Week 4 of the college football season is in the books. So what did we learn, other than BC has a full-fledged quarterback controversy on their hands?
We learned that Notre Dame is reeling. N.C. State might be legit after all. Florida State might be legit, too, or Wake Forest is just really, really bad. Maryland managed to avoid the Sun Belt upset bug for the first time in three full seasons, while Clemson had the week off as they prepare to host Miami on Saturday. Duke lost to Army (yawn), while Syracuse and Virginia made quick work of their I-AA fodder.
Let's take a trip through the box scores and recaps to learn more about how the Eagles' next few upcoming opponents fared in Week 4.
Stanford 37, Notre Dame 13: Are the wheels coming off the Brian Kelly Irish bandwagon? The Irish are now 1-3 on the season and have more questions than answers. The defense turned in a solid performance on Saturday, but the Irish offense couldn't back them up, and Notre Dame got steamrolled by a very good Stanford team.
The Irish offense seemed to regress in Week 4, which was particularly jarring to Irish fans, given the progression the offense had made in the first three weeks. Quarterback Dayne Crist threw for 308 yards on 25-of-44 passing, but didn't lead the Irish offense to the end zone until late in the fourth quarter, when the game was well out of reach.
Despite a listless Irish performance, Rakes Of Mallow pleads for patience from Notre Dame fans:
"You've all seen the numbers on how first year coaches (Jim Harbaugh lost to the 2007 Irish team at home, and now he's just perfect), and you're well aware of how hot starts for the last two Irish coaches amounted to nothing. There are eight games (hopefully nine) left in this season, so again, patience people. It's not going to hurt anything to leave your "Jump to Conclusion" mat at home for a little longer."
N.C. State 45, Georgia Tech 28: Count me as one of the N.C. State Wolfpack doubters who was proven wrong last weekend. Despite being an eight-point road underdog against Georgia Tech, Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack went into Atlanta and came away with a convincing 45-28 victory over the Jackets.
Quarterback Russell Wilson brought his A-game on Saturday, and never looked back. He threw for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns to beat Georgia Tech by three scores. The Wolfpack offense managed to gain an average of 6.5 yards per snap.
The defense answered their doubters by also turning in a solid performance. Linebacker Nate Irving had 16 tackles and two sacks, while Terrell Manning added seven tackles and a TFL. Backing The Pack also notes that the defense appeared prepared and well coached on Saturday, which is bad news for the Eagles, who travel to Raleigh next weekend to take on the 4-0 Wolfpack.
Florida State 31, Wake Forest 0: Either Florida State is back, or Wake Forest just isn't a very good football team right now. Which one is it?
The only ACC team to suffer a more embarrassing shutout than BC last weekend was the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who were thoroughly dominated by Florida State in what Tomahawk Nation called a glorified scrimmage. Even though the FSU offense could have probably run right through the Deacon defense, the Seminoles used the opportunity to work on their passing game. The scary thing is Florida State probably didn't score as many points as they could because they focused heavily on the pass and Wake Forest defended for the pass.
FSU called 47 pass plays to just 31 runs. Ouch.
Syracuse 42, Colgate 7: Syracuse beat Colgate 42-7 on Saturday, a team with no scholarships, an enrollment of 2,800 and a member of the Football Championship Subdivision. As a result, Colgate will probably be the next in line to receive an invitation to join the Big East for football. That is all. [Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician, Box Score]