College Football

College Football Risers and Fallers: Vols Climb the Pole After Saturday Stunner

By Anthony Wootton

If ever there was a game you could use as an advertisement for SEC football, Saturday’s matchup between the Tennessee Volunteers and Florida Gators would be it. The Volunteers moved to 4-0 on the season after this statement win.

Another team making waves at 4-0 is Florida State, who dominated the Boston College Eagles, winning by a 30-point margin. Meanwhile, the Arkansas Razorbacks will be smarting after their rough loss to Texas A&M, and it doesn’t get easier in Week 5.

Here are my risers and fallers from Week 4 of the college football season.

Week 4 CFB Risers

Tennessee Volunteers

Hendon Hooker, take a bow. The Tennessee quarterback was unstoppable on Saturday. Hooker threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 112 yards and a score in the Volunteers’ 38-33 win over Florida. Hooker was electric in this game, throwing 14 consecutive completions.

Gators’ quarterback, Anthony Richardson, was also impressive throwing for a career-high 453 yards and two touchdowns and running for 62 and two scores. The Vols never punted, the Gators only punted once, and despite giving up nearly 600 yards on defense, they beat their SEC rivals at the sixth time of asking.

Tennessee is inside the Top 25 for the first time in six years, which was the last time they were 4-0 to start the season.

Florida State Seminoles

Rewind 12 months and the Seminoles were 0-4. Not only are they 4-0 this season, but they’ve also scored 91 points in their last two games, conceding 21. It’s been their best start to a campaign since 2015.

Florida State was clicking on all phases on Saturday, starting with the very first play of the game. Returner, Trey Benson, received the opening kick-off, evaded five tackles and ran it 93 yards for a touchdown. The defense had a pick on their opening drive, while quarterback, Jordan Travis, had a career-high 321 passing yards in this 44-14 win over Boston College.

The Eagles were reduced to 235 total yards on offense. The Seminoles find themselves ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in four years.

Oregon Ducks

We’ve all needed a moment to recover from this comeback of comebacks. They were trailing by 12 points with 6:49 left on the clock and suddenly they scored 22 to leave Washington State stunned in this dramatic 44-41 win in Pullman.

Their final points came from a pick-six by Mase Funa. His score put them 44-34 up and effectively sealed the game. Though, take a moment to appreciate quarterback, Bo Nix. Oregon outgained WSU by 626 to 416 yards, Nix had more passing yards than the entire Cougars offense.

He threw for 428 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. That interception was a pick-six, returned for 96 yards. He was 33 of 44, which is 75% completion, which is a key indicator of the success the former Auburn signal-caller is having out west.

Week 4 CFB Fallers

Arkansas Razorbacks

The Hogs lost in heart-breaking fashion against their rivals, Texas A&M on Saturday. With 1:35 on the clock, Arkansas’ kicker, Cam Little, attempted a field goal that would’ve regained the lead. Cue pandemonium from the home fans inside AT&T Stadium.

This was a game that got away from the Razorbacks. They looked to be in control by the end of the first quarter with a 14-point lead. But, the Aggies responded with 23 unanswered points over the next two quarters. At 14-7 up, with the ball on the 3, Hogs’ quarterback leaped for the score and fumbled.

The ball was scooped by the defense, who ran it 97 yards for the score, whilst carried by two different defenders. Their unbeaten run is over, dropping 10 spots in the rankings to 20. There will be huge concerns over how they gave this one up, and the next for Arkansas is Alabama on Saturday.

Oklahoma Sooners

The most points the Sooners had conceded in one game through the first three weeks of the season was 14. On Saturday the unranked Kansas State ran riot, scoring 24 in the first half of their shock 41-34 victory.

Defensive mastermind, Brent Venables, had no response to the Wildcats’ offense that was led by quarterback, Adrian Martinez. Martinez threw for 382 yards and five touchdowns. KS also ran for 277 yards in a dominant attacking display that seriously damages the Sooners’ playoff hopes.

It was the Wildcats’ third win in four years over the Sooners, who dropped nine spots to 15.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

We all know about 28-3. Kyle Shanahan doesn’t need reminding, nor do Matt Ryan and Atlanta Falcons fans worldwide. One of the biggest shocks of college football last weekend came after the Mountaineers squandered a 28-3 halftime lead to James Madison.

App State was the 7-point favorite heading into the game. This was the team that shocked Texas A&M just two weeks earlier. In Week 4 they were victims of a stunner, falling 32-28 to the unranked Dukes.

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