Articles By Steven Lassan

All taxonomy terms: Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, News
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’s coaching carousel never stops, as programs are always looking for the next big thing or rising star when it comes to finding its head coach. All 128 coaches enter the season with the pressure to win at a high level, but there’s a hierarchy of jobs within each conference that set the level of expectations each season. And of course, there’s always some exterior factors than just the win and loss record that impacts a coach and his future with a particular program.

 

With the immense pressure on coaches to win every season, there’s always a handful of jobs open by December. Which coaches could athletic directors look to fill voids at the Power 5 level? Here’s a breakdown of the college football’s top 10 coaches on the rise, followed by the next tier and a few other names to watch in 2015.

 

College Football's Top 10 Coaches on the Rise in 2015 

 

1. Justin Fuente, Memphis

2015 Record: 5-0

Career Record: 22-20 (4th season)

 

Fuente inherited a program that went 3-21 in two seasons (2010-11) under Larry Porter and has transformed Memphis into one of the American Athletic Conference’s top teams over the last two years. The Tigers are 15-3 since the start of 2014 and finished No. 25 in last year’s final Associated Press poll. Prior to taking over at Memphis, Fuente worked for five seasons as an assistant under Gary Patterson at TCU.

 

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2. Tom Herman, Houston

2015 Record: 4-0

Career Record: 4-0 (First Season)

 

Herman was a key cog in Ohio State’s national championship run last season as the team’s play-caller and quarterback coach. And the California native is already turning plenty of heads in his first year as Houston’s head coach. The Cougars are 4-0 – which includes a win over Louisville in Week 2 – average 45.8 points per game and won three out of their four contests by at least 14 points.

 

3. Matt Wells, Utah State

2015 Record: 2-2

Career Record: 20-11 (3rd season)

 

Utah State didn’t miss a beat after Gary Anderson left for Wisconsin following the 2012 season. Wells was promoted to head coach and guided the Aggies to a 19-9 mark in his first two seasons at the helm. Despite numerous injuries at the quarterback position from 2013-14, Utah State played in the Mountain West title game in 2013 and won 10 games last year. The Aggies are 2-2 through four contests in 2015 and should be the biggest threat to Boise State in the Mountain West’s Mountain Division.

 

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4. Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette

2015 Record: 1-3

Career Record: 103-39 (12th season)

 

UL Lafayette has become a consistent Sun Belt power under Hudspeth’s direction, finishing with a 9-4 record in each of the last four seasons. Additionally, the Ragin’ Cajuns have earned a bowl trip in all four of Hudspeth’s years on the sideline. Prior to taking over in Lafayette, Hudspeth was a successful coach at North Alabama and spent time as an assistant under Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. Hudspeth built a consistent winner at UL Lafayette and is ready for the opportunity to run a Power 5 program.

 

5. Matt Campbell, Toledo

2015 Record: 4-0

Career Record: 30-13 (4th season)

 

Campbell worked as an assistant at Toledo from 2009-11 and was promoted to head coach after Tim Beckman left for Illinois. The Ohio native and former Mount Union player has claimed 30 victories over the last four seasons, including a win over Air Force in 2011 in the Military Bowl in his first game as the head coach. Campbell has recorded a winning record in all three of his full seasons at the helm, including two nine-win marks in 2012 and 2014. Toledo already has a victory over Arkansas this year and ranks No. 24 in the latest Associated Press poll. 

 

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6. Bryan Harsin, Boise State

2015 Record: 4-1

Career Record: 23-8 (3rd season)

 

After Chris Petersen left Boise State for Washington, Harsin was the perfect choice as the program’s next coach. As a Boise native, a former quarterback for the Broncos and a full-time assistant with the program from 2002-10, Harsin knows what it takes to win at a high level at Boise State. The Broncos were the top Group of 5 program last season by reaching the Fiesta Bowl and defeating Arizona, and Harsin’s team is already off to a good start with a 4-1 mark through five games in 2015.

 

7. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

2015 Record: 1-3

Career Record: 10-19 (3rd season)

 

Fleck’s tenure at Western Michigan got off to a rocky start with a 1-11 record, but the Broncos finished 8-5 last season and should push for a finish in the top three of the MAC West in 2015. Fleck played at Northern Illinois as a receiver from 1999-03 under Joe Novak and had a short stint in the NFL with the 49ers. Fleck quickly moved through the assistant ranks after a year as a graduate assistant with Ohio State in 2006, spending time at Northern Illinois (2007-09), Rutgers (2010-11) and in the NFL with the Buccaneers (2012). Fleck is known as an ace recruiter and isn’t short on enthusiasm. He should be a name to watch for Power 5 jobs over the next few seasons.

 

8. Matt Rhule, Temple

2015 Record: 4-0

Career Record: 12-16 (3rd season)

 

Temple has made steady improvement under Rhule’s direction, and the Owls are one of the frontrunners to win the American Athletic Conference title in 2015. Rhule is a former Penn State linebacker and was hired as Temple’s head coach after spending time as an assistant with Buffalo, UCLA, Western Carolina, Temple and the Giants from 1999-11. Rhule was brought back to Philadelphia after Steve Addazio left for Boston College and is 12-16 over the last three years. While Temple was 2-10 in 2013, the Owls lost seven of those games by 10 points or less. And over the last two seasons, Temple is 10-6 and has wins over Penn State and Cincinnati in 2015.

 

9. Dino Babers, Bowling Green

2015 Record: 3-2

Career Record: 30-15 (4th season)

 

Bowling Green has already made plenty of noise nationally this season, as the Falcons knocked off two Power 5 programs – Bowling Green and Maryland – and gave Tennessee plenty of headaches in the opener. Babers went 8-6 in his first season with Bowling Green and still managed to win the MAC East despite losing star quarterback Matt Johnson in the first game of the year due to a hip injury. With Johnson back under center, the “Falcon Fast” offense is firing on all cylinders. Prior to the last two years at Bowling Green, Babers spent two seasons as the Eastern Illinois’ head coach and also has a wealth of experience as an assistant from stops at Baylor, UCLA, Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Arizona and Purdue.

 

10. Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern

2015 Record: 4-1

Career Record: 189-71-1 (22nd season)

 

Fritz was a successful coach at three previous jobs prior to taking over at Georgia Southern in 2014. And after 17 games with the Eagles, it’s clear Fritz has already emerged as one of the Sun Belt’s top coaches. Fritz is 13-4 since taking over in Statesboro and 10-0 in conference games. Expect Fritz to have the Eagles in a bowl and in contention for the Sun Belt title this season.

 

The Next Tier

 

Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

Anderson was Arkansas State’s fifth coach in five seasons in 2014 and is 9-9 through the first 18 games of his career in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves should be one of the favorites to win the Sun Belt in 2015.

 

Jeff Brohm, WKU

Brohm guided WKU to an 8-5 record in his first season, and the Hilltoppers are poised for even bigger things in 2015. WKU defeated Vanderbilt in the opener and barely lost to Indiana in Week 3. Brohm has the Hilltoppers positioned as the top team in Conference USA and a threat to win double-digit victories for the first time since joining the FBS ranks.

 

Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois has been the MAC’s top program in recent years, and despite a slow start (2-3), Carey should get this team back in contention for the West Division title. Carey is 25-9 in three seasons with the Huskies.

 

Bill Clark, UAB

Even though UAB isn’t fielding a team until 2017, let’s not forget what Clark accomplished in 2014. After the Blazers went 5-19 from 2012-13 under Garrick McGee, Clark guided UAB to a 6-6 mark last season. He’s the right coach to rebuild this program.

 

Doc Holliday, Marshall

Holliday was known as an ace recruiter when he was hired at Marshall in 2010, but the West Virginia native is doing more than just assembling talent. The Thundering Herd is 27-6 since the beginning of the 2013 season.

 

Joey Jones, South Alabama

Jones was the first coach in South Alabama’s program history and guided the Jaguars to a successful transition to the FBS level. He’s 40-30 in seven seasons with South Alabama, including an appearance in the 2014 Camellia Bowl.

 

Lance Leipold, Buffalo

Leipold was one of the offseason’s best hires, and the former Wisconsin-Whitewater coach is already making a difference in Buffalo. The Bulls are 2-3 after five games but two losses came by six points or less, and this team gave Penn State a fight in Happy Valley before losing 27-14.

 

Pete Lembo, Ball State

Lembo has been a successful coach at three different stops (Lehigh, Elon and Ball State). He’s 32-23 in five seasons with the Cardinals and is looking for a rebound year after a 5-7 mark in 2014.

 

Philip Montgomery, Tulsa

Montgomery was hired away from Baylor after working under Art Briles in Waco from 2006-14. The Texas native has a strong track record on offense, and the Golden Hurricane is 2-2 through his first four games.

 

Chad Morris, SMU

SMU is only 1-4 this season, but the Mustangs have made improvement in Morris’ debut. The former Clemson assistant should rebuild SMU into a consistent bowl team over the next few seasons.

 

Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State

Satterfield has successfully transitioned Appalachian State from the FCS ranks to the FBS level. The Mountaineers went 4-8 in Satterfield’s debut, but finished 7-5 last season and is off to a 3-1 start in 2015. Appalachian State should be a factor in the Sun Belt title picture this year.

 

Three to Watch in 2015

 

Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio)

Martin followed Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State and guided the program to a 74-7 mark through six seasons before joining Notre Dame’s staff in 2010. He was hired at Miami (Ohio) in 2014 and inherited a team that went 0-12 in 2013. The RedHawks showed progress in 2014 and are starting a handful of young players this season.

