Let’s us recap Week 5, shall we?
Game of the week: No. 14 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State
Final score: Buckeyes 17, Spartans 16
Pregame rant: First road of the season won’t be an easy one for the Buckeyes in their Big Ten opener. How well sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller handles this will determine if Ohio State remains unbeaten.
Miller has seven rushing TDs, seven passing TDs, but more importantly, he’s completing 61.2 percent of his passes. Last season, he only completed 54.1 percent of his passes.
He may find it much tougher to execute against the Spartans, who have only given up two passing touchdowns. Ranked sixth in the nation in total defense, Michigan State is giving up just 3.94 yards a play.
Post-game commentary: Michigan State intercepted Miller once, forced two more turnovers, but didn’t corral the Ohio State quarterback when it mattered.
Miller rushed for a game-high 136 yards, threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to give Ohio State a 17-13 lead late in third, but more importantly, picked up a big first down to help the Buckeyes close out the game.
No. 25 Baylor at No. 9 West Virginia
Final score: WVU 70, Baylor 63
Pregame rant: First Big 12 game for the Mountaineers should end in a victory as they have the leading Heisman Trophy candidate in senior quarterback Geno Smith.
Smith has thrown for 1,072 yards, 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. WVU is third in the nation in passing offense and with Baylor being ranked 113th nationally in passing defense, Smith and Tavon Austin should have a lot of fun at the Bears’ expense.
Post-game commentary: Smith made an already bad pass defense look even worse.
Throwing for an astonishing 656 yards and eight touchdowns, Smith led WVU to one of the wildest games ever played regardless of level. How good was he:
1. Smith now has a weekly teleconference for national media to interview him.
2. He threw for more passing yards against Baylor than Auburn has thrown for the entire season. The Tigers have 579 yards passing in four games.
3. Eight teams – Eastern Michigan, Auburn, Navy, Temple, Southern Miss, Air Force, New Mexico and Army – have thrown for fewer yards than Smith did last week.
Penn State at Illinois
Final score: Nittany Lions 35, Illini 7
Pregame rant: Penn State has battled back from a 0-2 start to even its record by giving up a total of 20 points heading into its Big Ten opener. The Nittany Lions have actually been solid on defense as Michael Mauti has been a force at linebacker with 42 total tackles.
Illinois’ defense is actually ranked higher than Penn State’s (35 to 53), but that’s deceiving. The Fighting Illini gave up a combined 97 points in their losses to Arizona State and Louisiana Tech.
Post-game commentary: The only drama in this game was the post-game handshake between Penn State coach Bill O’Brien and Illinois coach Tim Beckman.
The Illini opened recruited Penn State players after the NCAA sanctions fell on the Nittany Lions. After the way Illinois looked Saturday, who can blame it staff for going after Penn State’s talent.
The Illini need all the help they can get.
Iowa at Minnesota
Final score: Hawkeyes 31, Gophers 13
Pregame rant: The only interest in this game locally should be Iowa freshman Greg Garmon, a McDowell High graduate who may return from an elbow injury that kept him out of last week’s loss to Central Michigan.
Garmon is on the depth chart as the No. 2 tailback behind sophomore Mark Weisman. Even if he does play, you’ve got two teams that have no shot of winning the Big Ten.
Post-game commentary: Garmon had one catch for three yards and one carry for three yards.
The remaining Hawkeyes certainly took care of the rest.
Iowa forced four turnovers, returned one for a touchdown and Weisman rushed for 177 yards in battering the Gophers.
Towson at No. 3 LSU
Final score: LSU Tigers 38, Towson Tigers 22.
Pregame rant: These Tigers won’t be nearly as tough as Auburn was on LSU. Escaping with a 12-10 win at Auburn, LSU will unleash on Towson, an FCS school.
The Tigers better enjoy this SEC break because their next two games are at No. 11 Florida and at home against No. 6 South Carolina.
Post-game commentary: LSU slept walk through this one. Had three turnovers. Trailed 9-7 in the first half, but the Tigers took care of businessl
Now things get real.
Three of LSU’s next four games are against opponents ranked in the top 10 starting Saturday at No. 10 Florida. The No. 4 Tigers follow that up with No. 6 South Carolina at home. Two weeks later, they get top-ranked Alabama at home in a rematch of the national title game the Tide won.
Oh yeah. It gets real.
No. 2 Oregon at Washington State (CenturyLink Field, Seattle)
Final score: Ducks 51, Cougars 26
Pregame rant: After you see the Oregon’s road uniforms, change the channel and go do laundry or go out on the town. By the time you’re get back home, the game will still be progress because the Ducks won’t stop scoring and the Cougars won’t stop trying to score.
Post-game commentary: It only took the Ducks a quarter to turn a close game into a rout. They outscored Washington State 21-0 in the third.
Kenjon Barner ran for 195 yards with 80 coming on a touchdown early in the fourth to cap a four-touchdown surge by the Ducks that put them up 51-19.
Got a hunch Washington, which upset then No. 8 Stanford last week, will fare better than Washington State did against Oregon, but will fall as well.