The Rundown: Favorites Reign in Week 6, Plus a New Top 10

A relatively calm Week 6 saw most of the favorites win in pretty convincing fashion, plus some silly moments and noteworthy performances.
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If you were looking for mayhem during Week 6 of college football, you were left without it (aside from Cincinnati’s win over UCF on Friday night). On Saturday, most of the favorites won and did so in convincing fashion.

We had a top-10 matchup between teams that didn’t look very top-10. We had a 21-point comeback from SMU to remain undefeated. We briefly saw life in Tennessee in a loss to Georgia, got a fight from West Virginia against Texas and saw Michigan hang on for a very Big Ten–like 10-3 win over Iowa.

Saturday’s results set up a whale of a weekend next week, including two games pitting top-10 teams: LSU hosts Florida while Oklahoma and Texas clash in Dallas. But first, let’s get to some things that unfolded today in the Rundown…

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Top 10… Teams

1. Alabama

Last week: 1
Last game: Beat Ole Miss 59–31 (in Week 5)
Next game: Saturday at Texas A&M

The Tide had no problems with the bye week, as expected. And it shouldn’t have many problems with the Aggies.

2. LSU

Last week: 2
Last game: Beat Utah State 42–6
Next game: Saturday vs. Florida

QB Joe Burrow & Co. are setting offensive records each week. Burrow became the first QB in Tigers history to pass for at least 300 yards in four straight games, and LSU has scored at least 30 points in eight straight games, never before done in school history.

3. Ohio State

Last week: 4
Last game: Beat Michigan State 34–10
Next game: Oct. 18 at Northwestern (after bye)

The Buckeyes let Michigan State hang around for about two quarters and then Justin Fields & Co. roared to a win against what’s been their toughest competition so far.

4. Clemson

Last week: 3
Last game: Beat North Carolina 21–20 (in Week 5)
Next game: Saturday vs. Florida State

Like Alabama, Clemson got a bye this weekend in preparation for what used to be a top-10 showdown with Florida State. That’s not the case any longer.

5. Georgia

Last week: 5
Last game: Beat Tennessee 43–14
Next game: Saturday vs. South Carolina

The Bulldogs shook off some sluggish play early to rout the Volunteers. Jake Fromm had just five incompletions and carved through UT for 288 yards.

6. Oklahoma

Last week: 6
Last game: Beat Kansas 45–20
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas

The Sooners took longer than expected to pull away in Lawrence. They only led 14–7 before scoring with 31 seconds left in the first half. The clash with the Longhorns in Dallas looms.

7. Texas

Last week: 8
Last game: Beat West Virginia 42–31
Next game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma

The Longhorns were the talk of the offseason. They failed in their first big test (against LSU). The second one is here.

8. Florida

Last week: NR
Last game: Beat Auburn 24–13
Next game: Saturday at LSU

The Gators defense put on a stellar performance on Saturday against a true freshman quarterback with a loud crowd behind them. Next weekend, they’ll get the opposite: a veteran in LSU QB Joe Burrow and a hostile crowd that is very much not behind them.

9. Wisconsin

Last week: 9
Last game: Beat Kent State 48–0
Next game: Saturday at Michigan State

Jonathan Taylor scored five touchdowns, and the Badgers got their third shutout in five games. Michigan State might not score in next week’s game in East Lansing.

10. Penn State

Last week: 10
Last game: Beat Purdue 35–7
Next game: Saturday at Iowa

James Franklin’s team stayed undefeated with yet another blowout this year. Granted, the Nittany Lions haven’t played the stiffest competition. That changes next weekend.

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Top 9… Outstanding Performances

1. Touchdown Taylor

The Wisconsin running back seems to make The Rundown each week. Taylor tied a school record with five touchdowns—catching one and running for four. His 186 rushing yards gives him 745 on the season. He’s averaging nearly seven yards a carry.

2. Florida’s defense

The Gators D is a big reason for the 24–13 victory over Auburn in The Swamp. Just look at Auburn’s offensive stats. They are ugly: 269 total yards, four turnovers, two third-down conversions, 3.6 yards per rush, six three-and-outs.

3. Khalil doing Khalil things

No quarterback in college football is quite as electric as Arizona’s Khalil Tate. He’s been banged up again this year, but he shined in the Wildcats’ 35–30 win at Colorado, throwing for 404 yards, completing 75% of his passes and accounting for three TDs.

