Much of the drama and key moments that stood out came from the Big 12 conference in Week 6 of the college football season, and takes up much of the attention of this week’s winners article:
It would be difficult for head coach Gary Patterson to draw up a better combination of results than the ones that saw his Horned Frogs side maintain their unbeaten record, paired with the shock result of the weekend that saw conference favorites and highest ranked Big 12 team Oklahoma take their first loss on the year.
Quarterback Kenny Hill threw for one touchdown, ran in another, and his third score was a 48-yard receiving touchdown on route to a 31-24 victory over a very tough opponent in #23 West Virginia. TCU move on to 5-0 and tied at the top of the Big-12. Previously ranked #8 in the early season poll, they jump up to #6 this week, ahead of the beaten Sooners, and in contention for the playoffs.
His tenure with the Cyclones got off to a rough start in year one, but it should be no surprise to see Campbell turning things around for Iowa State. They began 2016 with a loss to FCS opposition to kick off a run of eight losses in his first nine games in charge, but there were signs of progress in narrow defeats to Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State. This year, the team closed one out after a fantastic comeback victory over Oklahoma, outscoring the Sooners 25-7 in the second half to cause the 38-31 upset.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley gets a lot of attention for his young age while leading a top college program, but Campbell is only 37-years-old himself, and had a full four seasons of head coaching experience with an impressive Toledo Rockets team before getting his first Power Five shot in Ames, Iowa. This is his biggest win to date in his second lead role, and don’t be surprised if there’s more to come.
Continuing in the Big 12, how about one of the performances of the day from just a true freshman quarterback in Ehlinger. If you missed the drama of Texas’ double overtime win over Kansas State, it’s worth a watch, in particular for the playmaking and determination of an emerging talent in the college football landscape. Ehlinger was 30 for 50 passing for 380 yards through the air, with 2 TDs and 1 pick. He was a revelation in the ground game as well as he piled up 107 rush yards as part of his dynamic day in leading the Longhorns to the 40-34 win.
A 60% completion rate may not leap off the page, but the manner of his play, the key moments in which he stepped up, the calmness in critical situations; it was hugely impressive throughout. He especially stepped up in overtime with a long TD pass in the first period, then in the second with a bruising run, followed by helping push the pile for Chris Warren’s rugby scrum winner. A bonus winner in this one – Longhorns junior safety DeShon Elliott secured his fifth interception in the last three games.
Speaking of overtime, as good as the extended action was in Texas, nothing could come close to matching the wild scenes in the game of the day from nowhere. Western Michigan and Buffalo played out one of the wildest finishes to a football game that could possibly be written up. After 60 minutes, the 31-31 final score contained plenty of action in itself, but after a ridiculous seven overtime periods, the Western Michigan Broncos escaped with a 71-68 victory that set records.
It’s worth reminding, that by the third overtime period, teams are required to go for two points after a touchdown, rather than kick an extra point, reducing the likelihood of the extra innings going on for too long, yet the Bulls and Broncos continued to match each other through six goes at it each before the decisive seventh. Many scoff at even the slightest hint of the college system getting used in the pro game, and that’s fair enough, but after several NFL overtimes in recent weeks, you won’t convince me that those are even close to as entertaining as what the college rules provide.
He’s previously featured in our NFL draft stock watch this season, and his quarterback is likely going to make an appearance himself in the next one later this week, but Miller deserves more praise after another fantastic performance from the electric senior wide receiver. It happened all the way back on Friday evening against Connecticut, but those who tuned in saw a virtuoso display of receiver play from the Memphis star.
Miller totaled 15 receptions for 224 yards and 4 touchdown catches on the day. The variety with which he compiled those numbers stood out again, much like against UCLA a few weeks back, including a stunning one-handed grab as a highlight within many highlights. After 14 touchdown grabs a season ago, he’s on track to match or better it in his final season at this level, after which he’ll likely be making more great plays at the pro level.
Which players, teams and moments stood out to you in Week 6? Discuss in the comments below!
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