College Football Week 4 Sunday Stock Exchange: Hendon Hooker has his hero moment

Hendon Hooker had his hero moment against the Florida Gators in Week 4, but which other teams and players are rising after college football's latest outing?

We’re through Week 4 of the 2022 college football season. The stocks needed time to settle, as various teams went back and forth in early conference matchups. But now, we have a finalized score sheet to look back on from the latest weekend of college football play. Who’s moving up, and who’s moving down, after Week 4?

Sunday Stock Exchange | College Football Week 4

Stock up: Hendon Hooker and the Tennessee Volunteers

Down his top weapon, against Anthony Richardson, with an undefeated record on the line, Hendon Hooker didn’t flinch. That’s what most people will remember from the Tennessee Volunteers‘ 38-33 win over the Florida Gators.

Hooker completed 22 of 27 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for 112 yards and an additional score. And often, when faced with pressure, he adapted, created, and kept his team alive with quick improvisational skills. Tennessee will assuredly move into the top 10 now, and Hooker is emerging as a true star for his team.

Stock down: Teams that try to beat James Madison

Teams that try to beat the James Madison Dukes are 0-3 since the Dukes’ move up to the FBS level. James Madison started the season with blowout wins against Middle Tennessee State and Norfolk State, then went into enemy territory against Appalachian State and knocked off the Mountaineers 32-28, after coming back from a 28-3 second-quarter deficit.

With their toughest games remaining being against Louisville and Coastal Carolina, double-digit wins are a legitimate possibility for the Dukes in their inaugural FBS season — a very impressive feat if it comes to fruition.

Stock up: Surrender Cobra

As the stakes rise and more hearts are crushed, we’re seeing the Surrender Cobra more and more often. The posture where a person places both hands on their head, often behind their ears, mimicking the most recognizable serpent of Southern Asia.

We saw it from Arkansas fans and Texas A&M fans in an equally frustrating game for both parties. We saw it from Oklahoma fans, and we even saw it from a Michigan fan when it looked like the tide was turning in Maryland’s favor. It’s a beautiful sight because it means college football — with all of its emotionally draining ebbs and flows — is back in full swing.

Stock down: Miami Hurricanes

Speaking of teams that lost to James Madison, Middle Tennessee State — who lost to the Dukes 44-7 in Week 1 — beat the 25th-ranked Miami Hurricanes 45-31 in Week 4. Middle Tennessee quarterback Chase Cunningham threw for 408 yards on just 16 completions. And Mario Cristobal’s offense sputtered for much of the game.

2023 NFL Draft QB prospect Tyler Van Dyke was benched for Jake Garcia after throwing two interceptions, and the Hurricanes had just 60 rushing yards on 38 carries. It was a cataclysmic meltdown for Miami, a team that now enters an ACC slate with North Carolina, Duke, Florida State, Clemson, and Pittsburgh. Things may get worse before they get better in South Florida.

Stock up: Texas Tech Red Raiders

Yes, the temptation to join the Horns Down movement is great here. But instead of a stock down for Texas, we’re giving stock up recognition to the team that beat them in overtime — Texas Tech.

The Longhorns have legitimate talent this year. But perhaps the Red Raiders need more respect themselves, as a true under-the-radar contender in Big 12 play. Donovan Smith is an NFL draft-worthy talent at QB, with athleticism, arm strength, and improvisational ability. And players like Tyree Wilson, Tony Bradford Jr., Jaylon Hutchings, and Reggie Pearson Jr. were also able to step up on defense. Tech is an upset threat to every ranked team they play, but soon, they may be ranked themselves.

Stock up: DJ Uiagalelei and the Clemson Tigers

DJ Uiagalelei caught a lot of bad press for his poor performance across the 2021 season. And to be clear, he was not good in his first season as the starting quarterback of the Clemson Tigers. But it’s important not to dig one’s heels in on players, and give them credit when they do show growth.

Uiagalelei showed a little bit of that on Saturday in a high-octane victory over Sam Hartman and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Uiagalelei completed 26 of 41 passes for 371 yards and five scores, with many of his best passes coming in high-pressure moments in the red zone. If Uiagalelei’s stock is rising, so is Clemson’s — because the passing offense was this team’s biggest question.

Stock down: Michigan State Spartans

Over the summer, Michigan State gave Mel Tucker a 10-year, $95 million contract. They’re now 2-2 after four games in 2021 and coming off a disastrous 34-7 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. We’re now wondering how many wins Michigan State — once ranked 11th — can get with Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, and other stingy Big Ten teams on the schedule.

The defense is still very bad at stopping both the run and pass, and the pass rush only provides value when Michigan State is playing with a lead. That’s something they can’t do as often without Kenneth Walker III. Things are eroding quickly for the Spartans. They’ll need a win against Maryland to right the ship.

Stock up: College football teams in Kansas

Actually, Dorothy, let’s go back to Kansas. Good things are happening there. A yellow brick road has laid out for the Jayhawks on their rise to legitimate contention, and the Kansas State Wildcats discarded the Sooners’ undefeated hopes like a tornado last night.

Kansas has an ascending talent at quarterback in Jalon Daniels, who completed 19 of 23 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns against the Duke Blue Devils. And Kansas State, on the back of a five-touchdown performance from Adrian Martinez, beat Oklahoma as an unranked team for the third time in their last four meetings. The state of Kansas? Stock up.

Stock down: Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners are due for a bump down after their loss to Kansas State. The offense was still firing on all cylinders with Dillon Gabriel leading the way, but the defense had no answer for Martinez — something Big Ten defenses of the past four years did not share in common with them.

Brent Venables is a respected defensive coach, but his unit simply couldn’t handle the dual-sided rushing threat of Martinez and Deuce Vaughn. Ranked sixth coming into this game, Oklahoma will need to string together wins to get back into top 10 territory. And for their playoff hopes, this loss is a definite blotch on the record.

Stock up: Anthony Richardson

The Gators weren’t able to get the win against Tennessee, but there should still be a sense of positivity for Florida football fans. It’s never fun to be 2-2 heading into full-time SEC play, but there was a very encouraging development on Saturday. It looked like Anthony Richardson took a big step in the right direction as a passer.

Richardson did throw an interception late, but he also passed for 453 yards and two scores, while adding 62 yards and two additional scores on the ground. He looked more composed and alert in the pocket against Tennessee, and was seeing the field better overall. Let’s hope this is the start of a steady trend upward in the coming weeks.

Stock down: Arkansas Razorbacks

For a moment, it looked like Arkansas would be on the opposite end of the aisle in this article. The Razorbacks, ranked 10th in the nation coming into their Week 4 matchup, rocketed out to a 14-0 lead over Texas A&M in the first quarter.

It looked like Arkansas was going to run away with the game. But soon enough, they stagnated. The Aggies came back. And a missed field goal late in the fourth quarter sealed Arkansas’ fate, as they lost 23-21. Arkansas could’ve locked down a top-10 spot and secured a place as a rising SEC program. Now, they’re sinking back into the second tier.

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