The last Saturday in September was probably the most entertaining of all. Several teams have shocked the college football world by remaining undefeated on the year. Young quarterbacks have put their names in the Heisman Trophy discussion and the Pac-12 may be left out of the College Football Playoff for a second-straight year. As the first Saturday of October approaches, some teams are already looking forward to basketball while others are making believers out of everyone. Some teams have overachieved, while other have underachieved, but all have shown us enough to make a judgement at where they stand.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish played with a different quarterback and racked up 550 total yards and scored 38 points on a talented Stanford defense. Junior signal-caller Ian Book threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns. Senior running back Dexter Williams rushed for 161 yards and a score. Junior wide receiver caught 11 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. Notre Dame’s defense held Stanford’s offense scoreless in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated.
The conference is competitive as any with several teams that could end up bowl-eligible at the end of the regular season. Virginia Tech proved that week four loss at Old Dominion was a fluke. Florida State is starting to play better on both sides of the ball. Syracuse is better than advertised and nearly pulled an upset at Clemson. Duke was humbled with its’ first loss of the season. NC State is still undefeated and flying under the radar. Georgia Tech finally got back on the winning track and Miami is looking stronger every week.
Boston College: The Eagles had a nice bounce-back game with a 10-point win, but true sophomore running back A.J. Dillon left the game with an ankle injury after rumbling for 161 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles’ defense forced three Owl turnovers, including two interceptions.
Clemson: Starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence left game in first half with concussion-like symptoms. Freshman quarterback Chase Brice relieved him and finished with 83 yards through the air and an interception. The Tigers offense rushed for 293 yards, including 203 and three touchdowns from true sophomore running back Travis Etienne.
Duke: The Blue Devils suffered their first loss of the season and are 1-4 in their last five games as a ranked team. Junior quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 226 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Florida State: The Seminoles’ offense struggled to run the ball, but did get a much needed conference win. Florida State’s defense held the Louisville’s offense scoreless in the fourth quarter. Junior quarterback Deondre Francois threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wideout Nyqwan Murray finished with six catches for 114 yards and two scores.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets finally had a good game on offense and finished with 532 total yards. Georgia Tech’s defense forced three turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown. Freshman running back Tobias Oliver rushed for 115 yards and two scores in the blowout win over Bowling Green.
Louisville: The Cardinals outgained the Seminoles in total yards on offense and finished with 421, but still lost the game because of three costly turnovers. Louisville’s defense held Florida State offense to just 76 yards on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Jawon Pass threw for 306 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Senior wideout Jaylen Smith hauled in five passes for 100 yards.
Miami: The Hurricanes dominated on defense, holding the Tar Heels scoreless for the last three quarters and returned two of three interceptions for touchdowns. Sophomore running back DeeJay Dallas rushed for 114 yards and a score in the 37-point blowout victory.
NC State: The Wolfpack remains undefeated after their 14-point victory over Virginia. NC State’s offense finished with 433 total yards. Senior quarterback Ryan Finley threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman running back Ricky Person Jr. rushed for 108 yards.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels struggled to score on offense, couldn’t throw the ball and finished with 114 yards through the air and three interceptions.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers struggled offensively, couldn’t put up the points to stay close in the shootout with the Knights and was held scoreless in the second and third quarter. Sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett threw for 163 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Syracuse: The Orange nearly pulled off the huge upset on the road at Death Valley, but played competitive the entire way. Senior quarterback Eric Dungey threw for 250 yards and an interception.
Virginia: The Cavaliers offense could only manage 93 yards on the ground and threw two interceptions. Senior wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus hauled in nine passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies rebounded from the Old Dominion loss with a conference road win at Duke. Virginia Tech’s offense racked up 413 yards. Junior quarterback Ryan Willis threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns. The Hokies’ defense held the Blue Devils’ offense scoreless in the second and third quarter.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons snapped their two-game losing streak with a non-conference win over Rice. Wake Forest’s offense racked up 414 yards and scored 56 points. Freshman quarter Sam Hartman threw for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore receiver Greg Dortch finished with 11 catches for 163 yards and four scores.
Thanks to five teams having a bye-week the conference didn’t look as bad as it did in week four. Penn State made a bone-headed fourth down decision that cost the team a victory against Ohio State. Nebraska lost at home to Purdue by double-digits. Indiana got back on the winning track. Rutgers continue to lose and the Michigan schools struggled to put away its’ opponents. The Buckeyes are the lone undefeated team in the conference now.
Indiana: The Hoosiers racked up 451 yards of total offense. Sophomore quarterback Patrick Ramsey threw for 288 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Indiana’s defense held Rutgers’ offense to 98 yards on the ground and scoreless in the second and third quarter.
Illinois: The Fighting Illini had a bye-week.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes had a bye-week.
Maryland: The Terrapins had a bye-week.
Michigan: The Wolverines trailed 17-0, but had their third largest comeback in school-history to pull out the road win. Michigan’s defense dominated and limited Northwestern’s offense to just 202 total yards, including 28 on the ground and scoreless in the first half. Junior quarterback Shea Patterson threw for 196 yards and senior running back Karan Higdon rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Michigan State: True sophomore receiver Cody White broke his hand and is out indefinitely. Michigan State’s defense held Central Michigan scoreless in the second and third quarter and intercepted two passes.
