One team is riding its Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback to a great start this season. The other team hasn't seemed to miss its Heisman Trophy winning quarterback a bit.
In a week that doesn't feature many premier games, No. 25 Baylor at No. 9 West Virginia at 12 p.m. ET could end up being a pretty nice highlight to the day's action. That's also the Mountaineers' Big 12 debut.
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is becoming one of the must-see players in college football this year (put Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o on the short list too), an electric signal-caller who has an early lead in the Heisman race. He has a 12-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio, which might be his second-most impressive statistic after his 81.4 completion percentage.
Baylor won't be able to stop Smith and the Mountaineers. The Bears have the 113rd-ranked defense in college football. But Baylor's offense has been even better than West Virginia's this season, which should make for quite a show.
Robert Griffin III, last year's Heisman winner, is off to a great start in the NFL, but Baylor is still sixth in the nation averaging 568.7 yards per game without him. West Virginia is 15th at 529 yards per game.
Sound like a game you'd like to see? The over/under in Las Vegas is 82 points.
Here's the rest of what to watch in Week 5:
• There are only two games that feature a pair of ranked teamsLe'Veon Bell (US Presswire) this week. Baylor-West Virginia is the first, and Ohio State-Michigan State (3:30 p.m. ET) is the other. This game will probably have a little less scoring than that Big 12 tilt.
These are a couple teams that are content to grind it out on the ground, with No. 14 Ohio State looking for some big plays from dynamic quarterback Braxton Miller and No. 20 Michigan State riding running back Le'Veon Bell, who has two 200-yard games already this season.
The beauty of this game is the beleaguered Big Ten is guaranteed a win against a ranked team this week.
• Tennessee is out of the polls after losing to Florida, but is still a capable team. The Volunteers can get back on the national radar with a win this week, but it won't be easy.
Tennessee travels to No. 5 Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET), which has been very impressive to start the season. The Bulldogs have scored 40 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time in school history. And the Georgia defense will get a boost if safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, two of the team's best defensive players, return from suspensions as expected. If they play, we'll finally get a look at how good the full-strength Bulldogs can be. The short-handed Bulldogs were pretty impressive.
• Clemson is in a tough spot as it goes to Boston College (3:30 p.m. ET). The Tigers can't be too thrilled about losing at Florida State last Saturday night. That was a game Clemson had circled on its calendar, so a letdown would be natural. Then receiver receiver Sammy Watkins came down with an "abdominal virus," so he won't be playing.
Meanwhile, Boston College has gotten a great start from quarterback Chase Rettig, who leads the ACC with 317 passing yards per game. That's almost 20 more per game than anyone else in the conference. Clemson could be on upset alert here.
• Wisconsin-Nebraska was a big game last season, and it was supposed to be again this season. But there is very little buzz about this matchup (8 p.m. ET), aside from Wisconsin defensive lineman David Gilbert saying Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez throws like he's skipping rocks (Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema yanked Gilbert from his starting role for the comments, according to ESPNWisconsin.com: "He'll be skipping rocks on the sideline with me for the first play," Bielema said). So far, the Badgers haven't looked anywhere near the same team that went to back-to-back Rose Bowls the last two seasons.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been cleared to play, which helps the Badgers, though like his team, Ball isn't off to a good start this season. Nebraska is out for revenge after getting blown out in Madison last year. Perhaps this will end up being a good game, but it'll sneak up on most people if it is (the hideous jerseys the teams will wear will not sneak up on anyone, however).
• The Pac-12 is up for grabs -- or at least second place behind Oregon is -- and there's a very interesting game in Tucson this week. Oregon State, one of the surprise teams in college football at 2-0, travels to face Arizona (10 p.m. ET). The Beavers have already scored wins against Wisconsin and UCLA, with its defense playing very well. Arizona is a bit of an unknown, with a win against Oklahoma State (impressive), an overtime win against Toledo (not impressive) and a 49-0 loss at Oregon (the loss isn't bad, but the score isn't anything to be thrilled with). The winner gets the opportunity to go and be another upset victim in the Pac-12 next week.
• Oklahoma State hasn't provided many updates about injured quarterback Wes Lunt's status for the Cowboys' game against Texas (7:50 p.m. ET), although local reports are skeptical he will play. Whether Lunt plays, or plays at less than 100 percent, it's not ideal for Oklahoma State against Texas, which hasn't been challenged during its 3-0 start. The hope for the Cowboys is that the Longhorns defense, which was supposed to be the strength of the team, has been a bit spotty. Mack Brown has talked this week about being concerned about tackling problems.
• Speaking of a bad moment to have a banged-up quarterback, Mississippi is hoping quarterback Bo Wallace (shoulder) is able to play at Alabama (9:15 p.m. ET), whose defense might be the worst sight imaginable for an ailing quarterback. Ole Miss is 3-1, but the loss was a 25-point defeat at home to Texas. Alabama is a pretty big step up in competition from that.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald (AP)• All of a sudden Northwestern is being peddled by some as a legitimate contender to win the Big Ten. That probably says a lot about the Big Ten, but the Wildcats also deserve credit for starting 4-0 with three wins against BCS non-conference opponents. They start conference play this week against Indiana (12 p.m. ET), which has been reasonably competitive this season. The Hoosiers are 2-1, with a two-point loss to Ball State in their last game.
• After Baylor-West Virginia, the Big 12 has another game between a pair of 3-0 teams this week. Did you expect it to be Texas Tech at Iowa State (7 p.m. ET)? Texas Tech's defense might be the most surprising statistical leader in college football. The Red Raiders' defense is No. 1 in the nation in yards allowed. Sure, that came against Northwestern State, Texas State and New Mexico and is unlikely to keep up, but it's better than being in the middle of the pack after playing those teams.
• Last week Washington State lost at home to Colorado, which was getting attention for perhaps being the worst program in college football. Now Washington State hosts Oregon (10:30 p.m. ET), which is ranked No. 2 and obviously has dreams of playing for a national championship in January. The Cougars defense is among the worst in college football, ranking 103rd in yards allowed. The real reason to tune in is to see how bad the Ducks pour it on.
Virginia Tech WR Dyrell Roberts (AP)• Virginia Tech is one of the season's big mysteries. The Hokies' 35-17 loss at Pitt is one of the more baffling results so far this year, and now Virginia Tech gets set to face Cincinnati (3:30 p.m. ET). The Bearcats, it should be noted, already beat Pitt 34-10 this season. The Bearcats are a bit of an unknown too. Cincinnati hasn't played in two weeks, and its last win wasn't too impressive. Quarterback Munchie Legaux, one of the best names in the sport, turned the ball over four times in an underwhelming victory against Delaware State.
• Miami (Fla.) deserves all the credit for hanging in and outlasting Georgia Tech last week in a 42-36 overtime thriller, in one of the zanier games that will be played this year. But as the Hurricanes prepare to host N.C. State (12 p.m. ET) there are some concerns, most notably a defense that is allowing 40 points per game against FBS opponents. N.C. State is 3-1 including a road win against UConn on Sept. 8, and will get a boost if starting tailback Tony Creecy returns as expected from injury.
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