The Rundown: Week 4 Star Performances, Weird Moments and a New Top 10

Week 4 saw several really fun matchups, which introduced a new team to our Top 10. Plus, a look a some impressive individual performances and cool (and bizarre) moments from throughout the weekend.
By Ross Dellenger ,

Another fun weekend of college football has come to an end and we have a new team included this week's Top 10 for The Rundown. Plus, a look at some impressive performances, baffling moments, the best quotes of the weekend and one really awkward moment. 

Top 10… Teams

1. Clemson

Last week: 1
Last game: Beat Charlotte 52–10
Next game: Saturday at North Carolina

The trip to Chapel Hill next week got a whole lot less dramatic after the Tar Heels lost to Appalachian State (on a blocked field goal attempt) and Wake Forest in back-to-back weeks.

2. Alabama

Last week: 2
Last game: Beat Southern Miss 49–7
Next game: Saturday vs. Ole Miss

Five touchdown passes for QB Tua Tagovailoa. He’s now got 17 on the season. Seventeen.

3. LSU

Last week: 5
Last game: Beat Vanderbilt 66–38
Next game: Oct. 5 against Utah State

QB Joe Burrow and his freakish receivers continue to tear into defenses. This time, it was poor Vanderbilt that felt the wrath of the Tigers’ overhauled spread offense. LSU had 599 yards.

4. Georgia

Last week: 3
Last game: Beat Notre Dame 23–17
Next game: Oct. 5 at Tennessee

The Bulldogs look like a CFP contender. They’ve got the defense, they’ve got the quarterback, they’ve got the running back. They took down Notre Dame with a furious second half.

5. Oklahoma

Last week: 4
Last game: Beat UCLA 48–14 (in Week 3)
Next game: Saturday vs. Texas Tech

Jalen Hurts did not post video game-type numbers this Saturday. It’s because the Sooners didn’t play.

6. Ohio State

Last week: 6
Last game: Beat Miami (Ohio) 76–3
Next game: Saturday at Nebraska

The Buckeyes have won their first four games by a combined score of 214–36.

7. Wisconsin

Last week: 8
Last game: Beat Michigan 35–14
Next game: Saturday vs. Northwestern

There is a reason we dropped Michigan from our Top 10 after Week 2. The Badgers made quick work out of the Wolverines, jumping to a 28–0 halftime lead. 

8. Auburn

Last week: 9
Last game: Beat Texas A&M 28–20
Next game: Saturday vs. Mississippi State

The Tigers are making strides with their freshman quarterback Bo Nix. Their win over Texas A&M was an impressive road beating. They led 28–10 at one point. The Auburn defense is strong.

9. Texas

Last week: NR
Last game: Beat Oklahoma State 36–30
Next game: Oct. 5 at West Virginia

Yes, the Longhorns lost at home earlier this year, but that defeat came to our No. 3 ranked team. Texas is back… in the top 10. The Red River will be a thing this year, y’all.

10. Florida

Last week: 10
Last game: Beat Tennessee 34–3
Next game: Saturday vs. Towson

The Gators should be undefeated heading into a two-week stretch that’ll make or break their season—vs. Auburn on Oct. 5 and at LSU on Oct. 12.

Top 9… These Guys Are Good

1. Anthony Gordon, Washington State QB

The wild and wacky Pac-12 brought us a late-night gift on Saturday: UCLA’s 67–63 win over Washington State. Gordon was the star—in a losing effort. He passed for 570 yards on 41-of-61 and nine—NINE—touchdown passes. Imagine throwing nine TD passes and losing a game?

2. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin RB

The Wisconsin running back is doing his best to surpass some of the nation’s best quarterbacks in the Heisman Trophy race. He had 203 yards on 23 carries and scored twice. He had 143 of those yards in the first 13 minutes of the beatdown over Michigan.

3. Joe Burrow, LSU QB

By the end of the first quarter at Vanderbilt, Burrow had thrown for more than 140 yards and three touchdowns. He finished with 398 and a school-record six TDs. If you don’t think he’s a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate, you’ve been drinking too much. 

4. Brock Purdy, Iowa State QB

Purdy completed 21 passes for 435 yards. That is 20.7 yards a completion. That is good, very good. The Cyclones got back on track after the loss to Iowa, running through UL-Monroe 72–20.

