Week five of the college football season was dripping with phenomenal matchups, including four top-25 matchups and two games between top-10 teams.
And while we didn’t get the nail-biting games we were hoping for from those top-25 matchups, we certainly learned a few things.
Alabama and Georgia are the two best teams in the country, Cincinnati belongs in the College Football Playoff conversation, and the Pac-12 is still mediocre at best.
College football also graced us with some major upsets that are sure to shake up the top-25 and the College Football Playoff discussion.
Let’s take a look at the best from week five of the college football season.
Georgia’s defense dominates Arkansas
The much-hyped matchup between No. 8 Arkansas and No. 2 Georgia in Athens was over before the end of the first quarter.
Quarterback JT Daniels was a gametime scratch as he was bothered with a lat injury, but it didn’t matter who Georgia put behind center, as the Bulldogs did their damage on the ground and held Arkansas to 162 total yards in a 37-0 smackdown.
Georgia scored three touchdowns in the first quarter — one on a blocked punt that all but ended the game — and the best defense in college football took it the rest of the way.
“Man they play hard,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said about his defense. “I’ll tell you, we’ve never met as a defensive unit this long, and I think what Dan (Lanning) does and Coach Addae, Coach Schumann, Coach Scott, Coach Muschamp and the GAs, they sell unity in there. They have fun.”
Stetson Bennett got the start under center for the injured Daniels, but only had to throw eleven times as the Bulldogs rushed for 273 yards on the ground.
“They were basically challenging us, could we run the ball,” Bennett said. “They said we couldn’t but we said we could today.”
There is a legitimate conversation to be had about whether Georgia is the best team in the country.
Nick Saban shows that Lane Kiffin isn’t in the same class
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin looked into the camera before kickoff and had a message for the viewers.
“Get your popcorn ready.”
Give us a break, Lane.
This one was also over by halftime, with Alabama taking a 28-0 lead into the locker room, and beating No. 12 Mississippi 42-21.
Kiffin’s offense was stopped three times on fourth down in the first half, and the best offense in the country was held scoreless until 8:25 left in the third quarter.
“I’m sure I got killed by going for it on fourth down, but that’s analytics,” Kiffin said. “We believe in our players, and it doesn’t work all the time. When it doesn’t work and you follow the book, it doesn’t look good.”
No. It sure didn’t look good.
Alabama ran for 210 yards on the ground and running back Brian Robinson had four touchdowns in the romp.
“It was a great opportunity for us today to show how physical we can play for 60 minutes,” said Robinson.
Saban’s former assistants are now 0-24 against their teacher, with Kiffin falling to 0-2.
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was 20-26 for 241 yards and two touchdowns and won the quarterback battle against Matt Corral.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys competed in the game,” Saban said. “I hope that we can build on this, the guys can build on the things that they do well and understand the things that they need to improve on that they did poorly so that we can continue to make progress as a team.”
Cincinnati proves it belongs
Notre Dame hasn’t looked nearly as good as many expected to start the season, but going into South Bend and beating a top-10 Irish team will put everyone on notice.
The Bearcats beat Notre Dame 24-13 on Saturday, behind 297 yards and two touchdowns by quarterback Desmond Ridder.
“We didn’t just beat a top-10 team, we beat a top-five program,” Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said.
Notre Dame backup quarterback Drew Pyne came in for Jack Coan in the second half, bringing the Irish within a score in the fourth quarter, but Ridder scored on a 6-yard run with 5:08 left to put the game on ice.
“It’s still midseason so we got a lot of games left to play, but it obviously is a big win against a top-10 team,” Ridder said. “Hopefully, we keep this going.”
Cincinnati has now passed their two biggest tests of the season, though their win over Indiana may not look all that impressive by the end of the season.
No non-Power Five school has made the College Football Playoff, but Cincinnati is sure making a case to be the first.
Stanford Stuns Oregon, Pac-12
The chances of a Pac-12 team making the College Football Playoff just took a major hit.
Oregon blew a fourth-quarter lead and couldn’t convert on fourth down in overtime as unranked Stanford stunned the Ducks in Palo Alto 31-24.
The Cardinal went on an 11-play, 86-yard drive at the end of the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it into overtime. Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee connected with Elijah Higgins on an untimed down after a defensive holding call gave Stanford one more shot at the end zone.
Oregon had a 99.9% win probability vs. Stanford with 1:51 remaining in the game.
They lost 🤯 pic.twitter.com/sQ2WHXusg2
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 2, 2021
“The key word is resilience,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said. “It’s the mark of a successful team, it’s the mark of a successful person. How can you withstand the storms that life gives you? … Our guys took it on the chin quite a bit but we fought back and made some big plays.”
Oregon’s loss is crushing to the Pac-12 conference, which has missed the playoffs the past four seasons.
Kentucky beats Florida at home for the first time since 1986
Lexington, Kentucky, would have been a fun place to be on Saturday night.
The Wildcats stopped Florida from getting into the endzone on two straight possessions and stunned the 10th ranked Gators 20-13. It was the first win over Florida in Lexington since 1986 for Kentucky.
A blocked punt returned for a touchdown in the third quarter turned the tide for Kentucky, and the Gators were their own worst enemy, committing 15 penalties for 115 yards.
“I mean, you’re not going make all the mistakes we made in the course of a game and expect to win,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said. “You’re not going to win in the SEC doing that.”
The Kentucky crowd caused eight false start penalties for Florida in an impressive atmosphere.
“That’s incredible. That’s a fantastic stat,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said about Florida’s false starts. “Thanks again. Thank you. That’s pretty awesome. No, I can’t remember. I’m sure that’s frustrating on their end. But I credit our crowd, a home-field advantage. It was really nice to deliver for the fans because we’ve had things teed up before. I know how it gets, it’s hard, we play in a tough league. To have it teed up, have a sellout, to come and deliver, and play like that, I’m happy, really am.”
Penn State 24 Indiana 0
Michigan 38 Wisconsin 17
Oklahoma 37 Kansas State 31
Oklahoma State 24 Baylor 14
Hawaii 27 Fresno State 24
ASU 42 UCLA 23
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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