Unlike last weekend, the college football Week 5 slate did not result in any massive upsets, but there were some glaring disappointments.
They started early, as Friday night’s action saw two teams embarrass themselves with underwhelming performances. That carried over into Saturday, capped off by a downright awful game by the Nebraska Cornhuskers at home against Ohio State.
These are the biggest disappointments from college football Week 5.
Josh Jackson, Maryland falling off a cliff
The first two games of the season, Josh Jackson was spectacular and the Terrapins won by margins of 79 and 43 points, respectively. It appeared that Maryland’s offense was going to be dynamic enough to make this team a threat in the Big Ten East.
Then, Jackson had an awful game against Temple as Maryland dropped its first game of the year. Following up that gut-wrenching loss, the Terps laid an egg in front of their home fans Friday night as Penn State romped, 59-0.
Jackson made mistake after mistake, engineering a pathetic offensive attack that managed just 128 total yards and scored nary a single point. The trajectory for this team is headed the wrong way. Hopefully a date with Rutgers is the medicine Jackson needs to get better. If not, the season is going to get unbearably long, very quickly.
Hokies suffer worst home loss in 45 years
The Virginia Tech Hokies went into Week 5 favored to beat Duke by a field goal. Instead, they were run out of their own building, losing 45-10. The 35-point deficit led to the worst loss at home by the program since a 49-12 loss to Houston way back in 1974.
Early on, it was readily apparent that the Hokies were unprepared for this game, as they played extremely undisciplined on defense. Offensively, Virginia Tech was dominated by Duke, which allowed just 259 yards.
It was just an embarrassing game from start to finish for head coach Justin Fuente, who got roasted by frustrated fans who tinkered with the Wikipedia edit function as the blowout took place.
Texas Tech’s offense a sad mess without Alan Bowman
Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury. Without him, the Red Raiders had an awful game against Oklahoma.
Backup quarterbacks Jett Duffey and Jackson Tyner combined for 122 yards on 12-of-25 passing as Texas Tech’s offense flopped big time without its star.
On the one hand, Oklahoma’s defense this year is so much better than it was in 2018, thanks to the influence of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. On the other hand, what we saw from Texas Tech Saturday in Norman was just pathetic.
Matt Fink fails to replicate last weekend’s success as USC falls
Last Friday night, Matt Fink came out of nowhere to rescue USC and upset Utah with a masterful performance that stunned the masses. He got the start again in Week 5 as Kedon Slovis remains out with concussion symptoms. It didn’t go well this time around.
Away from the friendly confines of Los Angeles, Fink threw three awful interceptions, including two deep in enemy territory.
Fink’s three interceptions turned into 14 points for the Huskies, including the most electric, game-changing score of the contest. USC’s defense did a fantastic job of keeping Jacob Eason and the Washington passing game in check all game. But the turnovers doomed the Trojans to their second loss of the season.
Clemson didn’t look like the No. 1 team in the nation
The No. 1 Clemson Tigers did walk away from Chapel Hill with a win. That’s the positive takeaway from their Week 5 game against North Carolina. However, the Tar Heels were a failed two-point conversion away from knocking off the top team in the nation.
Along the way, Clemson’s offense showed signs of trouble. Travis Etienne fumbled, leading to a Tar Heels touchdown. Trevor Lawrence wasn’t sharp, completing 18-of-30 passes, and if not for the spectacular play of Tee Higgins his numbers would have been much worse.
We have to give Mack Brown and his team a ton of credit for playing up to their competition. But the Tigers can’t feel great about the way it played in a game they were favored to win by 25.5 points.
Indiana had MSU reeling, and then the Hoosiers fell apart
For much of the second half Saturday, it looked like the Hoosiers were going to pull off a huge upset against Michigan State in East Lansing. They opened the second half by scoring a field goal and a touchdown on consecutive drives to go up 24-21. Then, after trading a few punts, the Indiana defense took a nap, allowing 10 points of its own on consecutive drives by the Spartans in the fourth quarter.
Down by a touchdown, the Indiana offense took command of the situation and marched down the field on a six-play, 78-yard touchdown scoring drive to tie the game with two minutes remaining on the clock.
From there, Indiana completely collapsed in on itself, allowing a field goal on Michigan State’s next possession, then giving the Spartans a gift of another touchdown fumbling on the final play of the game.
It was a complete meltdown by the Hoosiers. They very much had a chance to make waves with an upset victory but fell apart at the worst time.
Cyclones held scoreless through three quarters as mistakes pile up
Despite Baylor’s undefeated record heading into Week 5, Iowa State was favored to win by three points on the road. Instead, they lost by two points, and were held scoreless through three quarters until finally the offense woke up in the fourth quarter.
The Cyclones went punt, punt, turnover on downs, missed field goal, interception, punt, missed field goal, punt, punt in their first nine possessions of the game. Finally, in the fourth quarter, they scored three straight touchdowns to go ahead by a point before Baylor kicked a field goal late and ultimately won.
With an offense that entered the weekend averaging over 39 points per game, the three-quarter scoreless skid was surprising, and extremely disappointing.
Second-half mistakes sink the Cavs
Virginia led Notre Dame by three points at halftime, 17-14. Quarterback Bryce Perkins was dealing strikes, and the Cavaliers defense was executing an outstanding game plan bottling up Ian Book and Co.
When the Cavaliers pulled off a stunning onside kick to open the second half, it appeared the momentum was firmly in their favor. Then, the wheels fell off, starting with a punt and no points to reward them for their bold move.
Notre Dame’s dominant defensive front had a field day terrorizing Perkins in the second half. After a nearly flawless first half, he threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that turned into a defensive touchdown for Notre Dame. A close game that looked like a potential upset quickly devolved into a blowout win for the Irish. And that’s a shame.
Nebraska humiliated at home by Ohio State
After opening the season with a 3-1 record, Nebraska had a chance to make a huge statement at home with Ohio State coming to town. ESPN’s College GameDay was in town for this one, and the hype coming into the weekend was off the charts for this game.
Almost immediately, the rowdy crowd at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln was stunned to silence. Adrian Martinez threw three early interceptions. Justin Fields and the Buckeyes were doing whatever they wanted to on offense. By halftime the game was over with Ohio State up 38-0.
We knew the Huskers weren’t in the same league as the Buckeyes. Yet the level of disparity was jarring. It’s clear Nebraska is very much still a rebuilding program in Year 2 of the Scott Frost era.
K-State made the wrong statement
Coming into Week 5, Kansas State had the No. 24 overall ranking and a chance to really improve its stock with a road win against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were favored to win by four points, so by no means was this ever going to be a gimme for the Wildcats.
Instead of making the statement that they belong among the top-ranked teams in the nation, the Wildcats showed they were pretenders. The offense was stymied for most of the game, and K-State’s defense, which allowed less than 13 points per game previously, got steamrolled by Chuba Hubbard and the Cowboys offense.
With upcoming games against the surprisingly undefeated Baylor Bears, TCU and Oklahoma, this team could soon have a losing record unless things turn around quickly.