5. Chase Garbers, Cal QB

A road game at an SEC team? Garbers had no troubles: 357 yards and four touchdowns. The Bears haven’t been known for their offense lately, but here we are…

6. Cam Akers, Florida State RB

The Seminoles will struggle to get to a bowl game, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an electric player. Akers had a third 100-yard rushing outing in four games, finishing with 112 yards on a whopping 29 carries in a win over Louisville. He had 36 carries a few weeks ago against UL-Monroe. Talk about a workhorse.

7. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama WR

The Alabama receiver averaged 37 yards on his four catches in Alabama’s drubbing of Southern Miss. He scored two touchdowns. Nick Saban used to make elite defensive lineman in his little factory in Tuscaloosa. Now he’s churning out elite receivers. 

8.Jacob Eason, Washington QB

The Huskies bounced back from their loss to Cal, as Eason led the victory at BYU. He had four incompletions and three touchdown passes. Not a bad afternoon, aye?

9. Jamie Newman, Wake Forest QB

OK, so he played against Elon, but still… Check out Newman’s line: 27-for-35, 351, 5 TDs, 1 INT.

Top 8… Cool Things

1.Pitt Special

The Panthers beat UCF, 35–34, with this beautiful thing that coach Pat Narduzzi called the “Pitt Special.”

2. D’ Badgers

Michigan’s second-quarter touchdown against Wisconsin was the first score the Badgers’ defense allowed in 44 drives dating back to the bowl win over Miami. In those 44 drives, opponents punted 24 times and turned it over 12 times, including twice on downs. Opponents gained zero yards or lost yards on 13 of those drives 

3.LSU’s new spread offense is cool and it is good

How good? The Tigers’ 66–38 win Saturday included plenty of noteworthy marks: 1. Burrow had more passing yards in a first half than anyone against an SEC team in 15 years; 2. It was LSU’s fourth straight game scoring at least 40 points, the third time the program has done that since 1936; 3. LSU scored its most points in a regular-season game since 1991; 4. LSU’s 224 points on the year is the most by an SEC team over the last 20 seasons through the first four games.

4.Minshew’s return

Former Washington State quarterback-turned-NFL sensation Gardner Minshew returned to campus Saturday and oh, it was glorious (check the jean shorts).

5. Appalachian beat a Power 5 school by blocking a kick

The Mountaineers road into Chapel Hill, blocked a game-tying field goal to beat Mack Brown and North Carolina, 34–31. If that sounds familiar

6. What a return

Otis Anderson can move. The UCF junior had one of Saturday’s highlights, returning a punt 87 yards while breaking about three tackles. It was part of UCF’s 31 unanswered points again Pitt (but they still lost).

8. Where’s the beef?

In Wisconsin, where the Badgers played as many as eight offensive linemen in a beatdown of Michigan. It was quite the sight

Top 7… Doh!

1. A punchy celebration

Rutgers center Mike Maietti got so excited about the Scarlet Knights’ touchdown against Boston College in the first half that he landed a right hook on the facemask of his quarterback. By the way, Rutgers lost, 30–16.

2. Animal escape

The tweet of the day goes to the Arizona athletics department. We’ll let them take it away…

3. Harbaugh’ed

Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh to win the big games. Let’s check in on how that’s going…

4. That’s a tough one, Rebels

There are bad ways to lose and then there is the way Ole Miss lost to Cal on Saturday. The Rebels, down eight in the final seconds, appeared to score a touchdown on a completion. Officials, from the Pac-12, ruled the receiver down just short of the goal line. With no timeouts and time under 10 seconds, Ole Miss tried a quarterback sneak. It didn’t get it and the game was over. Rebels athletic director Keith Carter was not happy.

5. Hello? Hello?

Tennessee dropped to 1–3 after a 34–3 loss at Florida on Saturday. The Vols are struggling in lots of ways, and at least one of their players had phone problems in Gainesville.

6.Blowing it

Washington State blew a 32-point lead late in the third quarter. The Cougars led 49–17 with four minutes left in the third before coach Chip Kelly and UCLA concocted some kind of black magic, storming back with a 50-point second half.

7. UCF’s streak ended

The Golden Knights had won 27 straight regular season games before Saturday’s loss at Pitt. UCF was down 21–0, scored 31 unanswered and then lost it late by allowing a 12-play, 79-yard drive that was capped by the Pitt Special (see our Top 8). 

Top 6… Games We’re Looking Forward to Next Weekend

1. Arizona State at Cal

Who knew this game would include the only remaining undefeated Pac-12 team, the Bears. The best part? This is a Friday game, and it kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET. It’s an all-nighter, baby. #Pac12AfterDark

2. Virginia at Notre Dame

The Cavaliers take their undefeated record to South Bend, where Notre Dame must bounce back after a loss to Georgia.

