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Many Top 25 Teams Struggled in Week 4

What in the wide, wide world of sports was going on Saturday in college football? The struggle was real for several teams residing in the Top 25 in Week 4. Top to bottom, ranked teams were slow getting out of the starting blocks and into the endzone, while at the same time allowing their opponents to hang around longer than they should have.

Without further ado, let's get into this rogue’s gallery of sloths (aka Top 25 college football teams) as they took the field on Saturday in week 4.

#4 Florida State 31 – Clemson 24

The Seminoles arrived in the “other” Death Valley, looking to sink their tomahawk into Howard’s Rock like it was Excalibur. Clemson led 24-17 approaching the end of the 3rd quarter. Clemson QB Cade Klubnik took a hard hit and fumbled the ball, which was scooped up by FSU’s Kalen DeLoach and ran 56 yards for the game-tying score. The Seminoles were then able to force overtime and steal a victory from the Tigers.

Florida State looked like they woke up at the crack of noon, ready to seize mediocrity, based on the following:

· Down 17-14 at halftime.

· Scored only 10 points in the 2nd half.

· Held to just 22 yards rushing.

· 4 of 13 on 3rd down conversions.

· Outgained in total yards 429 to 311.

· 16 first downs (Clemson had 25)

· Time of Possession: almost 10 minutes less than Clemson.

#5 USC 42 – Arizona State 28

The Men of Troy invaded the Valley of the Sun on Saturday as 30-point favorites. But when the game clock struck zero, the margin of victory was about half that. At times, the Trojan offense looked mentally and fundamentally unprepared to exorcise the Sun Devils:

· 30% on 3rd down conversions (3 of 10).

· 10 penalties for 85 yards.

· 1 turnover led to an ASU touchdown.

But the usual suspects came through for the Trojans on their march to victory. QB Caleb Williams completed 20/31 passes for 322 yards and accounted for five touchdowns. RB Marshawn Lloyd rushed for 154 yards and WR Brenden Rice caught seven of Williams’ passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. And, the USC defense stepped up when needed, racking up eight sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and forced two turnovers.

This week, Williams will lead the Trojans into what was the center of the college football universe for the first three weeks of the season-Boulder, Colorado to take on the Colorado Buffaloes.

#10 Oregon 42 – #19 Colorado 6

Oregon head coach Dan Lanning gave a pre-game speech to his team that would have made Winston Churchill stand up and cheer. The Ducks then exited the locker room and proceeded to take the field and force the Colorado Buffaloes into a rocky mountain low.

Buffaloes QB Shedeur Sanders was running for his life all day and suffered seven sacks at the hands of the Oregon defense. Sanders was held to 159 yards passing, and Colorado produced a performance that stunk up the joint:

· 199 total yards.

· 13 first downs.

· 40 yards rushing.

· Held scoreless in the 1st half and the 3rd quarter.

· Committed 12 penalties for 106 yards.

Coach Prime Deion Sanders and his Buffaloes are looking to atone for their sins of committing hubris resulting in this woodshed beatdown, led by Ducks QB Bo Nix who accounted for four touchdowns on the day.

Colorado awaits the arrival of reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams and the USC Trojans on Saturday.

#13 Alabama 24 - #15 Ole Miss 10

The Alabama Crimson Tide looked like it had been parted by Moses in the first half against Ole Miss this past Saturday. Coach Nick Saban’s team trailed 7-3 after the first 15 minutes and was losing 7-6 at halftime. One can only imagine the rant that ensued in the locker room that only Saban could articulate.

Whatever it was, it lit a bonfire under the collective rear ends of the Alabama football team. Adjustments were made. The Tide outscored the Rebels 18-3 in the 2nd half on their way to victory. RB Jase McClellan rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown, with over half of those yards gained in the 2nd half. Alabama WR Jalen Hale, a freshman, could be a star in the making (2 catches, 63 yards, 1 TD).

#6 Ohio State 17 - #9 Notre Dame 14

There was no "luck of the Irish" and the gold helmets of Notre Dame lost some of its luster on Saturday night against the Buckeyes of Ohio State. For the second time this season, Ohio State QB Kyle McCord failed to throw a touchdown pass in a game.

The Buckeyes were held to just three points in the first half, on a drive aided by a pass interference call on 2nd down and long, resulting in an automatic first down that kept the drive alive.

On the final drive of the game, Ohio State drove down the field and pushed the ball across the goal line for the winning score. Adding insult to injury, the Fighting Irish had only 10 men on the field for each of the final two defensive plays.

#12 LSU 34 – Arkansas 31: Tigers Fall in the Top 25 Poll

The Razorbacks always play the Tigers tough, and last Saturday night in Death Valley was no exception. LSU came out flat to start the game and was down 3-0 in the first quarter before you could say "Woo pig Sooie". QB Jayden Daniels missed on two deep throws that would have been touchdowns, as LSU went into the locker room down 13-10.

In the second half, it became the back-and-forth affair that the fans are accustomed to, with LSU outscoring Arkansas 14-3 in the 3rd quarter. Arkansas outscored LSU 15-10 in the 4th quarter to tie the game at 31-31.

The Tigers drove down the field but had to settle for a game-winning field goal to earn the hard-fought 34-31 victory. It was the fourth consecutive meeting between the two schools decided by three points. The stat line for the LSU defense: four sacks, 2 INTs, and six tackles for loss. As a result of the close win, LSU dropped one spot to 13th in this week’s Top 25 poll.

#11 Utah 14 - #22 UCLA 7

The Utes scored on the first play of the game, on an interception of a Dante Moore pass on the Bruins's very first possession. Utah scored again to take a 14-0 lead into halftime, and would not score again the rest of the game. In fact, UCLA did not score until the 4th quarter.

It was Utah’s fourth game without starting QB Cam Rising. Backup Nate Johnson was just 9 of 17 passing and one touchdown. The vaunted Utah defense stood tall once again, racking up seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 1 INT.

#21 Washington State 38 - #14 Oregon State 35

The Cougars led Oregon State 35-14 going into the 4th quarter. But the Beavers came storming back, outscoring Washington State 21-3 in that final period, including a 98-yard scoring drive to get within three points before the final horn sounded.

The Beavers rushed for 242 yards, but the passing game left a lot to be desired. D.J. Uiagalelei completed only half of his passes (including one to the other team) for 198 yards and a touchdown.

It is Week 5 sports fans. The schedules only get harder from here. These Top 25 teams better lace up their cleats a little tighter and their chin straps a little more snug. It's all fun and games until you take a vicious shot to the facemask and you're trying to run downfield while looking through a crack in the ear hole of your helmet.


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