25 Things We Learned from Week 6
With Week 6 of the college football season complete, it is time to look back and see what we learned from this past weekend.
There were some marquee conference battles such as Washington vs. Stanford and Ohio State vs. Northwestern. There were also some cupcake matchups to go along with those, including Georgia State vs. Alabama. Week 6 even had nonconference showdowns like Arizona State vs. Notre Dame.
No question that this was one of the more anticipated weeks of the season so far with those excellent games.
But, with the results of Week 6 what do we now know about the teams and players in those particular games.
Here are 25 things we learned during Week 6 of the college football season.
Brett Hundley Can Do It All
UCLA sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley put on an absolute show during a 34-27 Thursday night victory at Utah.
Hundley finished with three touchdowns. The first of those came on 7-yard reception from wide receiver Devin Fuller. The second came the conventional way on a 17-yard pass to Jordan Payton. The third and final score was on a 36-yard touchdown run.
For the game Hundley totaled 211 yards through the air on 17-of-27 passing. He also rushed for 85 yards on 20 carries.
The Heisman contender proved he can do a little bit of everything for the Bruins. Hundley is a huge reason why UCLA is undefeated and ranked No. 11 in the country.
Mack Brown Needs a Miracle to Keep His Job
Brown saw his squad struggle to a 31-30 road victory over a 1-3 Iowa State team.
A loss there might have ended his tenure at Texas, but instead the Longhorns came away with a controversial victory at the end of the game.
Many people surrounding the Texas program want Brown out. Unless there is a miracle over the final two months of the season, Brown's days as Texas head coach could be limited.
Jameis Winston Is the Heisman Front-Runner
It is still very early in the year, but for the second straight season a redshirt freshman is emerging as the Heisman Trophy front-runner.
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had another excellent game Saturday against Maryland. The Seminoles came out on top 63-0 over the undefeated Terrapins and Winston was the main reason why.
He finished the game 23-of-32 passing for 393 yards and five touchdowns. It was another impressive showing for a guy who has already totaled 19 total touchdowns with only two interceptions.
There is still a lot of time left in the season, but Winston might be in the driver's seat.
Indiana Is a Bowl-Caliber Team
It took 17 tries, but Indiana finally knocked off Penn State after 16 straight losses.
The Hoosiers used a high-powered offensive attack to put up 44 points against the Nittany Lions defense.
The 44-24 victory was a long time coming for Indiana and furthered the premise that this team has the talent to reach a bowl.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld was the star. He passed for 321 yards on 23-of-38 with two touchdowns.
The win improved the Hoosiers to 3-2 with some winnable games down the stretch. If Indiana can knock off the likes of Minnesota, Illinois and Purdue it will find itself in a bowl game for only the second time in the last 20 years.
Michigan State Has a Quarterback
Even though sophomore Connor Cook did not see much action in the first few weeks of the season, he has quickly emerged as the starter for the Spartans.
Cook had a solid game against Iowa. He finished 25-of-44 passing for 277 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
What Cook gives Michigan State that former starter Andrew Maxwell did not is a legitimate passing attack.
With the talented defense Michigan State has, this could be a very dangerous team if Cook continues to progress the rest of the year.
North Carolina Continues to Be a Huge Disappointment
Coming into the season, North Carolina was a projected to be a factor in the Coastal Division of the ACC.
After five games, that projection could not be further from the truth. The only win all season long came at home against Middle Tennessee. Other than that, the Tar Heels have been held in check every week.
The losses have not come to bad teams, but at 1-4 the Tar Heels are spiraling toward a very disappointing season.
With Miami next on the slate, it is looking like North Carolina is going to have to come up with some late season magic to even be in the bowl conversation.
Virginia Tech Is Better Than We Thought
Virginia Tech was dominated in its season-opening 35-10 loss against Alabama. The offense was downright awful in that game, only totaling 212 yards.
After wins in each of the past five games, the Hokies have now joined the national rankings at No. 24 and might be a contender in the ACC.
The main reason for that is a defense that ranks 12th in the country allowing only 16 points a game.
Even though the Hokies have won some close games, the defense is strong enough to keep this team in games against ACC competition.
Northern Illinois Is Poised to Run the Table
Northern Illinois has made it through the toughest part of its schedule. The Huskies now appear to have a shot to run the table once again and be in BCS contention.
The Huskies knocked off Kent State 38-24 over the weekend. They already have wins over Iowa and Purdue on their resume.
The toughest games remaining on the schedule appear to be a home date with Ball State and a road game at Toledo.
Those games do not appear to be huge threats, particularly with a player like Jordan Lynch on the roster.
