Alabama leapfrogs Georgia to No.1, and the Horned Frogs dominate Oklahoma - Week 5 Highlights
Game of the Week
No.2 Alabama 49-26 No.20 Arkansas
An entertaining game in Fayetteville saw Alabama cruise to a 14-0 lead before quarterback Bryce Young fell awkwardly. We later learned that the Alabama quarterback suffered an AC joint sprain in his shoulder, ruling him out of the rest of the game. In came backup quarterback Jalen Milroe.
The freshman ran in a touchdown on his first drive and led the Tide to a 28-0 lead. Arkansas then scored 23 unanswered points before Milroe illustrated his potential with a 77-yard touchdown run on a 3rd and 15 to set up a three-yard run for Jase McClellan, extending Alabama's lead to 12. A 76-yard touchdown run from Jahmyr Gibbs, highlighting a 206-yard rushing game from him closed out the win. Alabama host Texas A&M this weekend in a much-hyped game following the off-season spat between Nick Saban and Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher. The Razorbacks travel to Mississippi State.
No.1 Georgia 26-22 Missouri
A oddly lacklustre performance from Georgia saw them tamely surrender the No.1 spot in the AP Top 25 rankings but move to 5-0. The 29-point favourites were out of sorts in the first half, trailing at half-time for the first time since November 2020, trailing 16-6. Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis fuelled Bulldog fans' nerves of a historic upset with a 56-yard field goal to put the Tigers 22-12 up with 14:10 up.
Kendall Milton's touchdown capped a crucial Georgia drive featuring an impressive catch from the huge tight end Darnell Washington to close the gap to 22-18. The 6'7", 270lb junior forms an imposing tight end partnership with Brock Bowers, and have combined for over 500 receiving yards this season so far. A Dajun Edwards touchdown sealed the win with just over four minutes left.
No.7 Kentucky 19-22 No.14 Ole Miss
Two promising 4-0 teams met in Oxford hoping to further their challenge in the SEC. The Ole Miss running game ground down Kentucky, the Rebels rushing for 280 total yards, including 106 yards from freshman Quinshon Judkins, who had a 48-yard touchdown run.
Mississippi's defense stepped up in the second half, sacking highly-rated Kentucky quarterback Will Levis for a safety and forcing two turnovers to secure a vital win over their highe-ranked conference opponent. Ole Miss moves to 5-0 for the first time in eight years. They travel to Vanderbilt this weekend while the Wildcats host South Carolina in Lexington.
No.17 Texas A&M 24-42 Mississippi State
A humbling defeat for Texas A&M in Starkville. Potentially considered a dark horse to reach the Playoff at the start of the season, the Aggies slipped to 3-2 with whispers of discontent now questioning the massive investment in coach Jimbo Fisher's 10-year $100 million contract. It would cost the A&M brass at least 90% of that to terminate his contract as things stand.
Mississippi State took a 14-3 lead and never looked back, blocking a field goal which Decamerion Richardson returned 50 yards to put the Bulldogs up 21-3. Mississippi State sacked Aggies quarterback Max Johnson four times. Replacement Haynes King was picked off twice, once for a touchdown in a struggling offensive display. Texas A&M will need to rally quickly as they face No.1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa this weekend while Mississippi State hosts Arkansas.
LSU continued their surprising start to the season, rallying from 17-0 down to defeat Auburn 21-17 on the road, moving to 4-1.
The Big 12...
No.9 Oklahoma State 36-25 No.16 Baylor
Waco's McLane Stadium hosted the rematch of last year's Big 12 championship game, that was decided by inches. Oklahoma State seemed keen to exact revenge and surged to a 16-3 lead. Jaden Nixon returned Baylor's second half kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, which sparked a flurry of 39 combined third quarter points.
"Third quarter was like a video game" - Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy
Cowboys quarterback Spencer Sanders completed 20 of 29 passes for 181 yards, throwing for a touchdown and rushing for another as he completed another 75 yards on the ground in a mature display. Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen rallied his teamback from a 23-3 deficit, passing for 345 yards, 174 to Monaray Baldwin, while freshman back Richard Reese added a touchdown and 85 yards rushing. Oklahoma State faces Texas Tech, while Baylor has a week off before a trip to West Virginia a week Thursday.
No.18 Oklahoma 24-55 TCU
Oklahoma tumbled out of the Top 25 following their 55-24 humbling at the hands of TCU in Fort Worth and slip to 3-2 for the season. 49,094 fans watched the Horned Frogs dominate the Sooners, who couldn't handle TCU quarterback Max Duggan. The senior completed 23 of 33 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns, running for 116 yards and another two scores. Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel left the game after a late hit from
Oklahoma's defensive backs struggled as Duggan maximised some blown coverage, finding Gunnar Henderson and Taye Barber wide open for touchdowns. Kendre Miller ran for 136 yards and two touchdowns for TCU. Sooners' coach Brent Venables has serious work to do ahead of the Red River showdown with Texas this weekend. TCU move to 4-0 and jump up to No.17 in this week's poll and travel to 5-0 Kansas.
Iowa State 11-14 Kansas
Kansas leapt into the Top 25, overcoming Iowa State in a defensive slog in Lawrence. The Jayhawks, quieter on offense this week, move to 5-0 for the first time since 2009. Iowa State, slipping to 3-2, will rue three missed field goals from kicker Jace Gilbert.
Texas warmed up for their Red River showdown with Oklahoma, easing past West Virginia 38-20 in Austin. Their conquerors last week, Texas Tech, fell to the impressive Adrian Martinez and No.25 Kansas State, 37-28. Martinez is forming a powerful ground attack with running back Deuce Vaughn. The two combined for 341 rushing yards against the Red Raiders.
In the Big 10...
Rutgers 10-49 No.3 Ohio State
Miyan Williams wrote the headlines in Columbus, rushing for five touchdowns and 189 yards for an Ohio State team hitting its stride early in the season. Rutgers were overwhelmed and had their faces rubbed in it a bit by a fake punt play when down 49-10, leaving many fans furious with the lack of class and sparking a mini-brawl.
No.4 Michigan 27-14 Iowa
Michigan are moving to an inevitable collision with Ohio State for the Big 10 title in November 26th. They swept Iowa aside in a rematch of last year's Big 10 title game. Installing J.J. McCarthy as the permanent starter at quarterback gives the Wolverines' offense more guile and variety with his ability to extend plays. Blake Corum ran for 133 yards while McCarthy relished the opportunity to wave at the children in the hospital overlooking Kinnick Stadium, one of college football's fantastic traditions.
A rainy day at Beaver Stadium saw No.11 Penn State over come Northwestern 17-7 in a game riddled with mistakes. The Nittany Lions committed five turnovers and hung on for the win, moving to 5-0 and up to No.10 in this week's AP Top 25 poll.
In Minnesota, the No.21 Golden Gophers' offense spluttered without star running back Mo Ibrahim and Purdue took full advantage with an upset 20-10 win. Maryland moved to 4-1 with a 27-13 win over Michigan State, while Wisconsin fell to a 34-10 loss to Illinois who also move to a surprising 4-1. Badgers head coach Paul Chryst was subsequently fired after a 2-3 start to the season.
No.10 North Carolina State 20-30 No.5 Clemson
Both 4-0 going into this key match, North Carolina State's offensive line couldn't hold off Clemson's imposing defense in Death Valley. DJ Uiagalelei's confidence at quarterback is improving by the game and seems to be rubbing off on his team mates. The athletic quarterback had 73 rushing yards as Clemson secured their 37th home win in a row and 11 straight overall. They look ominous at No.5
No.22 Wake Forest 31-21 No.23 Florida State
Want to watch an entertaining game of college football? Look out for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons came off the back of a tough double-overtime loss to Clemson with a 31-21 win over an improving Florida State team. Sam Hartman threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns, leading Wake Forest to a 28-7 lead in the third quarter before the Seminoles pulled it back to 28-21, missing a crucial 55-yard field goal with 1:17 left.
No.24 Pitt lost 26-21 to an inspired Georgia Tech team under interim head coach Brent Key, while North Carolina handled Virginia Tech 41-10 with an impressive display from Tar Heels' quarterback Drake Maye, who had two rushing touchdowns in Chapel Hill.
Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec looked impressive with a 3-touchdown 305-yard passing display, completing 18 of 21 passes as the Eagles outlasted Louisville 34-33 in a back-and-forth game in Boston. Syracuse dominated Wagner 59-0 to move to 5-0.
No.6 USC beat Arizona State 42-25 to remain unbeaten at 5-0. Their closest challenge in the West may come from an emerging No.13 Oregon team that beat Stanford 45-27. Dan Lanning's Ducks look a different outfit to the one outclassed by Georgia in Week 1. Quarterback Bo Nix is looking comfortable in Kenny Dillingham's offense.
No.12 Utah will have their say in the Pac-12 championship race. The Utes picked off Oregon State four times in a 42-16 thrashing, Clark Phillips III accounting for three interceptions as Utah moves to 4-1.
A notable mention for James Madison, who move to 4-0 in their first season in the FBS, thrashing Texas State 40-13.
The AP Top 25 Poll sees Alabama leapfrog Georgia to No.1, with Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson and USC bunched closely behind.
Ole Miss and Wake Forest are the big climbers, to No.9 and No.15 respectively, while Oklahoma State rises to No.7 after their win over Baylor. Kentucky, North Carolina State and Washington fall significantly, while Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, Florida State, Arkansas and Minnesota fall out of the Top 25 altogether.
I am fortunate to be part of a UK and Ireland media group who cast their vote on a Top 25 from this side of the pond, put together by Owain Jones. Here are our rankings from Week 5: