Growing Pains for Frost, Kelly
It was never supposed to be an easy start for Scott Frost and Chip Kelly at their new jobs, but it wasn’t supposed to be this rough either. Both Nebraska and UCLA lost again this weekend, bringing their combined record to 0-8.
For the Huskers, the 42-28 loss against Purdue extends their school-record losing streak to eight games overall, and the team has lost their last seven at home as well. After suffering from 11 penalties for 136 yards against Purdue, Frost stated that his team, “…looked like one of the most undisciplined teams in the country, and it kills me.”
We weren’t sure what to expect from Frost after two solid seasons at UCF, and he deserves the time to build his own team in Lincoln. Even if it remains to be seen how he can do long term. What we do know is that Frost can take an inherited 0-12 team and take them to 13-0 in the AAC, so who’s to say he won’t be able to do something similar in the Big 10? Things won’t get easier for Nebraska next week, as they travel to Madison to face the #15 Wisconsin Badgers.
As for UCLA, they’re starting 0-4 for the first time since 1971 after a 38-16 loss to Colorado on Friday night. The Bruins have their own losing streak, having lost 12 straight on the road. Again, we may need to give Kelly time to put his own team together. The offensive line play hasn’t been great, to put it lightly, and the quarterback picture hasn’t become much clearer either. UCLA has yet to score more than 21 points in a game, and their defense has allowed 25+ points in every game as well. They also face a ranked team next week, hosting #11 Washington.
Both of these teams have obvious issues that need to be fixed, but they also have head coaches that are capable of fixing them fast. Scott Frost and Chip Kelly coached in the 2010 BCS Championship Game together, Kelly as Oregon head coach, and Frost as a receivers coach; and if they can both successfully implement the schemes that won them games elsewhere, both might be able to coach for championships once again.
Pac-12 Playoff Hopes Take a Hit
There are two less undefeated teams in the Pac-12 after Stanford lost 38-17 at Notre Dame, and Cal lost 42-24 at home against Oregon. The Irish held Stanford to 229 yards and 10 first downs during the game, as Stanford’s offensive struggles continued. The Cardinal defense struggled as well, giving up 550 total yards, 272 yards on the ground. Bryce Love rushed for 71 yards before leaving with an injury in the fourth quarter. If he’s out for an extended amount of time, Stanford might be in even more trouble.
As for Cal, they didn’t look like a team ready to challenge for a conference title against Oregon. The Golden Bears will seemingly get a small break in their schedule with three of the weaker teams in the Pac-12 coming up (at Arizona, UCLA, at Oregon State), before facing Washington, USC, and Stanford in the final five weeks of the season.
Colorado is now the last undefeated team in the Pac-12, and they still have to travel to face USC and Washington. It now looks more likely that the conference will be left out of the CFP for the third time in its five years.
Scary Moment in Nashville
In the second quarter of Vanderbilt’s 31-27 win over Tennessee State, Tigers linebacker Christion Abercrombie collapsed on the sideline and was in critical condition after having emergency surgery. He was credited with five tackles and a quarterback pressure before being given oxygen and being carried off the field on a stretcher. Both coaches and teams joined for a prayer for Abercrombie after the game; hopefully he will make a full recovery.
Top Games of Week 6
(7) Oklahoma vs (19) Texas
(8) Auburn at Mississippi State
(6) Notre Dame at (24) Virginia Tech
Florida State at (17) Miami
(5) LSU at (22) Florida
Three Stars of Week 5
1. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
17/21, 432 Yds, 7 TD’s (1 Rush)
Even though he didn’t start against Baylor, he came in after the first series and accounted for 477 yards and 7 touchdowns. His playmaking ability is unbelievable at times, and it’s a shame he’ll be playing baseball exclusively after this season. He faces an improving Texas defense next.
2. Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest
11 Rec, 163 Yds, 4 TD’s
Wake Forest was ahead of Rice 42-3 at halftime, and Dortch had already scored 3 times. After adding one more in the third quarter for good measure, the Demon Deacons had their highest scoring game in seven years by beating Rice 56-24. We will see if Dortch can have a similar performance next week against Clemson.
3. Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State
16/32, 286 Yds, 2 TD’s; 25 Att, 175 Yds
McSorley did everything he could to help Penn State beat Ohio State, and it was almost enough. Despite the loss, McSorley set a school record with 461 yards of offense and possibly played his way back into the Heisman conversation. Next week he goes up against a Michigan State defense that is currently ranked 124th in the country in passing yards allowed per game.
Jon Wassink, QB, Western Michigan: 27/42, 439 Yds, 6 TD’s (1 Rush)
Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame: 24/33, 278 Yds, 4 TD’s
McKenzie Milton, QB, UCF: 18/34, 328 Yds, 6 TD’s (2 Rush)
Nathan Rourke, QB, Ohio: 23/32, 270 Yds, 3 TD’s; 16 Att, 189 Yds, TD
Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson: 27 Att, 203 Yds, 3 TD’s
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State: 30 Att, 312 Yds, 3 Rush TD’s, 1 Rec TD
Aca’Cedric Ware, RB, USC: 21 Att, 173 Yds, 2 TD’s
Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty: 11 Rec, 245 Yds, TD
Tyre Brady, WR, Marshall: 8 Rec, 162 Yds, 2 TD’s
John Ursua, WR, Hawai’i: 13 Rec, 148 Yds, 3 TD’s
Image Credit: Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports