Texas annihilates Oklahoma, "Mormons vs. Catholics" and Top 5 remain the elite - Week 6 Highlights
Game of the Week
Texas 49-0 Oklahoma
While Texas A&M-Alabama was a terrific contest, my game of the week took place in Dallas, If last year's Red River Showdown heralded the arrival of promising then Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, this year's "next big thing" headlines belong to Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers. Injured after a promising first period against Alabama four weeks ago, the redshirt freshman was calm in the red-hot atmosphere at the Cotton Bowl. Ewers passed for 289 yards and four touchdowns, while Bijan Robinson added 130 yards on the ground and two scores, ensuring The Golden Hat returned to Austin in their first shutout win over the Sooners since 1965.
Ewers, the top high school prospect and Texas native, could be every bit as good as Longhorns fans hoped on this showing and has injected some long-awaited confidence into this historic program that has disappointed in recent years.
"He showed great composure. He's such a cool customer in moments like this." - Texas Head Coach Steve Sarkisian on Quinn Ewers.
Oklahama were as bad as Texas were good. Coach Brent Venables must have wondered what he walked into this season. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel's absence didn't help as the Sooners used a variety of wildcat options to little success, while recent Pitt transfer Davis Beville completed only 6 of 12 attempts for a pitiful 38 yards. Texas moves to 4-2 and faces Iowa State and Oklahoma State in a Big 12 race that is suddenly looking interesting.
Mormons vs. Catholics
No.16 BYU 20-28 Notre Dame
Notre Dame, having started 0-2, are hitting form. A 28-20 win over ranked Brigham Young University in Las Vegas demonstrated their continuing development under rookie head coach Marcus Freeman.
Michael Mayer caught 11 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns that saw him claim Notre Dame's record for receptions by a tight end. Mayer will be high on NFL team draft boards. Drew Pyne threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns and Irish running backs Logan Diggs and Audric Estime combined for 190 yards on the ground. Notre Dame's defense, in contrast, held BYU to just 180 yards total offense.
In the SEC...
Texas A&M 20-24 No.1 Alabama
A match billed as a potential game of the season in preseason lost a little of its' sparkle with Texas A&M's indifferent start and an injury to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. The much-heralded spat between head coaches Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban fizzled into a cordial pre-game handshake and chat as the teams warmed up at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Young's replacement Jalen Milroe joined exalted company in Joe Namath, Mac Jones and Young himself, throwing three touchdown passes on his full debut for the Crimson Tide. Unfortunately, Alabama committed three turnovers in the first half and were on the ropes at times against the Aggies. Their quarterback Haynes King had a chance to win it with three seconds left, but the pass was tipped. Former Aggie legend Johnny Manziel ridiculed the play on Twitter. Alabama moves to 6-0 but falls to No.3 in this week's AP Top 25. They could regain top spot with a convincing win over a 5-0 No.6 ranked Tennessee team this weekend.
Auburn 10-42 No.2 Georgia
The "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" isn't much of a rivalry these days. The 130-year encounter has been dominated by Georgia in recent years. The Bulldogs won their sixth game straight against Auburn in Athens convincingly. The War Eagles were literally overrun by Georgia, who ran for 292 yards in a one-sided encounter.
No.8 Tennessee 40-13 LSU
Tennessee warmed up for their showdown with Alabama, overpowering LSU in their 11am kickoff in Death Valley. Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker added to his Heisman credentials in a 239-yard passing, two touchdown performance. His LSU counterpart Jayden Daniels, by contrast, had no protection from his offensive line as the Tigers offense struggled, rushing for just 55 total yards.
Tennessee is averaging 47 points per game and hosts Alabama next on a wave of confidence. With Texas A&M out of contention, Georgia inconsistent and Ole Miss rising, these are interesting times for SEC football.
No.9 Ole Miss 52-28 Vanderbilt
Ole Miss's run game, the cornerstone of their offense this season, struggled against Vanderbilt early on. Up stepped wide receiver Jonathan Mingo, who broke a school receiving record with 247 yards on 9 catches with two touchdowns. Ole Miss moves to 6-0 and, with Tennessee, are threatening the old guard in the SEC.
Elsewhere in the SEC, No.13 Kentucky's season stuttered in the absence of star quarterback Will Levis in a 24-14 loss to South Carolina, the Wildcats and Gamecocks both moving to 4-2.
No.23 Mississippi State moved to 5-1 with a resounding 40-17 win over Arkansas. Bulldogs' quarterback Will Rogers threw for 395 yards and three touchdowns. The Razorbacks, after a promising start, have lost three on the bounce and fall to 3-3.
Florida moved to 4-2 with a 24-17 win over Missouri in the Swamp. Gators sophomore Jaydon Hill was the star of the show with two interceptions, including a 49-yard pick-six.
In The Big 10...
No.3 Ohio State 49-20 Michigan State
For the second year running in this fixture, C.J. Stroud threw for six touchdowns as Ohio State rolled over Michigan State in East Lansing. The Buckeyes quarterback completed 21 of 26 passes for 361 yards and looks like the front runner for the Heisman Trophy on this form.
