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College Football Week 6 Takeaways: Alabama Needs Bryce Young, Big 12 Chaos and UCLA Rising

Chip Kelly, UCLA Bruins Football

College football's Week 6 slate is in the books, and as usual, the action on the field didn't disappoint. Alabama had a closer-than-expected win over Texas A&M, Ohio State rolled over Michigan State, and Texas dominated rival Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown. Also, UCLA scored a huge win over Utah, and Tennessee defeated LSU to move to 5-0 and set up a showdown against Alabama next Saturday. At the start of the season, no one predicted the college football world to focus on TCU at Kansas, but that's exactly what happened. The Jayhawks lost starting quarterback Jalon Daniels to injury but put up a valiant fight in a 38-31 loss to the Horned Frogs.

Did you miss anything from Week 6? Here's everything to know, highlighted by the top takeaways, big plays, and under-the-radar tidbits you may have missed:

College Football Week 6 Takeaways: Alabama Needs Bryce Young, Big 12 Chaos and UCLA Rising

Alabama Needs Bryce Young to Win at Tennessee
Sometimes, it's all about surviving and advancing in a college football season. Alabama did just that on Saturday night, holding off Texas A&M 24-20 thanks to a last-minute goal-line stand. Nick Saban's team was a 20-plus-point favorite, but the Aggies gave the Crimson Tide all it could handle. With Bryce Young sidelined due to a shoulder injury, Jalen Milroe piloted the Alabama attack and guided it to an average of only 5.7 yards per play. Also, Milroe lost two fumbles and tossed a pick, capping an uneven night of four turnovers and just five third-down conversions on 14 attempts. Surviving (and winning) a game without arguably the best player in college football is another step forward in the march to win a national title. However, for the Crimson Tide to win at Knoxville next week, they need a healthy Young under center. Milroe capably guided the offense, but Alabama can't afford turnovers and needs more out of the passing game to hold off the Volunteers.

The Big 12 Remains Difficult to Sort Out (and Exciting)
Coming into the season, the Big 12 looked like a wide-open conference and one where a surprise contender or two could emerge. So far, that prediction is holding up. While there may not be clarity at the top, the conference doesn't disappoint on a week-to-week basis. Kansas State defeated Iowa State 10-9, TCU knocked off Kansas in one of Week 6's must-see matchups, Texas dominated Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State rallied to beat Texas Tech 41-31. At the bottom of the standings: Oklahoma and Iowa State at a combined 0-6 in Big 12 matchups. At the top: Kansas State, Oklahoma State and TCU with a combined 7-0. Thanks to a win at Baylor, the Cowboys are likely the front-runner (for now), but Texas, Kansas, Kansas State and TCU aren't far behind.

UCLA on the Rise
Does the path to the Pac-12 title run through California? It sure seems that way with UCLA and USC a combined 12-0 through Week 6. The Trojans certainly have issues to overcome on defense, but coordinator Alex Grinch's group pitched a shutout in the second half of Saturday night's 30-14 win over Washington State. Although USC's win over the Cougars was notable, the real storyline from Saturday was UCLA's 42-32 victory over Utah. The Bruins downed the preseason favorite in the Pac-12 thanks to 299 passing yards from quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and 198 rushing yards from running back Zach Charbonnet. Also, UCLA's defense held the Utes to 4.5 yards per carry and didn't allow any big plays in the passing game. Oregon isn't far behind UCLA and USC in the Pac-12 pecking order, and Utah can't be counted out despite the loss on Saturday. 

Get Ready for a Mammoth Week 7
Got plans for next Saturday? It's time to cancel them. Check out what's on tap next week:

Alabama at Tennessee
Penn State at Michigan
USC at Utah
Oklahoma State at TCU
NC State at Syracuse
Arkansas at BYU
Clemson at Florida State
Mississippi State at Kentucky
Minnesota at Illinois

Quick Hits

*Interim coaches at Wisconsin, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Nebraska and UAB won on Saturday.

*Rutgers fired offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson on Sunday. Nunzio Campanile will work as the team's interim play-caller for the rest of the year.

*Kentucky's offense clearly missed quarterback Will Levis against South Carolina. The Wildcats managed only 299 yards (4.7 yards per play) and no pass went longer than 27 yards. 

*NC State quarterback Devin Leary was injured in the second half of the Wolfpack's comeback 19-17 win over Florida State. 

*Tennessee's defense held LSU to 355 total yards (4.9 yards a snap) and recorded five sacks in Saturday's 40-13 win.

*The Mountain West is another conference that's tough to get a read on from week to week, and Week 6 provided a couple of interesting results, as Utah State upset Air Force, and Boise State defeated Fresno State 40-20.

*Oklahoma has lost three straight games, which is also the team's longest losing streak since 1998.

Week 6 Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pitt
Abanikanda ran for 320 yards and six touchdowns against Virginia Tech.

Defensive Player of the Week: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
Mitchell had four interceptions and returned two of those for touchdowns in Toledo's win over Northern Illinois.

Team of the Week: UCLA

Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Garrett Riley, TCU

Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Tony Gibson, NC State

Moments of the Week 

Shane Beamer celebrates South Carolina's win over Kentucky (and jabs Mark Stoops)

Crazy Endings with Oregon State and Alabama

Bowling Green's Fake Field Goal Attempt Went Very Bad

Things Got a Little Chippy Between Deion Sanders and Eddie Robinson Jr.