College football Week 5 highlights

It’s just like we’ve been saying for weeks: It’s time the rest of the country started paying attention to the upstart Big 12 team that’s opened the season 4-0 and deserves to be ranked.

Oh, no, not Kansas. We’re talking about TCU.

After finishing last season 5-7 and firing Gary Patterson, the Horned Frogs were hardly considered contenders in the Big 12 this season, but Sonny Dykes has clearly injected some life into the offense, and Max Duggan has emerged as one of the nation’s most productive QBs.

If you weren’t a believer before Saturday, the 27 points TCU hung on Oklahoma in the first quarter should’ve had you convinced. And if you’ve ever wondered how many big plays are needed before Brent Venables’ head explodes, well, this game certainly took a swing at providing an answer.



Taye Barber has no one anywhere near him downfield as he hauls in the 73-yard touchdown.

TCU racked up 668 yards in the 55-24 win, including four plays of 60 yards or more.

Duggan was sublime, throwing for 302 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 116 yards and two more scores. If the stat line looked familiar for Sooners fans, it should. In the playoff era, the only other Big 12 QB with 300 pass yards, 100 rush yards, three pass TDs and two on the ground in the same game was Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts in 2019. Duggan is just the eighth player in the playoff era from any conference to hit those marks against a Power 5 foe.

So, if Oklahoma can officially be scratched off the list of playoff contenders, is it time to start thinking about TCU as a possible Big 12 champ?

This is the Horned Frogs’ first 4-0 start since 2017 and they now have notable wins vs. the Sooners and SMU. They’ve put up 38 points in each of their first four games and, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, the 55 points vs. Oklahoma marked the most allowed by the Sooners since the 2019 Peach Bowl. That one came against Joe Burrow and LSU. The last time Oklahoma allowed 55 or more against an unranked foe was 2016. That one came against Patrick Mahomes. Yikes.

Still, for all the deserved attention TCU’s big win will get, it’s worth noting the Horned Frogs couldn’t deliver on their mid-game trolling. The family of Roger Maris will now need to attend every TCU game until the Horned Frogs score 62.

Beyond TCU and Oklahoma, a few other Week 5 games offered some insight into this season’s contenders and pretenders.

The Ole Miss defense delivered a brutal blow to Kentucky’s SEC hopes. Purdue snuffed out the early season buzz surrounding Minnesota. And Michigan slugged its way to an impressive win on the road at Iowa.

Kentucky had its chances to pull off a road win, but an early safety left Will Levis’ finger crooked, and two late fumbles deep in Ole Miss territory proved the difference in the 22-19 Ole Miss win.

Minnesota was without star running back Mohamed Ibrahim, and it showed. The Golden Gophers, who’d been among the most prolific offensive teams in the country through four weeks, mustered just 47 yards on the ground in a 20-10 loss to the Boilermakers.

And Iowa’s plan to lull Michigan to sleep by playing offense failed miserably. The Hawkeyes punted on each of their first five full drives, which is usually a winning formula, but not against Blake Corum, who carried 29 times for 133 yards and a touchdown in Michigan’s 27-14 win.


Ladies and gentlemen, UConn has an FBS win.

Please, take a moment to gather your emotions.

The Huskies engineered a 94-yard drive to score a go-ahead TD with 2:20 to play and finished with a shocking 19-14 win over Fresno State.

It had been 1,050 days since UConn last won a game against an FBS opponent. In the interim, 23 teams have announced they’re changing conferences (including UConn, which went independent), Miami has been back — then not back — eight times, and James Madison, which was an FCS team a month ago, has won three games vs. FBS foes.

Even that undersells just how long it’s been since UConn did something as unexpected as Saturday’s win. UConn had been a 19.5-point underdog — the money line for a UConn win was +1050 — and yet the Huskies pulled off a win. The last win was actually at home against equally woeful UMass in a game UConn was favored to win. To find UConn’s last FBS upset, you’d need to go all the way back to 2017. This was, like, five Taylor Swift albums ago.

This is the beauty of UConn football. It serves as a time capsule for the rest of us, a means by which we can measure not the struggles of the Huskies, but rather how far the rest of us have come.

The most college football thing to happen Saturday

Phil Jurkovec led Boston College to a 34-33 win over Louisville on Saturday, throwing for 304 yards and three touchdowns, including completions of 50, 57 and 69.

Unfortunately, the throw that’ll likely show up most on SportsCenter this week wasn’t one to remember. Jurkovec was essentially in a full-on Neo-in-The Matrix position as he tossed the ball backward in the general direction of running back Pat Garwo III. From there, it got silly.

But hey, all’s well that ends well. Malik Cunningham scored two plays later to give Louisville the lead, but the Cardinals couldn’t hold on, as Boston College earned its first ACC win of the season.

Under-the-radar play of the day

Jaivian Lofton’s catch to open the scoring in Liberty’s game against Old Dominion would warrant its inclusion here regardless. It’s a ridiculous one-handed snag on a 34-yard TD. But what truly puts this one over the top is the reaction.



Liberty QB Kaidon Salter lofts a ball into the end zone, where Jaivian Lofton makes a one-handed catch for the score.

Lofton basically treated the catch like he was picking up a DoorDash order at Arby’s. Zero emotion. We hope Lofton is like this in every aspect of life. Ace a test? No biggie. Win the lottery? Cool, he’ll send you his routing number in the morning. Finds out Kansas is 5-0? OK, no one could take that in stride.

Under-the-radar game of the day

Holy Cross toppled Harvard 30-21 on Saturday to move to 5-0 and, perhaps, put in its claim as the best team in Massachusetts this season.

Crusaders QB Matthew Sluka threw for 300 yards and two TDs, while Jalen Coker caught 10 balls for 166 yards in the win. It marked the first time Harvard lost a game by more than one possession since its 2019 opener.

Holy Cross is now 5-0, including a road win against FBS Buffalo last month, giving the Crusaders a pretty good case as the Commonwealth’s top team. Holy Cross has head-to-head wins over Merrimack and Harvard now, and both BC and UMass are below .500 for the season. That leaves Stonehill (3-0) as the only other contender, and frankly, we just learned that Stonehill was in Massachusetts.

Big bets and bad beats

There’s no such thing as easy money, but the service academies at least offer something close. Air Force hosted Navy on Saturday in the first Commander’s Cup matchup of the season, and that means it’s time to throw some money on the under. What was the total? Doesn’t matter. Whatever the total is, bet the under. In the playoff era, the under in Commander’s Cup games is 22-2-1, and it’s hit 77% of the time.

In this case, the the total closed at 38. It’s a low number. Low enough to worry about the under? Heck, no.

OK, so you bet the under, then Air Force found the end zone on its opening drive on a 67-yard pass play. Now you’re worried, right? Ah, still no.

Of the remaining 19 drives in the game, 10 ended with punts. The others: a Navy touchdown, two field goals (including one after Navy got the ball deep in Air Force territory), a turnover on downs, two fumbles (including one in the red zone), a missed field goal and a seven-play drive that chewed up the final 3:49 of the game.

That, friends, is a recipe for another under. Final score: Air Force 13, Navy 10.

The under has now covered in nine straight games that featured two of the three service academies, and 14 of the last 15.

Oklahoma State jumped out to a big lead and cruised to a 36-25 win over Baylor. The Cowboys had been a 2.5-point favorite, which is hallowed ground for head coach Mike Gundy. As ESPN’s Chris Fallica noted, since 2016, Oklahoma State is now 14-3 in games when the spread is +/- 3.5 points, including a ridiculous 13-2 in those situations on the road.

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