College Football 2012 – Week Five Recap
For a week that was supposed to be lacking in big games or traditional rivalries, this week sure gave us a lot of excitement. West Virginia and Baylor showed us an offensive shootout for the ages. Stanford became the latest Top Ten team to bite the dust. And Texas and Nebraska both needed fourth quarter comebacks to keep their conference title hopes alive.
Here are all the highlights from this week in college football.
#1 Alabama 33, Mississippi 14
The Alabama offense wasn’t terribly effective on Saturday, racking up just 305 total yards. But they didn’t need to do much behind a defense and special teams that were as dominant as ever. The Crimson Tide defense forced three Ole Miss interceptions on consecutive drives, setting up 14 Crimson Tide points. They also got a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown from Christion Jones in the second quarter. Ole Miss actually took a lead briefly in this game, the first time that Alabama had trailed in regulation since October 22 of last year. However, that lead lasted less than 15 seconds as Jones’ subsequent kickoff return put the Tide back in front for good. The Rebels have now lost nine straight SEC openers.
#2 Oregon 51, Washington State 26
Oregon struggled early in its first road game of the season, leading just 23-19 at halftime. But whatever adjustments they made in the locker room obviously worked as the Ducks blew up for 28 unanswered points in a 14-minute span to take control. Running back Kenjon Barner rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns and added another 37 yards and a score receiving. After pitching a shutout last week against Arizona, the Oregon defense had another solid day, holding the Cougars to minus-eight yards rushing, returning a third quarter interception for a touchdown.
#3 Louisiana State 38, Towson 22
Towson actually took a 9-7 lead late in the second quarter before LSU broke out to score the game’s next 24 points. LSU receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. caught five passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns in the win. But the Bayou Bengals turned the ball over three times and struggled to find any offensive rhythm against their FCS opponents. Five of LSU’s first six drives ended with three punts, a fumble and a missed field goal. The Tigers will need to find some answers quickly with back-to-back games against #11 Florida and #6 South Carolina upcoming.
#4 Florida State 30, South Florida 17
E.J. Manuel threw for 242 yards and a touchdown as the Seminoles survived their first road game of the season. Florida State’s defense, which came into the game ranked second in total defense, continued its dominant start, forcing three turnovers, returning one for a touchdown, and holding the Bulls to just 268 total yards. USF quarterback B.J. Daniels, who came into the game averaging 335 yards per game (11th nationally), rushed for two touchdowns but was held to just 215 total yards. South Florida pulled to within three early in the second half only to see the Seminoles respond with 17 unanswered points in a six-minute stretch to seal the victory.
#5 Georgia 51, Tennessee 44
Georgia’s freshman running back duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall continued its hot start, with both rushing for 130 or more yards and five total touchdowns as the Bulldogs survived a determined upset bid from their SEC East rivals. The game was tied at 30 going into halftime, but the Bulldogs sealed the win by outscoring Tennessee 21-7 in the third quarter. Georgia’s defense was bolstered by the return of safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, who had both been suspended for the first four games of the season. Georgia has scored 41 or more points in every game this season, a first in school history.
#6 South Carolina 38, Kentucky 17
Kentucky actually led the game 17-7 at halftime before the Gamecocks regrouped to score 31 unanswered points in the second half, giving South Carolina its 12th win over the Wildcats in the last 13 games. Running back Marcus Lattimore topped the 100 yard mark for the first time since Week One, rushing for 120 yards and two touchdowns. South Carolina’s defense knocked Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith out of the game on the first series and then held backup Jalen Whitlow to just 114 yards passing, no scores and two interceptions. This victory gave South Carolina a school-record nine-straight wins and its first 5-0 start since 2001.
#7 Kansas State Bye
The Wildcats had a week off to recover from their big road upset of Oklahoma. They will return to action this week against in-state rival Kansas.
Washington 17, #8 Stanford 13
Just 12 days after upsetting then-#2 USC, the Cardinal found itself on the wrong end of another upset. Washington’s defense was the real story here, holding running back Stepfan Taylor to just 75 yards and no scores after he had averaged almost 113 yards per game this season. The Huskies trailed 13-3 late in the third quarter before scoring 14 unanswered points in the games final 15 minutes to secure the upset. The loss ended a 10-game road winning streak for Stanford.
#9 West Virginia 70, #25 Baylor 63
Mountaineers’ quarterback Geno Smith solidified his status as the Heisman front-runner with a mind-blowing day: 45/51 for 656 yards and eight touchdowns (no interceptions). In West Virginia’s first-ever Big 12 game, the Mountaineers and Baylor combined for the kind of offensive numbers most teams won’t see in a month. The game saw a combined 1507 yards and the combined 19 touchdowns tied an FBS record . Baylor receiver Terrance Williams set a new Big 12 record with 314 receiving yards, just edging out Mountaineers receiver Stedman Bailey’s 303 in this same game. They were two of just six receivers in the game who topped 100 yards. Bears quarterback Nick Florence broke Robert Griffin III’s school record for passing yards with 581 yards and five touchdowns in the loss. Baylor is now 0-26 all-time in Big 12 road games against ranked conference foes.
