Welcome to college football’s Week 5! During which we ask, “Is this really Week 5?”
But it is. And even though we’ve just passed the mark into October, we already have a top-10 matchup in the 125th meeting between Auburn and Georgia, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
It’s the teams’ first October game since 1936 (it was on the 24th), and the earliest it has ever been played, other than the first one on Feb. 20, 1892, which just seems like it was late for 1891. So it’s highly unusual is what we’re saying, like most everything else anywhere right now.
There will be a steady dose of fun football throughout the day, and we’ll keep the highlights, well, highlighted here. Read on for important happenings in uniforms, falconry and one final shot to watch Houston Baptist legend Bailey Zappe putting up historically significant passing statistics.
Top 25 games
All times Eastern. Lines courtesy of Caesar’s Sportsbook
No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia (-7), 7:30, ESPN/ESPN app
Tulsa at No. 11 UCF (-21), 7:30, ESPN2/ESPN app
Arkansas at No. 16 Mississippi State (-17), 7:30, SEC Network Alternate/ESPN app
No. 18 Oklahoma (-7) at Iowa State, 7:30, ABC/ESPN app
No. 20 LSU at Vanderbilt (-21), 7:30, SEC Network/ESPN app
Virginia at No. 1 Clemson (-28.5), 8, ACC Network/ESPN app
No. 22 BYU 45, Louisiana Tech 14
Through three games, the Cougars have easily been one of the most impressive teams in the country and even though it’s hard to know how much stock to put in dominant wins against Navy, Troy and Louisiana Tech, the Cougars are primed to be a part of the national conversation. Quarterback Zach Wilson was nearly flawless against Louisiana Tech on Friday and should start generating some Heisman buzz. — Kyle Bonagura
No. 3 Florida 38, South Carolina 24
It was a similar story for the Gators as last week — high-flying offense, questionable defense. Kyle Trask threw four touchdown passes Saturday against the Gamecocks, and his connection with Kyle Pitts remains strong. Trask became the third player in SEC history with 10 passing touchdowns through the first two games of a season, while Pitts now has six total touchdowns in two games. Though Florida was in control for most of the win against South Carolina, the defense once again gave up too many big plays in key situations. For example, South Carolina was 5-of-6 on fourth down (the only stop came late in the game in the end zone) and dominated time of possession in part because it was able to convert. — Andrea Adelson
TCU 33, No. 9 Texas 31
The Longhorns are a miracle finish against Texas Tech away from being 1-2, and Saturday’s loss to TCU was Texas’ sixth to an unranked team when the Longhorns are ranked in the Tom Herman era (most in the FBS in that span). The defense continues to show flaws (it allowed TCU to run for 226 yards, including a late 26-yard score from TCU QB Max Duggan); the running game wasn’t consistent; and self-inflicted errors were crucial. Gary Patterson’s teams have beaten the Longhorns six of the past seven meetings, and the Longhorns have much to rectify before meeting Oklahoma next week. — Sam Khan Jr.
No. 21 Tennessee 35, Missouri 12
Eric Gray and Ty Chandler combined for 195 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as Tennessee’s rushing attack had one of its most impressive performances in years. That’s big news for a Vols team that wants to push its way into the conversation as a genuine contender in the SEC East. Also impressive is the Tennessee defense, which held Missouri to 344 yards of offense — the 10th straight game the Vols have held an opponent to less than 400 yards. Tennessee is 9-1 in that span. — David Hale
NC State 30, No. 24 Pittsburgh 29
Just when Pitt might shed its history of losing games it absolutely should not lose, another fall Saturday comes along. Despite being double-digit favorites against an NC State team that got embarrassed a week ago, the Panthers lost 30-29. Pitt’s vaunted defense, which ranked among the best in the country headed into the game, allowed the Wolfpack to drive 79 yards in 1:21 for the game-winning score with 23 seconds left. If that was not disappointing enough, the Panthers defense had only two sacks and two tackles for loss after terrorizing quarterbacks all season. It was a huge missed opportunity. — Andrea Adelson
Not so fast, my friend
Later, dudes. Just not much later.
Albilene Christian RB tosses up a Tyreek Hill peace sign to the defense then proceeds to get tackled 😂
(Thx @DSpig26) pic.twitter.com/4lsxPhIwGF
— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) October 3, 2020 Asim Rose, too, thought he was on his way into the end zone for six. It didn’t happen, and two plays later, disaster struck.
