If anything, Week 4 of the 2015 college football season gave fans a clear favorite in the Heisman Trophy race. LSU’s Leonard Fournette ran all over Syracuse in a 34-24 victory on Saturday. Action out on the West Coast led to some movement in this week’s latest Coaches Poll. The Pac-12 had two games that featured four ranked opponents. It was another exciting weekend of football. Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers in Week 4.
As mentioned, Fournette led LSU to its third victory of the season with his second consecutive 200-yard game. The 6-1, 230-pound sophomore ran for 244 yards on 26 carries against the Orange on Saturday. He also scored touchdowns on runs of 62 and 14 yards. Through three games, all LSU victories, Fournette has rushed for 631 yards on 73 carries and scored eight touchdowns. He is clearly the frontrunner in the race for the Heisman Trophy. Fournette could have another huge day next week as LSU entertains Eastern Michigan.
Michigan recorded its third straight victory and its most impressive thus far this season when it destroyed 22nd-ranked BYU 31-0 at home in the Big House Saturday. Head coach Jim Harbaugh’s squad performed admirably in just its fourth win over a ranked opponent in the past six years. De’Veon Smith rushed 16 times for 125 yards as the Wolverines piled up 254 yards on the ground. The Michigan defense was equally as good holding BYU to just 105 total yards of offense. Freshman Tanner Mangum, who finished 12-of-28 for 55 yards passing, ended the day with a paltry quarterback rating of 12.2. Michigan begins Big Ten play next week with Maryland.
TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson is certainly one of the best in the country. He showed it on Saturday in a dramatic 55-52 win over Texas Tech. Doctson caught 18 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns against the Red Raiders. As good as he was Saturday, it was a ball that he couldn’t catch that would prove to be the difference. Facing a fourth down inside the Red Raiders 10-yard line with under a minute to play, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin tried to find Doctson on a slant route in the end zone. The 6-4, 200-pound senior leaped in an effort to catch the ball but could only get a hand on it. He tipped the ball which wound up in the arms of TCU running back Aaron Green to secure the victory. Doctson was second in the Big 12 in receiving prior to Saturday’s win. It is safe to say that he will be the conference’s leader this week.
Florida quarterback Will Grier completed a strike to Brandon Powell, who turned the fourth down play into an amazing 63-yard touchdown. The Gators would go on to win, 28-27, Florida’s 11th consecutive victory over Tennessee. Florida is now 4-0, 2-0 in SEC play and sits atop the East Division standings in head coach Jim McElwain’s first season.
Utah made the entire nation take notice with its 62-20 demolition of Oregon in Eugene on Saturday night. The 18th-ranked Utes got four touchdown passes from veteran QB Travis Wilson and over 500 yards of total offense in a game that Utah ran away with. Wilson completed 18-of-30 passes for 227 yards and ran six times for another 100 yards and a score. Running back DeVontae Booker carried the ball 22 times for 98 yards and completed one pass for 25 yards and a touchdown. The Utah defense bottled up Oregon QB Vernon Adams who was benched in favor of Jeff Lockie. The normally potent Ducks attack did rush for 222 yards but could produce just 20 points against a swarming Utah defense. The Utes are now 4-0, 1-0 in Pac-12 play. Oregon’s College Football Playoff hopes are all but done.
It is a continuing a nightmare that Texas coach Charlie Strong would love to forget. The Longhorns are now 1-3 on the season after losing 30-27 to Oklahoma State on Saturday. A negative six-yard punt gave the Cowboys great field position and helped to set up Oklahoma State for its game-winning field goal. The Texas offense continues to struggle. The Longhorns had just one drive in the second half that went at least 10 yards. It doesn’t get any easier either as Strong and Texas still must face the best of the Big 12 later in the season.
Auburn is at a crossroads after a 17-9 loss to Mississippi State on Saturday. The Tigers have dropped two straight, both losses in the SEC West. The meat of their schedule is still coming and head coach Gus Malzahn needs to decide on a quarterback. Redshirt freshman Sean White started the game Saturday and fared well statistically but could not put a touchdown on the board. It was the first time since 2012 that a Malzahn offense failed to produce a touchdown in a game.
Georgia Tech appeared to be a contender in the ACC, but two consecutive losses have set the Yellow Jackets back. Head coach Paul Johnson’s squad dropped a 34-20 decision to Duke on Saturday. The Blue Devils dominated Georgia Tech getting three rushing touchdowns from Shaquille Powell. They also received a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from DeVon Edwards. The Yellow Jackets, who rushed for just 173 yards on Saturday, are now 2-2, 0-1 in ACC play and will face another tough opponent in North Carolina next week.