Winners and Losers: Week 4's rash of upsets show us how wild college football can be

Yahoo Sports

Week 4 was the perfect example of how things can change in what feels like an instant on a college football Saturday.

The early slate was almost entirely uneventful (except for you, Purdue). The middle of the day felt that way too until it became apparent that Old Dominion — Old Dominion! — was giving No. 13 Virginia Tech all it could handle.

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And when the Monarchs, who entered Saturday 0-3 with losses to Liberty, Florida International and Charlotte, pulled ahead midway through the fourth and pulled off the 49-35 upset, the day devolved into a complete chaos.

Virginia Tech, which we thought was the class of the ACC Coastal, was the first domino. No. 17 TCU, which we thought might be the top Big 12 challenger to Oklahoma, lost 31-16 to Texas. Then No. 14 Mississippi State, which we thought could make some serious noise in the SEC West, lost 28-7 to Kentucky. After that, No. 15 Oklahoma State, fresh off an impressive win over Boise State, lost 41-17 to Texas Tech.

And they all lost to unranked opponents.

Oh, and then there was No. 5 Oklahoma. In a game that you had to pay $54.99 to watch thanks to the wonders that are the Big 12’s television contracts, the Sooners were taken to the brink by Army, a team whose option, ball-control offense gave OU — who prevailed 28-21 in overtime — fits all afternoon. Army had the ball for nearly 45 minutes.

The nightcaps brought the heat, too. No. 18 Wisconsin, formerly thought to be a serious playoff candidate, scored twice in a 35-second span in the final minute to avoid a second straight upset, this time on the road against Iowa.

Meanwhile, No. 7 Stanford improbably rallied from a 24-7 halftime deficit and scored 10 points in the final 3:10 to beat No. 20 Oregon in overtime in Eugene.

We wondered if Week 4 was going to be a snoozer with just two matchups between ranked teams. Instead, it was just another reminder of how crazy things can get.

Now on to Week 4’s winners and losers:


Cincinnati: The Bearcats are 4-0 after a win over Ohio. Beating a MAC team may not seem like much, but consider that Cincy was 4-8 in 2017 and returned just 12 starters from last year’s team. One more win over the final eight games is considered an improvement.

Mike Warren rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns while Rashad Medaris had three catches for 104 yards and a score. Warren’s touchdown with 3:24 left put the Bearcats up 34-30 and a pick by James Wiggins as Ohio faced third and goal saved the game.

SMU: You have to love the aggressiveness Sonny Dykes showed in overtime. Navy scored first and went up seven. SMU scored a touchdown on its possession and decided to go for two. The conversion was successful.

It’s just the second win of the season for SMU. But given that it comes over a good Navy team, maybe the Mustangs have a chance to hang around in the AAC.

Bryce Perkins: If you’re playing Yahoo’s college fantasy football we’ve been telling you to add this guy. He’s been one of the best quarterbacks through the first few weeks of the season and continued the trend this weekend. He threw for two scores and ran for one and had this fun hurdle in Virginia’s 27-3 win over Louisville.

Ian Book: The Notre Dame QB got his first start of the season ahead of Brandon Wimbush. It worked out alright. The Fighting Irish beat Wake Forest easily on Saturday 56-27. Book finished 25-of-34 passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 10 carries for 43 yards and three rushing touchdowns. What he adds through the air should be enough for Notre Dame to keep him as the team’s starter for a big showdown against Stanford next week. The winner of that game will start getting some serious early College Football Playoff love.

Buffalo: The Bulls are on a roll. Yeah, it’s Rutgers, but Buffalo all but ensured Rutgers would go 1-11 this season with a 42-13 win on Saturday to move to 4-0. QB Tyree Jackson was 14-of-28 passing for 263 yards and three touchdowns as Buffalo had a 35-6 lead at halftime. Will Rutgers beat a Big Ten opponent this season? Well, if the Scarlet Knights are getting blown out by the Bulls and Kansas, it’s not looking good.

JT Daniels: USC’s freshman QB bounced back from rough outings at Texas and Stanford with a good effort against Washington State on Friday night. Daniels was 17-of-26 passing for 241 yards and three scores as USC held on to beat Washington State 39-36. The Trojans aren’t world-beaters in 2018, but with Daniels at QB they should be contenders in 2019 and especially 2020. He made a few ridiculous throws like this one.

DK Metcalf: Metcalf had five catches for 102 yards in Ole Miss’ 38-17 win over Kent State. His one-handed TD catch was the best of them.

Bonus winner:

Benny Snell: The Kentucky RB scored four touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 28-7 win over No. 14 Mississippi State. And then he tweeted this.

College football is the best.


Colorado State: Oh Rams, not like this. Colorado State beat Arkansas in Week 3 after losing to Hawaii and Colorado. The Rams then lost in Week 4 to Florida and lost Saturday to FCS Illinois State. And it wasn’t even close either. Illinois State took a 14-6 lead at halftime and extended it through the second half for a 35-19 win.

Pitt: North Carolina scored 31 points over the second and third quarters to win 38-35 on Saturday. The Tar Heels are now 1-2 on the season and 4-11 since the start of the 2017 season. Two of those four wins have come against the Panthers while the other two are against Old Dominion and Western Carolina. Yeah, ODU beat Virginia Tech on Saturday, but that’s not an illustrious list.

Kent State: The Golden Flashes had first and goal against Ole Miss. And ended up punting. The drive happened in the second quarter when Kent State got all the way to the Ole Miss 8. A five-yard loss happened on first down and an illegal forward pass penalty pushed Kent State back to the 29 on second down. Third down was a sack and that pushed the Flashes back to the 35. Instead of trying the long field goal Kent State punted out of a field-goal formation for 27 yards and Ole Miss got the ball back at the 8 … where Kent State had it just three plays before.

Kansas State: Kansas State failed to convert a fourth-and-short during its blowout loss to West Virginia leading to this quote from Bill Snyder.

Snyder’s team was outmatched in every facet on Saturday as West Virginia won 35-6. Will Grier was 25-of-35 for 356 yards passing and five touchdowns as the Mountaineers moved to 3-0. Kansas State is 2-2 and will need to go 4-4 over the final eight games of Big 12 play to make a bowl game. After showings against Mississippi State and West Virginia, that doesn’t seem like an easy task.

Louisville: The step back in the post-Lamar Jackson era is real. The Cardinal offense has struggled mightily in 2018 as Jawon Pass has completed just 50 percent of his passes for 341 yards and thrown two touchdowns and four interceptions. Wide receivers Jaylen Smith, Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick have just 17 catches combined and neither has more than 100 yards receiving through the first four games.

Tennessee: The Vols got blown out 47-21 by Florida on Saturday night. The first-half drive chart went like this: fumble, interception, turnover on downs, field goal, safety, touchback, fumble, halftime. Yeah, it was that bad. The rebuilding project Jeremy Pruitt has ahead of him in Knoxville is a lot larger than some people expected.

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