Asim Rose thinks he’s about to score and throws up a celebratory peace sign, but he’s tackled just short of the end zone. Two plays later, Rose fumbles at the goal line.
And the person they were emulating, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, warned them not to throw up the deuces if they can’t back it up.
I see plenty guys getting tackled while chucking up the deuces , that’s a no bueno 🙂🙂
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) October 3, 2020
Uga won’t be between the hedges for an entire season for the first time since the 1955 because live mascots have been sidelined this season across college football. But he still appears to be living well.
Uga getting ready for some 🏈 just like the rest of us. pic.twitter.com/XMjeOMJJfq
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 3, 2020
The best QB you’ve never seen
This is a weird season, but nothing may be stranger than North Dakota State playing a one-game fall season. But that means we get a chance to watch Trey Lance, a first-round NFL draft prospect who led the Bison to another FCS title last year. Have you heard the name but don’t know what to expect? Before you check out the game on ESPN+, make sure to read all about how Lance got here from Mark Schlabach.
Out of high school, Trey Lance had zero offers to play quarterback from Power 5 programs. That doubt shaped his path forward – as the North Dakota State star is now considered to be a future first-round NFL draft pick.
Get up for gameday
Prepare yourself for a day of big games by watching Alabama’s hype video for its players.
The video that plays in the tunnel from Alabama’s walk of champions into the new Bryant-Denny Stadium locker room. pic.twitter.com/KqRR8H72xn
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) October 1, 2020
The electric Zappe
How much does Houston Baptist quarterback Bailey Zappe like to pitch it around?
In three games this season (all against FBS teams, including one against Texas Tech), he has thrown for 1,453 yards, 12 touchdowns with just one interception, an average of 484 yards per game. In 2003, when Texas Tech QB B.J. Symons set the FBS passing record of 5,833 yards, he averaged 433 yards over his first three games.
Unfortunately, Zappe and the HBU Huskies play just one more game this season, against Eastern Kentucky today at 3 p.m. on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.
Catch him while you can.
Bailey Zappe would be on pace for a record-setting season, but the Houston Baptist play only one more game this season. Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images
Alright, alright, alright
The Texas Minister of Culture, aka Matthew McConaughey, will be in attendance for the Longhorns’ game against TCU in Austin on Saturday … well, at least some version will be.
MoC will for sure be in the house tomorrow. 🤘 @McConaughey pic.twitter.com/Qhn5Wo6VFp
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) October 2, 2020
The equipment room
Air Force will honor the Tuskeegee Airmen with their Red Tails uniforms against Navy.
Update your 📱 to match Saturday’s attire 🔴✈️ #SinkNavy pic.twitter.com/PNntob0RLO
— Sink Navy (@AF_Football) September 30, 2020
The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of Black pilots from the U.S. Army Air Corps commissioned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. The military aviators flew in World War II during a time in which most of the U.S. military — and the country — was still racially segregated.
Read more about the uniforms here.
In addition, Air Force will debut its new mascot, Nova, a full white-phase Gyrfalcon. Nova replaces Aurora, the academy’s mascot for the past 23 years, who died in December.
We’re excited to announce the name of our new mascot will be Nova. Nova, an exceedingly bright star, represents the future of our Academy as a commissioning source for both Air & Space Force officers. #YourAcademy @usairforce @SpaceForceDoD @SpaceForceCSO @command_us pic.twitter.com/Gt7pkzzWce
— U.S. Air Force Academy (@AF_Academy) September 3, 2020
Vanderbilt will wear helmets with its old ’80s-era Vandy script logo with an outline of the Nashville skyline.
For three games this season, Vandy will be wearing a helmet featuring a vintage-inspired logo backed by the Nashville skyline. pic.twitter.com/prXChCWl7K
— Alan George (@VandyGeorge) October 1, 2020
Iowa is honoring the legendary Hayden Fry, who died in December.
That’s what it’s all about.
Coach John Hayden Fry | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/4xz0srYWni
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) October 1, 2020
Iowa State is wearing black unis against Oklahoma.
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) September 30, 2020
Florida honors alum and ESPN reporter
When the Gators take the field today, they will do so with a cutout of grad and former marching band member Edward Aschoff looking on. Aschoff, a college football reporter for ESPN, died last Christmas Eve on his 34th birthday. We love him and will never forget him.
We’re glad we could save a spot for @AschoffESPN in the stands with @UFGatorBand, as a tribute. #GoGators pic.twitter.com/oQFiruoxjh
— Florida Gators (@FloridaGators) October 2, 2020