4. Swain event

UF receiver Freddie Swain was the only Gators player to really give Auburn’s stout defense fits. He caught six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.

5. Nebraska’s “kicker”

Lane McCallum is a scout team safety thrust into a kicking role because of injuries. Well, he won the game for the Cornhuskers on Saturday, knocking through a 24-yard field goal for a 13–10 victory over Northwestern.

6. Runnin’ Rodney

Minnesota running back Rodney Smith gouged Illinois in the Gophers’ 40–17 victory, finishing with 211 yards on an 8.8-yard average per carry.

7. Dobb on ‘em

J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State’s speedy running back, had 172 yards on 24 carries. That came against one of the better defenses in the land, too.

8. Cliff notes

Penn State QB Sean Clifford is filling in nicely for departing star Trace McSorley. He had just nine incompletions in a 35–7 win over Purdue on Saturday, throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns.

9. Purdy good

The Cyclones recovered from a road loss at Baylor last week with a 49–24 smashing of TCU behind QB Brock Purdy’s 19-for-24 performance. He threw for 247 and two TDs.

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Top 8… Digits to Know

1. 1937

The last time a Wisconsin team shut out three opponents in a single season. The Badgers have three shutouts this season through five games.

2. 4–12

Miami’s record against Power 5 conferences since the Hurricanes’ 15-game winning streak ended in 2017. As two-touchdown favorites on Saturday, they lost to a reeling Virginia Tech at home.

3. 20

The length in yards of an extra point in college. Buffalo kicker Jackson Baltar missed an XP to extend the Bulls’ game against Ohio into a second overtime.

4. 4

Interceptions thrown by West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall in a loss to Texas.

5. Three

The amount of overtimes it took for SMU to beat Tulsa and remain undefeated. The Mustangs are 6–0 after storming back from down 30–9 and forcing OT.

6. 686

Days since Louisville won an ACC game. That skid ended Saturday with a 41–39 victory over Boston College.

7. 15

Combined sacks for Virginia Tech and Michigan in their respective wins on Saturday. The Hokies had seven at Miami and the Wolverines had eight against Iowa.

8. 4–1

That’s Arizona’s record. The Wildcats have bounced back from a season-opening loss at Hawaii with four straight Ws.

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Top 7… Silly Things

1. ‘You hate to see it’

The Alabama of the Group of Five—UCF—often finds itself in the crosshairs of its rivals. Cincinnati took things a step further after ending the Golden Knights’ 19-game AAC win streak on Friday night. Check out the postgame video posted to the UC Twitter account. 

2. Streaker! (clothed)

During the second half of Oregon’s game against Cal, a man ran onto the field. It didn’t end well for him as a Ducks player made one hell of a tackle. 

3. Bad bet

Some poor schmuck is in the hole at least $44,000. CG Sportsbooks in Las Vegas took a bet for that amount for Miami to cover a 14-point spread in a home game to Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes lost 42–35 and were at one point down 28–0. 

4. Oops, Emmitt

Former Florida running back and first-round pick Emmit Smith served as the celebrity guest picker on ESPN College GameDay. It didn’t go smoothly. 

5. Fourth-and-goal punt

Oklahoma punted on fourth-and-goal Saturday in a win at Kansas. This isn’t the first time a team has punted on a fourth-and-goal, but it doesn’t happen that often. In fact, according to ESPN, the Sooners’ goal-to-go punt was just the sixth in the last five years. This is why it happened: 

6. Come prepared

The Oklahoma-Kansas game was closer than the experts thought it would be (Sooners only led 14-7 late in the second quarter), but one OU fan prepared for the impending blowout by bringing some yarn to the stadium and knitting. 

7. LOL

Florida backed up its fans’ trash talk before the game. What do I mean? 

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Top 6… Games for Next Week

1. Florida at LSU

Our first of two top-10 battles Saturday, the one in Tiger Stadium is sure to be electric. These two schools do not like one another. And LSU’s home atmosphere at night is one of the best in college football.

2. Oklahoma vs. Texas

Another top-10 clash, the Sooners and Longhorns should post some serious points. The two offenses and two quarterbacks are some of the best in college football.

3. Penn State at Iowa

The Nittany Lions take their undefeated mark and explosive offense on the road to face an Iowa team that’s allowed 37 points through five games.