#10 Notre Dame Bye
Off to their first 4-0 start in 10 years, the Fighting Irish enjoyed a bye week before taking on Miami next week.
#11 Florida Bye
The Gators got a much-needed week off to prepare for a trip to Death Valley to take on #3 LSU.
#12 Texas 41, Oklahoma State 36
Texas quarterback David Ash threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns as the Longhorns rallied to score the go-ahead touchdown with just 29 seconds left in a wild fourth quarter that featured four lead changes. Playing for the injured Wes Lunt, OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh accounted for 364 total yards (57 rushing) and two touchdowns while running back Joseph Randle added a career-high 199 yards and two scores in the loss. The Longhorns were outrushed by Oklahoma State, 275-136, but did get a 100-yard kickoff return by D.J. Monroe for a touchdown in the second quarter. The loss snaps an eight-game home winning streak for the Cowboys.
#13 Southern Cal Bye
The Trojans got the week off to prepare for next Thursday night’s trip to Utah.
#14 Ohio State 17, #20 Michigan State 16
Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller turned the ball over three times and took a beating from Michigan State’s defense, but rallied each time to lead Ohio State to their first conference win of the season. The Spartans came into the game ranked sixth nationally in total defense, but Miller was still able to rack up 325 total yards and a score. But the big story could be the Ohio State defense, which held Spartans running back Le’Veon Bell to just 45 yards after he’d rushed for 253 yards last week. The Spartans have now lost four in a row in East Lansing to the Buckeyes.
#15 Texas Christian 24, Southern Methodist 16
TCU extended its nation’s-best winning streak to 12 games with a win over their old Southwest Conference foes. Horned Frogs quarterback Casey Paschall threw for only 107 yards and two touchdowns against the nation’s worst pass defense, but he didn’t need to do much more behind a TCU defense that forced six turnovers and held the Mustangs to just 30 rushing yards.
#16 Oklahoma Bye
After suffering their first home loss to a ranked opponent in over 13 years, the Sooners got a week off to regroup and prepare for a road trip to Texas Tech. OU has not won in Lubbock since 2003.
#17 Clemson 45, Boston College 31
With All-American receiver Sammy Watkins out (illness), Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins stepped up, catching 11 balls for a school-record 197 yards and a score in the Tigers’ win. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 367 yards and scored four touchdowns (1 rushing) while running back Andre Ellington added another 132 yards and a score on the ground. Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig threw for 341 yards in the loss, the third-most in school history behind two games by Doug Flutie.
#18 Oregon State 38, Arizona 35
Oregon State and Arizona feature the PAC-12’s top two quarterbacks statistically, and they didn’t disappoint, igniting an offensive shootout that featured 1,157 combined total yards and saw the lead change hand six times. Oregon State started the game with 17 straight points, only to see Arizona respond with 21 unanswered to take a second quarter lead. From that point on, the two teams traded scores all night, culminating with Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion hitting receiver Connor Hamlett for a nine-yard score with just 1:09 remaining. Mannion finished with a career-high 433 yards and three touchdowns. Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott had equally impressive numbers, passing for 403 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss.
#19 Louisville 21, Southern Miss 17
Neither quarterback was able to get much going (113 combined passing yards) in the torrential rain that went on during much of the game. So the game ball goes to Louisville’s running back tandem of Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry, which combined for 203 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Louisville trailed 17-6 with just two minutes left in the first half before scoring the game’s final 15 points to come away with its sixth-straight win in this series.
#21 Mississippi State Bye
Off to their best start since 1999, the Bulldogs got a week off to get ready for a return to SEC play at Kentucky.
#22 Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
Nebraska scored 20 unanswered points in the second half to rally from a 27-10 deficit, the second-biggest comeback in school history. The Cornhuskers offense, which game into the game ranked fifth nationally in rushing, got off to a slow start, fumbling three times (losing one) in the first quarter and managing just 51 total yards on its first five drives. But quarterback Taylor Martinez took over the second half, leading the Huskers on four straight scoring drives and finishing with 288 total yards (107 rushing) and three touchdowns. The Nebraska defense, which gave up 653 yards to UCLA earlier this year, regrouped to stifle the Badgers and held Wisconsin to just 60 rushing yards. Heisman finalist Montee Ball scored three short touchdowns, but was largely bottled up, held to just three yards per carry.
#23 Rutgers BYE
The Scarlet Knights are ranked for the first time in three years and are off to a 4-0 start for just the 12th time in the 143-year history of the program. Rutgers will return to action next week hosting Connecticut.
#24 Boise State 32, New Mexico 29
Boise State jumped out to a 25-0 halftime lead but had to hold off a furious second half comeback from the Lobos. Broncos quarterback Joe Southwick threw for 311 yards and three touchdowns and freshman running back Jay Ajayi added 118 yards and a score on just six carries. Three New Mexico turnovers led to 18 Boise points in the first half. The Lobos have not beaten a ranked opponent since 2003 (14 straight losses).