Key Week 4 takeaways for each Top 25 team

Book makes impressive debut as Notre Dame starter (1:29)

QB Ian Book throws for two touchdowns and runs for three in Notre Dame's 56-27 win over Wake Forest. (1:29)

Alabama continues to do the unbelievable, and Old Dominion did the unforgettable. The rest of the playoff contenders have taken care of business in Week 4, with Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame and Penn State all earning impressive wins. What did we learn from those games and the rest of the week's biggest battles?

No. 1 Alabama 45, No. 22 Texas A&M 23

Ho-hum. Another drubbing at the hands of the Crimson Tide. Even the best team Alabama has played to date -- Texas A&M -- stood no chance. The defense bent but never broke, and Tua Tagovailoa continued to lead a prolific offense. What has to be scary for opponents moving forward is the added dimension of the tight end to an already balanced offense. Irv Smith Jr. got involved early and often, and Hale Hentges caught two touchdown passes, exploiting the middle of the field as the Aggies' defense zeroed in on Alabama's receivers. -- Alex Scarborough

After the way the Aggies played against Clemson a few weeks ago, there seemed to be a confidence boost knowing they could go toe-to-toe with a top-two team. Whatever illusions that performance brought came crashing down in a blowout loss to Alabama, revealing just how far this team needs to go to compete against not only the best team in its own division but the best team in the country. Texas A&M hung tough for the first 27 minutes before Alabama wore out the Aggies in every way possible. Kellen Mond made some plays with his legs but otherwise had a pedestrian day passing. Trayveon Williams was a nonfactor. Texas A&M needs the best out of those two as the season moves forward.-- Andrea Adelson

No. 2 Georgia 43, Missouri 29

If the Georgia offense isn't clicking, no worries. The Bulldogs scored a pair of non-offensive touchdowns in winning their second divisional road game of September. Tyson Campbell's 64-yard strip-and-score and an 8-yard return of a blocked punt by Eric Stokes masked a tepid start from Jake Fromm. The Georgia QB led the nation in completion percentage entering the game, but hit just 6 of 14 passes with an interception in the first half. Fromm heated up with a pair of TD throws in the third quarter as the Bulldogs unleashed their full arsenal. Home dates with Tennessee and Vanderbilt await before UGA hits the road in Week 7, when it figures to need a complete performance at LSU. -- Mitch Sherman

No. 3 Clemson 49, Georgia Tech 21

Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence again split time at QB, but for the first game this season, the freshman seemed to be clearly a step ahead. A foolish interception on a screen pass provided the one blemish on Lawrence's day, but the Tigers moved the ball with ease against the Georgia Tech defense when Lawrence was on the field, and he finished completing 13 of 18 throws for 176 yards and four touchdowns. -- David M. Hale

No. 4 Ohio State 49, Tulane 6

Everyone at Ohio State, from the football office to the fan base, has been longing for normalcy. Saturday afternoon the return of head coach Urban Meyer from a three-game suspension and a seemingly effortless 49-6 crushing of Tulane was as normal as it gets in Columbus. Dwayne Haskins Jr. was nearly flawless, starting with nine consecutive completions and finishing 21-of-24 for 304 yards and five touchdowns, all in the first half. It felt like the perfect tuneup for Penn State and a showdown with its all-star QB, Trace McSorley. "We all know what the key will be in the game that's coming up," said Meyer, comparing Haskins to Alex Smith, his starter at Utah from 2003 to 2004. "Dwayne has become a better passer, but he's also become a better leader. That's what we'll need in a hostile environment next weekend. A leader." -- Ryan McGee

No. 5 Oklahoma 28, Army 21 (OT)

For the Sooners, the best part of their 28-21 overtime win against Army was that it was on pay-per-view and most of the country wasn't able to watch as they almost coughed up their College Football Playoff hopes. Almost being the key word. The win doesn't exactly enhance the Sooners' résumé, but they'll head into Big 12 play undefeated, and that's what matters. Playing against a triple-option offense can be frustrating, and there are several examples over the years when that style of play has served as an equalizer when the talent gap is significant. Oklahoma remains the Big 12 favorite and could ultimately benefit from this wake-up call. -- Kyle Bonagura

