Week 4 College Football Team of the Week: Cameron Ward Excels and Lideatrick Griffin Makes History

The heavy anticipation of the Week 4 college football slate did not disappoint after a Saturday full of some of the best action we've seen all season

The most anticipated weekend of the 2023 college football season certainly didn’t disappoint. Streaks were broken, records were made, teams were silenced, and one team forgot that defense was played with 11 defenders, not 10.

The best college football had to offer from College Football Week 4 is here in our Team of the Week.

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Week 4 College Football Team of the Week | First Team

It’s important to note that the CFN Week 4 College Football Team of the Week awards players based on their impact in their respective games and is not necessarily based on total statistical output.

The strength of competition is accounted for, as is the situation — both time of the game and score. These individual awards are also solely based on a player’s ability on the field and does not look into any future beyond college football.

Quarterback: Cameron Ward, Washington State

What a game it was for Cameron Ward as Washington State’s QB displayed accuracy, pocket presence, poise, and some terrific arm talent all night. Against Oregon State, Ward threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns, completing 28-of-34 passes against a tough secondary.

Ward added another score on the ground in the 38-35 win.

Running Back: Ashton Jeanty, Boise State

Ashton Jeanty took over down the stretch for Boise State. The Broncos running back leaned into some terrific run blocking in front of him but made more than enough happen on his own to turn some heads.

Jeanty totaled 205 rushing yards and two scores on just 23 carries, chipping in with another 49 yards on four catches out of the backfield.

Running Back: Ishmail Mahdi, Texas State

Sparking the Texas State come-from-behind victory, Ishmail Mahdi didn’t need the band member fighting battles for him on Friday night. Mahdi took over for the Bobcats, rushing 21 times for 216 yards and two scores.

He also caught two passes out of the backfield for 40 yards and was the spark the Bobcats’ offense needed to keep multiple plays alive.

Wide Receiver: Josh Kelly, Washington State

With multiple highlight-reel catches, Josh Kelly stole the show early for Washington State. Coming down with a one-handed reception with a defender draped all over him, Kelly sparked the Cougars offense early and often.

He finished with eight receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

Wide Receiver: Bryce Kirtz, Northwestern

Speaking of come-from-behind victories, without Bryce Kirtz, we’re not talking about Northwestern in such a way. Kirtz was unstoppable against Minnesota, particularly when Ben Bryant was able to find him after creating natural separation and sprinting past defenders.

He recorded 10 receptions for 215 yards and two scores, including an 80-yard touchdown reception that sparked the offense that was down 21-0. His 17-yard touchdown reception came on the heels of an impressive sideline catch and pushed it to a one-possession game.

Wide Receiver: Lideatrick Griffin, Mississippi State

Setting the Mississippi State program record for receiving yards in a single game, Lideatrick Griffin was unstoppable on Saturday. Ultimately it wasn’t enough to get the victory, but Griffin exploded for 256 yards against South Carolina.

Griffin hauled in just seven receptions to reach that illustrious 250-yard mark. He set a new Bulldogs record that may stand for some time.

Tight End: Luke Hasz, Arkansas

It was a disappointing finish for Arkansas, but they may have found their next elite player in Luke Hasz. The true freshman continually found himself open with his separation, and route-running abilities were on full display.

Hasz finished with six receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns against LSU’s talented front seven.

Flex: Naiem Simmons, USF

The USF Bulls are 1-0 in AAC play and with the way Byrum Brown and Naiem Simmons played, they’re a scary offense to take on this season. Simmons blew up on the national stage with 217 receiving yards and a touchdown on eight catches.

Simmons had just 85 yards in three games combined before this outing.

Offensive Tackle: Kage Casey, Boise State

When Boise State needed a big play or just simply a crease for Ashton Jeanty to exploit, more often than not, it was Kage Casey paving the way. Sound in pass protection, Casey’s bread and butter was his ability to push first-level defenders back on the ground game on Friday night.

Offensive Guard: Wesley Ndago, Air Force

Enforcing their will as the game went along, the Air Force rushing attack took it to San Jose State on Friday night. Led by their interior offensive line, the Falcons rushed for 400 yards on 73 carries, most notably rushing inside incredibly well, mainly because of Wesley Ndago’s ability to fire off the ball and push defenders back.

