Well fans, games are starting to matter and we’re not into October yet. We had some epic battles and now the CFP picture may begin it’s first structuring. Alabama has defensive issues, and was ND’s loss to Georgia a “good loss”? Time will tell. Scott & Logan have your Hot Takes for Week 4!
Heartbreaker in Athens: Notre Dame played their hearts out and battled the speed & talent of #3 Georgia Saturday night between the Hedges, but in the end time just ran out and the Irish left 23-17 losers. The Bulldogs (4-0) trailed 10-7 at halftime but turned the momentum when redshirt freshman Divaad Wilson snatched away a deflected pass by Ian Book for an interception deep in Notre Dame territory. From a national perspective, this was a game Notre Dame needed to win, and their chances to get into the CFP. The Fromm-to-Cager combination helped push Georgia to a 23-10 lead before the Fighting Irish (2-1) made a game of it at the end. Book’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Chase Claypool cut the deficit with 3:12 remaining, the Notre Dame defense held, and Book got the ball back at his own 48 after a poor punt with just under 2 minutes to go. The Irish got as far as the Georgia 38, but no farther. It ended with Book zig-zagging on a desperate scramble before hurling up a long pass that fell incomplete, denying Notre Dame (3-1) the signature win over a national opponent. They’re still a top 10 team and can still run the table, but it may not get them one of the four slots, particularly if the committee decides that more than one SEC team is needed to put eyes on the TV screen.
Step back for the Utes: Utah really needed to make a statement Friday night at home against USC if they wanted to fortify their place in the Pac-12. Instead Matt Fink established himself as a top flight freshman QB with 351 yards and 3 TD passes as the Trojans win 30-23. Michael Pittman had 10 catches for 232 yards for USC, and even though they gave up almost 250 yards rushing to Utah they kept them out of the end zone when needed. Tyler Huntley threw for 210 yards but Utah couldn’t convert when they needed to late and now the Pac-12 may got ANOTHER YEAR without a team in the Playoff. It’s getting kinda sad that the Pac-12 is like, last in the Power 5 rankings. Utah could have been that team, but they blew it.
Clemson keeps on keeping on: Yes it was Charlotte, but the defending champs are entitled to their weekly Hot Take. The Tigers crushed the Niners 52-10 as Dabo Swinney took the chance to work other QB’s in to give Trevor Lawrence a break. Three QB’s combined for 231 yards and 3 TD and Clemson rushed for 232 yards as a team. Back in conference Clemson goes this week to face North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Down go the Knights: Central Florida has been a polarizing program for the past few years in college football. They finish undefeated, punish the other teams in the American Conference and constantly bitch that they get forgotten in the CFP discussion. Well, now that discussion will end for this year. UCF’s 27 game regular season winning streak is over after losing at Pitt 35-34. Pitt, wearing their sweet throwbacks, used plenty of trickery and different packages to confuse Central Florida and keep them flat footed. Great work by Panthers’ offensive coordinator Mark Whipple (a former head coach of my alma mater, the University of New Haven), and now UCF can’t complain about getting screwed. Dillon Gabriel did throw for 338 yards, but not enough.
Academies Update: Army handled Morgan State with ease Saturday 52-21 as Connor Slomka had 110 yards and a TD. They’re now 3-1 and host Tulane Saturday at Michie. Navy had a bye, and Thursday night will try for 3-0 against undefeated Memphis on the road. Air Force suffered their first loss of the year Saturday on the Smurf Turf, 30-19 to Boise State in their MWC opener to fall to 2-1. This week they’re home to San Jose State.
Bulldogs Rebound Against Wildcats: Coming into Saturday both Mississippi State and Kentucky were desperate to rebound from a pair of devastating losses. That made this a must win for both teams, as whoever would lose would be in bad shape as it comes to conference standings as well as later bowl possibilities. It didn’t take long to figure out which way this game was going to go though, as MSU’s Willie Gay intercepted a pass on the 3rd play from scrimmage and took it back to the house. From there Kylin Hill and Garrett Shrader would lead a balanced attack and get the Bulldogs a 28-13 victory. Next up for the Dogs is the Auburn Tigers on the road, while the Wildcats are going on the road to try and grab that elusive 1st conference victory.
