The Eagles remaining 2009 opponents went 4-3 in week 4. Virginia Tech, NC State, Central Michigan and Notre Dame all got wins, while North Carolina dropped a league game to Georgia Tech and Florida State and Maryland both lost to Big East teams.
Let's take a trip around the box scores of week 4.
South Florida 17, Florida State 7. I sat next to a guy at the Chicago Alumni game watch that bet upwards of $500 on the Florida State moneyline to win something absurd like $100. Needless to say, he wasn't as happy as the rest of the Eagles faithful at the bar on Saturday. Things certainly didn't go well for Florida State this weekend. The offensive line couldn't run block. Couldn't pass block. The Noles secondary gave up deep passing plays to a backup redshirt freshman quarterback. The rushing game amassed a whopping 19 yards on 27 carries on the ground. The Seminoles turned the ball over four times. The one bright spot was Christian Ponder's line - 25-of-37 for 269 yards, but most of those completions were short-yardage gains as Ponder simply didn't have time to get the ball out. Ridiculous, mind-numbing stat of the game: Redshirt freshman QB BJ Daniels out rushed the entire Seminoles team 126 to 19.
Virginia Tech 31, Miami (Fla.) 7. Do you hear that? That's the sound of everyone jumping off the Miami for National Champion and Jacory Harris for Heisman bandwagons. The Hokies got this done much the same as they have done in the past - with a healthy dose of pass rush, capitalizing on mistakes and a bruising ground game. Virginia Tech's defense accomplished what Florida State and Georgia Tech couldn't: getting pressure on Jacory Harris. Harris was harassed all game and ended up fumbling that led to a Hokie touchdown on the first drive of the game. The Hokie defense was able to limit the high-powered Hurricane offense to 209 yards, 256 below its average. This game was never really in doubt as the Hokies took a 21-0 lead into halftime. Running back Ryan Williams rushed for 150 yards on 34 carries and scored twice in the win. The Hokies (3-1, 1-0 ACC) travel to Durham this week before hosting BC in Lane Stadium next week. Ridiculous, mind-numbing stat of the game: the Hurricane offense went a pedestrian 1 of 11 on third downs.
NC State 38, Pittsburgh 31. Russell Wilson had a career day on Saturday, leading the Wolfpack in a 14 point come-from-behind win against Pitt 38-31 at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Wolfpack managed to salvage a little dignity for the conference, who dropped 2 of 3 games to Big East opponents. The Wolfpack - led by sophomore QB Russell Wilson - offense combined for 530 yards on the day. With the win, the Wolfpack (3-1) wrapped up their non-conference schedule and begins their defense of their 2008 state of North Carolina title defense as they travel to Winston-Salem this week and host Duke the following week before traveling to Chestnut Hill. Ridiculous, mind-numbing stat of the game: it's not a stat, it's a person. Wilson finished the day passing for 21-of-35, 332 yards, 4 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. It was the third straight week that Wilson threw for 4 touchdowns and 0 INTs. And if that wasn't good enough, Wilson also ran for 91 yards on 10 carries.
Notre Dame 24, Purdue 21. Jimmy Clausen engineered another fourth quarter comeback for the second straight week. Clausen completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph in the end zone with 24.8 seconds left to lift the Irish to a 24-21 victory. The most surprising development on offense for the Irish may have been the introduction of the wildcat offense. With Clausen nursing a toe turf injury, backup quarterback Dayne Crist split time with Clausen and led the Irish to two first half touchdowns while utilizing the wildcat formation. The Irish played without the services of their leading rusher (Armando Allen) and leading receiver (Michael Floyd, out for season). The Irish finish their Big Ten portion of the schedule with a 2-1 record, and now set their sights on the Pac-10 portion of the schedule. The Irish host both Washington and USC before hosting the Eagles on October 24. Ridiculous, mind numbing stat of the game: the Boilermakers committed 13 penalties for 103 yards and still took the Irish to the wire.
Central Michigan 48, Akron 21. The Chippewas opened up MAC play with a convincing 48-21 win over the visiting Akron Zips. On Saturday, it was the Dan "I got a LeFevour and the only prescription is more touchdowns" LeFevour show. LeFevour accounted for 6 of Central Michigan's 7 touchdowns and finished the day passing for 197 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception on 23-of-31 passing. LeFevour also rushed for 140 yards and added two touchdowns with his legs. LeFevour alone rushed for more yards than the entire Akron team. The CMU defense limited Akron to less than 200 yards on the day. Ridiculous, mind-numbing stat of the game (not involving Dan LeFevour): The Chippewas are the only MAC team with a winning record. The Eagles hopefully aren't taking the Central Michigan trip to Alumni Stadium lightly. Ask Michigan State.
Georgia Tech 24, North Carolina 7. The Yellow Jackets didn't take kindly to falling out of the Top 25 and took it out on the Carolina offense. The Georgia Tech defense stifled the Heels offense, allowing only 154 yards on 44 plays. Butch Davis didn't like that too much. "Terrible," North Carolina coach Butch Davis said. "We just didn't do a very good job. ... We've got to take a long look at ourselves." Heels QB T.J. Yates didn't have a very good day, completing just 11 of 26 attempts, 137 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions. If there was a bright spot on offense, it has to be the play of freshman receiver Erik Highsmith, who hauled in 6 catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. It was the second consecutive week that Highsmith went over the 100 yard mark. Ridiculous, mind-numbing stat of the game: the Tar Heels managed to hold onto the ball for only for 17:54 seconds.
Rutgers 34, Maryland 13. The Scarlet Knights were able to force 5 Terrapin turnovers in a 34-13 win over Maryland in College Park. Quarterback Chris Turner threw 3 interceptions in the losing effort. With no wins over FBS competition, and no wins over FCS competition in regulation, no rest for the weary Terps as they travel to Death Valley and face a Clemson team coming off a home loss to TCU. Ridiculous, mind-numbing stat of the game: Since the beginning of the 2007 season, the Terrapins are now a pedestrian 11-13 against unranked opponents. That 11-13 record includes two losses to Middle Tennessee State and two escapes over the last two season's FCS opponents.
Virginia had a BYE week this past week, and not a moment too soon ...