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College Football - Week 5 Winners And Losers

Johnie Freatman |
October 3, 2011 | 12:56 p.m. PDT

Associate Sports Editor

Russell Wilson is winning both personal and team accolades. (Wikimedia Commons)
Russell Wilson is winning both personal and team accolades. (Wikimedia Commons)
While some teams made statements and various individuals staked their claim as legitimate Heisman Trophy candidates, others showed they aren’t quite ready for primetime. Here’s a list of three winners and three losers from college football action Saturday.


1. Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson

After a highly impressive dual-threat performance Saturday, Wilson showed that he not only is arguably the Heisman Trophy favorite, but that unbeaten Badgers are the real deal. 

Passing for 255 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 attempts, Wilson displayed the efficiency he has shown all year as his team obliterated previously eighth-ranked Nebraska 48-17. 

With a seemingly manageable schedule ahead, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wisconsin run the table, and Wilson strike the Heisman pose.

2. Washington State

Though the nation may not exactly have their eyes on WSU, the Cougars improbable 31-27 victory over Colorado is the latest indication that they are back from the depths of a 5-32 three-year stretch. 

Trailing by 10, WSU scored twice in the last 2:35, getting the winner on Marquess Wilson’s 63-yard game-winning TD. Led by Wilson and his average of 26.2 yards per reception, the Cougars possess an explosive offense. Now 3-1 and with UCLA next, a bowl game is definitely possible.

3. Clemson

The Tigers had a dominant defensive performance Saturday, defeating Virginia Tech 23-3. 

After being ranked the preseason No. 5 team in their division, Clemson is now 5-0 with three straight wins over ranked teams. 

With the toughest part of their schedule in the rearview mirror, Clemson is the frontrunner to represent the Atlantic Division in the ACC Championship. 

An exciting team to watch, the Tigers feature electric freshman playmaker Sammy Watkins and perhaps the country’s most excitable coach in Dabo Sweeney.


1. Florida

After getting demolished by Alabama Saturday, it’s clear the Gators still have a long way to go before they can again be considered national title contenders. 

To make matters worse, they lost starting quarterback John Brantley to injury and will have to start a true freshman when they travel to LSU and take on the nation’s best defense.

It turns out the post-Tebow era isn’t a bed of roses, after all.

2. North Carolina State

Not only is NC State a middling ACC team after a loss to Georgia Tech dropped them to 2-3, the Wolfpack have to be cringing about their decision to let Russell Wilson go. 

After starting for two seasons, Wilson was unceremoniously informed by Coach Tom O’Brien that he would not be welcomed back for his redshirt senior season due to missing spring ball in order to pursue a professional baseball career.

Now Wolfpack faithful can only wonder what could have been.

3. South Carolina

Some people thought this would be the Gamecocks’ year to break through the SEC and challenge for the national title. 

After losing to Auburn, these hopes are over. 

So too might be the Heisman aspirations of standout running back Marcus Lattimore (at right), who gained only 66 yards on the ground this week.

If the Gamecocks are to succeed throughout the rest of this season, they will have to find improvement at the quarterback position, where Stephen Garcia has been abysmal. In other news, Steve Spurrier continues to be scrutinized for allowing Garcia to play after five suspensions from the team.


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