Welcome back to Rewind. This is your first look back at what happened each week and what it means moving forward. Every Saturday night, I will analyze the week’s games and the always colorful world of college football.
The look on Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s face bordered on confusion and annoyance.
Jameis Winston — you can’t spell Jameis without “me” or “I” — was suspended for the entire Clemson game due to vulgar comments he made in public. Yet there he was in pregame warmups dressed as if he would play. Winston was showing up his coach on national TV. Fisher sent Winston back to the locker room to take off his shoulder pads — par for the course in the never-ending circus surrounding the Heisman Trophy winner.
Without Winston, No. 1 Florida State survived for a 23-17 overtime victory. In this new world of the College Football Playoff, surviving is all the Seminoles needed to do without Winston. But it was high drama in the process and a credit to the Seminoles they won without Winston.
Sean Maguire demonstrated why he’s Winston’s backup, but did throw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Green to tie the score late in the fourth quarter. Clemson’s defensive line dominated much of the game. Florida State had only 13 rushing yards on 27 carries, but gained 25 yards on two plays in overtime for the win.
Deshaun Watson displayed his immense talent as Clemson’s new quarterback. Dabo Swinney had to make the move to bench Cole Stoudt and Watson didn’t disappoint. But the Tigers squandered chances for a huge road win.
Clemson missed field goals. Clemson snapped the ball over Watson’s head from the 1-yard line. Clemson lost a fumble with 2:14 left at the Florida State 26-yard line. Clemson got stuffed in overtime on a fourth-and-inches play out of a shotgun formation.
Clemsoning happened before the nation’s eyes again.
Meanwhile, Winston remained the storyline, especially because Florida State oddly allowed him on the sideline. I counted 54 television shots of Winston during the ABC broadcast of a game in which he didn’t play.
Why did Winston come out in full pads during warmups? “Because he loves his teammates,” Fisher told the media afterward.
This much is certain: Florida State survived and the College Football Playoff committee escaped having to determine what a Seminoles loss without Winston means.
What We Learned in Week 4
As if the SEC West needed any more depth, Mississippi State knocked off No. 8 LSU with a statement 34-29 victory. It was Mississippi State’s first win over LSU since 1999 and first win at Tiger Stadium since 1991. Dak Prescott threw for 268 yards and ran for 105 as the Buity.The Belgian midfielder made the move from Serie A outfit Sampdoria for around £18m in the summer having been a long-term target of City’s.He told Sporza: “I was open to a step higher.”I also knew that Leicester would be very good. I had seen thelldogs gained 570 yards, the most LSU has ever allowed under Les Miles. Mississippi State typically beats the teams it should and loses to the SEC elite. Dan Mullen entered Saturday with a 1-16 combined record against Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. Now Oct. 4 is shaping up to be a monumental day in the state of Mississippi: Alabama at Ole Miss and Texas A&M at Mississippi State.
Not even Blake Sims could have imagined throwing for 445 yards (second most in Alabama history) and four touchdowns in a 42-21 win over Florida. “I didn’t think I would be able to do that,” Sims said. Sims is the latest example of why it’s foolish to anoint a starter (Jake Coker) or toss aside a player (Sims) before we actually see him given a chance. Alabama had a 400-yard passer, 200-yard receiver and 100-yard rusher in the same game for the first time. That’s a credit to Lane Kiffin, who is thriving with the most offensive talent in Nick Saban’s tenure with the Crimson Tide. Alabama and Baylor are the only teams ranked in the top 10 in total offense and total defense through four weeks. Alabama tried its best in the first half to give the game away to Florida with turnovers. Saban wants Sims to communicate and manage the game better. Sims suffered a scare when he bruised his shoulder in the second half but later returned. Contrary to what the public would have thought a couple weeks ago, Alabama is counting on Sims staying healthy. “People have to respect him as a passer,” Saban said. “He has made too many plays and too many good throws for people to not respect him as a passer.”
The Sooners continue to impress somewhat quietly under the radar. With running back Keith Ford injured, 243-pound freshman running back Samaje Perine ran for 242 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-33 win at West Virginia. Perine averaged 7.1 yards a carry and ran over two defenders on one touchdown. The Sooners outscored West Virginia 21-3 after the game was tied at 24 at halftime until the Mountaineers scored a late touchdown. West Virginia star quarterback Clint Trickett threw for 376 yards, but the Sooners forced three turnovers by Trickett. The West Virginia trip may have been Oklahoma’s toughest road game left. The Sooners get Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State all at home.
over ? In another sign of how wide-open the SEC East is and how much weaker it is compared to the SEC West, 31-27 by Indiana. The Hoosiers ran for 241 yards on a Missouri defense that was supposed to be a strength for the team. Indiana was coming off a loss last week to . The win won’t make up for all of the September disappointments for the Big Ten, but the conference needed a win like that. The Big Ten also had Iowa beat Pitt, Nebraska defeat Miami, and Maryland triump over Syracuse. Missouri now has a bitter taste in its mouth before playing and in its next two games.
The Hokies have gone from 2-0 darling to 2-2 enigma within two weeks. Virginia Tech followed a road win at State” data-canon=”Ohio Bobcats” data-type=”SPORTS_OBJECT_TEAM” id=”shortcode0″> on Sept. 6 by for the first time since 1995, falling to and . Hokies quarterback Michael Brewer, the Tech transfer, has eight interceptions in four games. Even more puzzling is the Hokies’ seasonlong problem with penalties (10 per game, including 12 in the loss to Georgia Tech). This can’t help the ACC in the College Football Playoff picture. The ACC’s signature win of the season has lost a lot of luster in a short amount of time.
