Wow! What a week for upsets! Teams ranked #2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 all fell to unranked or lower ranked teams. Add those further down the list who lost (#s 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) to higher ranked teams or unranked teams and we’re bound to see a whole lot of shuffling in this week’s polls…if not a whole new deck.I mean, jeez!, that's 11 out of 25 (plus 1) that lost this week including half the Top 10!
Florida State may be the luckiest team in the Top 10. They haven’t been playing remarkably well and just as it looked like they might lose their #1 ranking (in fact they had lost it in the Coaches’ Poll), everybody else loses! Could #5 Auburn threaten the Seminoles for supremacy this week?
(Ranks on the left are those of the AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by CBSSports.com. NR = Not Ranked)
1/2/5 Florida State (5-0) The Seminoles trounced the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-4), 43-3. Okay, Jameis Winston did throw for a TD and run for another, but this game belonged to kicker Robert Aguayo (five field goals and four extra points) and the defense which allowed Wake just 126 yards on offense. Reggie Northrup caused, recovered and returned a fumble 31 yards for a TD. Wake lead the game 3-0 after the first quarter and trailed just 13-3 at the half—which made many in the FSU home crowd a bit nervous, I’m sure. They sure looked shaky in the first half.
2/4/2 Oregon (4-1) The Ducks lost to the Arizona Wildcats (5-0) Thursday night…again. This time it was 31-24. Marcus Mariota completed 20 of 32 passes for 276 yards and two TDs while catching a pass for a third, but he also lost a fumble in a critical final minutes—his first turnover of the year. Mariota’s performance was matched by a combination of Amu Solomon (20 of 31 for 287 yards and 1 TD), a red shirt freshman, and true freshman Nick Wilson (13 rushes for 92 yards and two TDs plus that one TD catch of 34 yards). Terris Jones-Grigsby had 115 yards rushing and one TD for the Wildcats who succeeded in knocking off an undefeated Oregon team for the second straight year despite being huge underdogs.
3/1/1 Alabama (4-1) The Tide were upset the #11 Ole Miss Rebels (5-0), 23-17. The Rebels trailed 14-3 at the half and 17-10 at the end of three quarters but Bo Wallace threw two TD passes in the fourth quarter and the defense stemmed the Tide for a 23-17 victory. Wallace threw for 251 yards and three TDs in all. Cyrus Jones returned an Ole Miss fumble 13 yards for a TD on a controversial play at the end of the second quarter, but that was the last time Alabama crossed the goal line. Alabama did seem to be in control much of the game with T.J Yeldon rushing for 123 yards on 20 carries and Amari Cooper catching nine passes for 91 yards, but neither of them got into the endzone.
4/3/3 Oklahoma (4-1) The Sooners lost on the road to the #25 Horned Frogs of TCU (4-0), 37-33. Trevor Knight threw for 309 yards on just 14 completions out of 35 attempts. It didn’t hurt that one of those completions was a 75 yards TD pass to Sterling Shepard. What did hurt was the two interceptions he threw. Especially the last one that was returned by Paul Dawson for the winning TD with about 14 minutes remaining. Trevone Boykin completed 20 of 38 for 318 yards and ran for another 77 yards on 22 carries. B.J. Catalone scored twice for the Frogs one on a run and one on a reception. Some weird play in this one as the teams turned the ball over on three consecutive plays (TCU fumbled, OK threw an INT, and then TCU fumbled again), and Oklahoma blocked the extra point attempt after the Dawson score and it was returned for 2 points making the score 37-33.
5/5/4 Auburn (5-0) The Tigers routed the #15 LSU Tigers (4-2), 41-7. Finally! A Top 10 team playing like a Top 10 team. Auburn dominated this one from start to finish. Nick Marshall threw two TD passes and ran for two scores as he finished the day with 326 total yards (207 passing, 119 rushing) Cameron Artis-Payne rushed for 126 yards. The Auburn defense limited LSU to just 280 net yards.
6/7/6 Texas A&M (5-1) The Aggies got beat by the #12 Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-0), 48-31. Dak Prescott threw for two and ran for three as the Bulldogs jumped out early and never looked back. Kenny Hill did throw for 365 yards and four touchdowns, but he was picked off three times—all of them by linebacker Richie Brown who must own an invisibility cloak. Actually, A&M scored first on a Josh Reynolds 13 yard reception from Kenny Hill, but then Josh Robinson scored twice on the ground and Dab Prescott ran for one and threw for one as the Bulldogs reeled off 28 unanswered points before Josh Lambo hit a 27-yard field goal for the Aggies to make it 28-10 at the half. Mississippi State pressed on to a 48-17 lead in the fourth quarter before the Aggies scored twice to close the gap but it was too little too late.
