NCAA Football

Winners and Losers from Week 5 of College Football

Another college football Saturday is coming to a close. If you can believe it, October is just around the corner. The playoff field is, ever so slowly, starting to take some form.

Just a little, though.

From a pair of come-from-behind victories in the SEC to a blowout in the Big House and a shootout involving Florida State, there was a lot going around the college football landscape. That's why we have Winners and Losers to get you caught up on all the highlights.  

Yes, Winners and Losers is up before the college football Saturday is over. Fear not, as this post will be updated throughout the evening as events warrant. 

Which teams and players came out as winners in Week 5? Which ones didn't? The answers are in the following slides.

Begin Slideshow

Are the Florida State Seminoles Overrated?

With Jameis Winston back under center, the Florida State Seminoles escaped defeat yet again, beating North Carolina State, 56-41, on Saturday. Following a narrow victory at home over Clemson last week, it's time to start wondering just how good this Seminoles team is. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee debate the validity of the Florida State football team.

Are the Seminoles worthy of their No. 1 ranking? 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon State vs. USC: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon State 0, USC 0—Early 1st Quarter

The No. 18 USC Trojans are hosting the Oregon State Beavers in an important early-season Pac-12 meeting.

ESPN is carrying the matchup, and Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon State vs. USC: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon State 7, USC 7—Late 1st Quarter The No. 18 USC Trojans are hosting the Oregon State Beavers in an important early-season Pac-12 meeting...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Texas vs. Kansas: Game Grades, Analysis for the Longhorns and Jayhawks

The Longhorns blanked the Kansas Jayhawks 23-0 on Saturday behind a three-touchdown effort from Tyrone Swoopes and four interceptions by the defense.

Charlie Strong's team will take the win, but the final result looks much more important than the overall effort.

Texas looked flat once again in the second half, outgaining the Jayhawks by a mere 16 yards. Against a team that's just 6-22 under head coach Charlie Weis, that performance inspires little confidence with the meat of the Horns' Big 12 schedule still ahead.

As their grades will show, both teams have significant room for improvement.

 

Kansas Jayhawks Game Grades

Passing Offense: Montell Cozart's four interceptions killed his team's chances of ever making a run, especially with the three he threw in Texas territory. He's a good athlete with extremely raw quarterbacking skills, so none of this should be a surprise. He probably should have redshirted last season.

Rushing Offense: The Jayhawks only averaged 3.4 yards per carry, but they started to wear down the Longhorns front in the second half. De'Andre Mann and Corey Avery were consistent throughout the game, combining for 122 yards on 25 totes.

Passing Defense: Swoopes threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns despite missing a lot of big plays. He had one touchdown called back and missed on a second-quarter bomb to Jaxon Shipley. He was still able to find open receivers when he needed to while never facing a ton of pressure. 

Rushing Defense: Aside from the 30-yard reverse by Armanti Foreman and Swoopes' touchdown run, the Jayhawks were tough up front. Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown gained just 73 yards on their 25 carries. Keon Stowers required two blockers throughout the game, and Ben Heeney was absolutely everywhere.

Special Teams: Shipley's 41-yard punt return set up Texas' first touchdown of the day. Other than that, Trevor Pardula averaged 41.2 yards per punt, including one that bounced backward mere inches from the goal line. The Jayhawks blocked a kick to close the first half.

Coaching: You have to wonder why Weis kept asking Cozart to make plays with his arm, especially on the fade into the end zone on 4th-and-goal. Kansas had eight drives end in Texas territory with no points to show for it, which is just inexcusable.

 

Texas Longhorns Game Grades

Passing Offense: Swoopes was less efficient in this game as he took more shots downfield, but he also notched a career-high 218 yards. He continues to make plays when he gets outside the pocket, which Texas should continue to incorporate into the game plan. He did leave some plays on the field that he will have to make in order for this team to put up more points.

Rushing Offense: Without the double-reverse to Foreman, the Longhorns averaged a paltry 2.3 yards per carry. The offensive line still can't create holes, making it difficult for the running backs to wear down opposing defenses. It should worry Longhorns fans that there wasn't much visible improvement over the bye week.

Passing Defense: It's tough to complain about a unit that had four interceptions and should have had a fifth. Quandre Diggs got the party started in the end zone, and then Duke Thomas had the three biggest plays of the game with two of his own and a pass breakup on 4th-and-goal. Texas has already intercepted nine passes this season through four games, which is just one shy of last year's total.

