Christmas is coming early to college football. Week 4’s results have set up a gargantuan next weekend featuring two games between teams I have ranked in my Top 10 this week (Louisville-Clemson and Wisconsin-Michigan) and a third pitting one of my top four, Stanford, against a Washington team that just missed the cut.
QB Josh Dobbs accounted for five touchdowns and led a remarkable second-half surge from a 21-3 deficit to a 38-28 win over 11-year tormentor Florida. Most impressively, the Vols held the Gators to three-and-outs or a turnover on seven of their last eight possessions.
While the Tigers’ offense continues to be surprisingly underwhelming, coordinator Brent Venables’ reloaded defense is dominating again. On Thursday, Clemson held Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense to 124 total yards, the Jackets’ lowest output since 1993.
The Wolverines ran the ball down Penn State’s throat, exploiting a defense down five linebackers by game’s end for 326 yards and six TDs on the ground. It should be strength against strength next week against Wisconsin.
Texas A&M (4-0)
With convincing wins away from home against Auburn and Arkansas, the Aggies are emerging as a serious SEC contender. On Saturday, their defense held Arkansas to 3.0 yards per rushing attempt, while QB Trevor Knight went off for 382 total yards and four TDs.
You can’t say enough good things about the Badgers’ defense, which went on the road and held Michigan State to six points. T.J. Watt and D’Cota Dixon seemingly spent the entire game in the backfield. Now, they have to turn around and do it again at the Big House.
The Cougars handled their business in a 64-3 rout of Texas State. They may begin to fly under the radar a bit with the start of conference play against UConn on Thursday.
Getty ImagesThomas B. Shea
QB Ryan Burns and the Cardinal showed championship mettle with their game-winning 10-play, 70-yard touchdown drive at UCLA. Now they must turn right back around and visit Washington on Friday.
Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
After dismantling Marshall 59-28 (the 59 points being their lowest output so far), the Cardinals head to Clemson for an unusually high-stakes game given it will still only be Oct. 1. Can’t wait.
Ohio State (3-0)
It would be more accurate to say I have Alabama and Ohio State ranked 1A and 1B. They’re both really, really good.
Will the Alabama running back factory ever close its doors? After starter Damien Harris sprained his ankle early (a minor injury, according to Nick Saban afterward), freshman Joshua Jacobs came in and ran 11 times for 97 yards.