College football is now in full swing. There are always things to watch every week of the season. Here are 5 things to watch in college football week 4.
1. Ohio State at Notre Dame
Early last season Ohio State played Notre Dame in a nonconference game that ended up being pretty close. This year, the two teams will meet again in South Bend in a game that could be even more competitive. Both teams enter the game highly ranked and College Football Playoff implications are at at stake.
Neither team has been tested this season. Notre Dame is 4-0, as they played in week 0. Their offense looks totally different with Wake Forest-transfer Sam Hartman being able to really move things through the air. Ohio State named Kyle McCord the starter in week 3 and it seemed to help his confidence, as the Buckeyes routed Western Kentucky. While the matchup features two historic programs it also features two of the better teams this season with NFL Draft prospects filling both rosters.
2. Can Florida State get Over Clemson?
Florida State seems like they are on the cusp of doing something great. They won 10 games last season and started off this season 3-0. That 3-0 record includes a win over LSU in the opening week of the season. The expectations are higher, but for Florida State to really gain respect, they will have to defeat Clemson for the first time since 2014.
The Tigers are 2-1, with a loss to Duke, but that’s not the same old Blue Devils. Clemson’s defense still has plenty of talent, while their offense is still working things out. Florida State is coming off a rough game against Boston College and will have to be focused to get the win on the road. With a win, Florida State will have the toughest games of their schedule behind them, although they do have a game against Duke, which opens up a run to the College Football Playoff.
3. Can Ole Miss Take Advantage of Alabama’s Struggles?
Alabama has struggled to start the 2023 season. They lost to Texas in week 2 and really had trouble with USF in week 3. The Crimson Tide have not been able to find great quarterback play, no matter who they turn to this season. Their offensive line play has also been subpar, which is not something that is usually said about the Crimson Tide.
Things get tougher this week for Alabama when Ole Miss and former assistant coach Lane Kiffin come to town. The Rebels have a good offense that has averaged 55 points so far this season. Star running back Quinshon Judkins has missed time with injury, but he could be back for this game, which really makes things tough. Their defense is unproven, but if they are opportunistic against Alabama, the Rebels could leave with a win, which would knock Alabama out of the CFP picture unless things got really wild.
4. Pac-12 Matchups
The Pac-12 is going to have plenty of weeks worth watching this year. This is the first big weekend for them of the season. To start things off, Oregon will take on Colorado. The Ducks have looked good early in the season. Colorado is 3-0, but hasn’t played a team of Oregon’s caliber. With all the hype surrounding the Buffaloes, it will be fun to see if they can rebound from their close win over Colorado State to make a game with the Ducks.
Also going on this weekend is a game between UCLA and Utah. UCLA has been rolling under Chip Kelly this season and true freshman quarterback Dante Moore looks like a future star. They are 3-0 and will face an undefeated team in Utah. The Utes have won games despite being without starting quarterback Cam Rising. His status will be up in the air for this one, making things tough for the Utes.
The third game worth watching is Oregon State against Washington State. A lot has been made about the two schools being the only ones left in the Pac-12, but both have good teams this season. Clemson transfer D.J. Uiagalelei looks solid at quarterback for the Beavers, while the Cougars have a star of their own in Cameron Ward. A win in this game could be crucial to Pac-12 Championship hopes, as there are so many competitive teams in the conference this season.
5. Penn State’s Test
Penn State is 3-0 and looks like they have the potential to be a team fighting for a CFP spot. They have defeated some decent teams, including West Virginia and Illinois, but still haven’t proven themselves against much more than that. The Nittany Lions will get the chance to test themselves when they host Iowa this weekend.
A lot has been made about Iowa’s offense not being great, but it does look a little improved over past seasons. The real test for Penn State will be when their offense goes against Iowa’s defense. The Hawkeyes play tough defense, allowing 13.5 points per game. They have playmakers on all three levels. Penn State quarterback Drew Allar is still young and this will be the toughest game of his career. If he shows development in this game, Penn State could really insert themselves in the conversation to win the Big Ten East.
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