2021 Week 4 Recap

After one full month, this college football season is easily on pace to be the craziest we’ve seen in ages. While our sim hasn’t had quite the same craziness, undefeated teams are starting to drop left and right! Enjoy some of the highlights of a Week 4 that featured a plethora of nail-biters!

Games of Note and Predictions

#10 Notre Dame 50 – #12 Wisconsin 22

Scott- Notre Dame 30, Wisconsin 17

Gavin- Wisconsin 28, Notre Dame 24

Well, this one didn’t live up to the hype.  Jack Coan got revenge on his former team by throttling the Badgers Saturday in Chicago.  Wisconsin gave up 50 for the first time since the 2014 Big Ten Championship against Ohio State.  Notre Dame played its most complete game of the season by far, and now they’re setting themselves up to be a prime player in this playoff race.  They’ll host a top 10 matchup next weekend when the Cincinnati Bearcats come to South Bend.  Brian Kelly becomes the winningest coach in ND history.  He’s been there an extremely long time, but quite the accomplishment at such a storied program. The Badgers will welcome Michigan to Camp Randall, looking to stay afloat in the conference race.

#8 Texas A&M 45 – Arkansas 17

Scott- Texas A&M 31, Arkansas 14

Gavin- Texas A&M 35, Arkansas 10

Unlike in real-life, the Aggies were in complete control against the Hogs.  TAMU looks to be up for the challenge, serving as the top contender to Alabama in the West.  Tailback Isaiah Spiller ran for three scores in an impressive offensive showing.  That makes it ten in a row for A&M over Arkansas in this series, and the Hogs will look to turn it around after losing the conference opener.  Unfortunately for them, they face another Top 10 team in Georgia next weekend.  Texas A&M has Bama in 2 weeks.

#25 Oklahoma State 37 – Kansas State 0

Scott- Oklahoma State 28, Kansas State 20

Gavin- Oklahoma State 24, Kansas State 21

In a bit of a shocker, two seemingly even teams did not play an even match Saturday afternoon. OK State defended Boone Pickens Stadium by completely annihilating previously undefeated Kansas State. Is Gundy’s bunch a serious contender in the Big XII? They’re off to quite the start in proving just that, as the defense looks to be pretty darn legit. K-State has another shot against a ranked conference opponent next week. The Wildcats return home to face the big, bad Sooners of Oklahoma. OK State will look to make it 5-0 against Baylor.

#4 Florida 33 – Tennessee 22

Scott- Florida 44, Tennessee 20

Gavin- Florida 38, Tennessee 17

While there seemed to be a small hangover effect in Gainesville following the massive upset of #1, UF did what it needed to do against rival Tennessee.  It got the win it needed, although it didn’t come too easily.  Moral victories are hard to come by in Knoxville, but Tennessee showed a lot of fight in this one, and it’s something they haven’t been able to say all too often the last decade or so.  Maybe this will be a sign of things to come for UT.  Florida is now 2-0 in conference, and has its eyes set on the Dawgs.

#7 Iowa State 24 – Baylor 14

Scott- Iowa State 33, Baylor 24

Gavin- Iowa State 38, Baylor 17

In another one that had a different result that what happened in real-life, the Cyclones continue their playoff push by escaping Waco with a ten-point triumph. Baylor was a team we didn’t know much about heading in. The Bears may be a team to look out for if you’re a top dog in the Big XII however. At least they if this performance is a good indicator, I think they pick someone off at some point in conference play. But onto ISU, because no road win is easy. Against a salty Bear defense, Brock Purdy made just enough plays to keep Baylor out of arm’s reach. A win’s a win, and this conference race is going to be a mad dash towards Arlington.

TCU 41 – SMU 15

Scott- TCU 38, SMU 28

Gavin- TCU 45, SMU 35

It was all Frogs in this rivalry matchup in Fort Worth.  The Iron Skillet goes to Gary Patterson for the 16th time in 19 tries.  Max Duggan shredded the Mustang secondary all day as there was never a doubt who would take this one.  What was surprising, was how well the TCU defense played against a pretty lethal offense.  While Sonny Dykes’ squad was able to generate yardage, they couldn’t finish drives, and were pretty turnover-plagued.  I’d watch out for TCU in the Big XII as well.  SMU still has a lot to play for in the American.

#1 Clemson 30 – NC State 20

Scott- Clemson 40, NC State 27

Gavin- Clemson 42, NC State 21

While Clemson fell for the second time in the actual 2021 season, they are still undefeated in ours, as they escape Carter-Finley after a hard-fought divisional battle.  The atmosphere was electric for this night game blackout.  While Clemson struggled to get the run game going against a strong Wolfpack front, Justyn Ross made a couple huge catches downfield to make for an over-the-top threat all game long.  While Clemson’s defense gave up some points, they made the Wolfpack work for it, scoring on extremely long drives.  Dave Doeren still can’t capture that signature win for NCSU, but this game could prove for a promising season.  Clemson marches on.

