Week 5 is in the books and the latest Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls have been released. As we do every Monday LTSB breaks down the weekend that was for the AP’s top 10 schools.
1. Alabama (5-0) – For the first time this season Alabama received all 60 first place votes after taking care of Ole Miss 33-14. Shockingly the Tide trailed in the game, albeit by just one point. Then Christion Jones did this. That didn’t last long. AJ McCarron had two more touchdown passes and is yet to throw an interception on the season. The defense forced three turnovers in the second quarter and ‘Bama went into the locker room with a 27-7 halftime lead. Alabama’s offense wasn’t sharp, but when you have the nation’s best defense you don’t have to be every time out.
2. Oregon (5-0) – Marcus Mariota had his worst passing day of the season and the Ducks still beast Washington State 51-26. But it was his first start away from Autzen Stadium so I’ll cut him some slack. Kenjon Barner will get alot of credit for the victory. He rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a receiving score. Oregon’s secondary probably won’t want to look at the game film. Wazzu quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 348 yards. Junior wide receiver Marquess Wilson reeled in 12 of Halliday’s passes for 182 yards. On the positive side the Ducks held the Cougars to -8 yards on the ground.
3. Florida State (5-0) – The Noles leapfrogged LSU thanks to a 30-17 win over South Florida. FSU wasn’t super impressive, and you might argue there was a bit of a letdown after the big victory against Clemson last week, but they did enough to win. Florida State had as many field goals (3) as touchdowns. That probably isn’t how Jimbo Fisher figured the scoring distribution would end up but when you don’t commit any turnovers, force three of your own, and hold your opponent to 268 yards of offense there’s less to be upset about.
4. LSU (5-0) – LSU paid the FCS Towson Tigers $510k to come to Baton Rouge and got a bit more of a game than they probably expected. LSU won 38-22 but for the second week in a row fell in the poll despite getting a W. When Russell Shepard scored on this 78 yard touchdown run it looked like the rout was on. But in the second quarter LSU found themselves down 9-7 and everyone was scrambling to figure where Towson University is and what conference they play in. Zach Mettenberger (238 yds, 2 TD) connected with Odell Beckham for 128 yards and two touchdowns while the defense kept Towson contained until surrendering two fourth quarter TD’s to make the final score respectable. A win for LSU and for Towson, eventhough the scoreboard showed they lost.
5. Georgia (5-0) – Georgia and Tennessee combined for 95 points. Fortunately for Mark Richt and the Bulldogs they scored 51 of them. Georgia running backs Keith Marshall (164 yds, 2 TD) and Todd Gurley (130 yds, 3 TD) were too much for the Volunteers. They’re both freshmen. Quarterback Aaron Murray threw for 278 and two scores. The defense gave up a bunch of yards (478) but forced Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray into three fourth quarter turnovers when the Vols had a chance to tie the game. If Bray had a better game Tennessee would have won. But he didn’t have better game because Georgia’s defense clamped down when it needed to.
6. South Carolina (5-0) – South Carolina defeated Kentucky 38-17 but if you didn’t watch the game, or keep an eye on it, you would probably be surprised to find out the Wildcats were up 17-7 at halftime. 31 second half points for the Gamecocks made the score look about what you would have expected it to be prior to kickoff but Kentucky deserves some credit. South Carolina was only up four heading into the fourth quarter. Quarterback Connor Shaw followed up his 20/21, 249 yd, 2 TD performance of a week ago by completing 15 of 18 for 148 and two more touchdown passes. Marcus Lattimore added 120 yards and two scores on the ground.
7. Kansas State (4-0) – Bill Snyder’s Wildcats had the week off to get ready for their matchup with in-state rival Kansas on Saturday.
8. West Virginia (4-0) – It’s somewhat hard to take the Moutaineers seriously as a national championship contender when you watch them give up 700 yards of offense and 63 points to Baylor. But when WVU scores 70 points and racks up 807 yards themselves it’s hard to completely dismiss them.
2012 Heisman Trophy winner Geno Smith chucked the ball around to the tune of 656 yards. He had more touchdown passes (8) than incompletions (6). He’s now thrown for 20 TD’s this season. With zero interceptions. Wide receivers Stedman Bailey (13 catches, 303 yards, 5 TD) and Tavon Austin (14, 215, 2) were the main beneficiaries of Smith’s 45 completed passes. This was the Big 12′s highest scoring game ever. It was also West Virginia’s first Big 12 game. The Moutaineers will fit right in quite nicely.
9. Notre Dame (4-0) – The Fighting Irish had the week off to determine how they forced six turnovers against Michigan and only managed to score thirteen points. And to get ready for a 4-1 Miami (FL) team led by quarterback Stephen Morris, who threw for an ACC and school record 566 yards and 5 touchdowns against NC State on Saturday.
10. Florida (4-0) – The Gators jumped into the top 10 without playing thanks to Stanford’s loss to Washington. Staying there won’t be easy. #4 LSU visits The Swamp on Saturday.