The latest weekend of college football has arrived with a slate of important Week 4 games that could start to shape conference races. Here’s how to watch, along with our picks, news updates and highlights, including a crowd-surfing coach after Tulane’s huge, last-second win on Thursday night.
Week 4’s best moments
This is the opposite of jumping around
So, Michigan Man, how was your trip to Wisconsin?
— George Balekji NBC15 (@GeorgeBalekji) September 21, 2019
Bow down to the Turnover Cloak
This year, Coastal Carolina joined the turnover craze with a new sideline celebration. According to Myrtle Beach Online, it’s called the “Game of Thrones Turnover Cloak,” modeled after the one worn by Jon Snow on HBO’s Game of Thrones series.
Coastal Carolina’s turnover celebration is… pic.twitter.com/II9CI1b27A
— Cam Mellor (@PFF_Cam) September 21, 2019
Hello from the other side
You can try a thousand times. But that’s not how it works.
J.T. Shrout attempts to talk into a telephone without picking up the handset.
A striking celebration
Rutgers offensive lineman Michael Maietti has an interesting touchdown celebration, just straight-up punching quarterback Artur Sitkowski in the face.
He really punched his QB in the face to celebrate the TD 🤜 pic.twitter.com/Yc9zVpLDHQ
— ESPN (@espn) September 21, 2019
Watch LSU’s Adrian Magee (No. 73) crush two defenders in the middle of the line who are attempting to rush Joe Burrow.
LSU OL Adrian Magee levels two defenders with huge blocks as Joe Burrow finds Stephen Sullivan with a 28-yard pass.
Atop the Wave
Houston raced out to a 28-7 second-quarter lead against Tulane on Thursday night. But after the Green Wave rallied, Houston kicked a field goal to tie the game at 31 with 21 seconds remaining. Overtime seemed imminent, bu the Green Wave pulled off a remarkable combo to shock the Cougars. After a fake kneel-down led to an 18-yard run, Justin McMillan hit Jalen McCleskey over the middle and McCleskey broke away to score a 53-yard touchdown with three seconds left.
Justin McMillan finds Jalen McCleskey down the middle for a 53-yard touchdown, giving Tulane the lead over Houston with three seconds left.
Green Wave coach Willie Fritz followed it up with a little crowd-surfing in the locker room.
— Tulane University Football (@GreenWaveFB) September 20, 2019
SVP vs. sucker MCs
LSU shouted out Scott Van Pelt in its uniform reveal for the week, using a clip from his show and turning him into a rapper in the process.
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 20, 2019
Ratted out the social media folks
Jalen Hurts might have left Alabama, but Alabama hasn’t left him. Two years after Nick Saban’s infamous “rat poison” rant — about how the media is saying too many good things about his team and making players overconfident — Hurts delivered the same message via an Oklahoma social media post about the Sooners’ top-ranked offense (you may have to click to see his reply).
— Nate Feken (@TheGreat_Nate) September 20, 2019
Kickin’ it up a notch
FIU defensive lineman David Reynolds snags a heads-up interception off the foot of a teammate when Louisiana Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith was trying to throw it away.
Off the foot ➡️ Interception
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) September 21, 2019
Former Georgia coach and ACC Network analyst Mark Richt gives his legendary 10-bite sandwich breakdown to get you ready for in-game snacking action.
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) September 21, 2019
What the Top 25 results mean
No. 2 Alabama 49, Southern Miss 7
It was another ho-hum dominant performance for the Tide. Tua Tagovailoa threw for more touchdowns (5) than incompletions (4) for the fourth time in his career and the defense held Southern Miss to 226 total yards and 1.6 yards per carry. The only bright spot for future opponents? Backup QB Mac Jones threw an interception. With three of their next four games at home against Ole Miss, Tennessee and Arkansas, only a road trip to Texas A&M in two weeks looks like a test before a collision course with LSU on Nov. 9. — Dave Wilson
No. 4 LSU 66, Vanderbilt 38
This pass-happy offense looks so good on the Tigers that you wonder why they didn’t go to it years ago. Joe Burrow (398 yards, six TDs) again put up Heisman-worthy stats — in part because the defense was giving up just enough points to Vandy to keep the first-string offense on the field for a while. Now comes a bye week before an interesting run: home games against Utah State, Florida, and Auburn sandwiching a trip to Mississippi State. — Bill Connelly
No. 6 Ohio State 76, Miami (Ohio) 5
Miami will always have those first eight minutes. But after falling behind 5-0, Ohio State obliterated the RedHawks from there. After the first 76-5 result in FBS history, the Buckeyes now get to prepare for a couple of unique tests: a road trip to Nebraska and a visit from Michigan State. The Buckeyes should win both, but the magnitude of the wins will tell us a lot about OSU’s ability to maintain form over the long haul. — Bill Connelly
No. 8 Auburn 28, No. 17 Texas A&M 20
Auburn now has one of the most impressive resumes in the country — including the season-opening win against Oregon — and yet it’s still premature to talk about the Tigers as playoff contenders because their remaining schedule is so brutal. Quarterback Bo Nix is maturing each week, but the Tigers have three straight October road games and Georgia and Alabama. Saturday’s win proved they’re capable of more, but how much remains to be seen. The Aggies’ role this season has become clear: a potential spoiler, but unlikely to be more. Texas A&M has two losses and hasn’t even faced Alabama, Georgia or LSU yet. If the offense doesn’t find its spark, it could be a five-loss season for Jimbo Fisher. The Aggies’ running game was stifled, and while Kellen Mond made some big plays on third down, they came up short in the red zone and surrendered a touchdown off of a turnover. — Heather Dinich