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers had a bye-week.
Nebraska: The Huskers’ offense finished with 582 total yards, but still lost the game because of penalties. Nebraska averages 10.3 penalties per game, which is third in FBS. True freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez threw for 323 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Senior running back Devine Ozigbo rushed for 170 yards and two scores. Nebraska is on an eight-game losing streak, which is a school record and the defense continues to struggle on third downs.
Northwestern: The Wildcats blew a 17-point lead at home and struggled mightily on offense and their third-straight home game. Senior Clayton Thorson threw for 174 yards.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes strolled into Happy Valley and silenced “The White Out” crowd with the win. Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 270 yards, three touchdowns and an interception as Ohio State remains undefeated on the season.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions racked up 492 yards of total offense, but it wasn’t enough. Senior quarterback Trace McSorley threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns and added 175 more on the ground. Freshman wideout KJ Hamler hauled in four passes for 138 yards and a score as Penn State suffered its’ first loss of the season.
Purdue: The Boilermakers got their first-ever win in Lincoln and won two-straight games, after starting the season 0-3. Purdue’s offense racked up 516 total yards. Senior signal-caller David Blough threw for 328 yards and a touchdown. Junior tight end Brycen Hopkins caught five balls for 103 yards and a score.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights played a competitive game that was closer than the experts predicted it to be. Rutgers’ defense held Indiana’s offense scoreless in the second half. Freshman quarterback Artuz Sitkowski threw for 154 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Wisconsin: The Badgers had a bye-week.
Oklahoma and West Virginia look like the two best teams in the conference. Texas is looking better every week. Iowa State continues to struggle. Oklahoma State got back on the winning track. Texas Tech stay as a ranked team was short-lived. The Kansas schools are both trying to find ways to get a conference win and TCU got its’ first conference win of the season.
Baylor: The Bears offense put up 493 total yards, but still lost on the road. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns. Receivers Denzel Mims and Jalen Hurd combined for 20 catches, 218 yards and two scores.
Iowa State: The Cyclones’ offense struggled to pass the ball and finished with 79 yards through the air. Junior running back David Montgomery rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown. Iowa State’s defense forced three turnovers.
Kansas: Junior quarterback Carter Stanley threw for 247 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, but it wasn’t enough as the Jayhawks lost another conference game.
Kansas State: The Wildcats struggled on offense and threw for 110 yards and lost their second-straight conference game. Kansas State’s defense held Texas’ offense scoreless in the second half and the team scored 14 unanswered points.
Oklahoma: The Sooners offense racked up 607 total yards and scored 66 points to remain unblemished on the season. Junior quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 432 yards and six touchdowns. Freshman running back Kennedy Brooks rushed for 107 yards and two scores. Receivers Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb combined for eight catches, 233 yards and three touchdowns. Oklahoma’s defense limited Baylor’s offense to just 77 yards on the ground.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys racked up 568 yards of total offense and cruised to a 20-point victory over the Jayhawks. Senior quarterback Taylor Cornelius threw for 312 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Junior running back Justice Hill rushed for 189 yards and a score. Receivers Landon Wolf and Tylan Wallace combined for 10 catches for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
TCU: Sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson threw for 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception. TCU’s defense controlled the entire game and limited Iowa State’s offense to 198 total yard and scoreless in the first and third quarter.
Texas: True sophomore signal-caller Sam Ehlinger threw for 207 yards and touchdown. The Longhorns’ defense held the Wildcats offense to 217 total yards and scoreless in the first half and won their fourth-straight game.
Texas Tech: Quarterback Bowman left game with injury and the Red Raiders threw three interceptions, including a pick-six. Wide receivers Antoine Wesley and Ja’Deion High combined for 14 catches, 215 yards and a touchdown.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers finished with 489 yards of total offense and returned an interception for a touchdown. Senior quarterback Will Grier threw for 370 yards and three scores. Junior receiver Marcus Simms caught nine balls for 138 yards and a touchdown.
To everyone’s surprise Colorado is the last undefeated team in the conference after Stanford and California went down. USC has won two straight conference games. Oregon rebounded with a nice win over a undefeated team on the road. UCLA is still looking for its’ first win of the season and Oregon State continues to struggle defensively.
Arizona: The Wildcats offense struggled to run the ball and finished with 98 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Khalil Tate threw for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils racked up 558 yards of total offense and scored 52 points. Senior quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore running back Eno Benjamin rushed for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Arizona State’s defense held Oregon State’s offense scoreless in the first and fourth quarter.
California: The Golden Bears suffered their first loss of the season. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Mcllwain threw for 128 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions and added 123 yards on the ground and a rushing score. California’s offense had five turnovers, including four interceptions.
