Clemson Football: How Week 4 in college football impacted the Tigers

North Carolina Tar Heels Drake Maye (10) gets sacked by Pittsburgh Panthers Samuel Okunlola (8) during the first half at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on September 23, 2023.
North Carolina Tar Heels Drake Maye (10) gets sacked by Pittsburgh Panthers Samuel Okunlola (8) during the first half at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA on September 23, 2023. /

Clemson Football dropped a heartbreaker at home to Florida State this past Saturday, despite leading most of the game.

The overtime loss drops Clemson to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson still has a mathematical shot at qualifying for the ACC Championship Game, but the odds are slim.

Eight ACC teams have not lost a conference game. That will change in the coming weeks because most teams have played two conference games at most. Miami, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech haven’t played a single conference game yet.

Florida State and Duke have the biggest advantage. Clemson would need one of those teams to drop three ACC games. The Blue Devils went on the road to UConn in Week 4 and handled business 41-7. They stand at 4-0 overall on the season.

North Carolina is another strong contender that is currently unbeaten and will face the Tigers later in the season. The Tar Heels traveled to Pittsburgh and won 41-24. The Panthers have not come together on offense the way I thought they would behind Phil Jurkovec.

Looking ahead, the winner of the UNC-Duke rivalry game stands a fair shot at facing FSU in the ACCCG.

A popular dark horse in the ACC was Louisville. The Cardinals sit at 2-0 after wins against Georgia Tech and this past weekend against Boston College. They beat the Eagles 56-28 at home. The Cards do not play Clemson, Florida State, or North Carolina in the regular season.

Miami’s offense has re-emerged under a new offensive coordinator. The Hurricanes went on the road to Temple and won 41-7.

Clemson’s upcoming opponent, Syracuse, is undefeated after four games. They have a win at Purdue and defeated Army this past weekend 29-16.

While several of these teams will face off in the coming weeks, Clemson would need a lot of help from other teams to find its way back into the ACCCG, on top of going undefeated in the conference from this point forward.

Though as noted by The Oculus on X, there is a path.

It is possible for Clemson Football to qualify for the ACC Championship Game, just not likely

Two other non-conference opponents played very close games this past weekend. Notre Dame fell just short at home against Ohio State 16-14. The Irish led by four late in the game, but the Buckeyes drove to the 1-yard line. Notre Dame accidentally had only ten players on the final play, and OSU pushed ahead for the touchdown and walk-off victory as time expired.

South Carolina hosted Mississippi State and won 37-30. The Bulldogs’ offense remains potent under quarterback Will Rogers, but Spencer Rattler had another good game guiding the Gamecocks to their second victory of the season. They also stand at 2-2 like the Tigers.

Elsewhere in Week 4:

  • Alabama defeated Ole Miss again, and the natives in Ole Miss are starting to get restless.
  • Oregon soundly defeated Colorado 42-6. Travis Hunter did not play.
  • LSU survived an upset bid by Arkansas 34-31.
  • Washington State defeated Oregon State in Pullman 38-35. DJ Uiagalelei had 198 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception.
  • Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Penn State, Washington, USC and Utah all won handily over their opponents to remain ranked in the Top 10.

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