College football 2017: Week 6 heroes

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    Another cracking week of college football is done and dusted. (Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

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    Another week of college football is in the books, and, as usual, there were lots of impressive and spectacular individual performances. Here are just a few teams and individuals who covered themselves in gridiron glory, my Week 6 heroes.

    Iowa State
    Coming into their game in Norman against the Oklahoma Sooners, the Cyclones were a mammoth 35-point road underdog. With less than three minutes to play in the first half, the Sooners took a 24-10 lead and you figured that, as brave as the Cyclones had been to that point, they were probably going to get overrun by superior athletes in the second half.

    Not so. Quite the opposite, in fact. State scored twenty five second half points to just seven for Oklahoma and stunned the pro-Sooner crowd by toppling the third-ranked squad 38-31. Backup quarterback Kyle Kempt threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns including the game-winner (a 25-yarder to Allen Lazard) to turn the college football landscape on it’s head. It was Iowa State’s first win against the Sooners since 1990, an eighteen-game stretch.
    Upsets like this are why we love college football.

    Michigan State
    After a debacle of a season last year, the Spartans showed signs of life through the first five weeks of the season, and then went into the Big House to take on in-state rivals Michigan. There, the defence caused five turnovers, and they got just enough offense from quarterback Brian Lewerke (who ran for a touchdown and also threw one) en route to a 14-10 victory, their eighth victory over the Wolverines in the last ten.

    Khalil Tate
    The Arizona signal-caller had arguably the most dominant performance of any one player this week, setting a single-game FBS record for rushing yardage by a quarterback with 327 yards on just fourteen carries. The craziest thing about that? Tate started his night on the pine, inserted into the game in relief of an injured Brandon Dawkins. Tate’s heroics helped Arizona to a surprise 45-42 win over Colorado.

    Miami
    The Hurricanes ended a six-game losing streak to in-state rivals Florida State thanks to a game-winning touchdown with just six seconds left in Tallahassee – the biggest win for the Hurricanes, who are seeking a return to national prominence under former Georgia head coach Mark Richt.

    Quarterback Malik Rosier connected with Darrell Langham for a touchdown that’s probably going to be mildly controversial this week due to it appearing that he was down before breaking the plane of the goal-line. The score held up under review, with no clear angle to go against the initial ruling, and the ‘Canes captured a big 24-20 win.

    Texas Christian
    The Horned Frogs remain the only undefeated team in the Big 12 conference after six tumultuous and high-scoring weeks thanks to a 31-24 win over West Virginia in Forth Worth. It was a big day for quarterback Kenny Hill, who scored three different types of touchdowns: he threw one, ran for one and caught one on a throwback trick play.

    An important win for Garry Patterson’s squad, who have pole position in the conference race. They look set to figure in the college football playoff conversation, too.

    Louisiana State
    A week after losing in embarrassing fashion to Troy, the Tigers bounced back with a tight, hard-fought 17-16 victory over Florinda in Gainesville. It must’ve been a tough week on the training track for Ed Orgeron’s men, and this week to last, it was like watching a completely different team. This was an important win for a program that’s had plenty of negative press surrounding it over the last seven days.

    Georgia
    The Bulldogs from Athens continue to lay claim to being the second-best team in the SEC with an authoritative 45-14 win over Athens in Nashville. Once again, freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was clean in limited action (he completed 7-11 passes for 102 yards and two scores) while the running game dominated. Sony Michel had 150 yards and a touchdown on twelve carries, and compatriot Nick Chubb ran for 138 yards and two scores.

    North Carolina State
    Not a start to a season when you can lay claim to knocking off Florida State and Louisville in the first six weeks. That’s exactly what the Wolfpack took care of Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals Thursday night in Raleigh, winning 39-25. Nyheim Hines ran for two touchdowns 102 yards and scored on a fourth quarter punt return while quarterback Ryan Finley threw for 367 yards and a touchdown on a big night for Dave Doeren’s men in front of a national television audience. They rolled up 520 yards of offense, never trailed, and are now a serious contender in the wide-open Atlantic Coast Conference.

    Memphis
    Anytime you drop seventy, you’re going to get a mention among my heroes, and the Tigers did just that, beating Connecticut 70-31. The offensive explosion was led by quarterback Riley Ferguson, who went 34-48 for 431 yards and seven touchdowns.

    Washington State
    The legend of Mike Leach continues to grow on the Palouse. One week after beating USC at home, the Cougars went on the road to Eugene and beat Oregon 33-10 behind three touchdowns from quarterback Luke Falk. Despite Oregon missing starting quarterback Justin Herbert, this felt like a big test for Washington State, and they passed it with flying colours.

    Stanford
    The Cardinal, behind 152 rushing yards from Bryce Love, beat Utah 23-30 and in the process knocked the Utes from the ranks of the undefeated.
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    Johnathan Taylor
    The freshman Wisconsin running back had 249 yards on the ground and two touchdowns as the Badgers defeated Nebraska 38-17. It looks like they’ve unearthed another great back in Madison, and absolutely do not sleep on Wisconsin in the Big Ten race.

    Desmond Nisby
    The Texas Tech running back scored four touchdowns (scoring from 47, 8, 1 and 15 yards out) as the Red Raiders pounded a hapless Kansas outfit 65-19.

    Virginia
    The Cavaliers beat a pretty-good Duke team on Saturday for their fourth win of the season. That’s two more than they won all last year. Former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall is probably very glad to be in Charlottesville rather than Provo this year, and is quietly doing one of the coaching jobs of the season with the Cavs.

    Western Michigan and Buffalo
    For anyone who can’t get enough college football, these MAC teams played a seven-overtime epic that featured an FBS-record 139 points. Not a game for fans of defensive football, but ridiculously fun for everyone else.

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