3 Up 3 Down (College Week 5)

By John Ewing
A review of the week that was with a look at three college football teams that stood out for good reasons and three whose weekends did not turn out as successfully as anticipated.

Three Up
Ohio State Buckeyes
2013 Record: Straight-Up 5-0, Against-the-Spread 3-1-1
Braxton Miller returned (knee) to action and announced his presence with authority throwing a career-high four touchdown passes. The Buckeyes 31-24 victory extends the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games.
Ohio State has now won six games by a touchdown or less since 2012. For Wisconsin this marks the eleventh defeat by a touchdown or less since the start of 2011. Other fun facts, LeBron James was at the game, probably for the sweet halftime show.
Next Up:  A battle against book smart Northwestern
The total has gone over in 4 of Ohio State’s last 5 games when playing NW
Northwestern is undefeated at home in its last 5 games
Oklahoma Sooners
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 3-1
Two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, in the first three minutes of the game propelled Oklahoma to a 14-0 start. From there the Sooners held on for the win ending a seven-game losing streak to Notre Dame. The victory was also just the second win for Oklahoma against the Irish in eleven meetings.
Blake Bell, making just his second start for Oklahoma, moved the chains for the Sooners helping tally 25 first downs compared to Notre Dame’s 12. In sharp contrast, Tommy Rees, Notre Dame quarterback, threw three interceptions. Rees is the only Notre Dame quarterback in the last 10 years with three interceptions in a half.
Next Up: A 2-2 TCU team looking for a marquee win to turn their season around
The total has gone under in 4 of TCU’s last 5 games on the road
The total has gone under in 4 of Oklahoma’s last 6 games
Alabama’s Defense
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-0, Against-the-Spread 2-2
Coming into this game Alabama’s defense had been criticized for not living up to expectations. With a shutout of Ole Miss the defense re-established itself as one of the best in the country. The Crimson Tide now have nine shutouts over the past five seasons, more than any other FBS team.
Only one SEC team (Florida) is ranked in the top 10 in total defense. In scoring defense, Alabama is still a national leader at No. 13. Of the SEC’s last seven national champions, six finished in the top 10 nationally in total defense. Alabama should move back up the rankings with games against Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
Next Up: A stat padding game against Georgia State
Georgia State is 0-1 against ranked opponents all-time, lost 63-7 to Alabama in 2010
Alabama is 10-1 in its last 11 games at home

Three Down
LSU Tigers
2013 Record: Straight-Up 4-1, Against-the-Spread 2-2-1
LSU’s defense spoiled an exceptional day by Zach Mettenberger. The defense allowed nearly 500 yards of offense and the 44 points scored by Georgia was the first 40-point game allowed by the Tiger defense in 63 games. Also, the four passing touchdowns allowed by the secondary was the most since 2005.
Zach Mettenberger threw for a career best 372 yards and played mistake free ball passing for three touchdowns and no interceptions. For the Tigers the schedule only gets tougher, 4 of the last 7 games are against ranked opponents, including a trip to Tuscaloosa.
Next Up: Mississippi State, a team with 14 days to prepare for LSU’s offensive attack
The total has gone over in 5 of LSU’s last 5 games
Mississippi State is 3-13 against-the-spread in its last 16 games when playing LSU
Oklahoma State Cowboys
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-1, Against-the-Spread 2-2
Oklahoma State was an 18-point favorite against a team that was starting its third different quarterback of the season.  Oklahoma State turned the ball over three times and the Cowboys shot themselves in the foot with 10 penalties for 96 yards as the Cowboys fell in Morgantown 31-21.
Crazy stat of the game: Cowboys’ running back Jeremy Smith carried the ball 15 times for 1 yard. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Smith’s rushing total was the second worst by an FBS running back with that many carries in the last ten years.
Next Up: The Bill Snyders of Kansas State
The total has gone under in 4 of Kansas State’s last 5 games
The total has gone under in 4 of Oklahoma State’s last 6 games
USC Trojans
2013 Record: Straight-Up 3-2, Against-the-Spread 1-4
Arizona State racked up 612 yards of total offense against the Trojans’ defense, which was once the lone bright spot of an already gloomy USC season. USC has now allowed 62 points twice in its last 10 games. Before Oregon dropped 62 on the Trojans last November, USC had never allowed that many points in a game.
Where the wheels came off. USC wide receiver Marqise Lee suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter. Then USC fired Lane Kiffin at 4:28 am Sunday morning. Marquise Lee thinks he can return after the Trojans’ bye week. No word on Kiffin’s plans to return to football.
Next Up: Week off before hosting Arizona
The total has gone over in 4 of Arizona’s last 6 games on road at USC
USC is 1-4 against-the-spread in its last 5 games when playing Arizona