- For the most part of the day, Week 4 wasn't high on drama, but some of Saturday's blowouts were more revealing than others.
Saturday’s slate of games was mostly devoid of any compelling storylines going into the day, but as the afternoon and night wore on, the blowouts that took place started to clear the air of who might be a contender and who needs to hurry up and turn the page to next season.
Here are some of the uneven scores that turned heads or otherwise taught us something in Week 4.
Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State
What happened: The Red Raiders sprinted out of Stillwater with 27 unanswered points, limiting Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense to 81 yards in the second half to snap a nine-game losing streak against the Cowboys with a 41–17 win.
What we learned: Week 1 is notorious for the overreactions it prompts, but there’s one that hasn’t been revisited enough yet: Maybe Kliff Kingsbury and Texas Tech are capable of more than treading water near the bottom of the Big 12. The Red Raiders have knocked Houston and Oklahoma State from the ranks of the unbeaten in consecutive weeks, thanks to gaudy stat lines from freshman quarterback Alan Bowman, who is now entrenched as the starter after McLane Carter started against Ole Miss in Week 1. Following an impressive win over Boise State a week ago, the Cowboys were considered bona fide Big 12 title game contenders; now a trap awaits everyone that has to go to Lubbock in the next two months.
Florida vs. Tennessee
What happened: Tennessee felt like giving out gifts like it was Christmas morning, turning the ball over six times in an easy 47–21 Florida win, the Gators’ 13th win in the last 14 meetings of these SEC East rivals.
What we learned: Neither Florida nor Tennessee will be a factor in the SEC race. This game was more of an indictment of what Tennessee is than anything Florida accomplished in it. The Volunteers lost starting quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, who left after an awkward low hit from a Gators rusher. Florida QB Feleipe Franks isn’t going to get let off the hook here, either, and will have his issues going forward if he doesn’t improve on his 55% completion rate.
Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest
What happened: Ian Book got the start and lit up the Demon Deacons for 325 yards and two touchdowns and added three more rushing touchdowns in a 56–27 win. Brandon Wimbush, who started the first three games, never got off the bench despite the blowout.
What we learned: While switching the quarterback before the first month of the season ends can backfire, Notre Dame seems to be making the right move. There is no way to move forward and still have championship dreams with Wimbush if he can't move the team on scoring drives (ones that end in field goals more often than not) more than a few times a game.
Buffalo vs. Rutgers
What happened: Buffalo is 4–0? Yes, and it is doing it with an offense that's averaging 40 points a game. Against Rutgers, the Bulls used Tyree Jackson’s 263 yards and three passing touchdowns to take a 35–6 halftime lead and cruise from there, winning 42–13.
What we learned: Buffalo is a player in the MAC and Rutgers is an absolute dumpster fire. Serious conversations need to be had with Big Ten officials on whether the Scarlet Knights even belong in the conference. They are simply not competitive in any aspect, and you can go ahead and assume they might not win the rest of the year.
Purdue vs. Boston College
What happened: Previously winless Purdue took Boston College to the woodshed in every way imaginable, shutting down the Eagles offense while playing salty defense, picking off four passes and posting four sacks in a 30–13 victory.
What we learned: Boston College was thought to be a contender in the ACC because of its blend of power running led by A.J. Dillon and the improvement of quarterback Anthony Brown. When Dillon isn’t running well and the game is put in the hands of Brown, the results haven’t been good. Brown threw the ball 27 times on Saturday for a grand total of 96 yards.
Virginia vs. Louisville
What happened: Virginia’s defense put the clamps on the Louisville offense, while Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins had 275 total yards and three touchdowns in a 27–3 win.
What we learned: Times are hard when you don’t have a Heisman winner behind center. Neither Malik Cunningham nor Javon Pass were effective at QB against Virginia, and if Bobby Petrino doesn’t get it fixed—and soon—Louisville will be sitting at home come bowl season.
West Virginia vs. Kansas State
What happened: “I can’t coach a team that can’t get six inches,” Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said after losing 35–6, which is all you need to know about what went on in Morgantown.
What we learned: West Virginia is going to be an issue for any Big 12 team going forward. As long as Will Grier cuts down on the mistakes (he threw two inexplicable interceptions on Saturday), there aren’t many defenses that will handle his frequent combination to touchdown machine David Sills V.
Alabama vs. Texas A&M
What happened: Total domination by the team that resides in Tuscaloosa.
What we learned: Not much. Texas A&M will win its share of games because of coach Jimbo Fisher, and with time Kellen Mond will be an excellent quarterback. But Alabama has been clicking on all cylinders all year and the Tide won’t be stopped anytime soon.
Nebraska vs. Michigan
What happened: Nebraska fell to 0–3 for the first time since 1945 after a 56–10 rout at the hands of Michigan.
What we learned: What we already knew before the game kicked off. The Cornhuskers have issues all over the field, starting with a defense that can’t stop anyone and an offense that is seriously lacking playmakers. Scott Frost warned the Nebraska faithful that rough times were ahead and he wasn’t lying.
Minnesota vs. Maryland
What happened: Maryland routed Minnesota 42–13, guided by three Minnesota turnovers and the Terrapins ripping apart the Golden Gopher defense for 315 yards rushing.
What we learned: Not sure. Maryland has been all over the place this season, beating what turns out to be a pretty good Texas team and then losing to Temple last week. Minnesota’s surprising 3–0 start, which came by playing youth all over the field, finally caught up with it and true freshman quarterback Zack Annexstad, who was picked off twice and completed only 14 of his 32 passes.