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Monday, October 5, 2015

Everything Ohio State Football after a 34-27 Win over Indiana


FIVE THINGS: EZEKIEL ELLIOTT OFFSETS MORE TURNOVERS AND PENALTIES AS BUCKEYES ESCAPE BLOOMINGTON

Ezekiel Elliott put Ohio State on his back rushing for 274 yards and three touchdowns.
73 COMMENTS
On a dank afternoon in Bloomington the Buckeyes had just enough in the tank to overcome generally sloppy offensive play thanks largely to Ezekiel Elliott's record-setting day and a defensive stand on the game's final possession in a lackluster 34-27 win. 
The squad's fourth-straight underwhelming performance leaves much for the players and staff to focus on but as Urban Meyer always reminds us, the best thing about being 5-0 is a chance to go 6-0. 
With lowly Maryland coming to the Shoe next weekend for a noon tilt, staying undefeated shouldn't be much of a chore but before we move on to talking Terps here are Five Things from yesterday's defeat of the Hoosiers. 

B1G SHOULDERS

In a game where the Buckeye offense struggled to get out of its own way with three turnovers, costly penalties and continued red zone struggles it did what it always does when things get tough: Feed Zeke. 
After just 31 yards on 10 carries in the opening half Ezekiel Elliott went off like the mob in the 2nd half tallying 13 carries for 243 yards and three long scores in leading the Buckeyes to the winner's circle. 
Down 10-6 midway through the 3rd quarter, Zeke got the big play express started with a 55-yard jaunt on 3rd and 2 giving OSU a 13-10 lead. A few possessions later with just over a minute left in the quarter Zeke went 65 yards up the gut on 4th and 1 to put the good guys back in front, 20-17. Finally, nursing a 27-20 lead after the Hoosiers had just kicked a field goal, Elliott raced 75 yards providing a 34-20 cushion with 10:24 left in regulation. 
The three long runs were even more impressive when you consider Elliott was taking some serious shots in between as the Hoosiers stacked the box sensing Meyer had lost much of his confidence in the passing game. 
The team's security blanket since the latter part of last season, Elliott scorched the record books on a day when the Buckeyes needed every yard he could muster. Zeke's 11.9 yards per carry set the school's single game record and his 274 rushing yards tied the great Keith Byars for the second-best single game effort in school history. 
This year, Elliott is averaging 36 yards per carry on his eight touchdowns and during his streak of 10 straight 100+ yard rushing games, he has amassed over 1,600 yards with 19 touchdowns. And none of this even mentions Elliott is the best blocker on the team that's also a legit threat in the passing game now that his wrist is healthy. 

OUT OF TOUCH

Ohio State turned it over three times yesterday with two of those coming via fumbles from Jalin Marshall. 
Before I get too far into this, know that I'm a Marshall fan. That said, I'm confused on what decides who gets touches outside of Zeke and Mike Thomas in this offense. 
Week in and week out Meyer talks about getting more touches for Braxton Miller and speaks highly of Curtis Samuel yet the inconsistency in opportunities for the pair is again front and center. 
Jalin Marshall is a hell of a weapon but needs to rid himself of the fumble bug.
Yesterday, Marshall racked up six touches for an impressive 110 yards but he turned the ball over on 33% of those touches rendering his production largely useless. Meanwhile Samuel – coming off a four touch 104 yard performance last week featuring a 40-yard touchdown run and a 40-yard reception as he got behind his man on a deep route – had one touch against the Hoosiers. Miller was just as ghostly with two touches as the Buckeyes rightfully shelved the wildcat but then decided there must not be any other plays with which Miller could excel. 
I understand dividing opportunities will be a tough task every week based on the number of weapons playing the same position and/or capable of executing the same plays but for a coach who talks tough about turnovers, yesterday seemed like a prime opportunity, if nothing else, to try some of those jet sweeps with Samuel instead of Marshall. I would also understand it more if fumbling was a new issue with Marshall but he's carried the ball loose for quite some time now, mostly when he's trying to make too much happen (running backward, spinning back toward traffic etc). 
Again, I don't advocate stapling great players like Marshall to the bench but the most sacred thing to any player is playing time and if that gets compromised a bit as a result of loose handles then maybe placing more value on hanging on to the football will be the result not to mention the opportunity it could provide other talented players to make the team even stronger. 

