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
Ryan Nall, RB Oregon State (Sophomore) vs. Oregon
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31 carries, 155 yards, four touchdowns.
Ryan Nall had his best game of his collegiate career, as short as it has been. His 31 carries for 155 yards and four touchdowns were all high points for the sophomore running back.
He opened the scoring against Oregon in the first quarter with a 12-yard run. He took the handoff up the middle, side-stepped a defender and took it the rest of the way. Nall’s second touchdown went for 14-yards. The play design for him was to go up the middle, but this was closed off with a charging defender, and Nall made a quick one-cut to the right side and ran in for the score.
Ryan Nall’s next two touchdowns came from a short distance. His third was a six-yard run to put Oregon State up 28-24 in the fourth quarter, and his fourth sealed the game – a four-yard straight ahead touchdown and a 34-24 victory. This win broke the losing streak against Oregon, who they haven’t beaten since 2007.
Nall’s season numbers: 147-951-13
Jake Browning, QB Washington (Sophomore) vs. Washington State
21/29 passes, 292 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions.
This is perhaps the second biggest Pac-12 rivalry next to Stanford vs. California. Jake Browning came out with clear dominance in a game needed to try to get number #5 Washington into the playoffs. The Huskies not only accomplished the win but dominated the victory (45-17).
Browning completed 72.4 percent of his passes (21-for-29) for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He also didn’t throw an interception. The Huskies jumped out to a 14-point lead after a Myles Gaskin touchdown, and Browning found his star receiver Dante Pettis for 18-yards.
The second touchdown for Browning was to Pettis again for 61-yards and a 21-3 lead in the first quarter. His third touchdown in the first quarter put the Huskies up 28-7 when he found John Ross for a six-yard score.
Browning finishes the regular season with a 3162-40-7 line.
Christian McCaffrey RB, Stanford (Senior) vs. Rice
30 carries, 204 yards, one touchdown; Two catches, 21 yards, one touchdown
Christian McCaffrey made sure that Stanford would not lose to Rice. His 30 carries for 204 yards and a touchdown was all the offense needed, and for extra measure, he added two receptions for 21-yards and a score.
McCaffrey scored his first touchdown on a 23-yard reception from Keller Chryst. He caught the pass at the five-yard line of Rice, and then banged off two defenders to get into the end zone. In the third quarter, McCaffrey put Stanford up 27-3, when he took the handoff and ran up the middle untouched for the score.
McCaffrey is almost a sure bet to enter the NFL Draft once everything is over. There is also little doubt he won’t be picked in the first round somewhere. Some have him going to the Oakland Raiders, which is a good spot, and I think he will fall around that area.
McCaffrey’s regular season numbers: 253-1603-13; 37-310-3.
Frederick Gammage WR, Arizona State (Senior) vs. Arizona
12 catches, 116 yards, one touchdown.
I believe this is the first time I have had Frederick Gammage at all on this list. He deserves it after catching 12 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. Gammage’s day was not only a great day as far as Pac-12 Saturday’s go, but for him as well.
His 12 receptions nearly doubled his amount on the season and his 116-yards was the most this season by 48-yards. Gammage’s name is also interesting since he does the most damage after the catch. He’s had games with 28.5, 15.0, and 34.0 averages.
Luke Falk, QB Washington State (Junior) vs. Washington
33/50 passes, 269 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions.
Luke Falk has had a solid season. Throwing for 37 touchdowns and over 4000 yards. Yet, he picked the wrong time to have his worst performance of the season. He couldn’t move the offense well enough and threw three interceptions and just one touchdown. He couldn’t maintain drives going three-and-out on many opportunities.
His first touchdown didn’t come until the third quarter, but by then the Cougars were down 35-10. The score went to Gabe Marks for nine-yards.
Joe Williams, RB Utah (Senior) vs. Colorado
26 rushes. 97 yards, zero touchdowns.
Joe Williams was tearing up defenses in his last five games, going over 100 yards each time and scoring in each game for a total of nine touchdowns. This week in the loss to Colorado, he didn’t break the 100-yard barrier and didn’t score a touchdown. It was easiest his worst game of the season, as he averaged just 3.7 yards a carry. The Buffaloes shut him down, and with it, the game was lost as well.
Sam Darnold, QB USC vs. Notre Dame
19/29 passing, 205 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions.
Sam Darnold didn’t have one of his best games, but he was accurate (65.5 percent), as he connected 19 times on 29 attempts for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Not one of a highest statistic total of the year, but good enough to get the win and the Trojans eight straight victory.
