense vs. Oklahoma
Oklahoma edged TCU 20-17, but the Sooners were in far more control than the final score suggested.
The TCU offense was dreadful in Norman, tallying just 210 total yards, 75 of which came on the Horned Frogs’ desperation drive in the waning minutes of the game.
They gained just 44 yards on the ground and averaged 1.6 yards per carry.
Now at 0-2 in conference play and 2-3 overall, the Frogs will need to pick up their offensive play to even reach bowl eligibility.
Winner: South Florida Notches First Win Under Willie Taggart
Through its first four nonconference games, it looked like South Florida might go winless in 2013.
Then the Bulls began AAC play with a bang, beating Cincinnati 26-20 for head coach Willie Taggart's first win in Tampa.
USF was dropped by McNeese State, Michigan State, Florida Atlantic and Miami (FL) to start the season and was outscored 151-58 in the process.
The Bulls never trailed and capitalized on four Bearcats turnovers to win despite being outgained by over 100 yards.
Next week they’ll travel to Connecticut before taking on AAC favorite Louisville on Oct. 26.
Loser: Scott Shafer's Potty Mouth
NSFW GIFs are hard to come by, considering they usually don’t make a sound.
However, if your boss were to walk up and see you watching Syracuse coach Scott Shafer’s reaction to Clemson going for a fourth down with a 35-7 lead, you might be packing your desk and heading to the elevator.
Bleacher Report’s Kyle Newport has the GIF of Shafer, as well as the response from Tigers coach Dabo Swinney.
Check it out on your home computer.
Winner: LSU Rolls Late vs. Mississippi State
Mississippi State played well for about three quarters at home against LSU, but that’s all it had.
The Bulldogs entered the final frame down by just five points but ended up losing by 33, 59-26.
LSU amassed 563 yards and was 8-of-13 on third and fourth down. Zach Mettenberger was excellent, completing 25 of 29 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns. Nine of his passes were caught by Odell Beckham for 179 yards and two scores.
Jeremy Hill led the way on the ground with 157 yards, and he combined with Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue for six rushing scores.
The LSU defense had its issues again, but the Tigers continue to look amazing on offense.
Loser: Ole Miss
Ole Miss dropped its second straight SEC contest, falling 30-22 on the road to Auburn.
The Rebels outgained the Tigers 464-375, but Mississippi quarterback Bo Wallace threw two interceptions which proved to be costly.
One of his picks was returned by Robenson Therezie for a touchdown.
Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall was efficient through the air and lethal on the ground. The junior tallied a game-high 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tigers to victory.
All of a sudden, Auburn is looking like a lock to make a bowl game and perhaps talented enough to pull off a major upset in SEC play.
On the other hand, the result doesn’t leave much hope for the Rebels for the next two weeks. Ole Miss will now host Texas A&M and LSU.
Winners: Tyler Murphy and Florida
Without starting quarterback Jeff Driskel, Florida has been doing just fine on offense, and that continued this week against Arkansas.
Driskel’s replacement, Tyler Murphy, put together an excellent performance, completing 16 of 22 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in UF’s 30-10 win.
Arkansas keyed in on the Florida running game and defended it successfully, holding the Gators to just 2.8 yards per rush.
However, Murphy made the Razorbacks pay, leading his team to its third SEC victory this season.
Florida’s toughest test yet will come next week on the road against LSU.
Loser: Arizona State Loses Physical Battle to Notre Dame
Notre Dame executed its game plan perfectly against Arizona State, controlling possession on its way to a 37-34 victory.
ND held the ball for more than 34 minutes against the Sun Devils.
The two teams traded blows throughout, and the largest lead was a brief 11-point advantage for the Irish.
Quarterback Tommy Rees bounced back from a rough game against Oklahoma by throwing three touchdowns and 279 yards.
The ND defense not only weathered the storm from the Sun Devils but forced three turnovers, including a game-deciding pick-six in the final minutes of the game.
The Irish have a bye next week before taking on USC at home on Oct. 19. ASU will continue on its Pac-12 slate next week with Colorado.
Winner: Ohio State Escapes
Northwestern and Ohio State put on a thrilling show in Evanston that broke the hearts of NU fans but kept OSU’s BCS title hopes alive.
NU was in control during the second and third quarters and looked like it just might pull of the monumental upset. The Buckeyes hung tough, however, and set up an epic fourth quarter.
The teams traded the lead three times in the final frame, but OSU prevailed behind the outstanding rushing of Carlos Hyde.
Hyde tallied 168 rushing yards and three scores, including two in the fourth quarter.
Braxton Miller didn’t have his best game, accounting for three turnovers and just 203 passing yards.
But thanks to Hyde and an opportunistic defense, the Buckeyes survived and will advance to take on Iowa in two weeks.
Losers: Anyone Who Took Northwestern +7.5
Exhibit one for why you shouldn’t bet on sports: the ending between Ohio State and Northwestern.
OddsShark.com had Northwestern at +7.5, and bettors who took the home team were licking their chops with the Wildcats trailing just 34-30 in the waning seconds.
Then, disaster struck for those gamblers. Northwestern attempted a desperation play, lateralling the ball multiple times only to fumble in its own end zone. Ohio State jumped on the ball for a touchdown with 0:00 left on the clock.
The result: The Buckeyes won 40-30 and covered the spread.
That, kids, is why you don’t gamble on sports.
Winner: Baylor Explodes in Big 12 Opener
The only thing that looked better than Baylor's uniforms and helmets was its offense.
That's saying a lot, because the chrome gold BU helmets and black jerseys might be the best new-age uniforms college football has seen.
The Bears exploded for a Big 12 record 864 total yards in a 73-42 win over West Virginia. They broke WVU's record of 807, set against Baylor in 2012, as tweeted by ESPN Stats & Info. The same Twitter account credited the Bears for having the best offensive performance in the FBS in the last 10 years.
The Bears scored eight touchdowns on the ground and two more through the air. Running back Lache Seastrunk made an emphatic Heisman statement as he bolted for 172 yards and two touchdowns off 15 carries.
In both uniforms and offense, Baylor is giving Oregon a run for its money.
Winner: Stanford's Narrow Escape
Washington and Stanford brought Week 6 home with a late-night thriller.
The Huskies were driving, down by three in the final two minutes. On fourth down, quarterback Keith Price slipped a sack and hit Kevin Smith near the sideline for what appeared to be a key conversion to put his team within field-goal range.
However, the play went to the booth and was ruled an incompletion, giving Stanford a 31-28 win.
The Cardinal looked like a Top Five team, but the Huskies hung right with them throughout. Ty Montgomery was key for Stanford, accumulating 204 kick-return yards, including a 99-yard touchdown to open the game.
Price and running back Bishop Sankey were both excellent, but Stanford managed to weather nearly 500 yards from UW in the win.
The Cardinal won’t take on Oregon until Nov. 7, but the hype continues to build for that matchup.