Week 5 Rewind
September 30, 2013
By Brian Edwards
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Editor’s Note: Brian Edwards finished up Week 5 with a 5-2 (71%) record. Don’t miss out on his Week 6 Winners on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!
Georgia improved to 2-0 in SEC play with Saturday’s thrilling 44-41 win over LSU as a three-point home favorite. Aaron Murray torched the Tigers for 298 passing yards and four touchdowns. The senior signal caller also ran for a score. Green-Beckham arrived in Columbia as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the 2012 class. However, he struggled to make plays and was suspended for one game. Green-Beckham finished his freshman year with just 28 receptions for 395 yards and five TDs. In only four games so far this season, he has 21 catches for 334 yards and four TDs.
In crucial home wins over South Carolina and LSU, Murray has posted an 8/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His play against John Chavis’s defense was especially critical in the second half when sophomore RB Todd Gurley couldn’t play due to a sprained ankle suffered in the first half.
LSU’s Zach Mettenberger was equally as efficient as Murray in his return to Athens. When both players were freshmen at UGA, they were roommates. After an arrest and suspension, Mettenberger opted to transfer.
Things are working out for both guys just fine. Mettenberger had NFL scouts drooling with his performance between the hedges. He completed 23-of-37 throws for 372 yards and three TDs without an interception. For the season, Mettenberger now has a 13/1 TD-INT ratio.
The ‘over’ improved to 4-0 in UGA games. The Bulldogs hit the road this week to face Tennessee at Neyland Stadium. LSU has another road assignment at Mississippi St. before returning home to take on Florida.
Alabama heard all week about the potential for upstart Ole Miss to pull an upset in Tuscaloosa. The Rebels hung around for most of the night, trailing just 9-0 at intermission as 14.5-point underdogs. (The line had dropped from 16.5 to as low as 13.5 early Friday.)
But the Crimson Tide put together its best defensive performance of the year in a 25-0 win. ‘Bama had 434 yards of total offense and limited Hugh Freeze’s team to only 205 net yards.
Florida improved to 2-0 in SEC action with a 24-7 win at Kentucky as an 11-point ‘chalk.’ The 31 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 46.5-point total. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in UF games to date.
Making his first career start under center, Tyler Murphy impressed Gator Nation again. The junior connected on 15-of-18 passes for 158 yards. Murphy threw for a score and ran for another. Matt Jones rushed for a career-high 176 yards and one TD.
Playing without star DT Dominique Easley for the first time, Florida’s defense looked just as salty. The Gators doubled up UK in the yardage department (402-173). They host Arkansas this weekend at The Swamp.
Missouri has won its first four games because QB James Franklin is healthy this season and sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham is living up to the hype after a disappointing freshman campaign.
Franklin completed 20-of-29 throws for 255 yards and three TDs without a pick to lead his squad to a 41-19 win over Arkansas St. as a 21.5-point favorite. The senior is back into the form he demonstrated in 2011 before injuries wrecked in debut season in the SEC.
In 2013, Franklin has completed 67.6 percent of his attempts for 1,128 passing yards with a 9/3 TD-INT ratio. He has also run for 215 yards and a pair of TDs on 41 carries.
With all that said, Gary Pinkel knows that the 4-0 start has come against non-conference foes. The Tigers will make or break their year with what they do against SEC competition. But with Franklin finally healthy and Green-Beckham playing well, Missouri is much better prepared for the difficult stretch ahead that starts Saturday night in Nashville.
The wildest game of Week 5 for our purposes undoubtedly went down in Orlando, where South Carolina won a 28-25 decision at Central Florida as a 6.5-point road favorite. The Gamecocks were playing without WR Shaq Roland (suspension) and then lost QB Connor Shaw (shoulder, out 2-3 weeks) in the first quarter.
UCF dominated the first half and led 10-0 at intermission. But Steve Spurrier came out in the second half and gave the Golden Knights a heavy dose of RB Mike Davis, who turned 26 carries into 167 yards and three TDs.
South Carolina scored 28 unanswered points to go ahead by 18 with 10:31 remaining. UCF wouldn’t fold, though, responding with a 73-yard TD pass from Blake Bortles to Rannell Hall. A successful two-point conversion made it 28-18. South Carolina was poised to put the game and spread cover away on a first-and-goal situation from UCF’s two with just under four minutes left. But Davis coughed up a fumble to give the underdog new life. Two plays later, South Carolina junior safety Brison Williams completely lost his sanity and allowed Hall to get behind the defense for a 79-yard gainer on a pass from Bortles.
Bortles hit Hall for a seven-yard scoring strike on the next play to provide the backdoor cover. On the ensuing onside kick attempt, South Carolina WR Bruce Ellington got a nice bounce and only had one man to beat to the end zone. Alas, UCF got the tackle of Ellington at the 10 and Spurrier opted to kneel on it three times.
Ohio State had cruised past four non-con foes going into Saturday night’s Big Ten showdown vs. Wisconsin. Braxton Miller shook off the rust and returned to the lineup to lead the Buckeyes to a 31-24 win as seven-point home favorites. The 55 combined points fell ‘under’ the 55.5-point total, although many bettors probably pushed on the total that was at 54.5 or 55 for most of Thursday and Friday.
Miller had missed most of the last three games, but he threw four touchdown passes without getting picked off. He also ran for 83 yards.
Before anyone pencils in Ohio St. for an unbeaten season, let me remind you that it falls into a classic letdown situation Saturday night at Northwestern. The undefeated Wildcats have had two weeks to prepare for the Bucks and will be sky high for this game.
Oklahoma jumped all over Notre Dame early and held on for a 35-21 victory as a 3.5-point road favorite. The Sooners got sweet revenge in South Bend after losing 30-13 to the Irish in Norman last year. OU’s Blake Bell threw a pair of TD passes without an interception. West Virginia and East Carolina pulled the biggest Week 5 upsets. After getting throttled 37-0 by Maryland, Dana Holgersen belatedly turned to Clint Trickett at QB and the FSU transfer responded in a big way (begging the question, what the hell took so long?).
Trickett threw for 309 yards to lead the Mountaineers to a 30-21 win over Oklahoma St. as 19.5-point home underdogs. Gamblers taking WVU on the money line cashed a tasty ticket in the +800 range.
East Carolina didn’t just go into Chapel Hill and win. No, the Pirates dealt out a pimpslap at North Carolina, winning 55-31 as 12.5-point underdogs. Shane Carden threw for 376 yards and three TDs, while Vintavious Cooper ran for 186 yards on 35 carries. Carden also had three rushing TDs as ECU improved to 3-1.
On Thursday night, Va. Tech won its fourth consecutive games by beating Ga. Tech 17-10 as a seven-point underdog on The Flats in Midtown Atlanta. The Hokies forced three turnovers and didn’t commit any en route to hooking up money-line supporters with a +240 payout (risk $100 to win $240).