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Samaje Perine vs. WVU: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Oklahoma Sooners freshman tailback Samaje Perine etched his name into the annals of program history against West Virgina Saturday night in his team's 45-33 win.

With the offense sputtering behind the arm of Trevor Knight and the defense struggling with a potent Mountaineers offense, Perine firmly planted the Sooners on his shoulders and exploded for one of the all-time great performances.

The final line more than speaks for itself:

ESPN.com's Jake Trotter revealed that Perine joined legendary collegiate company after surpassing the 200-yard mark:

He also dove into the record books to reveal that only DeMarco Murray and three others have matched him in terms of touchdowns:

For what it is worth, Perine also wrote his name in permanent marker in the West Virginia record books as well, as noted by Mike Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail:

Perine got his first score of the night on a two-yard rush in the second quarter, but erupted in the second half right out of the gate to break a tie at 24 and give his team a lead it would never relinquish—thanks to his two additional touchdowns later in the half, of course.

Clearly, Bob Stoops is not afraid to go with the hot hand, especially after the loss of No. 1 back Keith Ford to injury earlier in the week. Perine had not registered more than 13 carries in each of the team's first three games before exploding for the huge tally Saturday.

While talented names such as Alex Ross pepper the roster, even Stoops had noted before the game that his star freshman does his best work in the second half.

“Samaje gets in there in the second half, and again he’s fresh,” Stoops said, per Ryan Aber ofThe Oklahoman. “He gets in there and he is pounding it. He is a strong, physical player. He has a great base to him. He does everything you want. He catches the ball. He was a big boost there in the second half.”

A back who gets more effective with each carry should ring a few alarm bells for those familiar with the former collegiate greats at the position. In particular, NFL.com's Bryan Fischer has one comparison in mind:

Now 4-0 on the hunt for a berth in the inaugural College Football Playoff, Oklahoma is in good hands now that Perine has had his thunderous breakout game. Even when Ford returns, it is quite apparent Stoops has a ground game that few teams can match.

Perine cannot be expected to carry the team on his own every game just yet, and Heisman talk is unfounded until he strings together a few more great performances, but it is abundantly clear that a new star running back resides on the block that is collegiate football.

His name is Samaje Perine, and it is one history won't soon forget. What lies ahead is even more exciting.

 

Stats and information via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

 

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Oklahoma vs. WVU: Score and Twitter Reaction

West Virginia gave Oklahoma a tough challenge early, but running back Samaje Perine made the difference in a 45-33 victory for the No. 4 team in the nation.

The true freshman finished with 242 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries. As Jake Trotter of ESPN.com noted, he put himself in rare company with the performance:

Head coach Bob Stoops is certainly excited for the future after this game:

Trevor Knight had a solid day as well with 205 passing yards, plus a rare receiving touchdown, but it was the running game that helped the Sooners move to 4-0 on the season.

West Virginia also saw key players put up big numbers like quarterback Clint Trickett (376 passing yards and two touchdowns) and receiver Kevin White (10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown). However, the defense was not able to hold up its end of the bargain to complete the upset. 

With the win, Stoops added another milestone to his resume:

The coach remains one of the best in the sport and is hoping for even bigger things from this year's team.

Saturday's highly anticipated matchup featured plenty of excitement right from the start thanks to a number of huge plays for both sides.

After Oklahoma took the 3-0 lead early, West Virginia answered before the end of the first quarter with a 68-yard touchdown pass from Trickett to White. After the play, Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout was one of many who liked what they saw from the receiver:

The Sooners were eventually able to answer, although it took some trickery to get the first touchdown of the game, as described by ESPN Big 12:

When Trickett was able to throw another impressive touchdown pass, this time to Mario Alford, Sports Illustrated was impressed:

Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer noted the strong effort for the Mountaineers defense early to keep it close in the first half:

Of course, this was not easy as the two sides once again traded blows to make it 24-17 in favor of the home team. Oklahoma then immediately tied it up with a 100-yard kickoff return by Alex Ross.

Fox Sports joked about the action of the game as the two sides went into halftime tied at 24-24:

The scoring continued early in the second half. Oklahoma needed less than three minutes to go 75 yards and finish with a Perine touchdown, which caught the attention of Bryan Fischer of NFL.com:

After the running back scored again to go up 38-27, David Ubben of Fox Sports Southwest gave credit to the big men up front:

The Sooners also saw an improved effort from the defense, which forced multiple turnovers in the second half to slow West Virginia's attack. 

In the fourth quarter, the favorites once again turned to its star running back:

West Virginia added another score to make it 45-33 but it was too little, too late as the home team fell to 2-2 on the season.

Oklahoma came into the game preparing for a hostile environment in Morgantown, as Knight explained earlier in the week:

Their fans will be rocking. But it’s important to use some of their crowd’s energy to get you going, to get that momentum going and really just use it. Going on the road is difficult, especially with a team like West Virginia who has been playing great. So we just have to find that energy within ourselves and play for one another and stay even-keeled through it. 

