Snap Judgments from the Week 5 early slate. For more coverage, check out midday Snaps and late Snaps.
If there's one downside to West Virginia's 70-63 victory over Baylor in the Mountaineers' Big 12 debut, it's this: No game will seem that exciting again. The Mountaineers and Bears combined for an astounding 1,507 yards of total offense, with West Virginia only securing the win after running back Dustin Garrison clinched one final first down -- the 67th first down of the game -- to run out the clock. SI.com's Holly Anderson was in Morgantown and has more on the historic game.
That contest was just one of many to produce eye-popping numbers on a strikingly memorable morning, however. Though no other ranked teams faced off at noon, a bevy of incredible individual performances took place. Among the standouts:
• West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith: 45-of-51 for 656 passing yards and eight touchdowns.
• West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey: 13 catches for 303 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
• Baylor quarterback Nick Florence: 30-of-48 for 582 passing yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
• Baylor receiver Terrance Williams: 17 catches for 314 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
• Miami quarterback Stephen Morris: 26-of-50 for 566 passing yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
• Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel: 29-of-38 for 454 passing yards, 14 carries for 104 rushing yards and four total touchdowns.
• Northwestern's Kain Colter, who is technically a quarterback: 148 rushing yards, 131 receiving yards (yes, receiving yards), one interception and four total touchdowns.
• Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning: 32-of-43 for 445 passing yards and five touchdowns.
And that's just a sampling. Here's a look at several other amazing statistics and high-scoring affairs from the early Week 5 slate.
• Miami 44, NC State 37: Baylor-WVU may have been the shootout of the year, but the clash between the Wolfpack and Hurricanes wasn't far behind. The ACC teams combined for 37 points through the first 16 minutes, and Miami quarterback Stephen Morris threw for 271 yards in the first quarter alone on his way to an ACC-record 566 total passing yards.
The early action in a nutshell: With just under six minutes remaining in the first quarter, Phillip Dorsett's punt return for a touchdown was negated by an illegal block call against Miami. Three plays later, Morris connected with wideout Rashawn Scott for a 76-yard score.
The scoring frenzy never slowed. NC State clawed back behind Mike Glennon's 441 passing yards and four touchdowns, and after Niklas Sade drilled a 51-yard field goal, the Wolfpack tied the game with less than two minutes left.
Following a subsequent Glennon interception, the 'Canes got the ball back with 48 seconds to go. Morris promptly launched a 62-yard touchdown bomb to Dorsett -- who finished with 192 receiving yards and two scores -- to win the game.
The craziness at Sun Life Stadium made two things clear: NC State cornerback David Amerson has reached a low point in his decorated career. And three weeks after a humiliating 52-13 loss at Kansas State, Miami is seemingly back on track. The 'Canes have beaten Bethune-Cookman, Georgia Tech and NC State in succession, and though those three foes aren't the most formidable, Miami's showdown with Notre Dame at Soldier Field next week has still suddenly become a lot more interesting. [RECAP | BOX]
• Northwestern 44, Indiana 29: More fun with stats: Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter tallied 148 rushing yards, 131 receiving yards and four total touchdowns in Saturday's win against Indiana. You read that right. The 6-foot junior torched the Hoosier defense on a day in which the Wildcat offense racked up 704 total yards, a new school record.
With Minnesota's loss to Iowa, the Wildcats are now the only bowl-eligible unbeaten in the Big Ten. And with games against Penn State and Minnesota forthcoming, they stand a very realistic chance of starting 7-0.
But optimism should be tempered. Though Colter, sophomore quarterback Trevor Siemian (22-of-32, 308 passing yards, one INT) and junior running back Venric Mark (29 carries, 139 rushing yards, one TD) continue to impress, the defense has been wildly inconsistent. After racing to a 27-0 lead, Northwestern surrendered 29 points in a 10-minute span, much like it surrendered 28 unanswered second-half points in a season opening win at Syracuse. Pat Fitzgerald and staff will certainly need to address that issue if the 'Cats hope to remain in the BCS conversation late into the season. [RECAP | BOX]
• Iowa 31, Minnesota 13: Speaking of the Big Ten: The Gophers' undefeated start came to a crashing halt in Iowa City, as the Hawkeyes burst to a 24-0 halftime lead before cruising to an easy victory, 31-13.
Three reasons it wasn't Minnesota's day: One week after accumulating 217 rushing yards in a loss to Central Michigan, Iowa walk-on sophomore running back Mark Weisman ran for 177 yards and a touchdown. After struggling mightily through Iowa's first four games, senior quarterback James Vandenberg completed his first pass for 45 yards to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. And the Hawkeyes scored their second touchdown on a flea flicker, with Vandenberg connecting with Jordan Cotton on a 47-yard strike. [RECAP | BOX]
• Penn State 35, Illinois 7: After withstanding two heartbreaking losses to begin the season, the Nittany Lions have now won three consecutive games. After beating Charleston Southern 44-0 in Week 3, the Fighting Illini have now dropped two straight, been outscored 87-31 and coughed up nine turnovers. [RECAP | BOX]
• Texas A&M 58, Arkansas 10: It's just been that kind of season for Arkansas. As if a 52-0 rout at Alabama and a 36-25 home loss to Rutgers weren't embarrassing enough, the Razorbacks got whipped in College Station in a game in which freshman Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel amassed 581 total yards. Two weeks ago, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson called out his teammates for quitting. He may need to do that again. [RECAP | BOX]
• Middle Tennessee 49, Georgia Tech 28: Remember when the Yellow Jackets forced Virginia Tech into overtime in Blacksburg in Week 1, and there was talk that they could be a legitimate ACC contender? No longer. This beatdown at the hands of Middle Tennessee seems to have all but secured Tech's fate as a 2012 cellar dweller.
On the flip side, the Blue Raiders might be the next non-AQ national darling. Senior running back Benny Cunningham ran for 217 yards and five touchdowns in victory, and the team has some big games going forward. Middle Tennessee hosts Kolton Browning and Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday and then travels to Mississippi State Oct. 20 -- the week before the Bulldogs play Alabama. [RECAP | BOX]
• Missouri 21, UCF 16: Despite trailing at halftime, Missouri found a way to escape Orlando with a win. More importantly: Freshman wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham scored on an 80-yard catch-and-run, the first of what should be many collegiate touchdowns for the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2012. [RECAP | BOX]
• Kent State 45, Ball State 43: It's the most exciting game you didn't know existed! Furthering the theme of video game-worthy performances -- and led by Wenning's monster effort -- the Golden Flashes and Cardinals combined for 1,018 yards of total offense. Kent State's Dri Archer had a 99-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, and Kent State kicker Freddy Cortez converted a 25-yard field goal to win the game with six second remaining. [RECAP | BOX]
• Duke 34, Wake Forest 27: Duke quarterback Sean Renfree left the game with an elbow injury, but not before throwing for 204 yards to lead the Blue Devils to a 4-1 start, their best since starting 5-0 in 1994. Senior wideout Connor Vernon tied an ACC record by reeling in his 232nd career reception in the fourth quarter. [RECAP | BOX]
• Stony Brook 23, Army 3: Poor Army. After losing 23-3 Saturday, the Black Knights are 0-4 and have allowed an average of 475 yards per game to San Diego State, Northern Illinois, Wake Forest and Stony Brook. They host Boston College next week. Expect a big performance from Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig. [RECAP | BOX]