 

Todd Monken, Southern Miss

Southern Miss is finally back on track after suffering through an 0-12 season under Ellis Johnson in 2012 and a 4-20 mark in Monken’s first two years. The Golden Eagles are 3-2 after five games in 2015 and should make a push for a bowl this season.

 

Tony Sanchez, UNLV

Sanchez made the jump from high school coach to running a college program this offseason. So far, there are encouraging results in Las Vegas, as Sanchez has guided the Rebels to a 2-3 record, including a win over rival Nevada.

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College Football's Top 10 Coaches on the Rise
Post date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Oregon Ducks, Pac 12, News
Path: /college-football/oregon-unveils-new-alternate-pioneer-uniforms-and-lewis-and-clark-helmet
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Alternate uniforms and unique designs are a staple of Oregon’s football program. The Ducks have used a few different designs for their games this season, but the program has unveiled an interesting alternate look for the Oct. 10 matchup against Washington State.

 

On Monday, Oregon unveiled its “Oregon Pioneers” football uniform, which emphasizes the state's history. The uniforms honor the Oregon Trail, Mt. Hood and the geography of the state, while the helmet features Lewis and Clark and a handshake logo on the front to commemorate the handshake found on the Thomas Jefferson Peace Medals given to Lewis and Clark.

 

Here’s a look at Oregon’s new alternate uniforms for Saturday’s game:

 

 

 

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Oregon Unveils New Alternate Pioneer Uniforms and Lewis and Clark Helmet
Post date: Monday, October 5, 2015 - 10:34
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
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Numbers and statistics are a huge part of . Every Sunday, reading updated box scores and stats is like Christmas for fans and media members. Some stats like total offense and total defense are overrated, but each help paint a picture for a team or particular game.

 

Whether the stats are historic, advanced or just an observation from a box score, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

 

10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 5

 

65: Average Yards by Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott’s on Touchdown Runs Against Indiana

When Ohio State needed a big play against Indiana, quarterback Cardale Jones simply handed the ball to Elliott. The junior carried the offense in the 34-27 win over the Hoosiers, recording 274 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Elliott scored three times in the second half, averaging a ridiculous 65 yards on the three touchdown runs. After five weeks, Elliott is tied for first nationally with four rushing plays of 50 yards or more.

 

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28: Alabama’s Margin of Victory Over Georgia

A 28-point margin of victory isn’t much of a surprise for Alabama under coach Nick Saban. However, the 28-point margin of victory against Georgia was the biggest in school history on the road against a top-10 team. The Crimson Tide thoroughly dominated the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball and scored a touchdown on a blocked punt. Quarterback Jake Coker was an efficient 11 of 16 for 190 yards, running back Derrick Henry chipped in 148 yards on 26 carries, while the defense limited Georgia to just 4.3 yards per play.

 

7-3: Clemson’s Record in Games Against Top 10 Teams Under Dabo Swinney

Clemson was once known as a program that struggled to reach expectations. Not anymore. The Tigers held off Notre Dame for a 24-22 victory on a soggy night in Death Valley, improving their season record to 4-0. The Fighting Irish entered Week 5 ranked No. 6 nationally in the Associated Press poll. According to Clemson’s sports information department, the win over Notre Dame improved the Tigers to 7-3 under coach Dabo Swinney against top 10 teams.

 

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3: Consecutive 200-Yard Rushing Games by LSU RB Leonard Fournette

Fournette continued his record-setting start to the 2015 season with 233 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries against Eastern Michigan. The sophomore has at least 200 rushing yards in three consecutive games, becoming the first player in SEC history to reach that mark. Additionally, Fournette’s season total (864 yards) is the most by any player in the nation through the first four games of a season since 2006.

 

88-10: Combined Final Scores of Texas’ Losses in Road Games in 2015

Texas dropped to 1-4 after a lackluster performance in a 50-7 loss to TCU. The 43-point margin of defeat to the Horned Frogs was the second biggest loss in this series, but the seven points underscored a bigger problem for coach Charlie Strong. Texas has managed only 10 points and just 3.6 yards per play in two road games this season. By comparison, in three home games this year, the Longhorns averaged 37.7 points per contest.

 

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32.2: Average Yards by Baylor WR Corey Coleman on TD Catches

Baylor’s offense leads the way nationally by averaging 63.8 points per game. Big plays are a staple of this offense under coach Art Briles, as the Bears are tied for first nationally with 15 plays of 40 or more yards. Corey Coleman is one of the nation’s best big-play threats at receiver, averaging 23.8 yards per reception on 24 catches in four games. Additionally, Coleman’s 11 touchdowns are the best by any receiver in college football, and the junior is putting a lot of stress on defenses with each score. Coleman is averaging 32.2 yards on touchdown catches this season.

 

3: Losses by Tennessee When Leading by At Least 13 Points in 2015

Week 5 brought a familiar storyline for Tennessee fans. The Volunteers led Arkansas 14-0 in the first quarter but couldn't put the Razorbacks away. Arkansas rallied for a 24-20 victory, which dropped Tennessee to 0-3 this season when it led by at least 13 points. And it won’t get any easier for coach Butch Jones, as the Volunteers host Georgia this Saturday, followed by a road trip to Alabama on Oct. 24.

 

21: Biggest Comeback in North Carolina’s Program History

North Carolina scored a key conference win on Saturday, rallying from a 21-point deficit to defeat Georgia Tech 38-31. The 21-point rally was the largest comeback in school history and helped snap an eight-game road losing streak to the Yellow Jackets. Leading the way for North Carolina’s comeback was quarterback Marquise Williams. The senior finished as the team’s leading passer, rusher and receiver in the victory.

 

1.9: Virginia Tech’s Yards Per Play Against Pittsburgh

Ugly. That’s the best way to describe Virginia Tech’s performance on offense in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh. The weather conditions weren’t ideal, but the Hokies managed only 100 yards on 53 plays, rushed for just nine yards, surrendered seven sacks and lost three turnovers. The 100 total yards were the fewest by Virginia Tech since Sept. 12, 1987.

 

14: Points Allowed by Michigan in Last Four Games

New coach Jim Harbaugh is still working out some of the kinks on Michigan’s offense, but the defense has been dominant in 2015. The Wolverines pitched their second consecutive shutout by blanking Maryland 28-0 on Saturday. This defense has allowed only 14 points over the last four games and no opponent has managed more than 235 yards in that span. Michigan’s defense is allowing just 7.6 points per game after five contests, which ranks second nationally behind Northwestern.

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10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 5
Post date: Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 12:26
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-5-awards
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Week 5 of the 2015  season is in the books. Saturday's slate produced plenty of must-see games, including the anticipated Clemson-Notre Dame showdown in rainy Death Valley, while Alabama easily handled Georgia in Athens. Ohio State survived a scare from Indiana, Michigan State needed a late stop to hold off Purdue, UCLA fell to Arizona State and Oklahoma opened Big 12 play with a 44-24 win over West Virginia.

 

With another weekend of action in the books, it’s time to hand out the hardware to honor the best of the best from Week 5. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, freshman and unsung hero from Week 5:

 

College Football Week 5 Awards

 

Offensive Player of the Week: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Elliott delivered every time Ohio State needed a big play in Saturday’s win over Indiana. The junior rushed for 274 yards and three scores on 23 attempts and caught two passes for 12 yards. Elliott scored three second-half touchdown runs on runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards to propel the Buckeyes to a win over the upset-minded Hoosiers.

 

Defensive Player of the Week: Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma

Striker was instrumental in Oklahoma’s defense putting the clamps on a dynamic West Virginia offense on Saturday. The senior registered 13 tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and one forced fumble. After allowing 17 points in the third quarter, the Sooners held the Mountaineers scoreless in the fourth and limited the offense to just 4.3 yards per play.

 

Coordinator of the Week: Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator, Clemson

Venables had a busy offseason trying to fill voids from the departure of several key players, and the Tigers returned just two starters on defense this fall. So far, Clemson’s defense hasn’t missed a beat. Notre Dame averaged 6.4 yards per play on Saturday night, but the Tigers forced four turnovers, generated four sacks and nine tackles for a loss and made a critical stop on a two-point play with less than a minute left to seal the victory. The quick rebuilding effort by Venables on defense is a big reason why Clemson will be a factor to earn a playoff spot this December.  

 

Freshman of the Week: Will Grier, QB, Florida

Despite battling the flu, Grier was sharp in Florida's upset over Ole Miss, completing 24 of 29 passes for 271 yards and four scores. Grier helped the Gators average 5.6 yards per play against the Rebels and convert 8 of 16 third-down attempts. Grier continues to get better each week, and his development should help Florida contend for the SEC East title this season.

 

Unsung Hero of the Week: Ejuan Price, DL, Pittsburgh

New coach Pat Narduzzi and coordinator Josh Conklin are already making an impact with Pittsburgh’s defense. The Panthers limited Virginia Tech to just 1.9 yards per play and just 4 of 13 on third-down conversions in Saturday’s 17-13 victory. Price was instrumental in Saturday’s defensive success, as he registered five tackles (3.5 for a loss) and two sacks.

Teaser:
College Football Week 5 Awards
Post date: Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 08:25
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/20-must-see-moments-college-football-week-5
Body:

Week 5 of the season is officially in the books. Needless to say, Week 5 wasn’t short on drama or intrigue around the nation. The weekend started with Cincinnati’s upset over Miami on Thursday night and continued into Saturday with a close call for Ohio State against Indiana, Alabama’s easy win over Georgia, as well as Florida’s upset over Ole Miss and Clemson’s victory over Notre Dame.

