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College Football 2022: Week 4 Recap and Week 5 Preview
Wednesday, 2022 September 28 - 2:21 pm
Michigan beat Maryland, and faces its first away game next. Penn State took care of Central Michigan and will play Northwestern. NC State beat UConn and prepares for a huge test against Clemson.

Michigan 34, Maryland 27
This game had us on edge for a good while, as three straight non-scoring drives in the first half (fumble, punt, missed field goal) led to a 13-10 Maryland lead, and Michigan's lone touchdown to that point came off the back of a Maryland fumble on the opening kickoff. The offensive line was missing blocks, JJ missed a few reads, and everything seemed just a little off.

Fortunately, a steady diet of Blake Corum righted the ship. Corum scored on a 33 yard touchdown run on a surprise 4th-and-1 play, and Michigan never trailed after that point. Corum ended up with a ridiculous 243 yards rushing and two touchdowns; with Donovan Edwards still out, Corum proved he could be the bellcow for the Michigan offense.

The defense was adequate. The secondary held Maryland's talented receivers in check. There's still not quite enough pressure coming from the defensive ends as we'd like to see; Michigan's three sacks came on blitzes. And the linebackers took some bad angles at times. Hopefully the expected return of Nikhai Hill-Green will help tighten things down.

It certainly wasn't Michigan's prettiest win, but a win against a legitimate opponent is always welcome.

Michigan at Iowa, 12:00 PM Fox
Iowa will be, by miles, the best defense Michigan has faced so far. However, let's take a look at the offenses Iowa has faced: 1-AA South Dakota State; Iowa State, the 75th-ranked offense; Nevada, the 121st-ranked offense; and Rutgers, the 96th-ranked offense. Meanwhile, Iowa is ranked 129th... also known as last. Iowa did beat Rutgers 27-10 last week, but 14 of their points were scored by the defense.

It's hard to know exactly what's wrong with Iowa's offense. Spencer Petras is no wizard, to be sure, but he's shown himself to be competent in the past, and he has plenty of experience. I have to point the finger at the offensive line. The loss of Rimington award winner Tyler Linderbaum from last year's squad seems to have particularly hurt.

The upshot is, this is probably actually a pretty bad Iowa team. They'll be helped by playing at home, and the defense might be able to help keep things close for a while, but it's just hard to see the offense providing much of a threat.

Prediction: Michigan 24, Iowa 9.

Penn State 33, Central Michigan 14
Penn State jumped out to a 14-0 lead thanks to an early interception, but the game was tied late in the first half, as the offense sputtered and the Chippewas put together a few drives. But Sean Clifford turned it on after that, and two second half CMU turnovers effectively sealed the game.

It wasn't a very satisfying performance against a 1-2 MAC team, and without CMU's four turnovers, the outcome might have been seriously in doubt. I didn't see the game so I can't point to any specific problems, but here is my concern, dude: out of four opponents, three have had more passing yards than Penn State. For a team where the secondary was supposed to be a strength, this is troubling.

Penn State vs Northwestern, 3:30 PM ESPN
I kind of remember a time when Northwestern was sort of good, at least good enough to cause some concern about upsets on any given week, and certainly better than the dismal 1970s and 1980s. In 2012 and 2015 Northwestern had 10-win seasons and were legitimately dangerous. But that was back when Pat Fitzgerald was coaching, and now we have... (checks notes) oh, it's still Pat Fitzgerald. And now NU seems to be terrible. They've beaten a cursed Nebraska team but have gone on to lose to Duke, Southern Illinois, and Miami OH. I don't think they'll give Penn State too much trouble

Prediction: Penn State 42, Northwestern 13.

NC State 41, UConn 10
Do I really need to recap this? UConn is very bad. They might have helped NCSU gain a little confidence going into next week, especially for Devin Leary, who had a season-high 320 yards passing with four touchdowns.

NC State at Clemson, 7:30 PM ABC
This is the big one, as NCSU faces fifth-ranked and undefeated Clemson. But Clemson is perhaps a bit of a paper tiger (ha) as they were just taken to the wire by Wake Forest. Clemson certainly has offensive weapons, but the defense is suspect.

The wildcard in this game will be Hurricane Ian, the remnants of which could be blowing through Clemson during Saturday's game. If that's the case, we could be in for a sloppy, low-scoring game. But in good weather, I'd expect both offenses to put up some points.

The problem is that I just haven't seen the consistency out of NCSU's offense to show that they can beat top teams. This will be the defining game of the season: win, and everything is possible for NCSU, including perhaps even the national title. Lose, and it's probably another good-but-not-great Gator Bowl type of season.

Prediction: NC State 23, Clemson 38.

Notable Results
#1 Georgia struggled against a bit against Kent State, winning 39-22. #3 Ohio State demolished Wisconsin 52-21. #5 Clemson needed two overtimes to beat #21 Wake Forest 51-45. Kansas State upset #6 Oklahoma 41-34. #7 USC needed to rally in the fourth quarter to beat Oregon State 17-14. #23 Texas A&M upset #10 Arkansas 23-21. #11 Tennessee beat #20 Florida 38-33 in a key SEC matchup. #15 Oregon beat Washington State 44-41. Texas Tech beat #22 Texas 37-34. Middle Tennessee stunned #25 Miami 45-31. Minnesota walloped Michigan State 34-7. Cincinnati beat Indiana 45-24. Purdue hung on against FAU 28-26.

Games to Watch on TV
On Friday night, #15 Washington plays at UCLA on ESPN at 10:30 PM.

On Saturday, #4 Michigan kicks off the day, playing at Iowa at noon on Fox. #7 Kentucky is at #14 Ole Miss on ESPN. Purdue plays surging #21 Minnesota on ESPN2. Illinois is at Wisconsin on BTN.

At 3:30 PM, Northwestern is at #11 Penn State on ESPN. #2 Alabama is at #20 Arkansas on CBS. #9 Oklahoma State is at #16 Baylor on Fox. #22 Wake Forest takes on #23 Florida State on ABC.

At 7:00, LSU is at Auburn on ESPN. At 7:30, your Game of the Week is #10 NC State at #5 Clemson on ABC. #1 Georgia is at Missouri on SECN. The late games include Arizona State at #6 USC on ESPN at 10:30 PM and Stanford at #13 Oregon at 11:00 PM on FS1.
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