Week 4 of college football had Hail Marys, weather delays, last minute suspensions, upsets and blowouts. It was a Saturday without a lot of fanfare due to the lack of ‘big games’ but as it turned out, we got a pretty good college football Saturday and a lot of our questions were answered. Here are the Winners and Losers from Week 4:
Clemson Tigers – Yes, I know the Tigers didn’t win the game in Tallahassee Saturday night. Yes, I know that Clemson has yet to defeat an FBS team. Clemson is not in the ‘winners’ column because of a win but because they have found their quarterback of the future. Freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson came in towards the end of the 1st quarter and played so well, head coach Dabo Swinney couldn’t take him out. Watson finished the ballgame with 266 yards passing and a rushing touchdown. It has been obvious that Watson was the future and Clemson went ahead made the switch Saturday night against the number one team in the land, on the road and it almost worked out.
Big Ten – For the last couple of weeks the Big Ten Conference has been the punching bag of college football and the butt of just about every joke. Losses to FCS teams and lesser conferences haven’t helped their cause as one of the top conferences in America, which personally I find as the silliest of silly discussions in college football. The past Saturday the Big Ten finally had a good week with big wins over three ACC teams, a handful of MAC & FCS teams and a road win over a ranked SEC team. For the most part the conference schedule gets under way this weekend but there are still a few non conference games left to play.
East Carolina Pirates – A few weeks ago the Pirates gave South Carolina all they wanted in a ten point loss. The next week they beat Virginia Tech in Blacksburg after the Hokies were riding high after their upset win over Ohio State in Columbus. Once all that was over, we all assumed that we had seen all the tricks that East Carolina had to offer. Boy, were we wrong. This past Saturday a basketball game broke out in Chapel Hill and the boys in powder blue were on the losing end of things. Badly. The Pirates rolled up 789 yards of total offense and put 70 on that baby blue scoreboard. They have this Saturday off before their home game against a terrible SMU team. God, help SMU.
Georgia Southern Eagles – I think we all have had a good time keeping up with the Eagles in their first year in the Football Bowl Subdivision as they took both NC State & Georgia Tech to the wire in losing efforts sandwiched around a 70+ point beat down of Savannah State. The Sun Belt conference isn’t necessarily world beaters but I think the average college football fan figured that Georgia Southern would run into a little adversity with the jump in competition. Saturday night, the Eagles traveled to their first conference game and defeated South Alabama 28-6 in a game that was never in doubt. Southern rushed for 334 yards and held the Jaguars to less than 300 yards of total offense in the win. It looks like the Eagles are set to soar in the FBS.
Virginia Tech Hokies – ‘They’re back!’ we proclaimed after the Hokies got that big win over Ohio State a few weeks ago. ‘They stink!’ we lamented last week after they were defeated by East Carolina. ‘What just happened?’ we asked ourselves after this past Saturday. Virginia Tech’s offense just looked pitiful on Saturday in their 27-24 loss to Georgia Tech in a game where the Yellow Jackets beat the Hokies with a little bit of ‘Beamer Ball’. Keep it close in the 4th quarter, get a defensive turnover, score a touchdown on offense and kick a field goal for the win. Twelve penalties and three turnovers were the demise of Virginia Tech on Saturday and it isn’t looking good for the rest of the season.
Michigan Wolverines – For the fourth week in a row the Wolverines out gained their opponents in total yards but also for the fourth time this season the Wolverines committed more turnovers than their opponent. After a lengthy weather delay that all but emptied the Big House, Utah took over the 2nd half on their way to a 26-10 victory. Michigan had four turnovers (which has become custom in Ann Arbor) in the game and also had a pretty heated verbal spat between coaches on the sideline, one of those coaches being head coach Brady Hoke. Things are spiraling out of control at Michigan these days and the upcoming schedule doesn’t give them any time for a breather. It will be a miracle if Hoke makes it to the Ohio State game.
Jeff Driskel – The embattled Florida quarterback didn’t have a great game on Saturday in Tuscaloosa. After two weeks of having everyone behind him as he helped hang 65 points on a directional Michigan school and beating Kentucky in triple overtime, there were a lot of people jumping on the Jeff Driskel bandwagon as the Gators hit the road to play Alabama. Sixty minutes later, the Jeff Driskel bandwagon was in a ditch, evacuated and on fire. Driskel went 9-for-28 for 93 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. It was so bad that the best player on the offense, Demarcus Robinson, this week tweeted that it may be time for a new face at quarterback. Ouch.
North Carolina Tar Heels – Prior to the 2014 season, North Carolina was a dark horse pick for many as a possible contender in the Coastal division that could possibly knock off reigning ACC Champion Florida State. Right now North Carolina couldn’t knock off any of the teams in the state of Florida; they are having enough problems with the teams in their own state. Saturday night was an embarrassment on every level. When you give up 70 points at home to an American Athletic Conference team, there needs to be some serious soul-searching going on. Maybe the Tar Heels are looking forward to basketball season just that bad.
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