Devy Roundup: Week Three

Kyle Holden

Something magical happens when Texas and USC play in Southern California. I hope you tuned in to their matchup Saturday night because it was a thriller. Texas actually played well in this game, keeping it close the entire way. Their front seven played extremely tough, bottling up USC running backs Ronald Jones and Stephen Carr for most of the night. They also demonstrated very good tackling throughout most of the game. Texas safety DeShon Elliott was very impressive, intercepting two Sam Darnold passes and nearly intercepting a third. In addition, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and receiver Collin Johnson both played heroically.

However, USC quarterback Sam Darnold was special at the end of the fourth quarter and in both overtimes. He seemed to make every play when he needed to most and guided USC to victory in this double-overtime thriller.

If that was not enough, we were also treated to another incredible finish at the end of the Tennessee – Florida game. Florida built up a 20-10 lead but saw it quickly disappear over the final six minutes of the fourth quarter. Tennessee scored a touchdown, intercepted a pass and then scored a field goal to tie the game. Tennessee running back John Kelly made many big plays during the comeback and throughout the entire game. Florida fans started booing after a running play with about ten seconds left as they thought the team was playing for overtime. However, on the very next play (and last of the game) Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks launched a 63-yard pass that was caught for a touchdown by Tyrie Cleveland as time expired.

Finally, Clemson made a huge statement with their decisive victory over Louisville. I actually picked Louisville to win this game but Clemson dominated them. Lamar Jackson still had a nice stat line, throwing for over 300 yards and rushing for another 64. However, most of these came with Clemson well ahead. Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant also threw for over 300 yards and had some help from Ray-Ray McCloud, Travis Etienne, and Tavien Feaster. Deon Cain had a few nice plays that did not show up in the box score because they were negated due to penalties.

You can find the final results of each week three game here.

Top Performers

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Performances ranked on a 5-star scale

5 stars – Dante Pettis, WR Washington (5 recs, 92 yards, 3 TDs, Punt Return Touchdown)

Dante Pettis had himself a game. Not only did he have three receiving touchdowns, but he also returned a punt for a touchdown. The punt-return touchdown was the eighth of his collegiate career and tied him for the most in college history.

5 stars – Mason Rudolph, QB Oklahoma State (497 yards passing, 5 TDs, 1 INT)

Mason Rudolph has opened the season on a tear. Last Saturday was no different as he threw for nearly 500 yards to go along with five touchdowns. The remarkable part was nearly all of those stats came in the first half!

5 stars – Kelly Bryant, QB Clemson (316 yards passing, 1 TD, 26 rushing yards, 2 TDs)

Kelly Bryant’s statistics were notable in this game, but what was even more impressive was how he performed in such a critical situation against a solid Louisville defense. Bryant demonstrated exceptional poise and maturity for someone starting in only their third collegiate game. Clemson might have found their next star quarterback.

4 stars – Sam Darnold, QB USC (397 yards passing, 3 TDs, 2 INTs)

Sam Darnold is clutch. After a rough game in week one, he has played exceptional football over the past two weeks. He seemingly made every play when he had to against Texas and was truly special at the end of the game.

4 stars – Nick Chubb, RB Georgia (131 yards rushing, 2 TDs)

With fellow running back Sony Michel held out of this game due to injury, Nick Chubb stepped up. He displayed exceptional vision on many of his long runs in this game. He seems to be playing better and better each week.

Honorable Mentions: Royce Freeman (157 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 1 rec, 50 yards), Baker Mayfield (331 yards passing, 4 TDs), John Kelly (141 yards rushing, 1 TD, 6 recs, 96 yards), J.K. Dobbins (172 yards rushing, 2 TDs), Jonathan Taylor (128 yards rushing, 1 TD), D.K. Metcalf (3 recs, 125 yards, 1 TD), Deebo Samuel (5 recs, 122 yards, 1 TD), Josh Rosen (463 yards passing, 4 TDs, 2 INTs)

Poor Performers

Performances ranked on a 5-star scale

1 star – Courtland Sutton, WR SMU (0 catches, 0 yards)

A week after Courtland Sutton scored four touchdowns, he did not even have a single catch against TCU. Sutton found very little space to operate as he was routinely double and triple teamed. It was a rough game from start to finish for the SMU star receiver.

1 star – Josh Allen, QB Wyoming (64 yards passing, 0 TDs, 1 INT, 25 yards rushing, 1 TD, 1 lost fumble)

Josh Allen really struggled in this game, as he only threw for a measly 64 yards. Although Oregon only registered two sacks, they were able to put a lot of pressure on Allen when he dropped back to pass. Allen has had a very rough start to the season and has fallen down my Devy rankings.

