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October 7, 2013

Opponent Week in Review

Temple (0-5): L 30-7 vs. No. 7 Louisville
AP ranking: N/A
This week: at Cincinnati

Temple never stood a chance against Louisville. The Owls' lone score came with less than a minute remaining in the game, and they failed to muster even 50 yards rushing.

Louisville has yet to be challenged this season. At some point in the next three weeks, Temple should find itself on the winning side of the ledger, facing Cincinnati, Army and Southern Methodist. The Owls will need to improve on their scoring average of 15.8 points per game, ranking 117th out of the NCAA's 123 FBS teams.


Michigan (5-0): W 42-13 vs. Minnesota
AP ranking: Rose to No. 18, up one slot from its previous No. 19 ranking
This week: at Penn State

Contrary to what the score may indicate, Michigan hardly dominated Minnesota. The Wolverines needed 14 points off turnovers -- including a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown in the closing minutes -- to counteract a seven-minute differential in time of possession favoring Minnesota.

Quarterback Devin Gardner, who threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns against Notre Dame, only threw 17 passes on his way to 235 yards and one passing touchdown.


Purdue (1-4): Bye
AP ranking: N/A
This week: vs. Nebraska


Michigan State (4-1): W 26-14 at Iowa
AP ranking: N/A
This week: vs. Indiana

The Spartans turned a 14-10 halftime deficit into a convincing victory, thanks largely to kicker Michael Geiger. As long as the Michigan State offense is sputtering, its defense will need to be even more resolute.

Michigan State ranks 107th in the county in passing yards per game while the Spartan defense ranks first in the country in total yardage allowed.


Oklahoma (5-0): W 20-17 vs. TCU
AP ranking: Drops to No. 12, from No. 11 a week ago
This week: vs. Texas in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas

The Sooner defense gave up only 210 total yards and 44 rushing yards to TCU, but the Horned Frogs made the most of their opportunities. Oklahoma relied on its rushing game, totaling 203 yards and led by running back Brennan Clay's 111 yards on only nine carries.


Arizona State (3-2): L 37-34 to Notre Dame
AP ranking: After one week ranked at No. 22, ASU fell back to the Receiving Votes category.
This week: vs. Colorado

Arizona State's rush defense held better than it had in the past few weeks, though that is not saying much. Giving up only 145 yards to the Irish proved to be too much, leading to a nearly 10-minute difference in time of possession.

Arizona State has two weeks before its next tough match-up with No. 16 Washington.


USC (3-2): Bye
AP ranking: N/A
This week: vs. Arizona on Oct. 10


Air Force (1-5): L 28-10 at Navy
AP ranking: N/A
This week: vs. San Diego State on Oct. 10

After a week of concern if this game would even be played due to the government shutdown, the Falcons got off to a strong start in Annapolis. Alas, a 10-7 halftime lead was not enough of a cushion for Air Force. Three turnovers on their final drives ended any Air Force hopes of a late comeback.


Navy (3-1): W 28-10 vs. Air Force
AP ranking: N/A
This week: at Duke

The Midshipmen combined their lethal rushing attack -- averaging 294 yards per game -- with a strong defense to stifle Air Force. That scoring defense ranks 22nd in the country, allowing a mere 17.8 points per game.


Pittsburgh (3-1): Bye
AP ranking: N/A
This week: @ Virginia Tech


BYU (3-2): W 31-14 over Utah State
AP ranking: N/A
This week: vs. Georgia Tech

In a rare occurrence, BYU relied more on its passing game (278 yards) than its rushing attack (160) against Utah State. Most weeks, quarterback Taysom Hill leads the Cougars both through the air and on the ground. Against Utah State, Hill rushed for 14 yards. He supplemented that with 278 passing yards and three touchdowns.


Stanford (4-0): W 31-28 over No. 15 Washington
AP ranking: Remained steady at No. 5
This week: at Utah

In one of the better games of the entire college football season to date, Stanford needed a controversial referee's decision to snuff out Washington's final charge Saturday night. Rather than view the close game as an indictment of this rendition of the Cardinal, it may be wiser to see it as a credit to the strength of the Pac-12.

Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was limited to 100 yards through the air. Instead of Hogan, the Cardinal relied on dynamo do-it-all Ty Montgomery, who returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a score before adding 56 receiving, 30 rushing yards and an additional score.


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