We all knew how good this weekendʻs slate of college football games was going to be, but somehow we were treated to an even better Saturday than expected. Here are the five biggest takeaways from an outstanding Week 4.
Woah!-hio State earned their due respect
Week 4 Takeaways #1: I wonʻt be shy to say that I had fed into the Buckeyes bad rap after a sluggish start to the 2023 season. They still arenʻt scoring like they used to, but maybe we need to understand that things change. Although the offense is operating a little different than what we are used to, the winning ways are here to stay.
Kyle McCord did not throw a touchdown and Marvin Harrison Jr. had just 32 receiving yards, usually not a recipe for success. However, it was TreVeyon Henderson and Emeka Egbuka who had big days to help the Buckeyes. Henderson went over 100 rushing yards for the first time this season, with most of them coming on a 61-yard TD run early in the third quarter. Egbuka made seven catches going for 96 yards to lead all receivers.
The winning score was a one-yard dive by Chip Trayanum with one second on the clock, shocking the home Notre Dame crowd and viewers everywhere.
Ohio Stateʻs win may propel them to a spot in the top four of next weekʻs rankings, but all teams ahead of the Buckeyes took care of business on Saturday. Whatever their new ranking is, Ohio State cleared up a lot of the doubts with a team win like that.
Notre Dame is not done
Week 4 Takeaways #2: Notre Dame lost a close game to a good team. The Fighting Irish are not out of the College Football Playoff consideration just yet. The only issue, or saving grace, is that Notre Dame does not play a conference championship game, something that is highly valued among voters.
The Irish will be challenged continuously for the next three weeks with at least two ranked matchups currently on the schedule. First up is Duke with their strong defense and revamped gameday atmosphere followed by the explosive offense of Louisville. All of that leads up to USC on October 14, the next time Notre Dame will play at home.
With that being said, although it will be tough, Notre Dame has an opportunity to be right back in the picture with wins in those games.
Ducks derail the Coach Prime hype train
Week 4 Takeaways #3: Was that a wake-up call or what? Coloradoʻs ineffective offensive line was put on display all afternoon, allowing six sacks. Oregon quarterback and Heisman candidate Bo Nix was also on display. Nix went 28/33 for 276 yards and three touchdowns in a game where a lot of important eyes were watching.
Oregon was not a friendly host to the Buffaloes, laying 35 in the first half and causing some hurt feelings by not letting up in the second half.
After the eye-opening loss, concerns have risen about how Colorado will fare throughout the remainder of the season in an incredibly tough Pac-12 Conference. Next week is setting up to be a similar result as the Buffs host a dominant USC squad. It was fun while it lasted!
Oregon, on the other hand, has Stanford up next before an exciting matchup with Washington in Week 7. Bo Nix and the Ducks sent a message, but honestly, we already knew how good they were coming in.
Alabama stays alive
Week 4 Takeaways #4: Ugly as it was, Alabama avoided back-to-back home losses. There is not much to say about what Alabama did, but the main takeaway is that the defense will carry this team. Led by Dallas Turner, the Crimson Tide made Ole Miss extremely uncomfortable, a good sign with the troublesome play from the quarterback position.
Alabama wonʻt see a significant climb in the rankings anytime soon unless there are upsets. The teams they currently trail have played much better across the board so far this season.
As for Ole Miss, they donʻt have long to regroup because LSU comes to Oxford next Saturday. Another loss could swamp the Rebels in a tightly-contested SEC West.
The ACC will be the conference of chaos
Week 4 Takeaway #5: Florida State snapped a losing streak against Clemson dating back to 2014 despite not leading once in regulation. Louisville boat-raced Boston College and seem to me like the hidden gem in the ACC. Miami and Syracuse finished non-conference play 4-0 and, not to mention, North Carolina and Duke are also 4-0 with wins in conference play.
All of the early-season success in the top half of the league is setting up for a wild season. Florida State might be the best team for now, but the offense has sputtered at times. Dukeʻs defense has been fantastic, but can they score enough to secure wins?
Then there is Clemson. The Tigers are 0-2 in conference and can still totally shake things up as they play Syracuse and Miami in the coming weeks.
As much as we talk about the Pac-12 and how that conference will shake up, the ACC will be just as thrilling.
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