 

Miss anything from Week 5? Here’s 20 must-see plays, moments or post-game celebrations from the weekend of action:

 

20 Must-See Moments from College Football's Week 5 Games

 

1. Clemson stops Notre Dame on a two-point conversion to win 24-22:

 

2. Ohio State remains unbeaten after Indiana's fourth and goal attempt on the final play of the game falls short:

 

3. Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage carries the UCLA defense into the end zone to seal the victory:

4. One of three touchdown runs for Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott:

19. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and team celebrates victory over Notre Dame with a dance:

20. Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien fakes out the Hawaii defense:

Teaser:
20 Must-See Moments from College Football's Week 5 Games
Post date: Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 08:20
Path: /college-football/ohio-state-ezekiel-elliotts-huge-day-against-indiana
Body:

Ohio State survived an upset bid by Indiana, using a last-minute goal-line stand to win 34-27 over the Hoosiers.

 

While the defense stepped up with the game on the line, the biggest reason for the Buckeyes’ victory was running back Ezekiel Elliott. The junior carried Ohio State’s offense, rushing for 274 yards and three scores on 23 attempts.

 

With the passing attack sputtering, Elliott received the bulk of the work on offense, which included touchdown runs of 55, 65 and 75 yards in the second half.

 

Here’s the highlights from Elliott’s huge day in Bloomington: 

 

 

 

Here's Elliott just hurdling a defender:

Teaser:
5 Must-See Moments from Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott's Huge Day Against Indiana
Post date: Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 19:40
Path: /college-football/ole-miss-rebels-vs-florida-gators-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

and meet on Saturday night in the Swamp with momentum on their side after both programs scored key SEC wins in September. The Rebels opened conference play with a victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa but followed the win over the Crimson Tide with a sluggish performance against Vanderbilt. The Gators are coming off a last-minute win over Tennessee last Saturday and defeated Kentucky in Lexington in Week 3.

 

While it seems premature or even a little crazy to suggest in early October, it’s possible this game could be a preview of the SEC Championship. Ole Miss still has to play Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State, but only one of those games are on the road. Florida has to navigate a tough crossover (Ole Miss and LSU) and the annual trip to Jacksonville to take on Georgia. However, new coach Jim McElwain has this team headed in the right direction, and Florida still has three favorable remaining games in SEC play remaining against Vanderbilt, South Carolina.

 

Related:

 

Ole Miss leads the all-time series over Florida at 12-10-1. The Rebels and Gators have not met since 2008 and have played just six times since 1992.

 

Ole Miss at Florida

 

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Ole Miss -7.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Florida’s Offensive Line

With just one returning starter and little in the way of proven depth, this unit was arguably the biggest concern for new coach Jim McElwain in the preseason. So far, the Gators have experienced their share of ups and downs in the trenches. This unit has allowed eight sacks in four games and rushers are averaging 4.3 yards per carry. While this group was tested against Kentucky and Tennessee, Ole Miss will be its toughest of the year so far. The Rebels are led by standout tackle Robert Nkemdiche up front and rank fifth in the SEC with 28 tackles for a loss after four games. Additionally, Ole Miss is limiting opponents to just 3.6 yards per carry. Can Florida establish the line of scrimmage and generate a ground attack to keep the pressure off of quarterback Will Grier? In two SEC games, the Gators managed only 229 yards on 65 carries. Putting Grier in third-and-long situations is not ideal, which means the offensive line needs to generate a push for running back Kelvin Taylor and keep the down and distance into manageable situations for the redshirt freshman quarterback.

 

Related:

 

2. Chad Kelly vs. Will Grier

Ole Miss and Florida entered the 2015 season with uncertainty surrounding its quarterbacks, but both programs should be feeling better about their signal-callers after the first four weeks of the season. Kelly passed for 341 yards and three scores in the road win over Alabama and has 1,219 yards and 10 touchdowns so far in 2015. Grier didn’t started the first game of the season, but he played extensively in the win over New Mexico State and seems to have a secure hold on the top spot. Sophomore Treon Harris could play against Ole Miss, but Grier seems to be putting some distance between the No. 1 and No. 2 spots on the depth chart. Grier stepped up in the clutch last Saturday with the game on the line against Tennessee and has 725 yards and six scores through the first four games. Both quarterbacks will be throwing against talented defensive backfields. Which will make the fewest amount of mistakes or generate the most big plays?

 

3. Florida’s Defensive Backs Against Ole Miss Receivers

It’s a matchup of strength on strength when Florida’s defensive backs are going against a deep corps of Ole Miss receivers. The Gators are led by standout junior Vernon Hargreaves III at cornerback, while Jalen Tabor returns from a one-game suspension to team with Quincy Wilson on the opposite side. This group has limited opponents to just 193.3 passing yards per game through four weeks and has allowed just one touchdown through the air in two SEC games. However, those numbers will be tested by Kelly and receivers Laquon Treadwell, Cody Core, Quincy Adeboyejo and tight end Evan Engram. Treadwell is the top player out of this group, but Core and Adeboyejo are averaging just over 22 yards per catch. Which group will win out on Saturday night? Florida’s defensive backs are capable of limiting big plays from the Rebels’ passing attack, but this unit also needs help from the pass rush.

 

Final Analysis

 

Ole Miss should be eager to rebound from a sluggish performance against Vanderbilt. However, this one in the Swamp won’t be easy. The Rebels have an edge up front, which should allow the defense to generate pressure on Florida quarterback Will Grier and put the redshirt freshman into a few third-and-long situations. When Ole Miss has the ball, quarterback Chad Kelly and the receiving corps will test the Gators’ secondary. However, just like Florida, the Rebels have to protect their quarterback, as well as establish the threat of the ground attack. McElwain has this program trending in the right direction, but the Rebels are deeper and more talented at this point.

 

Ole Miss 31, Florida 17
Teaser:
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Florida Gators Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, October 2, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/notre-dame-fighting-irish-vs-clemson-tigers-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

Death Valley is the epicenter of ’s Week 5 slate, as travels to for a must-see non-conference matchup. The Fighting Irish enter Saturday night’s game at 4-0 and ranked No. 6 in the latest Associated Press poll, while the Tigers are 3-0 and ranked No. 12. Needless to say, this marquee matchup will have playoff implications for both teams and will have a huge impact on the top 25 rankings on Sunday.

 

There’s a potential wild card element in play on Saturday night, as Hurricane Joaquin could bring heavy rainfall to the area. Playing conditions could be an issue if the inclement weather hits Clemson, S.C. on Saturday night.

 

Related:

 

The path to an unbeaten record has been significantly different for both teams. Notre Dame was hit with a rash of injuries, including season-ending ailments to quarterback Malik Zaire and running back Tarean Folston. Personnel issues also hindered Clemson, as the Tigers returned just five starters from last year’s team. Additionally, standout receiver Mike Williams was lost for an indefinite period due to a neck injury suffered in the opener against Wofford. However, Clemson was able to quickly reload and was picked at ACC Media Day as the projected champion. Despite both teams suffering significant personnel setbacks, both teams are squarely in the mix to be a playoff team in 2015.

 

Notre Dame and Clemson have played only two previous matchups. The series is tied at one victory apiece, with the last meeting between the Tigers and Fighting Irish taking place in 1979.

 

Notre Dame at Clemson

 

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: Clemson -1

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. The Quarterbacks

Clemson’s Deshaun Watson has only eight starts under his belt, but the sophomore is already one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Through three games in 2015, Watson has completed 58 of 78 passes for 641 yards and seven scores. While Watson is a known commodity and a proven star, there’s a different feeling on the Notre Dame sideline about its quarterback. The Fighting Irish lost starter Malik Zaire to an ankle injury in the second week of the season against Virginia, forcing unproven redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer into the starting lineup. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is no stranger to quarterback changes and adapting to injuries at the position, and Kizer has been steady through his first two starts. But Saturday night is a tough assignment for any quarterback to step into. Clemson is one of the best venues in college football, and Kizer will face the best defense of his career so far. Notre Dame doesn’t need Kizer to throw for 300 yards on Saturday night, but he has to take care of the ball and limit mistakes. For Watson, Clemson may ask him to carry more of the workload. It’s no secret quarterback play is crucial to winning every game, but the battle between a redshirt freshman making his third career start against a rising star will be an interesting storyline.

 

Related:

 

2. Battle in the Trenches

The biggest concern for Clemson in the preseason was its rebuilt offensive and defensive lines. So far, it’s been a mixed bag of success in the trenches. The Tigers have allowed six sacks, and quarterback Deshaun Watson faced heavy pressure in the win over Louisville on Sept. 17. The Fighting Irish’s front seven has been the strength of this defense in 2015, limiting opponents to 4.1 yards per carry and generating eight sacks. Tackle Sheldon Day is the headliner up front, while linebacker Jaylon Smith is one of – if not – the best in the nation at his position. It’s no secret what Notre Dame’s defense has to do on Saturday night. Disrupting the timing of Clemson’s offense starts up front. If Watson and the deep group of receivers have time to make plays, there’s opportunities downfield against a Fighting Irish secondary that has allowed six plays of 30 yards or more.

