Tag Archives: Marcus Mariota

College Football Week 8 Review

By: Will Johnson

This week was truly insane. Five Top 10 teams lost and eight in the Top 25. One team even refused to play! Let’s check out this week’s headlines.

 

Grambling St. Players Refuse to Play

The turmoil surrounding the Grambling State University football program has reached new heights this week. After firing their head coach earlier in the year and starting the season 0-7, the entire team refused to play their next game against Jackson St. As a result of these actions, Grambling St. will forfeit the game to Jackson St. and will have to pay a $20,000 fine. It seems as if the team was unsatisfied with the job interim head coach, George Ragsdale has done. Today, the team sent a letter to the athletic director, which outlined their complaints of the program. This letter included criticisms of the athletic complexes and the jerseys, both of which are stated to be detrimental to the player’s health. In fact, it seems as if the jerseys have caused multiple incidents of Staph Infection. This incident is a disgrace for both the program and the university. The NCAA needs to seriously punish Grambling State for putting their players’ health in jeopardy. Hopefully, Grambling St. and the NCAA can work together to clean this problem up as quickly as possible.

Game of the Week

Boy I was wrong. Florida St. hammered Clemson yesterday (51-14) and showed the country that it deserves to be in the BCS National Championship Game discussion. Jameis Winston had by far his best game of his season throwing for 444 yards and 3 TDs, if not for his one interception in the second quarter, his night would have been flawless. Explosive playmakers, Tahj Boyd  (156 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and Sammy Watkins (68 yards and 1 TD), were unable to counter to Winston’s coming out performance. The game started badly enough for Clemson when, after a 22 yard touchdown pass from Winston to sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and a 28 yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo, Boyd was sacked and fumbled the ball leading to a 37 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by defensive lineman, Mario Edwards. The Tigers responded with a 3 yard touchdown grab by Sammy Watkins, but by halftime the game was 27-7 and too far out of reach for the boys from South Carolina. Last night’s outstanding performance puts famous Jameis and his million dollar smile right in the thick of Heisman Trophy hunt and Florida St. marching towards their first title game appearance since 2000.

Famous Jameis had his coming out party against a #3 seeded Clemson
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

 

Upsets Show Depth in SEC

Five Top 25 SEC teams lost yesterday (LSU 24-27 to Ole Miss, Texas A&M 41-45 to Auburn, South Carolina 21-23 to Tennessee, Georgia 27-31 to Vanderbilt, Florida 17-36 to Missouri), and four of whom were heavy favorites going into the game (Florida was not). While this does hurt the chances of the SEC repeating as BCS National Champions for the eighth straight time, it does show the depth of the conference. When you are playing tough games week in and week out, you are going to lose eventually. It now looks as if there is only one “easy win” within the conference, Kentucky, and under the leadership of Mark Stoops, they have been putting together a monster class headlined by Drew Barker (a four-star QB out of Hebron, Kentucky) and Denzel Ware (a four-star DE out of Crestview, Florida) and are ranked #16 in ESPN’s Recruiting Polls. Soon, there will be no more pushovers within the SEC. And while this week proved that Alabama is the only title-contender within the conference (I need to see more from Missouri’s new starting quarterback, Maty Mauk), the SEC showed that it truly is the most powerful conference in the nation.

QB Maty Mauk has clear potential Courtesy of Fox Sports
QB Maty Mauk has clear potential
Courtesy of Fox Sports

Rest of the Top 25

Alabama 

Alabama (#1) won 52-0 over Arkansas – Kenyan Drake (104 yards and 2 TDs) and Derrick Henry (111 yards and 1 TD) led the Alabama offense that rushed for 350 yards. Alabama’s defense held Arkansas to only 256 yards and caused 3 turnovers.

Oregon

Oregon (#2) won 62- 38 over Washington St. – Marcus Mariota improved his case for the Heisman Trophy with almost 400 yards of total offense and 3 total touchdowns. Oregon had over 600 for the third straight game as it gets ready for UCLA next week. Connor Hallaway threw for 557 yards and 4 touchdowns (as well as 4 interceptions) in a losing effort.

