4 Down Territory: Monster SEC & Key ACC Games, Hangover Alerts & The Ultimate PSU Season Continues
1st Down: ACC Match-ups: Virginia at #1 Clemson: UVA looked solid versus Duke with new QB Brennan Armstrong but a trip to Clemson is a whole other level. If UVA gets turnovers like they did against Duke (7 Total) they’ll have a chance….NC State at #24 Pitt: The same Louisville offense that shredded the Miami defense mustered just over 200 yards vs the Pitt defense. Pitt’s pass rush and secondary are playing at a high level with 17 sacks and 6 interceptions through three games. On offense Pitt still lacks some consistency, but late in the game Saturday the Pitt O-line found the ability to run the ball when needed. NC State is 1-1 after a 21-point loss at Virginia Tech. While NC State’s offense has moved the ball fairly well, turnovers (-2 through 2 games) and third down conversions (just under 38%) have been problems. That does not set up well against Pitt’s stout defense.
2nd Down: Hangover Warnings: TCU at #9 Texas: Texas Tech put up 56 points on the new Longhorn defensive scheme. This week the challenge will be to see if they can play faster on defense and play a complete game. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger was a miracle worker and his strength as a clutch passer and runner was the difference in the comeback. After that emotional win, the challenge will be to re-focus and avoid the hangover letdown. That could also be a problem for…..Arkansas at #16 Mississippi State: After passing for over 600 yards against LSU the Mississippi State attack looks like it is for real. But if they are to challenge the big dogs the rest of the way, they will have to eliminate turnovers. What has been overlooked was the game that the Mississippi State defense played. They had consistent and steady pass rush. LSU receivers had a hard time getting open. 17 of the 34 points the Mississippi State yielded came directly from Bulldog turnovers (including a pick-6). After a week in which everyone in Starkville will be tossing them praise, they’ll need to be sharp to show that they were not a one-hit wonder.
3rd Down: Big SEC Game One: #13 Texas A&M at #2 Alabama: The Tide got off to a fast start but showed some inconsistent play after halftime. Some of that was a result of playing a number of back-ups in key spots. Alabama’s offensive skill players are as good as anyone in the country. This week they will face a team that can challenge the Tide’s defense. Alabama LB Dylan Moses returned and looked good after missing all of last year with an injury. A healthy linebacker corps will be a key for the Tide returning to the level of defensive play they are used to seeing. For Texas A&M, after struggling with Vanderbilt, the Aggie faithful will want to see how they compete with a Top Level SEC West team in year three under Jimbo Fisher. The defense had to protect a lead all night last week, but defending Alabama will be a much bigger challenge.
4th Down: Big SEC Game Two: #7 Auburn at #4 Georgia: Both of these teams let lesser teams hang around before pulling away. USC transfer JT Daniels is ready to go on Saturday at QB for Georgia. To help him, Georgia will have to be better running the ball after an uncharacteristically pedestrian day rushing the ball at Arkansas. Auburn’s offense had a slow start versus Kentucky last week but three turnovers helped them pull away for a 29-13 win. The Auburn defense rose to the challenge of what was supposed to be an improved Kentucky offense. Auburn will need to improve on last week’s run game performance and in time of possession after last weeks 23-minute performance. If QB Bo Nix leads the team in rushing with 34 yards again this week the Tigers could be in big trouble.
The Ultimate Penn State Season Continues–Week 4: This week we continue with the ultimate Penn State season with the best week 4 win from 1966-2019.
Special Note These Highlights are Narrated by NFL Films Legend John Facenda
September 25, 1982 (8) Penn State 27 (2) Nebraska 24: A packed house of 85,304 witnessed the first-ever Penn State home game under the lights. For many this ranks as one of Penn State’s most dramatic home wins. Penn State led the whole way before a late fourth quarter touchdown by Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill gave the Huskers a 24-21 lead with 1:18 to go. Penn State quarterback Todd Blackledge calmly led his team on a game-winning drive including a clutch 4th-down pass and culminating with a touchdown pass to tight end Kirk Bowman with 4 seconds left. This would be Nebraska’s only loss of the season. The Huskers were one of 5 1982 Penn State opponents in the Top 13 (Nebraska, Alabama, Notre Dame, Pitt and Georgia) in a schedule that was the nation’s toughest.
The Ultimate Penn State Season So Far:
Pre-season ’96 (11) Penn State 24 (7) USC 7 Giants Stadium
Week 1 ’99 (4) Penn State 41 (3) Arizona 7 Beaver Stadium
Week 2 ’77 (10) Penn State 31 (9) Houston 14 Beaver Stadium
Week 3 '78 (5) Penn State 19 (6) Ohio State 0 Ohio Stadium
Week 4 '82 (8) Penn State 27 (2) Nebraska 24 Beaver Stadium