There is no shortage of exciting games this week in college. Here is the best of Week 4 and a whole new list of names to watch for this weekend.
GAME OF THE WEEK
If there’s any game to watch this week it’s this one. How good is Notre Dame and are they for real? How good is that offensive line for the Fighting Irish? This week is the ultimate test for Notre Dame to find out if they truly belong in playoff contention. This Ohio State defensive line will definitely put the pressure on Notre Dame’s quarterback, Sam Hartman, who has delivered for the Fighting Irish offense so far by throwing 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. For Ohio State, they have a name everyone knows, Marvin Harrison Jr. Things got off to a slow start for Harrison Jr. having just two catches for 18 yards in Week 1. But from there, he had seven grabs for 160 yards and two touchdowns against Youngtown State in Week 2, then caught five receptions for 126 yards and a TD last week. Trying to slow Harrison down is a very capable defensive back unit at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish defense is near the bottom of the FBS in sacks per game, but they rank first in the country in pass efficiency, allowing a 44% completion rate for just 5.2 yards per attempt and two TDs.
Another great game to watch this weekend. The series between these two teams is tied at 11-11, with Iowa winning the last two matchups. Can Iowa go 4-0 to start the year? If they do it will be the third time they’ve done it since 2019. But they are about to face a “White Out” this weekend which is one of the more dramatic and intimidating stadium displays in college. This game will boil down to Iowa being able to defend the pass. On Iowa’s side is junior defensive back, Cooper DeJean. Iowa moves him around a lot, and he’s played both corner and safety. He set the school’s single-season record with three pick-sixes last season. He’ll be facing wide receiver talent KeAndre Lambert-Smith. So far, Lambert-Smith has been Penn State’s key offensive weapon. He currently ranks fourth among Big Ten receivers with 220 yards and three touchdowns. Down in the trenches watch for Penn State’s left tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu. He’s the number one tackle right now who allowed no sacks on 281 pass-blocking snaps in 2022.
A win this weekend for Florida State against conference rivals Clemson should help push them into the top-three in the AP rankings. This is a game of winning streaks with Florida State currently on a nine-game winking streak, the longest in the ACC. While Clemson are looking to get their eighth straight victory over the Seminoles this weekend and get their ACC championship hopes back into focus. Doing his part to slow the Clemson Tigers down is Seminoles pass rusher Jared Verse. He had nine sacks and 17 tackles for loss last year and looked like first-round prospect. He had four tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss last week.
Another highly anticipated ranked game. This is the first major test for Colorado since their Week 1 win against TCU. Oregon are making a real push to get into the playoffs this year, but another shock win by Colorado here would really put them on the map. The Ducks have averaged 58 points a game so far, second-most in the nation. Colorado have allowed 30 points per game, 102nd in the nation, it’s not a talented Colorado defense. Even with the teams they’ve faced this season, they have surrendered an average of 460 yards per game. As for Oregon, their defense is allowing an average of just 158 passing yards and 15 points per game, best in the Pac-12. Oregon’s quarterback, Bo Nix, is averaging 297 passing yards a game, and that’s not even playing entire games after taking the Ducks to huge leads and resting in the second half. Conversely, Colorado have a quarterback of their own, Shedeur Sanders. He finished last week with 348 yards, four TDs and one interception against Colorado State. But Colorado play their first game without the elite talent of their two-way player, Travis Hunter. He was taken out the game last week against Colorado State with a dangerous late hit after the play ended.
There’s frustration among Bama fans as they tumble out of the top-ten in the AP poll for first time in eight years. A loss for Alabama against a major SEC rival would spark huge controversy and could see them fall as an unranked team. That makes this game one of the most high-pressure games at home for Alabama in a long time. The majority of that pressure falls on the Bama defense to help keep the game competitive, as the offense looks incapable right now of winning a slug-fest if it came to it. Leading the charge for the Rebels isn’t just quarterback Jaxson Dart, but also wide receiver Jordan Watkins. The team needed someone to fill the boots of Tre Harris, who still remains out. Watkins has two 100-yard games so far this season and has scored two touchdowns, one receiving and one off a punt return.
UCLA Bruins (22) vs. Utah Utes (11)
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
LB Laiatu Latu
Utah are hoping to make a push into the top-ten with a win this week and face a rival that frustrated and beat them a year ago. In order to defend their Pac 12 title, Utah needs to prove itself against a Bruins team that has come out the gate hot and not lost a game. Utah is limping into this game with a lot of injuries on its roster, but it does have an ace up its sleeve, running back Ja’Quinden Jackson. In Week 2 against Baylor, Jackson ran for 129 yards for an average of 6.8 yards per carry. If UCLA has any hope of winning, it will be stopping Jackson from breaking off big plays. For the UCLA Bruins football team, they boast some strong draft prospects. One of those players looking to impress for UCLA is edge rusher Laiatu Latu. How this UCLA defensive line fares against the Utah offensive line will be important and Latu will play a massive role in that. If he can be his dominant self, the Bruins could grab a massive victory here.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs. LSU Tigers (12)
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
QB KJ Jefferson
It’s another big SEC showdown here at Baton Rouge for the battle of the “Golden Boot”. Ironically the last time these two teams met at Tiger Stadium, Arkansas managed to get the surprise win. LSU is trying to make a push into the top-ten with a win this week, but face a quarterback who could emulate what Florida State did to them in their Week 1 defeat. If Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson can follow the blueprint left by Florida State’ Jordan Travis by using his legs to breeze passed LSU’s ill-disciplined pass rushers, this could be another shock win for Arkansas. Jefferson ranks third on the Razorbacks roster in rush yards.
These two ranked teams will try to put on a show in this big Pac-12 matchup. Oregon State has Clemson transfer DJ Uiagalelei, who has completed 42 of 68 passes for 630 yards and six touchdowns, while rushing for an additional four scores so far this season. And running back Damien Martinez has racked up 351 yards on 40 carries making himself the star of the Beavers offense. Oregon State is trying to show its worthy of being a ranked team as it faces it toughest test yet. Previously this season they’ve beaten an FCS team and two Mountain-West teams, but now has to face a conference rival, Washington State, that has yet to lose a game. Getting pressure on Washington State’s quarterback, Cameron Ward, will be crucial for the Beavers. Ward has thrown for 985 yards with a 72% completion rate and nine passing touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 95 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.
Washington Huskies (8) vs. California
Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET
QB Michael Penix Jr.
This is one to watch more for the emotional connection attached. These two teams have a long history of nearly 100 years together in the PAC-12, but all that comes to end. With Washington moving to the Big Ten and Cal switching to the ACC, this puts a final note on this longstanding matchup. Washington look unstoppable at the moment on offense as they put up 713 yards last week against Michigan State. Watch for Washington’s tight end Jack Westover, who now has four TDs on 10 catches so far this season. He’s proving vital for Penix Jr. at the moment. Cal won’t go quietly though as they are tied for the lead in the nation with ten turnovers forced through three games.
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Iowa State Cyclones
Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
WR Jaylin Noel
This might be a tough game to watch as both teams are struggling on offense, or this could be a real fun game to watch in a close contest. Oklahoma State beat Iowa State last year despite converting just one of 14 tries on third down. Oklahoma State has an offensive line that is leaking bad and allowed four sacks last week. But on the opposite side, Iowa State has a defensive line that has 57 total pressures, which is third-most in the Big 12. This could turn into a real brawl and get super heated if there’s a close score line in the final quarter. It might not be a stars-tudded game, but watch these two teams battle it out in the trenches as Iowa State tries to right the ship for its season.