Rushing Defense: Tackling was much better in this game, though the front seven got pushed around to start the second half. This group looked much better once Vance Bedford went back to a 4-3 look. Malcom Brown, Jordan Hicks and Jason Hall all had big games.

Special Teams: This unit is still one of the most frustrating on the team, offsetting each solid play with one that makes you want to yank your hair out. Shipley ripped off a 41-yard punt return in the first quarter and then had another big one called back on a penalty. Punter William Russ is still spotty at best, while Nick Rose shanked an extra point and had a field goal blocked before drilling one from 45 yards out. 

Coaching: Once again, the Longhorns looked like they were sleepwalking to start the second half. Both sides of the ball picked it up in the fourth quarter, but it's been the same movie each of the past three games. Though he let Swoopes take more shots downfield, Shawn Watson still puts a lot on the defense with his conservative play-calling. All three of Texas' scoring drives covered 28 yards or less.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Odds on the Michigan Wolverines' Next Head Coach

After Michigan's 16-point loss to Minnesota on Saturday, which puts the Wolverines at an underwhelming 2-2, head coach Brady Hoke's seat is getting hotter by the second.

Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Adam Kramer discusses the possibility of Hoke losing his job.

Do you think Brady Hoke will last through the season?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Jameis Winston Needs More Help If Florida State Is Going to Be a Contender

Florida State got Jameis Winston back at quarterback. Having the Heisman Trophy winner under center was supposed to make life easier.

But nothing was easy on Saturday.

No. 1 FSU fell behind by 17 points in the first quarter and needed every bit of Winston's 365 passing yards to escape with a 56-41 win over North Carolina State.

Coach Jimbo Fisher said earlier this week that FSU's win over Clemson was an indication that the Seminoles could do well without the suspended Winston. And he is right. FSU is more than just Winston.

At the same time, FSU needs to not be so dependent on Winston. Against NC State, the offense was still too one-dimensional. The offensive line struggled for large periods of the game, both in pass protection and clearing rushing lanes. And the defense missed dozens of tackles.

Here's a look at what FSU must do to improve and remain a team that's contending for an Atlantic Coast Conference title and a spot in the four-team College Football Playoff:

 

Offensive Line Must Improve 

FSU's strength in 2014 was supposed to be the return of four starting offensive linemen, all of whom would be seniors. A fifth would be senior center Austin Barron, with five starts under his belt. 

But the line has been shaky, especially when run blocking.

The Seminoles managed just 106 rushing yards against Oklahoma State. FSU had negative rushing yards through four quarters against Clemson before Karlos Williams had two rushes—including the game-winning 12-yard touchdown run—as FSU finished the night with 13 rushing yards.

In the first half against N.C. State, FSU managed just 16 yards on 12 carries . After halftime, FSU had 150 rushing yards on 21 carries on Saturday. 

Pass protection was also a major issue early in the game. Winston was sacked three times, one of which resulted in a fumble. Center Austin Barron played better. Left tackle Cameron Erving, the ACC's top lineman in 2013, isn't playing nearly as well as last year. Right tackle Bobby Hart has been beaten too many times.

The Seminoles will only go as far as the offensive line takes them.

 

Where's The Defense?

Fisher won't use it as an excuse, but FSU was without defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. (concussion) and defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample (torn pectoral muscle) on Saturday. It's not clear when Edwards will return but Lawrence-Stample is out for the season.

And, at times, FSU played without linebacker Terrance Smith and defensive tackle Derrick Mitchell on Saturday. So take away four key players, and of course there will be issues.

Fisher, the Seminoles and fans don't want to hear that. There are expectations that the top-10 recruiting classes under Fisher have assembled an amount of depth that allows them to beat almost every team on the schedule. And that's a good working theory.

But FSU is missing too many tackles. It's happening up front—on a defensive line where backups are now starters due to injuries. But it's disturbing when linebackers and defensive backs whiff in the open field.

Fisher doesn't like to tackle in practice because of the risk of injury, which is a valid reason. But FSU must (gasp) learn how to tackle. It's stunning to think that's an issue with a team that allowed 12 points per game in 2013. But it is a major concern.

The missed tackles have led to far too many points being scored by opponents. FSU allowed 20 points in just two games last season, giving up 34 in a win over Boston College and 31 in a victory over Auburn in the BCS championship game. On Saturday, FSU allowed 24 first-quarter points—the most in its 769-game history.

 

Winston Can't Do it Alone 

FSU put 56 points on the board on Saturday, and college football analysts and Seminoles fans have plenty to criticize. The positive is that FSU is 4-0 and the sky isn't exactly falling (Michigan is a good example).

The best news is that Winston is back and he has a remarkable connection with Rashad Greene (11 catches, 125 yards, one TD), and sophomore Bobo Wilson (six catches, 109 yards, two TDs) is a rising star. 

The bad news is that FSU is beatable if all it offers up on Saturday is a Heisman quarterback, a few good receivers, an inconsistent ground game and an injury-plagued defense that isn't making tackles. 

The Seminoles are good enough to beat next week's opponent, Wake Forest, and then Syracuse. But a 6-0 record could mask the concerns, especially with the showdown against Notre Dame looming on Oct. 18.

Fisher needs to evaluate his options. Does he change schemes? Does he change practice habits? Does he make personnel moves?

A third of the regular season is done and FSU should be happy that it is 4-0. But the Seminoles won't stay that way for long if they keep doing what they're doing now.

"Getting by" and "escaping" are what FSU has done so far. But that's not a good long-term answer.

Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report, all quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Stats courtesy of seminoles.com. Follow Bob on Twitter. All recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Wes Lunt Injury: Updates on Illinois QB's Status and Return

As the Illinois Fighting Illini prepare to take on the No. 21 Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday night, they'll have to factor in the absence of starting quarterback Wes Lunt.

According to Sean Callahan of HuskerOnline.com, Lunt is dealing with a lingering injury he picked up earlier in the week:

Matt Daniels of The News-Gazette in Champaign, Illinois, reported that senior Reilly O'Toole will start in Lunt's place:

Adding a bit of confusion to the situation was the fact that Lunt was in full uniform and warming up with the other QBs before the game, per Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald:

The sophomore entered Saturday with 1,237 yards passing for 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. He ranked second among Big Ten quarterbacks in yards, first in touchdowns and fifth in QB rating (154.1).

The Illini were major underdogs before Lunt went down, and without him, they're facing an even steeper mountain to climb.

Illinois will need the signal-caller back quickly because the team plays No. 19 Wisconsin in two weeks' time.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Stanford Football: Are Cardinal Really Ready to Face Notre Dame?

Instead of heading into next week's massive showdown against Notre Dame with an easy fourth win in their pockets, the Stanford Cardinal will hit the road to face the Irish battered and bruised after being pushed to the limit against a Washington Huskies squad. 

Even in Washington, the Huskies were supposed to be an easy win for the Cardinal. Washington struggled to bury Hawaii in Week 1, then went into a shootout a week later with Eastern Washington. 

Instead, the Huskies never seemed to go away on Saturday. Three minutes after Stanford took a 10-0 lead in the second quarter, Washington quarterback Cyler Miles found Jaydon Mickens on a 25-yard strike. A failed extra point kept the score at 10-6. 

Then after a Stanford field goal, a fumble return for a touchdown by the Huskies' Shaq Thompson knotted the score up at 13-13 heading into the locker room. 

It wasn't until five minutes left in the game that Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan finally found pay dirt on a five-yard touchdown run that gave his team the 20-13 win. 

Nevertheless, Stanford struggled mightily with three turnovers. The 3-of-12 third down efficiency doesn't look that pretty, either. 

So, are the Cardinal doomed for a rough night against the Irish, or can Stanford salvage their College Football Playoff hopes and upend Norte Dame in South Bend? 

While the Cardinal struggled offensively, they still found a way to put up 20 points against a team that in all but one game has allowed fewer than that. 

They also outpaced the Huskies 364-179 in offensive yards. 

Against the Irish though, they'll be facing far and away the best defense they've seen in 2014. Through three games, Notre Dame is giving up just 10 points per game. 

The Irish are also 17th nationally in takeaways with nine—six interceptions and three fumble recoveries. 

Notre Dame possesses a decent offense headed by quarterback Everett Golson, albeit not necessarily a gaudy one statistically. They rank 52nd in passing and 46th in scoring through their first three games.

However, Golson and Co. have to face the Cardinal, whose stout defense through Week 4 had allowed the fewest points per game in the country at just 6.5. 

As the overly-cliched saying goes, defense wins championships. It was Stanford's defense that kept them in the game against Washington as their offense floundered time and time again. 

And it'll be the Cardinal's defense that gives them a shot at upsetting the Irish. 

The key will be putting pressure on and containing Golson. The Irish don't have any big-play backs that can hurt you in one strike in the running game—through Week 4 no Irish running back has racked up 120 yards on the year. 

Golson is also notorious for struggling in big games. The only time he's thrown for over 200 yards against a ranked team was against Alabama in the BCS Championship game, a contest where he was forced to throw as the Crimson Tide built up a big lead early. 

The Cardinal offense will have a week to regain form, while their defense should continue to be staunch. 

The best teams don't learn through losing, they learn through gutting out tough wins. 

The Cardinal did that against a pesky Washington team, and that should have them ready to inject some life back to their playoff hopes against Notre Dame next week. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Stanford Football: Are Cardinal Really Ready to Face Notre Dame?

Instead of heading into next week's massive showdown against Notre Dame with an easy fourth win in their pockets, the Stanford Cardinal will hit the road to face the Irish battered ...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M: Game Grades, Analysis for Razorbacks, Aggies

The Texas A&M Aggies were able to rebound from a two-touchdown deficit to upend the Arkansas Razorbacks by a score of 35-28 on Saturday.

Kenny "Trill" Hill threw for 386 yards and four touchdowns in the win. Although the talented signal-caller started slowly, he came through when his team needed him the most. 

It was a tough loss for Arkansas. Bret Bielema's team was the better side for the majority of the afternoon. However, foolish penalties and mental errors ultimately extended the Hogs' streak of losses in SEC play to 14. 

A full box score can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com.

Check out first-half grades and final grades for the Aggies and Razorbacks. Additional analysis for different positional units will also be addressed.

 

Arkansas Razorbacks Game Grades Analysis

Passing Offense

The play-action game was working very effectively through the first three quarters. Brandon Allen found elite tight end Hunter Henry early and often. Allen made a beautiful touchdown throw to A.J. Derby for a 44-yard touchdown. 

As the game progressed, the A&M pressure was hindering the signal-caller's ability to stand in the pocket. Although efficient throughout the contest, Allen wasn't able to truly test the Aggies defense down the field. 

 

Pass Defense

The unit in the first half was very good. Cornerbacks were challenging the vaunted A&M stable of receivers, making it difficult to get separation. Holding Hill to 96 yards passing in one half is an impressive feat. 

It was a different story in the second portion of the game. A&M scored on touchdown throws of 86 and 59 yards. A busted coverage also led to a 50-yard completion. It was a tale of two halves for the secondary. 

 

Rushing Offense

In terms of a rushing output, racking up 285 yards on the ground versus the No. 6 team in the country is very good. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams combined for more than 220 yards and two touchdowns. 

If we're including the offensive line within this unit, there were some flubs. A poor snap to Allen late in the fourth quarter killed the last drive, ultimately leading to the missed field goal.

A bizarre tripping penalty by tackle Dan Skipper wiped out a touchdown. The potential score would have put the Razorbacks up by three touchdowns late in the second half. False-start penalties also hindered the offense and put Allen behind the chains. 

 

Rush Defense

The unit as a whole was relatively solid. It bottled up Trey Williams, holding him to 26 yards on nine carries. More than anything, it got consistent pressure on Hill. Trey Flowers in particular was a force all afternoon. 

As the afternoon wore on, the pressure lessened. Tra Carson was able to pick up big chunks of yardage. Much like the team, the unit somewhat wilted in the fourth quarter. A&M rushed for 137 yards on 27 carries for a respectable 5.1 yards-per-carry average. 

 

Special Teams

The fake punt for a touchdown by Sam Irwin-Hill was a wonderful play. Not only did the Australian punter display some surprising quickness and elusiveness in space, but the touchdown gave the team a lot of momentum. 

Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, kicker John Henson badly missed a 44-yard field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter. The score would have put Arkansas up by 10 points with less than two minutes remaining. As we know, the miss proved to be costly. 

 

Coaching

Kudos to Bielema for devising a solid plan. The fake punt call was a truly brilliant move. 

In the second half (namely the fourth quarter), the play-calling was strange. Clock management was the biggest issue on the day for the staff.

Arkansas has the identity of being a running team. Late in the fourth quarter, the team decided to throw the football. It resulted in incompletions, which ultimately gave A&M a chance to equalize. 

 

Texas A&M Aggies Game Grades Analysis

Passing Offense

Hill started the game very slowly. He went 10-of-22 for 96 yards in the first half. Arkansas did a nice job of driving the tempo way down. As a result, Hill and the offense weren't able to get into any sort of a rhythm. 

