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by Matt Kupec

September 30, 2019

The college football season has been without many significant upsets.  Very few Top #25 teams have been beaten by lower or unranked teams.  There still remains 14 unbeaten teams – Clemson, Wake Forest, Baylor, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and LSU.   It should be an exciting October featuring a number of unbeaten and top-ranked teams facing off against each other.

Some notable points from Week #5:

  • Can Three Quarterbacks Tie for the Heisman Trophy? Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields and Tua Tagovailoa have been totally unstoppable.  The trio are playing some of the best quarterback play ever.  They are instant highlight and touchdown machines.  This past weekend alone Hurts accounted for 485 YDS and 4 TD’s (3 passing, 1 rushing).  Fields accounted for 284 YDS and 4 TD’s (3 passing, 1 rushing) while only paying 3 quarters.  Tagovailo accounted for 418 YDS and 7 TD’s (6 passing, 1 rushing).  LSU QB Joe Burrow and Wisconsin RB Jonathon Taylor are also having outstanding seasons to date but it is going to be tough to beat the three frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy
  • Maybe Clemson Isn’t a 100% Bet for the Championship Game.  Our UNC Tar Heels nearly took down the mighty and unbeaten Clemson Tigers.  The Heels played the Tigers even and only a missed two-point conversion at the end of the game stopped the UNC upset.  I thought it was the right call by UNC Head Coach Mack Brown.  Might have called a different play but love Coach Brown’s aggressive call to win the game and not force an overtime.
  • What a Difference A Week Can Make for Washington State’s Offense. Last week the Washington State offense rolled for 63 points and 720 total yards in a devasting loss to UCLA.  Hoping for a comeback against the Utah Utes on the road, the WSU offense figured to put up some big numbers even though they were facing the vaunted Utah defense.  The Utah defense won the battle!  The WSU Cougars could only muster 13 points and 313 total yards!  A difference of 50 less pints and 407 yards of total offense!  Ouch, no wonder why Wash. St. Coach Mike Leach went off on his players after the game.

In this column, each week my son Matthew and I will review the weekend games and make a few observations and provide some thorough analysis. If you have any comments, questions or perhaps disagree with our analysis, please send your comments by going to and submit through the contact section. We’d love to hear from you!

 Biggest Surprise

Matthew Kupec – UNC.  A week after dropping the home opener to Appalachian State, the Tar Heels turned in a stellar performance against the nation’s top-ranked team the Clemson Tigers.  In a game that had the them as a 27 ½ point underdog, the Tar Heels played the Tigers yard for yard and series for series and showed a great deal of moxie and the environment at Kenan Stadium was electric

Matt Kupec – Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma. We knew Jalen Hurts would put up big numbers in Oklahoma’s high-powered offense.  At Alabama he was a playmaker as quarterback but often relied on his athleticism and great running ability.  At Oklahoma is getting the chance to showcase his strong throwing arm.  This past week against Texas Tech, Hurts showed an uncanny touch and great timing.  I realize he has done this every week to date and it shouldn’t be a surprise but Hurts is a thrower!  And Oklahoma is for real with him as the trigger man in the nation’s most exciting offense.

 Best Performance

Matthew Kupec – DoVonta Smith, Alabama.  Is Alabama loaded with skilled talent?  You bet.  DoVanta Smith is junior wide receiver from Amile, LA.  Against Ole Miss he had 11 receptions for 274 yards and 5 TD’s!  Yes, 5 TD catches!!  That brings his season totals to 31 receptions, 537 yards and 8 TD’s in just five games.    Last year DeVonta caught 42 passes for 693 yards and 6 TD’s in the entire 14 game season and played a secondary role to Alabama’s deep core of receivers.  He is another example of the incredible depth on the Alabama Crimson team.

Matt Kupec — Tua Tagovailoa, AlabamaWe have become so spoiled by Tua’s high octane performances each week.  He remains a human highlight machine, every play could turn into a touchdown.  As I mentioned last year when Tua burst onto the scene, I actually find myself looking forward to watching Alabama’s offense with Tua at the helm.  This past week he threw for 417 yards and 6 TD’s.  For good measure he accounted for a running touchdown as well.  Let’s not take for granted the extraordinary talent of Tua.

Biggest Disappointment

Matthew Kupec — Washington State.  Maybe Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach was a bit tough on his team after their poor performance against Utah.  The Cougars really struggled against the Utes, particularly its high powered offense.  Mustering just 313 yards of offense is unheard of for a high flying Mike Leach offense.  Washington State had high expectations this year but two consecutive disappointing losses might make it rough for the Cougars to find their way this year.

Matt Kupec — Virginia Tech. Things are going south quickly in Blacksburg for the Virginia Tech Hokies.  In a key ACC Coastal Division battle against Duke, Virginia Tech was totally outplayed, and frankly, annihilated.  Virginia Tech’s offense just can’t get going.  They mustered only 350 yards last week against FCS Furman.  They followed that poor performance and generated just 260 yards in offense against Duke.  Head Coach Justin Fuentes brought in former Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill to be a coaching analyst and help right the ship.  The Hokies have good talent but perhaps some tinkering on offense is needed.

Picks for the Final 4 Playoff Teams

Matthew — Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU

Matt — Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, LSU.

About the Authors

Matt Kupec is a former record-breaking four year starting quarterback for the UNC Tar Heels.  During his career he set 19 passing records, two of which still exist (most consecutive games with a TD pass and most wins as a starting QB).  He was named MVP of the 1977 Liberty Bowl and 1979 Gator Bowl becoming the 1st player in ACC history to be named MVP of two bowl games.

Matthew Kupec is a senior at East Chapel Hill School in Chapel Hill, NC.  Matthew played defensive back for the East HS football team last year and set a school-record when intercepting three passes in one game.  As a baseball junior last year, Matthew led the conference with the lowest ERA (earned run average).