College football is back. While not all teams are back, a lot of teams are preparing for week 5. Here are five things to watch for in college football week 5.
1. Mac Jones in a Big Game
Mac Jones took over last season when Tua Tagovailoa went down with an injury. He ended up losing the Iron Bowl to Auburn, but did get things under control when the Crimson Tide beat Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. In the first game this season, Jones led Alabama to a win over Missouri.
Now, Jones has to lead Alabama against a good Texas A&M team. The Aggies enter the game ranked 10th in the country and will be a tougher test than Missouri. If Jones isn’t able to play well, the reins to the offense may be handed over Bryce Young, who also got playing time in the season opener.
2. Georgia’s Quarterback Situation
Georgia headed into the end of summer with a great quarterback situation. Jamie Newman had grad-transferred in from Wake Forest. J.T. Daniels transferred from USC and received a waiver to play immediately. That was two proven starters for Georgia, which was great with Jake Fromm leaving for the pros after last season.
Newman later decided to opt out for the season. Daniels isn’t cleared to play from his torn ACL last year. D’Wan Mathis started for Georgia against Arkansas in their opener. He was later pulled for Stetson Bennett, who filled in well and helped the Bulldogs pull away from the Razorbacks. Bennett looks like he will start against Auburn, which is a different test altogether. If he doesn’t play well, Georgia does not have a very good shot to win.
3. Virginia Tech
The Hokies had Caleb Farley opt out for the season and didn’t have a lot of their team available for their season-opener. They still blew out NC State 45-20. Even without being at full strength, Virginia Tech has shown that they will be a lot to deal with this season.
This week, Virginia Tech will still likely be missing players when they take on Duke. The Blue Devils haven’t won a game this season and are 0-3. If Virginia Tech can get through this tough stretch, they might be able to compete in the ACC.
4. Memphis vs. SMU
One of the more under the radar games this week features Memphis and SMU. Both teams have good offenses and will be near the top of the AAC standings when all is said and done. Memphis has played one game, which was an impressive 37-24 win over Arkansas State. That win is even more impressive after Arkansas State upset Kansas State while missing a lot of players who were out with COVID. With Brady White and Damonte Coxie leading the offense, they will be hard to beat the rest of the season.
SMU has played three games so far this season. The Mustangs won 31-24 over Texas State in week 1. They followed that up with two blowouts, beating North Texas 65-35 and Stephen F. Austin 50-7. Former Texas quarterback Shane Buechele has led the offense with 857 passing yards and seven touchdowns. If he keeps slinging it around, the Mustangs can do some pretty big things this year.
5. Phil Jurkovec vs. Sam Howell
Phil Jurkovec was a backup at Notre Dame who transferred to Boston College so he could see the field. He impressed with his debut against Duke and has led the Eagles to a 2-0 record. The once highly-touted recruit has passed for 510 yards and three touchdowns already.
His matchup this week will be with Sam Howell. The sophomore had a very impressive freshman season and has the Tar Heels sitting at 1-0 and 12 in the media poll. He has 295 passing yards and one touchdown on the season. Howell and the Tar Heels have ACC Championship Game aspirations, but he’ll want to outplay Jurkovec in this one.
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