Week 5 of the College Football season is now in the books. If you’re not a fan of nail biting, last minute victories, one handed catches, prolific offences and upsets, stop reading now!
Still with me? Let’s go…
My featured preview game for the week was the all ACC clash between Clemson and Syracuse and it did not disappoint. Despite going in as overwhelming underdogs, it was the Orange who made the early scoring off the leg of kicker Andre Szmyt, opening up a 6-0 lead. Despite a Travis Etienne touchdown giving Clemson a late first quarter lead, a further Szmyt field goal and a rushing touchdown from QB Eric Dungey saw Syracuse go in at the half 16-7 up.
More concerning for Clemson was the health of newly promoted QB Trevor Lawrence who was taken out on a hit and wouldn’t return. With backup Chase Brice in for the second half, Clemson turned to Etienne and the ground game to lead them to victory. Totalling 203 yards rushing, Etienne’s third touchdown with 0:41 on the clock overcame an Eric Dungey touchdown run at the start of the fourth quarter to give Clemson a 27-24 victory and deny Syracuse a major upset.
It wasn’t to be the only game to be decided late in the day. Last weekend’s major upset masters Old Dominion fell to East Carolina and a Jake Verity field goal with just 0:46 on the clock. Karen Higdon’s rushing touchdown with under five minutes left nudged Michigan past Northwestern 20-17, the only time they had the lead in the game.
A 28 yard field goal with 0:37 remaining from Jonathon Song gave TCU a win 17-14 win over Iowa State.
With 1:13 left on the clock, a DeAndre Francois pass to Nyqwan Murray for a 58 yard touchdown gave FSU a much needed 28-24 over Louisville.
PENN STATE FALL
The huge rivalry game between fourth ranked Ohio State at Penn State (9) was decided with just two minutes left. Dwayne Haskins found KJ Hill for a 24 yard touchdown that gave Ohio State a 27-26 win in a game they trailed by 12 with just eight minutes to play!
There was no such drama for the top two teams as Alabama rolled over the Raging Cajuns 56-14 at Bryant-Denny Stadium while Georgia got behind running back DeAndre Swift to beat Tennessee 38-12. Both teams continue to utilise two quarterbacks. Alabama to devastating effect with Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds through the season.
Two of the undefeated teams going into the week came out of Saturday’s games on the wrong side of an upset.
Although Buffalo aren’t ranked, no-one anticipated Army going in to UB stadium and handing them their first defeat of the season. Army led 21-7 at the half by way of two rushing touchdowns and an 80 yard blocked field goal return for a touchdown by Elijah Riley. They eventually ran out 42-13 winners to go 3-2 on the season.
Possibly the biggest upset of the day befell 22nd ranked Duke as they lost 31-14 to Virginia Tech. It was the second time the Hokies have beaten a ranked opponent this season. After being the victim of last weeks Old Dominion upset, VT turned up with a dominant passing performance. QB Ryan Willis threw for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns to overcome Duke who could only manage a score in the first and last quarter.
From embarrassment to euphoria in a week, such is the world of college football.
Finally… if Odell Beckham Jr. ever wanted to see proof of his impact and influence on the younger generation, witness Juwan Johnson’s one handed wonder for Penn State or Boise State’s John Hightower’s one shoe on, single handed haul in. Check them out!
Penn State image – James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
This guest piece was written by Oli Hodgkinson who is a Patriots and Boston College Eagles fan. He has followed the game since 2010 thanks to his brother who introduced him to the game via Madden. You can follow Oli on Twitter at @OJHodgkinson.