#13 USC 53 – Oregon State 23

Scott- USC 39, Oregon State 20

Gavin- USC 45, Oregon State 24

Our simulation’s version of the 2021 USC Trojans continues to impress.  Kedon Slovis torched the Beavers all night in the Coliseum.  This one was close for a quarter, but Keontay Ingram got loose and couldn’t be slowed down at all.  USC is already 3-0 in the Pac-12, all against opponents from the North.  Clay Helton will need his team to keep up this intensity and focus against fellow ranked teams from the South later on this season.  They’ll have a chance at signature wins then, but Colorado stands in the way first.  Oregon State will try to flush this one and continue to push towards Jonathan Smith’s first bowl appearance in Corvallis.

Upset Picks:

Michigan State 34 – Nebraska 33

Scott- Nebraska 31, Michigan State 27

I almost called this one, but Sparty defends home turf and gets back to .500 in conference. Nebraska falls to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the B1G. At the end of the day, this could end up being a pretty important win for Mel Tucker.

Air Force 23 – Florida Atlantic 22 (OT)

Gavin- Florida Atlantic 28, Air Force 21

Gavin almost called this one as well, and I don’t recall having both of us being so close to cashing our upset picks, without actually doing so. Air Force is quietly 4-0 and maybe an extremely dark-horse NY6 contender. FAU falls to a disappointing 1-3, and Willie Taggart has not been good with in-game deicisions.

Our Pick Results

Scott 8-1 (29-7)

Gavin 7-2 (30-6)

I pick up one game on Gavin this week, and he’ll hold a game edge on me through one month.

Other Games of Note

Appalachian State 37 – Marshall 27

On a crisp, fall Thursday night in Boone, App State hands Marshall its first loss in a matchup of two of the better G5 teams.

#11 North Carolina 46 – Georgia Tech 12

North Carolina looks like the prime team to challenge Clemson in the ACC from the Coastal, and they already have notched 3 conference wins.  Sam Howell is rolling.

#15 Texas 32 – Texas Tech 6

The Longhorns continue to dominate this all-time series, and UT sits at 4-0 two weeks away from the Red River Rivalry.  Matt Wells’ seat is red hot.

#24 Michigan 40 – Rutgers 30

Michigan is also quietly 4-0, but they did not look very strong on defense in this one.  Cade McNamara looked great however.  This could be a building block performance for Greg Schiano and the Knights.

Louisville 33 – Florida State 26 (OT)

Louisville has won three straight after clipping the Noles in Tallahassee. UL picked off McKenzie Milton to seal the deal in OT, one of three picks for the Cards.

Louisiana 28 – Georgia Southern 20

This Sun Belt opener wasn’t too note-worthy for both teams. And not to toot our own horn, but our simulator gave us the exact score of what happened in real life. Guess those projections were pretty accurate with these two.

Stanford 29 – #17 UCLA 28 (OT)

In another overtime game, previously winless Stanford is able to knock off previously unbeaten UCLA in a massive upset. The Cardinal student section was at full strength for this one, and this is quite the blow for Chip Kelly.

#19 LSU 34 – Mississippi State 15

Are the Bayou Bengals starting to figure things out?  They looked very strong in a tough environment on Saturday, shutting down Mike Leach’s high-flying offense.

Memphis 26 – UTSA 18

Despite all the coaching turnover at Memphis, the Tigers fended off an underrated Roadrunner squad to get to 4-0 and avoid the hangover after beating Mississippi State last week.  Cincinnati should keep an eye on these Tigers.

Colorado State 10 – #16 Iowa 9

In the absolute stunner of the weekend, Colorado State walks into Kinnick at night and defeats the Hawkeyes by the slimmest of margins.  There were concerns about Iowa’s passing offense headed into 2021, and CSU proved those concerns to be valid.  What a win for Steve Addazio.  Guys being dudes.

Missouri 40 – Boston College 31

BC was another undefeated team headed into this weekend, and Mizzou escaped the northeast with a tough road win. Conner Bazelak had five total touchdowns.

Indiana 35 – Western Kentucky 28 (OT)

More overtime? Yes sir. The Hoosiers caught quite the upset bid from WKU, but they managed to fend it off and barely hang on to return to .500. It’s still early, but IU appears to have taken quite the step backwards from 2020.

New Mexico 30 – UTEP 29 (OT)

More overtime… Miners lose a heartbreaker to a regional rival.

South Florida 24 – BYU 23 (OT)

More overtime. Bulls earn an impressive road win in Provo.

Washington 46 – California 24

No overtime! Washington’s offense is finally starting to come alive after struggling at times early on. The Huskies end a two-game skid against Cal. UW moves to 1-0 in conference play.

See you guys next week for a lookahead to an absolutely massive Week 5 slate!

-Scott

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