No. 6 LSU 38, Louisiana Tech 21

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow still has not thrown an interception on the season, but it was the ground game that got the Tigers through Louisiana Tech with five rushing touchdowns. The defense gave up as many points to Louisiana Tech as it did against Auburn the previous week, allowing 418 total yards of offense. LSU will have to clean things up before playing Ole Miss next week at home. The Rebels are averaging 42 points per game, and quarterback Jordan Ta'amu has thrown eight touchdowns. Giving up three passing touchdowns against Louisiana Tech, LSU is going to have a tough test with the Ole Miss receiving corps, led by A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf. -- Tom VanHaaren

No. 7 Stanford 38, No. 20 Oregon 31 (OT)

In its first real test of the season, the Cardinal defense simply wasn't up for the challenge through four quarters. Oregon star quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 331 yards on 25-of-27 passing in regulation, tying a 35-year-old Pac-12 record for completion percentage (92.6). Head coach David Shaw said Herbert reminded him of another Ducks quarterback who had tormented his team in the past: 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. "That's what it felt like out there," Shaw said. But Stanford finally tightened up in overtime. Herbert went 1-of-6 for 15 yards in the extra period, throwing incomplete three straight times before his interception in the end zone sealed the win for the Cardinal.

Late in the third quarter, the Ducks were only a yard from putting away the nation's seventh-ranked team. At that moment, Oregon had a 99.0 win probability after a rushing touchdown by Jaylon Redd was overturned on the previous play. But the Ducks fumbled on two of the next three plays, the last one returned 80 yards for a touchdown by Stanford linebacker Joey Alfieri, and the Cardinal were right back in the game. It was ultimately the story of a crushing loss for Oregon: Only the Ducks could stop the Ducks. Another fumble, this time by redshirt freshman CJ Verdell with 51 seconds left, thwarted Oregon's attempt to run out the clock. Those miscues spoiled an offensive explosion reminiscent of the Chip Kelly era. Oregon finished with 524 yards of offense, its highest total against an FBS opponent this season. -- Joel Anderson

No. 8 Notre Dame 56, Wake Forest 27

Notre Dame has found a quarterback. Ian Book made his second career start at Wake Forest in place of Brandon Wimbush on Saturday and accounted for five touchdowns, leading the Irish to their most points in a road game since a 57-7 win at Stanford in 2003. It was an important breakout performance for Book, a redshirt sophomore, as Notre Dame had won its first three games by a total of 20 points and didn't score more than 24 points in any of those games. It was arguably Notre Dame's most complete performance to date, as its defensive front also played well and neutralized Wake Forest, making things difficult for Deacs quarterback Sam Hartman, who completed 12 of 24 passes for 110 yards. -- Heather Dinich

No. 9 Auburn 34, Arkansas 3

Auburn was outgained by Arkansas in offensive yards 290 to 225, but won 34-3. The Tigers will give much of the credit to their special teams, which had a 96-yard kick return for a touchdown, 87 punt-return yards and two field goals. The Auburn defense played well in the win, not allowing Arkansas a touchdown and holding the Razorbacks to 141 yards passing. The Tigers have Southern Miss next before traveling to Starkville to take on Mississippi State. That means the offense will have some time to tune up the mistakes and inconsistencies that persisted against Arkansas. -- VanHaaren

No. 10 Penn State 63, Illinois 24

The Lions will need to be much sharper next week against Ohio State, especially on defense after surrendering 5.4 rushing yards per carry to Illinois and struggling at times with the Illini's pace and creative playcalls. Dwayne Haskins, Mike Weber, J.K. Dobbins and the Buckeyes will carve up this crew next week if it doesn't tighten up, especially in the front seven. Yet with Trace McSorley at quarterback and Miles Sanders quickly emerging as a more-than-capable successor to Saquon Barkley, PSU enters its most important game of the season with confidence. Sanders gashed Illinois for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries, and backup Ricky Slade added a 61-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Penn State's big-play threat is very much alive even without Joe Moorhead calling plays. New coordinator Ricky Rahne shows the same selective aggressiveness as Moorhead, such as throwing to the end zone immediately after an Illinois interception to put away Friday night's game early in the fourth quarter. Coach James Franklin loves the way his team is finishing games, but knows a more complete effort is needed to beat Ohio State before a "whiteout" crowd at Beaver Stadium. -- Adam Rittenberg