1 star – Damarea Crockett, RB Missouri (10 rushes, 19 yards)

Damarea Crockett and the entire Missouri offense was completely shut down by Purdue. Crockett did not really find any room to run in this game. He will look to bounce back this week against Auburn.

1 star – Equanimeous St. Brown, WR Notre Dame (1 catch, 3 yards)

Notre Dame had two players rush for over 200 yards so there was not much need for them to throw the ball in this one. However, their star receiver needs more than one catch for three yards. I am starting to worry about St. Brown’s role in this Notre Dame offense. Hopefully, he can start to turn things around this week against Michigan State.

Depth Chart Battles

As we approach the fourth week of the season, a number of positional battles continue to form. It will be fun to watch these play out over the course of the season.

Georgia Running Backs

With Sony Michel out due to injury, Nick Chubb received the most carries (16) last Saturday. D’Andre Swift had nine and Elijah Holyfield had eight as he works his way back into the rotation. If Chubb continues to play like he did last Saturday, he could solidify himself as the top back in this offense.

Ole Miss Receivers

A.J. Brown was clearly the most productive Ole Miss wide receiver through the first two weeks of the season. However, he sprained his MCL in the last game and might be out one or two weeks. This opens the door for D.K. Metcalf to shine in his absence and potentially become the lead receiver in this offense.

My Rankings

Below is a preview of my Top 25 Devy rankings. I made a few adjustments after this week of play. You can find my full set of Devy rankings here.

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Marquee Matchups

Below are some of the more intriguing games on this upcoming week’s slate. You can check out the full week four schedule here.

1.) NC State @ Florida State – 9/23 @ 12 PM EST on ABC/ESPN2/WatchESPN

Florida State has not played since their loss against Alabama in week one. I am curious to see how James Blackman steps in for Deondre Francois at quarterback for the Seminoles. They still have offensive weapons, including Cam Akers, Auden Tate, and Nyqwan Murray, so their season is not lost.

NC State receiver Kelvin Harmon has started the season strong and is still being underrated. Let’s see how he does against the Florida State defense.

2.) Penn State @ Iowa – 9/23 @ 7:30 PM EST on ABC/WatchESPN

Saquon Barkley seems to put on a show every week. His rare combination of speed and power often overwhelms defenders. Tune into this game to see what he does next.

On the other side of the ball, Iowa running back Akrum Wadley has been one of my favorite players to watch so far this season. His elusiveness is elite and his running style reminds me a little of LeSean McCoy. Wadley did suffer an ankle injury last week so hopefully he can play in this showdown of talented running backs.

3.) Bowling Green @ Middle Tennessee – 9/23 @ 7 PM EST on ESPN3

Middle Tennessee State receiver Richie James is a joy to watch. He plays much bigger than his 5’9’’ 176-pound frame. He does not always play on national television, so take advantage when he does. Tune into this one and expect to see him make some big plays.

4.) Notre Dame @ Michigan State – 9/23 @ 8 PM EST on FOX

This game will feature two of my top 25 ranked Devy players, Equanimeous St. Brown and LJ Scott. St. Brown has had a slow start to the season and Scott has been moving down my rankings, not necessarily due to poor play but because others have played better and shown more to start the season. I will be looking to see if both players can get back on track this week.

5.) UCLA @ Stanford – 9/23 @ 10:30 PM EST on ESPN/WatchESPN

Although Josh Rosen has been a pleasure to watch in his first three games, he does not have much of a supporting cast this year. As a result, he seems to force throws at critical times and make costly mistakes. He will face a tough test on the road against a strong Stanford secondary in this one.

Bryce Love is another player to watch in this game. He has rushed for at least 160 yards in all of his first three games this year and has scored at least one touchdown in each. He should run all over the weak UCLA run defense.

Other News/Notes

Injuries are a cruel part of the violent game of football. Many talented collegiate players suffered injuries in week three, including Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, Akrum Wadley, and Richie James. Below is an update on each:

Deebo Samuel – broken leg, out for rest of season

A.J. Brown – Sprained MCL, likely out 1-2 weeks

Akrum Wadley – Ankle injury, not considered serious at this time, return not specified yet

Richie James – Ankle injury, questionable for Saturday

Look for this series to continue to be published every Thursday. In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheDevyDude and get ready for another exciting week of college football!


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