In the second half, the pace picked up considerably. Hill was able to make throws down the field to his talented receivers. Impressive touchdown throws to Edward Pope and Josh Reynolds displayed Hill's immense ability in terms of both touch and arm strength. He finished 21-of-41 for 386 yards and four touchdowns. 

 

Pass Defense

The Aggies got bitten by the play-action bug. With Arkansas running the ball so well in the first half, safeties were forced to play up closer to the line of scrimmage. The unit was burned by a big 44-yard touchdown reception to Derby. 

Safety Armani Watts in particular had a tough day. He had problems diagnosing the play on the touchdown throw and also had issues tackling the likes of Williams and Collins. 

 

Rushing Offense

Rushing for 5.1 yards per carry is a solid output against a good defensive front. Hill wasn't really involved running the football until late in the contest.

Carson looks like a very good option going forward. As a big, physical back, he helped to get tough yardage. The Oregon transfer led the team with 55 yards on eight carries. 

 

Rush Defense

Giving up 285 yards on the ground is never good. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams were giving the young defensive front fits for most of the day. Collins in particular was extremely effective, tallying 131 yards on the day.

In the second half, however, the defensive line was more effective in getting off blocks. Arkansas had 198 yards rushing in the first half but only 88 after halftime. This is a case where the statistical output doesn't necessarily tell the entire story. A&M stiffened when it needed to and made critical stops. 

 

Special Teams

Allowing the fake punt touchdown run obviously wasn't a great development. The score occurred right before halftime, giving Arkansas a ton of momentum. Curiously, the very reliable Josh Lambo missed a very makeable field goal from 40 yards. 

This wasn't the best day for the Aggies' special teams unit. 

 

Coaching

Hill was having trouble dealing with the Arkansas pressure early. The play-calling had the signal-caller exclusively sitting in the pocket. Getting him on the move could have helped to combat the Arkansas defensive line. 

In the second half, the play-calling was much better. A&M was taking shots down the field and also rolling Hill out in order to buy time to throw the ball. Defensively, A&M put the clamps down on the Arkansas rushing attack in the second half.

After allowing nearly 200 yards rushing in the first half, the Aggies allowed only 87 after the break. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Baylor QB Bryce Petty Hurdles Iowa State Defender En Route to End Zone

Quarterbacks aren't always viewed as the most athletic players on the field, but Baylor's Bryce Petty is an exception to that stereotype.

When an Iowa State defender tried to tackle the Bears quarterback before he reached the end zone, Petty hurdled his way over him and across the goal line.

The touchdown gave Baylor a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

[Vine]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

California and Colorado QBs Put Up Identical Stats in Double-Overtime Thriller

The California Golden Bears and the Colorado Buffaloes played a double-overtime thriller at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. If you think the double overtime indicated that it was a pretty even game, wait until you see the stats each team's quarterback put up.

Check out the numbers for Colorado's Sefo Liufau and Cal's Jared Goff:

That's as even as it gets.

Liufau added 72 rushing yards on 10 carries, so he was responsible for more total yards of offense than his counterpart. However, Goff's team came away with a 59-56 victory.

Another big stat from the evening:

Today's Cal-Colorado game was the 1st in FBS history in which both teams threw at least 7 TD passes; tied the FBS record of 14 set in 1990

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 28, 2014

[ESPN, h/t College GameDay]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kenny Hill Shows He Has Johnny Manziel's Magic in Comeback Win

We knew Kenny Hill was talented. We knew he was prolific.

What we didn’t know was how he would respond when he was challenged—when he and Texas A&M were backed into a corner. It was bound to happen at some point in the SEC season. We just didn’t know when.

Saturday, that moment came against a plucky Arkansas team at the Southwest Classic inside AT&T Stadium.

And Hill’s response has to have Aggie fans ecstatic for what lies ahead for the rest of the 2014 season.

Hill and the A&M offense erased a two-touchdown fourth-quarter deficit with a pair of long touchdowns, and the No. 6 Aggies used that momentum in overtime to secure a 35-28 victory.

Hill completed 21 of 41 passes for 386 yards with four touchdowns against one interception, but most importantly, he didn’t look fazed under pressure.