3. USC at Washington

The Trojans are on Cloud 9 after beating Pac-12 favorite Utah on Friday. They get the Huskies in the first of a two-game hellish road trip (Notre Dame is next).

4. Penn State at Maryland

Friday night football! College Park hosts a big one. Terps officials are even bringing in extra bleachers because of ticket demand.

5. Ohio State at Nebraska

The Buckeyes face their stiffest test of the season against Big Red. Wait, what? Yep. Ohio State’s schedule so far has much to be desired.

6. Texas Tech at Oklahoma

It’s really just gotten to the point where any game involving OU is a must-watch because of Jalen Hurts’s insane statistics.

Top 5… Quotes

1. ‘He’s not very good’

Cal linebacker Evan Weaver did not hold back on his comments about Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral after the Bears’ win. Wooo boy.

2.When quotes come true

Remember Miami (Ohio) coach Chuck Martin’s quote earlier this week ahead of the game at Ohio State? We’ll remind you. “It’s kind of like going to recess and they have the first 85 picks.” Final score: Ohio State 76, Miami (Ohio) 5.

3. Took ’em lightly

West Virginia beat Kansas, 29–24. Afterward, Jayhawks coach Les Miles had this to say about the Mountaineers: “I have to be honest with you, I didn’t expect them to be that good.”

4. Chip has jokes

After UCLA stormed back for the victory over Washington State, a game that ended around 2:30 a.m. ET, UCLA coach Chip Kelly offered this: "It’s a Pac-12 After Dark Saturday night win.” Yes, yes it was.

5. Shawwhat

Stanford is mired in a three-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 111–53. Cardinal coach David Shaw after the latest defeat, to Oregon at home: “Three weeks in a row, we've been evenly matched but made a few errors verse really good teams.”

Top 4… Wait, They’re 4–0?

1. Cal

Holy smokes! The Bears have road wins at Washington and Ole Miss. Coach Justin Wilcox, in his third year, will be getting paid handsomely after this year (either by Cal or another program). His buyout is just $2.5 million. 

2. Wake Forest

The opponents haven’t been the toughest (best win is over a 2–2 North Carolina team), but the Demon Deacons are playing solid ball heading into a game next week at Boston College.

3. SMU

The Mustangs got their first win over TCU since 2011, pounding it 41–38. For the first time since 1984, SMU is 4–0. Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele lit it up for 288 yards, two touchdowns and 30 yards on the ground. 

4. Virginia

The Cavaliers had some trouble early with Old Dominion (they were down 17–0), but they rallied to win. Next up: at Notre Dame.

Top 3… Backup QBs-Turned-Starters

1. Trask-tastic

Florida’s new starting quarterback, Kyle Trask, had a dandy afternoon. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns in his first college starting nod in replacing the injured Feleipe Franks. It helped that he was throwing against Tennessee’s defense.

2. Fink-credible

JT Daniels started the season as USC’s quarterback. He got hurt in Game 1. Kedon Slovis, a freshman, started Game 4 as USC’s quarterback. He got hurt in Series 1. Oh, don’t worry, they’ve got another. Junior Matt Fink passed for 351 yards and three scores to lead the Trojans past Utah on Friday night.

3. Shrader-iffic

Mississippi State freshman QB Garrett Shrader, noted helicopter specialist, ran for 125 yards and threw for 180 in a 28–13 win over Kentucky.

Top 2… Drinks on Our Visit to Atlanta

1. The monks’ beer

Who knew Belgian monks could make such a fine alcoholic product? The St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a dark abbey beer that will rock your world. You can find such products at Whitehall Tavern in north Atlanta.

2. Old fashioned at Supply & Demand

If you’ve been reading the Rundown this year, you know that we enjoy speakeasys, and thanks to USA Today’s Dan Wolken, we now know there’s a great one in Buckhead. Supply & Demand makes a mean old fashioned and a nasty good Manhattan. 

Top 1… Awkward Moments

1. Urban in The Coliseum

Everyone is assuming the next coach at USC will be Urban Meyer. Well, that same Urban Meyer served as an on-field Fox analyst at The Coliseum during USC’s win over Utah on Friday. He made things more awkward by saying live on air during the pregame show, "There are very few places in America where you're expected to win every game you play. This is one of those places. You have the high school recruiting and all the resources. I know Clay Helton as a person and as a coach. This is a huge game for USC tonight."

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