College Football Top 25 Review
Marcus Mariota threw for four touchdowns along with 198 yards and his Oregon Ducks smothered the visiting Washington Huskies. Though the redshirt freshman tossed an interception on the Ducks' opening series, Mariota helped Oregon win its ninth straight overall dating back to last season. Oregon tailback Kenjon Barner added to the offensive tally with 122 yards rushing.
After knocking off fellow ACC hopeful Clemson, Florida State's path to the conference crown seemed clear. Not so fast: The 'Noles tripped up on the road in Week 6, suffering a shocking last-second upset at the hands of NC State. The Wolfpack kept it close for three quarters, then delivered three unanswered scored (one field goal, two touchdowns) to knock off FSU.
It looks like Florida is finally back. The Gators held the Tigers' offense entirely in check, limiting Zach Mettenberger and Co. to just 200 total yards, 42 rushing yards and eight first downs in a statement Week 6 victory. Jeff Driskel completed 8-of-12 passes for Florida, and running back Mike Gillislee (pictured) ran wild. The 5-foot-11, 209-pound senior ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns -- both of which came in the second half.
South Carolina has emerged as the SEC East favorite -- and a true national championship contender. The Gamecocks won their school-record 10th consecutive game by dominating fellow title hopeful Georgia on both sides of the ball. South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw had a big day, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another, but the most astounding showing came from Jadeveon Clowney (pictured) and his fellow defenders, who shut out Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs until the final two minutes of the game.
Coming off a bye week, Kansas State looked fully rested against Kansas Saturday. Collin Klein tallied 245 total yards and four touchdowns, running back John Hubert scampered for 101 yards and four scores and the Wildcats pummeled the Jayhawks in Manhattan. The K-State defense forced five turnovers, and targets Travis Tannahill and Tyler Lockett (pictured) both hauled in touchdown receptions in the win.
Geno Smith's Heisman candidacy remains intact, as do West Virginia's Big 12 and BCS prospects. Smith (pictured) out-dueled Texas counterpart David Ash, throwing four touchdown passes in another thrilling shootout. The Mountaineers also got a boost from their run game, as Andrew Buie rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Everett Golson (pictured) didn't start, but he came off the bench to lead Notre Dame to a resounding victory over fellow surprise team Miami. Golson completed 17-of-22 passes for 185 yards and rushed for an additional 52. He wasn't the only player to find success on the ground, as the Fighting Irish amassed 378 rushing yards as a team.
The largest crowd to ever see a game at Ohio Stadium got quite a treat, as Urban Meyer's Buckeyes hammered the Blackshirts to stay undefeated. Braxton Miller (pictured) passed for 127 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 186 yards and another score, while Carlos Hyde added 140 ground yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Though it fell behind early, USC rallied from a 14-0 deficit to take down Utah in Week 6. Matt Barkley paced the aerial attack with 303 yards and three touchdowns, and Marqise Lee (pictured) led the receiving corps with 12 catches for 192 yards and a score. The Trojans' defense also came up big in the second half. Junior cornerback Nickell Robey returned a fourth-quarter interception 38 yards to the end zone.
Markus Wheaton (pictured) caught nine passes for 95 yards and a touchdown, but Oregon State survived a shaky start to top Washington State thanks to its defense. The Beavers, 4-0 for the first time since 2002, intercepted four passes to keep Mike Leach's Air Raid in check and limit the Cougars to 227 net yards.
It was close throughout, but Clemson survived an ACC scare from Georgia Tech Saturday. Tajh Boyd threw for 396 yards and two touchdowns, Andre Ellington rushed for 108 yards and wideouts DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins (pictured) combined for 215 receiving yards and two scores as the Tigers took down the Yellow Jackets. After falling behind 31-30, Clemson scored the final 17 points of the game.
The nation's longest winning streak is over. With starting quarterback Casey Pachall sidelined with a suspension, TCU watched its 12-game unbeaten stretch draw to a close, as Iowa State upset the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. Cyclones quarterback Jared Barnett (pictured) passed for 183 yards and three touchdowns, and wide receiver Josh Lenz made five catches for 147 yards and all three scores. For TCU, Pachall's replacement, Trevone Boykin, completed 23-of-40 attempts with one touchdown and three interceptions.
Oklahoma's offense appears to be just fine. Landry Jones threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, Blake Bell rushed for 17 yards and two scores and the Sooners dominated Texas Tech in a Week 6 rout. Oklahoma's defense also did its part. The Sooners hauled in three interceptions, including Javon Harris' 46-yard pick-six in the third quarter.
On the verge of a second consecutive loss, Stanford pulled together to rally for a comeback victory over Arizona. Josh Nunes (pictured) passed for 360 yards and two touchdowns, Stepfan Taylor ran for 142 yards and two scores and the defense came through in the clutch, as Chase Thomas intercepted a tipped Matt Scott pass on the first possession of overtime. Scott completed an Arizona-record 45-of-69 passes in defeat, but he was unable to prevent the Cardinal from storming back from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Mississippi State started quickly and never slowed down at Kentucky, as the Bulldogs topped the Wildcats on the road to improve to 5-0. Quarterback Tyler Russell completed 23-of-39 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and running back LaDarius Perkins (pictured) rushed for 110 yards and a score. The defense may have been even more impressive. Mississippi State limited Kentucky to 228 yards, an average of just 3.73 yards per play.
Looking to avenge a loss at Connecticut in its 2011 regular-season finale, Rutgers came out firing Saturday. Gary Nova threw for 157 yards and a touchdown, Jawan Jamison rushed for more than 100 yards for his fifth consecutive game and Mark Harrison (pictured) added a 14-yard receiving score. The Scarlets Knights improved to 5-0, their best start since 2006.
After beginning the season 0-2, Penn State has now won four straight games. Despite trailing for most of the second half, the Nittany Lions rallied past Northwestern, fueled by a gritty 35-of-51, 282-yard, two-touchdown passing performance from Matt McGloin. Zach Zwinak ran for 121 yards and a score, and Allen Robinson made nine grabs for 85 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats' Venric Mark scored twice in a losing effort, on a two-yard carry and a 75-yard punt return.
California quarterback Zach Maynard threw a career-high four touchdowns as his Bears upended No. 25 UCLA. The Bruins committed six turnovers on the night, allowing Cal to capitalize and dispose of UCLA in Berkley for the seventh straight time. Richard Rogers caught seven passes for 129 yards for Cal, while C.J. Anderson rushed for 151 yards, including a 68-yard score in the fourth quarter.