Penn State Avoids Upset on Scary Saturday for Ranked Teams — College Football Week 4 Recap
Near upsets were the order of the day in college football on Saturday. Here’s a recap of the week’s most interesting games:
Penn State Escaped an Upset at Iowa
Saquon Barkley rolled up a school-record 358 all-purpose yards, and Trace McSorley threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Johnson on the game’s final play as No. 4 Penn State narrowly avoided being upset by unranked Iowa, 21-19.
Akrum Wadley scored two touchdowns for the Hawkeyes, including a 35-yard run with under two minutes to play, but Iowa’s defense allowed the Nittany Lions to march down the field and win in dramatic fashion.
Penn State (4-0, 1-0) remained undefeated, but they could fall in the rankings after the near-upset by the Hawkeyes (3-1, 0-1). Then again, the Nittany Lions weren’t the only team in the top 10 to get a scare on Saturday.
Lots of Top 10 Teams Nearly Lost
The upset watch was on in stadiums across the country on Saturday, as some of the nation’s highest-ranked teams nearly lost games against lesser, unranked teams. Other than top-ranked Alabama, which crushed Vanderbilt, 59-0, the rest of the top five -- Clemson, Oklahoma, Penn State and USC -- were at risk deep into the second half of their games.
Second-ranked Clemson (4-0, 2-0) beat Boston College, 34-7, though the teams were tied 7-7 entering the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored four touchdowns in the final 12 minutes to ground the Eagles (1-3, 0-2). Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant had an awful game, throwing for no touchdowns with two interceptions. He’ll need to be better at Virginia Tech this coming week.
Third-ranked Oklahoma struggled to beat Baylor, 49-41, as the Sooners defense allowed 523 yards of offense, including touchdown passes of 71 and 72 yards. Baker Mayfield completed 13 of 19 passes for 283 yards and three scores for Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0), which won its 14th consecutive game. The Bears (0-4, 0-1) remained winless.
Locked in a 13-13 tie in the fourth quarter, fifth-ranked USC overwhelmed Cal, 30-20, with a big late surge. Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold continued to underachieve in lackluster wins. He had 223 yards passing with two touchdowns and an interception for USC (4-0, 1-0). Counterpart Ross Bowers threw for 303 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions for the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1). The Trojans face a real test against No. 18 Washington State this week.
Additionally, No. 7 Washington and No. 8 Michigan each had struggles in the first halves of their games against Colorado and Purdue, respectively. Both sorted things out for the second half. No. 10 Ohio State cruised past UNLV, 54-21.
Mason Rudolph & Oklahoma State DID Lose
Darius Anderson ran for 160 yards and three touchdowns and No. 16 TCU knocked off No. 6 Oklahoma State, 44-31, in Stillwater, Okla. on Saturday. Kenny Hill threw for 228 yards for the Horned Frogs (4-0, 1-0), which now have a chance to win the Big 12 title.
TCU controlled the clock, holding the ball for 39 minutes and keeping Cowboys quarterback Mason Rudolph and his high-powered offense on the sidelines. He completed just 22 of 41 passes for 398 yards with two touchdowns, two costly interceptions and a fumble. His Heisman campaign was likely damaged by the loss.
Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1) likely has to be perfect the rest of the season to stay in competition for the Big 12 and national titles.
Georgia Marched Into the Top 10
Nick Chubb ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns and No. 11 Georgia routed No. 17 Mississippi State, 31-3, at home on Saturday night. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm threw for 201 yards and two scores for the Bulldogs, who moved into the top 10 of the AP poll with the convincing win.
The victory gave Georgia (4-0, 1-0) an advantage in the SEC East race, while Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs need to regroup and figure out how they could be so bad a week after crushing LSU. Mississippi State had just 130 total yards in the loss.
It’s Official: Florida State Was Overrated
Ryan Finley threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns and North Carolina State shocked No. 12 Florida State, 27-21, in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday. Jaylen Samuels added two touchdowns, as the unranked Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0) won its first road game over a ranked team since 2008, when they beat rival North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
True freshman James Blackman threw for 278 yards for the Seminoles (0-2, 0-1), who looked very rusty after a 21-day layoff due to Hurricane Irma. Florida State may rebound into the ACC title picture, but for now they seem incredibly overrated heading into this season. Both their offense and defense were subpar on Saturday