Here at Dynasty Scouts, we’ll always do our best to keep you informed about the latest happenings in college football. We watch all of the games so you don’t have to. Here’s some of what we noticed this past weekend.
Premier Conference Performer
Luke Falk QB, Washington State (Junior) vs. Oregon State
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33/46 passes, 415 yards, five touchdowns.
Washington State Cougars have won six games straight after losing their first two (Eastern Washington and Boise State) by a total of six points. Luke Falk plays a big part in the Cougars success. In that stretch Falk has only had one game where he didn’t throw for a touchdown, and has tossed just three interceptions.
On Saturday, Falk was nearly perfect as he completed 31 of 46 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns. Oregon State had a large lead advantage going into the third quarter (24-6). But, Falk put the team on his back and Washington State was able to score 22 unanswered points to pull ahead 28-24 at the end of the quarter.
The first score came when Falk hit Tavares Martin on a screen pass and the wide receiver did the rest and scored on a 33-yard touchdown. The second went to running back Jamal Morrow who was wide open downfield and caught a dunk pass about 15-yards from the line of scrimmage and brought it in for 66-yards score. The next two touchdowns went to Gabe Marks from 37 and 28 yards. Robert Lewis caught the one-yard touchdown to take the lead and finalize the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Falk is tough in the pocket and will stare down the rush. He will let it rip and trust his receivers to catch the ball. He has good accuracy from short to intermediate range, and a great delivery with a quick release.
Sam Darnold QB, USC (Freshman) vs. California
18/25 passes, 231 yards, five touchdowns, one interception.
USC has been dominating teams since Sam Darnold has taken over for Max Browne behind center. Browne just was not moving the offense downfield and made the offensive scheme very sluggish. Darnold on the other hand has flipped it on its head.
Ever since his ho-hum against Utah where he kept the USC Trojans in the game up to the last minute he has been outstanding. In his last four games he has 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He also has completed 86 of 127 (67 percent) for 1,176 yards.
Against Cal he was once again accurate (72 percent) and moved the offense as he threw five touchdowns and finished with a quarterback rating of 208. Darnold’s first two touchdowns were short passes to Darreus Rogers (3 yards) and Ronald Jones II (16 yards), His third was a 13-yard pass to Deontay Burnett (13 yards). He once again went to Rogers (20 yards) and finished a huge first half as he tossed four touchdowns. His last of the game went to Daniel Imatorbhebhe from 17 yards out, to push the USC lead to 42-17 over Cal.
Ronald Jones II RB, USC (Sophomore) vs. California
26 carries, 219 yards, three touchdowns; Two catches, 18 yards, one touchdown.
Ronald Jones II had a slow start at the beginning of the season, but has picked it up in his last two games. Last week against Arizona he had 16-77 yards and a touchdown. On Saturday, Jones II had the heaviest load (26) on the season and finished with the most yards (219) and touchdowns (3).
USC also lost four of their first five games and looked about as defeated as a team can get. Noticing the downward direction of their offense, head coach Steve Sarkisian switched the quarterbacks from junior Max Browne to freshman Sam Darnold. Darnold made his first start against Utah and nearly took USC to victory. He has not stopped and this has had a solid effect on Ronald Jones II.
Against Cal, Jones II was unstoppable. His first touchdown came on a screen pass for 16-yards to make the score 14-0 USC in the first quarter. The second came in the third quarter and put USC up 35-17. Jones II took the handoff, gets through a tackle and then turns on the jets to race 37 yards into the end zone.
Pharaoh Brown TE, Oregon (Senior) vs. Arizona State
Seven catches, 129 yards, two touchdowns.
Pharaoh Brown had his best game of the season against Arizona State. The tight end caught seven passes for 129-yards and scored two touchdowns. His biggest was the first one on the game, where he took a short pass 72-yards for the score on Oregon’s first possession. His second would come in the second quarter with just nine seconds remaining, catching a short four-yard pass.
Brown has been doing well in his last two games. He caught three passes for 53-yards and a touchdown last week against the California Bears and this week he gets a double round of touchdowns. Last year he was out, but in 2014, he caught 25-420-6 and he is close already from eclipsing those numbers as he has posted 22-303-4. With freshman Justin Herbert doing as well as he has, Brown should catch up to those numbers quickly.
The senior tight end is a big dude. Pharaoh Brown stands at 6-6 and weighs in at 250 pounds. He blends his stature with size, speed, and athleticism. He has long arms and good hand-eye coordination. Can catch away from his body. Brown can get down the seams and get deep. Also, he can make the over the shoulder catch. He likes to block and won’t shy away from it.
Keller Chryst QB, Stanford (Junior) vs. Arizona
14/30 for 104 yards, two touchdowns, one interception.
