School Soccer Week 5: Bulldogs, Bearcats, and a Damaged Curse

If faculty soccer had a defining theme in September, it was that there have been two clearly nice groups—Alabama and Georgia—and that it was troublesome to kind out everybody else. School soccer Week 5 (the primary weekend of October) bolstered that theme. The No. 3 workforce within the AP Ballot, Oregon, misplaced to an unranked Stanford, whereas Bama and Georgia destroyed the ranked opponents on their very own plates. Because the season approaches its midway level, right here’s a sampling of who got here out of the weekend wanting higher and who didn’t.



School Soccer Week 5 Recap

Winner: Kirby Sensible

Sensible’s No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs walloped Arkansas in Athens, 37–0. It was an excellent Sensible victory in that Georgia handed the ball 11 instances, allowed zero factors, and ensured the beneath hit. Sensible’s joyful place is to win bullyball-style video games that don’t contain newfangled developments like “unfold passing” and “downfield receiving threats,” despite the fact that UGA has dabbled in these areas occasionally.

An obvious damage to beginning QB JT Daniels meant backup Stetson Bennett needed to step in. He’s a former walk-on who’s been entrusted with not messing up on arguably probably the most proficient roster in faculty soccer. He has succeeded in that pursuit thus far, however it could be higher for Sensible if Daniels returned to well being shortly (and stayed that method).

Loser: Different Former Nick Saban Assistants within the SEC

Sensible, a former Alabama defensive coordinator beneath Saban, had an excellent weekend. What concerning the different ex-Saban understudies who now have their very own SEC groups? They didn’t. Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, who served as Bama’s offensive coordinator from 2014–16, was on the receiving finish of a 42–21 shellacking by the Crimson Tide. Kiffin tried to transform 5 fourth downs and solely made two of them, hastening his workforce’s demise—though punting most likely wouldn’t have made a lot distinction anyway.

Elsewhere, Saban’s long-ago LSU offensive coordinator, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, misplaced at dwelling to Mississippi State, 26–22. The Aggies entered the 12 months with believable nationwide title hopes, however these at the moment are a factor of the previous.

Winner: Cincinnati

The still-unbeaten Bearcats bolstered their case to be the Group of 5’s first-ever School Soccer Playoff workforce by convincingly beating Notre Dame in South Bend by a rating of 24–13. Luke Fickell’s protection was suffocating as typical, and a few Notre Dame turnovers helped Bearcats QB Desmond Ridder and the offense get into the 20s in opposition to their workforce’s former defensive coordinator, Marcus Freeman, who now holds that gig at Notre Dame.

The Playoff choice committee will most likely discover a method to devalue Cincinnati and exclude it from the sector even when UC wins out, however for the primary time ever, there’s not less than a flicker of a motive to suppose a non-power-conference faculty makes the reduce. (A win over Notre Dame can be a headliner most elite G5 groups lack, so long as the Irish don’t crumble within the again half of the season.)

However Cincy’s validation needn’t come from some fits on a committee. Anybody who watches them is aware of they’re severe.

Loser: Oregon

A part of Cincinnati’s optimistic outlook comes all the way down to the Pac-12’s lone Playoff contender, Oregon, dropping a 31–24 resolution at Stanford in extra time. The Geese have what is perhaps the perfect win of any workforce this 12 months—they pounded Ohio State in Columbus again in Week 2—however they haven’t regarded elite outdoors of that. Quarterback Anthony Brown struggled in Palo Alto, and the offense by no means regarded proper with coordinator Joe Moorhead not current. (Moorhead was in poor health, although not with COVID-19.) The Cardinal look higher than they did within the season’s first few weeks, however this nonetheless constitutes a capital-b Dangerous loss for Mario Cristobal and his workforce.

Winner: Kentucky

Kentucky performs Florida in soccer yearly, and the video games alternate between Lexington and Gainesville. The final time the Wildcats beat the Gators in Lexington was in 1986. What adopted was a streak of 16 straight losses, but it surely’s over now that UK received on Saturday, 20–13. Along with burying a persistent demon, Mark Stoops’ workforce is 5–0 and has an honest probability to complete second within the SEC East behind Georgia.

Loser: Maryland

Right here’s one workforce that did not bury a demon. Maryland has persistently struggled to interrupt into faculty soccer’s higher tier. Going again a number of head coaches, the Terps have usually began nicely, damaged into or close to the highest 25, after which face-planted whereas attempting to determine themselves as an excellent workforce. The traditional of the style is a 63–0 loss to Florida State in 2013, when the Terps had been briefly ranked twenty fifth. A detailed-enough remake occurred on Friday evening, when the 4–0 Terps hosted No. 5 Iowa and had a chance to show they’d leveled up beneath head coach Mike Locksley. It didn’t go nicely. Maryland passers threw six interceptions, and Iowa received in School Park, 51–14. The lesson? By no means dream.

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