DREAD ZONE

After a disastrous day in which the Buckeyes officially made three trips to the red zone (I counted four) resulting in zero touchdowns, two made field goals, a missed field goal and an interception, Ohio State is now ranked 108th in the land in red zone offense. 
Officially, in 16 trips to the red zone this season, the Buckeye offense has tallied 12 scores (75%) while scoring touchdowns on just six occasions (38%). Ohio State quarterbacks have yet to complete a touchdown pass in the red zone. 
While this year's struggles are certainly troubling this isn't a new concern as the Buckeye offense ranked just 48th last year with an 85% scoring rate. 
Ohio State's first trip to the red zone yesterday (1st and 10 at the IU 12) saw the Buckeyes try to go up tempo on a 2nd and 3 snap only to confuse themselves up front resulting in no gain for Elliott. On the ensuing snap, OSU went five wide and Jones tried to force a bullet to Nick Vannett on a slant but the throw was low and away which was actually favorable as it was into crowded coverage. A field goal followed cutting Indiana's lead to 10-3. 
The next trip came after Indiana's crazy failed fake punt attempt giving the Buckeyes 1st and 10 at the Hoosier 13. After Zeke hurdled for five yards to set up 2nd and 5, Jones rolled left and looked to have Mike Thomas open for an easy touchdown near the left pylon but he threw too hard on a throw that required a little more touch for an easy score. Now facing 3rd and 8, Jones had Marshall open on a slant but again the throw was too hard and too far in front of Jalin leading to another field goal trimming Indiana's lead to 10-6. 
Late in the half and again looking at 1st and 10 from the Hoosier 13, the offense had maybe its worst series of the day. The first play saw Miller flagged for a block below the waist (it was close) negating an Elliott touchdown off a swing pass from Jones putting the Buckeyes into a 1st and 25 hole at the IU 28. On the next snap, Jones had all day to throw but eventually took a sack. Two plays later on 3rd and 19, Jones and Jacoby Boren couldn't connect on a shotgun snap in which the timing was clearly off resulting in another negative play. The Buckeyes were also flagged for illegal motion but the Hoosiers rightly declined setting up 4th down and a missed 43-yard field goal try. I believe the term coach uses for this one is "clown show."
Finally, leading 13-10 and setting up shop at the Hoosier 19, a confusing 2nd and 7 run from Jones lost five yards and on 3rd and 12, Jones stared down his covered receiver leading to an easy interception. Indiana scored five plays later to take a 17-13 lead late in the 3rd quarter. 

TFL - TYQUAN (FRANK?) LEWIS

On a defense full of returning starters and big names, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. As one of four first-year starters for the Bullets, defensive end Tyquan Lewis is having a heck of a season and was especially solid yesterday with seven tackles, a career-high 3.5 TFL and a sack. 
Fellow defensive linemates Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington deservedly generate the most hype but the ease with which Lewis slid into the starting lineup and produced should not be undervalued. He plays with a relentless motor and while I'm no scout, I'd say his backside pursuit is at least equal to if not better than that of any other OSU defensive lineman. Yesterday, it seemed Lewis spent half the snaps in the Hoosier backfield as Ohio State held Indiana to 3.2 yards per carry. 
Tyquan Lewis was a beast yesterday tallying 3.5 tackles for loss.
Gareon Conley is probably having the best season of the four first-year defensive starters but I think you'd be hard pressed to say Lewis isn't in the two hole ahead of Raekwon McMillan and then Tommy Schutt. 
Shout out to Lewis, a third-year sophomore, for consistently giving Ohio State what they need at the end spot opposite Bosa in his first year as a starter after providing serviceable production as a reserve last season. 

