Studs and Duds from Week 4 in College Football
Week 4 of the college football season didn't provide us with any of the great matchups we'd seen in the season's previous three weeks. Stanford and Arizona State was the only game that featured two ranked teams.
What Week 4 did feature, though, was plenty of offense. Seven Top 25 teams scored over 50 points, and four of those schools scored an unprecedented 70 or more. Oregon had the week off.
It was a big week for quarterbacks. Some you'd expect; others, you may never have heard of. Still ,other quarterbacks, however, weren't so lucky.
Here are the studs and duds of Week 4 of the college football season.
Stud: Ohio State Quarterback Kenny Guiton
In the rich history of Ohio State football, no quarterback had ever thrown for six touchdowns in a game. On Saturday, senior backup Kenny Guiton changed that.
Guiton, filling in for injured starter Braxton Miller, broke the Buckeyes' record with six touchdowns, before halftime, in a 76-0 rout of Florida A&M. Guiton finished the game, completing 24 of 34 passes for 215 yards and one interception.
Head coach Urban Meyer likely held Miller out because of the quality of opponent, but he should be back next week against Wisconsin. If nothing else, Meyer realizes he has a backup quarterback capable of running his entire offense with little drop-off.
Stud: Louisville Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater
It was another outstanding day for Louisville's star quarterback, as he completed 17 of 22 passes for 212 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in the Cardinals' 72-0 rout of Florida International.
For the season, Bridgewater has completed 72 percent of his passes to go along with 14 touchdowns and only one interception. Through four weeks, Bridgewater is making his case to be a Heisman Trophy finalist.
It helps he has his team ranked in the Top 10.
Stud: Texas Defensive Coordinator Greg Robinson
The Texas Longhorns saved their season for another week with Saturday's 31-21 win over Kansas State. It was the second game with Greg Robinson as defensive coordinator, and his unit played a big part in the win.
Keep in mind, the Longhorns still allowed 390 yards to the Wildcats, but it sure beats allowing almost 700 as they did against BYU two weeks ago.
The Longhorns have several talented players on the defensive side of the ball, so their struggles remain a mystery. Give Robinson credit for getting more out of this unit than former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz could.
Can the Longhorns build off this performance? That will be worth watching moving forward.
Stud: Fresno State Quarterback Derek Carr
David Carr's little brother is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in all of college football. On Friday, Carr led the Bulldogs to an exciting 41-40 win over Boise State. Carr was 39-of-60 with 460 yards and four touchdowns.
Carr led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to give Fresno State their first win over Boise State since 2005. It was one of the more exciting games of the weekend.
Carr will be a fun player to watch the rest of the season, as his Bulldogs have the potential to go undefeated.
Stud: Georgia Quarterback Aaron Murray
Aaron Murray has seemingly been at Georgia for over a decade. All he does is win and continue to put up good numbers. On Saturday, Murray had another terrific performance.
Murray led the Bulldogs to an easy 45-21 win over North Texas. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 408 yards and four touchdowns. With his four TD passes, Murray became only the second quarterback in the SEC with over 100 touchdown passes. He now has 102, former Florida signal-caller Danny Wuerffel is the conference's all-time leader with 114.
The Bulldogs have another big game next week when they host No. 6 LSU.
Dud: Arizona State
For the second straight week, Arizona State played a Top 20 team. Unlike last week's controversial win over Wisconsin, the Sun Devils never threatened reigning Pac-12 champion Stanford.
The final score of 42-28 indicates somewhat of a close game. That was never the case in this matchup.
The Cardinal led, 29-0, at halftime and, 39-7, after three quarters. When Stanford began to loosen up on defense in the fourth quarter, the Sun Devils threw for a lot of meaningless yards.
It is a disappointing outing for ASU and head coach Todd Graham. They had an opportunity to show Stanford they are a real contender in the Pac-12 and failed miserably.
Dud: Michigan Quarterback Devin Gardner
For the second straight week, Michigan struggled to beat an inferior opponent. Last week, the Wolverines held off Akron at home. This weekend, it took a late rally to defeat UConn on the road.
Turnovers are a big reason for Michigan's struggles.
Quarterback Devin Gardner turned the ball over three times in Saturday's win over UConn. Against Akron, Gardner threw three interceptions. On the season, he has seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Wolverines are second in FBS with 12 turnovers. Gardner is the major culprit. If the Wolverines expect to the challenge for a Big Ten title, Gardner must play better.
Dud: Big Ten Officials
Notre Dame and Michigan State was, perhaps, Week 4's best game. The Fighting Irish held off the Spartans with a 17-13 win.
The game featured two of the best defenses in the nation and a pair of struggling offenses.
It was penalties, however, that doomed the Spartans. On the day, Michigan State was flagged 10 times for 115 yards. Four of those were defensive pass-interference penalties and one holding penalty which kept Notre Dame drives alive.
The pass-interference call on Trae Waynes to give Notre Dame the decisive touchdown was extremely questionable and should not have been called. But before we say they cost the Spartans this game, they weren't too kind on the Irish either. Notre Dame was flagged eight times for 86 yards.
When officiating becomes the central focus of any game, that is a problem. On Saturday, they helped determined the outcome.
Dud: USC Passing Offense
Lane Kiffin generally has a spot reserved on this list. He has the best wide receiver in the country on his team, and yet, USC cannot throw the ball.
On Saturday, the Trojans struggled to defeat Utah State, 17-14. Quarterback Cody Kessler was 13-of-27 for 164 yards and one touchdown. Kessler rarely attempted any throw downfield and still completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
Marqise Lee had six catches for just 72 yards Saturday. For the season, he has 23 receptions for 292 yards and one touchdown. Last season, Lee caught 118 passes for over 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is essentially a possession receiver at this point.
USC's current crop of quarterbacks may be limited, but if Kiffin is the offensive guru he purports himself to be, USC could find a way to get Lee and Nelson Agholor the ball more frequently.
Dud: Pitt/Duke Defenses
The Pittsburgh Panthers defeated the Duke Blue Devils, 58-55, on Saturday. No, this was not a matchup between Jamie Dixon and Mike Krzyzewski. Instead, this game took place on the gridiron.
Neither Pitt or Duke are known for their offensive exploits. Yet on Saturday, both teams each had over 500 yards of total offense.
Pitt quarterback Tom Savage tied an ACC record with six touchdown passes. No one is likely to confuse Savage with Chris Weinke, the co-holder of that record. Duke's terrible defense gave Pitt their first ACC win, and no doubt the rest of the ACC are checking their schedules to see when Duke and Pitt are on it.
Fortunately for Virginia Tech, both schools do appear on it. These two teams could fix the Hokies' inept offense, at least for one week.