Week 6 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) – The Tide had the week off to reflect on how much better they are than the rest of the teams in the country. And to watch five of last week’s top fifteen teams go down in flames.
2. Oregon (6-0) – The Ducks smacked the Washington Huskies around Autzen Stadium and out of the top 25 with a 52-21 victory. Marcus Mariota tossed four touchdown passes. Kenjon Barner came into the game averaging 121 rushing yards per game on the ground. He finished with 122. The defense returned an interception for a touchdown for the third consecutive game (4 in that span) and forced five turnovers. Oregon never really looked troubled and was up 21-0 after the first quarter. Halfway through their schedule the Ducks look every bit of the second best team in the country.
3. South Carolina (6-0) – The Gamecocks were pretty disrespectful hosts to Mark Richt’s Georgia Bulldogs. Not alot went right for Georgia, mostly because of South Carolina’s doing, and the Gamecocks came away with a thoroughly impressive 35-7 win. The defense clamped down, allowing Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murry to complete just 11 of 31 attempts for 109 yards. Georgia only managed 115 on the ground after having two backs top the century mark against Tennessee last week. Wide receiver Ace Sanders made a mockery of Georgia’s special teams unit with this 70 yard punt return for a score. Connor Shaw only needed to complete six passes on the evening (two for touchdowns) and Marcus Lattimore added a touchdown run (his 9th on the season) as Georgia ran into a buzz saw.
4. Florida (5-0) – As impressive as the South Carolina defense was, Florida’s wasn’t that far behind in their 14-6 victory over LSU. Running back Mike Gillislee racked up 146 yards and the only two touchdowns of the game on the ground. That’s about the extent of anything worth mentioning offensively. Florida’s D completely nullified LSU’s ground game and Zach Mettenberger never got into a rhythm with his receivers. The “are the Gators back?” question will be asked alot this week. It may be a bit too early to say yes with South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida State still on the schedule but even if they’re not all the way back they did good job of avenging last season’s 41-11 lost to LSU.
5. West Virginia (5-0) – West Virginia has scored 118 points the last two weeks. The Moutaineers left Austin with a narrow 48-45 win in what was an entertaining game. The usual suspects were at it once again for West Virginia. Geno Smith threw for 268 yards and 4 touchdowns (yawn). Tavon Austin had 10 grabs for 102 yards (1 TD) and Stedman Bailey reeled in 8 for 75 (3 TD). Running back Andrew Buie had 226 yards through the first four games of the season. He ran for 207 on Saturday. As far as the defense goes, the offense scored more points than they allowed. That’s about it.
6. Kansas State (5-0) – The Wildcats beat instate rival Kansas 56-16 but it took a dominant second half to put the game out of reach. K-State was up by just seven at halftime. The Wildcats did most of their damage on the ground as John Hubert ran for 101 and 4 touchdowns and quarterback Collin Klein had 116 with 2 scores. Klein also had 2 touchdowns and 129 yards through the air. Kansas State is probably the most overlooked top ten team at the moment but could be quietly playing as well as anyone. It’s tough to beat teams who don’t turn the ball over and the Wildcats had zero turnovers for the third time this season on Saturday, while forcing five.
7. Notre Dame (5-0) – The Irish took care of Miami (FL) 41-3 in a neutral site (Chicago) game that wasn’t really a neutral site. A drop by wide receiver Philip Dorsett on Miami’s first drive, that probably would have resulted in a touchdown, set the tone for what would be a disappointing night for the Hurricanes. Tommy Rees started at quarterback for the Irish due to Everett Golson’s violation of team rules. When Golson did get in the game he was effective but didn’t have to be spectacular thanks to the running game and defense. Sounds like old school Notre Dame football doesn’t it? The Irish pounded out 376 yards on the ground with George Atkinson (123, 1 TD) and Cierre Wood (118, 2 TD) leading the way. In the last three games the Irish have given up a combined 12 points. Notre Dame back?
8. Ohio State (6-0) – Urban Meyers’ Buckeyes exploded for a season-high 63 points on the way to a win over Bo Pelini’s Nebraska Cornhuskers. OSU quarterback Braxton Miller is doing a pretty good job of keeping his name relevant in the Heisman discussion. He finished with 127 yards and 1 touchdown through the air and broke his own school record with 186 yards and a score on the ground. Carlos Hyde wasn’t to be outdone. He rushed for 140 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Buckeye defense picked off Taylor Martinez three times and while they weren’t as generous as Nebraska’s unit they also weren’t invincible. But they were more than good enough. Ohio State is carrying the flag for the Big 10 right now, and doing a pretty good job of it.
9. LSU (5-0) – The bad news for the Tigers is they lost. The good news is they didn’t fall too far all things considered. The offense was largely ineffective, as evidence by the 14-6 score, but they were going up a against a legitimately good defense in Florida. LSU’s defense kept them in the game and against just about anyone else 14 points allowed would be good enough for a win. It just wasn’t on Saturday.
10. Oregon State (4-0) – The 19-6 win over Washington State was good, but losses by teams ahead of them that helped the Beavers jump from #14 to their current spot were an added bonus. A week after being named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week quarterback Sean Mannion wasn’t great but led his team on a scoring drive in the fourth quarter to help put the game out of reach. Cornerback Jordan Poyer had three interceptions, the final one sealed the win with just over three minutes remaining. Oregon State is 4-0 for the first time since 2009.