Week 5 preview: Top scoring teams square off in Happy Valley
It’s been four weeks since there was a matchup between teams ranked in the top 10. This week we get two, with No. 4 Ohio State visiting No. 9 Penn State, and No. 7 Stanford at No. 8 Notre Dame.
Three other games Saturday pit ranked opponents: No. 11 Washington at No. 20 BYU, No. 12 West Virginia at No. 25 Texas Tech, and No. 19 Oregon at No. 24 California.
The Ohio State-Penn State winner will have cleared its first big obstacle in the Big Ten East race and earned an impressive victory for its College Football Playoff resume. Stanford-Notre Dame also has major playoff implications for teams that have challenging road games on the horizon.
Five things to know about college football’s Week 5:
Ohio State at Penn State
Three of the last four meetings have been decided by seven points or less. This one matches the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 scoring offenses, with both averaging more than 50 points.
Nighttime in Happy Valley would be the right time for another classic.
West Virginia QB Will Grier
The Big 12 offensive player of the week threw for 356 yards and five touchdowns against Kansas State last week and very well could match those numbers against a Texas Tech pass defense that ranks 110th nationally. Last year he threw for 352 yards and five TDs as the Mountaineers came back from 18 points down in the second half to beat Texas Tech for the fourth straight time. He’s gone over 300 yards in all but two of his 14 career games.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
1: Utah’s national ranking in total defense (204.7 ypg), passing yards allowed (93 ypg) and scoring defense (12.3 ppg) entering its road game against Washington State’s “Air Raid” offense.
10: Consecutive games in which Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill has a rushing touchdown. He’ll tie the Big 12 record if he runs for a TD against Kansas.
16: Games in UTEP’s longest-in-the-nation losing streak as the Miners enter their game at UTSA.
41: Average minutes per game Army’s triple-option offense has possession.
44.5: Points per game for Georgia, which is on pace to break the 2012 team’s school record of 37.8.
48: Nation-leading weeks in a row Alabama and Clemson have been in the top 10 of The Associated Press poll.
OFF THE RADAR
Florida at No. 23 Mississippi State
Dan Mullen goes against his former team in his first road game as Gators coach. Florida is coming off a 47-21 road win over Tennessee and is full of confidence after scoring its most points in an SEC game since 2011 and forcing six turnovers.
The Bulldogs, now coached by Joe Moorhead, are still smarting from last week’s 28-7 road loss to Kentucky. They haven’t beaten Florida in Starkville since 2004.
HOT SEAT WATCH
Chris Ash, Rutgers
A blowout loss to Ohio State? That’s understandable. Kansas and Buffalo, in back-to-back weeks? Not so much.
The Jayhawks and Bulls beat Rutgers by a combined 97-27, dropping the Scarlet Knights to 1-3 and 7-21 in three seasons under Ash. Rutgers goes into Saturday’s home game against Indiana as a 17 ½-point underdog.
Ash’s buyout after this season would be $9.8 million, a princely sum for a cash-strapped athletic department. Someone pass the Tums to AD Patrick Hobbs.
More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25