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Underdogs in marquee rivalry games ruled Week 6, but Miami narrowly avoided a similar to fate to that of Oklahoma and LSU.
The Hurricanes mounted a 20-point second-half comeback to stun Florida State, while Texas survived coughing up a 21-point lead against Oklahoma. Like the Longhorns, Florida defeated a previously unbeaten team in rival LSU.
Yeah, Week 6 was bananas.
Two more ranked teams fell during an enthralling Saturday. This piece will be updated as prime-time and late contests go final, but there’s already been a bunch of action.
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Quarterback McKenzie Milton and the dynamic UCF offense are deservedly the front-runner in the American Athletic Conference. But don’t give the Knights the trophy just yet.
During a 41-26 victory over Tulsa, defensive lineman Ed Oliver once again showed off his elite ability. The potential No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft tied a season-high with 13 tackles, recording 1.5 in the backfield and adding one hurry.
Houston’s defense had a few issues, but takeaways on consecutive fourth-quarter possessions keyed the comeback win.
“Our defense saved us all night,” quarterback D’Eriq King said, according to Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle. “I just knew that if we kept going, we were going to break through eventually, and that’s what we did thanks to our defense.”
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Louisville Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino is officially on the hot seat.
After a fourth-quarter collapse in Week 5 gifted Florida State a win, Louisville hardly showed up for its Friday night clash with Georgia Tech. The visiting Yellow Jackets raced to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and kept running to a 66-31 triumph.
Quarterback TaQuon Marshall shredded the Cardinals for 175 yards and two scores on the ground, and his backup—Tobias Oliver—crested the century mark and had a couple of rushing touchdowns, too. Overall, Georgia Tech ran for 542 yards, which was the school’s highest output since 2011.
At 2-4, Louisville can only afford two more losses if it expects to make a bowl. However, the Cardinals’ remaining slate includes trips to Boston College, Clemson and Syracuse, as well as home matchups with NC State and Kentucky.
The program’s eight-year bowl streak is unlikely to continue, and Petrino may get a pink slip in the process.
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Since becoming the head coach at Houston in 2015, Tom Herman has had a way of turning his underdog teams into upset threats.
Oklahoma found out the hard way Saturday.
Sam Ehlinger threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns but also scampered for 72 yards and three scores. He propelled Texas to a 48-45 victory, which Cameron Dicker sealed with a 40-yard field goal with only nine seconds remaining.
Herman boasts a 12-1 record against the spread as an underdog, per the Action Network. More importantly for the Longhorns, they’re undefeated in Big 12 action this season and hold a critical conference tiebreaker.
Texas isn’t there, but it’s getting closer to being back.
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BYU earned a sensational win at Wisconsin earlier in the season, playing a perfect game to stun the Badgers. The Cougars even surged into the Top 25 after the upset.
However, this was always a flawed team. And anyone who bought stock in BYU is regretting it.
In Week 5, Kalani Sitake’s squad looked outmatched in a 35-7 loss to Washington. Then, the Cougars surrendered 21 straight points before they fell to Utah State 45-20 Friday night.
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Clemson has become a powerhouse in the ACC, winning three straight conference titles and entering 2018 as the unquestioned favorite. If any program was going to unseat Dabo Swinney’s crew, though, North Carolina figured to have the best chance.
Well, here’s your shot, Wolfpack.
Thanks to a 28-23 victory over Boston College, NC State earned its first 5-0 start since 2002 and set up an Oct. 20 showdown with Clemson. Both teams have a bye next weekend.
Since BC is the only other Atlantic Division team with fewer than two ACC losses, the winner of NC State’s trip to Clemson will hold a critical tiebreaker and assume the No. 1 spot in the standings.
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Michigan State wasn’t quite the forgotten team in the Big Ten East, but Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State attracted more offseason attention.
Sure, the Spartans often fly under the radar. Yet after five games, they’re still a tier below the other three programs.
Although the run defense continued its elite play against Northwestern, Michigan State’s secondary surrendered 373 yards and three scores in a 29-19 loss. The Wildcats notched three of their four touchdowns from outside the red zone, too.