7/6/8 Baylor (5-0) The Bears beat the Texas Longhorns (2-3), 28-7. It wasn’t easy for the Bears. Bryce Petty struggled going just 7 of 22 for 111 yards. But he did connect for two TDs in the second half. While Texas’ defense gave all they had, the Baylor defense went a step further and almost tossed a shutout against the Longhorns. And on special teams, Terrell Burt returned a blocked field goal attempt for the first Baylor score. Three Texas turnovers, including a fumble on the one yard line going in, didn’t help the Longhorns’ cause.
8/9/9 UCLA (4-1) The Bruins were edged by the Utah Utes (3-2), 30-28. Andy Phillips kicked a 29-yard field goal with 34 seconds left to put the Utes ahead, but then had to watch as UCLA’s Ka'imi Fairbairn missed two field-goal attempts with no time on the clock. (A running into the kicker penalty on a 55-yard attempt as the clock ran out resulted in a 50-yard attempt that missed.) Brett Hundley did complete 16 of 21 for 269 yards and two TD passes—including a 93-yarder to Devin Fuller—but he threw an INT and got sacked 10 times by a swarming Utah defense that would bend but not break. Tevin Carter returned that Hundley interception 27 yards giving Utah the first score of the day.
9/8/7 Notre Dame (5-0) The Irish edged the #14 Stanford Cardinal (3-2), 17-14. Stout defense on both sides resulting in a couple of turnovers by each team and missed/blocked field goals made this a close one. But Everett Golson tosses a 23-yard TD pass to Ben Koyack to overcome a 14-10 deficit late in the fourth quarter resulted in an Irish win. ND had 370 yards offense against a Stanford team that had yielded an average of just 198 yards a game coming in. Meanwhile, the Irish defense limited the Cardinal to just 205 net yards.
10/10/10 Michigan State (4-1) The Spartans held off the #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1), 27-22. The Spartans led 27 to 3 after three quarters and had shut down the Huskers’ rushing offense completely allowing just 47 yards on the ground, but two short Ameer Abdullah touchdown runs and a 62-yard punt return by De’Mornay Pierson-El in the fourth quarter made them sweat. Jeremy Langford rushed for 111 yards and a TD while Tony Lippett scored ona 55-yard pass from Connor Cook and on a 32 yard run for the Spartans. Nebraska turned the ball over four times (two INTs and two fumbles) and the Spartans returned the favor with three turnovers (one INT and two fumbles).
11/11/12 Ole Miss (5-0) The Rebels beat the #3 Crimson Tide of Alabama (4-1), 23-17. See above for more.
12/14/11 Mississippi State (5-0) The Bulldogs beat the #6 Texas A&M (5-1). See above for more.
13/12/14 Georgia (4-1) The Bulldogs routed the Commodores of Vanderbilt (1-5), 44-17. Todd Gurley ran for 163 yards and two TDs—both in the first quarter—but his biggest surprise was a 50-yard pass to tight end Jeb Blazevich. While Blazevich didn’t score on the play, it was another stat for Gurley’s Heisman resume. Hutson Mason DID throw for two Georgia TDs and Devin Bowman returned an interception 63 yards for another Georgia score. Vandy was never really in this one as they trailed 21-0 after the first quarter.
14/13/15 Stanford (3-2) The Cardinal came up short against the #9 Irish of Notre Dame (5-0) 17-14. See above for more.
15/15/16 LSU (4-2) The Tigers got whipped by the #5 Auburn Tigers (5-0), 41-7. See above for more.
16/20/18 Southern California (3-2) The Trojans got beat by the Arizona State Sun Devils (4-1), 38-34. Mike Bercovici had already thrown 25 completions for 438 yards but those were preliminaries to the main event. With the Sun Devils on their own 28 yard line, 23 seconds on the clock, no timeouts and trailing 34-32, Bercovici completed a 26-yard pass to Gary Chambers and then launched a Hail Mary to the endzone 46 yards away where Jaelen Strong made his third TD catch of the night as the clock expired to give the Sun Devils the win. Bercovici finished the night 27 of 45 for 510 yards and five TDs—three of them to Strong. USC hadn’t given up a passing touchdown this season until Bercovici connected with Strong on a 4-yarder, then a 77-yarder—both in the second quarter. Then, in the fourth quarter, he hit D.J. Foster for a 21-yarder and Cameron Smith for a 73-yarder and, finally, the 46–yarder to Strong to end the game. Nelson Agholor returned a punt 53 yards for the first Trojan score. Javorius Allen rushed for 143 yards and two TDs on 29 carries for the Trojans.
17/16/22 Wisconsin (3-2) The Badgers were upset by the Northwestern Wildcats (3-2), 20-14. Redshirt freshman Godwin Igwebuike made three interceptions—the team had four—and Justin Jackson rushed for 162 yards for Northwestern as the Wildcats were in control for much of the game, leading 10-0 at the half and 20-7 late in the fourth quarter. Melvin Gordon rushed for 259 yards and a TD for the Badgers, but those interceptions—two in the endzone—were fatal.
19/17/13 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers staged a furious comeback but failed to overcome the #10 Michigan State Spartans (4-1), 27-22. See above for more.
20/18/21 Ohio State (4-1) The Buckeyes trounced the Maryland Terrapins (4-2). 52-24. J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State Buckeyes had little trouble with the Maryland Terrapins. Barrett threw for 267 yards and four TDs while also rushing for a fifth. The Buckeye defense harassed the Maryland QBs intercepting them four times and returning one 19 yards for a TD (Raekwon McMillan). They also limited the Terrapins to just 66 yards on the ground.
21/23/NR Oklahoma State (4-1) The Cowboys beat the Iowa State Cyclones (1-4), 37-20. It was 6-6 at the half—until the officials overturned a call and awarded Desmond Roland a touchdown for the Cowboys making it 13-6. (Roland would have a second TD run in the fourth quarter.) Then Tyreek Hill returned the second half kickoff 97 yards for a TD making it 20-6. That pretty much sums up the Cyclones day and their season. On the positive side, E.J. Bibbs did have two TD catches for Iowa State.
22/21/23 Eastern Carolina (4-1) The Pirates flogged the SMU Mustangs (0-5), 45-24. It was 21-0 early in the second quarter before SMU’s offense got untracked. They matched the Pirates output from then on, but it was too late. Shane Carden completed 31 of 41 attempts for 410 yards and four touchdowns. The yardage gives Carden the school record for career passing yards. Justin Hardy had 8 catches for 120 yards and three TDs while Isaiah Jones had 9 catches for 130 yards and a score for the Pirates. Garrett Krstitch was 42 of 67 for 339 yards and two TDs for the Mustangs.
23/22/19 Kansas State (4-1) The Wildcats routed the Red Raiders of Texas Tech (2-3), 45-13. Jake Waters threw for 290 yards and four TDs while running for 105 yards and a fifth TD. The run was on a 50-yard keeper. Tyler Lockett made 12 catches for 125 yards and two TDs while teammate Curry Sexton had nine catches for 128 yards and two TDs. For the Red Raiders, Davis Webb threw for 247 yards and two TDs but was intercepted four times.
24/NR/24 Missouri (4-1) The Mizzou Tigers have the weekend off.
25/25/20 TCU (4-0) The Horned Frogs upset the #4 Oklahoma Sooners (4-1), 37-33. See above for more.
NR/24/25 Arizona State (4-1) The Sun Devils staged a furious comeback to beat the #16 USC Trojans (3-2) 38-34. See above for more.
My Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-1) earned their first BIG Ten win this week as they edged the Michigan Wolverines (2-4), 26-24. Michigan came into this game with the nation’s ninth best defense allowing an average of just 283.4 yards in the five games. Gary Nova threw for 282 yards—in the first half. He connected with Andrew Turzilli on an 80-yard TD and with John Tsimis on a 7-yarder with seconds left in the half. Turzilli made a 14-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter as Nova finished the night with three TDs on a 22 of 39 for 404 yards. The three scores add to his school record (now at 74 TD passes) and the 404 yards passing is a career high. Oh, Nova was not intercepted. He had been intercepted six times this year. Five of them in the Penn State game which was Rutgers’ only loss. Defense played its part with one interception and several sacks. (They lead the Big Ten in sacks.) Not to be left out, special teams blocked a field goal attempts from 56 yards with 3:01 remaining. (Kemoke Turay made the block…again.) Rutgers has 40 blocked kicks since 2009 best in the nation. The second place team (San Diego State?) has 26.
In other news, Jared Goff threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns for California which is a pretty good day, but opposing quarterback Connor Halliday broke the NCAA passing record with 734 yards and SIX touchdowns for Washington State. Still, Cal won the game 60-59 when Wazzou missed a field goal from 19 yards out with 19 seconds left. Talk about a game of big plays! Halliday had TD passes of 90 yards (to Vince Mayle) and 86 yards (to River Cracraft). And for Cal, Trevor Davis had one hell of a night! He caught TD passes of 27 and 51 yards to begin and end Cal’s scoring. BUT in between he returned kicks 100 and 98 yards for TDs. The game must have left some folks with sore necks from following the action and the referees on the sidelines must have been gassed.