PLAYING WITH FIRE

With three turnovers yesterday, Ohio State now has 19 such events in the last seven games, dating back to the Sugar Bowl win versus Alabama. This season, the Buckeyes have 13 turnovers in five games, good for a national ranking of 117th in turnovers lost.
Averaging 2.6 turnovers per game, Ohio State has turned it over at least twice in four of their five games with Hawai'i serving as the only afternoon in which the Buckeyes were perfect in the category. 
Miraculously, the Buckeyes didn't pay for the miscues last season and so far this year the -4 turnover margin has yet to prove fatal. 
Yesterday's three turnovers led to 10 points for the Hoosiers and Meyer seemed more frustrated by those miscues than anything else ailing his team. He knows at same point such sloppy play will cost his team a game. 
While not drawing as much as much chatter, it's not just turnovers plaguing the Buckeyes. Against Indiana, the squad also committed eight penalties totaling 109 yards including three facemask infractions, two illegal blocks, two pass interference calls and one unsportsmanlike conduct. 
The eight penalties were right on Ohio State's average per game ranking them 104th in the country. Last year, the Buckeyes ranked 50th in the land with 5.6 penalties per game. 
The continued struggles in these two areas have yet to cost the Buckeyes but you have to wonder at what point does their luck run out if they don't clean it up? 


Ten Things We Learned from Ohio State's 34-27 Win Over Indiana
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS — The Buckeyes went over to Bloomington knowing they were going to be in for a weird one, and they certainly weren't disappointed. Yet they somehow managed to secure a 34-27 win in a wild back-and-forth affair.
Like every other game this season, it wasn't pretty, but the offense still put up over 500 yards of total offense and the defense only had one really bad breakdown, if you ignore all of the costly penalties, that is.
What did we learn from Saturday's game? Let's take a look.
1. Cardale Jones hasn’t done enough to give his coaches the confidence they need to have in him.
That lack of confidence became all too apparent after Indiana quarterback Zander Diamont took off for a 79-yard touchdown run, taking back any momentum that the Buckeyes had. With 10:03 remaining in the game, the Buckeyes got the ball back and ran the ball twice for a loss of 3 yards and a gain of 3 yards. Then, on 3rd-and-10, rather than put the ball in the passing arm of Cardale Jones, Urban Meyer and Ed Warinner decided instead to run the ball again with Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott again gained 3 yards and then the Buckeyes punted.
Prior to those three handoffs, Jones had thrown the ball just twice in the fourth quarter. The first was a 23-yard touchdown to Michael Thomas and the second ended in a Jalin Marshall fumble. He threw the ball just once after Elliott's three carries and that was on a jet sweep to Marshall.
Rather than put the game in Jones's hands, the coaches were more comfortable putting it in the defense's hands, and this was immediately after they had just given up a 79-yard run to the Hoosiers' backup quarterback. Jones wasn't bad throwing the ball in this game. He certainly missed some throws, but he wasn't terrible. Still, Meyer and Warinner didn't seem to want to have him too involved in the offensive plans when the game was on the line late.
This isn't unheard of, and at times the Buckeyes had to hide J.T. Barrett last year. When they were doing it with Barrett — like at Penn State — it was because of a knee injury, and he was still capable of making plays with his legs, which is just not happening with Jones.
I'm not saying Barrett should be starting, but I am saying that not having confidence in your starting quarterback might make a coach revisit a few things. And who knows what kind of effect the lack of confidence in Jones is having on the quarterback himself. If all goes well, however, each game is compartmentalized within itself and each week is a new week to show the coaches what they want to see.