That was a trait his predecessor, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel (who watched from the Aggies’ sideline Saturday), had in spades. While Hill looked incredibly impressive in setting an A&M single-game passing-yardage record in the season-opening 52-28 rout of then-No. 8 South Carolina (breaking the Gamecocks’ 18-game home winning streak), A&M was never really tested.

That wasn’t the case Saturday. The Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman shared Hill's comments about the team's overall performance:

Through three quarters, Arkansas led 28-14, and while Hill had two touchdowns against one interception, he had been a bit uneven. And given the Razorbacks’ propensity to control the ball on the ground, that deficit looked a lot bigger than two touchdowns.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Hill changed the equation with an 86-yard touchdown pass to Edward Pope, cutting the deficit to a score.

Arkansas had a chance to all but ice the game with under three minutes to play, but a missed field goal gave A&M another chance.

That was not smart.

This time, Josh Reynolds turned an intermediate pass and a bad Arkansas secondary angle into a 59-yard touchdown and a tie game.

In overtime, Hill threw a beautiful 25-yard strike to Malcome Kennedy for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Under pressure, he was unflappable, and it was exactly what A&M needed.

“I can’t say enough about the guys,” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin told CBS’ Allie LaForce afterward, speaking in general about his team. “It was a real test for us to come back from behind and keep playing the way we did with a bunch of young guys. It was a heck of a ballgame.”

A&M will face bigger tests in October. Over the next three weeks, the Aggies travel to No. 14 Mississippi State, host No. 10 Ole Miss and travel to No. 3 Alabama. That’s the beauty of undoubtedly the nation’s toughest division: Over the course of a season, your flaws will be exposed, and you’ll have to improve.

Hill found that out Saturday, and he and his teammates will only be better for it moving forward.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Minnesota vs. Michigan: Game Grades and Analysis for the Wolverines

Gut-wrenching. 

That's the only way that this Michigan loss, the most recent in a string of dissatisfying efforts, can be described. Instead of competing during its Big Ten opener against Minnesota, Team 135 was again dumped by a team that it was supposed to beat. 

The Wolverines (2-3) face several crossroads, one of them being at quarterback. During his postgame presser, coach Brady Hoke said that the position would be "reevaluated" this week after sophomore Shane Morris completed just seven of 19 attempts for 49 yards. 

Get the official box score at NCAA.com

Pass Offense 

Morris completed a 14-yard pass, but that was it for the kid with the golden arm. The former 5-star recruit got his first real taste of Big Ten action, and it wasn't exactly a successful outing. Sustaining several hits, Morris was visibly in pain late in the fourth quarter. 

That play pretty much summed up the day's events. It was not pretty, whatsoever.

 

Pass Defense

The Gophers didn't go full-out air show Saturday, but Mitch Leidner, their quarterback, was effective in a timely manner. He hooked up with Maxx Williams for the door-slammer in the third quarter, giving Minnesota a commanding 27-7 advantage. He ended the day with 167 passing yards, too. 

He was sacked thrice, but he walked away with The Little Brown Jug.

 

Run Offense

This is getting tiresome. Each week is the same thing. De'Veon Smith and Derrick Green combined for very little Saturday. But Smith had a 10-yard touchdown run that gave Michigan its first offensive touchdown since Week 3 versus Miami (Ohio). 

Smith led the charge with 57 yards (long of 28). Gardner had 34, Justice Hayes had 10 and Green had eight.

 

Run Defense

David Cobb quietly carved the Wolverines defense, which had allowed just 1.83 yards per carry in the three previous games. The superstar Gophers bulldozer almost had his third 200-yard game of the season. And he's only played five games. 

Cobb needed just one half to set a new high (low) for Greg Mattison's run defense, which allowed just 54 yards to Notre Dame in Week 2.

 

Special Teams 

This will be the only positive grade. Matt Wile pinned Minnesota just feet away from its goal line with 2:17 to play in the first half. Will Hagerup finished the night with 400 punting yards. 

But it's never a good sign when your punter "outgains" your offense.

 

Coaching

After the loss, Hoke insisted that he's not losing his grip. 

Take that for what it's worth.

 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Strength Coach Slams Fan Who Charged Field to the Ground

Anthony Schlegel doesn't play for Ohio State anymore, but the Buckeyes strength coach isn't afraid to make a tackle if someone decides to run onto the field.

During the Cincinnati-Ohio State game on Saturday night, the former Buckeye—and NFL—linebacker stepped up to restore order after a fan charged the field.

Schlegel threw the fan down to the Ohio Stadium turf, proving he can still make a play when called upon.

