Welcome to the College Football Recap. Here we review and look at the most notable, both good and bad, CFB performances from the previous week as well as the big games of the weekend. In Week 3, most of the big name QBs played and, for the most part, they performed. The potential top 2 RBs of the 2017 class had (kind of) questionable performances, unlike a heralded 2018 WR. This week we’ll start by recapping the massive Clemson-Louisville showdown that may have major Heisman, Playoff, and NFL Draft implications.
#3 Clemson – #14 Louisville
This showdown featured the defending National Champion Tigers and reigning Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson. The Clemson defense stymied Lamar Jackson, holding him to just 317 passing yards on 3 TDs. Good volume passing, but Jackson only completed 50% of his passes and added an INT. Jackson was at fault for most of this, especially in the first half. He frequently slung random passes with terrible footwork, an issue from 2016 that looked much better early in 2017. His amazing arm talent and ability to put the ball in the perfect spot were visible, but inconsistent against Clemson. Jackson often starts poorly and gets hot as the game goes, but due to missed passes early on, Clemson ran away with the game quickly.
On the other side of the ball Clemson QB, Kelly Bryant, out-dueled Jackson, looking like 2016 DeShaun Watson. Bryant threw for 316 yards and a TD and tacked on 2 rushing TDs. On multiple pass attempts it looked as if no one had any idea where the ball was going, but Bryant made some beautiful passes as well. His best of the night came on a wide open 79-yard TD to Ray-Ray McCloud. McCloud actually looks like a RB, but he has been the Tigers best WR in 2017 along with Hunter Renfrow. While McCloud looks like a RB, Renfrow is a slot receiver. He has 15 catches in 2017 with just a YPC of 9.9, but against Louisville it was 17.8, much more impressive.
Deon Cain was hyped as Clemson’s best WR, but he had only 4 for 29 against Clemson which continued a slew of quiet games. Cain’s early season play had him looking like a deep threat, but without consistency he won’t get an NFL shot. Cain wasn’t the only WR to struggle in this game. Louisville’s No 1, Jaylen Smith, had ‘just’ 5/79/1. Smith looked like he was stuck in peanut butter, reacting slowly while also having a couple of bad drops, however this is nitpicking and Smith has looked the part early in 2017.
Individual Performances of the Weekend
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA –
This was all the good and all the bad of Josh Rosen. A ton of passing yards, 463, and 5 total TDs, but two INTs and a crippling loss to unranked Memphis. Rosen is a gunslinger in college and he’s going to throw the ball around a lot to give him great looking stats, but it’s going to lead to bad decisions and INTs. Rosen has things to clean up, but he needs live reps and every game shows us his immense NFL potential.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State –
Mason Rudolph was the star of the Saturday afternoon games. He put up 497 yards and 5 TDs against Pittsburgh. Rudolph is continuing a stellar 2017 season, with a season-long Yards/Attempt of 12.1 and only 1 INT through 3 games. Every week Rudolph climbs another rung into the fairly wide open QB 1 race for the 2018 Draft.
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming –
I hope that this game against Oregon ends any Josh Allen talk. He’s just not good against top competition in the FBS. It was really bad guys, 9 for 24 (37.5%) for 64 yards and an INT. Allen averaged more Yards/Carry, 3.1, than Yards/Attempt, 2.67. At this point, there’s no reason for Allen to be talked about anywhere near the first two days of the NFL Draft.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU –
Guice faced off against Mississippi State and rushed for 76 yards on 15 yards, 5.1 a pop. It takes a rare player for a 5.1 YPC to be called bad against a SEC defense, but that’s what Guice is. Some people in the dynasty/devy community believe Guice is better than Leonard Fournette, 2017’s #4 overall pick. Guice’s rampaging running ability is still there, but this game isn’t the big red flag. Two for seven yards. Guice’s receiving stats in 2017. I know that LSU doesn’t throw very much, but receptions would be icing on the cake.
SaQuon Barkley, RB, Penn State –
Barkley’s game was much like Guice’s. Slow rushing production, just 10 for 47, but Barkley exploded in the receiving game. With a fabulous 85 yard reception, Barkley quelled any doubts about his open field ability. That reception and his 3 others give Barkley 11 receptions for 241 yards, the icing that Guice just doesn’t have.
N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State –
Thirteen catches for 148 yards and a TD. That’s how you put yourself out there on the national map. Harry dominated the Texas Tech DBs and scored a late 21 yard TD to tie the game. At 6′ 4″ Harry has elite red-zone potential, but we don’t get him until 2018 at the earliest. Harry is definitely a name to remember. He could be a Corey Davis type riser at WR and end up in the first half of the first round.
To catch up on last week’s college action check my Week 2 article out!