Florida State, Oklahoma State stumble, Georgia returns to top form in week four

Even after an impressive win by Georgia last week, no one in the SEC can compete with Alabama. 

Image By: Kaitlyn Veto

Week four of college football did not disappoint as many of the top teams in the nation got their first taste of conference action and, with it, their first true tests of the season. Away with the cupcakes! The first week of conference play served as a measuring stick for some, to see where their season might be taking them, while for others it was simply a stop on the road. Here are some recaps of some of the biggest games from last week.

Francois’ “Je ne se quoi” too big to fill for the Seminoles

Coming in as 11-point favorites and given 21 days to prepare, the Florida State Seminoles were hoping to get its season back on track after a dismal 24-7 performance against Alabama and a two-week hiatus due to Hurricane Irma. Unfortunately, the vacuum of leadership and playmaking ability caused by star quarterback Deondre Francois’ injury could not be filled as the ‘Noles fell to the North Carolina State Wolfpack 27-21.

Statistically, the Seminoles kept pace with the Wolfpack, and actually outgained them in total yards. However, red zone inefficiency proved to be fatal for Florida State, as the Seminoles converted only one of their seven trips into touchdowns.

The Wolfpack, on the other hand, should be feeling good about themselves as they improve to 3-1 on the season with a marquee win on their resume.

For Florida State, however, it falls to 0-2 on the year, for first time since 1989. Obviously, there have been major distractions to its season, but it must rally behind new freshman starting quarterback James Blackman and develop the offensive continuity necessary to compete in the ACC. If they don’t improve fast, their season could be “au revoir.”

TCU Manhandles Oklahoma State on the Road

The Oklahoma State Cowboys were probably the most talked about “dark horse” that was predicted to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. Mike Gundy’s team looked the part in its first three games, showcasing its dominant, explosive offense that averaged 54 points a game and over 600 yards in total offense. However, the No. 6 Cowboys faced their first true test of the year as they squared off against the No. 16 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at home in Stillwater.

The biggest question entering the game was whether or not TCU’s defense could keep up with the high-tempo offense of Oklahoma State. Those questions were quickly answered as the Horned Frogs forced four Oklahoma State turnovers. The TCU offense capitalized off of these mistakes and good field position by manufacturing 14 points off the turnovers.

TCU’s senior quarterback Kenny Hill paced the Horned Frogs, completing 22-of-33 pass attempts for 228 yards and one touchdown. Running back Darius Anderson had a huge game, rushing for 160 yards on 26 carries and finished with a hat-trick of touchdowns.

This game has serious implications for later on in the season. Can Oklahoma State rebound and get back into the College Football Playoff discussion? And for TCU, are they only capable of beating conference foe and top-5 rival Oklahoma?

Georgia is Back.

A week after giving LSU a pounding in Starkville, many commentators saw Mississippi State’s meteoric rise in the polls as a possible indicator of a challenger to Alabama’s hegemony in the SEC West. And then came a trip to Athens, Georgia.

From the first snap, it was all Bulldogs. The Georgia Bulldogs. After forcing a quick three and out, the Georgia Bulldogs’ first play from scrimmage was a 59-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Jake Fromm to wide receiver Terry Godwin. The next drive, Georgia nickel-and-dimed it down the field resulting in a 7-yard touchdown by running back, Nick Chubb.

It only got worse from there. Mississippi State could not move the ball across midfield and Georgia took advantage of extra opportunities and MSU mistakes. Mississippi State got its first and only break in the game when they recovered a D’Andre Swift fumble and turned it into three points later in the second quarter. Otherwise, it was swamped on both sides of the football.

Georgia’s dominance was exerted once more in the waning moments of the game when it made a goal line stand as it repeatedly stopped Mississippi State from scoring as time expired.

Jacob Fromm led the Bulldogs’ balanced attack with 201 yards on 9-12 passing. Chubb paced the running attack, with 81 yards on 15 carries, including two touchdowns.

This game could not have been more symbolic of the extreme-volatility of the SEC. Week after week, no one is safe and everyone has to perform in order to be successful. Could Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs be the only challengers to his predecessor, Nick Saban’s, Crimson Tide? It’s a long season but at this point, no one looks like they can compete with Alabama.

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