Colorado: The Buffaloes racked up 477 total yards on offense with a balanced attack. Junior quarterback Steven Montez threw for 237 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Steven Montez rushed for 102 yards and a score. Sophomore wideout Laviska Shenault hauled in 12 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. Colorado’s defense held UCLA’s offense scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Oregon: The Ducks showed week four’s loss against Stanford was a fluke by beating an undefeated Golden Bear team. Oregon racked up 480 yards of total offense. Junior Justin Herbert threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Freshmen running backs CJ Verdell and Travis Dye combined for 221 yards on the ground and a score. Junior receiver Dillon Mitchell caught seven passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Oregon State: The Beavers finished 406 yards of total offense, including 261 on the ground. Sophomore quarterback Conor Blount threw for 145 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back Jermar Jefferson rushed for 254 yards and two touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough and Oregon State lost its’ second-straight conference game.
Stanford: Running back Bryce Love left the game in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury and didn’t return. Stanford struggled to run the ball on offense and finished with just 55 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback K.J. Costello threw for 174 yards, a touchdown and an interception and Stanford lost its’ first game of the season.
UCLA: The Bruins struggled throwing the ball on offense, finishing with 138 yards through the air. Senior running back Joshua Kelly finished with 124 yards on the ground.
USC: The Trojans won 15 of their last 17 games against the Wildcats, including six-straight. USC racked up 450 yards of total offense. Freshman quarterback JT Daniels threw for 197 yards and senior running back Aca’Cedric Ware rushed for 173 yards and two touchdowns. USC’s defense held Arizona’s offense scoreless in the first half.
Utah: The Utes’ offense struggled to throw the ball and finished with 115 yards through the air. Junior running back Zack Moss rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown and Utah lost its second-straight conference game.
Washington: The Huskies defense continues to dominate and held BYU’s offense to just 194 total yards, including 34 on the ground and scoreless in the first three quarters. Senior quarterback Jake Browning broke the school’s all-time passing record and threw for 277 yards and a touchdown. Junior receiver Aaron Fuller caught eight passes for 107 yards and Washington won its’ fourth-straight game.
Washington State: The Cougars racked up 458 yards of total offense. Senior quarterback Gardner Minshew threw for 445 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Receivers Easop Winston and Dezmon Patman combined for nine catches for 227 yards and two scores. Washington State’s defense held Utah’s offense scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Alabama continues to be the team to beat in the conference. Arkansas is still searching for answers and remain winless. Vanderbilt got back on the winning track. Mississippi State has lost two-straight conference games. LSU and Kentucky remain unblemished on the season and Tennessee still looks like the worst team in the league.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide piled up 608 total yards of offense and scored 63 points, including a 63-yard punt return touchdown. Alabama’s he defense held Louisiana Lafeyette scoreless for the first three quarters. Sophomore quarterback Tua Taglovaila had two passing touchdowns and wideouts Jaylen Weddle and Henry Ruggs III combined for eight catches for 254 yards and four scores.
Arkansas: The Hogs looked bad on offense and could only manage 248 total yards. Junior quarterback Ty Storey threw for 193 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Auburn: The Tigers’ offense struggled to run the ball and finished with just 96 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Jarrett Stidham threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns. Auburn’s defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions.
Florida: Dan Mullen’s homecoming turned out great as the Gators got their second-straight conference road win. Sophomore quarterback Feleipe Franks threw for 219 yards and an interception. Florida’s defense dominated the game and held Mississippi State’s offense to just six points and scoreless in the second half.
Georgia: The Bulldogs racked up 441 yards of total offense, including 251 on the ground. True sophomore signal-caller Jake Fromm threw for 185 yards. Georgia’s defense held Tennessee’s offense to just 66 rush yards and scoreless in the first half to remain undefeated on the season.
Kentucky: The Wildcats are 3-0 in conference play for first time since 1977 and got their first 5-0 start since 2007. Kentucky’s defense held South Carolina’s offense scoreless in the first and fourth quarter. Junior running back Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown.
LSU: The Bayou Bengals 573 total yards on offense and scored 45 points. Junior quarterback Joe Burrow threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns as LSU remains unblemished on the season.
Missouri: The Tigers had a bye-week.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs struggled mightily on offense and finished with just 202 total yards, including 98 through the air. Mississippi State’s rushing attack couldn’t find any consistency and the team lost its’ second-straight conference game.
Ole Miss: The Rebels couldn’t keep up with the scoring and lost their second conference game on the road. Senior quarterback Jodan Ta’amu threw for 178 yards and an interception.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks’ offense turned the ball over four times against Kentucky, including three interceptions and finished with 326 total yards.
Tennessee: The Vols lost their second-straight conference game and struggled mightily on offense. Tennessee finished with 209 total yards and put up just 12 points on the scoreboard. Sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano threw for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Texas A&M: True sophomore signal-caller Kellen Mond had rough day throwing the ball and finished with 201 yards and two interceptions. The Aggies defense was dominant up front and limited Arkansas’ offense to just 55 yards on the ground. Junior running back Trayveon Williams finished with 152 rush yards and two scores.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores racked up 553 yards of total offense, including 256 on the ground. Senior Kyle Shurmur threw for 297 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn rushed for 146 yards and a score. Junior receiver Kalija Lipscomb caught nine balls for 174 yards and two touchdowns as Vanderbilt beat in-state FCS foe Tennessee State.