At 3-2, MSU has fleeting national championship dreams at best. With a 1-1 Big Ten record, the Spartans no longer have a margin for error in the conference race.
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No reasonable person expected Arkansas to upset Alabama. But, man, Tua Tagovailoa never gave the Razorbacks a chance.
The superstar sophomore completed 10 of 13 passes for 334 yards and four scores, leading the Crimson Tide to touchdowns on six of their seven first-half possessions. For good measure, they added a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half before he hit the bench.
As Alabama cruised to that 65-31 rout, Tagovailoa extended his lead in the Heisman Trophy conversation, too.
Kyler Murray and Oklahoma lost to Texas, and West Virginia gunslinger Will Grier committed four turnovers in an unspectacular win over Kansas. Tagovailoa is officially the player to beat.
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The Seminoles couldn’t keep the Turnover Chain in the briefcase, and that proved to be their downfall in a 28-27 loss to rival Miami.
After taking a 27-7 lead early in the third quarter, FSU quarterback Deondre Francois lost a fumble and threw an interception on consecutive possessions. The ‘Canes turned both takeaways into touchdowns.
Yes, it got a bit controversial from there.
Seminoles head coach Willie Taggart busted out a timely trick play, calling a double pass that might’ve actually gone backward. The simple truth is Francois needs to ensure there’s no doubt. Although a flag negated the touchdown, FSU still had a chance to take a two-score lead.
Later on that drive, kicker Ricky Aguayo yanked a 43-yard attempt wide left in the fourth quarter. Had he converted, the Seminoles would’ve jumped ahead 30-21. Instead, Miami’s N’Kosi Perry hit tight end Brevin Jordan for a 41-yard touchdown on the ensuing possession.
The overturned touchdown will be heavily debated, but if Florida State protects the football, it never matters.
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Brock Purdy entered Week 6 with zero career pass attempts.
He might be the starter now.
After taking over on Iowa State’s second drive of the game, the freshman quarterback sparked an upset of No. 25 Oklahoma State—even without star running back David Montgomery.
Purdy threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns, adding 84 rushing yards and a score. He led seven scoring drives throughout the day, propelling the Cyclones to a 48-42 victory.
The Cyclones probably won’t factor into the Big 12 Championship Game since they already have two conference losses. But there isn’t a team in the league that is looking forward to meeting ISU.
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Burn the tape.
Travis Etienne, Lyn-J Dixon and Adam Choice all handled 10 carries for Clemson. All three recorded at least 128 rushing yards, led by Etienne’s 167. They also combined for six touchdowns as the Tigers ran for 471 yards.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence completed 20 of 25 passes for 175 yards and two scores, and backup Chase Brice connected on his four attempts for 50 yards and a touchdown. Clemson totaled 698 yards of offense.
Wake Forest lost 63-3.
Yeah, burn the tape.
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South Florida arrived in the Northeast holding an undefeated record, but the Bulls could not afford to overlook an occasionally dynamic Massachusetts offense.
Bulls running back Jordan Cronkrite sliced, diced and shredded the Minutemen for an American Athletic Conference-record 302 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in a 58-42 win. The Florida transfer spearheaded a 574-yard effort from USF.
Oh, and the Bulls should be a Top 25 team next week.
Central Florida remains the AAC favorite, but 5-0 USF—and 6-0 Cincinnati, for that matter—won’t be dispatched easily.
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Considering the line closed with LSU at -1.5, per OddsShark, neither result would’ve been surprising in The Swamp.
That’s no consolation for the Tigers, though.
Joe Burrow threw his first career interception at an inopportune moment: Late in the fourth quarter, he tossed a pick-six that handed Florida a 27-19 advantage. Brad Stewart took the errant pass 25 yards to the house, and the Gators sealed the game with a second interception.
With a remaining schedule that includes Georgia and Alabama, LSU could not afford to drop this rivalry clash. On the bright side, the Tigers could own a trio of sensational season wins if they upset both SEC powers after upsetting Auburn in Week 3.
But if they could only muster 5.0 yards per play against Florida, good luck topping UGA and ‘Bama.