Center: Jordan White, Liberty

The Liberty Flames are 4-0, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that actually wants to play them this season. Jordan White commanded a brilliant game on the inside of Liberty’s 38-6 victory over FIU, pushing his way into the national spotlight.

White was dominant in pass protection but excelled on the ground game.

Offensive Guard: Pat Coogan, Notre Dame

The result surely wasn’t the Notre Dame offensive line’s fault on Saturday against Ohio State as they impressed at every turn. Pat Coogan was consistently seen clearing huge lanes at the first level and hunting for work at the second. Coogan has made himself a nationally known blocker with his success so far this season.

Offensive Tackle: Jack Nelson, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Badgers started rolling in a way that fans were used to: on the ground. With that came some impressive offensive line play, notably from Jack Nelson.

Improved in every facet, Nelson was great in pass protection but even better on the ground. Nelson moved well to each level and often found himself as the reason for the ground game’s success.

Travis Hunter Award: Casey Rogers, Oregon

Casey Rogers earns the aptly-named Travis Hunter Award after he converted on a fourth-down fake punt from his own 17-yard line and clogged rushing lane after rushing lane on defense. Rogers was terrific in all facets on defense and chipped in with an early and crucial special teams play.

EDGE Defender: Kyle Kennard, Georgia Tech

Only four players in Georgia Tech history have recorded four or more sacks in a game and Kyle Kennard is now one of them. Kennard ripped through the Wake Forest offensive line at will, securing four sacks in the Yellow Jackets’ victory

Kennard joins Pat Swilling, Marco Coleman, and Jeremiah Attaochu in the Georgia Tech record books.

Defensive Line: Jordan Burch, Oregon

While Colorado has become known for their roster construction via the transfer portal, the Oregon Ducks got the last laugh with their transfer portal players seeing success. Jordan Burch recorded two sacks as he was too strong, too fast, and too powerful for any one Colorado lineman.

Defensive Line: Jonah Elliss, Utah

What a game it was for the Utah defense, limiting the UCLA offense to all new season lows. Jonah Elliss was all over the field for the Utes, recording 3.5 sacks, five total tackles for loss, and a handful of other pressures that helped change the UCLA game plan.

The Utes allowed just nine yards on the ground against UCLA and sacked freshman QB Dante Moore seven times.

EDGE Defender: Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

The Washington defense got the scoring started early on Saturday night as Edeuan Ulofoshio dropped back beautifully in coverage for an interception before he masterfully returned it for a touchdown.

Ulofoshio and the Huskies’ defense struggled to get Cal off the field at times, but when they did make plays, they made big-time moments.

Linebacker: Kalen DeLoach, Florida State

Sparking the Florida State defense more often than not, Kalen DeLoach single-handedly changed the game for the ‘Noles more than any other person. DeLoach’s biggest impact came when he sacked Clemson QB Cade Klubnik, knocking the ball loose before he jumped on a loose ball and ran it back for a defensive touchdown.

DeLoach had multiple other plays as well, stuffing multiple run fits for no gains or running sideline to sideline to stop routes in the flats. It was a masterful outing from DeLoach.

Linebacker: Karene Reid, Utah

While Cole Bishop has taken the majority of the spotlight over the past few weeks, Karene Reid has quietly dominated. He was quiet no more against UCLA, snatching an interception for a touchdown and patrolling the underneath portion of the field brilliantly.

Reid recorded two pass breakups and his pick-six to go along with nine total tackles and a tackle for loss in the dominant outing.

Linebacker: Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

Helping keep the Auburn offense to just 56 yards, Edgerrin Cooper and the Texas A&M Aggies dominated at every level on Saturday. Cooper was all over the field for the Aggies, recording two sacks as he blitzed with precision and power.

He had another tackle for loss and several stuffed run plays that went for a loss or no gain on the day. Cooper dominated his assignments in both the run and in coverage.

Cornerback: Max Hairston, Kentucky

With a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns, the top honors for a cornerback were always going to Max Hairston. The Kentucky cornerback was a true lockdown cornerback in the outing against Vanderbilt, picking his shots wisely and making the most of his opportunities.

