College football 2017: Week 4 heroes

Andrew Kitchener Roar Guru

By Andrew Kitchener, Andrew Kitchener is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger


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    Another week of college football is in the books, and as usual, there were lots of impressive and spectacular individual performances. Here are just a few teams and individuals who covered themselves in gridiron glory, my Week 4 heroes:

    Trace McSorley
    In perhaps the season’s most dramatic ending yet, the Penn State quarterback led his team 80 yards down the field in 1:24 to snatch a victory in Iowa City. His last-second throw over the fingertips of Iowa defenders and into the hands of receiver Juwan Johnson from seven yards out was a thing of beauty, and the Nittany Lions survived a scare, winning 21-19. The dude has stones.

    It wasn’t pretty, but the Gators scored a late touchdown to beat Kentucky 28-27 to extend their win streak over the Wildcats to an incredible 31 years. That’s right, Florida hasn’t lost to Kentucky since November 15, 1986.

    Are the Bulldogs the second-best team in the SEC after Alabama? On current form they are, and they sent a message to the rest of America with a 31-3 dismantling of the Mississippi State Bulldogs between the hedges in Athens.

    Georgia held Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald to 83 passing yards, 47 rushing yards and two interceptions while their own signal-caller Jake Fromm threw two touchdowns and completed 9-12 passes. It was an ominous performance.

    Texas Christian
    I’ve gotta admit, I didn’t see this coming, but I was hugely impressed. The Horned Frogs played just about the perfect game on the road, beating Oklahoma State 44-31 with a mix of stout defence, opportunism and offensive fireworks. Garry Patterson’s team, which never trailed throughout the game, has thrown a major cat among the pigeons in the Big 12 conference race now.

    A big road win against a Purdue team that many thought could trouble the Wolverines. They were down at halftime, and you sensed an upset brewing, but the offence got to work in the second half.

    Backup quarterback John O’Korn looked great in relief of injured starter Wilton Speight, who was out with an undisclosed injury, and Chris Evans had two touchdowns on the ground to support a defence that allowed just ten yards in the second quarter. Yep, ten.

    The way the Wolverines are playing on defence, this team is going to be in every game it plays, regardless of who starts under centre for the offence – and after O’Korn’s positive outing, you can bet that’ll be a question asked of Jim Harbaugh often this week.

    Texas Tech
    The Red Raiders went on the road and beat Houston on Saturday, snapping the longest home winning streak at 16 games. The oft-ridiculed Tech defence forced five turnovers in the 27-24 win. Kliff Kingsbury’s men have opened the season 3-0 and quarterback Nic Shimonek looks pretty good.

    While the Brigham Young team that Bronco Mendenhall left is getting worse, his Cavaliers are getting better and Friday night they scored a memorable 42-23 win in primetime despite being double-digit underdogs.

    Virginia’s quarterback Kurt Benkert had a career night, carving up what we all thought was a pretty good Boise State defence for 273 yards and three touchdowns. A big win for a UVA program that floundered for a while prior to Mendenhall’s arrival.

    Myles Gaskin
    The Washington running back ripped off 202 yards and scored twice in Boulder as the Huskies beat Colorado 37-10 in a game that many – myself included – thought was going to be much closer than that.

    South Florida’s defence
    The Bulls had a big Thursday night on the other side of the football, forcing six turnovers in a 43-7 shellacking of Temple. They also held the Owls to -6 yards rushing. A dominant performance in every sense of the word.

    The Blue Devils are 4-0 and will keep possession of the Victory Bell for another year following their 27-17 win over in-state rival North Carolina.

    Arizona State
    Shredded by Texas Tech last week, the Sun Devils did the obvious thing one week later: they came out and beat highly-fancied Oregon 37-35 to snap a ten-game losing streak to the Ducks.

    Rashaad Penny
    The San Diego State running back, who leads the nation in rushing yards, scored three times and ran for 128 yards after a slow start in soggy conditions against Air Force.

    The Falcons gave SDSU, who impressively beat Stanford last week, everything they could handle and more, but the Aztecs eventually prevailed 28-24 to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

    Khalil Herbert
    From one running back you’ve heard of, to one you haven’t. Herbert flies under the radar because he plays at Kansas, but he burst into the national football consciousness Saturday afternoon against West Virginia.

    He ran for 291 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries, going at just on eight yards a touch. Unfortunately, Herbert couldn’t get his team the win.

    Southern California
    A 13-13 score heading into the final quarter at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley gave rise to thoughts that Cal might be able to spring the upset. Then the Trojan machine clicked properly into gear, producing four final-quarter turnovers and 17 points to record a 30-20 win ahead of a short week and a trip to Pullman for a Friday night tilt with Washington State.

    The Trojans have won 13 straight versus the Golden Bears, and haven’t lost to anyone in a calendar year, compiling a 14-game win streak.

    North Carolina State
    Huge win for the Wolf Pack as they bested No. 12 Florida State 27-21 on the road in Tallahassee to break a ten-game losing streak against ranked teams. A year ago, NC State lost to Clemson and Florida State after holding leads against both, so their ability to close out the win will please Dave Doeren and the coaching staff in Raleigh.

    North Dakota State’s defence
    The Bison scored 21 points off turnovers and held Robert Morris to just 57 total yards in a 56-0 win in Fargo. The most dominant team of the last decade in the FCS look like they’ll be a real contender once again this year.

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