College News & Analysis

College Football Week 6 Takeaways: Notable grades, advanced stats and more

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Tennessee Volunteers running back Jabari Small (2) reacts to scoring a touchdown against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee continues to amaze: The Volunteers secured their third top-25 victory — more than any other team in the country — with a win over No. 25 LSU.

Alabama needs Bryce Young back ASAP: The Crimson Tide barely escaped Texas A&M without their Heisman-winning quarterback, winning 24-20. It won’t get any easier next week on the road against No. 8 Tennessee.

Week 7 looks like an all-timer: There are currently six ranked matchups next week, the most for a regular season slate since 2017.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

The biggest theme of Week 6 was injuries to star quarterbacks. Both Bryce Young and Will Levis were out this week, which led to a loss for Kentucky and a close call for Alabama. Jalon Daniels went down against TCU and the clock struck midnight on Kansas’ Cinderella season, as the Jayhawks suffered their first loss of the season. 

On the flip side, Quinn Ewers made his return from a three-game absence and led Texas to a blowout win over arch-rival Oklahoma.

Here are some of the biggest storylines from Week 6.


Quinn Ewers is back … and so is Texas

Texas was left in limbo when quarterback Quinn Ewers went down with a shoulder injury against top-ranked Alabama, causing him to miss the next three games.

Ewers made his triumphant return in Week 6, helping Texas boat race Oklahoma 49-0, the biggest margin of victory for the Longhorns in the rivalry. The redshirt freshman threw four touchdowns, made three big-time throws and finished with an 86.2 grade against the Sooners.

Texas now sits at 4-2 on the season, losing to Alabama and Texas Tech. Ewers played a combined one quarter in those games, and the Longhorns still only lost by a combined four points. If he never got hurt, one could argue that Texas would be a top-three team in the country. Regardless, the Longhorns could still win the Big 12 championship now that he’s healthy. 


Tennessee is the biggest surprise in college football

No. 8 Tennessee completed yet another statement win, beating No. 25 LSU, 40-13, in Week 6. Against a normally very stout Tigers defense, the Volunteers averaged 0.307 expected points added per play, the sixth-most among Power Five schools for the week.

Few, if any, saw this start coming for the Volunteers. Tennessee started the year unranked in the AP poll and now could move into the top five just six weeks later. The Volunteers have beaten three top-25 teams so far, more than any other school in the country. A fourth could come this Saturday in Tennessee’s biggest game of the season.


Alabama needs Bryce Young back ASAP

Tennessee’s aforementioned big game will come against none other than top-ranked Alabama, who squeaked past Texas A&M, 24-20, in Week 6

With Alabama’s reigning Heisman winner, quarterback Bryce Young, out due to a shoulder injury, the game remained close throughout. Starting in his place was Jalen Milroe, who evidently struggled against the Aggies. The redshirt freshman finished with a 33.1 grade with five turnover-worthy plays, both the second-worst marks among Power Five quarterbacks for the week. He now has a 29.6 passing grade on the season, over five points lower than any other quarterback in the country. 

If Young is unable to go against Tennessee, the Crimson Tide will really struggle to keep up with the high-scoring Volunteers offense. 


UCLA and TCU are legit

Tennessee isn’t the only surprise team this season. Both UCLA and TCU continued their undefeated seasons on Saturday, each picking up their second top-25 wins of the campaign.

No. 18 UCLA ended No. 11 Utah’s College Football Playoff aspirations on Saturday, winning 42-32 at home. Dorian Thompson-Robinson looked especially impressive in the victory, earning an 86.5 passing grade that ranked fifth-best among Power Five quarterbacks for the week.

No. 17 TCU spoiled No. 19 Kansas’ first time hosting College Gameday, defeating the Jayhawks, 38-31. Quentin Johnston looked every bit like the top-15 pick PFF lead draft analyst Mike Renner mocked him as. He racked up 206 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown. 

The Bruins received just two votes in the preseason Associated Press poll, while the Horned Frogs didn’t accrue any. Now, both teams are undefeated and will likely be in the top 15. 


Week 7 is going to be AWESOME

If you work next Saturday, call in sick. If you have plans next Saturday, cancel them. If you have a wedding to attend, rip up that RSVP. (Fall weddings should be illegal anyways).

Week 7 could be an all-timer. As of now, there are SIX games between ranked teams. That’s the most for a regular season week in five years.

The biggest affair is between top-ranked Alabama and No. 8 Tennessee, who should be moving up in today’s AP poll. That’s not the only game between top-10 teams, though. No. 10 Penn State travels to No. 4 Michigan in a game that’ll determine who Ohio State’s biggest challenger is in the Big Ten. The Big 12’s only remaining undefeated teams will meet as well, in No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 17 TCU. Then there are three more ranked games in USCUtah, NC StateSyracuse and Mississippi StateKentucky.

That’s a weekend college football fans can only dream of.

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