No. 10 Washington 27, Arizona State 20

The Huskies' winning formula isn't going to change much all season. Their defense might end up as the best in the Pac-12, while their balanced offensive approach will be good enough to make them favored in just about every game. Those aren't new revelations coming out of their 27-20 win against Arizona State -- their play against the Sun Devils only reaffirmed what we thought we knew. Any criticism of a team of Washington's caliber is nitpicking, really, but their lack of explosive plays the past two weeks has been noticeable. -- Kyle Bonagura

No. 12 West Virginia 35, Kansas State 6

Quarterback Will Grier and wide receiver David Sills V put on yet another show, connecting for three touchdowns as the Mountaineers torched K-State. Grier tied a career-high with five touchdown throws, placing his Heisman campaign firmly back on track after Hurricane Florence wiped out West Virginia's game at North Carolina State last weekend. The Mountaineers quietly continue to shine defensively, as well, as they kept the opposition out of the end zone for the first time since 2015. Grad transfers Kenny Bigelow Jr. and Jabril Robinson have made a huge difference up front for a West Virginia run defense that's allowing just 3.3 yards per carry this season. -- Jake Trotter

Old Dominion 49, No. 13 Virginia Tech 35

Let's go through the horror show that occurred for the Hokies. First, and most obviously, they lost by two touchdowns to a team that's 0-3 and playing with its backup QB. It was the biggest upset of the season and a game Virginia Tech and Old Dominion fans will be talking about for years. But there's so much salt for the wound. The Hokies' starting QB, Josh Jackson, was hurt with what appeared to be a relatively significant ankle issue. The secondary looked completely lost, allowing 495 yards through the air. The flags flew left and right, with Virginia Tech being whistled for four different unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. And when the game was on the line, ODU simply ran the ball down Virginia Tech's throat. Brutal in every facet for the 29-point favorites. -- Hale

Kentucky 28, No. 14 Mississippi State 7

The book on No. 14 Mississippi State coming into its first SEC game of the season was that the Bulldogs were right up there with anybody on the defensive line and could be that team nationally that might sneak up on a few people. How quickly it all changes, especially on the road. When the Bulldogs weren't beating themselves with costly penalties on Saturday night, they were simply getting beaten up physically, particularly in the offensive line, in a 28-7 loss to an unbeaten Kentucky team that was anything but fluky. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald could never get on track running the ball and didn't get much protection, either, when he tried to throw it. It only gets more daunting from here for the Bulldogs, who still have LSU and Alabama on the road and Auburn, Florida and Texas A&M at home. -- Chris Low

Texas Tech 41, No. 15 Oklahoma State 17

Fresh off an impressive win against Boise State, which is maybe the best Group of 5 team in the country, Oklahoma State was very much a part of the College Football Playoff discussion. Not anymore. Not only did the Cowboys open conference play with a loss, but they were humiliated at home against Texas Tech in a game that will question how long the Cowboys will be able to remain in the Big 12 race. With Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State next up, there's a manageable stretch that should allow coach Mike Gundy to address the issues that surfaced this week on both sides of the ball. -- Bonagura

No. 16 UCF 56, Florida Atlantic 36

Is there a way to slow down McKenzie Milton and UCF? In extending their nation-leading 16-game winning streak on Friday night, the Knights showed once again why they are so difficult to stop. Milton accounted for six touchdowns, three rushing and three passing, blending his running ability with tempo offense to keep FAU guessing. UCF has scored 30 or more points in each game of its 16-game winning streak. Not even the Lane Train could keep up. In three total games this season, UCF has scored 150 points, and Milton has thrown for 895 yards with 12 total touchdowns. If there is one area the coaching staff will want improved it is the run defense -- FAU rushed for 320 yards at a 6.4 yards-per-carry clip. That has to take on a big sense of urgency next week against Pitt, which averages over 200 yards on the ground. -- Adelson

Texas 31, No. 17 TCU 16

The Horned Frogs' second straight loss came thanks in large part to an offense that sputtered on Saturday vs. Texas. TCU drove inside the Texas 30-yard line six times but came away with only one touchdown in those trips (TCU settled for field goals four other times and missed one of those attempts). Aside from quarterback Shawn Robinson, the running game didn't get much done (Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua combined for 70 yards on 20 attempts) and Robinson himself committed some critical turnovers, throwing an interception deep in Texas territory and one on his own side of the field that eventually led to a Longhorns score. Gary Patterson & Co. need to regroup after opening Big 12 play with a loss. -- Sam Khan Jr.

No. 18 Wisconsin 28, Iowa 17

Playing at Kinnick Stadium at night is terrifying for any team, and Wisconsin went through it against Iowa in a back-and-forth, grind-it-out type game Saturday night. The Badgers came away with the win after quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw a 17-yard touchdown pass with 57 seconds left. The winner of this game has gone on to win the Big Ten West the past four years, and Wisconsin is in position to achieve that once again. The Badgers have some work to do, especially getting running back Jonathan Taylor into the end zone. He now has consecutive games without a score. -- Tom VanHaaren

No. 19 Michigan 56, Nebraska 10

The Wolverines are getting better. The third straight lopsided win in Ann Arbor, this one against a woeful, unimpressive and uninterested Nebraska team, doesn't provide a clear picture of how Michigan will fare against the four ranked opponents still on the schedule. It did, though, show a team that is finding its groove. The defense was fast and dominant, allowing 5 rushing yards in the first three quarters. Shea Patterson continues to develop chemistry with his receivers, and an often maligned offensive line seemed more organized and assignment sound against the overmatched Nebraska front. While just about anything might've worked this week, Jim Harbaugh and his staff have a better idea four games into the season what works best with Patterson running the offense, and they put their best players in good spots to make plays Saturday. -- Dan Murphy

No. 21 Miami 31, FIU 17

Despite all the wins, Miami fans had been pining for an alternative to Malik Rosier at QB. On Saturday, they got their wish. N'Kosi Perry came in on the Hurricanes' third drive of the game and immediately dominated the FIU defense. Perry completed 14 of his first 15 throws, and Miami scored on four of his first five drives. Does that mean the Canes officially have a new QB? It would just be the latest top-25 program -- along with Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame -- to at least flirt with moving on from a winning starter for a younger guy with a bigger arm. -- Hale

Purdue 30, No. 23 Boston College 13

So perhaps BC isn't going to challenge for a playoff spot after all. There's still ample talent on this roster, but Purdue had a terrific game plan in stuffing A.J. Dillon (19 carries, 59 yards) and forcing Anthony Brown to make plays. For the first time this year, he didn't. Brown struggled badly, completing just 13-of-27 for 96 yards and four interceptions. It's a marked departure from his hot three-game start, and if BC is going to compete with Clemson for the Atlantic Division, the passing game will need to look much better than it did Saturday. -- Hale

No. 24 Michigan State 35, Indiana 21

The score of this one could be a little deceiving. It was an up-and-down game for the Spartans, who still have some kinks to work out offensively. The offensive line had struggles, especially springing anything in the run game. Michigan State had negative-18 yards rushing at halftime and 142 for the game among four players. That total includes a 75-yard run by Jalen Nailor. The Spartans have Central Michigan next on the schedule before another conference game against Northwestern. Penn State and Michigan follow Northwestern, so Michigan State will need to work out some of its issues before those two games. -- VanHaaren

No. 25 BYU 30, McNeese State 3

After securing one of the program's biggest wins in years last week at then-No. 6 Wisconsin, it could have been easy for the Cougars to look past this week's opponent, FCS McNeese State, to next week's trip to No. 10 Washington. They didn't. And while the 30-3 win wasn't the smoothest of performances, BYU continues to build an identity as a tough, disciplined football team. It's a fitting style in the mold of their head coach, Kalani Sitake. -- Bonagura