2. Tyquan Lewis is no longer playing in Joey Bosa’s shadow.
Time and again it was Tyquan Lewis chasing down a Hoosier running back from the backside, or standing up at the point of attack, or simply imposing his will on an Indiana offensive lineman and making a play when the Buckeyes needed to have it. He finished with 7 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
As to where those plays were made, here is how far downfield each of Lewis's tackles occurred: 1 yard, -2 yards, -1 yard, -1 yard, 1 yard, -1 yard, 1 yard. He may be a brand new starter, but he continues to perform and excel. He now leads the Buckeyes with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.
3. There’s more going on with this offense than just needing time to gel.
Needing time to gel is a very legitimate excuse for an offense or defense. Last year, it took the defense about 12 games to get everything right, but they were also installing a new system. Claiming that OSU's offense needs time to gel is fine, but an offense that needs time to gel will still put up more than six points in one half against Indiana's accommodating defense.
I can buy that they still aren't in sync on offense, but that doesn't explain six points in the first half against Indiana or 13 points total against Northern Illinois. Perhaps it is just a perfect storm of new coaches, new roles, new playcalling protocols, etc., but even still that wouldn't explain the depth of the troubles on offense. There is too much talent to have this many issues.
But then this is sort of the history of Meyer's offenses when he goes with a quarterback who isn't necessarily a running threat.
4. Meyerball is more closely related to Tresselball than Hermanball.
When Urban Meyer was hired by Ohio State he said that he wasn't that into the hurry up/no huddle offenses because he liked his quarterbacks to be able to look at his team in the huddle and be a leader. Tom Herman obviously changed his mind and the Buckeyes no longer huddle, but they certainly aren't hurrying up.
When Tom Herman left Columbus, so did the emphatic voice demanding the Buckeyes go tempo, and it took that emphatic voice to convince Meyer that it was the way to go. Now with Herman no longer around, the call for tempo doesn't seem to be around anymore.
Now the Buckeyes are relying on defense, special teams and offense when they can get it. If that's not Tresselball, then I don't know what is. The Buckeyes are averaging 67.2 snaps per game on offense this season, and that's with a defense that is getting them the ball back pretty quickly. Last season through five games, Ohio State averaged 77.8 snaps per game, and that was with a defense that was giving up 11 more points per game through the first five games.
In 2002, the Buckeyes averaged 62.8 snaps per game through their first five games, which is closer to 2015's 67.2 snaps than 2015 is to 2014's 77.8 snaps. By the way, Jim Tressel's last offense in 2010 averaged 71.2 snaps per game through their first five games.
Or maybe we should just chalk up the lack of plays to the four home runs that Ezekiel Elliott has hit this season?
5. Credit the special teams with the victory in this game.
Even though Jack Willoughby bounced a 43-yard field goal attempt off of the upright, overall it was a pretty dominating effort by the OSU special teams. Indiana returned five kickoffs for just 71 yards, and their lone punt return went for just 2 yards. Dontre Wilson, meanwhile, averaged 25 yards per kickoff return and Jalin Marshall gave the Buckeyes solid field position on several of his six punt returns.
The Hoosiers started at their own 25-yard or worse on 11 of their 18 possessions, and they never started beyond their 25-yard line when the Buckeyes kicked off to them. The special teams forced Indiana's offense to drive the length of the field more often than not, which is something that they were incapable of doing for the most part. Indiana only had two drives of more than 64 yards.