 

On the other side of the ball for Clemson, coordinator Brent Venables has managed to quickly restock the team’s defensive line. The Tigers have generated seven sacks and 28 tackles for a loss through three games. End Shaq Lawson is the unit’s top player (six tackles for a loss, two sacks in 2015), but the interior is also performing well with the emergence of true freshman Christian Wilkins (24 stops), along with junior Carlos Watkins (16 tackles). Clemson’s rush defense has also remained tough, limiting opponents to 2.9 yards per carry. However, the Tigers will face their toughest test of the season on Saturday night. Notre Dame’s offensive line is arguably one of the best in the nation, with left tackle Ronnie Stanley leading the way. Although Kizer has performed well in his limited action, it’s critical for the Fighting Irish to establish the line of scrimmage and allow running back C.J. Prosise to take some of the pressure off the redshirt freshman quarterback.

 

Related:

 

3. Notre Dame WR Will Fuller vs. Clemson CB Mackensie Alexander

Assuming the weather cooperates, Saturday’s matchup could feature one of the best one-on-one battles of the year between two likely All-American candidates. Notre Dame receiver Will Fuller has grabbed 22 catches for 454 yards and six scores this season, averaging a healthy 20.6 yards per catch. Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander is one of the best in the nation but has only two tackles and one pass breakup in 2015. However, that’s not his fault for the low totals on the stat sheet – opponents aren’t simply throwing to his side of the field. Fuller’s string of 100-yard games this season was snapped against UMass (only 57 yards on four catches), and there’s a good chance he’s blanketed by Alexander on Saturday night. Can Alexander limit Fuller’s production and force Kizer to target Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle? Or will Fuller win the one-on-one matchups and allow Kizer to connect on big plays downfield?

 

Final Analysis

 

Both teams have been tested this year, but Saturday night’s game is each program’s toughest opponent so far in 2015. Will the injuries finally catch up to Notre Dame? Or is Clemson’s rebuilding effort still a work in progress? Of course, there’s the weather element to consider. If conditions are an issue, an edge has to go to the Fighting Irish with its offensive line and running back C.J. Prosise. Even if conditions aren’t an issue, the Tigers still have question marks about the play in the trenches against Notre Dame’s offensive and defensive lines. Clemson has the edge at quarterback, but the Fighting Irish’s defense and strength up front on offense will be the difference.

 

Prediction: Notre Dame 27, Clemson 24
Teaser:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Clemson Tigers Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, October 2, 2015 - 09:20
Path: /college-football/alabama-crimson-tide-vs-georgia-bulldogs-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

and have been two of the ’s top programs in recent years, and Saturday afternoon's matchup in Athens could be a preview of the conference championship game in early December. And in a slight role reversal, the Crimson Tide is not the favorite on Saturday. For the first time in 72 games, Alabama is considered an underdog. Georgia isn’t a huge favorite by Vegas standards, but this should be a good barometer test for both teams.

 

The Crimson Tide has some work to do in order to win the SEC West, as coach Nick Saban’s team is 0-1 in conference play after a loss to Ole Miss in Week 3. Mark Richt’s Bulldogs are undefeated, but this is the biggest test for Georgia after accumulating wins against ULM, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Southern so far.

 

Related:

 

Although Georgia and Alabama are two of the SEC’s top programs, these two teams have not played in a regular season game since 2008. That matchup is a memorable one for both fanbases, as a No. 3 ranked Georgia team was a seven-point favorite over Alabama, but the Crimson Tide went into Athens and won 41-30.

 

Alabama owns a 37-25-4 series edge against Georgia. The last matchup between these two teams took place in the 2012 SEC Championship.

 

Alabama at Georgia

 

Kickoff: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Georgia -2.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. The Quarterbacks

It’s no secret Georgia and Alabama both entered fall practice with uncertainty at quarterback. And after four weeks, it’s fair to say the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs still have question marks about their signal-callers. Georgia’s Greyson Lambert set a NCAA record by completing 96 percent of his passes in the win over South Carolina but struggled in the road win at Vanderbilt (11 of 21 for 116 yards). While Lambert has managed to take care of the ball (no interceptions) and boasts a 76.5 completion percentage, this is by far his toughest game of the season. Alabama has started two quarterbacks with Jake Coker and Cooper Bateman combining to complete 98 of 163 passes for 1,030 yards and nine scores in 2015. Bateman started in the loss against Ole Miss, but Coker took the first snap in the other three games and is expected to start on Saturday afternoon. Both teams are built in a similar blueprint with a strong defense and rushing attack. However, Lambert and Coker are going to have to make plays through the air for their team to win this game. Which quarterback steps up in the clutch on Saturday afternoon?

 

Related:

 

2. Stopping the Run

This matchup of two of the SEC’s best teams also features one of the top running back duels college football will see in 2015. Alabama’s Derrick Henry is a physical specimen at 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds and gashed opponents for 422 yards and eight scores in September. Henry has a good blend of size, speed and power and is primed for a huge season in his first as the Crimson Tide’s feature back. On the other sideline, Georgia’s Nick Chubb has rushed for at least 100 yards in 12 consecutive games and enters this matchup No. 2 in the SEC (behind Leonard Fournette) with 599 rushing yards. Considering the question marks or uncertainty at quarterback for both teams, the offenses want to establish the ground attack and limit the pressure on the passing attack. But establishing the rushing game will be difficult for both teams. Georgia ranks fourth in the SEC against the run, limiting opponents to 107.3 yards and just 3.1 yards per carry. Alabama has been stingier, as the Crimson Tide has limited opponents to 1.97 yards per carry and only 56.8 yards per game. The edge in offensive line play goes to Georgia. But will the Bulldogs find rushing lanes against the Alabama defense? Keep an eye on the battle in the trenches Saturday afternoon.

 

Related:

 

3. Turnovers, 3rd Down and Red Zone Conversions

With a close game anticipated on Saturday afternoon, turnovers are going to be critical in the outcome. If the good folks in Vegas are right, and this game is decided by a field goal or less, a turnover or a key stop in the red zone could decide the winner of this critical SEC showdown. Through four games in 2015, Georgia has a plus-two margin and has lost only three turnovers. Alabama hasn’t been as strong in this department. Nick Saban’s team ranks near the bottom of the SEC in margin (minus-one) and has lost eight turnovers. However, it’s notable the Crimson Tide lost five turnovers against Ole Miss, which accounts for more than half of the giveaways in 2015. Considering the gameplan on offense for both teams, avoiding third-and-long situations are critical. Georgia is only converting 35.5 third-down attempts, while Alabama is only converting at a 36.8 rate. And once both teams reach the 20-yard line, seven points – not three – is needed. So far, The Crimson Tide has cashed in 89.5 percent of its trips into the red zone for scores, while the Bulldogs are converting at an 84.2 percent rate. All three areas – third downs, red zone conversions and turnovers – are a small factor. However, they could have a huge impact on how this game plays out on Saturday afternoon.

 

Final Analysis

 

While Alabama and Georgia haven’t played in the regular season since the matchup in 2008, there’s a lot of familiarity between these two programs. Three current Bulldog assistants spent time at Alabama under Nick Saban, including defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. In addition to the familiarity between the two programs, the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs are built in a similar fashion. Both teams want to establish the run and win with their defense. Which team wins the battle in the trenches and makes the least amount of mistakes on Saturday is going to have a huge advantage. Both quarterbacks – Greyson Lambert and Jake Coker – will be tested after experiencing their share of ups and downs so far this season. This one is a tossup.

 

Prediction: Alabama 27, Georgia 24
Teaser:
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, October 2, 2015 - 08:55
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Path: /college-football/predictions-every-college-football-game-week-5
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Week 5 of the 2015 season starts on Thursday night with Miami traveling to Cincinnati and continues on Friday with three matchups, including UConn visiting BYU. But as usual, the focus for every weekend slate is on Saturday. Several marquee matchups dot the schedule in Week 5, starting with Alabama visiting Georgia, Notre Dame traveling to Death Valley to take on Clemson, and two intriguing contests in the Big 12 with Texas Tech and Baylor meeting in Arlington, Texas and Oklahoma hosting West Virginia. 

 

Conference Predictions for Week 5

 

 

College Football Week 5 Predictions
 

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

Mark

Ross

Miami at

Cincinnati

Temple at

Charlotte

Memphis at

USF

UConn at

BYU

Purdue at

Michigan State

Army at

Penn State

Pittsburgh at

Virginia Tech

Kansas at

Iowa State

South Carolina at

Missouri

Minnesota at

Northwestern

West Virginia at

Oklahoma

Texas at

TCU

Iowa at 

Wisconsin

UCF at

Tulane

Houston at 

Tulsa

Louisville at 

NC State

Ohio at

Akron

Toledo at 

Ball State

Northern Illinois at

Central Michigan

FIU at 

UMass

Boston College at

Duke

Alabama at

Georgia

North Carolina at

Georgia Tech

Ohio State at

Indiana

Florida State at

Wake Forest

Nebraska at

Illinois

Baylor vs. 