His first pick-six came after pressure caused a late throw to the boundary and he broke brilliantly on a ball to secure the pick and an easy touchdown. In the end, Hairston recorded two picks and 83 yards of return yards to go with his 12 points.

Hairston also has three pass breakups as he dominated the action for the Wildcats’ defense.

Cornerback: Louis Moore, Indiana

The Indiana Hoosiers needed four overtime periods to knock off Akron, and they utilized the play of cornerback Louis Moore to help do so. Moore recorded four total tackles in the game, locking down and limiting yards after the catch opportunities on the outside.

He also recorded a pair of interceptions, one that he returned for a touchdown in the third quarter to give Indiana their lead back. Moore made it nearly impossible to throw to his side.

Cornerback: Renardo Green, Florida State

What a pair of big plays Renardo Green had for Florida State, helping the ‘Noles get to 4-0 on the season and knock off Clemson for the first time in eight tries. Green flew around the field, patrolling at the line of scrimmage like a linebacker and flying around in coverage like a free safety.

Green recorded seven total tackles that included a tackle for loss, and locked down his entire side of the field in coverage.

Safety: Jaylon King, Georgia Tech

Stuffing the Wake Forest offense seemingly at will, Jaylon King came up huge in the Yellow Jackets’ victory. King recorded two interceptions and broke up another pass as he flew around the field with precision.

He was stellar in all facets, most notably playing the slow-mesh, RPO-offensive game plan perfectly.

Safety: Alijah Huzzie, North Carolina

Tightening the ship down the stretch, the North Carolina Tar Heels locked down the Pittsburgh offense as the game went on. Alijah Huzzie was a big reason why as he recorded two interceptions and patrolled the middle of the field excellently.

Huzzie recorded another pass breakup and got into the end zone with a punt-return touchdown to boot.

Flex: Evan Williams, Oregon

Earning his spot as the Flex Defender, Evan Williams did it all for Oregon’s defense on Saturday against Colorado. Williams played at or around the line or scrimmage when he made his biggest impacts, recording 1.5 sacks, but that hardly told the story.

He spied the quarterback at times, dropped into coverage during others, or just simply blitzed with precision as he confused Colorado QB Shedeur Sanders and single-handedly shut down Buffaloes drives in the blowout victory.

Kicker: Trey Smack, Florida

The Florida Gators would have played to a draw against Charlotte had it not been for Trey Smack. The Gators kicker knocked home five field goals and was perfect on the night with his extra point.

In total, Smack drilled field goals of 23, 23, 27, 36, and 54 as he scored 16 total points for Florida.

Punter: Oliver Straw, West Virginia

Pulling off the upset over Texas Tech required exquisite play from all facets for West Virginia. They certainly got that on special teams as Oliver Straw continually pushed the Red Raiders back in tough situations.

Straw punted the ball six times for 246 yards, drilling four of those punts inside the West Virginia 20-yard line.

Kick Returner: Kenny Johnson, Pittsburgh

Doing his best to try and reignite his offense, Kenny Johnson’s 100-yard kick return for a touchdown in the third quarter was brilliant. Setting up his blocking with patience, once Johnson hit the hole, no one could catch him as he beat the UNC coverage unit to the end zone with ease.

Punt Returner: Rome Odunze, Washington

As talented as Rome Odunze is as a receiver, it’s clear that he’s just an elite player overall and whenever he has the ball in his hands. Odunze recorded five catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns, but it was his 83-yard punt return touchdown that truly kicked off the rout over Cal for Washington.