6. It may not be possible for Adolphus Washington to play better than he did on Saturday.
It is rare for a defensive tackle to hit double digits in tackles, but that's what Adolphus Washington did for the Buckeyes when he recorded 10 tackles against the Hoosiers on Saturday. Generally, you can expect only a few tackles per game for most defensive tackles because if the ball isn't run right at them, it's going to be difficult for them to chase the play down.
While Washington had a couple of those, that would not describe accurately his day as a whole. He was active throughout, routinely making plays that weren't run right at him. As we did with Tyquan Lewis, he is how far downfield each of his tackles occurred: 4, -1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 21, 3, 1, 1.
Did you notice that seventh tackle? It was a screen play to running back Devine Redding, and Washington turned and chased him out of bounds 21 yards downfield. That's above and beyond for a defensive tackle, but that's how Washington has been playing this season. The Hoosiers did run for 176 yards, but 79 of those came on one play that had nothing to do with Washington. He did his part in this game, and then some.
7. Zander Diamont is Buckeye kryptonite somehow.
Maybe when Zander Diamont came in for Nate Sudfeld the Buckeye defense relaxed a bit and then paid the price for that relaxation. Diamont entered the game with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter and the Buckeyes holding on to a 13-10 lead. The Hoosiers went three-and-out on his first possession, which probably only allowed the defense to relax even more.
On the Hoosiers' next possession, however, he drove them 55 yards for a touchdown and the lead. Their next two possessions were three-and-outs as well, but their second drive of the fourth quarter ended in a field goal, making it 27-20 Ohio State. And you already know about his 79-yard touchdown run, as well as the final drive that nearly put the Hoosiers in a position to win the game.
If you'll recall, Diamont was also the Indiana quarterback last year who came into Ohio Stadium and nearly led the Hoosiers to a massive road victory. It's all completely baffling, because in the two games combined, Diamont has completed 17 of 41 passes for 190 yards and an interception. He has also rushed for 140 yards in those two games, with 132 of those yards coming on just two carries.
There is no earthly reason for the Buckeyes to struggle like this with Diamont, which is why the only logical explanation is that he is their kryptonite.
8. If Saturday didn’t wake them up, maybe nothing will.
So many times in covering this team the last two years, I've heard somebody connected to the team say that they probably don't win the national title last year without that loss to Virginia Tech. It woke the team up and gave them a renewed purpose and forced them to get locked into the process more than maybe they were before.
Will this team need that same kind of wake-up call, or did yesterday finally get their blood flowing? The defense seems locked in well enough, but is the fix for the offense as simple as waking up? Is a loss necessary, or is coming as close to a loss as the Buckeyes did enough to get the job done?
9. Turnovers are the norm now.
The Buckeyes have turned the ball over 13 times in five games this season, and it continues the trend set at the end of last season. Ohio State continues to overcome the harm they do to themselves, thereby making it seem like turnovers aren't the death curse that we all know them to be.
Urban Meyer said after the game that the sheer amount of turnovers are not acceptable and if it continues then they'll have to sit the players who keep putting the ball on the ground. That's nice to say, but it's not going to happen when the players doing it are guys like Cardale Jones and Jalin Marshall, who are seen as worth the risk by the coaches.
Jones now has 10 turnovers in eight career starts. Meyer can say that it is unacceptable, but it is pretty clearly acceptable because nothing is changing, and nobody outside of the football facilities expects it to change. Turnovers are just part of who the Buckeyes are right now, and it's just one more thing they'll need to overcome.
10. Raekwon McMillan is going to be really, really good.
Raekwon McMillan is leading the Big Ten with 54 tackles (10.8/game), and has 30 tackles the last two weeks. His 14 tackles against Indiana were pretty amazing when you consider that he was also dealing with a migraine that came on before the game.
McMillan received some criticism last week following his 16-tackle performance because so many of his tackles came so far downfield. Of his first 9 tackles against Western Michigan, only three came within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage. His final 7 tackles against WMU, however, all came within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Against Indiana, only one of his 14 tackles came beyond 4 yards. In fact, 11 of them came within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage. If you combine McMillan's last 7 tackles against Western Michigan and his 14 tackles against Indiana, 20 of his last 21 tackles have come within 4 yards of the line of scrimmage, and 12 of his last 21 tackles have actually come within 2 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Raekwon McMillan is five games into his starting career and it's pretty easy to see what he can eventually become.
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Ezekiel Elliott's 3 TD day powers struggling Buckeyes past Indiana

