Week 5 of the college football season had four battles between top 25 teams on Sept. 28. However, this college football Saturday centered around the Georgia Bulldogs in some way, like the first two of them did. After losing to the Clemson Tigers and beating the South Carolina Gamecocks to start the season, the Bulldogs capped off their September of death by surviving the LSU Tigers in the latest massive SEC shootout.
The defensive carnage finally ended with the Bulldogs winning by 44-41, after 60 back and forth minutes. Georgia could have finished LSU off by stopping them on a 3’rd-and-23 play with minutes, yet the defense wasn’t even equipped to stop that in this game. Once the Tigers marched down the field afterwards to take a 41-37, it could have deflated the Bulldogs — but LSU left too much time for Georgia.
Aaron Murray quickly led the drive of his career, capping it off with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley. There were still under two minutes left, yet this wasn’t enough time for LSU to recover. Ironically, a defensive stop on downs sealed the win for Georgia, which is now the best 1-loss team in college football and can make a case for No. 1 if it stays perfect — at least up to the SEC title game.
While the Bulldogs stayed in the national title picture, one team from Oklahoma made a case to come in while another one fell out. In the meantime, another SEC East team was nearly embarrassed, an ACC frontrunner faced its first test, and the end of an ugly era took place in the desert.
Here is a list of the best games in college football during Week 5.
No. 9 Georgia 44, No. 6 LSU 41
Mark Richt and the Bulldogs had an emotional day in improving to 2-1 against top 15 teams this month. Now Georgia has to believe it can survive anything, and will survive it going into a potential rematch with the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC title game. As for LSU, it has been knocked down a peg with a few more statement games left to go.
West Virginia 30, No. 11 Oklahoma State 21
Mike Gundy and the Cowboys were supposed to cruise against lowly West Virginia, but hit a massive speed bump. Not only are the Cowboys out of national title consideration, their former status as the Big 12 frontrunner took a major hit — with an in-state rival perhaps ready to step in.
No. 14 Oklahoma 35, No. 22 Notre Dame 21
Blake Bell and the Sooners didn’t win a Big 12 game in South Bend, yet they made the case for being the Big 12’s best team. By avenging their loss to Notre Dame in Oklahoma last year, the Sooners are now poised to run through a weaker than usual Big 12, and perhaps get back into BCS contention.
No. 12 South Carolina 28, Central Florida 25
Central Florida wouldn’t have pulled off a massive upset over South Carolina, since the Knights were unbeaten and had a win in Penn State under their belt. Nonetheless, the Gamecocks saved their BCS at-large hopes by rallying from an early 10 point deficit and barely holding onto an 18 point lead. But the price was the loss of quarterback Connor Shaw, although Mike Davis carried the Gamecocks from there with 167 yards.
No. 8 Florida State 48, Boston College 34
Jameis Winston and the Seminoles had cruised through their opening games, but the Eagles came from nowhere to give them their first test. The freshman quarterback ultimately passed, especially with a Hail Mary bomb to Kenny Shaw to end the first half, and erased an early 17-3 deficit.
No. 4 Ohio State 31, No. 23 Wisconsin 24
Braxton Miller needed a big game in his return to hold off the calls for Kenny Guiton to take over. Miller and the Buckeyes. Four touchdown passes settled the debate for Miller, and kept the Buckeyes from allowing a debate on who runs the Big 10.
No. 10 Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 33
Johnny Manziel’s first road game of 2013 went fairly smoothly, with 320 yards of total offense and two touchdown passes. Despite the usual offensive fireworks, Texas A&M’s embattled defense held Arkansas down when it threatened to even things up.
Ducks’ rainy blowout
No. 2 Oregon 55, California 16
The latest Oregon explosion included a 41-0 lead halfway through the second quarter on a rainy night. However, the defense also put on a big show by forcing five turnovers and four first quarter fumbles.
Tide defense rolls
No. 1 Alabama 25, No. 21 Ole Miss 0
While the No. 2 team in the country lit up the scoreboard again, the No. 1 team reestablished itself on defense by handcuffing the Rebels. Once again, it seems that no one but Manziel is able to touch the Tide’s defense.
Arizona State 62, USC 41
This game became downright historic an hour ago, as USC coach Lane Kiffin was fired hours after his Trojans were burned for 62 points. With a 3-2 record and an 0-2 mark in the Pac-12, the Trojans are already resigned to starting over again.