The Ryan Burns quarterback situation is now dead and Keller Chryst is up and doing just about the same. The good part of this quarterback exchange has Chryst throwing two touchdown passes, something that Burns did not do in his seven games this year.
The negative aspect of the switch has Chryst being far less accurate 14/30 (46.7 percent) for just 104 yards and an interception. Burns was far more accurate and produced more yards, but Stanford was victorious in a much-needed game against Arizona. Chryst first touchdown came in the first quarter to put Stanford up 14-0, and his second was in the second quarter to Christian McCaffrey. Perhaps it was game day jitters for Keller Chryst, we will find out when Stanford takes on Oregon State next week.
James Williams RB, Washington State (Freshman) vs. Oregon State
11 carries, 74 yards, zero touchdowns; Four catches, 40 yards, zero touchdowns.
Washington State is still undefeated in conference play and that may have more to do with quarterback Kevin Falk and how the rest of the team played against the Oregon State Beavers than how good James Williams ran the ball. Williams didn’t do a poor job, but his 11 carries for 74 yards were just not good enough. His average per carry looks strong (6.7), but throw in a 20-yard run and it comes down to around 5.4 a carry. He did add forty yards on four receptions so that added to his performance.
JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, USC (Junior) vs. California
Six catches, 66 yards, zero touchdowns.
JuJu Smith-Schuster was unstoppable for the last three weeks. Over that span he caught 21 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns. Having 100+ yard games in each during that stretch of time with five or more receptions. Last week was not something special as we expect from Smith-Schuster. Quarterback Sam Darnold did not focus on him as wide receiver Darreus Rogers got those looks.
Smith-Schuster should bounce back next week when facing Oregon and then the following week will be a true test of his skills while facing #5 Washington.
Justin Herbert, QB Oregon vs. Arizona State
31/42 passes, 489 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions.
Justin Herbert like this list as it is his second time in three weeks. He didn’t score six touchdowns as he did last week, but he did throw four and had 230 yards more than last week and got his first victory. Herbert’s passing yards against the Sun Devils matched Bill Musgrave’s record of 489 set against BYU in 1989.
Herbert tossed a short pass to Pharaoh Brown, who took off down the sidelines and stiff-armed the last defender for a 75-yard touchdown on the Ducks’ first series of the game. His second came on a roll-out to the right-hand side and he winged it to the middle of the end zone to Charles Wilson for 31-yards. He found Brown all by himself to the right side at the end of the second quarter. With Oregon leading 33-28 in the fourth quarter, Herbert found an open Johnny Mundt for a four-yard reception that Mundt took the rest of the way for the 53-yard score.
Premier Conference Performer
James Flanders RB, Tulsa (Senior) vs. Memphis
33 carries, 249 yards, five touchdowns.
James Flanders hit on all cylinders when taking each handoff from Dane Evans as he averaged 7.5 yards per carry and finished with 249 yards on 33 carries and scored five times, both career highs, to lead Tulsa a 59-30 win over Memphis.
Flanders scored the first two touchdowns of the game (14 and 52) and in the second quarter with his third of the day on a 1-yard burst to make the score 28-14. The third quarter, he came through with another long touchdown of 48-yards and capped his scoring night on a seven-yard run to put Tulsa up by 22 points (52-30).
The 5’10 203-pound running back, is coming off last week’s performance, against Tulane where he rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns. He has had performances of 101 (at Fresno State) and 132-yard games ( vs. SMU) and has scored in his last six games. Flanders is 16th in the nation in yards (899) and tied for sixth in touchdowns (12).
Logan Woodside QB, Toledo (Junior) vs. Ohio
32/46 passing, 438 yards, three touchdowns, one interception.
Toledo lost for the second time on the season, but Logan Woodside kept the offense moving connecting on 32 of 46 passes and throwing for 438 yards and three touchdowns, with just one interception. Woodside continued his streak of three or more passing touchdowns in a game. A streak he has had since game one of the college football season.
It first appeared as he wouldn’t make that streak against Ohio. The Toledo Rockets went into halftime down 14-6, but on the second play of their first possession in the third quarter Woodside connected on a pass to Jon’Vea Johnson for a 98-yard touchdown. Then with 3:39 seconds left in the third, the junior quarterback hit Corey Jones for 24 yards and the score. In the fourth quarter, Woodside pulled the Rockets within five points when he hit Johnson again for the 10-yard score.
The 6-2, 201-pound quarterback has 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions on the season. Woodside leads the nation in touchdowns and sixth in yards thrown. Toledo will take on Akron and Northern Illinois in their next two games.
Jordan Johnson RB, Buffalo (Senior) vs. Akron
24 carries, 282 yards, two touchdowns.
Jordan Johnson rushed 24 times ran for a Buffalo record 282 yards and scored twice in the victory over Akron. Buffalo Bison was on a four-game losing streak and now have won their second game of the season. Johnson’s first game this season where he had multiple touchdowns.
