College football scores, winners & losers: Ranking the monster upsets from a wild Week 4
Ranking the best upsets from Week 4 plus dissecting Oregon's blown lead against Stanford
The wonderful thing about college football is how unpredictable it is. Outside of, say, Alabama, which continues to race past everyone it plays, it seems as though few things are guaranteed in this sport. That's what makes all of this so fun.
Week 4 was a shining example of this. Upsets and plenty of near-upsets were in an abundance. From come-from-behind victories to unexpected blowouts, there were finishes of every variety on Saturday. With so much happening, it's time to take a breath and recap all that happened in Week 4 with Winners and Losers.
The upsets: Week 4 had all kinds of chaos throughout the landscape. While none of it had major playoff implications, some games did reshuffle conference standings or change some perceptions about who was overrated or underrated coming into Saturday. Here are the top five best upsets from Saturday ...
- : The winless Monarchs lost to Liberty 52-10 in Week 1 and then beat the Hokies as a 29-point dog. You can't make this stuff up.
- Texas Tech 41, No. 15 Oklahoma State 17: Mind you, this is one week after the Cowboys dispatched Boise State and Texas Tech was a 14.5-point underdog. Short of the most unexpected results (see above), this is as surprising as it gets.
- Kentucky 28, No. 14 Mississippi State 7: Mississippi State has officially been tossed into the "teams susceptible to bad conference road losses" bin. Wildcats running back Benny Snell is the real deal, too. He had 165 yards rushing and four touchdowns, giving him the Kentucky career rushing record at 37.
- Purdue 30, No. 23 Boston College 13: Anyone who's watched Purdue knows this team was better than 0-3. Still, did anyone expect that defensive effort from the Boilermakers? Impressive.
- Texas 31, No. 17 TCU 16: Not a huge upset in spread, but it's an important win for the Longhorns as they try to climb back up the Big 12 ladder. TCU had won the last four in this meeting by an average of 30 points.
Wisconsin: The Badgers were on the ropes the entire night at Iowa, but managed to escape with a 28-17 win to give a little cushion in the early part of the Big Ten West race. This was, as expected, a back-and-forth game, but it was Wisconsin that came up with the huge 10-play, 88-yard drive with the go-ahead score to boot. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook was 5-of-5 for 67 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Hornibrook is not typically the type of quarterback who is going to take matters into his own hands, but he was perfect when he had to be. Well done.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly: Switching to Ian Book at quarterback was a smart move. The junior passed for 325 yards and a pair of scores in the Irish's 56-27 win over Wake Forest. This was a matchup problem. Book is more of a true passer than Brandon Wimbush, and Wake Forest has one of the more porous pass defenses in the ACC at 8.2 yards per pass attempt allowed. It's easy to praise Kelly for making the switch when it goes well, but he has a history of unsuccessfully juggling quarterback rotations. This worked and it might be the spark Notre Dame's offense needs moving forward. Way to not overthink it, BK.
Must-win teams: If you recall from Tom Fornelli's, Florida State and USC were two teams in desperate need of a win. The Seminoles and Trojans got those wins, respectively, over Northern Illinois (37-19) and Washington State (39-36). Additionally, Arizona, Purdue and Iowa State notched victories on Saturday. When these teams' collective backs were against the wall, they responded.
Oregon coach Mario Cristobal: The Ducks blew a 17-point lead in their-- but that's not what Cristobal is going to be grilled on. Clinging on to a 31-28 lead with under one minute to go in the fourth quarter, Oregon opted to run the ball instead of taking a knee. Ducks running back C.J. Verdell was stripped of the ball and Stanford recovered. The Cardinal then tied the game thanks to a Jet Toner field goal and later won the game in overtime. Twice, Oregon had greater than a 98 percent chance to win the game. Twice, they failed to do so.
Iowa's Deja Vu: As mentioned above, Wisconsin marched down the field on a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter to go up 21-17 on Iowa with under a minute remaining. For Hawkeye fans, this is deja vu in the worst way. Recall that Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley went 7-of-11 for 68 yards and the walk-off touchdown as part of a 12-play, 65-yard drive in the Nittany Lions' 21-19 win in Iowa City a year ago. That was also in Week 4. Tough break, Hawkeyes.
TCU: Texas'is big for the Longhorns, who, dare we say, might actually be taking positive steps forward. However, it's also a lesson in schedule losses for the Horned Frogs. No, TCU did not lose to Texas for some made-up reason like Texas "wanted it more." However, the No. 1 thing to remember about scheduling is this: make it as easy on yourself as possible. TCU faced Ohio State and Texas in consecutive weeks away from home (though Arlington's AT&T Stadium is just down the road from Fort Worth). That's back-to-back games against big, physical teams. Gary Patterson is as good a coach as there is, but the Frogs were -7 in turnovers in those losses with more unforced errors to boot. If you're self-inflicting wounds, it's best not to go against teams capable of taking advantage of that.
Best of the rest
This amazing Mount Union strip and score: Shout out to Raiders defensive back Louis Berry, who sacked John Carroll quarterback Anthony Moeglin and, literally took the ball out his hands for a 45-yard touchdown with 34 seconds remaining. Mount Union won 23-10.
Young quarterbacks off the bench: Book wasn't the only quarterback to come in during Week 4 and make a statement. Clemson opted to go with Trevor Lawrence during its 49-21 win over Georgia Tech and the true freshman finished with four passing touchdowns.. Similarly, Miami redshirt freshman quarterback N'Kosi Perry came off the bench to throw for three touchdowns in No. 21 Miami's 31-17 win over FIU.
Alabama coach Nick Saban: With a 45-23 win over Texas A&M and Jimbo Fisher, Saban is now 13-0 against his former assistants.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes took care of business against Tulane, winning 49-6 in coach Urban Meyer's first game back from suspension. Afterward, Green Wave coach Willie Fritz said this Buckeyes group was the best team he's ever coached against.
Nebraska: It may be beating a dead horse by now, but first-year coach Scott Frost clearly has his work cut out for him. With a 56-10 loss to Michigan, the Cornhuskers have allowed at least 50 points in five games dating back to last season.
Tennessee: The Volunteers aren't good. That much is easy to see. Still, it takes a special kind of game -- and "special" is in many air quotes -- to lose in the way the Vols did. Tennessee was only outgained by Florida by 24 yards (387 to 363) and yet lost by 26 points, 47-21. It feels like you almost have to try to do that.
Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray: Murray had a whopping 28 tackles in Oklahoma's 28-21 win over Army. Murray's 28 tackles were a single-game program record.
SMU: The Mustangs opted for a two-point conversion in overtime to get a huge 31-30 win over Navy. Coach Sonny Dykes called up a trick formation, splitting one of the offensive linemen out in the slot and confusing Navy's defense. It was SMU's first win over the Midshipmen since 1998.
Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert: Oregon may have lost, but you can argue no player helped his Heisman stock more in Week 2 than Herbert. Before a game-sealing interception, Herbert was 26-of-32 (25-of-27 in regulation) for 331 yards and a touchdown. He was exceptional and the loss certainly isn't on his shoulders.
Iowa State wide receiver Hakeem Butler: Butler introduced himself in Week 3 vs. Oklahoma, but going airborne into the end zone for a touchdown is quite the follow-up act. Remember: That's a 6-foot-6 human being.
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights paid $900,000 to get greased by Buffalo 42-13. Related: The Bulls might be the team to beat in the MAC. Still, paying out nearly one million big ones to get your clocks cleaned is rough. The Scarlet Knights might not win a game the rest of the year.
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