"Ohio against the world"
Two of the top five programs with the most wins in college football history met in South Bend on Saturday. Both teams had some outstanding players on display. No.6 Ohio State boast the outstanding receiving duo of Marvin Harrison, Jr and Emeka Egbuka, both potential first round picks in April's NFL draft. TreVeyon Henderson is an elite back who also caught the eye. The Buckeyes' running back ran for 104 yards and a touchdown, averaging an impressive 7.4 yards per carry.
No.9 Notre Dame came into the game 4-0 under the stewardship of quarterback Sam Hartman and electric running back Audric Estime. Hartman could be taken in the third or fourth round of a heavily talented quarterback class next April. The Fighting Irish came in to this key match up having averaged over 40 points in their last five games.
This was a real blue collar game of football, fought in the trenches, and evident in the half-time score. Ohio State led 3-0 at the break. TreVeyon Henderson broke the game open early in the third quarter, with a 61 yard rushing touchdown. Notre Dame responded with a one-yard touchdown run from Gi'Brayn Payne, lined up in the wildcat formation. An 11-play, 96-yard drive culminating in a touchdown catch from Rico Flores put the Fighting Irish in front.
Could new starting Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord find his signature moment in the fourth quarter? On a third-and-19 play, McCord found Emeka Egbuka on the one-yard line with 15 seconds left in the game. With a second left, Chip Trayanum dove over the line to seal an important 17-14 win for Ohio State on the road.
Buckeyes' coach Ryan Day was emotional in his post-game interview, calling out former Notre Dame legendary coach Lou Holtz for criticising Ohio State, adding it's "Ohio against the world". His team face Maryland this weekend.
“Historic stadium, great defense, like I said it wasn’t perfect, but to come away with the win, it feels really, really good.” - Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord.
Ole Miss comes up short with 24-10 loss in Tuscaloosa
Back under center for the Crimson Tide, Jalen Milroe took control of No. 13 Alabama's offense in this SEC match up with No.15 Ole Miss. After a sluggish start that saw Mississippi lead 7-6 at half-time in Tuscaloosa, Alabama's offense and defense kicked into gear.
Milroe completed 17 of 21 passes for 225 yards and a touchdown. An aggressive Ole Miss defense pursued him around the field in Tuscaloosa but the young quarterback showed off his evasive scrambling skills, strong arm and bravery. He took a huge hit whilst launching a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Hale which put Alabama 17-7 up midway through the third quarter. Jase McClellan ran for 105 yards and a touchdown as Alabama eased to a 24-10 win to put their season back on the right track.
Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart struggled to get the ball past Alabama's excellent coverage in the secondary. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 244 yards, running in a touchdown, but couldn't elude Dallas Turner, who registered two sacks.
"He took some big shots today but he did a great job out there executing the offense." - Alabama coach Nick Saban on Jalen Milroe.
Oregon humbles Colorado in Eugene, 42-6
Riding into Eugene with their tails up after an impressive 3-0 start to the season, No.19 Colorado left with them between their legs after a 42-6 humbling by No.10 Oregon.
Ducks coach Dan Lanning is building his culture in Oregon. "They're fighting for clicks, we're fighting for wins" he yelled at his locker room before the game. His team unleashed their potential with some outstanding plays on offense in front of 59,889 pumped up fans. Their defensive front seven put Buffaloes' quarterback Shedeur Sanders under huge pressure. Oregon sacked Sanders seven times. A fantastic fake punt play on their own 17-yard line saw the ball snapped to 300lb defensive tackle Casey Rogers who rumbled up the field for a first down.
Bo Nix, reborn in Oregon after his transfer from Auburn last year, had another terrific game, The Heisman contender completed 28 of 33 passes for 276 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns. Nix could be in the conversation as a potential first round pick in the NFL draft. 6'3" receiver Troy Franklin was a key target, hauling in eight catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
Shedeur Sanders' pass to Michael Harrison gave Colorado a consolation score with just under three minutes left, although they suffered the ignominy of having their extra point attempt blocked. Coach Prime admitted his team had been on the receiving end of "a good old-fashioned butt-kicking", adding: "No excuses, no nothing."
Despite any perceived animosity between the teams in the run up, Lanning praised his opponent:
"I think that team's heading in the right direction. I think that coach is doing a phenomenal job." Dan Lanning on Colorado and Deion Sanders.
TCU wins the Battle For The Iron Skillet, 34-17 over SMU
The 102nd meeting between TCU (Texas Christian University) and SMU (Southern Methodist University) took place at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. This is one of college football's most traditional and closest rivalries, with the two teams just 35 miles apart, based in Fort Worth and Dallas respectively.
