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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Here's a brief look at the highlights of the fourth week of the college football season, a week which featured four games between ranked teams, a host of key SEC tilts and the biggest upset of the year with Texas falling to UCLA. The rankings used in this recap are the AP rankings from prior to the games.

#17 Auburn 35, #12 South Carolina 27:
In a game which featured five lead changes, Auburn rode its rising star quarterback Cameron Newton (and a defense which forced four fourth-quarter turnovers) to a huge SEC victory.

#1 Alabama 24, #10 Arkansas 20:
Bama rallied from a 20-7 deficit for its 28th consecutive regular season win. Arkansas' Ryan Mallett was awesome in the first half, but the Tide defense rose in the second half, forcing two key interceptions.

UCLA 34, #7 Texas 12:
The Longhorns continue to struggle on offense without Manning Award winner Colt McCoy, but UCLA ran all over the Texas defense in this one, tallying 264 rushing yards.

#6 Nebraska 17, South Dakota State 3:
This game wasn't necessarily close to a loss, but was still a surprising score for the Huskers, who had been dominant coming into this game against an FCS foe.
#8 Oklahoma 31, Cincinnati 29: A furious fourth-quarter comeback by Cincinnati wasn't enough as Oklahoma managed to hold on as Landry Jones put together another big game for the Sooners, who have three wins by less than a touchdown this year.
#14 Arizona 10, Cal 9: In a low-scoring affair, Arizona quarterback Nick Foles connected for his first TD of the game with 1:11 to go to help the Cats avoid a major letdown after beating Iowa last week.
#15 LSU 20, #22 West Virginia 14: The Tiger offense continues to struggle, but Heisman contender Patrick Peterson continues to shine, adding a punt return TD to his achievements as LSU held off the Mountaineers after jumping ahead 17-0.
#23 Penn State 22, Temple 13: Temple held a halftime lead, but Penn State running back Evan Royster finally revved up, finishing with a career-high 187 rushing yards after averaging less than 40 per game.

#3 Boise State 37, #24 Oregon State 24:
Not playing its best football (turnovers and special teams miscues abounded), Boise State still managed to register a double-digit victory over a ranked foe.
#4 TCU 41, SMU 24: The Horned Frogs struggled all game and actually trailed their rival in the third quarter, but closed the game with a 27-7 run to remain undefeated.
#5 Oregon 42, Arizona State 31: Oregon is no longer averaging a point-a-minute, but the Ducks erased a 10-point first half deficit and forced seven turnovers.
#9 Florida 48, Kentucky 14: Some had Kentucky with a chance at the upset, but they didn't account for all-purpose star Trey Burton who set a Gator record with six touchdowns to help Urban Meyer to his 100th career victory.
#16 Stanford 37, Notre Dame 14: The Cardinal is known for rocket-armed QB Andrew Luck, but Stanford's defense was the story here, holding the Irish to just 44 rushing yards. Stanford's Owen Marecic, the only full-time two-way player in the country, rushed for a TD as a fullback and returned an interception for a TD as a linebacker.
#19 Miami 31, Pittsburgh 3: In a Thursday night game, Miami delivered another punishing blow to the Big East, which has zero ranked teams for the first time since 1995.

Nevada 27, BYU 13:
A key win for the WAC over a Mountain West foe keeps the Wolf Pack perfect as they enter the rankings for the first time since 1948.
North Carolina State 45, Georgia Tech 28: Georgia Tech was one of the preseason favorites in the ACC, and NC State wasn't seen as a factor, but the Wolfpack is undefeated and looking strong.

#2 Ohio State 73, Eastern Michigan 20:
Terrelle Pryor was unstoppable as the Buckeyes dominated in all phases of the game.
#11 Wisconsin 70, Austin Peay 3: No Ohio Valley Conference upset in this one as Wisconsin rolled in its final warm-up for Big Ten play, scoring touchdowns on its first seven possessions.
#13 Utah 56, San Jose State 3: While Boise State and TCU get the headlines as potential BCS Busters, Utah simply keeps dominating - the Utes have outscored their foes 177-51.
#18 Iowa 45, Ball State 0: Hawkeyes get back on track after losing to Arizona last week, holding David Letterman's alma mater to just 112 total yards.
#20 USC 50, Washington State 16: Despite not being eligible for postseason play, USC continues to win, crushing Pac-10 doormat Washington State, which has lost 12 straight to FBS foes.
#21 Michigan 65, Bowling Green 21: The Wolverines have no trouble this week as far as scoring points, but the trouble comes in the form of an injury to star QB Denard Robinson - though its not considered serious and he's expected to be back next weekend.
#25 Michigan State 45, Northern Colorado 7: With coach Mark Dantonio resting at home after last weekend's heart attack, the Spartans kept him stress free with a easy win over FCS-foe Northern Colorado.