Texas Tech

Old Dominion at

Marshall

WKU at

Rice

Wyoming at

Appalachian State

Air Force at

Navy

Liberty at

Georgia State

Bowling Green at

Buffalo

Miami, Ohio at

Kent State

San Jose State at

Auburn

Kansas State at

Oklahoma State

Washington State at

California

East Carolina at 

SMU

Ole Miss at

Florida

Arkansas at

Tennessee

Eastern Michigan at 

LSU

Vanderbilt at

MTSU

UL Lafayette at

Louisiana Tech

North Texas at

Southern Miss

Idaho at 

Arkansas State

Georgia Southern at 

ULM

South Alabama at

Troy

UNLV at

Nevada

Eastern Kentucky at

Kentucky

Mississippi State at

Texas A&M

Arizona State at

UCLA

Notre Dame at

Clemson

Michigan at 

Maryland

UTSA at

UTEP

New Mexico State at

New Mexico

Oregon at 

Colorado

Hawaii at

Boise State

Colorado State at

Utah State

Arizona at

Stanford

Fresno State at

San Diego State

 

Teaser:
Predictions for Every College Football Game in Week 5
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 13:00
Path: /college-football/pac-12-week-5-predictions-ucla-hosts-arizona-state-oregon-colorado
Body:

It’s a slight slate of action in the for Week 5. This conference held the spotlight nationally last Saturday, as three league games had the nation’s attention with Utah’s victory over Oregon, USC’s easy win over Arizona State, and UCLA’s key South Division win over Arizona. The matchups in Week 5 aren’t as appealing, but there’s still plenty of intrigue. UCLA looks to remain unbeaten against Arizona State, while Stanford takes on Arizona. The Wildcats won’t have star linebacker Scooby Wright due to a foot injury, while the status of quarterback Anu Solomon is also up in the air. Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the Ducks look to get back on track after last week’s loss, and California hosts Washington State.

 

Athlon Sports offers its Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (), Mitch Light (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

Pac-12 Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Arizona State at UCLA

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: UCLA -13.5

 

Predictions for Arizona State at UCLA

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

34-2438-1735-2135-28

 

2. Arizona at Stanford

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

Spread: Stanford -17.5

 

Predictions for Arizona at Stanford

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

38-2028-2442-2141-28

 

3. Oregon at Colorado

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Oregon -7.5

 

Predictions for Oregon at Colorado

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

38-2431-2042-2842-35

 

4. Washington State at California

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

Spread: California -19

 

Predictions for Washington State at California

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

45-3051-3852-4144-34

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 Week 5 Predictions: UCLA Hosts Arizona State, Oregon Looks for Rebound Against Colorado
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-5-predictions-texas-tech-baylor-shootout-west-virginia-travels-oklahoma
Body:

The generated plenty of conversation and intrigue across the nation last Saturday from the thrilling TCU-Texas Tech game, along with Oklahoma State’s last-minute win over Texas. But the Week 5 slate is even more appealing. West Virginia is a quiet 3-0, and the Mountaineers have their biggest test of the season against Oklahoma on Saturday. Conference play in the state of Texas is under the spotlight, as TCU hosts Texas and there should be no shortage of points in the Texas Tech-Baylor matchup in Arlington.

 

Related:

 

Athlon Sports offers its  Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (), Mitch Light (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

Related:

 

Big 12 Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. West Virginia at Oklahoma

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

Spread: Oklahoma -7

 

Predictions for West Virginia at Oklahoma

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

34-2737-2128-2137-34

 

2. Texas Tech vs. Baylor (Arlington)

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2

Spread: Baylor -17

 

Predictions for Texas Tech at Baylor

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

55-4058-4152-4141-38

 

3. Texas at TCU

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: TCU -15

 

Predictions for Texas at TCU

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

45-2444-2042-3141-28

 

4. Kansas State at Oklahoma State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

Spread: Oklahoma State -8

 

Predictions for Kansas State at Oklahoma State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

31-2033-2331-2130-24

 

5. Kansas at Iowa State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: FSN

Spread: Iowa State -16

 

Predictions for Kansas at Iowa State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

38-1724-1427-1434-14

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Week 5 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/big-ten-week-5-predictions-indiana-aims-ohio-state-upset-iowa-visits-wisconsin
Body:

Conference play in the is set to begin in full force in Week 5. After just one league game was played in September, six conference matchups dot the slate this Saturday. Indiana is 4-0 and hosts Ohio State in a huge opportunity for coach Kevin Wilson’s team to score an upset. While the Hoosiers-Buckeyes is an intriguing matchup, the Iowa-Wisconsin contest is the top Big Ten game this Saturday. The Hawkeyes-Badgers game should play a huge role in determining the Big Ten West champion. Points could be at a premium between Minnesota-Northwestern, but a high-scoring affair is expected between Nebraska and Illinois.

 

Related:

 

Athlon Sports offers its  Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (), Mitch Light (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

Related:

 

Big Ten Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Iowa at Wisconsin

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Wisconsin -7

 

Predictions for Iowa at Wisconsin

Steven

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2. Ohio State at Indiana

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2/ABC

Spread: Ohio State -21

 

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3. Minnesota at Northwestern

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Northwestern -4

 

Predictions for Minnesota at Northwestern

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4. Nebraska at Illinois

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Nebraska -6.5

 

Predictions for Nebraska at Illinois

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5. Michigan at Maryland

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Michigan -16

 

Predictions for Michigan at Maryland

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6. Purdue at Michigan State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

Spread: Michigan State -22

 

Predictions for Purdue at Michigan State

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7. Army at Penn State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: Penn State -24

 

Predictions for Army at Penn State

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Teaser:
Big Ten Week 5 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/sec-week-5-predictions-georgia-hosts-alabama-florida-looks-upset-over-ole-miss
Body:

The ’s Week 5 slate features one of the marquee matchups in the nation, as Alabama travels to Georgia for a key conference showdown. The Crimson Tide has not played the Bulldogs in a regular season game since 2008, but there’s plenty at stake in this year’s meeting. Outside of Alabama-Georgia, Florida looks to remain unbeaten with an upset bid over Ole Miss, Texas A&M hosts Mississippi State, while Tennessee and Missouri look to score key SEC wins after losses in conference play last week. 

 

Related:

 

Athlon Sports offers its Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (), David Fox (), Mitch Light () and Braden Gall ()

 

Related:

 

SEC Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Alabama at Georgia

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Georgia -2.5

 

Predictions for Alabama at Georgia

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2. Ole Miss at Florida

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Ole Miss -7.5

 

Predictions for Ole Miss at Florida

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3. Mississippi State at Texas A&M

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Texas A&M -6.5

 

Predictions for Mississippi State at Texas A&M

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4. Arkansas at Tennessee

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

Spread: Tennessee -6.5

 

Predictions for Arkansas at Tennessee

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5. South Carolina at Missouri

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Missouri -2.5

 

Predictions for South Carolina at Missouri

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6. Vanderbilt at MTSU

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: MTSU -1

 

Predictions for Vanderbilt at MTSU

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7. San Jose State at Auburn

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Auburn -20.5

 

Predictions for San Jose State at Auburn

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8. Eastern Michigan at LSU

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: LSU -44.5

 

Predictions for Eastern Michigan at LSU

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9. Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: NL

 

Predictions for Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky

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Teaser:
SEC Week 5 Predictions: Georgia Hosts Alabama, Ole Miss on Upset Alert at Florida
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/acc-week-5-predictions-clemson-notre-dame-showdown-nc-state-hosts-louisville
Body:

The ’s Week 5 schedule kicks off on Thursday night with a non-conference matchup between two offensive-minded teams in Cincinnati and Miami. While the midweek contest between the Hurricanes and Bearcats should draw plenty of attention, the marquee game for the takes place on Saturday night when Notre Dame visits Death Valley for a matchup against Clemson. Conference play also takes center stage on Saturday with intriguing contests between NC State-Louisville, Georgia Tech-North Carolina and Pittsburgh-Virginia Tech.

 

Athlon Sports offers its  Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (), Mitch Light (), David Fox (), and Braden Gall ()

 

ACC Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Notre Dame at Clemson

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: Clemson -2

 

Predictions for Notre Dame at Clemson

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2. Louisville at NC State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

Spread: NC State -4.5

 

Predictions for Louisville at NC State

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3. Miami at Cincinnati

Date and Kickoff Time: Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Miami -6.5

 

Predictions for Miami at Cincinnati

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4. North Carolina at Georgia Tech

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: Georgia Tech -7

 

Predictions for North Carolina at Georgia Tech

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5. Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

Spread: Virginia Tech -4.5

 

Predictions for Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech

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6. Boston College at Duke

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

Spread: Duke -6.5

 

Predictions for Boston College at Duke

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7. Florida State at Wake Forest

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Florida State -19

 

Predictions for Florida State at Wake Forest

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Teaser:
ACC Week 5 Predictions: Clemson-Notre Dame Showdown, NC State Hosts Louisville
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 09:15
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-10-running-backs-september-2015
Body:

Ranking any player or team after one month of the season is tough. With one-sided matchups skewing the statistics, and conference play not yet underway for most teams, it's hard to say whether these players will carry that momentum throughout the season.

 

Still, September has been a great month for running backs. Here’s Athlon Sports’ take on the top 10 performers through the first month of the season. Note: This is not strictly based on stats. Opponent strength, injuries, snaps due to blowouts and preseason projection were all considered.

 

College Football's Top 10 RBs for September

 

1. Leonard Fournette, LSU

 

There’s no debate as to the No. 1 running back in college football from the month of September. Fournette is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner after rushing for 631 yards and eight scores in three games. The sophomore has recorded back-to-back 200-yard contests.

 

Related:

 

2. Nick Chubb, Georgia

 

While Fournette has been the best running back through September, Chubb isn’t too far behind on the stat sheet. The sophomore has rushed for 599 yards and six scores on just 71 carries. Chubb’s 8.4 yards per carry average ranks second in the SEC and enters Week 5 with 12 consecutive 100-yard games.

 

3. C.J. Prosise, Notre Dame

 

Injuries hit the Fighting Irish hard in September, including a season-ending ailment to starting running back Tarean Folston in the opener against Texas. But Notre Dame’s rushing attack hasn’t missed a beat behind Prosise. The junior has recorded three consecutive 100-yard games and averaged at least nine yards per carry during that span.

