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Weekend Recap

Booms and Busts: Week Four

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: September 22, 2019, 8:55 am ET

I don't even know where to begin, folks. 

Week 4 Booms

Washington State QB Anthony Gordon -- 570 yards passing, nine touchdowns, two interceptions -- vs. UCLA:  Oh, there will be more from this game. You better believe there will be more from this game. You may have missed this, but Gordon's absolutely bonkers game came in a losing effort, as UCLA came back to win 67-63. Yes, the Cougars didn't win, and yes the senior threw two interceptions; but it's very hard to blame the loss on Gordon, who put up numbers we haven't seen in a long, long time. That's saying something when you consider Mike Leach's system. He already has 21 touchdown passes on the year, which is a number many quarterbacks won't reach all year. An absolutely incredible game for Gordon. And yet...

UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson -- 507 yards passing, five passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns -- vs. Washington State: And no, we are not done with this game. Thompson Robinson started slow -- we'll go ahead and talk about that later -- but boy did he finish strong in this one. Here's something to keep in mind: UCLA had scored 42 points TOTAL in the first three games. Let's remember that Thompson-Robinson should be a redshirt freshman, that he's still relatively new to the position, and UCLA played a heck of a schedule over the first three weeks. Excuses? Perhaps, but decent ones. Thompson-Robinson was outstanding in this contest, and gives the Bruins a bit of hope for the future.  

LSU QB Joe Burrow -- 398 yards passing, six touchdowns -- vs. Vanderbilt: I thought I was going to lead with Burrow's game, but then, well, WSU/UCLA happened. Sorry, I can't stop thinking about that game. Enough about that, for now. Burrow was once again dominant; carving up the Vanderbilt defense while completing 25-of-34 passes against a Commodore defense that just had no shot. Here's an interesting stat: The 73.5 percent completion percentage? That's actually a season low for Burrow. The improvement he's made this year can't be talked about enough. 

USC QB Matt Fink -- 351 yards passing, three touchdowns -- vs. Utah: There were many quarterbacks who threw for more yards and touchdowns -- a shout-out to Brock Purdy, Chris Robison and several others on their big contests -- but Fink's performance is more of a "boom" when you consider some context. First of all, it came off the bench after Kedon Slovis -- himself a backup to JT Daniels -- was injured on the first drive in a must-win game for the Trojans and Clay Helton to have a chance in the Pac-12 South. Secondly, Fink was only back with USC this season after deciding not to transfer to Illinois at basically the last minute. The Utes' secondary made things a bit easy by providing a lot cushion, but Fink threw some dimes, and if they can beat Washington this Saturday, you never know. 

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor -- 203 yards rushing, two touchdowns -- vs. Michigan: Dominant. We'll have some more form this game, too. Taylor's day could have been an even better contest if not for cramps/this game not being close, but it's still a monster game from a player that we've grown accustomed to see them from. The 5-foot-11, 219-pound tailback looks faster and shiftier in 2019, -- not that he was slow and...shiftless?....before, and it's tough to say there's been a running back who has been better this fall. Wisconsin has a real chance at a playoff berth in 2019. 

Colorado State RB Marvin Kinsey Jr. -- 246 yards rushing, two touchdowns -- vs. Toledo: I'm going to assume for a second that you don't know who Kinsey Jr. is. Marvin Kinsey Jr. is the best player you've never heard of. This makes three straight contests where he's picked up at least 180 yards of offense, and while two of the three efforts have seen the Rams lose, it's certainly not the 6-foot-1, 206-pound tailbacks' fault. Kinsey Jr. is well on his way to being among the league-leaders in rushing in 2019, and despite playing for a not-very-good team in a Group of 5 conference, he deserves your attention. 

UCLA RB/WR Demetric Felton -- 13 yards rushing, 157 yards receiving, two touchdowns -- vs. Washington State: Technically, Felton is still listed as a running back, but the former full-time receiver did most of his damage catching passes. Oh, and he did this:   



Felton's speed is ridiculous, and the redshirt junior is another reason why UCLA fans should be at least a little excited about the future. I can't stop thinking about this game, folks. 

LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase -- 10 receptions, 229 yards receiving, four touchdowns -- vs. Vanderbilt: There are several options for Burrow in this passing game. Chase is one of the best, and boy did he dominate the Vanderbilt secondary on Saturday. He also picked up 147 yards receiving in the win over Texas, and he's part of a wideout group that challenges pretty much everyone but Alabama's. And maybe Clemson's. Anyway, Chase is good, and so is LSU. 

San Jose State WR Tre Walker -- 12 catches, 161 yards receiving -- vs. Arkansas: Seems like I'm doing a lot of teases, but we'll have a little more on this game, too. Walker was playing in his first game of the season, and boy did he make an impression against Arkansas. He didn't find the end zone, but he set up several scores in this one; and he and quarterback Josh Love connected a few times before the Spartans scored the game-winner with just over a minute left. Walker (5'11/180) showed big playmaking ability in his sophomore season with a line of 39/714/5 for a not-very-good San Jose State club last year, and it looks like he's going to crush those numbers in 2019. Just a guess.

Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet -- 9 catches, 108 yards receiving, TD -- vs. Georgia: I should probably go with Florida Atlantic's DeAngelo Antoine (11 catches, 173 yards receiving, four touchdowns) or USC's Michael Pittman (10 catches, 232 yards, touchdown), but I realized I haven't placed a tight end on this list all year, and Kmet deserves some plaudits. This was his first game after missing the first two contests with an injured collarbone, but he was Ian Book's top target, and if the Fighting Irish could have run the football at all -- or if Book wouldn't have thrown two costly interceptions -- then we might be talking about the Irish coming out of Athens with a win. Even in the loss, the 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end was impressive, and Notre Dame's offense is clearly better with the junior on the field.

Week 4 Busts

Michigan -- Everything you can do on a football field -- vs. Wisconsin: I'm sorry, Michigan fans. This was a really unimpressive effort. We have to give Wisconsin credit -- they really do look good -- but Michigan was awful in every aspect. Shea Patterson just doesn't look like a quarterback who can achieve the kind of expectations that are set at Michigan, and even if these expectations might not be fair, they're there. I'm prepared for this hot take to become a treat you put in the freezer, but it wouldn't shock me if Michigan had a full handful of losses in 2019. This was ugly, folks. 

Washington State -- The final 20 minutes -- vs. UCLA: I promise, this is the last thing about this game. See, I might not have mentioned that Washington State was leading this game 49-17. I also might not have mentioned that the Cougars had this lead with 6:52 left in the third quarter. So yes, the Cougars blew a 32 point lead with just 21:52 left in the contest. All the credit in the world to Chip Kelly, Thompson-Robinson, Felton, Chase Cota, so on and so forth. You lose a 32 point lead to a team that had scored a total of 42 points in the first three games, you're gonna be listed here. It just can't happen, and yet, it did. I will never stop thinking about this game.

Arkansas -- losing at home to the worst FBS program of the last three years -- vs. San Jose State: I will be honest, I thought about just listing Nick Starkel here, who threw five interceptions in this contest, but nah, this is a team effort. The Spartans have won a total of four games since 2017, and they dominated this game up until the end of the third quarter, and still came up with the victory after the Razorbacks scored 17 points to time the game. Again, let's give credit to Mike Brennan and the Spartans. We can't imagine how happy they are, and you could see the emotion in Brennan's face after the win. But this is an inexcusable loss, regardless of where Chad Morris is in terms of rebuilding the program. 

Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports EDGE and also appears on the Circling the Bases Podcast.