College Football Top 25 Weekend Recap – Week Four
Week four’s games featured our first handful of conference matchups, some great individual performances and one instant classic featuring two top 10 teams. Here is this week’s wrap-up from the top 25.
#1 Oklahoma 38, Missouri 28
The top-ranked Sooners struggled early, trailing 14-3 just nine minutes into the game, but then scored 28 unanswered points to take a lead they would never give back. OU wide receiver Ryan Broyles led the way with 13 catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns. However, the win does leave some lingering questions for Bob Stoops’ defense, which gave up 532 yards to a balanced (291 passing, 241 rushing) Tigers attack. Oklahoma has now won 38 straight games at home, the nation’s longest home winning streak. The victory must have left something to be desired for voters in the AP poll, who bumped Oklahoma to #2, while LSU cruised up one spot to #1 thanks to their victory over West Virginia.
#2 Louisiana State 47, #16 West Virginia 21
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith had a record day, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an efficient LSU offense that didn’t have huge numbers, but put points on the board when it mattered. Smith finished 38-65 for 463 yards and two touchdowns, all school records. The Tigers dominated the first half, leading 27-7, but the Mountaineers rallied in the third quarter to pull within 27-21 before LSU return specialist Morris Claiborne returned the ensuing kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown, ensuring the Tigers’ double-digit win. West Virginia turned the ball over four times, leading to 14 LSU points.
#3 Alabama 38, #14 Arkansas 14
Last year, Alabama trailed 20-7 with 16 minutes left before closing the game with 17 unanswered points for the win. This year, no such drama was needed as Alabama never trailed and held the Razorbacks’ offense just 226 total yards, less than half of what they had been averaging coming in. Running back Trent Richardson carried the load for the Crimson Tide with 211 all-purpose yards and a receiving touchdown. This was Alabama’s 20th straight win in a conference opener, the longest such streak in the nation.
#4 Boise State 41, Tulsa 21
Boise quarterback Kellen Moore continued his hot start to the season, throwing four touchdowns in the win, the Broncos’ 33rd straight regular season home victory. Tulsa quarterback G.J. Kinne, who suffered a knee injury last week, did play, but was ineffective, throwing for just 123 yards and four interceptions. Tulsa now drops to 1-3 but, to be fair, those losses were to Oklahoma, Boise State and Oklahoma State — all top 10 teams.
#5 Stanford BYE
The Cardinal will host UCLA next Saturday.
#6 Wisconsin 59, South Dakota 10
Badgers quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns as Wisconsin rolled over their FCS opponent. Wisconsin racked up 612 yards of offense, while holding the Coyotes to just 173. Wilson
#7 Oklahoma State 30, #8 Texas A&M 29
Rallying from a 20-3 halftime deficit, the Cowboys scored 27 unanswered points to open the second half and then held off a late A&M rally for the win. OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden continued his re-write of the Cowboys’ record books, going 47-60 for 438 yards (all school records) and two touchdowns. Three different Cowboy receivers had 10 or more catches for 90-plus yards. Texas A&M dominated the first half, scoring on all but one of its drives. The momentum changed, though, when the Aggies turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions in the third quarter, resulting in 10 quick points in the OSU comeback.
#9 Nebraska 38, Wyoming 14
Nebraska’s running game continued its strong start, but this time it wasn’t big play quarterback Taylor Martinez carrying the load. Junior running back Rex Burkhead rushed for a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns as the Huskers’ won in their final tune-up before their first-ever Big Ten game next week at Wisconsin. The Nebraska defense was without All-American defensive tackle Jared Crick, but they proved to be up to the task without him, holding a Cowboys’ offense that came in averaging 492 yards per game to just 306.
#10 Oregon 56 , Arizona 31
Oregon running back LaMichael James rushed for a school-record 288 yards and two touchdowns as the Ducks had no problems with a struggling Arizona defense. Arizona quarterback Nick Foles threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns, but his defense had no answer for the Ducks. Oregon rolled up 300 total yards before halftime. Arizona has lost eight straight games to FBS teams (six of them ranked), losing this season’s games by an average score of 43-18.
#21 Clemson 35, #11 Florida State 30
Led by quarterback Tajh Boyd’s 344 yards and three touchdowns, the Tigers knocked off a ranked opponent for the second straight week, giving them their first 4-0 start in four years. Florida State freshman quarterback Clint Trickett, playing for the injured E.J. Manuel, kept the ‘Noles in the game, throwing for 336 yards and three touchdowns. Clemson held Florida State to just 29 rushing yards and the Seminoles doomed themselves with 11 penalties for 124 yards. Florida State has now lost five straight games at Clemson.