 

Related:

 

4. Jordan Howard, Indiana

 

While the focus (and rightfully so) has been on Fournette this season, Howard quietly leads the nation with 675 rushing yards. The UAB transfer was expected to be a solid replacement for Tevin Coleman and has picked up where he left off with the Blazers in 2014 (1,587 yards). The competition will get tougher, but Howard should push for first-team All-Big Ten honors this season.

 

5. Dalvin Cook, Florida State

 

With new quarterback Everett Golson still settling into coach Jimbo Fisher's scheme, Cook has carried Florida State’s offense so far this year. Boston College's tough defense limited Cook to 54 yards, but the sophomore recorded 156 yards in the opener against Texas State and 266 against USF in Week 2.

 

Related:

 

6. Paul Perkins, UCLA

 

Perkins might be the nation’s most underrated running back. Through four games, the junior has accumulated 514 rushing yards and six scores, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. He also has eight receptions for 99 yards and leads all Pac-12 running backs with four rushes of 30 yards or more this season.

 

7. Derrick Henry, Alabama

 

Henry is one of the most physically impressive running backs in the nation. After working for two years as the 1b option to starter T.J. Yeldon, Henry is now the No. 1 back for Alabama and rushed for 422 yards and eight scores in September. Henry also has two 100-yard performances against Power 5 opponents in 2015.

 

8. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

 

Elliott was a little quiet in September, but the junior is still one of the top running backs in the nation. In four games this fall, Elliott has rushed for 455 yards and five scores and recorded a 100-yard performance in each contest. Expect to see Elliott’s numbers climb now the Buckeyes have reached Big Ten play.

 

9. Devontae Booker, Utah

 

Booker’s numbers may not be as prolific as some of the other names on this list, but he remains the centerpiece for an improving Utah offense and shouldn’t see as many stacked defensive fronts in the next two months as quarterback Travis Wilson is off to a good start. Booker faced a tough Michigan defense in the opener and managed only 69 yards in that game. However, he recorded back-to-back 100-yard games against Utah State and Fresno State, caught 15 passes through the first four games and threw a touchdown pass in the win over Oregon.

 

10. Justin Jackson, Northwestern

 

A couple of players could fit in this No. 10 spot, but let’s give a tip of the cap to Jackson. The sophomore leads the nation with 118 rushing attempts after four games and recorded 516 yards and a score in that span. Jackson was instrumental in the upset win over Stanford (134) and recorded 120 yards against Duke.

Teaser:
College Football's Top 10 Running Backs for September
Post date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-10-quarterbacks-september-2015
Body:

Ranking any player or team after one month of the season is nearly impossible. With one-sided matchups skewing the statistics, and conference play not yet underway for most teams, more data is needed before accurately judging quarterbacks or if a team will be a factor in the playoff picture.

 

While a small sample size is tough to gather accurate results, it’s never too early to review the first month of the season and review the position under the biggest spotlight – quarterbacks.

 

Here’s Athlon Sports’ take on the top 10 performers at quarterback through the first month of the season. Note: This is not strictly based on stats. Opponent strength, injuries, snaps due to blowouts and preseason projection were all considered.

 

College Football's Top 10 QBs for September

 

1. Trevone Boykin, TCU

 

Injuries are taking a toll on TCU’s defense, but the offense continues to thrive behind Boykin. The senior has passed for 1,470 yards and 14 scores through four games and ranks second nationally by completing 12 passes for 30 or more yards in 2015.

 

Related:

 

2. Jared Goff, California

 

The Pac-12 is one of college football’s top quarterback conferences this season, and Goff leads the way as the No. 1 signal-caller. The junior guides the Bear Raid attack to an average of 45.8 points per game and has passed for 1,240 yards and 11 scores through four contests.

 

3. Matt Johnson, Bowling Green

 

After missing most of last season due to a hip injury, Johnson is guiding coach Dino Babers’ high-powered “Falcon Fast” offense to an average of 6.7 yards per play and 38.5 points per game. Johnson has passed for at least 400 yards in all four games and led Bowling Green to wins over two Big Ten opponents – Purdue and Maryland.

 

Related:

 

4. Cody Kessler, USC

 

Kessler was one of the nation’s most efficient quarterbacks in 2014 and continues to hold that title through four games in 2015. The senior completed 69.7 percent of his throws last season and is hitting receivers at a 73 percent mark through four contests. Additionally, Kessler has 15 touchdown tosses to just one interception in 2015.

 

5. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

 

Kelly was the SEC’s top quarterback in September and should get better with more snaps on the FBS level after playing in the junior college ranks last season. The junior has passed for 1,219 yards and 10 scores through four contests and averages a healthy 10.6 yards per pass attempt.

 

Related:

 

6. Paxton Lynch, Memphis

 

Memphis is positioned as one of the favorites from the Group of 5 ranks after a 4-0 mark in September. Lynch is a big reason why the Tigers are unbeaten, as the junior passed for 1,230 yards and eight scores and completed 73.5 percent of his passes in September.

 

7. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

 

Prescott has quietly continued to post impressive numbers through the first month of the season. The senior has yet to toss an interception (142 attempts) and has passed for 1,069 yards and seven scores. Just how good is Prescott? LSU has allowed only 589 passing yards through three games – 335 came from Prescott in Week 2.

 

8. Brandon Doughty, WKU

 

Doughty was held in check against Vanderbilt in the season opener, but the senior has passed for at least 400 yards in each of his last three starts and has just two interceptions on 155 pass attempts. The senior is also the nation’s active leader in career passing yards (9,391).

 

9. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech

 

Mahomes closed 2014 with a fury, tossing 14 touchdown passes in the final three games. The sophomore has picked up where he left off, guiding Texas Tech to an upset win over Arkansas and just missed out on a victory against TCU in Week 4. Mahomes has passed for 1,421 yards and 11 scores, while rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns in 2015.

 

10. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

 

It’s a tough call between Mayfield and Michigan State’s Connor Cook for the last spot on this list. The edge for September goes to Mayfield, as the Texas Tech transfer has provided a spark for the Oklahoma offense, passing for 1,062 yards and 10 scores and adding 139 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. 

Teaser:
College Football's Top 10 Quarterbacks for September 2015
Post date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/maryland-unveils-new-hand-painted-black-ops-helmets-saturdays-game-against-michigan
Body:

is breaking out a new helmet for Saturday’s matchup against Michigan. The Terrapins are planning on an all-black uniform for the game against the Wolverines, along with a hand-painted “Black Ops” helmet.

 

The school released images of the helmet on Tuesday and a promo video to hype the awesome hand-painted design for Saturday night:

 

 

Teaser:
Maryland Unveils New Hand-Painted "Black Ops" Helmets for Saturday's Game Against Michigan
Post date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-awards-september-2015
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The first month of the 2015 season is in the books. Unfortunately, that means this year is almost a third of the way finished. However, the next two months (plus a week in December) should bring plenty of crazy plays, memorable moments and great games. And of course, there is still plenty to be decided in every conference race, as well as the playoff picture.

 

With the first month completed, it’s time to hand out a few awards and look back at the four weeks of action so far. 

 

College Football's Awards from September

 

Offensive MVP: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Fournette is the clear favorite after September to win the Heisman and is off to a record-setting start through three weeks. The sophomore has 631 yards and eight scores on 73 attempts, including back-to-back 200-yard games.

 

Defensive MVP: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith is another strong candidate here, but a slight edge goes to Garrett. The sophomore end has 18 tackles (7.5 for a loss) and 6.5 sacks through four games.

 

Related:

 

Coach of the Year: Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

It’s a tough call after just one month of action, but Kelly has the Fighting Irish in the mix for a playoff bid despite several key injuries. Quarterback Malik Zaire, running back Tarean Folston, safety Drue Tranquill, tight end Durham Smythe and defensive tackle Jarron Jones were all lost for the year due to injuries. However, Notre Dame continues to win and rank among the nation’s top teams after the first four weeks of 2015.

 

Best Coach Hire: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Harbaugh is already making a difference in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have made steady improvement from the opener to Week 4 and may spoil another team’s season before the year is over.

 

Best Coordinator Hire: John Chavis, Defensive Coordinator, Texas A&M

The Aggies hit a home run by pulling Chavis away from LSU this offseason. The Aggies are allowing 22 points per contest through the first four weeks and rank second nationally with 17 sacks recorded.

 

Related:

 

Heisman Frontrunner: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

Fournette was unstoppable in September. He’s the clear favorite heading into October.

 

Best Freshman: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Rosen has been sharp in four starts for the Bruins, completing 62.5 percent of his throws for seven scores and 963 yards. And here’s another key stat: UCLA is 4-0 and is a playoff contender.

 

Breakout Player: Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State

Nassib has been a force for Penn State’s defensive line this season, recording seven sacks and nine tackles for a loss.

 

Breakout Quarterback: Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

Is Kelly the missing piece for an Ole Miss team that was in the thick of the SEC West title race before a rash of season-ending injuries last season? Through four games, Kelly has passed for 10 scores and 1,219 yards.

 

Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska QBMost Improved Quarterback: Tommy Armstrong, Nebraska

Armstrong still has room to improve in new coach Mike Riley’s system, but the junior has made considerable progress, throwing for 1,266 yards and 11 scores through four games.

 

Related:

 

Most Disappointing Team: Auburn

The Tigers were a popular pick as a playoff team this preseason, but coach Gus Malzhan’s team is 2-2 after four weeks and 0-2 in the SEC.

 

Biggest Surprise: Utah

A quick look at the preseason consensus rankings for the top 50 teams in 2015 shows the Utes were projected as a top 40-50 team. After wins at Oregon and home against Michigan, Utah has to be considered a Pac-12 title and playoff contender.

