(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)
We near the halfway point of the 2019 college football season, and as expected, nothing is certain.
Clemson nearly took the loss of the year, Maryland has lost all momentum, the Pac-12 is a free-for-all, we still do not know what to expect from Michigan and Ohio State may be on the cusp of its best season in years.
Recapping week 5 here are a list of upsets, blowouts, notable games and, of course, the Powers Poll Top 25.
(1) Clemson @ North Carolina
By definition, this does not fit under the umbrella of “upset,” but it was as close to one as you could get. The Tigers nearly met the end of their 19-game winning streak last Saturday, escaping Chapel Hill with a 21-20 win.
Mack Brown met high levels of criticism on his decision to go for a two-point conversion instead of kicking the PAT when the Tar Heels scored with less than a minute and half to play.
While the UNC offense was able to maintain a balance with Trevor Lawrence and the revered Tigers, the Tar Heel defense was the point of emphasis.
The UNC defensive unit held Clemson to 21 points — their fewest since New Year’s Day 2018 in a 24-6 loss to Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
While the Tar Heels did not pull off the win, the nail-biter was enough to knock Clemson out of the AP poll’s no. 1 spot.
Arizona State @ (15) California
As it has been since week one, the Pac-12 is a free-for-all. A free-for-all in the sense that nobody knows what is going to happen.
For reference, Stanford, which started the season in the top 25, is now 2-3, while Arizona, which started the season ranked no. 10 in the Pac-12 power rankings is currently 3-1. A 1-3 UCLA squad’s only win came over an undefeated Washington State team after scoring 50 points in less than 20 minutes to make a comeback.
So, while ASU’s 24-17 win over no. 15 California was no shocker, it was definitely par for the course by Pac-12 standards.
Eno Benjamin rushed for 100 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, while Jayden Daniels passed for 174 yards and rushed for 84 yards on 12 carries.
(12) Penn State @ Maryland
My goodness, what happened to Maryland?
Penn State has established itself as a football powerhouse, but the Terps’ started the season dropping 79 points on Howard and 63 points on no. 21 Syracuse. Since then, however, they have lost that season-opening spark, only putting 17 on Temple and getting shutout 59-0 last Friday against the Nittany Lions.
The odds were very much in favor of PSU, but I do not think anyone expected the Terrapins to put a goose egg on the board. At this point, the only thing those first two wins for Maryland accomplished was making Howard and Syracuse look awful.
Penn State’s defense held Maryland to 128 total yards, 10 first downs and an average of 2.8 yards per pass.
It cannot go without mentioning, however, that injuries have played a huge role in the Terps’ misfortune as of late. Three key players in right tackle Marcus Minor, cornerback Marcus Lewis and backup running back Lorenzo Harrison are benched due to ailments ranging from a dislocated toe to a torn MCL and ACL.
(5) Ohio State @ Nebraska
Ohio State is of another breed this season.
The Buckeyes have not scored less than 42 points all season, including two games over 50 points and one game over 75 points. They opened up Big Ten play this weekend with a 48-7 win over Nebraska to take them to 5-0 on the season.
After Urban Meyer’s retirement, it became a question of whether or not OSU’s legacy of football would continue, but head coach Ryan Day has found a good fit in Columbus.
OSU had 580 yards on the day, including a 368-yard performance on the ground. The Buckeyes also only had two penalties.
Other notable games
(18) Virginia 20 @ (10) Notre Dame 35
Ole Miss. 31 @ (2) Alabama 59
Middle Tennessee 3 @ (14) Iowa 48
(21) USC 14 @ (17) Washington 28
Washington State 13 @ (19) Utah 38
For other scores from week 5 of college football, click here
Scores from North Carolina
(1) Clemson 21 @ North Carolina 20
Duke 45 @ Virginia Tech 10
N.C. State 13 @ Florida State 31
Wake Forest 27 @ Boston College 24
Appalachian State 56 vs. Coastal Carolina 37
East Carolina 24 @ Old Dominion 21
Charlotte 27 vs. Florida Atlantic 45
Powers Poll Top 25
Alabama (5-0) ↑1
Georgia (4-0) (BYE) ↑1
Clemson (5-0) ↓2
Ohio State (5-0) ↑2
Oklahoma (4-0) ↑1
LSU (4-0) (BYE) ↓2
Florida (5-0) →
Auburn (5-0) →
Penn State (4-0) →
Wisconsin (4-0) →
Washington (4-1) ↑1
Notre Dame (3-1) ↑2
Texas (3-1) (BYE) ↓2
Oregon (3-1) (BYE) ↓1
Michigan (3-1) →
Iowa (4-0) ↑2
Texas A&M (3-2) ↑3
Boise State (4-0) (BYE) ↓1
Utah (4-1) ↑2
UCF (4-1) ↑3
Wake Forest (5-0) NR
SMU (5-0) NR
Virginia (4-1) ↓7
Baylor (4-0) ↑1
Appalachian State (4-0) NR
Dropped from rankings: (19) California, (22) Southern California, (24) Washington State.