Week 4 of college football featured thrilling finishes, usual suspects putting on a show, and a couple of job ending performances. Here are 5 takeaways from Week 4.
1. Florida State’s Dalvin Cook – Remember Him?
When we last saw Florida State, they suffered a humiliating defeat to Louisville in Week 3. Dalvin Cook and Co. couldn’t keep up with Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals’ high-octane offense. Although you cannot compare the University of South Florida to Louisville at all, this had the making of another high scoring affair.
This time, Cook and the Seminoles not only kept up, but surpassed expectations. Cook’s electrifying 75-yard touchdown set the stage for a signature performance for the running back. He finished the game with a career-high 267 rushing yards and 62 yards receiving for 329 total yards, and two touchdowns. Cook put himself back in the Heisman conversation, and showed why we had to remember him as one of the best in the college game today.
2. Let’s Face It, Notre Dame Is Toast
When Notre Dame entered that season ranked in the Top 10, people expected big things from Brian Kelly’s squad. Well, after 4 weeks, let’s just say that those expectation are now toast. They were shocked by Texas in Week 1, dominated by Michigan State in Week 3, and this past weekend, they were beaten by Duke Saturday at home, 38-35. Notre Dame has been underwhelming all year long, especially on the defensive side.
They only have one single sack in four games, they have allowed 33.5 points a game, and have given up 454 yards per game. Due to this ineptitude, defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder was fired on Sunday. They are now sitting with a 1-3 record, and Kelly’s program is reeling.
The exploits of quarterback DeShone Kizer are being wasted, and now with a couple upcoming games against ranked opponents in Stanford and Miami, Notre Dame will have a tough time finishing the season with a .500 or better record.
3. Tennessee Finally Ends The Streak
For the past 11 contests, the story was the same. The University of Tennessee could not beat The University of Florida, and it looked as if history would repeat itself once again after one half of football, as they were down 21-3. In the second half, the Volunteers came shooting out of the gate and scored 38 unanswered points.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs was unstoppable as he threw four touchdowns and ran for another. With the win, the Volunteers now have won 10 straight games dating back to last year, which is the third longest streak in the nation behind Alabama and San Diego State. Now, Tennessee’s wins haven’t all been pretty this year at all, but this one was huge for the program, and may be the shot in the arm needed to contend for the SEC title.
4. Leonard Fournette’s Talent Wasted and The Mad Hatter Pays
This past Saturday, Auburn upset LSU 18-13 in a game that had a wild finish that turned the stomachs of Auburn and LSU fans alike. However, the biggest takeaway from this game is that LSU isn’t doing Leonard Fournette any favors right now.
The preseason favorite by the many for the Heisman, Fournette suffered another injury to his ankle, as the offense sputtered in every way, shape and form. Even an in-game quarterback change could not alleviate those concerns. The simple truth is this – LSU opponents know that Fournette is the only dangerous player on offense, so once he is stopped, that’s that. It also didn’t help that, once again, Les Miles and Cam Cameron could not adapt to any game situation.
Due to this, as well as a host of other game management issues, Miles and Cameron were fired on Sunday. One has to wonder if Fournette will just sit out the remainder of the season to stay healthy and get ready for the pros.
5. Welcome To The Big Time Alex Hornibrook
Leading up to the big game in East Lansing, Wisconsin decided to make a quarterback switch against Michigan State, as freshman Alex Hornibrook replaced senior Bart Houston. What we saw this past Saturday was a brilliant move. Hornibrook made an immediate impact for the Badgers on Saturday.
Now, when one sees Hornibrook’s numbers for the game, one would think they were pedestrian, and they were, as he was 16-of-26 for 195 yards with one touchdown and one interception. However, he made all the difference in the world by converting key third downs and providing the Badgers with a vertical passing game that had been missing with Houston underneath center.
He displayed accuracy and poise in the pocket, he kept Michigan State’s defense honest all game, and in the end, led Wisconsin to a resounding 30-6 win. The Badgers are doing things this year they haven’t done for decades, too, beating multiple teams that were ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since 1962.