 

Most Improved Team: Northwestern

The Wildcats scored one of the top non-conference wins of September with an upset over Stanford in the opener and followed that game with wins over Eastern Illinois, Duke and Ball State. Northwestern’s defense is allowing just 8.8 points per game, and the offense should continue to improve under redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson.

 

Most Disappointing Player: Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn

High expectations surrounded Johnson this preseason, but the junior appears to have lost his confidence and was benched in favor of redshirt freshman Sean White.

 

No. 1 Coach on the Hot Seat: Mike London, Virginia

2015 is a make-or-break season for London’s tenure and a 1-3 start won’t get it done. Virginia has played a tough non-conference schedule, but a blowout loss to Boise State and a close win over William & Mary isn’t setting well in Charlottesville.

 

Six Coaches on the Rise

 

1. Bryan Harsin, Boise State

2. Justin Fuente, Memphis

3. Tom Herman, Houston

4. Matt Campbell, Toledo

5. Dino Babers, Bowling Green

6. P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan

 

Coordinator on the Rise: Doug Meacham, Offensive Coordinator, TCU

TCU’s offense continues to rank among the nation’s best under Meacham. The Horned Frogs ranked second nationally by averaging 46.5 points per game last season and rank fifth after four games with an average of 51 points per contest.

 

Biggest Heartbreaker: BYU

The Cougars broke plenty of hearts after last-minute wins against Boise State and Nebraska.

 

Best Transfers: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma and Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

As expected, Mayfield has been a good fit for coordinator Lincoln Riley’s offense, while Howard has been a perfect replacement for Tevin Coleman.

 

Player That Could Shape Rest of Season: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

Kizer has passed his first two tests, but tougher games are ahead for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame travels to Clemson in Week 5 and still has to play at Stanford and hosts USC on Oct. 17.

 

Best Play of September: Ole Miss’ Deflected Touchdown Pass at Alabama

 

Next up: Notre Dame’s last-minute touchdown pass against Virginia, BYU’s Hail Mary wins over Nebraska and Boise State, TCU’s tipped pass for a score against Texas Tech

 

Early Projected Playoff Teams

 

(Combination of preseason predictions, results so far and projection for the rest of 2015)

 

1. Ohio State

2. Ole Miss

3. Baylor

4. Notre Dame

 

Next Six: UCLA, Utah, Michigan State, TCU, LSU, Florida State

 

Don’t Forget About These Four One-Loss Teams

 

1. Alabama

2. Stanford

3. USC

4. Michigan

 

Best Group of 5 Teams

 

American: East: Temple, West: Memphis

Conference USA: East: WKU, West: Louisiana Tech

MAC: East: Bowling Green, West: Toledo

Mountain West: Mountain: Boise State, West: Nevada

Sun Belt: Georgia Southern

 

Conference Title Sleepers to Watch

 

(Teams that weren’t picked as the favorite in the preseason that should be a huge factor over the next two months.)

 

ACC: NC State and Duke

Big 12: West Virginia

Big Ten: Michigan and Iowa

Pac-12: California and Utah

SEC: Florida and Texas A&M

Teaser:
College Football Awards for September 2015
Post date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/south-alabama-and-troy-create-awesome-new-trophy-battle-belt-rivalry
Body:

Less than 200 miles separates the campuses of Troy and South Alabama, and the Sun Belt rivals will have a new rivalry trophy at stake for Saturday’s meeting.

 

The South Alabama-Troy rivalry is officially the “Battle for the Belt,” and the winner of the annual meeting will take home a championship belt, similar to the ones in boxing or wrestling.

 

Needless to say, this is a pretty unique and outstanding rivalry trophy: 

 

 

Teaser:
South Alabama and Troy Create Awesome New Trophy for "Battle for the Belt" Rivalry
Post date: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/arizona-state-unveils-new-gray-be-hammer-alternate-uniforms
Body:

Arizona State has unveiled a new gray alternate uniform for its Oct. 3 matchup against UCLA. The uniform is known as the ‘Be The Hammer’ alternate and sports a gray scheme, largely due to the program using a sledge hammer to break a rock after big accomplishments.

 

The Sun Devils will wear the gray helmet and pants for Saturday’s game against the Bruins to go along with the program’s alternate white jersey from the opener against Texas A&M.

 

Here’s the full look at Arizona State’s alternate uniform:

 

 

 

 

 

Teaser:
Arizona State Unveils New Gray 'Be The Hammer' Alternate Uniforms
Post date: Monday, September 28, 2015 - 10:18
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/10-amazing-college-football-stats-week-4-2015
Body:

Numbers and statistics are a huge part of . Every Sunday, reading updated box scores and stats is like Christmas for fans and media members. Some stats like total offense and total defense are overrated, but each help paint a picture for a team or particular game.

 

Whether the stats are historic, advanced or just an observation from a box score, Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of college football action:

 

10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 4

 

62: Points Scored by Utah in Victory Over Oregon

Utah turned in one of the most impressive performances of Week 4, thoroughly dominating Oregon 62-20 in Eugene. The 62 points scored by the Utes were the most by any road opponent in Autzen Stadium history. All three sides of the ball were critical in scoring the upset, as the offense averaged 7.2 yards per play, the defense held the Ducks to 13 points in the first half, and the special teams duo of kicker Andy Phillips and punter Tom Hackett delivered with key plays.

 

Related:

 

0-9: Arkansas’ Record Under Bret Bielema in Games Decided by 7 Points or Less

Arkansas was considered a team on the rise entering 2015. But after four games, the Razorbacks might be lucky just to get to a bowl game. Winning close games has been a problem for this program under third-year coach Bret Bielema, as the Razorbacks are 0-9 in matchups decided by a touchdown or less. The bad luck (or inability?) to win close games continued in Week 4, as Arkansas fell 28-21 to Texas A&M in overtime.

 

200+: Back-to-back 200-Yard Games by LSU RB Leonard Fournette

Another Saturday, another impressive performance from LSU running back Leonard Fournette. The sophomore rushed for 244 yards and two scores on 26 attempts in LSU’s 34-24 victory at Syracuse. Fournette’s back-to-back 200-yard games are the first in program history, and the sophomore’s 631 yards through three games is the best mark by a FBS rusher in the last 15 years.

 

Related:

 

1,357 and 107: Combined Yards and Points in TCU’s 55-52 Win Over Texas Tech

As expected, TCU and Texas Tech provided plenty of offensive fireworks in Week 4. The Red Raiders and Horned Frogs combined for 1,357 total yards and 107 overall points in the thrilling 55-52 win by TCU. The box score is a dream for fans of offense, as these two teams combined for only seven punts, nearly 900 passing yards and 70 first downs.

 

3.6: Tennessee’s Average Yards Per Play in Second Half Games Against Oklahoma and Florida

Tennessee is just a couple of plays away from a 4-0 record. However, the Volunteers have sputtered on offense in the second half of games against Florida and Oklahoma. Excluding overtime versus the Sooners, Tennessee ran 68 plays in the final two quarters against the Gators and Sooners and mustered only 245 total yards and 10 points. Whether the play-calling is too conservative or personnel issues are too much to overcome, the Volunteers left a lot to be desired on offense in two very winnable games. And as mentioned by ESPN’s Dari Nowkhah on Saturday night, FBS teams are 188-3 when leading by 13 points in the fourth quarter this season. Two of those losses belong to Tennessee.

 

5: Rushing Touchdowns Needed by Navy QB Keenan Reynolds to Set FBS Record

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds is closing in on former Wisconsin running back Montee Ball’s FBS rushing touchdown record after scoring three times on the ground in Week 4. In the Midshipmen’s 28-18 win over UConn, Reynolds led the way for Navy’s offense, recording 142 yards and three scores on the ground, while completing three of four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Reynolds ranks No. 2 in FBS history with 73 rushing scores and needs five more to break Ball’s record (77).

 

Related:

 

31: Consecutive Road Losses by Kansas

Kansas’ struggles on the road continued on Saturday, as the Jayhawks lost 27-14 to Rutgers to drop to 0-3 under new coach David Beaty. The loss against the Scarlet Knights was the 31st consecutive defeat by this program in road games. The 31-game road losing streak is the longest since 1978, surpassing Kansas State and Akron’s 30-game mark. Barring a surprise upset, the Jayhawks are headed for an 0-12 record this season.

 

105: Total Yards Allowed by Michigan Against BYU

Lost in Harbaugh mania in Ann Arbor has been the play of Michigan’s defense through the first four games of 2015. This unit delivered a dominant performance against BYU, limiting the Cougars to just 105 overall yards, zero points and a 4 of 15 mark on third-down attempts. BYU crossed midfield only three times on 12 possessions and never reached Michigan’s 40-yard line.

 

440: Average Passing Yards a Game by Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson

Bowling Green’s “Falcon Fast” offense has been flying high in 2015. Johnson has recorded four straight 400-yard games to open the season and has 13 passing scores through the first four contests. Johnson is averaging 440 passing yards per game and has 1,760 overall so far. Assuming the Falcons win the MAC East and play in a bowl, Johnson has 10 remaining contests in 2015 and needs to average around 410 passing yards a game to break the FBS single-season record held by former Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons.

 

12: Georgia RB Nick Chubb’s Consecutive Games of 100 Rushing Yards

While most of the nation focuses on LSU running back Leonard Fournette, Chubb quietly continues to post big numbers for the Bulldogs. In an easy win over Southern, the sophomore rushed for 131 yards on 15 carries, which was his 12th consecutive 100-yard performance. Chubb is one 100-yard game away from tying the school mark by Herschel Walker. Of course, getting No. 13 won’t be easy with Alabama up next for Georgia in Week 5.

Teaser:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 4 2015
Post date: Sunday, September 27, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-4-awards-2015
Body:

Week 4 of the 2015 season is in the books. The Pac-12 was the conference in the spotlight on Saturday, as Arizona-UCLA, Oregon-Utah and Arizona State-USC were some of the weekend’s most anticipated matchups. However, all three games produced one-sided results. The mid-afternoon slate produced some of the best games from Week 4, including wild finishes at Tennessee-Florida and TCU-Texas Tech.

 

With another weekend of action in the books, it’s time to hand out the hardware to honor the best of the best from Week 4. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, freshman and unsung hero from Week 4:

 

College Football Week 4 Awards

 

Co-Offensive Players of the Week: Trevone Boykin, QB/Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

We normally pick just one player for this award, but it’s hard to separate the performances of Boykin and Doctson since this duo delivered in the clutch for TCU on Saturday. Boykin completed 34 of 54 passes for 485 yards and four scores and also rushed for 42 yards on 14 attempts. Doctson was Boykin’s preferred target in the last-minute win over the Red Raiders, catching 18 passes for 267 yards and three scores.

 

Defensive Player of the Week: Jeremy Cash, S, Duke

Duke’s defense held Georgia Tech’s high-powered rushing attack in check on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets managed only 2.9 yards per carry and finished with only 173 yards on the ground. Cash was instrumental in the success of the defense on Saturday, recording 12 tackles (three for a loss), one sack and two forced fumbles.

 

Coordinators of the Week: Aaron Roderick/Jim Harding, Co-Offensive Coordinators, Utah

Utah’s gameplan on Saturday for its upset win at Oregon was flawless. The defense held the Ducks to just 20 points, while the offense recorded 7.2 yards per play, scored 62 points – the most by an opponent in Autzen Stadium history – and went 6 of 13 on third-down attempts. Roderick and Harding used a good mix of the run (273 yards), along with efficient passing from quarterback Travis Wilson (18 of 30 for 227 yards) to score one of the 42-point win in Eugene.

 

Freshman of the Week: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

A number of freshmen are worthy of a mention in this space, but it’s hard to pick against Rosen. The true freshman delivered a steady performance (19 of 28 for 284 yards and two scores) in UCLA’s 56-30 road win over Arizona in the Pac-12 opener for both teams. Rosen did not throw an interception against the Wildcats and also added a rushing touchdown in the third quarter.

 

Unsung Hero of the Week: Tyler Ervin, RB, San Jose State

Ervin’s performance against Fresno State will be overshadowed by what transpired between Texas Tech-TCU and LSU running back Leonard Fournette's monster game against Syracuse, but the senior posted a record-setting performance against the Bulldogs. Ervin rushed for 300 yards and three scores on 42 attempts and caught four passes for 45 yards in Saturday’s win, setting school records for most rushing yards and taking the top spot among all FBS players in 2015 for best single-game rushing performance. 

Teaser:
College Football Week 4 Awards
Post date: Sunday, September 27, 2015 - 08:25
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/20-plays-defined-college-footballs-crazy-week-4-games-2015
Body:

Week 4 of college football’s 2015 season was crazy. While the schedule wasn’t deep with top 25 matchups, the slate produced several games decided in the final minute, unbelievable finishes, crazy plays and strange coaching decisions.

 

Don’t believe us? From the great plays to the crazy finishes, check out these 20 plays that defined Week 4. 

 

20 Plays That Defined CFB's Crazy Slate of Results in Week 4

 

1. TCU scores on tipped pass on fourth down to defeat Texas Tech:

 

2. Florida quarterback Will Grier hits receiver Antonio Callaway for a 63-yard touchdown pass on fourth and 14 for the winning score:

 

3. Tennessee kicker Aaron Medley misses game-winning field goal as time expires (and coach Butch Jones seems to celebrate a little too early):

 

4. Forced fumble by Texas A&M prevents Arkansas from winning late in the fourth quarter, as the Aggies later win in overtime:

 

5. Texas loses after punter loses snap late in fourth quarter, allowing Oklahoma State to kick game-winning field goal:

 

6. Rare penalty costs Ohio a chance to tie Minnesota with seven seconds left in fourth quarter:

 

7. Michigan running back De'Veon Smith disappears...then reappears for a 60-yard touchdown run:

 

8. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris somehow flips ball to running back Leonard Fournette for a huge gain:

 

9. Utah running back Devontae Booker throws a touchdown pass in a road win against Oregon:

 

10. West Virginia receiver Shelton Gibson runs into Maryland cheerleader:

 

11. Michigan receiver Amara Darboh makes a nifty one-handed grab in blowout win over BYU:

 

12. Utah fools Oregon special teams with decoy on return:

 

13. Penn State defensive tackle Austin Johnson returns a fumble for a touchdown:

 

14. Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes doesn't see snap going behind him for a TCU safety:

 

15. Syracuse punter Riley Dixon hurdles LSU defender on fake field goal attempt:

 

16. East Carolina wide receiver Isaiah Jones makes a one-handed catch to help the Pirates upset Virginia Tech:

 

17. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy breaks out the dances moves after win over Texas:

 

18. Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche scores third touchdown of the year on offense:

 

19. Overzealous official flags Texas coach Charlie Strong 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct:

 

20. USC WR/CB Adoree' Jackson makes a ridiculous stop and go move against Arizona State:

Teaser:
20 Plays That Defined College Football's Crazy Week 4 Slate
Post date: Sunday, September 27, 2015 - 08:20
Path: /college-football/auburn-tigers-vs-mississippi-state-bulldogs-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

The rugged SEC West doesn’t provide any breaks on the schedule for any of the division’s seven teams, and Saturday night’s matchup between and is already shaping up to be a critical game for both teams.

 

Preseason expectations were high for the Tigers, but coach Gus Malzahn’s team is 2-1 and reeling from a blowout defeat at LSU last Saturday. Even though Auburn is 2-1, this team was a play or two away from losing to Jacksonville State and didn’t play particularly well in the opener against Louisville. Malzahn’s high-powered offense hasn’t performed up to its normal level, so the Tigers will make a quarterback change this Saturday. Jeremy Johnson was benched in favor of redshirt freshman Sean White.

 

Related:

 

For Mississippi State, the Bulldogs are quietly 2-1 but lost its SEC opener to LSU 21-19 on Sept. 12. Even though coach Dan Mullen’s team won 10 games last season, Mississippi State was picked by most to finish last in the SEC West. A win over Auburn would help the Bulldogs in their quest to contend in this division once again.

 

Auburn holds a 61-25-2 overall edge in the all-time series against Mississippi State. However, the Bulldogs won last year’s meeting 38-23 in Starkville.

 

Mississippi State at Auburn

 

Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

Spread: Auburn -3

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Auburn QB Sean White

After Jeremy Johnson’s struggles against LSU, coach Gus Malzahn and coordinator Rhett Lashlee decided to make a change at quarterback. Johnson was hyped as a preseason Heisman contender, but the junior seems to be dealing with a lack of confidence and struggled with turnovers (six interceptions on 72 pass attempts). Will White provide a spark for this offense? The redshirt freshman has yet to take a snap in his college career but was regarded as a four-star prospect in the 2014 signing class. The priorities for White seem simple for his first start: Take care of the ball and produce a few big plays that have been missing from the offense so far. Mississippi State’s defense is limiting opponents to 4.9 yards per play through the first three games, and coordinator Manny Diaz could throw a lot at the redshirt freshman in his first start.

 

Related:

 

2. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott

While Auburn is breaking in a new quarterback, Mississippi State has one of the nation’s top passers on its side. Dak Prescott has started 23 games for the Bulldogs and earned first-team All-SEC honors last season. Even though some of the pieces around Prescott were a concern this preseason, having a senior quarterback can alleviate some of those issues. Auburn’s secondary has allowed only one play of 30 yards or more in 2015, but this defense has had its share of issues stopping mobile quarterbacks. Prescott is averaging eight carries a game, and the senior could push that total closer to 10 on Saturday night.

 

3. Turnovers and the Supporting Cast

Turnovers are always an important part of any game, but this area is of particular concern on Saturday night with Mississippi State and Auburn both ranked near the bottom of the SEC in turnover margin. Can the Tigers avoid the errors that have plagued this offense in 2015? And considering this is White’s first start for Auburn, Mississippi State cannot afford to give the redshirt freshman any easy opportunities for points. In addition to the turnover battle, the supporting cast for both quarterbacks should be a deciding factor in this game. Mississippi State has produced more big plays on offense so far this season and has a deeper group of skill players. Can Auburn get 100 yards from running back Peyton Barber? Is this the week receiver Duke Williams breaks out?

 

Final Analysis

 

This one could go either way. Is Auburn capable of getting its offense back on track with a quarterback change? If White struggles, is Jeremy Johnson ready to ignite the offense off the bench? On defense, the Tigers are going to miss standout end Carl Lawson for the third consecutive game. Mississippi State has a clear advantage at quarterback, and its defense has allowed only three plays of 30 yards or more so far this season. Not much separates these two teams, but the guess here is Auburn rallies behind White at home for a close win.

 

Prediction: Auburn 31, Mississippi State 27
Teaser:
Auburn Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Preview and Prediction 2015
Post date: Friday, September 25, 2015 - 10:10

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