Every time we think that we have a dull week of college football action on tap, we get surprised by a lot of upsets, great games and close calls. It always happens.
Although the slate looked pretty bland for Week 4 of the 2017 season, there were plenty of fantastic finishes on another great day of college pigskin.
Biggest Win of Week 4 – TCU 44, Oklahoma State 31
The Horned Frogs are good, very good. Oklahoma State was the talk of the Big 12 after dominating Pittsburgh, but TCU came into Stillwater and took care of business. Kenny Hill was efficient with the ball, and Darius Anderson churned out over six yards per carry on the ground to lead TCU to a double-digit win. This was a game to determine who was the second-best team in the conference behind Oklahoma, and TCU’s win helped it get respect nationally and move up in the rankings.
What a disappointing loss for Oklahoma State. Mason Rudolph’s Heisman hopes likely went up in flames, as he threw two costly interceptions and barely completed more than 50 percent of his passes. This is still a big-play offense that can take down any other team in the Big 12 when they are clicking, though.
Biggest Upset of Week 4 – North Carolina State 27, Florida State 21
There was no business for NC State to be a double-digit underdog in this game in the first place. The Wolfpack were undervalued after a fluky loss to South Carolina in their season opener in which they dominated the stat sheet. NC State’s vaunted defensive line hounded freshman quarterback James Blackman the entire game, and the Seminoles couldn’t get anything going on the ground. The NC State offense was very efficient against one of the best defenses in the country, and the Wolfpack re-established themselves as a dark horse candidate to win the ACC Atlantic.
For Florida State, the loss really puts it behind the eight ball. The Seminoles can kiss any national title aspirations goodbye, and it seems likely that this ends up being a four or five-loss team with games against Clemson, Louisville, Miami and Florida left on the docket.
Closest Call of Week 4 – Penn State 21, Iowa 19
Trace McSorley will go down in Nittany Lions lore for keeping Penn State undefeated on a night when he wasn’t at his best. He threw an off-balance touchdown pass on fourth and goal to beat Iowa as time expired and showed why he is the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Saquon Barkley was the star of the game, though, with 40 touches for 305 yards. Penn State now has a month to get ready for Ohio State and Michigan, who it plays in back-to-back weeks at the end of October.
Best Second Half Comeback of Week 4 – Michigan 28, Purdue 10
The Boilermakers were up on the Wolverines at halftime, and it felt like they could pull off the upset. Michigan starting quarterback Wilton Speight was out with an injury, and the offense had trouble moving the ball without him.
A complete team effort in the second half saved Michigan’s bacon. The defense did not allow Jeff Brohm’s offense to get on track at all after halftime, while the offense put together three long drives and found the end zone at the end of each one under backup John O’Korn. A loss would have been devastating to Michigan, but the win keeps the Wolverines in good shape.
Biggest Letdown of Week 4 – Georgia 31, Mississippi State 3
This one was never close. A week after Mississippi State thrashed LSU, the Bulldogs couldn’t get on track in Athens. Nick Fitzgerald was awful, completing less than half of his passes and throwing two interceptions in the second half, both of which led to Georgia points. This one was over pretty quickly as Georgia scored on a flea flicker on its first play from scrimmage and then gashed Mississippi State on the second series. Quarterback Jake Fromm only had to throw the ball 12 times and was very efficient in the victory.