Ohio State

Ohio St. (#4) won 34 – 24 over Iowa – Ohio St. scored 24 second half points to overcome a 17-10 halftime deficit. Carlos Hyde ran for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the one that put the Buckeyes ahead for good. Damon Bullock had 300 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns as Iowa dropped to 4-3 on the season.

LSU

LSU (#6) lost 24-27 to Ole Miss – Zach Mettenburger threw 3 first half interceptions leading LSU to a very poor offensive  performance. The LSU defense was unable to stop Ole Miss quarterback, Bo Wallace, who threw for 346 yards.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M (#7) lost 41-45 to Auburn (#24) – Despite Johnny Manziel’s 5 touchdowns and 500 all-purpose yard day, Texas A&M was unable to overcome Auburn. The Texas A&M defense could not stop Auburn’s rushing attack led by Tre Mason (178 yards and 1 TD) and Nick Marshall (100 yards and 2 TDs)

Louisville

Louisville (#8) lost 35-38 to UCF – UCF pulled off a stunner when sophomore quarterback, Blake Bortles, threw his second touchdown of the night to Jeff Godfrey with 16 seconds left. Despite the fact that Teddy Bridgewater threw for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns, his quest for the Heisman trophy came to an end today.

UCLA

UCLA (#9) lost 10-24 to Stanford (#13) – Stanford used the old ground and pound yesterday to physically dominate UCLA, as Tyler Gaffney ran for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanford’s defense stifled Brett Hundley (2 INTs) and the UCLA offense (266 total yards).

Miami

Miami (#10) won 27-23 over North Carolina – I talked about this in my preview for this week

South Carolina

South Carolina (#11) lost 21-23 to Tennessee – In a defensive battle (both teams held under 350 total yards), Tennessee needed Michael Palardy’s 19 yard field goal (third of the day) to upset South Carolina. Michael Davis (137 yards and 1 TD) carried South Carolina’s offense.

Baylor

Baylor (#12) won 71-7 over Iowa St. – The Baylor Bear’s scored over 69 points for the fifth time this season as they dominated a severely under-matched Cyclones team. Heisman candidate, Lache Seastruck, had his fifth 100-yard game and added two touchdowns for the Bears.

Mizzou

Missouri (#14) won 36-17 over Florida (#22) – In Matty Mauk’s first game as a starter, he threw for 295 yards and a touchdown to help the Tigers preserve their undefeated season. The Gator offense was unable to do anything against the Missouri defense as they only had 151 yards of total offense.

Georgia

Georgia (#15) lost 24-27 to Vanderbilt – Georgia was upset for the second straight week as Vanderbilt scored 17 points in the 4th quarter to erase a 14-point deficit. Preseason Heisman candidate, Aaron Murray, had his worst game of the season throwing for only 114 yards and an interception. Georgia’s rushing game also was hurting with the injury to sophomore sensation, Todd Gurley.

Texas Tech

Texas Tech (#16) won 37-27 over West Virginia – The Red Raiders scored the last 21 points to overcome the Mountaineers. Freshman quarterback, Davis Webb, threw for 462 yards and 2 touchdowns to keep Texas Tech undefeated. Next week Texas Tech will have a showdown against Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

Fresno State

Fresno St. (#17) won 38-14 over UNLV – David Carr had another great game throwing for 412 yards and 4 touchdowns. UNLV was in striking distance until Carr threw for a touchdown to Davante Adams (221 yards and 4 TDs) with 9 minutes remaining. With the win Fresno St. kept its quest for a BCS Bowl alive.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma (#18) won 34-19 over Kansas – Oklahoma rebounded from last weeks trouncing from Texas with a convincing victory. The Sooners kept the Kansas offense to only 201 yards and just 16 yards passing.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech (#19) was off this week, they play Duke next week.

Washington

Washington (#20) lost 24-53 to Arizona St. – The Sun Devils moved into first place in the PAC-12 South by completely shutting down Keith Price (217 yards passing) and the Husky offense. Washington was only able to make 12 first downs and had a 24 percent 3rd Down conversion rate. Senior running back, Marion Grice, led the way for Arizona State with 195 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving).

