by Kyle Flynn
The first official Saturday of Fall came and went, but not before offering up its usual slate of thrilling contests, as most of the country started off their conference play in week five.
The first big game of the weekend came on Friday night, as the #5 ranked USC Trojans went to Washington State to take on the #16 ranked Cougars. Both teams entered the game 4-0, each team with their own top QB prospect to lead the way. It was a game that went down to the wire, but never really seemed in doubt.
USC never looked the part, and quarterback Sam Darnold struggled mightily throwing for only 164 yards and an interception. Darnold’s counterpart Luke Falk, threw for 340 and two touchdowns to accompany his lone interception, on the way to a huge win over a top five team, 30-27.
Although, The Trojans loss was not nearly the biggest of the weekend. Another group of Trojans, the Trojans of Troy University, received $985,000 from LSU to come and play the #25 ranked Tigers on their home field in Baton Rouge. Troy clearly came in with something to prove and it showed on the field from start to finish. LSU showed nothing offensively, and QB Danny Etling and the Tigers were sputtering without their star running back Derrius Guice, who sat with an injury. Troy took the lead first and extended it to 17-0 before the Tigers showed any fight. LSU made it a game late, but Troy was already too much in control, as 98,000 LSU fans watched their team get upset at home to a team who was obviously not taken seriously. The final score was 24-21, Troy.
#2 Clemson traveled to Blacksburg, VA to take on #12 Virginia Tech in the ABC primetime game that was featured on ESPN’s College Gameday. This matchup had upset written all over it, but Clemson’s defense, and the rest of their team, looked like the real deal as they won pretty handedly, 31-17. #7 ranked Georgia destroyed the Tennessee Volunteers, and Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones job security is getting deeper and deeper in hot water.
#15 Oklahoma State took on unbeaten Texas Tech coming back from a loss against TCU the week before. Texas Tech looked to be pretty evenly matched with Ok. State, playing with a chip on their shoulder as they feel they can compete to win the Big 12 in 2017. This early Big 12 game was the usual lack of defense you would expect, and the Cowboys won a thriller on a late TD run by Quarterback Mason Rudolph.
All the other teams who were supposed to care of business did so on Saturday, and improved their stock as they gear up for their own tough conference schedules ahead, on the way to bigger goals. Those teams include Miami, Alabama, Ohio State, Washington, Wisconsin, Florida, Notre Dame, Louisville and Penn State, who all took home wins in their respective matchups.
Not much movement in this week’s latest AP Poll Top 10, besides the loss of USC and the addition of Ohio State, who moves up one spot from #11.