Although there were certainly some scary moments, the sophomore quarterback handled the pressure and did enough to help his team pull out the win.

The national title contenders have a week off but could have another tough challenge on Oct. 4 in a road game against 2-0 TCU. After a close call in this one, the Sooners will likely have a lot to work on if they want to remain undefeated.

Meanwhile, this game represents the second "moral victory" of the year for West Virginia, which also had a 10-point loss to Alabama earlier in the season. Although this does not count for a win in the standings, it will certainly give the group a lot of momentum going forward.

The Mountaineers also have a bye week but will be able to return with a winnable matchup against Kansas at home on Oct. 4. After a 4-8 2013 season, this team appears on its way to a much better year this time around.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Winners and Losers from Week 4 of College Football

Week 4 is nearly in the books. Don't be fooled by a smaller schedule of games. There have already been statement wins by Alabama and Mississippi State, and a dramatic overtime win by Florida State over Clemson. That's not to mention a key Auburn win over Kansas State on Thursday. 

It's been a wild weekend, to be sure. 

As you can see, Winners and Losers is up before the full slate of college football games has ended. No worries, as the post will be updated throughout the evening as events warrant. 

So let's get the conversation going. Which teams, players, coaches and/or moments were the best from Week 4? Which ones struggled?

Begin Slideshow

Mississippi State vs. LSU Is the Shocker of the 2014 Season

From a gambling standpoint, Mississippi State's 34-29 upset of LSU Saturday night in Death Valley wasn't the most shocking upset of the season. After all, the Tigers were between a seven- and nine-point favorite when toe met leather, according to OddsShark.com.

The way Mississippi State won, however, made it the most shocking upset of the 2014 season.

There was no fluke, lucky bounce or reverse Death Valley voodoo working for the Bulldogs in this one—although LSU tried to make one happen late coming off the deck to make this game appear closer on the scoreboard than it was in real life.

Mississippi State lined up, punched LSU in the mouth and when it got back up, punched it again.

And again...and again.

Even when LSU's players show up at the complex tomorrow, they'll still be feeling the physical beatdown Dan Mullen's crew gave them in Baton Rouge.

The Bulldogs beat the Tigers up in the trenches like it was a directional Louisiana school, not an LSU program whose hallmark is physical, smashmouth football.

Running back Josh Robinson had 197 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Dak Prescott added 105 yards and a touchdown on the ground in addition to his 268 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air. The 570 total yards gained by Mississippi State set a record that LSU head coach Les Miles has to be disappointed by.

It's an upset that shakes up the entire college football world.

LSU didn't look anything like a team that could compete in the rugged SEC West, while Mississippi State looked not only capable of impacting the outcome, but winning it itself.

Led by three-time defending SEC defensive lineman of the week Preston Smith, the Bulldogs roll nine or 10 players along their defensive line, including all-around freak Chris Jones.

The fresh bodies allow the Bulldogs to keep pressure on for a full four quarters, which was a big reason LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings was sacked three times and running for his life more times than not.

That wasn't a fluke, it was a statement. A statement that this isn't the same Mississippi State team that had a 2-22 record against top-25 teams under Dan Mullen. A statement that Mississippi State isn't afraid to go on the road and win playing its own brand of football.

That's scary.

Other upsets this year were impressive, like Virginia Tech's win on the road at Ohio State and Boston College running it down USC's throat. Neither of those resonated like this one will.

This is a perpetual doormat imposing its will on a traditional power on the road in the toughest division in college football.

Statement made.

 

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Is Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott a Legitimate Contender for Heisman Trophy?

Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott has emerged onto the national scene. After a huge performance vs. LSU, is it safe to say that Prescott is now in the Heisman conversation?

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee debate the breakout quarterback.

Does Prescott have the goods to be the Heisman winner?

Watch the video and let us know!

  

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Clemson's Mike Williams Dives for Incredible Catch to Set Up TD vs. FSU

After getting in the red zone twice without being able to put points on the board, the Clemson Tigers punched in the go-ahead score one play after this beautiful catch from wide receiver Mike Williams.

If you look closely, you can see that Williams actually loses his shoe while making the catch. The big play went for 39 yards and set up a two-yard Deshaun Watson touchdown run.

[via gifdsports]

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Dak Prescott vs. LSU: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

Did Dak Prescott just enter the Heisman Trophy discussion?

The Mississippi State quarterback was spectacular on Saturday night, throwing for 268 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-24 passing, in addition to 22 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 34-29 win over No. 8 LSU.

