Texas A&M, Kansas State highlight the five biggest things you missed from Week 4 in college football




There's a flurry of activity on Saturdays during the college football season that can be dizzying and hard to keep track of unless you've got four to five screens with games on from noon to well after midnight.

With so much going on, there's significant developments that often go unnoticed because people are focused elsewhere.

That's why we're here to get you updated on some of the best storylines that may have slipped through the cracks. There was an upset in the top 10 and a stunner from a newcomer to the Bowl Subdivision among the five things you may have missed during Week 4:

Texas A&M isn't pretty but it's looking much better

The Aggies could have gone two ways after their embarrassing home loss against Appalachian State with two ranked opponents next on the schedule. They chose to let the disappointment become fuel to a resurgence. It started last week with a suffocating defense that held Miami without a touchdown, while the offense did just enough to pull out a low-scoring win. Saturday, things were much more difficult. Arkansas grabbed a 14-0 lead on a pair of long touchdown passes. A&M slowly worked its way back into the game, helped by perhaps a play that could be a turning point to the season when the defense forced a KJ Jefferson fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

The Aggies could have been down 14 points and instead were within one and the momentum carried them to a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter. And when the Razorbacks started to rally and looked poised for a go-ahead field goal with a few minutes left, the defense stiffened, helped by a bad Arkansas snap. That proved pivotal as the kick would hit the top of the crossbar and fall short.

A&M would run out the clock and celebrate another gritty win that keeps all its goals in front of it even if the offense still needs a lot of work.

Texas A&M wide receiver Ainias Smith (0) makes a catch during the third quarter against Arkansas at AT&T Stadium.
Texas A&M wide receiver Ainias Smith (0) makes a catch during the third quarter against Arkansas at AT&T Stadium.  

Kansas State does it again to Oklahoma

Styles make fights. Some matchups are kryptonite for the best teams in the country. The Wildcats are exactly that for the Sooners. K-State has now won three times in the last four meetings, including two in Norman, because it has simply been the tougher, better-coached team. While Oklahoma may have higher-ranked recruits and more resources, the Wildcats have won the majority of games in recent history because they consistently get the best of the Sooners defense. The last four meetings, they've averaged almost 40 points per game with a no-frills attack that emphasizes power and guile in attacking Oklahoma's weaknesses.

Saturday, it was Adrian Martinez running for four touchdowns and throwing for another as they bludgeoned the Sooners over and over for 275 yards on the ground. The loss was a major shock to the system for Oklahoma and new coach Brent Venables, who had started strongly the first three games. But the Sooners were clearly unprepared for the physical style of Kansas State and showed a lack of discipline with penalties at key times. With Texas' loss at Texas Tech hours before, it's clear the Big 12 is going to be a wild and unpredictable race.

HIGHS AND LOWS: Winners and losers led by Clemson, Tennessee

WHAT YOU MISSED: Texas A&M, Kansas State top the five biggest things

LETTER GRADES: Our report card looks at the best and worst of Week 4

MISERY INDEX: Miami still mediocre despite massive investment in Cristobal

TOP 25 RUNDOWN: Scores and results from the biggest games in Week 4

Florida State is starting to show signs of life

It's been a rough recent history for the Seminoles, from when Jimbo Fisher essentially bailed on his final season through two years of Willie Taggart and then a bottoming out of the program in Mike Norvell's first season in 2020. Last year didn't start so well either with a loss to Jacksonville State, part of four consecutive defeats. But things solidified under quarterback Jordan Travis and Florida State won five of eight to close the season. And Saturday's resounding defeat of Boston College moved the Seminoles to 4-0 with two wins in the ACC this year. While beating the Eagles, who are a train wreck, doesn't mean they're playoff contenders, the 30 point-win is notable in that last year's four conference wins were by a combined 19 points and Florida State's last victory in the league by that wide a margin came in 2016. The program looks headed in the right direction and it's the kind of momentum that has been missing for a long time.

Iowa finally gets offensive

The Hawkeyes had managed just 41 combined points and were last in the country in total offense after three games at home against South Dakota State, Iowa State and Nevada - not exactly a Murderer's Row of opponents. So going on the road to Rutgers, which was 3-0 and was allowing just 14 points per game portended a low-scoring game where points would be at a premium. The Hawkeyes pulled maybe the surprise of the season with 24 points after just five minutes of the third quarter. They then cruised to an important road win that can build some confidence ahead of their matchup with Michigan. Make no mistake, Iowa is still really limited with Spencer Petras at quarterback. However, the Hawkeyes are great on defense and that will keep them in most games if he is even just decent.

James Madison may already be the best team in the Sun Belt

The Dukes were a superpower in the Championship Subdivision, but moving up levels is always a tricky proposition. Teams start with 20 fewer scholarship players on campus. The resources are different. There's the quality of competition that comes every week. Yet, James Madison has already looked the part of a team that could win a conference championship in one of the toughest Group of Five leagues - even if it is ineligible for the title this season. The Dukes already had an impressive debut defeat of Middle Tennessee (you saw what the Blue Raiders did to Miami) and Saturday they went to Appalachian State in their Sun Belt opener and rallied past a team that beat Texas A&M earlier this season. It's as impressive a start as could have been predicted. We'll see how long it can last.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas A&M, Kansas State top college football Week 4 things you missed

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