Another week is in the books, and let’s all thank whatever deity we choose for that because last week was one to forget.
Hopefully it was just the calm before the storm because another week like that makes for a wasted weekend that would be better spent doing–gasp!–yardwork.
Week 4 in Review
To put it bluntly, Week 4 was horrid. The best thing you can say about it is that it’s over and done with. Aside from Friday night’s Boise State-Fresno State thriller, the week was chock full of beatdowns of overmatched opponents. There was only one matchup of top-25 teams, and that game disappointed as Stanford walloped Arizona State.
Ohio State pulled out a nail-biter against Florida A&M, 76-0. The Buckeyes held FAMU to 80 total yards and just 2 first downs. That wasn’t even the worst game of the day. Louisville hung 72 on hapless FIU and yielded only 30 total yards. There were reports that FIU head coach Ron Turner asked for a running clock in the fourth quarter, something that is practically unheard of in top-level college football. Miami took down mighty Savannah State 77-7 in a game that did feature a running clock.
Baylor also put up 70—in just three quarters–but that was against a deep and experienced Louisiana-Monroe team that nearly beat the Bears last season. Watch out for the Bears, they’re scary good this year and are definitely contenders for the Big 12 crown.
It was a rough week for the SEC. Gainesville was a hostile place if you happened to play quarterback. Tennessee’s Nathan Peterman had a day he’d like to forget, going 4-for-11 for 5, yes 5, yards. That’s an average of half-a-yard per attempt. To make matters worse, he threw 2 interceptions. Florida continued its dominance over the Volunteers but lost quarterback Jeff Driskel for the season with a broken fibula.
Karma was unkind to Arkansas, as the Razorbacks blew a 24-7 third quarter lead and fell to Rutgers.
Two of the SEC’s best struggled. Georgia was in a dogfight with North Texas and was tied at 21 in the third quarter before pulling away. Alabama, fresh off its huge win over Texas A&M a week before, struggled mightily against Colorado State. The Rams trailed just 17-6 at the start of the fourth quarter before a costly fumble deep in their own territory turned the game. Alabama managed just 66 yards rushing and was held without a third-down conversion until the final quarter.
Alabama is still undefeated, but chinks in the armor have appeared his year. Between the dismal offensive showing against Virginia Tech, the defense getting shredded by A&M, and the struggles against CSU, it’s evident that this year’s Crimson Tide squad isn’t as dominant as last year’s bunch.
Looking Ahead to Week 5
Thankfully, week 5 has a lot more fulfilling fare to satiate our football appetites. There are a number of quality matchups across the country for your viewing pleasure.
If tradition is your thing, then Oklahoma traveling to South Bend to take on Notre Dame is your thing. Oklahoma is undefeated and rolling while the Irish are coming off a hard-fought win against Michigan State.
Up north, Ohio State faces its first real test as the Wisconsin Badgers come into town. Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller has been cleared to play after missing the past two games with a knee injury, but how quickly will he knock the rust off? Kenny Guiton has played well in Miller’s absence, but he’s not Miller.
Adding further intrigue to the matchup is the fact that it pits strength versus strength. Ohio State has yielded just 386 rushing yards all season for an average of 96.5 a game and have given up just a single rushing touchdown. The Badgers are coming off a victory against Purdue in which they rushed for 375 yards and five touchdowns. It’s a classic immovable-force-meets-unstoppable-object battle.
Out west, Arizona and Washington square off in an intriguing matchup of undefeated Pac-12 squads. The Huskies have been one of the most surprising teams of the year thus far, starting the year off with a big win over Boise State. Washington currently has the country’s #3 offense, averaging 629 yards a game. Arizona’s no slouch, either, though. Behind Ka’Deem, the Wildcats boast the nation’s fifth-ranked ground attack.
The biggest games, however, are in the SEC. Alabama hosts Ole Miss in a battle of undefeated top-25 squads. The Rebels have a ton of talent and explosive offense led by the kind of dual-threat quarterback that has given ‘Bama trouble in the past. Then again, you just know that Saban will have his team focused and ready to play after the close call against the Rams.
As enticing as that game may be, it pales in comparison to Georgia against LSU. Both are ranked in the top ten. The battle between Georgia’s dynamic offense and LSU’s stout defense will be fun to watch, but don’t sleep on the Tigers’ offense. LSU is much-improved on that side of the ball and will be facing a Bulldog defense that has struggled at times this season.
Now let’s just forget that Week 4 ever happened and lick our chops for the awesomeness that is headed our way.