CFB Wrap-Up: Takeaways from Week 4's biggest games
College Football Wrap-Up recaps the most important developments from the day's action and examines the significance of them moving forward.
Uiagalelei sparks Clemson's offense
After bursting onto the scene with a couple brilliant performances as a freshman, quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei's poor play held Clemson back last season. The Tigers ranked 103rd in the country in passing offense last year and sat 76th in that stat heading into play at Wake Forest on Saturday. It's safe to say that number will look significantly better after a dramatic win against the Demon Deacons.
The California native threw for a whopping 371 yards and five touchdowns on the road, including the game-winning toss in double-overtime for the Tigers. He also added a crucial 54 yards rushing on the ground, often extending drives by converting with his running ability.
Uiagalelei's breakout performance came right when Dabo Swinney's outfit needed it, as Sam Hartman picked apart the Clemson secondary throughout the contest on Saturday with six touchdown passes of his own.
If the junior passer can maintain the form we saw against Wake Forest for the remainder of the season, Clemson is a legitimate national title contender and the favorite to win the ACC.
Stroud coming for the Heisman
C.J. Stroud can probably go ahead and book his accommodations in New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony in December. The Ohio State quarterback continued his incredible start to the season Saturday with his second straight five-touchdown performance, this time against Wisconsin and one of the nation's top pass defenses.
The redshirt sophomore has a whopping 16 touchdown passes on the campaign with only one interception. Stroud has thrown at least five scores in five of the last nine contests dating back to last season. He threw 44 touchdowns in 12 games last campaign, meaning he's slightly ahead of that pace through the first month of 2022.
Kansas State runs over Oklahoma
Brent Venables is no longer perfect as the head coach at Oklahoma. And how the Sooners suffered the loss will surely make the former defensive coordinator extra salty. Kansas State came into Norman on Saturday night and steamrolled the country's No. 6 team with a dominant rushing attack by Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn.
Martinez led the attack from the quarterback position, piling up 148 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, while the electric Vaughn put up 116 yards of his own. Martinez also threw for 234 yards and a score as the Wildcats finished with over 500 yards of total offense. Despite Oklahoma's recent success on the national stage, Kansas State's win is the program's fourth in its last six trips to Norman.
The setback by the Sooners means the Kansas Jayhawks shockingly stand atop the Big 12 standings after four weeks of the season.
Michigan's survives 1st real test
With a combined scoreline of 166-17 through three games, Michigan has looked as dominant as any program in the country this season. While the Wolverines are undoubtedly a strong team, having one of the easiest schedules in college football so far has certainly aided that performance. Michigan's first real test came Saturday at home against Maryland, and it's safe to say Blake Corum was up for the challenge.
The Wolverines running back absolutely gashed the Terrapins' defense for 243 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. J.J. McCarthy looked shaky at times but delivered two touchdown passes and finished with a gaudy 12.9 yards per completion. That big-play ability is what's led Jim Harbaugh to start the sophomore quarterback over Cade McNamara.
Michigan now hits the road for the first time this season, with back-to-back games at Iowa and Indiana before hosting Penn State and Michigan State to close out the month of October.
Honeymoon is over for Cristobal in Miami
Just four games into his return home to Miami, the honeymoon is officially over for Mario Cristobal. It was a huge coup for the Hurricanes to convince the former player to leave Oregon and come back to South Florida, but Saturday's shocking home loss to Middle Tennessee State will certainly ring the alarm bells at Miami.
The defense should take plenty of heat for allowing 45 points to a non-Power 5 program, but perhaps the most puzzling development since Cristobal took over is Tyler Van Dyke's play. The redshirt-sophomore quarterback entered the season surrounded with NFL draft buzz following a season that saw him average 325 passing yards per game while throwing 25 touchdowns versus just six interceptions. Van Dyke is averaging just 202 yards through the air and has only four touchdowns against three picks in four games this year. Cristobal opted to bench the star passer in the second half of the loss on Saturday.
Miami now enters a bye week before its ACC schedule starts against North Carolina on October 8th. Hurricanes fans will certainly be anxious to see whether Cristobal can address the many issues plaguing his team during the break in game action.