Duke Johnson Has All-American Talent
There are many reasons why Miami is undefeated, but near the top of the list is the big-play ability of running back Duke Johnson.
Johnson had one of his best games of the season against Georgia Tech. In the 45-30 Miami victory, Johnson carried the ball 22 times for 184 yards. He also had a 27-yard reception.
While he might still be a year away from being an All-American on the offensive side of the ball, Johnson is one of the most explosive kick returners in the country.
Against Georgia Tech he totaled 114 yards on only four returns. Johnson is averaging over 30 yards per kick return so far on the year.
No question he is one of the most explosive players in college football.
Aaron Murray Needs Todd Gurley
Georgia star running back Todd Gurley missed the 34-31 overtime victory against Tennessee due to an injury.
Aaron Murray had a solid game, but not the type of performance he is used to. He finished the game 19-of-35 passing for 196 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 53 yards rushing on only three carries.
The absence of Gurley clearly had an impact on the Bulldogs, as Georgia almost lost to one of the worst teams in the SEC.
The rushing attack still put up 238 yards, but only totaled one touchdown.
Murray also did not put up nearly the numbers he is used to. A lot of that could have been due to the absence of Gurley.
Southern Miss May Never Win a Game
When two winless teams get together somebody has to come out on top. Sadly for Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles were not the one.
Florida International and Southern Miss were both 0-4 and near the bottom of most statistical categories coming into their showdown.
The Golden Eagles were a huge favorite against a team coming off a 72-0 defeat at the hands of Louisville.
That did not seem to matter as Southern Miss fell in a thriller 24-23. That was the 17th consecutive loss for the Golden Eagles.
Is this team ever going to win a game?
Marcus Mariota Is a Heisman Contender
Marcus Mariota had another solid game in a 57-19 victory over Colorado. The sophomore quarterback totaled seven touchdowns in the first half.
Not a bad day at the office.
He finished the game 16-of-27 passing for 355 yards and five touchdowns. On the ground, he rushed for 43 yards and two scores on 17 carries.
If he ever gets the chance to play a full game, this guy could put up numbers we have never seen before.
He is not likely the Heisman front-runner, but there is little doubt that he is near the top of the list as we near the midway point of the season.
Clemson Has Big-Play Capability All over the Field
We all know how talented Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is. The Heisman hopeful had another solid outing against Syracuse. Boyd finished the game 20-of-27 passing for 455 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
He is joined out wide by juniors Adam Humphries and Martavis Bryant. This trio of juniors has totaled 987 yards on only 59 catches. That is good for an average of nearly 17 yards a reception.
Boyd has a lot of weapons, particularly deep down the field. That has been a major reason for the success of the Tigers in 2013.
Georgia Tech Has Quarterback Issues
Coming into the season Georgia Tech had high expectations for sophomore quarterback Vad Lee.
He has been somewhat of a disappointment in recent weeks. That was on full display in a 45-30 loss to Miami on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets used three different quarterbacks, but none could really get anything going, particularly in the passing game.
Sophomore Tim Byerly was 1-for-3 passing for three yards and freshman Justin Thomas was 0-for-3 through the air.
At 3-2, Georgia Tech needs to get its act together before it is too late.
The Ole Miss Rebels Are Still a Year Away
After starting off the season with three straight wins against some solid competition, Ole Miss has two consecutive losses to Alabama and Auburn.
The Rebels have a lot of young talent, but might still be a year away from being a serious contender in the SEC.
Texas A&M and LSU are the next two games on the schedule, so it is not going to get any easier from here on out.
With Idaho and Troy still remaining down the stretch, it does not appear this team is in any jeopardy of missing out on a bowl game, but they are not quite ready for the big stage just yet.
Florida Has the Best Defense in the Nation
Even with the injury to star defensive tackle Dominique Easley, Florida still has a defense that is nearly impossible to score points on.
The Gators are fourth in the country allowing only 12.2 points a game. That number would be much higher if not for an offense that struggles mightily to move the ball. The Gators rank 93rd in the country, averaging only 25 points a game offensively.
There is so much talent on the defensive side of the ball that head coach Will Muschamp can endure some serious injuries and still hold opponents to very low point totals.
College football does not have a more complete defense than the Florida Gators. Just ask the Arkansas Razorbacks who were held to 10 points in a 30-10 Florida victory. That was 14 points less than their lowest total of the year coming in.
It Is All About Offense in the SEC
With the exception of Florida and possibly Alabama, the SEC does not have the talented defenses it is accustomed to having.
Teams are scoring points at an unprecedented rate.