By Chip Patterson | 

Ohio State needed a career day from running back Ezekiel Elliott (23 carries, 275 yards and three touchdowns) -- plus a few breaks -- to beat Indiana 34-27 on an off day for the Buckeyes in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers did not play that well and lost both starting quarterback Nate Sudfeld and star running back Jordan Howard to injuries during the game. For IU to be leading just 10-6 at halftime was a blessing for OSU after the offense only had one long drive of significance in the first half, and even that ended in a field goal.
But in the second half, it was all about Elliott answering the team's distress call and putting together a career day on the ground. Touchdown runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards in the third and fourth quarters put the Buckeyes ahead and kept a feisty Zander Diamont-led Indiana offense from pulling the upset of the season.
The way Elliott was jumping into open lanes and pulling away from defenders brought back memories of his incredible postseason run in 2014 that ended in the running back earning College Football Playoff MVP honors.
Here are a few more notes from Ohio State's way-too-close win on Saturday.
1. Ohio State might be the best team with a turnover problem. The Buckeyes entered Saturday as one of the half dozen ranked teams with a negative turnover margin on the season, then lost turnover battle 3-0 against the Hoosiers with one Cardale Jones interception and two lost fumbles from the four times the ball hit the ground.
"We're turning the ball over at an alarming rate," Meyer told reporters after the game. "At some point that's going to bite you."
Meyer's right, and it nearly did bite the Buckeyes on Saturday.
2. Penalties killed the Buckeyes, too. If Ohio State wants to claim that its team is focused and keyed in for every game, regardless of opponent, then limiting the penalties would help that argument. OSU was flagged eight times for 109 penalty yards, and Indiana's final offensive drive was kept alive by a personal foul and a defensive holding call.
3. Indiana's final offensive drive was great until the last play. Sure, the Hoosiers had the benefit of some calls going their way, but otherwise it was a stellar showing from Diamont to put Indiana in position to score the game-tying touchdown in the final minutes. Unfortunately, the execution of the final sequence was not as great, culminating with a bad snap and desperation on fourth down.
If Elliott is not on the field, Ohio State probably doesn't win on Saturday. Many Heisman voters often search for that kind of value when voting, and if Elliott continues to pile up the yards he'll remain, with Fournette, on that Heisman Trophy short list.
Ezekiel Elliott saved Ohio State from losing at Indiana. (USATSI)







College Football Power Rankings - Week 6
RANKTEAM / RECORDTRENDINGPTSCOMMENT
1
UtahUtah
4-0
8
Last Week: 9
294The Utes were on a bye after their deconstruction of Oregon. The timing couldn't have been better for a team that was probably emotionally drained from last week's win. If Utah is going to make a run through the Pac-12, that defense and tricky special teams will be two major reasons why.
2
TCUTCU
5-0
5
Last Week: 7
293What couldn't the Horned Frogs do against a completely overmatched Texas squad?Trevone Boykin passed Andy Dalton to set the school record for passing touchdowns (74) and TCU led 37-0 at halftime and registered 604 yards of offense. TCU has hit at least 600 yards in four straight games.
3
BaylorBaylor
4-0
7
Last Week: 10
280Yes, Baylor can score a ton of points and churn out yards like butter, but in its first test of the season, the Bears surrendered 636 yards to Texas Tech. The good news is Baylor can, well, score a ton of points, and the Bears allowed only 14 second-half points in their 63-35 win.
4
3
Last Week: 1
276Is this the 2015 version of Florida State? The defending champs haven't looked like the best team in the country this season, but they're 5-0. Ohio State needed a late-game stop to beat Indiana on the road, while running back Ezekiel Elliott scored on runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards.
5
8
Last Week: 13
260Admit it. You were all just waiting for a classic "Clemsoning" by the Tigers against Notre Dame. Well, shame on you because Clemson found a way to win the game that always seems to trip it up. Now, the Tigers have to be considered the ACC favorite.
6
LSULSU
4-0
--

Last Week: 6
257The Tigers weren't exactly dominant early but took care of business behind yet another big game from Leonard Fournette, who now has three straight 200-yard rushing outings. His performance on Saturday almost makes you forget the fact that Brandon Harris threw for just 80 yards.
7
4
Last Week: 3
241Sparty got its scare, narrowly escaping one-win Purdue 24-21 in its 100th homecoming game. Purdue was driving with a chance to tie or win with little more than a minute left, but Michigan State's Connor Cook was able to hold on for his school-record 28th career win with the Spartans.
8
7
Last Week: 15
229Baker Mayfield threw for 320 yards and three touchdowns against a West Virginia defense that had allowed an FBS-low 23 points. The Sooners forced five turnovers, clinching the game with a 41-yard fumble return by Jordan Evans. Next for the rising Sooners is battered and bruised 1-4 Texas.
9
3
Last Week: 12
222Don't look now, but the Aggies could be for real. Yes, we thought that last year, but this team still has a high-flying offense and finally appears to have bite on defense, thanks to new defensive coordinator John Chavis. Quarterback Kyle Allen continues to grow up more and more each week.
9
15
Last Week: 24
222Is this team for real? A program that couldn't do much of anything on offense for the past five years registered 25 points and 296 yards on Ole Miss by halftime of its 38-10 throttling of the Rebels. Supposedly more than 20 Florida players battled the flu this week. Secret weapon?
11
--

