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What we learned: Louisiana Tech's for real; it's getting real ugly at Georgia Tech

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It was an incredible weekend where:

 Yet another Top 10 team (Stanford) bit the dust.

 A quarterback (Baylor's Nick Florence), threw for 581 yards, scored 63 points and lost.

 Another quarterback, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, threw for a school-record 453 yards but got more notice for saving a kitten on a crowded highway.

On what was supposed to be a light weekend, an incredible amount of stuff happened. So what did we learn?

Get your pose ready, Geno

The postgame comment from West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen pretty much says it all. He had just watched his quarterback, Geno Smith, put together a game that none of us will ever forget. Any time a quarterback has more touchdown passes (8) than incompletions (6) we know we've seen something special. And it's a good thing that Smith put on a performance for the ages because West Virginia needed every one of those 70 points to beat relentless Baylor and Nick Florence 70-63.

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"Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?" Holgorsen asked the media.

Answer: You can't.

Not surprisingly, Smith set school records for completions (45), passing yards (656), and touchdown passes (8).

And here's a little tidbit that is probably going to keep Manny Diaz, the defensive coordinator at Texas (which hosts West Virginia on Saturday), from getting much sleep this week. Holgorsen has told friends there are parts of his playbook that he hasn't even put into the offense yet. Think about that.

Smith's passing efficiency numbers through four games this season. Print this out and impress your friends:

 83.43 percent completion rate (141/169)
 1,728 yards
 20 Touchdowns
 0 Interceptions

Just for fun, if you want to go back to West Virginia's 70-33 win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl last January, here are Smith's numbers in his past five games: 173 of 212 (84.4 percent), 2,135 yards, 26 touchdowns, 0 interceptions.

That's ridiculous.

Louisiana Tech is for real

The Western Athletic Conference, as least as we know it, will cease to exist after this season. But the conference has a chance to get out of the FBS football business with a bang because of Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs of Sonny Dykes fell behind 24-10 at Virginia and then scored 34 unanswered points to win 44-38. In four games Louisiana Tech has beaten Houston, Rice, Illinois, and Virginia and scored 208 points in the process. And don't forget this: After a home game with UNLV on Saturday, Louisiana Tech will play Texas A&M on Oct. 13 in Shreveport. Remember, that game that had to be postponed from the first week because of bad weather. Question: If Louisiana Tech goes 12-0 with that kind of non-conference schedule, do they move up high enough in the BCS Standings to get a spot in one of the big bowls?

Getting ugly at Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets, picked to challenge Virginia Tech for the ACC Coastal title, lost an overtime heartbreaker at Virginia Tech on Sept. 3. Then, after a dominating win over Virginia, Georgia Tech lost another overtime game to Miami (Fla.) at home in a game which the Yellow Jackets controlled with a 17-point lead in the second half. Last Saturday came a total collapse as Georgia Tech was dominated by Middle Tennessee State 49-28. Yes, that would be the MTSU team that lost to McNeese State (27-21) in its opener.

There were no explanations to be had for Georgia Tech other than Middle Tennessee's Rick Stockstill coached his team better and, as a result, the Blue Raiders pretty much lined up and kicked Georgia Tech's butt for 60 minutes while rolling up 510 yards of total offense.

Head coach Paul Johnson called the performance "embarrassing." And it was.

A lot of the heat is going to go in the direction of Al Groh, Georgia Tech's veteran defensive coordinator. Groh, a former head coach at Virginia, Wake Forest, and the New York Jets, has won at every level. But the facts are these: In the past two losses at home to Miami and Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech's defense has given up 1,119 yards.

And this just in: On Saturday, Georgia Tech faces the best offense it has seen all season when it goes to Clemson.

Texas finally has its guy

The reality of the quarterback position at a big-time school is this: Until you lead your team on a pressure-packed drive to win a football game in the closing moments, you are not The Guy. Well, David Ash is now the guy for Texas. With 2:34 to play in Stillwater, Okla., on Saturday night, the Longhorns trailed 36-34 and had the ball on their 25-yard line. Ash faced a fourth and 6, and hit tight end D.J. Grant for a 29-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Ash completed a 32-yard pass to Mike Davis to put Texas within striking distance. Joe Bergeron scored the winning touchdown with 29 seconds left.

"He will not be under any more pressure than this and he couldn't have done this last year," coach Mack Brown said. "He has really grown up. He is the leader of this team."

Ash enters this week as the No. 2 most efficient passer in the country, completing 77.98 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and only one interception. The only quarterback rated ahead of him is Geno Smith, who brings all of that West Virginia firepower to Austin on Saturday.

Better beat Texas A&M sooner than later

That's because the Aggies are starting to figure this thing out, and it is just a matter of time before Kevin Sumlin has that program stocked with elite players from the great state of Texas. Last Saturday the Aggies scored 51 unanswered points against a hapless Arkansas team that is basically mailing it in. But that doesn't negate the impressive play of redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, who threw for a school-record 453 yards and ran for 104 more. Manziel has now scored 15 touchdowns in his past three games. Manziel enters Saturday's game with Mississippi in Oxford rated No. 6 nationally in total offense with an average of 365.0 yards per game.

But here is the best thing Manziel did last week, at least according to the social media. On Wednesday he Tweeted: "Just rescued a kitten from the middle of Wellborn Road (known as a busy road near the university)."

So a Texas A&M fan had to tweet back: "Take that Tim(e) Tebow!!"

Thus the legend of "Johnny Football" has been born at Texas A&M.

Watch The Tony Barnhart Show Tuesday's at 9 p.m. ET on The CBS Sports Network.


Tony Barnhart is in his fifth season as a contributor to CBSSports.com. He is a college football analyst for CBS Sports and The CBS Sports Network. Prior to joining CBS he was the national college football writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 24 years. He has written five books on college football.
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