Tag Archives: Tajh Boyd

Week 8 College Football Preview

By: Will Johnson

Close Call in Chapel Hill

The ranked games started last night with Miami (5-0) taking on North Carolina (1-4) with the game a lot closer than expected. Miami had been starting to pick up speed in the Coaches and AP rankings and it appeared that they were going to make a statement last night in Chapel Hill. However that was not the case as, UNC used their passing game to dice up the Hurricane secondary. Bryn Renner threw for 297 and a score, while TE Eric Ebron had a career night catching 8 passes for 199 yards and a TD. The Tar Heels were aided by Miami quarterback Stephen Morris throwing four interceptions. But, down by 10 early in the fourth quarter, Dallas Crawford, a redshirt sophomore who replaced the Hurricane’s injured leading rusher Duke Johnson early in the game, lead the Hurricanes back by scoring twice in the final 12 minutes including a three yard score with 16 seconds left. The victory moved Miami to 2-0 in conference play and one step closer to appearing in the ACC Championship game. However, if the Hurricanes want to challenge the winner of the Atlantic Division (mostly likely either Florida St. or Clemson), they will really need to revamp their passing attack. Throwing four interceptions is no way to beat any top tier team.

TE Eric Ebron Courtesy of Bleacher Report
TE Eric Ebron
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

Game of the Week

This week’s Game of the Week is none other than Florida St. vs. Clemson. It pits two of the top teams in the country and the loser will likely have no hope off playing for the National Championship. It also has the top two offenses and top two defenses in the conference. Clemson has Senior Tahj Boyd at the helm who has thrown for more than 1700 yards this year and a big offensive showing would greatly improve his draft stock. Florida St. will counter with Freshman Jameis Winston who has taken the Seminole Nation by storm. Do not be surprised if this game goes into the high 40s and be decided by a late game winning drive by one of the two quarterbacks. I think that Clemson has too much offensive firepower and too much experience for Florida St. and will remain undefeated with a 52-45 victory.

Senior QB Tajh Boyd Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Senior QB Tajh Boyd
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Other Must Watches

UCLA – Stanford

After a shocking loss last week versus Utah, Stanford will look to rebound against a very tough UCLA team. If they have any chance of winning they will have to out physical the Southern Californian team with their senior running back, Tyler Gaffney (570 yards and 7 TDs), and their stout defense. However, Brett Hundley has so far built off of a great freshman year by so far passing for 1469 yards and 12 TDs. In my opinion he is one of the best quarterback prospects in the nation and has the tools to take out any team in the nation. Hundley and the Bruins will be too much for the Cardinals and will win in a grinder 23-17.

USC – Notre Dame

Despite the fact that both teams are having off years, this is a very historic rivalry (ND leads 44 – 35 with 5 ties) and always makes for exciting television. Notre Dame will be looking to build off a big win last week against Arizona St., while the Trojans will look to rewrite their season after firing Head Coach Lane Kiffin two weeks ago. Both teams have had inexperienced quarterbacks this year as Cody Kessler (1128 yrds. and 8 TDs) and Tommy Rees (1494 and 13) have had a hard time replacing Matt Barkley and Evert Golson respectively. Look for Notre Dame to claim their second consecutive victory over USC with a 20 – 10 victory.

RANKED TEAM WHO MIGHT BE UPSET BUT WON’T

Ole Miss pushed a very good Texas A&M last week and this week will look to upset fellow SEC member LSU. However, LSU might be developing into one of the best teams in the country with the emergence of senior quarterback, Zack Mettenburger. Look for LSU to eke out a 45 – 35 victory.

RANKED TEAM WHO SHOULD NOT GET UPSET BUT WILL

South Carolina may be the 11th best team in the country, but they sure have not played like it. They had three very close victories over below average teams before blowing out Arkansas last week. Steve Spurrier has not gotten enough out of senior quarterback, Connor Shaw, and the unanimous preseason number one overall pick, Jadeveon Clowney has not lived up the expectations (2 sacks and 13 tackles). Meanwhile, Tennessee has begun rebuilding their program under the helm of Head Coach Butch Jones. Look for Butch Jones to claim his first Top 25 victory this week in Knoxville.