4. Michigan State at Wisconsin

Camp Randall should be roaring for the Badgers, who haven’t yet lost a game and have pitched three shutouts this season already.

5. Alabama at Texas A&M

The Aggies have already been saddled with two losses. Jimbo Fisher’s second season is starting with little sizzle, and the Tide are coming to town, so it’s probably not getting any better.

6. USC at Notre Dame

This classic rivalry game doesn’t have the same juice as normal. The Trojans have lost two of the last three games, but the Irish are still in the playoff hunt.

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Top 5… New QBs

1. Jett Duffey, Texas Tech

Under Mike Leach, Tommy Tuberville, Kliff Kingsbury and now Matt Wells, the Red Raiders seem to have an endless supply of all-world quarterbacks. Duffey threw for 424 yards and four touchdowns in Tech’s throttling of Oklahoma State in his starting debut. He replaced QB Jackson Tyner last weekend.

2. John Rhys Plumlee, Ole Miss

The Rebels replacement for the injured Matt Corral passed for just 99 yards, but he was a difference maker on the ground in the win over Vanderbilt, running for 165 yards on 22 carries.

3. Brian Maurer, Tennessee

The true freshman made his starting debut in a game against the No. 4 team in the nation that possesses one of the country’s best defenses. Fun! He came out on fire, throwing for more than 200 yards in the first half.

4. N’Kosi Perry, Miami

The 6’4” sophomore came off the bench to spark the Hurricanes, at one point down 28–0, for a big comeback against Virginia Tech, though they ultimately lost. He threw for 422 yards and four TDs. Miami appears to find itself in the ole mid-season quarterback battle between Perry and benched starter Jarren Williams.

5. Taylor Powell, Missouri

Kelly Bryant went down with an injury (and was on crutches after the game) during the Tigers’ blowout win over Troy. On came Powell. He didn’t do anything spectacular (he was 6-for-8 for 57 yards) and didn’t need to. Missouri led 42–7 at halftime when Bryant went out.

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Top 4… First-Quarter Notes

1. Out of the gates

Wisconsin’s defense hogs a lot of the spotlight (fairly), but the Badgers offense continued a streak Saturday that no team in college football can tout. They’ve scored on every opening drive this year. 

2. Kansas? Kansas!

Entering Saturday’s game at Kansas, Oklahoma’s new-look defense had not allowed an opponent to score on an opening drive this season. That streak shockingly ended against, of all teams, the Jayhawks. Les Miles’s team opened the game by marching 98 yards on nine plays for a touchdown and a 7–0 lead (they lost 45–20).

3. Turnover chainers

The grandfather of the turnover chain, Miami had its own turnover issues in the opening quarter of a home loss to Virginia Tech. Here’s how the Hurricanes’ first four drives ended: interception, interception, interception, lost fumble.

4. Nice

Penn State scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and jumped out to a 28–0 lead. The Lions outscored opponents in the first quarter this year 69–0. Nice.

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Top 3… Videos

1. What a pickoff

Texas sophomore D’Shawn Jamison had one of the better interceptions that you’ll see all season. Take a look: 

2. ‘I Won’t Back Down’

A sold-out Swamp continued Saturday in what’s become a tradition during the break between the third and fourth quarter. Florida fans belted out native son Tom Petty’s smash hit “I Won’t Back Down.” 

3. Sting of Stingley

Derek Stingley was the No. 1 high school prospect last year, and we’re starting to see why. The LSU cornerback picked off his second pass of the season on Saturday against Utah State, and boy, it was a beauty. 

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Top 2… Big Man Moves

1. Texas’s Samuel Cosmi

The Longhorns perfectly executed a quarterback throw-back lateral to… an offensive lineman. Samuel Cosmi, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound tackle, caught Sam Ehlinger’s backward pass and rumbled about 15 yards for the score. 

2. Auburn’s Derrick Brown

The Tigers 318-pound defensive lineman Derrick Brown was actually responsible for two turnovers in Saturday’s loss at Florida. He nearly took the first one back for a touchdown, but he tripped over the 40-yard line. Poor big guy. 

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Top 1… Best Names

1. Smoke Monday

The best thing to come out of Auburn-Florida’s slugfest was a name. The Tigers have a sophomore defensive back named Smoke Monday. The sophomore safety’s real name is Quindarious, but his grandpa gave his speedy grandson the nickname Smoke years ago.