PAC 12 After Dark Gets Wild: PAC 12 After Dark is the nickname given to all of the PAC 12 games that are being played after most people have gone to sleep. These games tend to get a little wild and are usually a pretty fun watch. Well this week’s game between Washington State and UCLA did not disappoint. The Cougars coming in undefeated and the Bruins coming in winless, you may not expect a very good contest. Throughout the first half and early parts of the second it looked like the Cougars would run away and dominate this game. With a little under 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter the Cougars held a 49-17 lead. The Bruins could’ve easily folded at this point and just tucked their tails and ran. They not only continued to fight but were actually able to outscore the Cougars 50-14 in the last quarter and a half to come away with the 67-63
victory. The most ridiculous stat in this game is that the losing QB threw for 9 TDs. This is one game that will haunt Wazzou the rest of the season, while it may very well be the only highlight UCLA has all season.
Badgers Dominate Wolverines: The game Saturday between Michigan and Wisconsin was a prove it type of game as to which one of them was for real. For Harbaugh and Michigan it was another one of those games where they could prove that they were truly among the elite teams in college football and for Wisconsin it was to prove that RB Jonathan Taylor is one of the best players in college football and that his Badgers are contenders. It did not take long to figure out which one of these teams was superior and wanted it more. Wisconsin was able to jump out to a 35-0 lead on the shoulders of Johnathan Taylor, who had over 200 yards rushing, and were able to come away with a 35-14 victory. For Wisconsin this firmly entrenches them in the Big 10 Title race and makes them a contender for the playoff as long as they don’t slip up anywhere. For Michigan it seems like it’s a just another year where they won’t live up to expectations and continue their struggles in what are considered big games for them.
Freshman QB Continues to Impress: Auburn and Texas A&M was the marquee matchup between SEC opponents this weekend. This was the first true road test for Auburn freshman QB Bo Nix and it was at one of the most difficult places to play, at Kyle Field in College Station. Everyone keeps thinking this freshman is going to have a game where he plays like his age and this game seemed prime to be that day. Nix though proved his doubters wrong once again and didn’t make mistakes in leading his team to a 28-20 victory, in a game where the final score made it seem closer than it was. Nix continues to impress and it will be an interesting thing to watch to see how far this freshman can take this team.
Tulane’s Late Fake Pays Dividends: While a game between Tulane and Houston may not scream marquee game when you look at it, this Thursday night game was incredibly
entertaining and the end was even better. Houston was able to jump out to a 28-7 lead in the first half and looked well on their way to a midweek victory. The Green Wave though never gave up and were able to come back and briefly take a 31-28 lead. Houston would be able to march down the field and tie it with a field goal with 21 seconds left. This is where things got crazy. Once Tulane took the kickoff it looked as if they were lining up to kneel the ball to take it to overtime. Tulane would end faking the kneel down and running to roughly around midfield. The next play is stuff of legends. Tulane QB Justin McMillan drops back and flings a pass to star receiver Jalen McCleskey, who was able to break away from two Houston defensive backs on the way to scoring 53 yard TD to seal the game for the Green Wave.
More great games to come this weekend as Week 5 commences. We know about Clemson and UNC, but what else will tickle our fancy? Here’s the top games of the weekend:
Friday 8pm: #12 Penn State at Maryland
THE FOLLOWING ARE ALL SATURDAY:
3:30pm: Mississippi at #2 Alabama
3:30pm: #18 Virginia at #10 Notre Dame
3:30pm: #21 USC at #17 Washington
7pm: Mississippi State at #7 Auburn
7:30pm: #5 Ohio State at Nebraska
10pm: Washington State at #19 Utah