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College Football Wrap-Up Week 5 – Only a Baker’s Dozen of Teams Still Remain Undefeated
Among the top 120 teams, only 13 remained undefeated after Week 5 of the 16-week college football season. They are Florida, Texas, Alabama, LSU, Boise State, Cincinnati, TCU, Iowa, Kansas, Auburn, South Florida, Missouri and Wisconsin.
On the other hand, only 7 teams have yet to win a game – Rice, New Mexico, Eastern Michigan, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky and Miami (OH). So 20 teams still have perfect records – 13 are excellent and 7 are terrible.
Given that most teams now play a 12-game season, we’re a third of the way through. Many fans may have thought that Virginia Tech, USC, Ohio State, BYU, Oklahoma and even Mississippi would still be undefeated. Not like this.
The biggest upset of the week belonged to the 123rd-ranked University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), who dominated and dominated the 12th-ranked Houston Cougars 58-41 in a competitive thriller. With the score tied at 17 at halftime, Houston pulled away early as UTEP went on to win the second half 41-24.
Coach Mike Price’s Miners could muster just 53 yards of offense in last week’s 64-7 road loss to No. 2 Texas, but recovered from the humiliation to amass 581 yards of offense at home. Donald Buckram rushed for 262 yards and 4 TDs. UTEP really found its mojo in the second half, putting up 20 points in the 3rd quarter and 21 in the 4th.
Houston’s high-powered offense, led by quarterback Case Keenum with 536 passing yards and 5 touchdowns, couldn’t keep UTEP on the scoreboard. The Cougars’ loss came after scoring 55, 45 and 29 points in their first 3 wins; unfortunately, this was bound to happen because houston has 11 players on defense, they just don’t play good defense and are giving up an average of 32 points per game.
If Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin ever decides to hire a good defensive coordinator and recruit some defensive players, Houston will become a more important player than quality competition.
The second biggest upset saw No. 17 Miami (FL) bounce back from No. 6 Virginia Tech last week, 31-7, at home and beat No. 8 Oklahoma, 21-20. defeated The Hurricanes led 21-17 after 3 quarters and were able to hold the Sooners to a field goal in the final quarter to win.
Michigan State, which has looked awful with 3 losses in the last 3 weeks, successfully held off 22nd ranked Michigan 26-20 in overtime. The loss was the first for the Wolverines, who trailed 10-6 at the half but managed to send the game into OT 20-20. True Spartans tailback Larry Caper scampered 23 yards, eluding at least 2 players en route, to score against Michigan State.
Whoever said it was so hard to win on the road forgot to mention the majority of quality teams. Of the 12 ranked teams playing on the road this week, only 3 of them – Oklahoma, Houston and Michigan – have lost and 9 of them have won. The winners included:
In third place, Alabama beat Kentucky 38-20; No. 4 LSU needed two touchdowns in the final 2:53 of the game to beat No. 18 Georgia 20-13; and 6th-ranked Virginia Tech managed to get by a 97-ranked Duke team 34-26, which was a very impressive win despite being on the road. Giving Duke 26 points is like taking your sister to senior prom. Seventh-ranked Southern California defeated No. 24 California Bears, 30-3; Bears appear every season and sometimes even this early.
Ninth-ranked Ohio State traveled to Indiana and won 33-14. They probably still play football in Indiana, but it’s sometimes hard to tell with the Hoosiers. Cincinnati was ranked 150th and beat (you read that right) Miami of OH, 37-13. Another impressive performance by a top team. Fifteenth-ranked Penn State defeated No. 85 Illinois 35-17; At least the Nittany Lions weren’t playing a 1-AA school this week.
Twenty-first Mississippi, the new “good” team of the most recent season, defeated 77th-ranked Vanderbilt, 23-7; With the score 23-7 after the 3rd quarter, both teams decided to take it in the 4th quarter and save some energy for party time later. Twenty-fifth-ranked Georgia Tech defeated Mississippi State 42-31, showing that a top-25 team can give an opponent too many points and still win with very little efficiency on the defensive side of the ball.
Five other ranked teams won at home. They beat 11th-ranked TCU over 117th-ranked SMU 39-14; No. 16 Oregon over the unlucky 101st-ranked Washington State, 52-6-Oregon led 42-0 at halftime, early rain and still won by 46; and 20th-ranked BYU defeated 119th-ranked Utah State 35-17.
Fifth-ranked Boise City is a ridiculous 34-16 over 139th-ranked 1-AA University of California at Davis (UC Davis), another part of the Broncos’ ice cream (some say powder) schedule. got it. Last week, the No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes were upset, losing 21-10 to No. 5 Penn State in a road game, only to fall to No. 125 Arkansas, 24-21. The Hawkeye defense, seemingly out of step with their effort in Happy Valley, let Arkansas State score 14 points in the final quarter to make it very close. Without a 4th quarter field goal, Iowa was headed to overtime.
The three teams listed went 5-0 to enter the AP Top 25 poll. They included Wisconsin beating Minnesota 31-28 on the road, South Florida beating No. 95 Syracuse 34-20 on the road and Auburn beating Tennessee 26-22.
Eight other teams that were unranked at 4-1 went on to win. Notre Dame was forced into overtime at home to hold off Washington 37-30, marking the 3rd straight game the Fighting Irish have won in the final 60 seconds. They don’t say Irish for nothing. Idaho, ranked 89th, defeated visiting Colorado State, ranked 62nd, 31-29. Boston College won at home against Florida State with a score of 28:21.
Pittsburgh traveled to Louisville and won 35-10; The Central Michigan Chippewas traveled to Buffalo and defeated the 127th ranked Bulls 20-13; South Carolina beat 158th-ranked, 1-AA state rival South Carolina 38-14 at home; and Tulsa traveled to Rice and beat the Owls 27-10. The Ums do not eat rice, they are apparently called Rice Eagles; maybe they are smart birds that won’t win much.
Stanford also outscored visiting UCLA 24-16 and went 4-1.
Six top-25 teams were idle this week — no. 1 Florida, No. 2 Texas, No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 16 Kansas, No. 23 Missouri and No. 24 Nebraska.
Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley
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