How bad has it gotten for ? Not only did the Wolverines lose 26-10 at home, a kick returner from either trolled or paid tribute to Desmond Howard in the Big House. After Kaelin Clay returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown, from 23 years ago. ’s Leonard Fournette struck a pose against Sam Houston State after his first career touchdown. That was bad taste for a rookie against weak competition. But Clay doing it the only time he will ever play in the Big House? I can dig that.
East Carolina 70, 41. One year after whipping the Tar Heels 55-31, . Even with wide receiver Cam Worthy out with a two-game suspension due to a “verbal disagreement” with a male student on campus, the Pirates’ offense didn’t miss a beat. It’s time to stop expressing surprise at East Carolina. This is a good tea Rodriguez insists their 0-0 draw with Arsenal was two points dropped.The Clarets ended a 10-game losing Premier League run against Arsenal and made it seven points from three games with a first home draw for 12 months to climb to 11th in the table.Bm and clearly the best one in North Carolina. East Carolina has won four straight games against the ACC.
rushed for 644 yards, the most in the Big Ten’s modern era, dating back to 1946. The only instance when a Big Ten team ran for more: (832 in 1905), Ohio State (718 in 1930) and Minnesota (663 in 1927). and five touchdowns on only 13 carries. The only blemish: Gordon lost his first fumble in 322 carries.
Arizona scored 19 points in the final 3:30 to stun Cal in a 49-43 victory. Anu Solomon (47 of 73, 520 yards) threw a 49-yard Hail Mary touchdown for the winner. The Wildcats scored 36 points, ran 31 plays and totaled 278 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
Here’s video of the Hail Mary:
My weekly look at the evolving trends, successes, failures and all-around moaning about up-tempo offenses.
Stop the presses: A Nick Saban team ran 87 plays for 645 yards against Florida. Credit Lane Kiffin for bringing a more consistent up-tempo style than Alabama has tinkered with briefly in the past. Credit Florida’s overwhelmed secondary for some major blown assignments. Alabama isn’t going or Texas A&M fast, but the pace seems to suit the Crimson Tide as long as Blake Sims can communicate the calls in a consistent manner. Still, the irony is rich that Saban — the coach who questioned whether faster tempo is what football should be for safety purposes — has turned to more tempo himself. Alabama is averaging 78 plays per game — the most in Saban’s eight seasons. Alabama averaged 65.9 plays in 2013 and was under 69 plays every year from 2008 to 2013. A Saban team is now averaging more plays than a Gus Malzahn Auburn team (73) or a Kevin Sumlin Texas A&M team (76). Go figure. The FBS leaders in plays per game through Week 4: Western Kentucky 92, West Virginia 88.5, Northern Illinois 86.8, Hawaii 86.3, Arizona 85, Texas State 85.
No. 12 UCLA and No. 15 meet in Tempe for an intriguing Thursday night game. A year ago, Arizona State held off UCLA 38-33 in Pasadena to win the Pac-12 South in late November. Each of the past three meetings have been decided by five points or fewer. This season, UCLA has looked vulnerable after a lot of preseason hype, and Arizona State has three easy wins but hasn’t played a quality team. This could be a game of backup quarterbacks. The Sun Devils will be without injured quarterback Taylor Kelly, and UCLA coach Jim Mora won’t say if his starter, Brett Hundley, will play after injuring his elbow against Texas.
It’s -Georgia and South Carolina-Missouri next week. In some years, you might say the winners of those games would be in good position to win the SEC East. This isn’t one of those years. Expect a wide-open SEC East race until the very end. South Carolina struggled on Saturday to put away Vanderbilt in an ugly 48he Israel international only joined Sevilla this past summer from RB Salzburg.Dabbur is seen at West Ham as an alternative to Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud.West Ham are in contact with Dabbur’s agent, Milos Malenovic, though aren’t alone with Bordea-34 win in which the Gamecocks allowed two kick returns for touchdowns. “It’s one of the worst (wins) I have ever had, no question,” Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier told reporters afterward in an epic press conference. More Spurrier: “The way we play is embarrassing. I told the guys it’s embarrassing the way we play. And I’m the head coach of these embarrassing group of guys. … We’ve got all the voters fooled thinking we’re pretty good. I guess because we beat Georgia. I don’t know what all can help us. I really don’t.”
The Brady Hoke and Will Muschamp watches are officially on. Michigan has no identity and Devin Gardner continues to struggle at quarterback. Making matters worse, cameras caught Hoke jawing with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison following a sideline-infraction penalty. Alabama’s victory over Florida demonstrated how far the Gators remain behind the SEC’s elite teams. Jeff Driskel, once the highest-rated quarterback recruit in the country, had a 23.3 quarterback rating while completing 9 of 28 passes for 93 yards with two interceptions. The next month or so will help determine if two of the most prominent coaching positions in America will soon be open.
“I barely know what’s going on with ISIS to tell you the truth. I’m oblivious.”
— coach Charlie Weis, following a 24-10 win over , on the scrutiny he’s facing so far in two-plus years