The tackle created an awesome picture:

[Instagram, Twitter; h/t The Big Lead]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kenny Hill vs. Arkansas: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Kenny Hill took another step toward securing his place in Texas A&M football history at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday as he led the Aggies to a comeback win over the Arkansas Razorbacks 35-28 in overtime. 

After what could be described as a pedestrian performance for three quarters, the super sophomore showcased the most important quarterback quality of them all—moxie. After throwing an interception with 9:34 left in the final frame, Hill took it upon himself to rally the Aggies, per TexAgs:

It was a promise he was prepared to deliver. With the Razorbacks unable to run out the clock, Hill connected with Edward Pope and Josh Reynolds on touchdown passes of 86 and 59 yards, respectively, to force the game into a 28-28 tie. 

Then, as if that weren't clutch enough, he found Malcome Kennedy from 25 yards out to go up 35-28 on the first play of overtime, as noted by CBS Sports:

Here's a look at Hill's stat line from the gutsy performance:

There are holes to poke in that stat line, sure. You'd like to see Hill's completion percentage be much higher than the 51.2 percent he posted against Arkansas. However, as Sports Illustrated pointed out, the second half set up nicely for Hill to have a Heisman moment, and he didn't back down:

Of course, for how great Hill is, as long as he wears the maroon of the Aggies, he'll be compared with his predecessor. Johnny Manziel was on hand to give the sophomore some encouragement, per Mark Passwaters of Rivals.com:

Sports Illustrated also noted the slight similarities between Hill and Johnny Football. The new Aggies quarterback might not tuck and run as much as the former Heisman winner, but he showed he could make things happen with his feet when he has to:

It might be a little early to be giving Hill legitimate Heisman hype just yet. We aren't even to the halfway point of the season, and he will be tested by three ranked teams in his next three games. But if Hill is able to continue putting up performances like this with the game on the line, it's hard to imagine he'll leave College Station without a Heisman campaign on his resume. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Louisiana Tech vs. Auburn: Game Grades, Analysis for the Tigers

The Auburn Tigers battled their way to a 45-17 victory on Saturday over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, improving to 4-0 as a daunting conference slate awaits Gus Malzahn's team.

A 28-point difference was not indicative of the offensive struggles Auburn encountered, but the Tigers still put together a superb showing.

 

Pass Offense

While Nick Marshall threw just three passes during the second quarter, two resulted in touchdowns. The senior went 10-of-17 overall, tallying 166 yards and connecting with his receivers in the end zone three times.

Wide receiver Quan Bray had the best performance, snaring three passes for 91 yards and two scores. Sammie Coates had a quiet day, but Duke Williams and C.J. Uzomah both added a touchdown grab.

 

Run Offense 

Auburn didn't need to pass much because the ground game was so effective. Marshall sliced his way through the Louisiana Tech defense with the read-option attack, amassing 105 yards on just 13 attempts.

Cameron Artis-Payne continued his strong season, bullying his way to 116 yards and one touchdown. The Tigers will rely on him during SEC action.

 

Pass Defense

Right away, Auburn's front seven established itself as a difference-making unit. The Tigers batted down three balls on the first two drives, and lineman Montravius Adams even snagged an interception and almost returned it for a touchdown.

Louisiana Tech receiver Trent Taylor had success in the slot, catching eight passes for 80 yards. Auburn needs to tighten up that area but gave a solid collective performance against quarterback Cody Sokol.

 

Run Defense

The Bulldogs' star running back Kenneth Dixon entered the game with a 100-yard-plus average, but the Tigers limited him to 29 yards on 14 carries.

Although Jarred Craft ripped off a long run, Louisiana Tech trudged its way to 3.2 yards per attempt. Building off this success will be crucial since the likes of LSU, Georgia and Alabama await.

 

Special Teams

Daniel Carlson converted all six extra points and nailed a 25-yard field goal, but he pushed an attempt from 41 wide right. Additionally, he averaged 38.5 per punt.

Bray took a punt back 76 yards to seal the game, yet he wasn't the only effective returner: Marcus Davis averaged 15.5, too.

 

Coaching

Gus Malzahn's offense is not completely clicking yet, but he and coordinator Rhett Lashlee always put the streaky Marshall in a good position to succeed. When Auburn started to control the line of scrimmage during the second quarter, the offense focused on running the ball—and it excelled.

