Who were the heroes and villains from Week 5 of the college football season? Here's our weekly list.
After another drama-filled weekend of college football there's plenty of teams and figures who should be praised and -- unfortunately -- hounded for their Week 5 efforts.
West Virginia: A week after being held to 175 total yards and just six first downs in a 37-0 drubbing at the hands of fierce rivals Maryland, the Mountaineers came back in the most shocking way imaginable: they beat Oklahoma State 30-21, to throw the Big XII title race wide open. It was a win that WVU needed badly.
Braxton Miller: After not seeing game action for three straight weeks, and, at the same time, watching the way backup QB Kenny Guiton was keeping the scorers busy, Miller returned under centre for the Buckeyes on Saturday in the biggest game – so far – of the season.
No one was quite sure how it would go, or if he would have much leeway for mistakes with Guiton waiting in the shadows, but it didn’t matter in the end, because Miller was great. He had an impact running, but won the game for the Buckeyes through the air with four touchdowns. Make no mistake, this is Braxton Miller’s team.
Sean Mannion: the Oregon State quarterback broke a school record, throwing six touchdowns in a 44-17 Beaver win against Colorado. Check out this guy’s numbers through five games: 2,018 yards, 21 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Not a bad start to the year!
East Carolina: A week after nearly beating Virginia Tech – a game in which they had more than their fair share of chances – the Pirates of East Carolina went into Chapel Hill, NC and beat the Tar Heels, 55-31. It was ECU’s first victory on the UNC campus in nearly forty years, and a nice reminder that the Pirates, just a few years ago, were one of those dangerous non-AQ schools who could be relied upon to spring a massive upset.
Boise State: The Broncos offense has really caught fire recently under moustachioed QB Joe Southwick. They took care of Southern Miss 60-7 late on Saturday night. Southwick’s right in the groove at the moment, and just shredding defenses. He was 20-23 for 268 yards and three touchdowns, completing big plays to wide-outs Matt Miller (107 yards and one score on five receptions) and Geraldo Boldewijn (104 yards and one touchdown on three receptions) and had good support from a potent running game.
Bo Wallace: the Ole Miss quarterback said some ill-advised things about Alabama’s defense during the week (and some other stuff about how his receivers are better than those of Texas A&M). Probably not a smart idea to get guys of that talent angry – at least not if ‘Bama’s reaction to such provocation is to come out and hold Wallace to just 159 measly yards and, most importantly, zero points.
I don’t get this business of trash talking from an inferior position. I bet you, Wallace has well and truly learned his lesson. Alabama won 25-0.
Florida State defense: As good as QB Jameis Winston is, none of that will matter if the FSU defense can’t step up and making a few plays. Heck, one or two plays might be enough. In the vein of Texas A&M, the Seminoles have major issues on the other side of the football.
As ACC challengers, they shouldn’t be giving up 39 points to Boston College.
USC’s Defense: After being the better unit for the Trojans all year long, Clancy Pendergast’s squad got completely blown away by Arizona State today, who beat the Trojans 62-41. It’s the most points the Sun Devils have ever scored against the Trojans. Consider that, before tonight, USC’s defense had not allowed more than 285 yards or 14 points this season, and only 479 in it’s last two games.
Wisconsin’s Game Management: The disaster of the Arizona State game could have been banished from memory by QB Joel Stave leading a nice drive in the last minute to tie the Buckeyes up at 31. Instead, in scenes rather eerily reminiscent of what occurred in Tempe, the Badgers – and, particularly, Stave – fumbled and bumbled around in their shadow of their own goal line, letting far too many seconds tick off between plays.
It was Amateur Hour again, and it put an end to any chance the Badgers had of taking the game to overtime. Gary Andersen will be furious.
Tommy Rees: The Notre Dame quarterback continues his trend of turning over the football at the least-opportune times in big games. He was at his worst on Saturday, putting in a horrible performance against Oklahoma in Notre Dame Stadium. It’s more than enough to make Brian Kelly red in the face. How long can the Irish continue to stick with him under centre?
Lane Kiffin: The ‘Dream Job’ for which he angered thousands of Tennessee Volunteers fans, actually turned out to be something less than a dream-like career stop for the polarising now-former USC coach.
Relieved of his duties by USC Athletic Director Pat Haden just hours after the Trojans dropped to 0-2 in Pac-12 play, the question now is whether Kiffin will get another high-profile college gig.