DE Jadeveon Clowney has underperformed significantly this season Courtesy of USA Today
DE Jadeveon Clowney has underperformed significantly this season
Courtesy of USA Today

Predictions for Rest of Top 25

Alabama (#1) over Arkansas 48 – 10

Oregon (#2) over Washington St. 66-6

Ohio St. (#4) over Iowa 31 – 13

Texas A&M (#7) over Auburn (#24) 41 – 31

Louisville (#8) over UCF 24 – 13

Baylor (#12) over Iowa St. 69 – 28

Florida (# 22) over Missouri (#14) 17 – 14

Georgia (#15) over Vanderbilt 45 – 20

Texas Tech (#16) over West Virginia 38 – 16

Fresno St. (#17) over UNLV 52 – 41

Oklahoma (#18) over Kansas 27 – 21

Washington (#20) over Arizona St. 48 – 38

Oklahoma St. (#21) over TCU 35 – 13

Northern Illinois (#23) over Central Michigan 34 – 20

Wisconsin (#25) over Illinois 38 – 6

f Courtesy of College Gameday
David Pollack
Courtesy of College Gameday

Response to David Pollack’s Sexist Remark

Last week during a live College Gameday Broadcast, David Pollack implied that women should be left off the College Football Playoff Committee in response to former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, being named to the committee. While I disagree with the exclusion of women off the committee, Pollack does make a very good point; you should have some football experience before being named to this committee. I would be perfectly fine with the inclusion of Erin Andrews or Rachel Nichols, however someone like Condoleezza Rice would not offer anything constructive to the committee. While I am disappointed with Pollack’s choice of words, this committee will be deciding the fate of college football and has no place for people who have no football experience.

Condoleezza Rice Courtesy of CNN
Condoleezza Rice
Courtesy of CNN

Myles Garrett Commits to Texas A&M

Myles Garrett (Sr. Arlington, TX) committed to Texas A&M today over Alabama, Ohio St., TCU, and Florida St. He is the #7 recruit in the nation according to ESPN and #42 for Rivals.com. This is a big get for Texas A&M and it shows how Texas A&M is now one of the biggest football powerhouses in the country after joining this year. Look for Head Coach, Kevin Sumlin, to build of this recruiting momentum and go for other top recruits like Speedy Noils (New Orleans, LA). So far this year, Garrett has 15 sacks, 43 tackles (31 solo), 23 tackles for losses, 13 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.

Myles Garrett Courtesy of Yahoo Sports
Myles Garrett
Courtesy of Rivals

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.

Analyzing the Trent Richardson Trade

By: Evan

T-Rich will be moving on to bigger and better things with the Colts Courtesy of ESPN

The Browns shocked the NFL world Wednesday by trading Trent Richardson, the 3rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round pick in this years draft. The new Browns’ front office clearly viewed the former Alabama star as expendable and proceeded to make the first major move of the regime. Cleveland will look to rebuild for the future using the first round pick to find a definitive franchise player.  Let’s look at the trade’s impact for both teams.

Indianapolis Colts:

This trade will help take the pressure off of Andrew Luck Courtesy of NFLHispano

The Indianapolis Colts now have two of the top three picks in the 2012 draft and maybe one of the most dangerous young duos in the NFL. Trent Richardson will provide balance to an air-raid squad that ranked 22nd in rushing yards last year and only scored 11 rushing touchdowns , with five of those from Andrew Luck. Trent Richardson will also provide protection for Luck, another necessity for the Colts.  Jim Irsay has been vocal about protecting his young star QB, and has even tweeted about it.  Another dimension of this trade is Richardson’s pass catching ability.   He caught 58 passes with the Browns last year and should exceed that amount with Luck at QB.  This is a major move for the Colts, and a big plus in establishing a more balanced and potent offense.

Cleveland Browns:

One of these three stars will be leading the Browns next year. Courtesy of ESPN

It seems that every year is either a bounce-back or rebuilding  year for the Browns, but this may really be the last year of tanking for Cleveland fans. The Browns experimented with the 29-year old Brandon Weeden, and now it is time for the Browns to get serious about turning around their franchise.  Although T-Rich was clearly their most talented and most promising player, the modern day NFL places emphasis on throwing the ball downfield. With this year’s potent QB draft class, the Browns should have little trouble finding the right man to lead their franchise. If they have don’t have the top pick to take an elite QB, they could use the Colts’ pick as a trading piece to move up and select their quarterback.  We have seen rookies turn around franchises (see Luck and the Colts, RG3 and the Redskins and Russell Wilson and the Seahawks),  and the Browns have the potential to do the same. Cleveland has young and emerging players like Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon, who have great potential. If the Browns add more offense skill position players using their other picks, look for the Browns to become a threat in the AFC North.  Though talented, Trent Richardson was expendable according to the new Browns’ regime, and they used his value set the stage for a much better future.

Conclusion:

This trade should be a win-win for both teams.  Trent Richardson will contribute in Indy, and expand their offense options substantially, and Cleveland will finally land its franchise QB in a stacked draft.  Let’s hope Richardson stays healthy and avoids injuries which have nagged him at Alabama and in the NFL.  And for the Browns, there are no guaranteed successes in the draft, but the deal looks good for everyone.

Stats from ESPN