Johnson’s first touchdown came on a 61-yard TD run to make it 17-3 in the second quarter. His second score was a 39-yard scoring run. On that play, Johnson passed Alan Bell’s previous single-game rushing mark of 266 yards set against Duquesne in 1991.
Zay Jones WR, East Carolina (Senior) vs. Connecticut
19 catches, 186 yards, one touchdown; One pass, two yards, one touchdown.
Coming into today’s game Zay Jones is ninth in the nation in yards (909), first in receptions (95), but this will drastically change as his 19 receptions for 186 yards is going to separate himself from the pack.
East Carolina’s wide receiver James Summers takes the snap, hands the reverse to receiver Zay Jones who throws it for the touchdown to quarterback Philip Nelson to put the Pirates up 14-3 over Connecticut. His second touchdown was a Philip Nelson pass for 3 yards. Nelson spotted Jones in the left corner and threw a fade pass for the score.
Jones is 6’1 and weighs in at 191 pounds which seem to be unstoppable in the American Conference. He has had games of 22, 17, 18, and now 19 receptions this season. Even though he leads the nation in receptions, his touchdowns have been a bit low as he has caught just three on the season.
Bryant Shirreffs QB, Connecticut (Junior) vs. East Carolina
16/30 passes, 180 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions.
A difficult day in the pocket for Bryant Shirreffs, as East Carolina put pressure on him all day. He was able to complete just over 50 percent for 180-yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in the 41-3 loss. Connecticut has not been a very good team all season they have only won three games and just one of those have been in conference play.
Shirreffs now has back-to-back games where he has not thrown for a touchdown, after having two weeks of not throwing an interception and connecting on two touchdowns.
He was successful on 61.8 percent of his passes his lowest on the season. He did throw for 236 yards and a touchdown. His score was the first in his last three games after throwing six against Bowling Green. Even so the Tigers have only lost once all season. He also threw a pick.
The quarterback has good size, coming in at 6-2 and 220 pounds but his overall play is not what Connecticut needs right now. He is only a junior but this is his second season starting for the Huskies.
Jeffery Wilson RB, North Texas (Junior) vs. Texas-San Antonio
19 rushes. 43 yards, zero touchdowns.
An overall a brutal day for Jefferey Wilson. The junior running back has been solid in three of his past four games, putting up over 150 yards in each of those games and he tallied a total of 505-yards and eight touchdowns. The one blemish was against Middle Tennessee where he ran just ten times for 24-yards and scored one touchdown in the loss. Wilson did not do much better this week against the Texas-San Antonio Road Runners.
The North Texas Mean Green lost for the fourth time this season, and Wilson had his second-worst performance of the season. He was only able to manage 43-yards on 19 carries (2.3 yards per carry) and zero touchdowns. Even though Wilson is 37th (767) in the nation for rushing yards he is tied for sixth in touchdowns (12) he struggled against the less than the middle of the pack rushing defense of the Road Runners. He had fewer yards in his game against Middle Tennessee but he scored a touchdown. After coming off victories and strong performances against Marshall (26-188-2) and Army (15-160-3).
The Mean Green will get back next week against Louisiana Tech and then on the road against Western Kentucky.
Cody Thompson WR, Toledo (Junior) vs. Ohio
Six catches, 73 yards, zero touchdowns.
Since Cody Thompson led the MAC conference in yards (917), tenth in receptions (42) and tied for second in touchdowns (9). However, even though quarterback Logan Woodside had a solid game it didn’t involve Thompson. The junior receiver only brought in six receptions for 73 yards and did not score a touchdown. Toledo would go on to lose an important game 31-26. I wonder if Woodside forgot that Thompson caught 7-122-4 last week against Bowling Green and is the leading receiver in the conference.
Thompson is also tied for 50th in receptions in the nation and his 917 total yards qualify for the tenth and tied for seventh in touchdowns. I don’t see Woodside missing the 6-2 and 200-pound receiver like this next week at Akron and then Northern Illinois.
James Proche WR, SMU vs. Tulane
Six catches, 164-yards, two touchdowns.
James Proche teamed up with freshman quarterback Ben Hicks for six receptions and 164 yards, and two touchdowns. The SMU Mustangs have now won two games in a row, something they have not done since 2012. Proche made future pro Courtland Sutton invisible.
Proche’s the first touchdown came on an eight-yard pass from Hicks. The quarterback threw a dart over the defender’s head in the end zone and Proche went up and got it to finish off the first drive of the game. The second touchdown came on another great pass from Hicks. As he spotted Proche in the middle of the field and threw a nice pass over the linebacker’s head 15 yards down the field, landing it perfectly in Proche’s hands. The rookie did the rest and it put SMU up 21-10.