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College Football 2012: Week 4 Recap
Saturday, 2012 September 29 - 10:44 am
Michigan loses in ugly fashion to Notre Dame; N.C. State rolls. This is way late, I know, but I've been depressed about last week's result.

#18 Michigan 6, #11 Notre Dame 13. There's only one meaningful statistic in this game: Michigan turnovers, 6. If not for a number of maddening interceptions (mostly the result of Denard having unblocked defenders pressuring him), Michigan actually would have had a pretty good day. Denard Robinson only deserves part of the blame, though... mostly, I blame Al Borges for continuing to try to shoehorn his scheme into the offense when it's just not working. When the Notre Dame corners are playing 15 yards off the line, throw the freakin' bubble screen, Al. Otherwise the safeties will continue to cheat into the box against the run, play robber against the pass, or play man coverage against the slot and allow the linebackers to blitz. There's a direct link between Al's refusal to throw the bubble screen and the 4 interceptions that Denard threw.

So. Sigh. The good news is, the defense played really well, and if not for the turnovers there were some bright spots in the play of the offense too. And since the Big Ten is pretty miserably weak this year, Michigan still has a chance of having a good season. But only if Al changes things up a bit.

Heroes: Defensive line, linebackers.
Goats: Denard Robinson, Al Borges.

Grades: Defense A, Offense F.

Michigan is on a bye in week 5.

N.C. State 52, Citadel 14. Cupcake city. I was right that State would find its rushing attack in this game; freshman Shadrach Thornton ran 21 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Of course it was Citadel, but that's a hopeful sign for State, who's had a tough time getting anything going on the ground all year.

State plays Miami (FL) in week 5 in what should be a good matchup.

Around the Big Ten
The theme of this week was trouble with lesser competition.

#16 Ohio State had trouble with UAB but ended up winning 29-15.

Wisconsin looked downright ugly in beating UTEP 37-26.

#21 Michigan State trailed Eastern Michigan at the half but ended up winning 23-7.

Penn State eked out a win over Temple 24-13.

Iowa lost to Central Michigan 32-31, ugh.

Illinois got crushed by Syracuse 52-24.

Nebraska and Northwestern rolled over 1-AA opponents.

Minnesota is a surprising 4-0 after beating Syracuse 17-10.

Other Notable Games
#2 LSU barely beat Auburn 12-10. Auburn is 1-3 but they're better than their record suggests.

#3 Oregon walloped Rich Rodriguez' Arizona Wildcats, 49-0. This was a bit of a shocker for me.

#4 Florida State beat #10 Clemson 49-37. FSU is legit this year.

#6 Oklahoma was upset by #15 Kansas State 24-19.

#13 USC beat Cal 27-9; I'd thought that game would be closer.

Oregon State beat #19 UCLA 27-20. Still too early to call Oregon State a contender, though.
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