Marvin Harrison Jr. caught seven passes for 131 yards and three touchdowns while Emeka Egbuka had five receptions for 143 yards and a further score, Running back TreVeyon Henderson ran for 118 yards and another touchdown. The Buckeyes moved to 6-0 and climbed to No.2 in the AP poll.
No.4 Michigan 31-10 Indiana
Blake Corum racked up 124 yards as Michigan pulled away from Indiana in the second half, having been tied 10-10 at halftime. The Wolverines' offense runs through their star back while quarterback J.J. McCarthy's quick passes and ability to extend plays kept the Hoosiers' defense honest. The game paused at a worrying moment when Michigan's running backs coach Mike Hart suffered a seizure and collapsed. The latest on Hart is that he is at home recovering and has been involved in virtual team meetings this week.
Michigan takes on Penn State at home in a pivotal conference match up this weekend.
In other Big 10 games, interim coach Jim Leonhard led Wisconsin to a 42-7 thrashing of Northwestern, while Purdue edged Maryland 31-29 in a thriller, both teams moving to 4-2.
Washington State 14-30 No.6 USC
With Jordan Addison injured, Caleb Williams had to rely on his namesake Mario as the Trojans' main receiving threat, connecting with him for two touchdowns. Oregon transfer Travis Dye added 149 yards on 29 carries as USC beat Washington State at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to move to 6-0 for the first time since 2006.
No.11 Utah 32-42 No.18 UCLA
UCLA announced themselves as a real contender in the intriguing Pac-12 with a surprise win over defending champions Utah. Bruins quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 18 of 23 passes for 299 yards and four touchdowns, breaking Brett Hundley's UCLA career touchdown record with 76.
No.12 Oregon 49-22 Arizona
Oregon have risen impressively from the ashes of their humbling opening day defeat to Georgia, recording their fifth straight win with a dominant performance against Arizona. At 5-1, and with Utah's loss to UCLA, they are in the mix for the Pac-12 title.
Arizona State won a thriller at home, upsetting No.21 Washington 45-38.
No.5 Clemson 31-3 Boston College
The annual Red Bandana game, one of college football's finest traditions, named in honour of former lacrosse player and 9/11 hero Welles Crowther, saw Clemson win their twelfth game in a row against Boston College, holding the Eagles to just 34 rushing yards. Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw three touchdown passes and 220 yards, also rushing for another 69 on the ground. Clemson move up to No.4 in the AP rankings, and face Florida State on the road this weekend.
Elsewhere in the ACC, No.19 North Carolina State rallied to beat Florida State 19-17 after quarterback Devin Leary had been knocked out of the game. No.15 Wake Forest moved to 5-1 with a 45-10 demolition of Army and were joined at 5-1 by North Carolina, who beat Miami 27-24.
The Big 12
With Quinn Ewers and Texas hitting form, Oklahoma State, and TCU unbeaten and Oklahoma sliding, the Big 12 is one of the most intriguing conferences in college football. After Texas thrashed Oklahoma, here's what happened...
No.17 TCU 38-31 No.19 Kansas
TCU outlasted Kansas after a shoulder injury to Jayhawks quarterback Jalon Daniels in this entertaining game in Lawrence. Backup Jason Bean threw four touchdowns and 262 yards virtually in one half. Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes has built a strong team at TCU.
In Max Duggan, he has a quarterback who can drive the down the field in adverse situations, his highlight being a 99-yard drive featuring three passes to talented receiver Quentin Johnson and a 15-yard run to the 1-yard line from Duggan, rubber stamped by Kendre Miller's goal-line conversion. TCU's quarterback finished with 308 yards passing, three touchdown passes and another score on the ground. Johnson caught 14 receptions for 206 yards.
Kansas travels to Norman this weekend to take on a reeling Oklahoma team, while TCU play arguably the game of the Big 12 season so far, a home showdown with unbeaten Oklahoma State.
No.7 Oklahoma State warmed up for TCU with a 41-31 win over Texas Tech, moving to 5-0. Spencer Sanders keeping the ball safe seems to be the key to the Cowboys' success on offense while their vaunted defense makes them arguably the favourite to win the Big 12 title.
No.20 Kansas State beat Iowa State 10-9 in Ames to keep them in the hunt. Quarterback Adrian Martinez could be a cheeky outside bet for Heisman contention.
The AP Top 25 Poll sees Georgia return to No.1, knocking Alabama down to No.3 after their close win over Texas A&M. Ohio State is sandwiched between the at No.2, after their drubbing of Michigan State. Clemson and Michigan swapped places at numbers 4 and 5. Tennessee lurks ominously at No.6 with a home game vs. Alabama that could launch them into playoff contention.
New entrants to the poll are James Madison, new to the FBS this season and ranked for the first time in their history, at No.25 and Illinois is ranked for the first time since 2005, joining at No.24. Texas rejoins at No.22 and Kansas is in at No.19.
Big climbers include UCLA and Mississippi State, both up seven places to No.11 and No.16 respectively. Utah and Kentucky are the big fallers, both down nine spots to No.20 and No.22 respectively.
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 6: