There are 33 teams left in the FBS still unbeaten including basketball-first schools Indiana, Duke, Kansas, Syracuse and North Carolina. Who saw that coming? Here’s a look at two must-bet games in Week 4. Look for individual previews of Wisconsin-Ohio State and Kent State-Georgia later this week.
Must Bet College Football Games Week 4
No. 5 Clemson at No. 21 Wake Forest (+7.5)
Remember, Wake Forest and not Clemson is the defending ACC Atlantic Division champion, although the Tigers smashed the Demon Deacons 48-27 last year. Clemson’s defense recorded 10 tackles for loss, seven sacks, broke up ten passes and forced three turnovers, while holding Wake Forest to just 36 yards rushing on 31 carries. Clemson outgained the Demon Deacons 543-406 and averaged 7.3 yards per play. The Tigers have won 13 straight in the series.
Clemson (3-0) beat Louisiana Tech 48-20 this past Saturday. Sophomore running back Will Shipley rushed 12 times for a career-high 139 yards and two touchdowns as Clemson used a 35-point second half to cruise. Clemson gained a season-high 521 total yards, including 280 on the ground, and forced four turnovers, leading to 21 Tiger points. Clemson extended its nation-leading home winning streak to 36 games and passed 2006-11 Boise State (35) for sole possession of the 14th-longest home winning streak in FBS history. Clemson pulled within one game of the ACC record (Florida State, 37 from 1992-2001) in that category.
Shipley averaged 11.6 yards per carry and became the first Clemson player to average at least 10 yards per carry on at least 10 attempts since Travis Etienne in the 2020 ACC Championship Game against Notre Dame. Additionally, Shipley became the first Clemson player to start a season with multiple rushing touchdowns in each of the three first games on record back to 1950.
The Tigers’ defense kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone for the first three quarters and held Louisiana Tech to only six total rushing yards with an average of 0.3 yards per rush. All-American defensive tackled Bryan Breese didn’t play after his sister passed away but should go this week. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was 17-of-29 for 221 yards and two scores through the air and picked up 62 yards on the ground on nine carries.
Clemson won its ninth straight game to extend the Power 5’s longest active winning streak. It represents the 14th winning streak of nine games or more in program history.
Wake Forest (3-0) escaped at home against Liberty on Saturday, 37-36, as the Flames couldn’t convert on a two-point conversion in the final minute. The Demon Deacons were led by redshirt junior quarterback Sam Hartman as he finished 26-of-44 passing for 325 yards and three passing touchdowns.
Hartman broke the Wake Forest all-time passing mark, eclipsing Riley Skinner (2006-09) with a five-yard pass to Ke’Shawn Williams in the third quarter against. Following Saturday, he has now thrown for 9,891 career passing yards, moving into the top 10 in ACC history. Hartman will look to become the 131st player in NCAA history and just the ninth passer in the history of the ACC to eclipse the 10,000-yard passing barrier on Saturday. Pick: Clemson
No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee (-11)
The Gators (2-1) were nearly huge upset losers at home on Saturday but escaped past USF 31-28. Spencer Shrader missed a 49-yard field goal that would have tied the game with 23 seconds to play, but the USF kicker never really had a chance, as his holder fumbled a clean snap and denied Shrader a solid sweep at the ball. That came just two snaps after Bulls center Brad Cecil, with 44 seconds to go, grounded an exchange past quarterback Gerry Bohanon — on a second-and-5 at the UF 18, with a chance to score a touchdown and win the game — for a 14-yard loss that pushed the Bulls all the way back to the 33.
The winning score was a 3-yard TD run freshman tailback Trevor Etienne with just over five minutes left that proved the difference on a night the Gators were outgained 402 to 329 in total offense by an American Athletic Conference team that has beaten just one FBS program over the last three seasons. UF managed despite a second straight tough night from sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson, who completed 10 of 18 passes for 112 yards and threw two second-half interceptions, while being held to only 24 yards on seven rushing attempts.
Tennessee (3-0) crushed Akron 63-6 on Saturday. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was stellar in the opening 30 minutes and early in the third quarter before retiring to the home sideline. The redshirt-senior produced 251 yards passing on 13-of-17 accuracy in the first half and ended the evening 14-of-18 for 298 yards and two scores.
The Volunteer signal caller now has thrown a touchdown pass in 15 straight games, just three shy of the school record of 18 set by Heath Shuler from Oct. 17, 1992, to Jan. 1, 1994. Hooker also improved his total to 37 TD tosses as a Vol, ranking seventh all-time on Rocky Top.
Jalin Hyatt and running backs Jaylen Wright and Dylan Sampson had two touchdowns apiece to lead the offense, which accumulated 676 yards of total offense for the fifth-highest total in school history. It marks the third time UT has racked up 600+ yards of total offense under Josh Heupel.
ESPN College GameDay will be in Knoxville for this one. UF boasts a 31-20 record (.608) in the series and has won 16 of the last 17 meetings including an active five-game winning streak. Florida has won each of the last four matchups by 12 points or more.
There have been 24 prior meetings in which both Florida and Tennessee have been ranked, with the most recent coming in 2017 (No. 24 Florida 26, No. 23 Tennessee 20). UF is 16-8 in ranked games vs. UT including 5-1 since 2005. Pick: Tennessee