Head Coach of the Week – Dana Holgorsen
Holgo took the blame and vowed things would be different following West Virginia’ 37-0 loss to Maryland last week. Needless to say, things were quite different. The Mountaineers juggled the two-deep from top to bottom, and their 21 changes produced an entirely different team. In what has to be considered the biggest upset of the season through five weeks, West Virginia toppled No. 11 Oklahoma State, 30-21. It definitely wasn’t pretty – new starting quarterback Clint Trickett needed 50 passes to throw for 309 yards and tossed two interceptions, the Mountaineers ran for just 1.7 yards per carry, they punted eight times and missed two field goals – but it was the Mona Lisa compared to the team’s effort seven days ago.
The path doesn’t get any easier from here, not with a trip visit to Baylor waiting next week, but for the time being West Virginia is officially tied for first in the Big 12 – and Oklahoma State is not.
Offensive Staff of the Week – Georgia
The story of this game was so clear, so ominous, that the task of defending these two offenses occupied the top two spots in our top 10 coaching match-ups of the week. Eighty-five points later, Georgia is left standing – on Saturday evening, in the SEC East race and in the national championship hunt.
Just to be sure we’re all on the same page in appreciating what Mike Bobo’s offense accomplished on Saturday, let’s take a look at the beast Georgia just slayed. The 44 points were the most allowed by an LSU defense since Oct. 25, 2008 – 64 games ago – which just so happened to be a 52-38 Georgia win. The win snapped LSU’s nation-leading 29-game September winning streak and LSU’s 34-game winning streak when scoring at least 30 points. In a game where their defensive counterparts had little room to breathe, the Georgia offense answered the bell time after time after time, where there were five total ties and two lead changes just in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs threw for 298 yards and four touchdowns (8.8 yards per play) and rushed 36 times for 198 yards (5.4 yards a pop) and another score. In all, Georgia produced points eight times in a dozen total possessions.
Defensive Staff of the Week – Alabama
Well, then. The Alabama offense didn’t get much done (boy, hasn’t that become a theme for the Tide away from College Station?) but it didn’t matter. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart’s defense outscored the Ole Miss offense on their own, 2-0. The Alabama defense took an Ole Miss offense averaging 250 yards through the air and 240 yards on the ground, folded them into a nice little square, put them in their pocket and kept them there for 60 minutes.
Ole Miss suffered through its first shut out since Nov. 7, 1998, and the 205 yards of total offense (159 passing/46 rushing) were the fewest of the Hugh Freeze era, 13 yards below last year’s season-low that also happened to occur in Tuscaloosa. Freeze and company planned to be aggressive, and Saban and Smart used that aggression against them. The Rebels were just 4-of-14 on third down and 1-of-4 on fourth down. Perhaps all you need to know about this game is that Ole Miss sent its kicker on to the field one time – for the second half opening kickoff.
Special Teams Unit of the Week – Idaho
Like the rest of his team, Idaho kicker Austin Rehkow hadn’t experienced much success this season. The freshman was just 1-of-3 on field goal tries kicking for an 0-4 team. That changed Saturday. In a game where Idaho needed each and every one of his 14 points, Rehkow knocked in 4-of-5 field goal tries (his only miss coming on a 50-yard try) and both of his extra points to help Paul Petrino’s team break through for their first victory of the season, 26-24 over Temple. Rehkow also pinned four of his seven punts inside the 20-yard line, and the Vandals’ coverage units limited Temple returners to a 23.7-yard average on three kickoff returns and just three yards total on five punt returns