No. 9 Florida 34, Tennessee 3
Kyle Trask made his first career start, and he showed plenty of promise — throwing for more yards than Feleipe Franks ever had in any game. But also had his share of mistakes, too, including two interceptions and a fumble. Florida still has issues consistently running the ball, too, and that remains a question mark moving forward, especially as the heart of the schedule looms closer. A difficult October schedule awaits after next week’s game against Towson, and Florida is going to have to play nearly perfectly when that stretch begins Oct. 5 against Auburn, then continues with games against LSU, South Carolina and Georgia. The Gators are hopeful they will have two of their best defenders, CJ Henderson and Jabari Zuniga, healthy in time for those contests. — Andrea Adelson
USC 30, No. 10 Utah 23
Utah looked nothing like a fringe CFP contender at USC, and the Utes have much to clean up if they want to challenge for their first Pac-12 title. A veteran team built on discipline and not beating itself must take a long look in the mirror after committing 16 penalties, repeatedly coming up empty in plus territory and giving up a safety at the worst time. USC’s receivers exposed cracks in a talented but untested Utah secondary. The Utes’ hold-happy offensive line clearly needs a reset, especially if top running back Zack Moss (shoulder injury) misses any length of time. Utah can still win the Pac-12 South but needs a much cleaner performance next week against surging Washington State. — Adam Rittenberg
No. 13 Wisconsin 35, No. 11 Michigan 14
Michigan’s offense is broken and there doesn’t seem to be a solution. The Wolverines were hoping a bye would help fix the issues with turnovers and a lack of production against Army, but that was hardly the case. This game was a pendulum game for Michigan, and now, after a loss, the Wolverines have to try to make it through Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Wisconsin’s defense has been stifling in all three games, while running back Jonathan Taylor has been outstanding. This team is going to be difficult for any opponent the rest of the way. — Tom VanHaaren
No. 20 Boise State 30, Air Force 19
The deeper Boise State gets into the season, the less noteworthy quarterback Hank Bachmeier‘s true freshman status becomes. On paper, the Broncos’ first third of the season figured to be more difficult than the four-game stretch they’re about to enter. Still, three of the next four games are away from the blue turf, including a trip to BYU on Oct. 19. In the wake of UCF’s loss to Pitt, the Broncos have become the de facto Group of 5 favorite to reach a New Year’s Six bowl. — Kyle Bonagura
No. 22 Washington 45, BYU 19
Looking ahead, Washington’s lopsided win against BYU is noteworthy if only because the Huskies’ next opponent, USC, just lost in Provo a week ago. Against the Cougars, Washington looked every bit like a team that will compete for the Pac-12 title, but it’ll resume that march next week at 0-1 in conference, and without much margin for error. A loss to USC would mark the first 0-2 Pac-12 start for Washington since 2008.– Kyle Bonagura
No. 23 Cal 28, Ole Miss 20
For a while, it looked like this was going to be a statement win for the Golden Bears. Instead, they ended up having to gut things out, stopping Ole Miss inches short of the goal line on the game’s final play. But this was still Cal’s first road win as a ranked team in nearly 10 full years, and the offense showed more life than we’re used to seeing. This could be a very interesting Pac-12 North race. — Bill Connelly
Top 25 games
No. 16 Oregon at Stanford
Time: 7 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPN and ESPN App
Line: Oregon -10.5
And our best line: Stanford is the only team in the Pac-12 with a winning record versus Oregon this decade. Oregon’s three-game losing streak against Stanford is its longest since 1995-97.
Old Dominion at No. 21 Virginia
Time: 7 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPN2 and ESPN App
Line: Virginia -28
And our best line: Old Dominion is 1-9 when facing ACC opponents since its FBS transition season of 2013. But the Monarchs’ one win came against No. 13 Virginia Tech last season.
Charlotte at No. 1 Clemson
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: ACC Network and ESPN App
Line: Clemson -41.5
And our best line: Clemson is looking for its 14th straight win by at least 14 points, which would tie the third-longest such streak in the AP poll era.
Oklahoma State at No. 12 Texas
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: ABC and ESPN App
Line: Texas -6.5
And our best line: Oklahoma State has won the past four against Texas and seven of the past nine, including five straight wins in Austin. That is the longest home losing streak against any team in Texas history.
No. 7 Notre Dame at No. 3 Georgia
Time: 8 p.m. ET
How to watch: CBS
Line: Georgia -14.5
And our best line: Over the past 25 years, Notre Dame teams in the top 10 are 3-13 when facing another top-10 team.
Colorado at No. 24 Arizona State
Time: 10 p.m. ET
How to watch: Pac-12 Network
Line: Arizona State -8
And our best line: Since Herm Edwards took over last season, the Sun Devils are 5-1 in games decided by three points or fewer, most in the FBS over that span.
UCLA at No. 19 Washington State
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: ESPN and ESPN App
Line: Washington State -18.5
And our best line: With a loss, UCLA would start 0-4 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1920-21. Chip Kelly didn’t lose more than three games in any of his four seasons at Oregon.