Team Chaos definitely made an impression from coast to coast this week, as a total of seven ranked teams fell to unranked teams. With that, Week 7 resulted in many monumental upsets, as well as a few big performers.
Here are the top winners and losers from College Football’s Week 6.
*Since this is a weekly segment, the previous week’s winners and losers can be found here.
Miami Hurricanes: Miami doesn’t have to apologize to anyone for winning two games it easily could have lost. While their past two wins against Florida State and Georgia Tech may not scream that they’re a legitimate Playoff contender, it does prove that through their narrow wins in league play that Miami contains mental makeup that’s sharper than ever.
Injuries aside, the Hurricanes defense held Georgia Tech to 4.6 yards per play this week (which was below their season average of 6.4 per play). Quarterback Malik Rosier found rhythm throwing the ball again, completing 23 of 37 passes for 297 yards and 1 TD. In addition, the ‘Canes ground game continued to make noise, rushing for a total of 200 yards and one score, Travis Homer led the way with 170 yards on 20 carries.
With Clemson losing on Friday night to Syracuse (more about them later), the Hurricanes are now the ACC’s lone undefeated.
South Carolina Gamecocks: Don’t look now, but through seven weeks South Carolina is 5-2 and owns the second-best record in the SEC East. Just like everyone predicted back in August, right?
Just like everyone predicted back in August, right?
The Gamecocks once again flashed offensive futility this week, scraping by with only 15 points and 323 yards total. However, the game was won on the defensive end as South Carolina forced seven sacks, limiting the Volunteers to only 16 first downs and 233 total yards of offense for the game. South Carolina also stymied Tennessee’s ground attack, which rushed for -14 yards in the 2nd Half.
It’s pretty obvious that Georgia is the class of the SEC East, however, South Carolina deserves some credit. At the start of the season, the Gamecocks were classified as a mere afterthought nationally behind Florida and Tennesse. But now, Will Muschamp’s squad is closing in on matching last year’s total of six wins already in mid-October. In only his second season, Muschamp has changed the culture in Columbia, and if things continue to progress then a possible seven, or eight-win season is imminent.
Oklahoma Sooners: Oklahoma needed a win to not only wash away the pain of last week’s surprising setback to Iowa State but to also keep its slim College Football Playoff aspirations alive. The Sooners can check both of these boxes, as Oklahoma came away with an emotional win over Texas in the Red River Shootout.
Although it was not a dominant performance by any means, the Sooners gutted it out after blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Baker Mayfield bounced back from a sloppy performance last week to account for 330 total yards of offense and 2 TDs. Also, despite surrendering over 450 yards to Texas, Oklahoma limited the Longhorns to only 24 points, which in the end is the only thing that matters.
Pac 12: No Power Five conference had a worse weekend than the Pac-12. In the span of two days, No. 5 Washington lost to Arizona State 13-7 and sixth-ranked Washington State was routed by Cal behind seven turnovers (one for every other offensive possession). That’s two top-10 teams with major losses, and USC nearly gave one up to Utah at home. There’s an argument that the Washington loss was the most stunning since Arizona State’s defense, which ranked 127th in yards per play allowed entering Saturday – held the Huskies to 230 yards. With USC’s game against Notre Dame coming up in Week 8, the Pac-12’s playoff hopes could very well take another critical blow if the Trojans fall.
Kansas Jayhawks: Given how putrid the Jayhawks’ performances have been recently, their season-opening victory over Southeast Missouri State seems ages ago.
Week 7 was once again ugly on the eyes for Kansas fans, as Iowa State, who ranked outside the top 40 in Off. S&P+ put up 45 points despite only registering 318 total yards of offense. Kansas’ offensive performance wasn’t fair any better, in fact, it was historically bad. In total, the Jayhawks averaged 1.8 yards per play, tying for 2nd-worst by a Power 5 offense this season.
With how bad things are going for Kansas, fans have every right to question the direction of the program. Since David Beaty took in 2015, absolutely no progress has been made at all during is rebuild, as a matter of fact, the Jayhawks may be getting worse. AD Sheahon Zinger is responsible for the last two head coaching hires, and both Beaty’s and Charlie Weis’s (first head coach hired under Zenger) track records against FBS opponents are incredibly dreadful.
Navy Midshipmen: Navy suffered a frustrating loss to Memphis this week, 30-27, a game in which they turned it over five times, losing three fumbles and tossing two picks. The Midshipmen entered the AAC showdown unbeaten with a respectable six giveaways on the year.
In the end, though, Memphis turned those five takeaways into 13 points, sealing the victory with an interception. The Tigers also limited Navy to 334 yards of offense — just the second time this season the Midshipmen haven’t reached the 500-yard plateau. Navy will try to rebound in Week 8, but that’ll be an immense challenge against a UCF team on a torrid winning streak.
Week 7’s Top Performers
- QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State: 19/31, 459 yards, 3 TDs against Baylor
- QB Conner Manning, Georgia State: 26/35, 446 yards, 4 TDs against ULM
- QB Ty Gangi, Nevada: 23/40, 428 yards, 4 TDs against Colorado State
- RB AJ Dillion, Boston College: 39 carries, 272 yards, 4 TDs against Louisville
- QB Khalil Tate, Arizona: 15 carries, 230 yards, 2 TDs against UCLA
- RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin: 30 carries, 219 yards, 1 TD against Purdue
- WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State: 13 receptions, 263 yards, 3 TDs against Nevada
- WR James Washington, Oklahoma State: 6 receptions, 235 yards, 1 TD against Baylor
- WR D.J. Moore, Maryland: 12 receptions, 210 yards, 2 TDs against Northwestern