Last Week: 11
216It's clear that talk of the demise of the Crimson Tide was extremely premature. Alabama embarrassed Georgia 38-10 in rain-soaked Athens by scoring touchdowns four ways -- pass, run, blocked punt and interception return. Quarterback Jake Cokerwas incredibly efficient, and the Tide defense found its toughness with a dominating performance.
12
4
Last Week: 16
176Maybe the Wildcats aren't a fluke? With its 27-0 win over Minnesota, Northwestern has two shutouts on the season, matching its total from the previous 18 seasons. The Wildcats hadn't shut out a Big Ten opponent since blanking Wisconsin back in 1995.
13
1
Last Week: 14
169The Seminoles sure like drama. They didn't need to score in the fourth quarter to escape with a win at Wake Forest, but it probably would have made fans feel better. Even though FSU was outgained 359 yards to 327 and had 13 fewer first downs than Wake, the Noles survived with a defense that forced two crucial turnovers.
14
9
Last Week: 5
155Maybe the injuries finally caught up with the Irish. While Notre Dame had plenty of chances to take down Clemson on the road, four second-half turnovers and a failed two-point conversion doomed a team whose luck finally ran out.
15
1
Last Week: 16
148How in the world is this the same team that lost to Northwestern to start the season? Since scoring six points against the Wildcats, Stanford has averaged 42.3 points and 505.8 yards per game. Just like that, Stanford is sitting atop the Pac-12 North standings with a monster matchup with UCLA looming.
16
14
Last Week: 2
138Last week's sluggish win over Vanderbilt told us Ole Miss was human. Saturday's 28-point loss to Florida showed us this team has a lot to get fixed if it's going to even make an SEC run. The Rebels had no run game against Florida, turned it over four times and went 5-of-14 on third down.
17
6
Last Week: 23
108Don't sleep on the Wolverines. They might not win the Big Ten, but they'll make it hard for others to do so if they keep playing like this. Michigan has outscored opponents 119-7 over the past 15 quarters and has posted back-to-back shutouts in which it has scored at least 28 points. The last team to do that: Alabama's 2012 national championship squad.
18
UCLAUCLA
4-1
15
Last Week: 3
97The presumed favorite in the Pac-12 suffered a big loss at home to Arizona State over the weekend, which begs the question: Just how wide open is the Pac-12? The absence of Myles Jack will be felt all season on defense, but the Bruins have to rediscover their running game. Rushing for 62 yards in a Pac-12 game won't cut it.
18
USCUSC
3-1
--