No fix to Michigan State's defensive woes
Michigan State's Mel Tucker inked a 10-year, $95-million deal towards the end of last season. Through four games of 2022, it's probably safe to say there's a bit of buyer's remorse in East Lansing. After getting blown out at Washington last week, the Spartans returned home only to be absolutely thumped 34-7 by Minnesota.
There are areas of concern all over the roster for the Spartans, but Tucker's inability to improve his defensive unit is particularly alarming. Last week, Michigan State allowed 503 yards of total offense and 9.9 yards per pass versus the Huskies. Saturday saw the Golden Gophers pile up 510 yards of offense and over 10 yards per pass while scoring on six-of-eight drives.
The Spartans will face Maryland, Ohio State, and Wisconsin over the next four weeks before closing out October with the rivalry contest at Michigan. Things will likely get much worse before getting better for Sparty.
Bo Nix's big day
The Bo Nix era at Oregon got off to a rocky start versus Georgia, but the quarterback has rebounded with three straight games of exceptional play for the Ducks. Saturday saw the best passing game of his career, with the Auburn transfer throwing for 428 yards and three touchdowns in a huge comeback win at Washington State. The pivotal play for Oregon came in the closing minutes of action, as Nix found Troy Franklin with a 50-yard touchdown to put the Ducks in front.
Since the opening loss to the Bulldogs, Nix has thrown 10 touchdowns against just one interception in his last three games while also adding three rushing scores in last week's win over BYU. Nix's issues at Auburn came down to his inconsistent play and questionable decision-making, but it seems like the move to the Pac-12 has eradicated most of those problems.
Tennessee's offense can challenge anybody
Tennessee's offense finished 7th in the country in scoring last year but might be even better in its second season under Josh Heupel. The Volunteers' latest victim was No. 20 Florida on Saturday, as the offense piled up almost 600 yards in a 38-33 victory. It was a win of significance for Tennessee, as the squad beat the Gators for just the second time in the last 18 meetings. It also marked the first 4-0 start for the program since 2016 and snapped a six-game home losing streak versus ranked opponents.
Hendon Hooker once again served notice that he's among the nation's best quarterbacks, as the Virginia Tech transfer threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns and added 112 yards and a score on the ground. The standout passer led scoring drives on six of nine possessions, with two fumbles and a turnover on downs the only time the Vols didn't put up points.
Texas hates double-digit leads
One of the biggest issues in Steve Sarkisian's first season with Texas was its habit of blowing double-digit leads. That happened on three such occasions last year, leading to crushing losses in a 5-7 campaign to begin the coach's tenure. After a solid start to the 2022 campaign, that issue reared its ugly head again at Texas Tech on Saturday.
Texas held a 31-17 lead with 4:27 to play in the third quarter but gave up 17 straight points to fall behind 34-31. While the Longhorns were able to go almost the length of the field in the final 21 seconds to tie the contest with a field goal, the eventual loss in overtime would give the Red Raiders bragging rights for the in-state rivalry.
The main issue in the second half was the offense's inability to move the football. Outside of the two scoring drives in those final 30 minutes, Texas had the ball on five other drives, running just 19 plays for only 26 total yards during that time.
Kansas has a star in Jalon Daniels
It's September 24th, and Kansas football already has four wins on the campaign. To put into perspective how abnormal that is, consider that the Jayhawks haven't won four games in an entire season since 2009. Lance Leipold is already working his magic on Lawrence, with quarterback Jalon Daniels' breakout play the main reason behind the turnaround.
Kansas was the only Power 5 program to offer the junior quarterback a scholarship out of high school, and he's quickly repaying that faith with a month to remember in his third year. Daniels erupted for 324 yards passing and four touchdowns while adding 83 yards and a score on the ground against undefeated Duke Saturday, facilitating five touchdowns for the second-straight game with the high-scoring Jayhawks.
The meat of Kansas' schedule still awaits, with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Baylor in three straight contests, but it's impossible to ignore what Daniels and the Jayhawks have accomplished thus far.