There are so many games played during college football weekend that some of them slip away and others require further study the next day. Before we move on to week 5, let’s take a closer look at some of the more interesting week 4 results.
Alabama 55, Vanderbilt 3
It’s still premature to consider anyone other than Bryce Young and CJ Stroud for the 2022 Heisman Trophy.
Players such as Hendon Hooker, Jalon Daniels and others received well-deserved praise for their performance in the first few weeks of the season. But we must not speak of anyone else but the two favorites until they do something to exclude themselves from consideration.
Young, the 2021 Heisman winner, was phenomenal against Vanderbilt on Saturday night. The game was overshadowed because Alabama opened as the 40-point favorite, but Young threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone.
He finished the night with 25 of 36 passes for 385 yards and those four points before trailing Jalen Milrow and Ty Simpson with the game out of reach.
We also shouldn’t get used to what Young is doing in 2022. He was the main reason Alabama beat Texas in Week 2. after an unruly performance by Crimson Tide, and his stats in the first four games are in line with his Heisman winning campaign. This season, Young has completed 69% of his passes for 1,029 yards and 13 touchdowns for two interceptions.
This is especially impressive when you consider that Alabama is still working on replacing Jameson Williams and John Metchi III on the outside. No Alabama player has had more than 17 tackles this season, and six players have at least 10 tackles. Young distributes the ball to various receivers with great success as Alabama searches for the right receiver.
– Nick Bromberg
Ohio State 52, Wisconsin 21 Part 1
As you probably know, since Archie Griffin in the 1970s, no player has won a Heismans in a row. This is likely the reason Young is still the No. 2 favorite for Heisman at +400.
Stroud is BetMGM’s +150 favorite and did nothing to make his chances for Heisman drop during the first month of the season. He was 17 of 27 for 281 yards and five touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ win in Wisconsin. And he did just that, passing just four receivers while Jackson Smith-Njigba was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Stroud averaged over 10 yards per pass and his biggest target was Emeka Egbuka. He had six catches for 118 yards and two scores. Secondary player Wisconsin was taken down, although Egbuka, Julian Fleming, Cade Stover and Marvin Harrison Jr. were the only Ohio State players to catch passes.
This season, Stroud has completed over 70% of his passes for 1,222 yards and thrown 16 touchdowns for just one pick he threw on Saturday night. He averages nearly 11 yards per pass, and his 63 percent completion percentage against the Badgers was the lowest of any game this season.
We’ve all seen how explosive Stroud and Smith-Njigba can be together; Stroud’s numbers could get even better once Smith-Njigba recovers. And with Rutgers and Michigan State over the next two weeks bye with Ohio State, Stroud should soon accumulate a lot more yards and touchdowns. And when he does, his chances for Heisman may be reduced.
– Nick Bromberg
Ohio State 52, Wisconsin 21 Part 2
When you watch a game like Ohio’s 52-21 demolition of Wisconsin on Saturday night, it’s hard not to feel like you’re watching two programs in two completely different sports stratospheres.
Wisconsin is a consistent winner. The Badgers are 67-25 with three division titles in eight seasons under Paul Christ. But when you watch Wisconsin take on a team like Ohio State, a perennial national title contender, it becomes clear just how far the Badgers are from the best college football teams.
Ohio State took a 28-0 lead before Wisconsin crossed halfback. And because of the Badgers’ slow and tiring offensive play, they had no chance of rebounding, even with three-quarters of the game left to play.
While the Badgers have modernized their offense to some degree this season, there are still cornerbacks and tight ends in abundance, as well as plenty of runs from under the center. Quarterback Graham Merz has never come close to becoming a player to match his high recruiting ratings, and the wide receiver still lacks talent. Only Braelon Allen, the 235-pound sophomore running back, looked like he belonged to the same field as the all-star OSU team on Saturday night.
It’s been a terrible night for the Badgers, who have gone 2-2 this year (also had a disappointing home loss to Washington State earlier this month) and feel like a program that has slipped quietly into the middle of the Big Ten pack. over the past few seasons. Since the start of the 2020 season, Wisconsin has been ranked 9th-7th in the Big Ten. The Badgers have also lost 10 of their last 15 games to ranked opponents.
The Badgers have always done more with less, turning little-known recruits into every conference and NFL draft. Wisconsin has recruited better than its historical norms in recent years, but this influx of talent has in no way improved the program’s trajectory. Even the proclaimed Wisconsin defense led by Jim Leonhard could not answer what was on the other side in Columbus.
Maybe the comparison between Wisconsin and Ohio is unfair. But the yearly expectation for the Badgers was to win the West’s Big Ten title. If they don’t fix the situation, the Badgers could miss out on a trip to the Big Ten title game for the third straight season. Wisconsin has appeared in six of the 11 conference title games, so this is another sign of the program’s regression.
– Sam Cooper
Michigan 34, Maryland 27
On Saturday, Michigan received a much-needed wake-up call from Maryland. The Wolverines were not challenged in three games as they defeated Colorado State, Hawaii, and UCLA by a 166–17 aggregate score. But Maryland has shown the Wolverines they have a lot of work to do once they get into the thick of the Big Ten season.
Even after Michigan gave Michigan a 7-0 lead with a miss early in the game, they moved the ball with ease for much of the first half. The Terps equalized at 10-10 at the end of the first leg and later took a 13-10 lead. Taulia Tagovailoa had great success splitting Michigan’s minor team, while the Terp offensive line consistently held up well against a group of new faces in the Wolverine trenches.
It was also a test for new Michigan starting quarterback JJ McCarthy, who was up and down in his first Big Ten start. He completed 18 of 26 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns, but made some questionable decisions along the way. He held the ball for too long in several rallies, missed a few easy shots and missed a lot of sprinting and running opportunities.
McCarthy made some good shots in the second half to help Michigan take the lead, but he would have been under a lot more pressure if it wasn’t for Blake Corum’s career running back. Corum rushed for 243 yards and threw two touchdowns, one of which gave UM the lead just before halftime, and the other put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter.
McCarthy will make his first start next week in one of the toughest Big Ten conditions ever, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Iowa struggles heavily on offense but still has amazing defense. It will be a big test for McCarthy ahead of games against the East’s top Big Ten contenders like Ohio State and Pennsylvania State.
– Sam Cooper
Florida State 44, Boston College 14: Boston College may be the worst team in the ACC. Georgia Tech is certainly in this conversation, but British Columbia got off to a miserable 1-3 start this season after losing Saturday night. The attack – especially the line – was terrible. BC averages just 4.32 yards per game. Among the Power Five programs, only Iowa and Colorado are worse. Meanwhile, the protection of the Eagles can’t stop anyone. Head coach Jeff Hufley has a lot of things to work out with the next games on the schedule against Louisville, Clemson and Wake Forest.
Miami (OH) 17, Northwest 14: The Northwestern fell off a cliff after beating Nebraska in Dublin in Week 0. The Wildcats have since lost at home to Duke, Southern Illinois and Miami. The Northwest has been favored by at least a touchdown in all three games. With the Big Ten game coming up (the next two Northwest games will be Penn State and Wisconsin), this season could be even uglier for head coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats.
Troy 16, Marshall 7: Marshall lost back-to-back games after tipping Notre Dame on the road. Last week, the Thundering Herd lost to Bowling Green before gaining just 174 yards of attack in a Troy road loss on Saturday. Troy, as evidenced by his almost upset state over App State, is a tight-knit team, but that still disappoints Marshall after such a monumental win at South Bend.
Navy 23, East Carolina 20 (2OT): After losing to Delaware and Memphis to open the season, the Navy needed a win on Saturday and they got it by upsetting ECU on the road. The Midshipmen were 7-15 in 2020 and 2021, and things seemed to be going in the wrong direction for head coach Ken Niumatalolo. However, after a week before the bye, the Navy was able to gut the away victory by going to the Air Force the following weekend.
UL Monroe 21, Louisiana 17: Until last week, Louisiana had the longest…