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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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College football winners and losers: Week 5

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Photo by Chris Swann

Freshman OL Mark Nabou (54) celebrates with graduate RB Earnest Crownover (24) during the Southwest Classic against Arkansas at AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

There were plenty of upsets, blowouts and close games through the first five weeks of the season. Some teams are still in the hunt for a national title, some are surprising the college football world and some are a sinking ship.
Here are the winners and losers from Week 5.
Winner: Maryland and Taulia Tagovailoa
The Maryland Terrapins started the season 5-0 and Tagovailoa has been a big part of the success. The senior quarterback has completed 66% of his passes for 1,464 yards while throwing for 12 touchdowns and rushing for three.
The Terrapins haven’t really played anyone yet though. Their wins were against Towson, Charlotte, Virginia, Michigan State and Indiana. Maryland is still undefeated, which is all that matters. However, the Terrapins face their biggest challenge of the season in Week 6 when they travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 4 Ohio State.
The group still has home matchups with No. 6 Penn State and No. 2 Michigan down the road, but if Maryland can escape Columbus with a win, the Terrapins could roll into the Penn State game 8-0.
Loser: Dana Holgorsen
The Houston head coach’s seat just keeps getting hotter and hotter.
Coming into the season, Houston fans knew the season wouldn’t be easy. It is the Cougars’ first season in the Big 12 and they lost key playmakers from last year’s team. Quarterback Clayton Tune departed for the NFL after starting for Houston for the past few years, and the Cougars also lost star receiver Tank Dell to the league.
That still isn’t an excuse for the product Holgorsen has put on the field so far. Houston started the season with a win against UTSA but fell in overtime to Rice in Week 2. Houston then was blown out by TCU, but followed with a win over Sam Houston State.
This past week, the Cougars lost 49-28 to Texas Tech. The game was close at the end of the first half, but Holgorsen’s team was outscored 16-0 in the second half.
Houston is 2-3 on the year and still has matchups against West Virginia, No. 3 Texas, Kansas State and Cincinnati. If the Cougars can’t win or stay competitive in these games, Holgorsen may be out of a job before the end of the season.
Winner: The United States Air Force
This year’s Air Force Falcons look to do more this season than just beat Army and Navy.
This group of cadets must have a guardian angel, because the team has not lost a game in almost a year, with its last loss coming to the Boise State Broncos on Oct. 22, 2022.
The “chair force” has been anything but careless so far this season as it has walloped a majority of its opponents this year and remains one of 21 undefeated teams in the country.
The mile-high airmen average 38.8 points on offense while only giving up an average of 12.2 to their opponents. Senior fullback Emmanuel Michel is the general of this offense, with the triple crown of 91 carries, 400 and eight rushing touchdowns.
These boys are out for blood in the Mountain West Conference, and they have the potential to go farther than just the Armed Forces Bowl.
P.S. Rutgers covered the Spread against Wagner, I’m telling you it is easy money.
Loser: Brian Kelly
Coach Brian Kelly’s Tigers lost a shootout in Oxford, Mississippi this Saturday and had their playoff dreams torn to smithereens. After the season-opening loss to Florida State, their margin for error was already diminished, but now they will need a miracle to simply make it out of the SEC without any more losses.
The Tigers’ defense has not been up to par so far this season, giving up over 30 points to three of its five opponents. In fact, the Bayou Bengals have allowed multiple touchdowns to every team they have played not named Grambling State.
Senior quarterback Jayden Daniels looks to be one of the best players under center in all of college football, but the Tigers have been whipped twice and their defense needs a serious turnaround if the Tigers want to make any noise under Kelly.
With their title hopes down the drain, these Cajuns will look to play spoiler to the remainder of the SEC, bringing everyone down with them.
Winner: Jaxson Dart
It was junior quarterback Jaxson Dart who came out as a winner in Ole Miss’ back-and-forth victory over LSU.
In a crucial Top 25 battle in the SEC West, Dart led his team in keeping its hopes alive for a division championship. He did so by torching the LSU defense for 389 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
Knowing that the Rebels still have some tough games ahead in Georgia and Texas A&M, it was important for Dart and Ole Miss to come out on top. After an average performance in the loss against Alabama, Dart bounced back and continues to have an argument as one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the conference.
Dart also was able to give people on social media a great laugh with his quality rapping skills. While livestreaming on Instagram, the team celebrated the win by listening to Sexyy Red’s hit single “SkeeYee.”
Loser: USC’s Defense
The USC defense has been suspect since Week 1. This past Saturday, the Trojans’ defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and his defense gave up 41 points on 564 yards of total offense.
Colorado’s offense has looked good at times this season, but a struggling offensive line and missing sophomore wide receiver Travis Hunter caused them to only score six points last week to Oregon.
Allowing that amount of yards and points to an average offense is not where the Trojans need to be at to contend for a National Championship. Their Heisman-winning quarterback, junior Caleb Williams, can only do so much.
When the offense struggles, as it did in the second half against the Buffaloes, the defense is going to have to step up for USC to be able to win big games.
If it doesn’t get fixed, coach Lincoln Riley may need to move on from Grinch at defensive coordinator, despite them working together since Riley’s time at Oklahoma.

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