ESPN's Holly Rowe was succinct with her assessment of Prescott's performance:

Mississippi State had previously been on a 15-game losing streak against ranked opponents, per ESPN Stats and Info:

Also, Prescott wasn't even alive the last time the Bulldogs won in Death Valley:

Prescott gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead with a nine-yard touchdown pass to De'Runnya Wilson (via ESPN College Football):

Cameras quickly panned to Prescott's father, which Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer felt was a cool moment:

Little did the elder Prescott know what was in store for his son on Saturday night.

LSU was knocking on the door in the third quarter, closing its deficit to seven points after Danielle Hunter returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown.

With Mississippi State clinging to a 17-10 lead, Prescott was the man of the moment, running 56 yards to the end zone and putting the Bulldogs once again up double digits.

Prescott's mobility was again on show when he bought some time in the pocket before finding Jameon Lewis for a 74-yard touchdown pass:

Former Alabama QB and current SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy felt like he was seeing a Johnny Manziel clone in Tiger Stadium:

Prescott slowed down a bit in the fourth quarter as LSU made its final comeback, but he did just enough to hold on to the lead.

Looking the Heisman race, it's still way too early to insert Prescott as a serious contender. As NFL.com's Bryan Fischer alluded to, Prescott has plenty of competition from his own division in the form of Kenny Hill and Amari Cooper:

The beauty of the SEC is that Mississippi State has plenty more tough games down the road with which Prescott can build a strong Heisman resume.

If he follows up Saturday night with great showings against Texas A&M, Auburn, Alabama and Ole Miss, then we can really start talking about the QB getting a trip to New York City.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Mississippi State vs. LSU: How Bulldogs' Win Reshapes Playoff Picture

The usual LSU comeback led by coach Les Miles was in full force Saturday night in the waning moments of a 34-29 home loss to Mississippi State that throws the inaugural playoff picture for a loop.

Led by sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings, the Tigers have had issues on offense all season long, but it is hard to remember the defense getting so thoroughly torched on the way to a loss. In total, the Tigers gave up 570 yards of offense.

Author Clay Travis put it best:

While Jennings fought through an injury scare to finish with a 13-of-26 mark for 157 yards, it was Bulldogs star quarterback Dak Prescott who put on arguably the best show of the week.

The junior dual-threat quarterback finished with a 15-of-24 line for 268 yards and two scores, while also making a fool of the LSU defense on the ground with 22 carries for 105 yards and a score—with his 56-yard scamper being one of the top highlights of the week.

To be blunt, the upset was not all that difficult to see coming given the well-known offensive issues for LSU. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had held three opponents to a total of 37 points while posting 35 or more in each contest thanks to Prescott's explosiveness.

Before the contest, even Miles was wary of the strong roster Dan Mullen has crafted.

"I can tell you that this Mississippi State team is talented as any and is capable as any and maybe as complete, offense, defense, special teams, as any Mississippi State team we've seen," Miles said, per Michael Bonner of The Clarion-Ledger.

With LSU seemingly bowing out of the playoff picture for the time being, the Tigers will need to perform better in contests down the road against Auburn, Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M, with those final two being of particular importantance.

Nick Saban's Crimson Tide seems all but a lock to make a serious run at an undefeated mark by season's end—the quarterback question got an answer Saturday in a 42-21 win over Florida as Blake Sims threw for 445 yards and four scores.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M scoffs at the idea it would not have been a contender this year without Johnny Manziel. Quarterback Kenny Hill has had the look of an undercover Heisman contender so far and has the Aggies looking like a serious threat for the playoff.

Despite the strong showing from the Bulldogs Saturday night, they happen to share the same opponents named as hurdles for LSU above. Even worse, the team's next game comes at the start of October against the Aggies, followed by Auburn. The only saving grace? Both contests come at home.

On a day that Alabama emerged as the favorite once again, nothing short of running the table in the brutal SEC seems like the key to the playoff.

A note from Bryan Fischer of NFL.com puts things into perspective:

As if fans would want it any other way.

With LSU exposed in brutal fashion, Mississippi State is now one of the most dangerous teams in the nation, even in the playoff race. But so it goes in the SEC—we could just as easily be labeling the Bulldogs frauds after their upcoming encounter with Texas A&M.

For now, the inaugural playoff has a shocking entrant led by an unheralded quarterback who continues to run wild.

 

AP poll via The Associated Press. Stats and information via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

 

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Mississippi State vs. LSU: Score and Twitter Reaction

A clash of SEC teams can yield some unexpected results, and that was exactly the case on Saturday night when the Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the No. 8 LSU Tigers by a score of 34-29. This outcome will surely shift the balance of power going forward in one of the nation's strongest conferences.

The Associated Press (via ESPN.com) supplied MSU head coach Dan Mullen's thoughts on the win after the game:

"I probably aged seven to 10 years in the final three minutes of the game," said sixth-year Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen. "We are trying to build a program and I'll take it. I guess everybody can now write now I have beaten LSU and Alabama once during my career."

"There was not one bit of panic or one bit of concern," Mullen said. "Our guys played with a lot of confidence. We made plays when we needed to. We have been doing that all year. When we need a big play, guys step up and make them."

LSU was put on upset alert from the onset of the game thanks to some accurate passing from Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. The junior signal-caller completed four passes on the opening six-play, 51-yard drive capped off by a nine-yard touchdown strike to De'Runnya Wilson.

Rivals.com noted the game's early score:

Later in the opening quarter, LSU was halted by the Bulldogs defense after attempting to reach the end zone on a 4th-and-goal. After the turnover on downs, Mississippi State took over on their own 2-yard line. The Prescott-to-Wilson connection took over the game once again.

The quarterback hit his favorite target for gains of 26 and 44 yards on a five-play, 98-yard drive that was finished with a three-yard touchdown run by Josh Robinson.

Shea Dixon of 247Sports gave his early take on Wilson's excellent play:

The game continued to get out of hand for the Tigers, as another punt from the offense led to a 27-yard field goal from Evan Sobiesk, increasing the Bulldogs' lead to 17-0. Luckily for the Tigers, Anthony Jennings was able to connect twice with Travin Dural to set up a Colby Delahoussaye 30-yard field goal that finally got LSU on the board.

Entering the second half, it was clear LSU would need to make significant adjustments to get back into the game, as the home team trailed 17-3.

Well, it only took one play for the Tigers to get right back into the mix. Kwon Alexander stripped Prescott, and Danielle Hunter scooped up the loose ball and returned it 25 yards for an LSU touchdown. Chad Washington of The Daily Advertiser tweeted the action:

Suddenly Mississippi State's lead dwindled to just seven points. Prescott made sure it didn't stay that way, quickly atoning for his fumble by bursting through the LSU defense for a 56-yard touchdown scamper.

Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee has been impressed with Prescott for quite some time now. He reminded everyone after the quarterback's scintillating score:

All it took was one more LSU punt for Prescott to continue his onslaught. He hooked up with Jameon Lewis for a 74-yard score. Facing plenty of pressure, Prescott eluded the rush, found some room to maneuver and hit a wide-open Lewis who ran to paydirt.

ESPN SEC tweeted what the score meant for LSU:

The fourth quarter began with Mississippi State knocking at the door once again. But LSU's winded defense held strong on a 3rd-and-goal from the 11-yard line, forcing a 28-yard field goal. Down by 24 points, the Tigers had little time remaining to make up their deficit and retain their position among the Top 10.

LSU answered the challenge on the ensuing drive. Jennings hooked up with Dural for a 49-yard gain deep into Mississippi State territory. Two Kenny Hilliard runs later, the Tigers were awarded six points—the team attempted a two-point conversion but failed.

While that touchdown gave LSU a bit of hope, the team's defense was just too tired to stop Robinson, who continued to bounce off would-be tacklers while allowing precious seconds to tick off the game clock.

ESPN SEC summed up the dangerous Robinson with this tweet:

With nine minutes remaining in the contest the Bulldogs sensed victory and allowed backups to enter the game—something not many onlookers would have thought before the team traveled to Baton Rouge. Although, that action may have been premature.

LSU reserve quarterback Brandon Harris was able to take advantage, gaining some positive yards late in the final quarter and tossing his team's first touchdown strike of the day—a 31-yarder to Malachi Dupre.

Dixon tweeted his take:

That appeared to be the final score of the contest; however, a botched snap on the ensuing possession led to another appearance from Harris. The freshman delivered once again, tossing a jump ball to Dupre in the corner of the end zone to get his team within five points of the Bulldogs.

ESPN SEC tweeted the implications of the quarterback's play:

From there, the Bulldogs ran down the clock well inside one minute but gave the Tigers offense one more chance. A laser from Harris advanced LSU into position for a Hail Mary, but his final deep attempt was intercepted. Mississippi State finally closed out their opponent, winning by a score of 34-29.

The loss is devastating to LSU, as the team is surely poised for a tumble down the rankings. Expect the Tigers to still hold a Top 25 standing; however, chances of the team entering the College Football Playoff may be rather slim at this point.

The Tigers will attempt to right the ship in Week 5 against New Mexico State, and they'll have to get things together in a hurry, as No. 5 Auburn will be waiting in Week 6.

A big win for Mississippi State virtually assures the team a Top 25 designation heading into Week 5 of the 2014 college football season. The Bulldogs generated enough points to rank 28th in the AP Poll heading into Week 4, and after this enormous victory, they'll surge up the rankings.

Although, a tough test lies ahead for this surging team. After a Week 5 bye, Kenny Hill and the No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies are next on the slate and are coming off a 58-6 rout of SMU on Saturday. Hang on to your hats, because that will certainly be a good matchup.

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Will Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke Make It Through the 2014 Season?

Brady Hoke’s first game as head coach ended with an epic thunderstorm that canceled the rest of the game. Another thunderstorm suspended Michigan’s 26-10 loss to Utah that may mark the symbolic end of his tenure.

Brady Hoke has fumbled his chance to rebuild Michigan and it will cost him his job.

Over the last three seasons, Michigan fans have relied on an array of excuses to explain the team’s gradual slide under Hoke—he needed to restock the roster, the players needed to mature or his coaches (specifically offensive coordinator Al Borges) weren’t up to the task.

Sports Illustrated shared a tweet about Hoke's seat warming up after the Utah loss:

But after a shocking 31-0 loss to Notre Dame, a lackluster 34-10 victory over Miami University and an embarrassing 26-10 loss to Utah the pressure is squarely on Hoke to beat Michigan State and Ohio State—or else.

The heat turned up last season as Michigan stumbled through a 1-4 November stretch followed by a disappointing 31-14 bowl loss to Kansas State. A 7-6 finish in Hoke’s third season was not what fans expected. Athletic director David Brandon may have pledged his support for Hoke, but it didn’t extend to his staff.

Offensive coordinator Al Borges was replaced by Doug Nussmeier, and the defensive staff was shuffled.

Despite the turmoil, prior to the season Brandon called continued speculation that Hoke was on the hot seat, "nonsense," during a radio interview with Detroit Sports 105.1 FM, courtesy of MLive.com (via Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports):

That's websites and that's bloggers and that's social media and that's all part of the game that's played out there -- let's stir up controversy. This happens every year. I can't do very much about that, other than (say), that's nonsense. ... All this hot seat stuff, to me, is just nonsense. I don't pay any attention to it.

But Hoke's tenuous position was described perfectly by Martin Rickman at SI.com which listed him as one of the 10 coaches on the hot seat entering this season:

The bad news is Michigan just watched Michigan State win the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl while the Wolverines limped to a 7-6 season including a loss to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Michigan can’t finish barely above .500 again, not with the rest of the league getting better and Ohio State continuing to dominate the rivalry.

But with Michigan entering the Big Ten season with after two nonconference losses, the program appears to be sliding even further behind its key rivals.

Hoke now needs wins over both Michigan State and Ohio State to save his job.

Michigan is a paltry 4-6 versus Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State and 0-5 on the road versus those teams. The losses are bad enough, but Michigan has not been competitive in its two recent visits to East Lansing or this season versus Notre Dame.

Even before the loss to Utah, Bill Bender at Sporting News predicted that Hoke’s job would only be saved by wins over Michigan State and Ohio State.

Michigan might have 10 games left this season, but Brady Hoke's job evaluation comes down to just two of them. Hoke has to beat either Michigan State or Ohio State on the road after last week's 31-0 loss at Notre Dame. Given that Michigan is 0-5 against the Irish, Buckeyes and Spartans on the road since Hoke took over, it's a fair test.

The team's struggles have also caused Hoke to draw ire from a prominent member of the Michigan football family. Braylon Edwards voiced the sentiments of many fans in a recent interview with Matt Dery of FM105.1 (via Nick Baumgardner with MLive.com):

It's year four, people want to see results in year four. The first couple years they'll give you excuses ... but in year four, you've got your own guys, your own players, your own staff and we want to see the results of your program. A lot of pressure is on Brady to win three [rivalry ] games. He lost one. He lost one of the three and there's a lot of pressure on him to win the other two.

And you know which one I'm talking about. If he doesn't perform well in those games, he's going to be facing a lot of questions at the end of the season and they might not be questions he wants to face.

Hoke's failure versus rivals is even more disappointing to fans in the wake of Michigan State’s ascendance. Michigan has long dominated its “little brother,” but the tables have turned since the retirement of Lloyd Carr.

The Spartans have won the Big Ten twice (2010, 2013), while gaining victories in their last three bowl games and climbing to No. 3 in the national rankings last season.

With Michigan now sharing the Big Ten East division with Michigan State and Ohio State it will need to beat both to compete for the Big Ten Championship—one of Hoke's main goals since returning to Ann Arbor.

After two losses where Michigan has failed to even get in the red zone, the task looks insurmountable,  especially since both games are on the road. 

But Hoke remains undaunted.

"Our goal (of winning the Big Ten) is still out there," he said during his postgame press conference.

But now it's about more than just winning a conference title, it's about saving his job.

 

Phil Callihan is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotations obtained firsthand

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@PSCallihan

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Mario Edwards Jr. Injury: Updates on FSU Star's Concussion and Return

Florida State will have to play the rest of its game against Clemson without star defender Mario Edwards Jr.

Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times notes the defensive end is out with a concussion:

The junior was a key part of the Seminoles defense thanks to his ability to get into the backfield and put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. He had one sack on the year coming into the Week 4 game against Clemson, but he was impressive early in the matchup against the Tigers, as noted by Jared Shanker of ESPN:

With Edwards out of the game, Florida State will need other players like DeMarcus Walker and Derrick Mitchell Jr. to step up defensively. Safety Jalen Ramsey has also shown the ability to get to the quarterback this season and could be helpful in blitz packages.

Regardless of what happens against Clemson, the defending national champions will hope the defensive end can return to the field before missing too much time.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Army Linebacker Blatantly Flops During Scrum vs. Wake Forest

Army linebacker Stephen Ricciardi's dive attempt won't earn him an Oscar and it definitely won't earn him a flag. 

In the final seconds of Army's 24-21 loss to Wake Forest on Saturday, Ricciardi dramatically flew out of the back of a scrum in an attempt to earn a personal foul flag on his opponents. It was painfully obvious that he was acting and the referee was having no part of it.

[via @SportsCenter]

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Sean Maguire vs. Clemson: Stat Line, Highlights, Twitter Reaction

With Jameis Winston serving a one-game suspension, Florida State watched backup quarterback Sean Maguire led the team to an overtime win over Clemson. 

It was certainly an up-and-down performance for the sophomore, but he did what was necessary to help his team come through in an important game.

These numbers seemed unrealistic at halftime after the quarterback completed just six of 17 passes in the first half for 106 yards as the Seminoles trailed 10-3 at home. While the statistics were bad, the quarterback did not deserve all the blame, as ESPN's Jared Shanker pointed out:

Benjamin Allbright of Yahoo Sports noted the offensive line was letting him down:

Without a rushing attack and facing pressure throughout the game, it was hard to have high expectations for a player making his first career start. Dan Wolken of USA Today explained that the first drive was nothing to write home about:

However, he bounced back on the second series, converting a third down early before completing a big, 27-yard pass to Karlos Williams. After that play, Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press was impressed:

ESPN's David Hale also noted that Florida State was not afraid to throw the ball early on with the inexperienced play:

This did not help much, as Maguire struggled to find much consistency in a disappointing first half.

Things looked better at the start of the second half as he was able to find his most talented teammates through the air, as Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout noted:

Unfortunately, trouble finally came in the form of a interception. The ball was tipped, but Kareem Copeland of the Associated Press still explained why it was the quarterback's fault:

Florida State trailed by seven points late in the fourth quarter and seemed unlikely to come from behind. This was until Maguire was able to even things up with a 74-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene, as described by Bonnie Bernstein of College Insiders:

ESPN's Skip Bayless provided his thoughts on the play:

A late interception put the team's backs against the wall, as noted by College GameDay:

However, the rest of the squad stepped up and found a way to pull out the overtime win.

The young quarterback came into the game excited about his chance to show what he can do on the big stage.

“It’s going to be pretty awesome, I’d like to imagine,” Maguire said before the game, via Tim Linafelt of the Miami Herald. “I’ve pictured this since I started playing little league ball, to be given an opportunity like this.”

Fortunately, he had a lot of support from the fans when he came out for warmups, according to Natalie Pierre of the Tallahassee Democrat:

Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post points out that this continued up until game time:

This seemed to help give Maguire some added confidence, as he took the field for the first time with the pressure on. There were certainly some ups and downs, but he did what was needed to help his team win.

Winston will return to the starting role in the next game as Florida State hopes to contend for another national championship. However, Maguire can be happy about coming through for his squad when needed.

If the young quarterback is ever asked to come through in the future, the Seminoles know they can trust him to provide a strong effort. 

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Has FSU QB Jameis Winston Learned Anything from Suspension?

Suspended Florida State QB Jameis Winston came out of the tunnel in full uniform prior to the Seminoles' game against Clemson on Saturday night.

Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, visibly upset, sent Winston back to the locker room to change. Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee debate whether or not the troubled quarterback has learned from his suspension.

Do you think Fisher was right to send Winston back to the locker room?

Watch the video and let us know! 

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Oregon vs. Washington State: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon 38, Washington State 31; FINAL

The No. 2 Oregon Ducks (4-0) were able to narrowly defeat the Washington State Cougars (1-3) by a score of 38-31. 

Marcus Mariota was absolutely masterful the entire night. Oregon's signal-caller went 21-of-25 for 329 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 58 yards on 13 carries. On a night in which Oregon struggled in all phases of the game, Mark Helfrich's team found a way to win. 

A full box score can be found here at NCAA.com

Bleacher Report appreciates you tuning in with us tonight. Stick around for score updates, social media, analysis and much more! 

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Oregon vs. Washington State: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon 38, Washington State 31; FINAL The No. 2 Oregon Ducks (4-0) were able to narrowly defeat the Washington State Cougars (1-3) by a score of 38-31. Marcus Mariota was absolutely masterful the entire night...

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Utah vs. Michigan: Game Grades, Analysis for the Wolverines

With 7:51 to play in the fourth quarter on Saturday, the game between Michigan and Utah was suspended due to lightning/inclement weather.

Utah outlasted Michigan, taking the game 26-10. But it may as well have been 55-10. The Wolverines didn't put up much of a fight at all. 

Here are the grades, which are determined by various factors, including, but not limited to, stats, opportunity, opinion and perception. 

Pass Offense

Devin Gardner threw two interceptions. He completed 14 of 26 passes, which didn't include anything impressive, and he ended up stepping aside for Shane Morris, who also threw an interception. 

Michigan's pass offense failed Saturday. There's nothing else to say, really. But it did put up stats, such as 148 yards from Gardner, so giving it an "F" wouldn't be quite right. 

How's a D-minus? 

 

Pass Defense

If not for Jourdan Lewis' tackle, Bubba Poole's 67-yard reception would have been about a 90-yard touchdown. Lewis actually played some of the better football of his young career. The sophomore corner was one of the very few bright spots on the day for Michigan. And, really, they can't be called "bright." 

How's this? He was one of few who didn't fall flat. But the pass defense still gets a C-minus. Dres Anderson made the secondary look invisible with his 28-yard touchdown reception from Travis Wilson during the third quarter. 

That score was the proverbial nail in the coffin. 

 

Run Offense

Same story, different day: Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith aren't getting the job done. And when they do, it's too late and not enough. 

Including 29 yards from Gardner, Michigan rushed for 119 yards. Green had 59, while Smith had five. Justice Hayes had three carries for 19 yards. 

We'll go with a D-plus. 

 

Run Defense

Notre Dame couldn't do it. Miami (Ohio) couldn't do it. Appalachian State, while it doesn't really count, couldn't do it either.

No one's running the ball on Greg Mattison's defense. The Utes had roughly 70 yards on the ground prior to the delay. 

However, that doesn't matter when your team takes a beating. Mattison's run D gets an A-minus for total. That's it. Eighty-ish yards are 80-ish yards. But it's really difficult to see anything positive when the offense can't do a thing to score a few. 

 

Coaching 

This one is easy. D. 

Game plans? How about showing up for a change? After that, Brady Hoke and Doug Nussmeier can talk about improving and devising game plans. Mattison's defense held Utah to less than half of its average, so he'll get a C. 

Hoke and Nussmeier get matching grades of D-minus. They're not on the same page. Michigan is four games into the season and looks worse now than it did in Week 1, when it actually had promise. 

 

Special Teams

Matt Wile made his kicks. Good for him. So did Andy Phillips, who beat Michigan 12-10. But let's get back to the Wolverines special teams, which was OK. Will Hagerup had a nice punt that pinned the Utes at their 3-yard line. That was the highlight. 

Dennis Norfleet had 22 kick-return yards and three from punt returns. 

Special teams gets a B. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

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Missouri Loss Proves It Won't Contend for SEC East Title

Sorry, Missouri, but the verdict is in following your 31-27 loss to Indiana: The Tigers will not contend for an SEC East title one year after taking the division by storm and reaching Atlanta.

Too early to make such a proclamation? Hardly. The mighty Hoosiers are coming off a 45-42 loss at Bowling Green. Yes, the very same Bowling Green that allowed Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon to rack up 253 yards on just 13 carries Saturday while giving up a total of 644 yards on the ground.

The transitive property is annoying and often flawed in college football, but it's pretty clear that if the Tigers can't take down Indiana at home, they won't have a chance at South Carolina or against teams like Georgia. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs are the next two opponents on the schedule, by the way.

Road tests against Florida, Texas A&M and Tennessee suddenly look a lot more difficult as well.

It seems hard to believe that Missouri could go from the doorstep of an SEC title to potentially the doormat of the entire league. Well, not counting Kentucky or Vanderbilt, of course. A depleted wide receiving corps combined with the loss of running back Henry Josey gives the offense an excuse, while former SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam's absence has hurt the defense.

But quarterback Maty Mauk stepped in for an injured James Franklin in 2013 and performed magnificently, which led many to believe the Tigers might only take a small step back, if at all. With several questions surrounding perennial contenders South Carolina and Georgia, the first few weeks of the season revealed a situation where Missouri had just as much of a chance as anyone to win the division crown.

Now, even after a nonconference loss, that scenario exists only in the dreams of Tigers fans.

The defense allowed running back Tevin Coleman to rack up 132 yards and a score, while Nate Sudfield threw for 252 yards and a score for the Hoosiers. If you're unfamiliar with the rushing abilities of Coleman, shame on you because he's a good one. But if he's capable of that type of performance, what will Todd Gurley do?

Once fans escape from that particular nightmarish thought, it will be difficult to see a path that has the Tigers turning things around. A record of 3-1 isn't a disastrous start, but with the upcoming slate it's certainly worrisome.

When you look at the box score from the game against Indiana, nothing jumps out that suggests the Hoosiers might have escaped with a win, and that's the scariest part.

If the Tigers had coughed up the ball four times or had numerous breakdowns in the secondary leading to four or five huge plays, that would be one thing. It would help explain the loss and reveal specific problems that are fixable.

But Missouri won the total yardage battle 506-493, lost the turnover battle 1-0 and even maintained possession for seven minutes longer than the Hoosiers.

So the conclusion upon looking at the numbers is that Indiana simply beat Missouri without any gimmick or fluke plays.

On Indiana's go-ahead drive, the Hoosiers were stopped on fourth down in their own territory before a flag came flying in from the secondary for pass interference. Even if you question the call, which effectively kept Indiana alive, it still doesn't change the fact that Kevin Wilson's squad was in this thing from start to finish.

The Tigers aren't going to win the SEC, but on the bright side they'll still have a chance to grow with Mauk at quarterback and a young defense getting a taste of football in the nation's best conference.

There should be more winning the rest of the way, but the losses could outnumber the wins, at least in conference play. In order for Missouri to overcome an embarrassing nonconference loss, it must retain the hunger that gave it an edge so often during the 2013 season.

For now, one thought reverberates throughout the conference: Missouri will not surprise anyone in 2014 by contending for an SEC East title, because the Tigers are already out of the race.

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Oklahoma Sooners Run Reverse Pass to Trevor Knight for Touchdown vs. WVU

The Oklahoma Sooners had an early deficit on Saturday night against the West Virginia Mountaineers, but this trick play helped them tie things up again.

In the second quarter, the Sooners ran a reverse pass that went straight to a wide-open Trevor Knight for the four-yard touchdown, giving the quarterback his first career reception.

That score helped the Sooners tie the game at 10-10.

 

 

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Penn State Football: Nittany Lions Finding Offensive Groove at Perfect Time

Don't look now, but the Big Ten may actually have a College Football Playoff contender. 

The Penn State Nittany Lions, who are now eligible for the postseason for the first time since the outbreak of the Jerry Sandusky scandal in 2011, are rolling after a 48-7 rout of UMass on Saturday and are now undefeated at 4-0. 

What's carried Penn State so far? Its prolific offense led by star quarterback Christian Hackenberg. 

On Saturday, the Nittany Lions manhandled a UMass team that gave both Colorado and Vanderbilt—granted two weak teams but still major conference opponents—all the trouble they could muster. They won the game 48-7 behind a balanced attack where everybody seemed to click. 

Hackenberg tossed for 179 yards, both Akeel Lynch and Bill Belton had over 75 yards on the ground and Geno Lewis hauled in 82 yards receiving. 

The Nittany Lions also had 23 first downs to UMass' 13, converted on 10 of 17 third downs and held the ball for 37 minutes. 

Everything is coming together for an offense that went into Week 4 ranked 10th in the nation in passing (360.7) and third in the Big Ten in total offense (436). 

The catalyst is undoubtedly Hackenberg. His best showing came in Week 1 in Ireland against reigning Fiesta Bowl champion UCF, where he threw for 454 yards en route to a 26-24 win that got Penn State rolling. Jeff Nelson provided Hackenberg's stats:

Back-to-back 300-yard showings against Akron and then on the road against Rutgers solidified his status as one of the best gunslingers in the conference. 

Hackenberg is complemented by two equally capable receivers in Lewis and DaeSean Hamilton, both of whom had over 300 yards receiving coming into Week 4. 

The 48 points the Nittany Lions tallied against UMass is a season-high, and it couldn't have come at a better time as Penn State is gearing up for the toughest part of its schedule. 

Next week they host Northwestern in a game that should be a win. But after a bye week, they face Michigan and Ohio State in consecutive weeks. 

Michigan always has offensive firepower to hang with any team, and you add in the fact that the Nittany Lions have to go to the Big House and the Wolverines need to be clicking on all cylinders. 

However, with Michigan struggling against Utah on Saturday, the Wolverines are looking more and more like the inferior team to Penn State this season, and the Nittany Lions should take care of business as long as they don't beat themselves. 

If they escape Ann Arbor, they'll host the Buckeyes. While Ohio State isn't the same without Braxton Miller, its defense is still giving up just 17 points a game through three contests. 

If—and that's a big if—Penn State can win those two, a regular-season finale with Michigan State will loom for the rest of the year. The Nittany Lions' opponents between Ohio State and Michigan State are Maryland, Indiana, Temple and Illinois. 

Those games should be easily winnable, barring any drastic changes in circumstances. Then we'll really see what the Nittany Lions are made of come Nov. 29, when Sparty visits Happy Valley. 

With the bowl ban lifted, this Penn State team has a renewed sense of optimism and a fresh set of expectations for this year. If it keeps rolling offensively like it has been, this team could be the feel-good story of 2014.

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