The grades are in for college football's Week 4. Nearly a month into the season, the frauds have been exposed, the contenders are showing championship mettle and the rest of college football can’t seem to stay away from stories circulating out of the Centennial State. (No shame here, either.)
The same thing goes as far as grading from last season: High marks will be only for the spectacular, and failing grades have no chance of being reversed. Also, mean social media posts will be ignored and emails to the inbox to complain will directly enter the trash folder. (For people who still haven’t gotten the memo − you are wasting your time writing to me. Your email will not be read.)
Last week’s high marks went to Oregon State and their creative play-calling on offense and low grades went to Colorado State coach Jay Norvell and his runaway mouth, and Iowa for continuing to set the sport back 50 years with ineptitude on offense.
Here is the Week 4 analysis of how fans, teams, players and coaches fared:
The return of Clemsoning: Heat is on Clemson coach Dabo Swinney
Here is how Wikipedia defines Clemsoning: "An act of delivering an inexplicably disappointing performance."
For years, the Tigers were known for coming up short on the biggest stages, well before Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence showed up to delete that narrative.
Fast forward to 2023, and Clemsoning has reared its ugly head. It came full circle against Florida State.
Leading 24-17 in the fourth quarter and driving to shut the door on the Seminoles, Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik was drilled by linebacker Kalen DeLoach, lost the ball and DeLoach rumbled his way 56 yards to tie the score.
Oh man, what a hit from DeLoach, and he gets the score! pic.twitter.com/HffFmWwt1C
— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) September 23, 2023
The Tigers then drove for a potential game-winning kick only for former backup kicker Jonathan Weitz, who re-joined the team this week, to miss a 29-yard field goal with 1:45 left. ABC cameras had no shame in showing Weitz’s family’s disappointment over the missed kick.
With time still left in regulation, Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney decided to put its less-than-stellar clock management skills to work; the clock ran out, leading to overtime.
In the extra frame, Florida State took all of two plays to score, but Clemson’s fourth down attempt went incomplete to finish the implosion.
Clemsoning, for the win (not really).
Sign O’ the Times: F
Prime Time cancellation: Deion Sanders, Colorado lose big
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going to happen to the Buffaloes in Eugene. Colorado was outmatched, outclassed, and outcoached, and there's no way to sugarcoat it. Deion Sanders was right on the money in his assessment of how his team played.
Oregon coach Dan Lanning had this to say to his team before the game: “The Cinderella story is over, man. They are fighting for clicks; we are fighting for wins.”
Dan Lanning pregame:
“The Cinderella story is over man. They are fighting for clicks, we are fighting for wins.” 😳pic.twitter.com/bYbnjWrGEx
— On3 (@On3sports) September 23, 2023
Then again, this is Oregon, which has 7,000 uniform combinations and shoes that change color according to body temperature − and not a single national championship on its resume. But it's accusing Colorado of clout chasing?
Glass slippers or not, on this day Oregon wasn’t playing around and put the Buffaloes to sleep early, even going for a fake punt on its own 17 already up two touchdowns. The Ducks also went for it on fourth down up 35-0. That’s the very definition of not taking a team seriously. Colorado didn't gain a single yard in the second quarter and gained only 21 yards the entire first half.
Sanders was praised in this space and others for showing confidence in his team, which filtered down to the players and his loyal fans. The Buffs aren't going to stop being who they are, which in this day and age is refreshing. Watch out if Colorado becomes a title factor in the next few years.
But if you haven’t figured out by now, the grading system is an equal opportunity function. I call it like I see it.
It's just one game, but Colorado found out quickly that Oregon is not TCU, Nebraska, or Colorado State and was canceled on Saturday quicker than the first season of "Cop Rock."
Duck Hunt: Incomplete
Praise for Shenandoah's Haley Van Voorhis
Shenandoah College, a NAIA school, made history on Saturday when Haley Van Voorhis became the first female to play college football at a position other than kicker.
Van Voorhis, who is listed at 5-foot-6 and runs track and field for Shenandoah, made her debut in the first quarter of the Hornets’ 48-7 win over Juniata and got on the stat sheet with a quarterback hurry.
The Winchester, Virginia, school with an enrollment of 4,000 students moved to 1-1 on the season.
"There's definitely people out there who see the story and think, 'This girl's going to get hurt,'" Van Voorhis told ESPN in 2021. "I hear that a lot. Or, 'She's too small, doesn't weigh enough, not tall enough.' But I'm not the shortest on my team, and I'm not the lightest."
Shenandoah safety Haley Van Voorhis made HISTORY as the first female non-kicker to take the field in an NCAA football game 👏
She registered a QB hurry on 3rd down 💪
(via @CFBONFOX) pic.twitter.com/P1Leixladw
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 24, 2023
Van Voohris, who is from The Plains, Virginia, is a junior who is majoring in business.
Let's hope more women are inspired to play football.
The worst and best of the rest
Skattebo on skates
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 24, 2023
Ambidextrous Drake Maye:
Drake Maye throws a left-handed touchdown! pic.twitter.com/Xaz6uGIyGj
— Ian Valentino (@NFLDraftStudy) September 24, 2023
This week’s tribute to Odell Beckham Jr.:
— Florida Gators Football (@GatorsFB) September 23, 2023
And another one:
Just like it was drawn up:
— Troy Trojans Football 7x⚔️ (@TroyTrojansFB) September 23, 2023
When keepin' it real goes wrong:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 23, 2023
Mascot on mascot violence in the Queen City:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 23, 2023
Jimbo Fisher, the real 12th man:
Honestly everyone else from A&M has been tackling pretty well all day. https://t.co/MiLINBCckw
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) September 23, 2023
Stats for you
2: Pick-sixes by Kentucky cornerback Maxwell Hairston. Hairston returned interceptions 29 and 54 yards in the Wildcats’ 45-28 win over Vanderbilt.
7: Games this weekend that featured two ranked teams playing each other after last week featured none
10: Defensive players on the field for Notre Dame during Ohio State's last-second winning play
19.6: Percentage of third downs converted by Utah opponents this season
76: Total yards for Iowa in a 31-0 beatdown at the hands of Penn State in Happy Valley. The Hawkeyes had the ball for only 14:33, ran 33 plays, and turned the ball over four times.
146: Push-ups done by the Oregon Duck mascot during Saturday’s game against Colorado
$1.6 million: Money paid to UTSA for a trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, to play the Volunteers. UTSA lost 45-14.
The Dog of the Week
Texas A&M Commerce vs. Old Dominion
This is Elmo. He's here to celebrate the first day of fall. Always excited when the foliage matches his eyebrows. 13/10 pic.twitter.com/9CEKAlfZgF
— WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) September 23, 2023
Now to the game…
Since the Colorado-Oregon game rivaled IMG against Bishop Sycamore in the first half, the pups found another game to howl about. This one takes us to S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Virginia, where the Monarchs took on the Texas A&M-Commerce Lions from the FCS.
This 10-9 slugfest, won by Old Dominion, featured the lowest total score of the weekend, and the Monarchs somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, despite turning the ball over five times and rushing for a grand total of 15 yards.
The game was very much in doubt well into the fourth quarter, but the Lions failed on a potential go-ahead two-point conversion with 28 seconds left.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College football grades for Week 4: Clemson gets F for its Clemsoning