Devy Roundup: Week Four

Kyle Holden

Is it just me or does every college football team seem to have their own version of the “turnover chain” now? The most peculiar one I have seen so far was the Jonesboro High School coach pouring syrup into offensive lineman’s mouths for every pancake block they have.

As this phenomenon spreads across the country, so does the start of college football upsets. BYU finally defeated the Wisconsin team they have been using as a measuring stick over the last few seasons. In addition, LSU edged out a victory over SEC rival Auburn on a last-second field goal.

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

Top Performers

Some of the top performers of the week

Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis (233 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 2 rec, 10 yards)

Henderson had another monster game on Friday night, breaking off numerous long runs and showcasing his speed and game-breaking ability that has led him to a hot start this season.

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Hakeem Butler, WR Iowa State (5 recs, 174 yards, 2 TDs)

Hakeem Butler is an athletic freak. He used his size to make numerous catches over defenders down-field against Oklahoma. The six-foot, six-inch receiver is simply a jump ball mismatch. He is quickly rising up my devy board.

Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma (348 yards passing, 3 TDs, 77 yards rushing)

Is there any way Murray changes his mind and chooses the NFL over MLB? I am sure his baseball contract would be tough to turn down, but he has looked impressive in every game so far this season. I am not sure if it is a baseball thing, but his throwing motion, running style, and the way he escapes pressure all remind me of Russell Wilson.

Nick Fitzgerald, QB Miss State (243 yards passing, 2 TDs, 107 yards rushing, 4 TDs)

Fitzgerald exploded against Louisiana, accounting for over 300 total yards and six total touchdowns. This is just what Mississippi State needs as they begin a brutal stretch of SEC games.

Darius Anderson, RB TCU (154 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 2 rec, 12 yards)

Anderson was impressive against the elite Ohio State defense and was one of the reasons TCU was able to hang with the Buckeyes until late in the game. He burst through the line of scrimmage and ripped off a 93-yard touchdown in the second quarter that gave TCU an early lead. He scored again at the beginning of the second half, but Ohio State fought its way back and won the game in the end.

Honorable Mentions: A.J. Dillon (185 yards rushing, 1 TD), Greg Dortch (9 recs, 93 yards), Tua Tagovailoa (191 yards passing, 2 TDs, 47 yards rushing), Jerry Jeudy (3 rec, 136 yards, 2 TDs), Dwayne Haskins (344 yards passing, 2 TDs, 8 yards rushing, 1 TD), J.K. Dobbins (121 yards rushing, 1 rec, 3 yards), Marquise Brown (9 recs, 191 yards, 1 TD), Travis Etienne (162 yards rushing, 2 TDs), Jared Pinkney (5 recs, 111 yards, 1 TD), Myles Gaskin (143 yards rushing, 1 TD), Brett Rypien (380 yards passing, 3 TDs), Justice Hill (123 yards rushing, 1 TD), James Proche (11 rec, 166 yards, 2 TDs), Donovan Peoples-Jones (4 rec, 90 yards, 3 TDs), Amon-Ra St. Brown (9 rec, 167 yards), Juwan Washington (138 yards rushing, 1 TD, 2 rec, 26 yards), Ty Chandler (158 yards rushing, 1 TD), Drew Lock (375 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT), Noah Fant (5 rec, 99 yards, 1 TD), Preston Williams (9 rec, 106 yards, 2 carries, 6 yards)

Poor Performers

Performances which did to live up to expectations

Stephen Carr, RB USC (13 yards rushing, 1 TD, 2 rec, 7 yards)

Is Stephen Carr still recovering from off-season back surgery? If so, why is he still playing in games to start the season? If not, why is he not starting and seeing more touches? He was the second option out of the backfield behind Ronald Jones last season, so it is peculiar why he is not seeing more touches this year.

Texas completely bottled him up after he scored a 23-yard touchdown on his first touch of the game. Hopefully, he receives more touches going forward.

Jarrett Stidham, QB Auburn (198 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INTs)

I was relatively high on Stidham entering this season, thinking he could develop into an NFL-caliber quarterback someday. However, he had a rough outing against LSU on Saturday, making numerous bad decisions, two of which led to interceptions.

Damarea Crockett, RB Missouri (6 carries, 17 rushing yards)

After seeing double-digit carries in his first two games of the season, Crockett only saw six carries on Saturday while teammate Larry Rountree saw 23 carries. Crockett is fighting his way back to prominence after a shoulder injury he suffered last year.

Florida State Offense

Florida State was nearly shut out by Syracuse on Saturday. Cam Akers had a couple of nice runs, but it was a very poor outing across the board on Saturday.

Positional Battles

Below are some positional battles I continue to keep my eye on early in the season to see how they play out.

