What You Need To Know
What was important in Week 5?
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In case you missed any of and all the fun, here’s all you really need to know from the fifth weekend of the 2012 college football season.
The wild and crazy offensive explosion
It was one of the zaniest college football Saturdays of all time in terms of statistical production. There were a few Ohio State-over-Michigan State-like slugfests, but across the country the quarterbacks went ballistic.
Both Miami schools’ QBs had huge days. Zac Dysert of Miami (Ohio) threw for 516 yards and six touchdowns in a victory over Akron, which got 446 yards and four touchdowns from Dalton Williams. The Miami Hurricanes got a school- and ACC-record 566 yards and five touchdowns from Stephen Morris in the win over NC State, which lost even though it got a huge day from Mike Glennon, who threw for 440 yards and four touchdowns.
Fresno State’s Derek Carr threw for 536 yards and five scores in the win over San Diego State; Oregon State and Sean Mannion (433 yards and five touchdowns) outdueled Arizona and Matt Scott (403 yards and three scores); Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton chucked it for 402 yards and four touchdowns in a win over UNLV; and in one of the stranger statistical days, Northwestern’s versatile quarterback Kain Colter completed just 1 of 3 passes for 2 yards and a pick against Indiana, but he ran 14 times for 161 yards and four touchdowns and caught nine passes for 131 yards. With all that, however, Week 5 was all about …
West Virginia 70, Baylor 63
On a day of crazy shootouts, this one took a seat among the wildest in the history of college football. The two teams combined for 1,507 yards with West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith completing 45 of 51 passes for 656 yards and eight scores. Stedman Bailey caught 13 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns, and Tavon Austin caught 14 balls for 215 yards and two scores. But the game’s most productive receiver was Baylor’s Terrance Williams, who caught 17 passes for 314 yards and two scores. Bears quarterback Nick Florence came into the game leading the nation in total offense and he didn’t disappoint, throwing for 581 yards and five touchdowns and running for 39 yards and two scores. The offenses might have been phenomenal, but it helped that the defenses were really, really awful. Even so, the game was the showcase for ...
West Virginia QB Geno Smith
The senior came into the Baylor game on top of most Heisman Trophy lists, and then came this. To put his day into perspective, in one game he threw for more yards — 656 — than eight teams have all season, and his eight touchdown passes were more than 55 teams. Now, the spotlight is on Smith with some huge tests coming up. He has to face Texas next week and still has to deal with Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma, but it now his Heisman for the taking.
The future of Ohio State
Is Ohio State in 2012 akin to USC in 2011? Last year’s Trojans weren’t eligible to play for the Pac-12 title and couldn’t go to a bowl, but they rolled through the schedule playing spoiler time and again to set the tone for a No. 1 ranking in the preseason AP poll and a No. 2 spot in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Buckeyes are young, have a top recruiting class on the way, and — like USC this season with Matt Barkley — have a superstar quarterback who will return in Braxton Miller. On a day of wild statistical performances from quarterbacks all across college football, Miller had one of the more effective days, leading the team in rushing with 136 yards against a stout Michigan State defense fully focused on stopping him. Likely to be favored in every game the rest of the way — with the possible exception of the regular-season finale against Michigan — Year One of the Urban Meyer era is looking like a terrific tone-setter.
The battle for No. 2 is on
Oregon might be No. 2 in both polls, but after a rocky start against Washington State and without a signature win, many in the SEC are licking their chops at the idea of facing the star of the Pac-12 in the BCS championship. With road games at Arizona State, USC and Oregon State yet to deal with, along with a home game against Stanford and, possibly, the Pac-12 championship, there are still plenty of chances for the Ducks to show just how good they are. Next week, however, is being set up as a Showdown Saturday to potentially catapult a few contenders to the second spot behind Alabama. Coaches’ poll No. 3 LSU has to go to No. 11 Florida; No. 7 West Virginia has to face No. 9 Texas; and No. 5 Georgia squares off against No. 6 South Carolina. Meanwhile, Oregon has to face a Washington team that just beat Stanford.