Week 3 College Football Team of the Week | Second Team

Offense

  • QB: Bo Nix, Oregon | Ben Bryant, Northwestern
  • RB: Rasheen Ali, Marshall
  • RB: Kimani Vidal, Troy
  • WR: Troy Franklin, Oregon
  • WR: Xavier Legette, South Carolina
  • WR: Malik Nabers, LSU
  • TE: Brock Bowers, Georgia
  • FLEX: Darius Taylor, Minnesota
  • OT: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State
  • G: Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
  • C: Jack Freeman, Houston
  • G: Heneli Bloomfield, Oregon State
  • OT: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

Defense

  • EDGE: Dallas Turner, Alabama
  • EDGE: Patrick Payton, Florida State
  • IDL: Kendy Charles, Liberty
  • IDL: Byron Murphy II, Texas
  • LB: Danny Stutsman, Oklahoma
  • LB: Jesus Machado, Tulane
  • LB: Brian Holloway, Texas State
  • DB: Patrick Mensah, Louisiana
  • DB: Ricardo Hallman, Wisconsin
  • DB: Te’Corey Couch, Miami (FL)
  • DB: KK Meier, Nevada
  • DB: Kris Abrams-Draine, Missouri
  • DB: Mike Sainristil, Michigan
  • FLEX: Tykee Smith, Georgia

Special Teams

  • K: Michael Lantz, Georgia Southern
  • P: Caden Noonkester, NC State (8-400-2 inside 20, long 67)

Week 3 College Football Team of the Week | Third Team

Offense

  • QB: Michael Penix Jr., Washington
  • RB: Parker Jenkins, Houston
  • RB: Emmanuel Michel, Air Force
  • WR: Caullin Lacy, South Alabama
  • WR: Reggie Brown, JMU
  • WR: Malik Washington, Virginia
  • TE: Dallin Holker, Colorado State
  • FLEX: Jaylen Raynor, Arkansas State
  • OT: Travis Glover, Georgia State
  • G: Armani Trigg-Wright, UNLV
  • C: Bryan Hudson, Louisville
  • G: Ethan Jackman, Air Force
  • OT: Riley Mahlman, Wisconsin

Defense

  • EDGE: Taylor Upshaw, Arizona
  • EDGE: Chris Hardie, Jacksonville State
  • IDL: Aeneas Peebles, Duke
  • IDL: Thomas Gore, Miami (FL)
  • LB: Lathan Ransom, Ohio State
  • LB: JD Bertrand, Notre Dame
  • LB: Quae Drake, Jacksonville State
  • DB: Josh Newton, TCU
  • DB: Beau Brade, Maryland
  • DB: Kenny Logan Jr., Kansas
  • DB: Jaxen Turner, UNLV
  • DB: Beau Freyler, Iowa State
  • FLEX: Marc Stampley II, Georgia Southern

Special Teams

  • K: Dominic Zvada, Arkansas State (3/3 FG, 53 long; 4/4 PAT)
  • P: Clayton Stewart, Wyoming (8-359-3 inside 20, long 60)

Week 3 College Football Team of the Week | Honorable Mention

Offense

  • QB: Jack Plummer, Louisville
  • RB: Marcus Carroll, Georgia State
  • RB: Peny Boone, Toledo
  • RB: Jalen Buckley, Western Michigan
  • WR: Kyle Williams, Washington State
  • WR: Luke McCaffrey, Rice
  • WR: Tory Horton, Colorado State
  • WR: Luther Burden, Missouri
  • WR: Jesse Prewitt III, Central Michigan
  • WR: Jerjuan Newton, Toledo
  • WR: Kobe Hudson, UCF
  • TE: Jared Wiley, TCU
  • FLEX: Heinrich Haarberg, Nebraska
  • FLEX: Jase Bauer, Central Michigan
  • OT: Joe Alt, Notre Dame
  • G: D’Mitri Emmanuel, Florida State
  • C: Lyndon Cooper, NC State
  • G: Trevor Timmons, Georgia State
  • OT: Troy Fautanu, Washington

Defense

  • EDGE: Deante McCray, Western Kentucky
  • EDGE: Ashton Gillotte, Louisville
  • DL: Chop Robinson, Penn State
  • DL: Jaylon Hutchings, Texas Tech
  • DL: Nathan Pickering, Mississippi State
  • DL: Jalen Green, JMU
  • DL: James Carpenter, JMU
  • LB: Chris Russell Jr., Texas A&M
  • LB: Nick Jackson, Iowa
  • LB: Jason Henderson, Old Dominion
  • DB: Jarius Reimonenq, JMU
  • DB:  Jarius Monroe, Tulane
  • DB: Cobee Bryant, Kansas
  • FLEX: Kaimon Rucker, North Carolina

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