Legend has it that before a November 1946 game, an SMU fan was frying frogs' legs in an iron skillet as a joke before the game to rile TCU fans, whose team are nicknamed the Horned Frogs. One TCU fan, seeing this as a desecration, told him this went way beyond the rivalry and they should let the game decide who won the iron skillet and the frogs' legs. SMU won the game and the rivalry has continued, with the winner being awarded the iron skillet.
TCU won the latest instalment with quarterback Chandler Morris throwing for three touchdowns and Emani Bailey running for 126 yards and a touchdown in a 34-17 victory.
Elsewhere in the Top 10...
No.1 Georgia eased to a 49-21 win over the University of Alabama-Birmingham in Athens. This was a strong game for quarterback Carson Beck. Beck threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns with standout tight end Brock Bowers catching two touchdown passes and racking up 121 receiving yards. The Bulldogs travel to 3-1 Auburn this weekend.
No change in the top four this week. No.2 Michigan took care of Big Ten rival Rutgers at home, 31-7, after a slow start. Blake Corum carried the ball 21 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Baylor couldn't spring an upset on No.3 Texas. The Longhorns put on a dominant performance in Waco, with Quinn Ewers completing 18 of 23 passes for 293 yards and two total touchdowns. Running back Jonathon Brooks ran for 106 yards and two scores. Michigan travel to Nebraska while Texas host the 4-0 Kansas Jayhawks in Austin next in a key Big 12 showdown.
Unranked Clemson ran No.4 Florida State close in Death Valley, losing 31-24 in overtime, the second week the 4-0 Seminoles have eked out a close win over an ACC rival. Jordan Travis threw for 289 yards and had three total touchdowns. Opposite number Cade Klubnik threw for 283 yards and two scores. Florida State enjoys a bye in Week 5 while Clemson head to unbeaten Syracuse.
No.5 USC overcame Arizona State 42-28 on the road. Caleb Williams accounted for five total touchdowns, passing for 322 yards. Brenden Rice, son of NFL Hall of Fame and legendary 49ers receiver Jerry, caught seven passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
No.7 Penn State shut out No.24 Iowa 31-0 at Beaver Stadium, restricting Michigan transfer Cade McNamara to just 41 yards passing. The Nittany Lions still seem to be under the radar and head to Northwestern this weekend, where you would expect them to come away with another win.
No.8 Washington scored 45 points in the first half of a 59-32 drubbing of Pac-12 rivals Cal. Michael Penix, Jr. added to his glittering resume, completing 19 of 25 passes for 304 yards and four touchdowns. He should probably start looking for hotel rooms in New York ahead of the Heisman Trophy presentation in December. The Huskies travel to Arizona in Week 5.
AP Top 25
This week's AP Top 25 sees no change again at the very top.
Georgia and Michigan are there on reputation, having posted solid performances in their season to date, but without any real challenges as yet. Texas stay at No.3 after their 38-6 beating of Baylor, while Ohio State move into the Playoff places after their win over Notre Dame, who fall just two spots to No.11.
Penn State, Oregon and Washington climb up one place, while USC might feel a little unlucky to drop three spots. Colorado, UCLA and Iowa fall out of the Top 25, replaced by Missouri, Kansas (who play Texas in Austin this weekend) and Fresno State.
College football games to watch in Week 5
No.8 USC @ Colorado - the Trojans will feel aggrieved at slipping three places in the Top 25. Colorado will have a point to prove after their mauling at the hands of Oregon. All to play for in this explosive match up in Boulder.
No.11 Notre Dame @ No.17 Duke - the Fighting Irish lost a close game to Ohio State, but are still 4-1 and Duke, who beat Clemson in Week 1, are still unbeaten. Interesting game in Durham.
No.10 Utah @ No.19 Oregon State - two Pac-12 teams that get less press than they deserve. Clemson transfer D.J. Uiagalelei has settled in well at quarterback for the Beavers while Utah are 4-0 having put away UCLA last weekend.
No.13 LSU @ No.20 Ole Miss - two SEC West teams needing to rebound after disappointing losses early in the season - LSU to Florida State and Ole Miss to Alabama last weekend, Great game to watch in Oxford.
South Carolina @ No.21 Tennessee - The Gamecocks scored a big upset over Tennessee last season. They will need their offensive line to hold up if they are going to win at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee are capable of huge plays but misfiring slightly on offense.
Across The Pond College Football Podcast
Rebecca and I discuss Ohio State's epic win in South Bend, Oregon' s humbling of Colorado, and Alabama wins at home. We also preview week five. Please have a listen...