His first touchdown didn’t come until the third quarter when he hit Adoree Jackson for 51-yards and a 31-14 lead over Notre Dame. 50 of those yards came from Jackson as Darnold threw a screen pass to him and Jackson did the rest. His second touchdown came in the fourth quarter when he hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for two-yards.
Premier Conference Performer
Greg Ward QB, Houston (Senior) vs. Memphis
47/67 passes, 487 yards, four touchdowns, one interception.
Greg Ward was spot on connecting on 70 percent of his passes (47-for-67) for 487 yards and four touchdowns. It was all for not as Houston was beaten by Memphis 48-44. Ward didn’t get busy until the second quarter when he connected with Tyler McCloskey for 29-yards off a play-action fake.
He then found Chance Allen down the left-hand sideline for a 35-yard touchdown. After trailing for nearly the entire game, Houston finally put itself ahead on fourth-and-one when Linell Bonner made the catch and went for a 55-yard touchdown. His last touchdown put Houston up with just over a minute remaining, Ward connected with Allen again for a five-yard score, as Allen tip-toed the pass above his head for the score.
Ward is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft. Many believe he lacks the size (5-11), to be much of a quarterback. Look for him to transfer to either running back or wide receiver. He has very good feet and is mobile enough to give a go as a ball carrier.
Riley Ferguson QB, Memphis (Junior) vs. Houston
30/45 passing, 409 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions.
Riley Ferguson finished with one of his better performances this season. It was the most passing yards he had on the season, and his touchdowns were the second most during for the year. He was very efficient connecting on 66.7 percent of his passes (30-for-45) which included four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Ferguson put Memphis on top just two plays into the game when he moved to the right and found needing only two plays to light up the scoreboard when Phil Mayhue is left wide open to go 67 yards to the house for a Tigers’ touchdown.
His second touchdown came on a quick pass to Mayhue from two yards out to put the Tigers ahead 21-10 in the first quarter. Ferguson’s third, put Memphis up 41-37 after Houston took the lead in the fourth quarter for the first time. He hit Anthony Miller for a 35-yard touchdown. Then Ferguson’s threw his last touchdown for the game winner with just 0;19 seconds remaining. He found Miller once again, this time for ten yards.
Ferguson has shown pro quality, but with just one season under his belt, he still needs some development, however. He will lock on receivers and have narrow field vision. He does well when rolling out the pocket, but needs another season of seasoning.
Aaron Jones RB, UTEP (Junior) vs. North Texas
24 carries, 301 yards, four touchdowns.
Terrific game for Aaron Jones against North Texas. His 24 carries for 301 yards and four touchdowns was his best this season. It was his seventh game where he had over 100-yards rushing and his third where he has gone over 200-yards.
Jones scored on an 83-yard run and a 48-yarder in the first half. He added a 58-yard score in the third quarter and bullied into the end zone from the 3-yard line in the fourth quarter. On the season, Jones has 1773 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Linell Bonner WR, Houston (Junior) vs. Memphis
17 catches, 235 yards, one touchdown.
This was easily the best game of his college career for the junior out of Houston, Texas as he reeled in 17 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. Even though Houston would go on to lost to Memphis, it was the tandem of Greg Ward and Bonner that kept them close.
Bonner had his third game where he has had multiple receptions and his fourth game where he has had over 100 yards. The one thing he hasn’t produced is touchdowns. On the season, he has only three.
Phillip Walker, QB Temple (Senior) vs. Eastern Carolina
12/20 for 158 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions.
Phillip Walker struggled against Eastern Carolina, and the direct result was an 37-10 victory. It also resulted in their sixth victory in a row.
Zay Jones, WR East Carolina (Senior) vs. Temple
Seven catches, 61 yards, zero touchdowns
Zay Jones had his worst performance of the season. It was very interesting that the star receiver only caught seven passes against Temple as he has been averaging 12 receptions a game and 134 yards receiving. Somehow this week wasn’t it to be the week for Jones, as Temple made him their number one priority and shut him down.
Ben Hicks QB, SMU vs. Navy
31/44 passing, for 331 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions; Five carries, one touchdown.
This was an ugly overall game for the SMU Mustangs, but Ben Hicks was on target most of the game. He was very accurate connecting on 31 of his 44 passes (70.5) for 331-yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score, even though he threw two interceptions.
Hicks first touchdown went to Courtland Sutton for 19-yards and the score. Hicks spotted Sutton deep in the end zone alone and hit him with a rocket. He pulled SMU within four points (21-17) when he scampered in from two-yards out. He then put SMU ahead (24-21) when he hit Xavier Castille for six-yards on a rollout.
Ben Hicks has shown some good quality his freshman season. We will see how he will continue to improve into next season.