Oklahoma State

Oklahoma St. (#21) won 24-10 over TCU – The Cowboys overcame their worst offensive performance of the season by shutting down the TCU offense. They caused four turnovers and held TCU to only 325 yards of offense. John Stewart had a 95-yard punt return to get the Oklahoma St. festivities rolling.

Northern Illinois

N. Illinois (#23) won 38-17 over C. Michigan – N. Illinois continued its streak of 19 straight regular season victories going with a commanding win over the Chippewas. Jordan had 316 yards rushing (as well as 155 yards passing) and 4 total touchdowns in the win.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin (#25) won 56-32 over Illinois – Wisconsin used their punishing rushing offense, led by Melvin Gordon (142 yards and 3 TDs) and James White (98 yards and 2 TDs) to overpower the Fighting Illinois. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 249 yard in a losing effort.

QB Marcus Mariota leads the pack in Hesiman Hopefuls after this week Courtesy of Zimbio
QB Marcus Mariota leads the pack in Heisman Hopefuls after this week
Courtesy of Zimbio

 

Heisman Power Rankings

In the thick of the season the Heisman Hopefuls show themselves and this week the men were separated from the boys.

1) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – has been spectacular every Saturday, and this week was no different accounting for almost 400 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns.

Season Stats: 2051 passing yards and 19 TDs with 493 yards rushing and 9 TDs

2) Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St. – had his coming out this week against Clemson throwing for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Season Stats: 1885 yards and 20 TDs

3) Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – he was injured for almost a quarter and still put up gigantic numbers (454 yards passing and 4 TDs plus 48 yards rushing and 1 TD)

Season Stats: 2289 yards passing and 18 TDs with 486 yards rushing and 6 TDs

4) Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon St. – with the loss to E. Washington to start the season people have not been paying attention to Oregon St., but Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing and had another great week yesterday against Cal (481 yards and 4 TDs)

Season Stats: 2992 yards and 29 TDs

5) Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St. – kind of reminds me of Case Keenum from a few years ago. Being in a non-BCS conference hurts him, but always puts up big numbers, like last week against UNLV (412 yards and 4 TDs)

Season Stats: 2276 yards and 23 TDs

What a performance QB Jordan Lynch turned in Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
What a performance QB Jordan Lynch turned in
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

 

Player of the Week

Jordan Lynch, QB, NIU 316 yards rushing and 3 TDs with 155 yards passing and 1 TD

 

Conclusion

What a crazy week in college football. I expect next week will be a lot different, but watch out for Oregon against UCLA.

Top 5 College Quarterbacks in 2013-2014 and their NFL Projections

By: Evan

The 2014 NFL Draft will be one of the most stacked quarterback classes in recent memory, with both elite mobile and pocket passers. There are a multitude of teams that need a quarterback to lead their respective franchises, and this draft class will produce five star quarterbacks. Lets look at these future NFLers.

1) Teddy Bridgewater- Louisville Cardinals

Teddy Bridgewater is the prohibitive #1 pick in the NFL Draft Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Teddy Bridgewater is the real deal.  He  throws the ball with power and precision, a rarity for college QBs.  He  possesses the physical and mental toughness that an NFL quarterback needs, evident by how he played with a sprained wrist and ankle  to get the Cardinals to the Sugar Bowl. The only drawback  that Bridgewater faces during the NFL interviews is the strength of Louisville’s schedule because they don’t play a top 25 team this year.   But Bridgewater does not make the schedule, and he had an extremely impressive game against Florida last year, throwing for 266 yards and 2Tds with 1INT.  He has the talent to play with anybody.

NFL Comparison: Aaron Rodgers

This comparison is not perfect as Aaron Rodgers learned the QB position behind Brett Favre, making for a smoother learning curve.  Bridgewater probably won’t be as lucky, and will need to develop a quick rapport with his receivers and contribute from game 1.   Teddy has great accuracy and touch in the red zone,  just like Rodgers.  Rodgers has a stronger arm, but Bridgewater’s arm strength will improve, and he will be a nightmare for defenses.  The other apt comparison is the subtle athleticism.   Rodgers is deadly spreading out secondaries and then rushing to gain the first down.  Bridgewater has the same ability, to run when least expected, exploiting the seems in the defense.  It’s high praise to be compared to Aaron Rodgers, and Mr. Bridgewater deserves the honor.

