Winners & Losers From College Football’s Week 6
Six weeks into the 2015 college football season and already the landscape is changing. Sure, Ohio State is the still the nation’s top-ranked team, but the rest of the latest Top 25 is somewhat shaken. Is the SEC the nation’s dominant conference? Is the Big Ten slowly taking over or is it the Big 12? Who would have thought that perennial power Oregon would be 3-3 at this point in the season? There are certainly more surprises to come. The latest surprises represent the winners and losers from the past weekend of play. Here they are.
The Michigan defense is currently the nation’s best. After a 38-0 drubbing of former No. 15 Northwestern, head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverine defense have now recorded three straight shutouts. The last time Michigan had three shutouts in an entire season was 1980. For the season, the Wolverines have given up just 31 points on the season, an average of just over five points per game. Harbaugh and company will face little brother and No. 7-ranked Michigan State next Saturday.
Charlie Strong and Texas turned some heads as the Longhorns ran all over previously 10th-ranked Oklahoma in a 24-17 victory Saturday. Texas rushed for 313 yards in the win and relieved some of the pressure that was mounting in Austin. Rumors that Strong was possibly losing control of the locker room were circulating. At 2-4, Texas still has a long way to go to have any shot at a bowl game but don’t count them out just yet.
The state of Washington recorded some big wins over the past weekend of college football. On Thursday night, the Huskies of the University of Washington shocked a 17th-ranked USC squad that many thought might contend for a national title earlier this season. Head coach Chris Petersen recorded his biggest victory in his second year as the head coach at Washington. On Saturday, Washington State recorded an exciting 45-38 double overtime win over Pac-12 power Oregon. It was easily the biggest win in Wazzou head coach Mike Leach’s short tenure in Pullman.
Deuces were wild for Florida State running back Dalvin Cook who rushed 22 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the Seminoles 29-24 win over in-state rival Miami. The win moves Florida State to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. Cook also caught three passes for 47 yards and another touchdown.
Clock and game management were just not high on the list of priorities for both Rutgers and Boston College on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights played fourth-ranked Michigan State to the wire giving up an L.J. Scott three-yard run with 43 seconds left in a 31-24 loss. But, Rutgers had a chance to possibly tie the score as they drove the ball in the game’s final seconds. Quarterback Chris Laviano mistakenly spiked the ball to stop the clock during the final drive. The only problem? It was fourth down.
Boston College trailed Wake Forest 3-0 in the game’s final seconds. Demon Deacons quarterback John Wolford gave the Eagles a gift when he fumbled the ball away with under a minute to play. Boston College had the ball first-and-goal at the one-yard line with just 29 seconds remaining. Head coach Steve Addazio attempted to run the ball and BC was stopped short. With the clock running down, BC quarterback Jeff Smith spiked the ball to stop the clock. The problem? There was no time remaining on the clock.
In a much anticipated matchup of ranked Pac-12 teams, Cal quarterback Jared Goff threw five interceptions and the bears dropped a 30-24 decision to No. 5 Utah. The Utes did get 222 yards rushing from running back Devontae Booker, but six Cal turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.
Injuries. Some of college football’s biggest names have seen their season’s end because of gruesome injuries. Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire suffered a freak ankle injury earlier in the season. UCLA linebacker Myles Jack will miss the season and now turn pro due to a knee injury. The latest casualty is Georgia running back Nick Chubb, who had 13 straight 100-yard games for the Bulldogs. Chubb suffered what appeared to be a very hard-to-watch knee injury on the first play of Saturday’s game against Tennessee. Georgia dropped its second game in a row, 38-31, to the Volunteers.
The college football world heard the rumors about Maryland head coach Randy Edsall. The Terrapins entered Saturday’s game against No. 1 Ohio State with a 2-3 record. A loss to the Buckeyes would probably mean Edsall would be sent packing. Well, after Cardale Jones went 21-for-28 for 291 yards and two touchdowns and Ezekiel Elliot gained 106 yards and scored twice on the ground in a 49-28 Buckeyes win, the rumors became true. Edsall was fired on Sunday.