#12 South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 3
South Carolina’s offensive stars didn’t exactly shine this week, but they didn’t have to as the defense forced three turnovers and held the Commodores to just 77 total yards and five first downs. Gamecocks quarterback Stephen Garcia threw four interceptions in the win, while star running back Marcus Lattimore, who came in averaging over 180 yards per game, was held to just 77 yards on 20 carries.
#13 Virginia Tech 30, Marshall 10
The Hokies’ defense continued its strong play, holding Marshall to just six rushing yards and 251 total yards. On offense, Virginia Tech’s junior running back David Wilson rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in the win. Overall, the Hokies’ offense continued its struggles with two late turnovers and never seemed to really be in sync. Marshall hasn’t beaten a top 25 team since 2003. With the win, Hokies’ coach Frank Beamer moved past former Georgia coach Vince Dooley into ninth place on the all-time wins list with 202 victories.
#15 Florida 48, Kentucky 10
Florida quarterback John Brantley threw for just 115 yards, but that was more than enough as the Gators rolled up 405 rushing yards on a helpless Wildcat defense. Running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey combined for 262 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Kentucky’s offense doomed any chance they might have had with four turnovers.
#17 Baylor 56, Rice 31
Another week, another monster game for Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. The Bears’ signal-caller threw for 332 yards and five touchdowns as Baylor rolled up 655 yards of offense against Rice’s 109th-ranked defense. However, this game might serve as a red flag for Baylor’s defense, as the Owls, who came in averaging 288 yards per game, rolled up 416 yards in total offense.
#18 South Florida 52, Texas-El Paso 24
South Florida’s potent offense continued to roll, putting up 575 yards in the win. Quarterback B.J. Daniels threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another 130 rushing yards and a touchdown.
#19 Texas BYE
The Longhorns open Big 12 conference play next week at Iowa State.
#20 Texas Christian 55, Portland State 13
Portland State actually led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. But TCU scored three touchdowns in a 1:18 span just before halftime and never let up in the second half. This was the Horned Frogs’ 22nd straight win, the third longest streak in the nation.
#22 Michigan 28, San Diego State 7
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns as Brady Hoke’s current team had no problems with his former team. The Wolverines’ defense held Aztecs running back Ronnie Hillman, the nation’s second-leading rusher coming into the game, to 109 yards and no scores. With his 200-yard effort, Robinson moved into second place on the Big Ten’s all-time quarterback rushing list.
Arizona State 43, #23 Southern Cal 22
The Sun Devils forced four USC turnovers and used a career rushing day from running back Cameron Marshall to end an 11-game losing streak to the Trojans. Marshall, who was questionable after suffering a sprained ankle in last week’s loss to Illinois, returned to carry the ball 25 times for 141 yards and three touchdowns.
#24 Illinois 23, Western Michigan 20
Illinois needed a fourth quarter field goal and some timely defense down the stretch to hold off a strong upset bid by Western Michigan. The Broncos threw for 306 yards, but could manage just 35 on the ground. They are now 0-21 all-time against top 25 teams. This is Illinois’ first 4-0 start since their national championship season in 1951.
#25 Georgia Tech 35, North Carolina 28
North Carolina overcame a 14-point deficit to tie the game in the fourth quarter, but was unable to maintain the momentum, giving up Georgia Tech’s game-winning touchdown with 5:20 go. The Yellow Jackets’ potent triple-option offense had another strong day, rolling up 496 yards in the win. This is the first time they have started 4-0 since 1990, when they won a split national championship.
Other games of note:
- We have our first replay controversy of the year, as an incorrect call on an extra point may have cost Toledo an upset win over Syracuse. With 2:07 left, a Syracuse extra pointwas ruled good on the field and was upheld by the review official. But after the game, the Big East Conference announced, “We have concluded that the ruling on the field that the kick passed between the uprights was incorrect, and that the replay official made an error in failing to reverse that ruling.” With the extra point on the board, the game went into overtime and Syracuse eventually won, 33-30.
- Speaking of replay, Kansas State held on to a road win over Miami when replay officials overturned a fourth down run by ‘Canes quarterback Jacory Harris. The play was ruled a touchdown on the field, but replay clearly showed Harris’ knee on the ground before he reached the ball across the goal line.
- North Dakota State upset Minnesota 38-24. This is the second year in a row the Golden Gophers have lost to an FCS team.
- Temple got its first-ever win against an ACC school in its 13th try, courtesy of a 38-7 drubbing of Maryland.
- Ohio State freshman quarterback Braxton Miller didn’t have a great day (5-13 for 83 yards), but he did throw two touchdowns en route to winning his first career start, 37-17, over Colorado.