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College football 2018: Week 6 heroes and villains

Logan Tyler #21 of the Florida State Seminoles gets a face mask penalty (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
7th October, 2018
4

Another college football weekend is in the books. Six weeks in, and we’re starting to get a better indication of contenders and pretenders – for my money, everyone is lined up behind Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, and the Crimson Tide will be hard to beat.

Let’s now take a look at who covered themselves in glory and who didn’t, with Week 6’s heroes and villains:

Heroes

Texas: Just maybe, the Longhorns are back, folks, thanks to their 48-45 win over arch-rivals Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry game. The 93 combined points were the most in any one meeting between the two schools.

Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger accounted for five touchdowns and the defence did just enough to curb the influence of Oklahoma star Kyler Murray. Back-and-forth rivalry games like this are why I love college football!

Miami: Rallied from 20 down to beat Florida State by one. It’s the Hurricanes’ largest ever comeback against FSU.

Freddie Booth: The 330-pound defensive tackle from Temple scored the day’s most memorable touchdown – a barrelling one-yard run – as the Owls defeated East Carolina 49-6.

Elon: The FCS squad was responsible for the biggest win in college football so far this season, defeating James Madison 27-24 as 37.5-point underdogs in Las Vegas. That makes it a bigger win than when Old Dominion beat Virginia Tech as a 28.5-point underdog.

Iowa: The Floyd of Rosedale trophy will reside in Iowa City for another year. The Hawkeyes scored a 48-31 win that featured Nate Stanley throwing for four touchdowns and the Iowa defense recording four interceptions.

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Iowa State: A good day for teams from corn country, with the Cyclones beating ranked Oklahoma State on the road in Stillwater in a patented Big XII shootout, 48-42.

San Diego State: The Aztecs scored a gritty, somewhat improbable 19-13 win over highly-fancied Boise State on the road. They had more penalties and fewer first downs than Boise State, yet managed to score a big victory on the blue turf.

Nick Fitzgerald: The Mississippi State quarterback became the all-time SEC quarterback rushing leader, eclipsing Florida legend Tim Tebow during a surprising 23-9 win over fancied Auburn. Fitzgerald finished with 195 yards and two touchdowns for a career mark of 2999 yards.

Tua Tagovailoa: The Alabama quarterback threw just 13 passes and completed ten of them for four touchdowns and 334 yards as the Tide rolled – yet again – over Arkansas 65-31. Tua might be the best quarterback we’ve seen in Tuscaloosa under Nick Saban. He’s a legitimate Heisman contender.

Northwestern: A week after giving up a 17-0 lead over Michigan, the Wildcats gained a measure of revenge, defeating Michigan State 29-19. Important win for Pat Fitzgerald’s program, which has had an uneven start to 2018. It’s their third straight win over the Spartans.

Houston: The Cougars were down 26-17 early in the fourth quarter against Tulane on Thursday night, and proceeded to reel off 24 unanswered points (including three D’Eriq King touchdowns, two through the air and a 61-yarder on the ground) for a 41-26 victory.

Central Florida: The Knights defeated Southern Methodist 48-20 behind 278 yards and two touchdown passes from McKenzie Milton to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games. They are also now in the box seat for an invitation to a New Year’s Six bowl following Boise State’s loss.

Texas A&M: The Aggies handed Kentucky their first loss of the season, narrowly triumphing 20-14 in overtime.

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Dwayne Haskins: The Ohio State quarterback has had a great start to the season and deserves to be firmly in Heisman contention. He threw for six touchdowns to lead the Buckeyes handily out of what loomed as a post-Penn State trap game against Indiana, winning 49-26.

Villains

Florida State: Coughed up a 20-point halftime lead against in-state rival Miami to lose 28-27. The Seminoles looked great in the first half, but couldn’t close the deal late. Quarterback Deondre Francois has now played three games at Hard Rock Stadium, all three decided by a single point.

Louisville’s run defence: The Cardinals were deplorable on the defensive side of the football, giving up a whopping 542 yards and 28 first downs on the ground in the program’s worst home loss, a 66-31 loss to Georgia Tech in which the GT offense didn’t punt once.

Brigham Young: Remember when the Cougars went into Madison and beat Wisconsin? Seems a long time ago now, following two dispiriting losses in as many weeks. At least the Cougars could say they were beaten last week by a very good Washington squad, but they were handled 45-20 by Utah State on Friday night and didn’t look good at all.

Joe Burrow: The Louisiana State quarterback’s first interception of the year came late in Gainesville against Florida, and it was big, a pick-six touchdown that helped Florida to a 27-19 win.

Oklahoma: The Sooners’ porous defence couldn’t get enough stops against Texas in the Cotton Bowl to preserve an undefeated record, and the Big XII is now wide open.

Brett Rypien: The Boise State quarterback threw his first two picks of the season in a 19-13 loss at home to San Diego State, and that probably puts an end to any talk that the Broncos will be a Group of Five representative in the New Year’s Six bowl games. A disastrous loss for Bryan Harsin’s team.

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Connecticut: The Huskies are the nation’s worst defensive team through five weeks of the 2018 season and showed why, giving up 55 points and 634 total yards to Memphis. It’s been a nightmarish start, giving up at least 500 yards in every game so far, and they’ve been outscored 273-66 by FBS opponents.

Stanford: No Bryce Love, no chance, it seems. The Cardinal were without their star running back against Utah, and were dominated by an unranked Utes squad that hasn’t looked great this year, falling 40-21.

Auburn’s run game: The Tigers lost 23-9 to Mississippi State in Starkville and, for the third straight week, failed to get more than 150 yards on the ground. That opening weekend win over Washington feels like it happened a century ago. Gus Malzahn is going to feel some pressure this week.

Missouri: Out-gained South Carolina by more than a hundred yards and still lost 37-35.

Nebraska: The rough start for new head coach Scott Frost continues with the Huskers losing 41-24 to Wisconsin in Madison. They are at Northwestern next week then home for Minnesota the week after, before getting Bethune-Cookman in three weekend’s time. I can see the Huskers dropping their next two. Best case, they enter November 1-7. Not what the Nebraska faithful expected.

Michigan State: The Spartans have lost to Northwestern three years in a row and Saturday’s 29-19 defeat almost certainly puts an end to their chances at contending in the Big Ten’s eastern division. With a tough schedule to come, the heat on head coach Mark Dantonio is really going to become unbearable.

Wake Forest’s run defence: The Demon Deacons fared slightly better on the ground against Clemson than Louisville did against Georgia Tech. That’s not saying much, because they still surrendered 471 rushing yards in a 66-3 belting.

Kentucky: The Wildcats might want to post a notice on milk cartons in Lexington because their offence certainly went missing Saturday night against Texas A&M. They only converted twice on third down and the first play inside Aggie territory came on the first play of overtime.

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