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson had his unit well-prepared for a balanced Louisiana Tech attack. The Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage, disrupted runs and pressured Sokol throughout the victory.

 

Follow Bleacher Report college football writer David Kenyon on Twitter: @Kenyon19_BR.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida State vs. North Carolina State: Game Grades, Analysis for the Seminoles

It wasn’t pretty, but the outcome sure was if you’re a Florida State fan. The No. 1 Seminoles rallied from a 17-point deficit Saturday night and earned a 56-41 win at North Carolina State for the program’s 20th consecutive victory.

Carter-Finley Stadium had been a house of horrors for the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) over the years, but in beating the Wolfpack (4-1, 0-1), they kept their national title chances intact.

As far as grades are concerned, I was tough on Florida State's pass defense, which had too many busted plays and allowed Jacoby Brissett to have a coming-out party on national television. Conversely, I was critical of the FSU running game but thought that it did a remarkable job in the second half of bouncing back and looking like a strong unit for the first time this season.

Complete grades and analysis are listed below. 

 

Pass Offense

I would have given Jameis Winston an A-plus, but he made two big mistakes on both of his interceptions that could have wound up costing FSU the game—in particular, his turnover late in the contest when the Seminoles had secured the victory.

But it is hard to find many faults in Winston’s game. After his one-game suspension, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner was up to his old tricks, putting passes in perfect spots for his receivers to make plays, effectively running the offense and orchestrating another victory.

Winston finished the night with 365 yards and four touchdowns. He has never lost a college game, and no matter how the rest of this season plays out, FSU is never out of the game when Winston is running the show.

 

Run Offense

FSU’s rushing attack has been a sore spot through the first three games of the season, but that wasn’t the case in the second half on Saturday night.

After managing just 16 yards on 12 carries in the first two quarters, FSU exploded on the ground in the second half. Karlos Williams led the effort with a career-best three touchdown runs to go along with his 126 yards, while Dalvin Cook added 45 yards.

As a team, FSU ran for a season-high 168 yards. For a team that needs its running game to get going, the second half was a good first step in regaining the explosive form of a typical Jimbo Fisher offense. 

 

Pass Defense

Florida State led the entire country in interceptions a season ago, but this year the ‘Noles haven’t had the same luck when it comes to generating takeaways through the air.

FSU was unable to stop Brissett from slinging the football all over the field, as the former University of Florida quarterback threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns.

The Seminoles have one of the best secondaries in the nation but didn’t play like it Saturday night.

 

Rush Defense

Outside of a long Brissett scramble at the end of the first half, Florida State did an excellent job of corralling a very good Wolfpack running game.

Despite playing without nose guard Nile Lawrence-Stample and perhaps college football’s best run-game defensive end in Mario Edwards Jr., the Seminoles weren’t beaten on the ground. FSU did a good job of limiting any big NC State plays on the ground all night.

Take away Brissett’s 36-yard scramble, and the Wolfpack’s 161 rushing yards dwindle to 125 yards on the night—a very manageable number for this type of game.

 

Special Teams

Roberto Aguayo was once again perfect on extra points, and Cason Beatty wasn’t terrible punting the football, but Florida State gets a C-minus on special teams because of some poor decisions and lack of production in the return game.

Kermit Whitfield managed just 18.7 yards per return on kickoffs, while Bobo Wilson did have one 34-yard return. Most surprising, though, was Greene’s mental errors returning punts. On one return he called fair catch and then tried to return the ball, which drew a flag; then he muffed a punt in the second half that led to an NC State score just three plays later.

Greene is FSU’s best wide receiver, but he is lucky those two plays didn’t haunt the ‘Noles more than they did.

 

Coaching

Like they did a week ago against Clemson, Fisher and his staff did a masterful job of making halftime adjustments and correcting the issues that were plaguing the team.

This victory was Fisher’s first in three tries at Carter-Finley Stadium, and his improvement as a head coach and game manager since the 17-16 loss at NC State in 2012 is staggering.

 

Brandon Mellor is a Florida State writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics courtesy of Seminoles.com. All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow @BrandonMellor on Twitter.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Illinois vs. Nebraska: Live Score and Highlights

Nebraska 31, Illinois 14—HALFTIME

For the first time in three seasons, Nebraska has emerged from the out-of-conference part of its schedule unscathed.  After Penn State's loss earlier today, the Cornhuskers are now the only remaining undefeated Big Ten program.  Can they keep the momentum going tonight against Illinois?

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pages