1.) Clemson Quarterbacks

Trevor Lawrence to Justyn Ross for the touchdown. Get used to hearing this phrase over the next couple years.

Kelly Bryant started once again, but freshman Trevor Lawrence came in during the first quarter this time. His release is so quick and his accuracy is great. I would not be shocked if he starts before the season is done. Travis Etienne and the rest of the Clemson backfield dominated Georgia Southern so Clemson did not need to lean heavily on the passing game in this one.

2.) Alabama Quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa started against Ole Miss and played well once again. He threw two touchdowns in the first quarter, including a nice, deep seam throw to Jerry Jeudy plus a touchdown to tight end Irv Smith on a corner route.

Jalen Hurts came in near the end of the second quarter and threw a couple touchdowns as well. The split at quarterback seems to be working out well so far, but let’s see how it holds up under the pressure of a close game.

3.) Georgia Quarterbacks

Jake Fromm fumbled in his own end zone but otherwise had an impressive day throwing the football. He threw for three touchdowns on just 12 attempts. Justin Fields was efficient as well, even though he only threw the ball eight times. They take on a high-powered Missouri offense this Saturday.

4.) Ohio State Running Backs

JK Dobbins looked much better than Mike Weber against TCU, showcasing his elite shiftiness and contact balance. Both running backs carried the ball 18 times but Dobbins had nearly twice as many yards as Weber did. The sophomore might be settling back in as the lead back after Weber started the season hot.

My Rankings

Below is a preview of my devy rankings. I changed it up a bit this week, giving a sneak peek at the lower part of my rankings. You can find my full set of devy rankings here.

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Risers

Laviska Shenault: He has been one of the most fun players to watch this year, bursting onto the scene in a big way. His size/speed combination is very difficult to cover and he is also elusive with the ball in his hands.

Hakeem Butler: His size makes him a difficult cover for nearly every cornerback. It gave Oklahoma fits last week. He looks to make the most of his increased role in the Iowa State offense this year.

Justyn Ross: I moved Ross up to where I had some of the other top receivers of the 2021 class, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Justin Shorter. Ross has a great opportunity to catch passes from Trevor Lawrence over the next few years and form one of the best duos in the country.

Fallers

Demetris Robertson: I had high hopes for Robertson, who was a top recruit coming out of high school. Some of those were renewed when he transferred to Georgia. Unfortunately, he has been slow to make an impact so far this season. Transfers can be tough to adjust to, so I am still holding out hope he can make an impact later in the season.

Marquee Match-ups

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

1.) #22 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama – 9/22 @ 3:30 PM EST on CBS

Jimbo Fisher versus Nick Saban. There is a lot of hype surrounding the coaching match-up in this one, but both sides have a few intriguing devy players to watch as well.

For Texas A&M, Jhamon Ausbon is one of the top receivers of the 2020 class and Trayveon Williams is a talented running back.

On the Alabama side, Tua Tagovailoa and Jerry Jeudy have displayed great chemistry to start the season. In addition, do not forget about Damien Harris, who is currently my top running back of the 2019 class.

2.) #2 Georgia @ Missouri – 9/22 @ 12 PM EST on ESPN/WatchESPN

D’Andre Swift only received four carries last week in a blowout win, but figures to see much more action this week against Missouri.

Drew Lock and Emanuel Hall have started the season on fire. They will likely need to continue to do so in order to keep this game close.

3.) #7 Stanford @ #20 Oregon – 9/22 @ 8 PM EST on ABC/WatchESPN

Bryce Love sat out Stanford’s win over UC Davis last week with an undisclosed injury but should be ready to go against Oregon this week in a crucial PAC-12 showdown.

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is my top signal-caller of the 2019 class so far and will face his first true test this season against Stanford.

4.) #18 Wisconsin @ Iowa – 9/22 @ 8:30 PM EST on FOX

Wisconsin is coming off a disappointing loss to BYU but will look to ride stud running back Jonathan Taylor to get back on track.

On the Iowa side of the ball, all eyes will be on Noah Fant, easily my top devy tight end.

5.) Arizona State @ #10 Washington – 9/22 @ 10:30 PM EST on ESPN/WatchESPN

For those on the best west coast, we have another great PAC-12 match-up on Saturday night. N’Keal Harry and Arizona State travel to Husky Stadium to take on Washington. How much will Harry’s high-school best friend, Washington cornerback Byron Murphy, be matched up on him?

Other News/Notes

While writing this, there is still no definitive answer on whether Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez will return this week from a knee injury he suffered a couple weeks ago. Hopefully, the talented freshman can make it back to the field quickly.

Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below or on Twitter @KyleHoldenFF with any questions as we look ahead to week four of the college season.

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