2.) Johnny Manziel- Texas A&M Aggies

Johnny Manziel needs to mature in order to solidify his draft prospects Courtesy of FoxSports

Johnny Football has been all the rage this summer, from offseason partying to the photograph scandal. Don’t be distracted, Manziel is gifted, and other pundits argue Manziel is a top 5 pick.  Manziel annihilated the best defense in college football in Alabama, and has excelled on the biggest stages.  He has a strong arm with good, not great accuracy, and terrific mobility. The biggest issue for Johnny may be convincing NFL executives that he is ready to lead a franchise.  His off-the-field issues may drop his stock with some teams, but Manziel is a unique talent with tremendous upside.

NFL Comparison:  Drew Brees

Manziel will not likely land with a team nearly as talented as the Saints, but he has the potential to be the NFL Offensive and Drew Brees is a natural leader, has a big arm and comes hard every game.  Manziel mimics Brees’ qualities, including a risk-taking tendency.  Brees’ presence is stellar, and Manziel needs to mature so he can command the NFL huddle.

3.) Tajh Boyd- Clemson Tigers

Tajh Boyd is turning heads this year Courtesy of ESPN

Tajh Boyd is a stout presence in the pocket, has good overall quarterback tools and leadership qualities. All positives but his throwing motion has worried NFL executives, and raised questions about whether he will be able to pass over the huge defensive lines. This seems to be a fixable problem according to many QB gurus and could be solved by draft time. Boyd has been impressive this season with 6 TDs and no interceptions and a passer rating of 148. Boyd will be a franchise player with a nice upside if he’s put in the right system.

Pro Comparison: Russell Wilson

The critiques of each quarterback are the same, so it is easy to make the comparison. Tajh probably won’t have the luxury of being selected by a talented team like the Seahawks, but he could have a tremendous impact on any wavering franchise. If Boyd continues on his current pace, he will rise on draft boards and maybe to #2 on my list.

4.) Marcus Mariota-Oregon Ducks

Marcus Mariota will have to learn how to take snaps under center Courtesy of ESPN

Under the tutelage of Chip Kelly, Marcus Mariota has emerged as an tremendous read-option quarterback with the potential to grow into a dangerous duel-threat quarterback. He has tremendous speed in both the open field and out of the backfield along with a decent arm. Mariota will have to learn how to throw accurately from 3 and 5 step drop backs and adjust to new NFL formations besides the shotgun. He will take some grooming but he has the skills to emerge as a solid to top 10 quarterback in the NFL.

NFL Comparison: Lesser Version of Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick played the spread offense at Nevada similarly to Mariota in Oregon. Kaepernick has all-world physical tools and possibly the strongest arm in NFL. Kaepernick had the opportunity to learn under Alex Smith for a season and figure the important details of being an NFL quarterback and now he has shown his talent. If a team with an older quarterback that has only a couple of years left, Mariota could be stored in a Kaepernick type fashion and then take over in 1-2 years after being drafted.

5.) AJ McCarron- Alabama Crimson Tide

AJ McCarron has won on the big stage, but does he have the talent to start in the NFL?                                                                                 Courtesy of ESPN

AJ McCarron has two more national titles than all of the aforementioned quarterbacks and has the best team in college football on his side. He has shown he can play in big games but scouts question if he is a product of Nick Saban’s environment or is his true talent really showing. Saban’s mentality for a QB is to not make mistakes and let the stout offensive line wear down opposing defenses and then run the ball. In the NFL, McCarron won’t have the best talent at almost every position, and he will be required to take more risks.

NFL Comparison: Carson Palmer

Palmer played with a talented USC team and shot up draft boards because of his elevated stats. McCarron has the same deal at Alabama with it’s tremendous offensive line and TJ Yeldon is one of the best running backs in college football.   AJ McCarron may develop into a good NFL QB, only time and opportunity will tell.