Under scrutiny since the start of last season, No. 5 Clemson’s offense secured a 51-45 win over No. 16 Wake Forest in what could be a major turning point as the Tigers try to get back to the top of the ACC and College Football. Playoffs.
The face of Clemson’s struggles on offense, junior quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns to keep pace with Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman, who finished with 337 yards and a school-best six scores.
Promised to lead the Tigers to a must-win, this offense delivered a second straight 500-yard game – doing so for the first time since 2020 – and a resounding answer to questions and doubts that had been gathering for more than a year. .
Uiagalelei’s performance was his best since his first year, when he had two superb starts as a replacement for an injured Trevor Lawrence. Sophomore running back Will Shipley rushed for 104 killing yards and a touchdown, his seventh.
Talk about a change in conversation: Clemson could now face more problems on defense than on offense after failing to keep Hartman and the Demon Deacons under wraps.
SWEET WINNER:Clemson won their donuts with a savage Wake Forest defeat
TOP 25 SUMMARY:Scores and results of the biggest matches of week 4
An inexperienced, scrawny secondary is the Tigers’ weak link after giving up at least 250 passing yards for the third straight game. Wake is the third team to throw at least four touchdowns without an interception against Dabo Swinney-coached Clemson, and the second with six scores, joining Ohio State in the 2021 Sugar Bowl.
Even a talented defensive front was largely held in check by Wake’s veteran offensive line, though that group intensified late in the fourth quarter and into overtime.
Next week pits Clemson against North Carolina State’s No. 11, who has his own powerful passing game behind quarterback Devin Leary. If the offense puts on another solid performance and the defense bounces back against an elite opponent, the Tigers will have earned a seat among the top four teams in the country.
Clemson, Wake Forest and others are among this week’s winners and losers:
It’s a rapidly rising team and program in the SEC East. Tennessee’s No. 12 overturned years of futility in the rivalry and beat Florida’s No. 22 38-33, putting even more wind in the Volunteers’ sails in what is shaping up to be a second season in small groups under coach Josh Heupel. His work with Hendon Hooker is what really stands out: After failing to get off the ground at Virginia Tech, he’s thrown for 39 touchdowns and just three interceptions since arriving in Knoxville, including 349 yards and two scores against the Gators. Tennessee had only passed Florida once since 2005.
Otherwise, the Wisconsin defense was supposed to test the No. 3 Buckeyes and quarterback CJ Stroud. There may be a team capable of doing just that – it just won’t be the Badgers, who didn’t even force a punt until the middle of the third quarter. Stroud passed for 281 yards, TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 121 yards, tight end Cade Stover had two touchdowns, and the Buckeyes took a 28-0 lead and beat Wisconsin 52-21. This offense is scary.
College football’s greatest story continues: Kansas went undefeated as they beat Duke 35-27 behind another scorching Saturday from quarterback Jalon Daniels, who battled his way to the start of the Heisman Trophy race. Daniels completed 19 of 23 throws for 324 yards, ran for the team-leading 83 yards, and had five touchdowns, giving him 15 scoring and just one turnover on the year. Picked to improve in coach Lance Leipold’s second year, but still with around four wins, the Jayhawks are now heading towards bowl eligibility and Leipold is becoming one of the hottest coaches out there.
Facing a very early elimination from the SEC and the playoff race, A&M salvaged an acceptable September by barely slipping past No. 10 Arkansas 23-21. It was easy to imagine what would have happened with a second loss, starting with louder calls for Jimbo Fisher to hand him the play-calling duties for his spray attack. With the offense still stuck at neutral, the Aggies were sparked by a turn to quarterback Max Johnson, who did well to protect the football and play with his legs. A&M also has one of the best running backs in the SEC in Devon Achane, who rushed for 159 yards against the strong Razorbacks defense.
The Fighting Irish are starting to right the ship after a rocky start under coach Marcus Freeman. Like Clemson, a stumbling offense sparked a key victory: Notre Dame gained 576 yards, 287 rushing and beat North Carolina 45-32 for a second straight win after losing to Ohio State and Marshall to open the year . Behind a great game plan from coordinator Tommy Rees, quarterback Drew Pyne threw for 289 yards and three scores.
Beating previously undefeated Iowa State 31-24 cements No. 17 Baylor’s place among the top teams in the Big 12 and brings some clarity to the conference race heading into october. The win also saw a rebound from freshman starting quarterback Blake Shapen, who struggled in the Bears’ loss to No. 23 Brigham Young and last week’s win over Texas State, but made 19 of 26 assists for 238 yards and three touchdowns against the Cyclone. The ISU came into play Saturday, allowing quarterbacks to complete just 51.4% of their throws and giving up just 5.2 yards per attempt.
The Kansas State-graded trade quarterback had one of the best games of his career as he led the Wildcats to a 41-34 victory over No. 6 Oklahoma. Far too cautious in his first three starts – avoiding turnovers but too conservative as a passer — Martinez played loose against the Sooners, finishing with 234 passing yards, 148 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Late in the fourth quarter, his 55-yard run to convert a key third down sealed the win. After four miserable years in Nebraska, Martinez has the chance to write a positive end to his college career.
Forget Kansas. Is James Madison the success story of the season? In the program’s first year in the Bowl Subdivision, the longtime Championship Subdivision powerhouse went undefeated scoring the game’s final 29 points to shock Appalachian State on the road 32-28. Trailing 28-3, the Dukes gained momentum with a 75-yard drive late in the second quarter, then scored twice from short field in the second half to pull off a major group-of-five upset.
The Big 12 is up for grabs after the Sooners’ botched loss to Kansas State. While the offense was able to move the ball against the Wildcats, a number of drives were blocked due to untimely penalties, mostly false starts which put the Sooners behind in chains. After an uneventful non-conference slate, Oklahoma emerges from the opening month like an enigma. Are the Sooners the best team in the conference? Will the defense reach a higher level under Brent Venables? For Oklahoma, the loss removes any margin for error with upcoming conference games against Texas, No. 8 Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Mario Cristobal’s honeymoon is over, and fast. After losing a winnable game to Texas A&M last Saturday, No. 25 Miami suffered a 45-31 loss to Middle Tennessee, cementing the Hurricanes’ place among the Bowl Subdivision’s biggest disappointments. With his team already relegated to non-factor status, Cristobal faces another major situation at the start of his first year: Tyler Van Dyke was taken out in the third quarter after completing only half of his shots with two interceptions. That he stepped back after a huge first season is a poor reflection of the new staff.
The Razorbacks missed an emotional victory, coming from behind, by inches. Trailing 23-21 with less than two minutes remaining, Arkansas lined up for the decisive field goal 42 yards out from second Cam Little, one of the best young kickers in the country. But Little’s kick was shoved to the right and barely hit near the top of the right upright before bouncing back into the end zone. The loss takes some juice out of next weekend’s game with No. 1 Alabama.
Steve Sarkisian can identify with the thud of Cristobal’s debut. His was even worse: Texas failed to reach a bowling game in one of the worst seasons in the program’s recent history. How much better are things in Sarkissian’s second year? The No. 19 Longhorns lost 37-34 in overtime at Texas Tech, nullified by a series of regulation errors and a crucial overtime fumble from star running back Bijan Robinson, and clearly failed to take advantage of this month’s morale loss. Alabama. Instead of competing for a spot in the New Year’s Six, the Longhorns appear to be an afterthought in the Big 12.
state of michigan
After tapping into the transfer portal to fuel a surprisingly successful 2021 season, Mel Tucker clearly fell short of pulling off another rebuild and keeping Michigan State in the mix for a New Year’s Bowl Six. last weekend by Washington, the Spartans were humiliated in a 34-7 loss to Minnesota that should give the Gophers some Top 25 consideration.
Count it among the worst losses of the season: Missouri missed a 26-yard field goal as time expired in regulation, then fumbled the likely game-winning touchdown in the first overtime to lose 17-14 to a team of Auburn appearing to play the string under embattled coach Bryan Harsin. Instead, the nature of the ugly loss will put Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz in the hot seat as the Tigers head to a losing final.
state of colorado
The worst team in the country? At the very least, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Florida International, and the state of New Mexico have business near the bottom. Handed over to a miserable situation by his predecessor, new Colorado State coach Jay Norvell is clearly going to need time to bring the Rams back to respectability after losing 41-10 at home to Sacramento State.
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