Texas Tech put on a dominating display in its Big 12 opener, a 54-16 road demolition of Kansas, but it might have come at an enormous cost. Quarterback Baker Mayfield twisted a knee and needs an MRI on Sunday.
Mayfield, the freshman walk-on from Lake Travis, was 33 of 51 for 368 yards before getting hurt in the third quarter. The 20th-ranked, unbeaten Red Raiders better hope their other Lake Travis QB, Michael Brewer, has recovered from a back injury. They also have freshman Davis Webb, who mopped up at Kansas.
Tech’s defense has allowed just 69 points in five games and might carry the team the next two weeks against Iowa State and at West Virginia before a trip to Oklahoma.
Brave souls: Kansas coach Charlie Weis was asked about the slim homecoming crowd of 25,648, many of whom exited early. “If I were at the game, I probably would have left, too,” Weis said. “They should get combat pay for just sticking around to the end.” The Jayhawks have dropped 22 straight Big 12 games.
Season saved: No. 6 Georgia nearly saw its national title hopes go up in flames with a second defeat before rallying to beat Tennessee 34-31 in overtime. The Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0 SEC) needed a touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to send it to OT. Aaron Murray became the SEC’s career passing leader with 11,625 yards, replacing another Dawg, David Greene (2001-04).
Paper cowboy: Oklahoma State, the preseason pick to win the Big 12, doesn’t look anything like a favorite. Middle of the pack, maybe. After losing to West Virginia, the 21st-ranked Cowboys were mostly unimpressive in a scary 33-29 win over rebuilding Kansas State. The Cowboys’ fast-paced offense remains stuck in neutral. The defense won this one for them by producing five turnovers, and freshman kicker Ben Grogan got out of his slump with four field goals.
Play ball: It was nice to put politics aside long enough to allow the service academies to play their games. Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds rushed for three touchdowns in a 28-10 win over Air Force before a sellout crowd of 38,225 at Annapolis. Army was belted 48-27 by Boston College. Both games were in danger because of the government shutdown.
Fraud alert: Maryland, get out of town. The Terrapins rolled into the Top 25 poll after a 4-0 start. They’re gone now after a humiliating 63-0 loss to No. 8 Florida State. Maryland had 234 yards, FSU 614. New Seminoles QB Jameis Winston looked like a Heisman guy during the school’s all-time biggest blowout of a ranked team.
Big stats: Lake Travis and Texas ex Garrett Gilbert put up career numbers in a 55-52 SMU loss to Rutgers in triple overtime. Gilbert broke three school records with 45 completions, 70 attempts and 484 yards. He accounted for seven touchdowns, five passing, with nary a pick.
Ballin’: The Top 25 might need room for the MAC’s Ball State. The Cardinals hammered Virginia 48-27 in Charlottesville and reached the midway point 5-1. “We’ve had three BCS wins the last two years,” coach Pete Lembo said.
Five is enough: Minnesota should consider how long it can go with Jerry Kill. The coach suffered his fifth game-day seizure halfway through his third season with the Gophers and missed the 42-13 loss to Michigan.
Hoosier daddy: Traditional Big Ten cellar dweller Indiana was tabbed as a possible bowl team, and the Hoosiers looked the part in beating Penn State for the first time. Indiana (3-2, 1-0) pummeled the Nittany Lions 44-24 to end the 0-16 misery.
Sturdy D: Michigan State, which entered as the only team in the nation not to allow 200 yards in a game, gave up 264, but QB Connor Cook and the defense more than made up for it in a solid 26-14 win at Iowa. The Spartans (4-1, 1-0) might be a Big Ten contender. The Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1) face four Top 25 teams in the second half.
Beat goes on: Southern Miss, despite being a 17-point favorite, lost its nation-high 17th straight game, 24-23 to Florida International, a team that had been outscored 110-0 by Louisville and Central Florida. The Golden Eagles last won on Christmas Eve 2011 over Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl.
Extra points …
- Washington State’s 44-22 win over Cal nearly had two 500-yard passers: Conner Halliday (521) of the Cougars and Jared Goff (489) of the Golden Bears.
- Utah State star QB Chuckie Keeton is out for the year with a knee injury.
- Wake Forest QB Tanner Price of Westlake threw three TD passes in a 28-13 upset of North Carolina State.
- In a top-five battle of FCS teams, No. 1 North Dakota State (5-0) rallied from a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit to nip No. 4 Northern Iowa 24-23.