#7 Florida at #1 Alabama:
Billed in the preseason as one of the top games of the year and nothing has changed. Alabama has been very impressive and Florida looked great on Saturday against Kentucky after struggling on offense early in the year.
Tennessee at #12 LSU: While this is traditionally a major SEC game, Tennessee has fallen on hard times, but LSU continues to win.
#22 Penn State at #17 Iowa: Both teams waste little time jumping into the meat of the Big Ten schedules; Iowa looks to upend the Lions for the second year in a row.
#11 Wisconsin at #24 Michigan State: Some in the media are picking Wisconsin for the Sugar Bowl, but this road game will be tougher than it first appeared as the Spartans have climbed into the national rankings.
#21 Texas at #8 Oklahoma (Dallas): The annual Red River Rivalry has lost some luster with Texas losing and Oklahoma struggling to put away three of its opponents already, but still a major key in the Big 12 race.
#16 Miami at Clemson: Clemson surprised with Atlantic title in 09; thrilling OT victory at Miami was a key springboard for success.
Virginia Tech at #23 North Carolina State: The Wolfpack has been a surprise thus far this year and Virginia Tech appeared to regain some confidence with an impressive shutout against Boston College.
#9 Stanford at #4 Oregon: Cardinal shocked No. 8 Ducks last year; this one's in Eugene and Toby Gerhart is gone, but Stanford has Andrew Luck and a strong defense.

Manning Award Stars of the Week

From the players currently on the Watch List for the Manning Award, here are some of the standout stars from week four:

Nathan Enderle, Idaho (25-of-30, 345 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Enderle's impressive numbers aren't enough to prevent a last-second 36-34 loss to  Colorado State.

Kellen Moore, Boise State (19-of-27, 291 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Moore continues to make it look easy as he turns in a typically flawless performance as Boise stops Oregon State, 37-24.

Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State (20-of-26, 224 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Pryor simply dominates Eastern Michigan, adding 104 rushing yards and a rushing TD while also catching a TD pass.

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa (19-of-25, 288 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Another efficient performance from Stanzi, who gets the Hawkeyes back on track with a blowout win over Ball State.

Russell Wilson, North Carolina State (28-of-41, 368 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Maybe the most under-rated quarterback in the country, Wilson leads the Wolfpack into the national rankings with a major ACC win over Georgia Tech.

Manning Award Players to Watch
While 33 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players may be added later in the season. Here's a look at the best performances from players making a bid to be added.

Brian Anderson, Marshall (21-of-30, 295 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Anderson leads the Thundering Herd to its first win, hitting for a fourth-quarter TD and two-point conversion in 24-23 win over Ohio.

Ben Chappell, Indiana (23-of-33, 342 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Under-rated Chappell leads Hoosiers to big first half and they hold on to beat Akron, 34-20, to remain undefeated.

Austin Dantin, Toledo (24-of-31, 209 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Dantin adds 64 rushing yards and two scores in big 31-20 win over Big Ten's Purdue.

Cameron Newton, Auburn (16-of-21, 159 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Newton also rushes 25 times for 172 yards and three TDs in huge 35-27 win over SEC rival South Carolina.

Pete Thomas, Colorado State (28-of-35, 381 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Thomas lifts Rams to their first win with a big fourth quarter, engineering two late scoring drives, including the game-winning field goal with three seconds left against Idaho.

Week 3 Bowl Predictions
ESPN (Schlabach):
Florida vs. Wisconsin (Both teams change as he replaces Arkansas and Oklahoma)
ESPN (Adelson): Alabama vs. TCU (remains the same as last week)
CBS Sports: Auburn vs. Nebraska (remains the same as last week)
College Football News: Alabama vs. TCU (remains the same as last week) (Mandel): Florida vs. Iowa (Iowa replaces Nebraska)


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