The College Football season is now half way over for some schools. Many of them have dreams of flying to new heights while others are wondering what happened to all of those high pre-season expectations. There are no Florida schools ranked in either major poll for the first time in a very long time. Oh, and who would have thought that the first taunting penalty we see that prevents a touchdown would come from a punter? But that’s just a thought. Here are the winners and losers from Week 6:
While Clemson has received a lot of national attention of late, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons are right there with them atop the ACC’s Atlantic Division. At home on Saturday, Wake Forest forced five turnovers and hit numerous big plays as it defeated Florida State 35-30. Quarterback, Tanner Price passed for 233 yards and three touchdowns while tailback, Josh Harris rushed for 136 yards on just 13 carries. With the win, Wake improves to 4-1 and remains undefeated in ACC play.
South Carolina QB Connor Shaw
In his first start since Opening Day, South Carolina’s Connor Shaw played like a guy who wants to keep that job. In South Carolina’s 54-3 win over Kentucky on Saturday, Shaw complete 26 of his 39 pass attempts for 311 yards and four touchdowns as the Gamecocks avenged last week’s loss to Auburn. South Carolina will visit Mississippi State next Saturday.
The LSU Tigers are now 6-0 and bowl-eligible following Saturday’s 41-11 thumping of the University of Florida. Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson each threw touchdown passes for LSU while the defense held Florida to just 213 yards of offense. Spencer Ware rushed for 109 yards and a pair of scores; the Tigers will turn their attention to Tennessee. LSU had to score on the final play of the game to defeat Tennessee last season.
Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Few seem to be taking notice, but the Stanford Cardinal continue to keep winning. Stanford defeated Colorado 48-7 on Saturday night and quarterback, Andrew Luck, continued to make his case for the Heisman Trophy. Luck hit on 26 of his 33 passes while throwing for 370 yards and three touchdowns. With the win, Stanford improves to 5-0 and will visit Washington State next Saturday.
West Virginia QB Geno Smith
In its Big East opener, West Virginia easily defeated defending conference champion, Connecticut 43-16 on Saturday. Quarterback, Geno Smith carried the Mountaineers by passing for 450 yards and four touchdowns with three coming in the third quarter.
The Arkansas Razorbacks followed up their remarkable comeback against Texas A&M with another solid performance on Saturday. Arkansas trailed 14-7 after one quarter, but scored the game’s final 31 points in a 38-14 Razorbacks’ victory over Auburn. Tyler Wilson passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another. The highlight of the night came midway through the third quarter as Joe Adams scored a 92-yard-touchdown that put Arkansas up 28-14. Arkansas forced three Auburn turnovers in the victory as the Razorbacks collected their first SEC win of the 2011 season.
Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas
Virginia Tech quarterback, Logan Thomas, completed 23 of 25 pass attempts on Saturday against Miami. Thomas threw for 310 and three scores, but made the biggest play of the game with his legs. Facing a 4th down-and-1 from Miami’s 19-yard-line, Thomas faked the handoff to David Wilson and raced up the middle for a touchdown giving the Hokies a 38-35 lead with just 56 seconds to play. The Virginia Tech defense held Miami on the game’s final series securing the three-point-win. Thomas rushed for two touchdowns in the game and accounted for all five Virginia Tech touchdowns.
After an 0-2 start to begin the year, the Georgia Bulldogs are slowly beginning to look like the front-runner in the SEC East. The Bulldogs held Tennessee to -20 yards rushing in a 20-12 win in Knoxville on Saturday night. Each team managed just two field goals in the first half as the game was tied 6-6 at halftime. Isaiah Crowell scored two third quarter touchdowns to give Georgia a 20-6 lead. Tennessee drew to within eight late in the game, but never had a real scoring chance after that. Georgia is now 4-2 and will look for a fifth straight win next Saturday at Vanderbilt.
The Pittsburgh team that blew out South Florida last Thursday must have stayed in Pennsylvania on Saturday as Pitt was embarrassed 45-10 by Rutgers. The Panthers held Rutgers to just 271 yards of offense, but turned the ball over four times in the loss. With the defeat, Pittsburgh falls to 3-3 and 1-1 in Big East play.
Ohio State fell to 0-2 in Big Ten play following Saturday’s 34-27 loss at Nebraska. Ohio State took a 27-6 lead early in the third, but that’s when the Nebraska defense and ground game took over. In just more than a 17-minute-span, Nebraska racked up 28 points to take a 34-27 lead and victory away from the Buckeyes. Braxton Miller played well early for Ohio State at quarterback, but left the game with an injury. Joe Bauserman never could get the Ohio State offense going in place of Miller. Bauserman went just one-for-10 for 13 yards and an interception. Ohio State is 3-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 2004.
After a 14-0 season in 2010 and the school’s first National Championship in more than a half century, 2011 is off to a 4-2 start for Auburn following Saturday’s 38-14 loss at Arkansas. The Auburn offense rushed for 291 yards, but the passing game let the Tigers down. Four different passers combined to go just nine-for-25 for 104 yards and three interceptions. Auburn led 14-7 after one quarter, but never scored again and were outscored 31-0 for the remainder of the game. Auburn dropped to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC.
With a chance to prove that it was back amongst the nation’s elite, Texas was blown out by top-ranked Oklahoma 55-17 on Saturday in Dallas. The Longhorns trailed just 6-3 after one quarter, but Oklahoma broke free with 28 second quarter points to take a 34-10 lead into the locker room. The Sooners responded with two more touchdowns in the third quarter to put an early nail in the Texas coffin. The Longhorns were outgained by nearly 200 yards and turned the ball over five times as Texas took its first loss of the year. Texas returns to Austin on Saturday to take on a very good Oklahoma State team.
Week 6’s Biggest Winner
In Oklahoma’s second big test of the 2011 season, the Sooners passed with flying colors by destroying arch-rival Texas 55-17 on Saturday. In front of 96,000 fans in Dallas, Oklahoma put on a show on both offense and defense. Quarterback, Landry Jones passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns while the Oklahoma defense forced five Texas turnovers. With the win, Oklahoma improves to 5-0 and has notched consecutive wins over the Longhorns for the first time since beating them in 2003 and 2004.
Week 6’s Biggest Loser
After beginning the year ranked in the top 5 and giving top-ranked Oklahoma all it wanted, the Florida State Seminoles have dropped to 0-2 in the ACC and 2-3 overall. In Winston-Salem on Saturday, Florida State made one mistake after another as it fell 35-30 to Wake Forest. Clint Trickett made his second consecutive start, but turned the ball over three times in less than a half of football. E.J. Manuel replaced him and threw two interceptions of his own as FSU committed five total turnovers in the loss. On top of the turnovers, Florida State committed more than 100 yards in penalties. Florida State trailed by just two at halftime, but the Seminoles could not get the Wake Forest offense off of the field in the second half. With less than half of the regular season complete, Florida State’s ACC hopes look all but dashed.