Offenses are averaging more yards, points and plays per game this season. Leading the way are schools like Texas A&M, Missouri and LSU. These three schools all rank in the top nine nationally in points per game.
That is not something that typically goes on in a league that has been dominated by talented defenses in recent years.
Maybe part of it has to do with the influx of Big 12 schools? It could also just be the changing landscape in college football.
Time will tell if these numbers can hold up, but it is hard to imagine these offenses slowing down.
Missouri Is Going to Be a Factor in the SEC
For those who didn't believe Missouri was for real last week, what a difference a game can make.
The Tigers were hardly tested early in the season with victories against Murray State, Toledo, Indiana and Arkansas State.
Then came a road date against Vanderbilt over the weekend. The Tigers dominated the Commodores to the tune of a 51-28 final score.
There are not many people wondering whether the Tigers are for real anymore.
This week a road game in Athens against Georgia will be another huge test. A win here and this squad will be making national news.
Carlos Hyde Is a Monster
Quarterback Braxton Miller was struggling, and just when most thought Ohio State was going to go down, senior running back Carlos Hyde saved the day.
The bruising back wore out the Northwestern defense, particularly in the fourth quarter in helping lead Ohio State to a 40-30 road win over the previously undefeated Wildcats.
Hyde had two huge scores in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 168 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. He was also second on the team with four receptions for 38 yards.
No question Ohio State would not still be sitting undefeated if not for the monster performance by Hyde.
Northwestern Is the Real Deal
Northwestern is starting to get healthy at just the right time. The Wildcats got star running back Venric Mark back on Saturday.
He showed flashes, rushing for 60 yards on 17 carries and also caught four passes for 43 yards, including a 41-yard catch and run.
Both quarterbacks were excellent, as Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian combined to finish 25-of-30 for 343 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
At 4-1, Northwestern is still nationally ranked and will be a factor all season long in the Big Ten.
This team proved on a national stage that it can hang with the big boys.
Baylor Has the Best Offense in College Football
Baylor is putting up numbers on offense that are hard to imagine, let alone comprehend.
Over four games the Bears have averaged 70.5 points, while never scoring less than 69 in a single game.
It will be interesting to see if they can keep up this frantic pace, but it appears likely, particularly against the next three opponents. The Bears take on Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas over the next three games.
One of the reasons Baylor is scoring so many points is how many plays they are running on offense. On Saturday against a very good West Virginia defense, the Bears ran 95 plays and totaled 864 yards.
Those are mind-boggling numbers that the college football world has never seen before. The Big 12 schedule is very challenging at the end of the season, but the Bears are poised to make a run at a Big 12 title.
The Oklahoma State Offense Is Not What It Usually Is
Even after scoring only 21 points in the season opener against Mississippi State, the Cowboys offense appeared to be back on track with 56 points against UTSA and 59 points the following week against Lamar.
The past two weeks have been a different story. Oklahoma State only managed 21 points in a loss to West Virginia and could only muster 33 points in a narrow win against Kansas State.
Five Kansas State turnovers proved to be the difference in the game.
The Oklahoma State offense could only muster 330 total yards. Only 85 of those came on the ground.
Kansas State dominated the time of possession, but Oklahoma State prevailed in the end. That might not be the case in games down the road.
Turnovers Are the Name of the Game
No matter how talented a team is, overcoming turnovers is no easy task.
Just ask teams like Arizona State, Cincinnati and Kansas State. All three of these teams lost the turnover battle in their respective games and went down to defeat in games they could and even should have won.
One turnover can have a huge difference in the outcome of a game.
Losing the turnover battle as convincingly as these squads did is why they fell victim on Saturday.
Kansas May Never Win a Big 12 Game Again
Early on it appeared Kansas might be on its way to a victory in its Big 12 opener. The Jayhawks jumped out to a 10-point lead at home over Texas Tech and there appeared to be a chance Kansas would pick up its first conference win in nearly three years.
Texas Tech then reeled off 54 straight points and went on to a 54-16 victory.
The loss was just another for the Jayhawks and head coach Charlie Weis.
They do have two wins this year, but that might be all they get, considering the schedule the rest of the season.
Washington Can Hang with Anybody in the Country
Even though Washington fell 31-28 at Stanford, the Huskies proved they can play with anybody in college football.
Washington outgained Stanford 489-279 in total yards.
A lot of talk surrounds the offense of this team, but so far this year Washington has had a lot of success on the defensive side of the ball as well.
The group is only allowing 14.8 points a game, ranking 11th in the country.
While the skill players are receiving a lot of the attention, and rightfully so, it is the defense that is one of the best in the country.
It will get a huge test on Saturday when Oregon comes to town.
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