By Chris Carlson
Heading into Week 5, the schedule promised several important games, including 3 Top-10 teams squaring-off making the national picture a bit clearer. Two of the three marquee matchups lived up to their lofty expectations plus a slew of surprises occurred across the Top-25 landscape.
#3 Louisville comes up short 42-36 versus #5 Clemson: Two false start penalties before the Cardinals could get their first snap off set the tone for tons of mistakes and both defenses dominating in the early goings. An 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive 42 seconds in to the second quarter put Louisville up 7-0. Clemson tried to respond, when QB DeshaunWatson threw one of his three interceptions in the endzone putting a halt to a promising drive.
Louisville’s miscue on a shotgun-snap created a turnover and sparked Clemson, scoring two plays later. The teams exchanged possessions on three straight plays but it was Clemson taken advantage of their turnover with points on the board. It was the first time Louisville trailed this year at 14-7 and 28-10 at halftime.
QB Deshaun Watson rattled off a few sizable runs but a Clemson wide receiver fumbled at the six-yard line, which QB Lamar Jackson turned into a touchdown and the Cards rallied to score 19 straight points taking the lead 29-28. Jackson would score again with just under 8 minutes. Artavis Scott returned the ensuing kickoff to the Cards 20-yard line setting up a TD, bringing Clemson to within three points.
TE Jordan Leggett scored on a free play for Clemson & a successful two-point, pop-pass conversion. QB Jamar Jackson had several dynamic passes & runs to put his team within scoring range. Clemson’s defense rose to the occasion forcing a turnover on downs to close out the game in style.
#8 Wisconsin falls to #4 Michigan, 14-7: This Big Ten tussle was defensive-minded for most of the afternoon as expected Michigan would score on the first play of second quarter to pull ahead. Even though the Wolverines outgained the Badgers 152-74 after 20 minutes of play they also missed two field goals. Wisconsin’s defense turned up the heat applying pressure from all angles controlling the line of scrimmage. Michigan scored on a 46-yard TD-pass connection in 4th quarter with 7:57 left. Two more interceptions by UM’s defense, one that sealed the deal when CB Jourdon Lewis skied in the air making a brilliant one-handed pick.
#11 Tennessee Hail Mary stuns #25 Georgia: Another week, another comeback victory for the Tennessee Volunteers. Turnovers proved costly for the Vols, none more than RB Jalen Hurd’s fumble from not protecting the ball thinking it was a walk-in touchdown at the goal-line. The Bulldogs were up 17-0 when QB Josh Dobbs went vertical on a TD-run making it 17-7 at the half. The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter. A sack recovered for a TD by the Vols defense gave them the lead 28-24 with under three minutes remaining. Georgia managed to get 3 quick first downs and with 10 seconds remaining scored on a WR Riley Ridley 42-yard TD-catch. An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Bulldogs helped Vols QB Joshua Dobbs get close enough to throw a miraculous Hail Mary touchdown pass for 43yards to WR Jauan Jennings and the incredible victory.
North Carolina kicks 54-yard FG for the win over #12 FSU: The Seminoles rally came up short losing a heartbreaker 37-35 to North Carolina in the closing seconds. FSU took the lead late in the contest 35-34. 23 seconds later the Tarheels kicked a long field goal with no time remaining on the clock. UNC QB threw for 405-passing yards to go along with 4 TD’s. FSU RB Dalvin Cook accumulated 246 total yards and 3 TD’s in a losing effort.
Indiana shocks #17 Michigan State 24-21 in OT: The Hoosiers scored 3 touchdowns in a span of 11 minutes and were leading 21-14 under 5 minutes to play. The Spartans drove the length of the field and seemed to have scored until a replay-reversed call took the TD away. On 4th and goal MSU tied things up with 11 seconds in regulation. Indiana’s defense earned sacks on consecutive downs the only two of the game for either team. MSU missed a 49-yard field goal. The Hoosiers missed their FG, lucky for them a leaping penalty was called on Spartans special teams which allowed Indiana to re-kick for the win.
Quick Hits Recap
-#13 Baylor wins with field goal at the buzzer over Iowa State, 45-42 in a wild back and forth affair.
-California upends #18 Utah 28-23: The Utah Utes ran out of late game luck falling just short in the crucial part of this Pac-12 scrap. Cal’s defense came up huge with a goal-line stand to put the icing on the cake.
-Oklahoma holds off #21 TCU: TCU down 49-24 mounted a serious comeback registering three touchdowns in a row & two-point conversion to make it 49-46. The Sooners managed to pull away 52-46, bouncing back from an early 1-2 start to the season.
-#19 San Diego State fall victim to an upset by South Alabama, 42-24, the Jaguars outscored them 21-0 in the final frame.
-Penn State needed a late field goal in regulation to force overtime & a 25-yard TD-run to defeat Minnesota 29-26.
*Rankings used in this recap won’t reflect the new rankings for the upcoming week.
Written by Chris Carlson Host of The College Ball Show Podcast at blogtalkradio.com or iTunes. Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio