The 16 College Football Games to Watch in Week 4

    In a week of marque college football games, here are the 16 games to watch in Week 4, headlined by Colorado vs. Oregon.

    It’s a huge weekend in college football featuring a multitude of matchups within the CFN Top 25 Power Rankings. “Must watch” college football extends beyond those games, however.

    Once again, we bring you the 16 games that shape the college football landscape this weekend.

    The 16 Storylines and Games to Watch in Week 4

    Ohio State at Notre Dame

    Why Watch: This is THE statement game of the week. The winner of this game will be viewed as a playoff contender, but the loser still has plenty of opportunities to make up ground.

    This is the first big test for both teams. Ohio State is ranked sixth, and Notre Dame is ranked ninth, but the winner of this game will have one of the best wins of the season.

    What To Watch: Watch the quarterbacks.

    Sam Hartman has already exceeded 1,000 passing yards on the season and has 13 passing touchdowns, but this Ohio State defense isn’t being talked about enough, and this will be their opportunity to show what they can do.

    Kyle McCord is starting to find his groove after a couple of slow starts from the Ohio State offense, but Notre Dame’s pass defense has been very good at putting pressure on quarterbacks and deflecting passes.

    Florida State at Clemson

    Why Watch: The season is on the line for Clemson. They already have one loss, and it’s in conference play.

    If Clemson drops this game, their conference championship and playoff goals are all but gone. Florida State has one of the best wins of the season against LSU but nearly fumbled one away last week.

    What To Watch: Florida State struggled running the ball last weekend and was plagued by turnovers. Clemson couldn’t generate tackles for loss in their loss against Duke, but they have been successful since. They also had four takeaways against FAU.

    Iowa at Penn State

    Why Watch: Through his first two games, Drew Allar put up numbers that got people’s attention and made Penn State look like a Big Ten contender, then against Illinois, he completed less than 50% of his pass attempts and didn’t have a passing touchdown.

    Now he’ll face a strong Iowa defense. Both teams are good enough to be near the top of the Big Ten.

    What To Watch: Iowa is missing a few key offensive players, so we should expect the Iowa defense to play a bigger role if they can pull off the upset. Watch how both teams respond if Penn State can’t make big plays.

    Are they able to piece together long drives, or will Iowa stop the Penn State offense from moving the ball?

    Oregon State at Washington State

    Why Watch: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    The two remaining Pac-12 teams battle it out on Saturday, but both teams are still undefeated. The hype around Oregon State started during the offseason, and then in Week 2, Washington State upset Wisconsin.

    These teams are both ranked in the AP Top 25 and have shown they can be contenders in the conference race.

    What To Watch: Cam Ward, Washington State quarterback, is completing 72% of his passes and has nine touchdowns with no interceptions so far this season. Oregon State brings a good, well-rounded team into this game; look for them to make big plays on both sides of the ball.

    Ole Miss at Alabama

    Why Watch: Lane Kiffin vs. Nick Saban, do you need more reason to watch?

    Now, throw in the fact that Ole Miss‘ offense has been playing stellar football and Alabama’s offense is lethargic. With a win, Ole Miss could come out as the favorites to win the SEC West.

    An Alabama win would mean they’re down but not out. It would be a sign that things aren’t as bad as they seem at Alabama.

    What To Watch: Jaxson Dart is tied for first in the nation with Caleb Williams, averaging 12.5 yards per pass thrown (against FBS opponents). Alabama’s defense will be the toughest he’s faced yet, but he will be a key player to watch. Alabama’s offense has played far below expectations.

    For Alabama, Jalen Milroe will be back at quarterback, and the hope is things begin to improve now that we’re a few games into the season.

    Colorado at Oregon

    Why Watch: Colorado continues to find ways to win, and the excitement around the program continues to grow. Last week they pulled off a double-overtime win in front of a late-night national audience.

    Bo Nix and the Oregon Ducks bring the best offense Colorado has seen yet. Coach Prime can continue to work his magic, or Bo Nix will once again show what he can do on a national stage.

    What To Watch: So far this season, Colorado has matched their opponents: Playing shootout football against TCU, playing defensive football against Nebraska.

    Oregon is not the most explosive team but excels in consistency: moving the ball and not turning it over. Defensively, Oregon causes havoc to win games and generates turnovers. Colorado will once again need to match Oregon by playing very consistent football to win this game.

    UCLA at Utah

    Why Watch: This game seems to be slipping under the radar, but again we focus on the quarterbacks. Dante Moore had a great game for UCLA against NC Central, but Chip Kelly hasn’t committed to him yet, despite what the fans want.

    Everyone is wondering if Cam Rising will return for Utah. The Utes are 3-0 with wins over Florida and Baylor without Rising, but as they enter conference play, they’ll be competing against some of the nation’s top quarterbacks.

    What To Watch: Cam Rising has been seen on the practice field; if he returns, we could be seeing what these two teams are fully capable of. Watch how turnovers play a role in this game. UCLA is averaging three takeaways per game, fifth in the nation, but Utah is averaging only 0.5 giveaways per game, eighth in the nation.

    Rutgers at Michigan

    Why Watch: Rutgers has quietly made their way to 3-0 with wins over Northwestern, Temple, and Virginia Tech. Michigan is the highest-ranked Big Ten team, but they’ve been slipping in multiple power ratings.

    What To Watch: Rutgers has a “bend, don’t break” defense, and they’ve been able to slow down opponents’ passing attacks. Michigan will definitely test that defense.

    Arkansas at LSU

    Why Watch: Despite both teams already having a loss, the losses are in non-conference play. Both of these teams are playing for a shot to win the SEC West. Both of these teams feel like this is a “must-win game”. Both teams feature skilled quarterbacks.

    What To Watch: LSU’s offense might be struggling with inconsistency again this year, and last week we saw Arkansas beat themselves. These two teams will be trying to prove that they can play up to their potential, so there are a lot of directions this game could take.

    UCF at Kansas State

    Why Watch: UCF begins Big 12 play for the first time and it’s against the defending conference champion. Kansas State comes off of a heartbreaking loss to Missouri last weekend. This is a big game for setting up who will be competitive atop the Big 12 conference.

    What To Watch: UCF will look to be more explosive on offense, but Kansas State is great at stopping quick scores. UCF will be without starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee for this game, so the pressure of providing more offense will fall onto backup quarterback Timmy McClain and their duo of running backs.

    Oklahoma at Cincinnati

    Why Watch: Is Oklahoma a “Paper Tiger” – Do they look ferocious but aren’t a real threat?

    The Oklahoma offense has been electric so far this season, finding the end zone very quickly on drives. They are averaging 55.7 points per game, but most of that has come against lesser competition.

    The Cincinnati defense looks to be a step up from SMU’s defense, but may struggle to limit Oklahoma’s passing attack.

    What To Watch: Another quarterback in our “What to Watch” section, Dillon Gabriel, is off to a hot start this season. He already has 11 passing touchdowns on the season, and Cincinnati hasn’t been great at stopping the pass.

    Oklahoma’s weak spot is allowing havoc plays: passes defended, tackles for loss, etc., but Cincinnati has struggled to generate those this season. Oklahoma could have another runaway victory.

    BYU at Kansas

    Why Watch: This is an attention-grabbing game for both teams. Kansas looks to have picked up where they left off in the first half of 2022, before Jalon Daniels’ injury. BYU comes off of a big win at Arkansas.

    If Kansas and Daniels look electric, they should start gaining attention again this season. If BYU gets the win, they could move into the top tier of Big 12 teams.

    What To Watch: BYU has looked less consistent than last year and is relying more on big plays, as things stand. They should be able to move the ball on Kansas’ defense, but the Jayhawk defense is playing better than they were last season.

    Also, watch Daniels; he’s one of the most exciting athletes in college football and will be a difference-maker in this game.

    Appalachian State at Wyoming

    Why Watch: Wyoming looks to be one of the top Group of Five programs this season, having beaten Texas Tech and having hung with Texas for about three quarters. They now dive into a big non-conference Group of Five game.

    Appalachian State suffered a six-point double-overtime loss to North Carolina in Week 2 and has looked good in their other games. After a weird 2022 and probably underachieving, App State looks to bounce back and can get a statement non-conference win here.

    What To Watch: Wyoming likes to run the ball and has found a lot of success doing so. But Appalachian State linebacker Brodrick Gooch is 10th in the nation, averaging two tackles for loss per game. Watch for him to get in the backfield and try to slow Wyoming’s backs.

    SMU at TCU

    Why Watch: SMU has a strong defense and is the only team that has been able to slow down Oklahoma so far this season. They’ll get a second chance to get a win over a Power Five opponent before starting conference play. People may have written TCU off after their loss to Colorado, but their offense has been playing very well too.

    What To Watch: SMU has been finding success passing the ball, and TCU’s defense has not found a way to stop passing teams. SMU will likely lean on Preston Stone to make some well-timed plays.

    Auburn at Texas A&M

    Why Watch: Another SEC West matchup, this one between two teams that finished 2022 with losing records, but Auburn has started 3-0, and Texas A&M is 2-1. This is a battle of which team has improved the most from last season, with the winner getting a boost in exceeding last season’s win total.

    What To Watch: Texas A&M has played well on early downs and been making big plays. All of their touchdown drives against Miami were on drives of seven plays or less. Auburn has been getting the job done on the ground, with quarterback Payton Thorne leading the team in rushing yards.

    Memphis at Missouri

    Why Watch: Missouri stunned Kansas State with a 61-yard field goal as time expired to pull off the upset. Memphis is 3-0 and has become one of the favorites atop the American Athletic Conference.

    A Memphis win would catapult their New Year’s Six bowl chances, but of course, they’d need to navigate their way through conference play first. Missouri could be 4-0 heading into a game against Vanderbilt, putting them in a great position to be undefeated when LSU comes to town.

    What To Watch: Memphis’ ability to generate turnovers will likely be the key to this game. They haven’t been great about moving the ball offensively, and Missouri has a stout defense. Missouri should have the advantage in this game, but Memphis’ defense will need to avoid making mistakes.

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