Last Week: 18
97The perplexing Trojans were off this week, which was probably good thing for this team's psyche, as it tries to figure itself out. Washington is up next, which is an intriguing matchup because the Huskies own the Pac-12's top defense but have one of the conference's worst offenses.
20
12
Last Week: 8
82Just like in 2008, the Bulldogs were shellacked at home by Alabama. The Bulldogs were outclassed in all areas of the game and were held under 300 yards of offense for the first time since their loss to Vanderbilt on Oct. 19, 2013. Even worse, more questions emerged with quarterbackGreyson Lambert.
21
1
Last Week: 20
60Ben Grogan's 37-yard field goal with 32 seconds left lifted the Cowboys to a 36-34 win over Kansas State after they trailed 28-13 late in the second quarter. Keep an eye on the Cowboys because they're allowing a Big 12-low 310 yards per game.
22
IowaIowa
5-0
4
Last Week: NR
53Don't look now, but Iowa is making a charge in the Big Ten. While the Hawkeyes registered only 221 yards and 10 points in their upset of Wisconsin, they forced four turnovers and held Wisconsin to just 86 rushing yards. Iowa is 5-0 for the first time since its Orange Bowl run in 2009.
23
1
Last Week: 22
51We should probably start paying more attention to quarterback Jared Goff, who rallied Cal past Washington State with four touchdowns on Saturday and has thrown for at least 300 yards in four of five games this season. Next week's trip to Utah looks pretty interesting now.
24
1
Last Week: 25
30If you stayed up late enough, you saw the Broncos completely undress hapless Hawaii with 55 points and 554 yards, while allowing just 170 yards and 12 first downs. It's looking more and more like Boise can run the table after that heartbreaking loss to BYU.
25
TempleTemple
4-0
1
Last Week: NR
13The Owls are on a roll to start the 2015 season. With a 37-3 win over Charlotte, Temple is 4-0 for the first time since 1974 and has won back-to-back road games for the first time in school history. Running backJahad Thomas leads the American with 125.8 rushing yards per game.
25
1
Last Week: NR
13Quarterback Greg Ward Jr. did just about everything in the Cougars' 38-24 win over Tulsa. He threw for 273 yards and ran for another 182 with three touchdowns, breaking the school record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Houston is averaging an American Conference-high 602.5 yards per game heading into next week's matchup against an SMU defense surrendering 593 yards per game.
Others receiving votes: Arizona State (12), Duke (9), West Virginia (7), Wisconsin (4), Memphis (4), Toledo (3), Missouri (3), Indiana (2), Kansas State (1)



Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller back at QB

  By Andrew Holleran 

Some are calling for Braxton Miller to become Ohio State's quarterback again. Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
With Ohio State's offense struggling again, one of the program's greats called for a change.ESPN college football analyst and former OSU running back Robert Smith wants Braxton Miller to move back to quarterback. Slight problem with that, Robert: Miller doesn’t have a shoulder healthy enough to play quarterback.







Week 5 College Football Rankings  October 5th, 2015

Composite rankingChangeAverage ranking
1Clemson+115.5
1Oklahoma+125.5
3Alabama+45.75
4Ohio State-37.25
5LSU-28.25
6Florida+168.75
7Utah+79
8Florida State10.5
9Texas A&M+911.25
10TCU-412.25
11Baylor-113.5
12Michigan+813.75
12Stanford+513.75
12USC+313.75
15Ole Miss-1314.25
16Michigan State-1214.5
17Notre Dame-615.25
18Northwestern+516.5
19Georgia-1420.75
20IowaNR21.5
21West Virginia-523
22DukeNR23.25
22ToledoNR23.25
24UCLA-1624.25
25NavyNR27.5
APCoachesMasseyS&P+
1Ohio State (38)Ohio State (50)OklahomaAlabama
2TCU (5)TCU (4)Ohio StateOklahoma
3Baylor (10)Michigan State (1)AlabamaMichigan
4Michigan StateBaylor (5)UtahClemson
5Utah (7)LSU (1)LSUFlorida
6ClemsonClemsonTexas A&MUSC
7LSUUtah (1)TCUWest Virginia
8AlabamaFlorida StateBaylorFlorida State
9Texas A&M (1)OklahomaClemsonLSU
10OklahomaAlabamaNorthwesternStanford
11FloridaTexas A&MStanfordDuke
12Florida StateFloridaFloridaNotre Dame
13NorthwesternOle MissFlorida StateLouisville
14Ole MissNorthwesternMichiganOle Miss
15Notre DameNotre DameOle MissToledo
16StanfordGeorgiaUSCWisconsin
17USCUSCMichigan StateArkansas
18MichiganStanfordNotre DameBoston College
19GeorgiaOklahoma StateUCLAUtah
20UCLAUCLAGeorgiaPenn State
21Oklahoma StateMichiganIowaNavy
22IowaCalOklahoma StateTexas A&M
23CalIowaWest VirginiaIowa
24ToledoBoise StateToledoMinnesota
25Boise StateMemphisNavyOhio State

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