What a wild week of college football.
First off, the latest edition of the Red River Rivalry lived up to its name once again. Texas upset Oklahoma in a Saturday afternoon thriller. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger played great, rushing for three touchdowns and throwing for two more. As a result, Oklahoma found themselves down by 21 midway through the fourth quarter. They somehow fought their way back and tied up the game, sparked by numerous big plays from Kyler Murray, Trey Sermon, and Marquise Brown. Unfazed, Texas marched back down the field and kicked the game-winning field goal with nine seconds left.
As exciting as that game was, we also had a few letdowns as well. Later that afternoon, Miami wide receiver Ahmmon Richards surprisingly announced his retirement from football due to a disabling neck injury. The talented pass catcher battled numerous soft tissue and ligament injuries over the last few years, but this latest ailment surprised many, including me. Richards’ on-field talent was right up there with the top receivers of the loaded 2019 class. Fortunately, Richards said he plans to continue working towards his degree at the University of Miami. I wish him the best.
You can find the final results of each week six game here.
Some of the top performers of the week
Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State (455 yards passing, 6 TDs, 2 INTs, 7 yards rushing)
I am becoming more and more impressed with Dwayne Haskins with each passing week. His 455 yards against Indiana last Saturday was a career high. He and Tua Tagovailoa remain near the top of the Heisman race for now.
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Sam Ehlinger, QB Texas (314 yards passing, 2 TDs, 72 yards rushing, 3 TDs)
It seems like Sam Ehlinger pulls out a gutsy performance at least once a year. Last year, it was against USC in a double-overtime loss and this year, it was against rival Oklahoma. He accounted for five total touchdowns and capped off the upset with a game-winning drive after the Sooners came back from a 21-point deficit.
Travis Etienne, RB Clemson (167 yards rushing, 3 TDs)
Sure, the Wake Forest defense played poorly, but Travis Etienne still ran wild. He broke off numerous long runs where he showed patience near the line of scrimmage and then exploded through the hole. His speed and athleticism was simply no match for Wake Forest.
Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin (221 yards rushing, 3 TDs)
Jonathan Taylor and the Wisconsin offensive line were just too big and strong for Nebraska on Saturday. Taylor scored three touchdowns, including an 88-yard score in the fourth quarter.
JD Spielman, WR Nebraska (9 rec, 209 yards, 1 TD)
Spielman has come on strong the last two weeks, following up his ten catch, 135-yard performance last week with a nine catch, 209-yard day on Saturday. He is starting to rise in my devy rankings this season.
Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado (13 rec, 127 yards, 2 TDs, 13 yards rushing, 2 TDs)
Shenault just keeps climbing my devy rankings as well and now sits as my second-ranked receiver of the 2020 class behind Jerry Jeudy. I really want to see how he does against tougher competition, especially the October 20th match-up with the talented Washington secondary. If he continues to impress in those games, he might just become my top receiver of his class.
Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis (174 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 1 rec, 7 yards)
Every time I tune in to watch Henderson he is ripping off long runs. He made a couple nasty cuts and jukes that sparked his 61-yard touchdown last Saturday. Like Spielman, Henderson is another player who is quickly rising up my devy rankings.
Honorable Mentions: Caleb Wilson (8 rec, 102 yards, 1 TD), Tua Tagovailoa (334 yards passing, 4 TDs), Damien Harris (111 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 1 rec, 13 yards), Jerry Jeudy (4 rec, 135 yards, 2 TDs), Parris Campbell (9 rec, 142 yards, 2 TDs), Damon Hazelton (12 rec, 131 yards, 1 TD), Kyler Murray (304 yards passing, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 92 yards rushing, 1 TD), Lil’Jordan Humphrey (9 rec, 133 yards, 1 TD), Nick Fitzgerald (69 yards passing, 1 INT, 195 yards rushing, 2 TDs), James Proche (12 rec, 100 yards, 2 TD), Trayveon Williams (138 yards rushing, 1 TD, 6 rec, 72 yards), Zach Moss (160 yards rushing, 2 TDs), N’Kosi Perry (204 yards passing, 4 TDs), Reggie Gallaspy (104 yards rushing, 2 TDs), Kelvin Harmon (9 rec, 128 yards, 1 TD), Anthony Russo (254 yards passing, 4 TDs), Damarea Crockett (154 yards rushing, 1 TD), Alex Barnes (250 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 2 rec, 22 yards), DeMarkus Lodge (9 rec, 179 yards, 1 TD), Devin Singletary (168 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 1 rec, 10 yards), Gardner Minshew (430 yards passing, 5 TDs)
Performances which did to live up to expectations
Joe Burrow, QB LSU (192 yards passing, 2 INTs, 22 yards rushing)
Joe Burrow has had some nice games this season but last Saturday’s was not one of them. He struggled for most of the game and LSU suffered its first loss of the season to SEC rival Florida.
Cam Akers, RB Florida State (46 yards rushing, 1 rec, 7 yards)
Akers only managed 46 yards on 11 carries against Miami. Put out some offers to try to acquire him in your devy leagues.
Drew Lock, QB Missouri (204 yards passing, 2 INTs, 14 yards rushing)
Lock had a miserable day against South Carolina and faces a much tougher test against Alabama this week. Can he bounce back like good players usually do?
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
One week after suffering a head/neck injury, Trevor Lawrence was back at quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. He suffered another injury scare against Wake Forest but still had an efficient day, completing 20 of 25 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. It is safe to say he is Clemson’s quarterback of the future.
2.) Georgia Quarterbacks
Jake Fromm bounced back nicely from a disappointing game against Tennessee last week. One of his three touchdowns on the day was a beautiful 75-yard pass to Terry Godwin. Justin Fields saw limited playing time once again, including a few throws as well as four rushes.
3.) Georgia Running Backs
This week, I decided to provide my “way too early rookie rankings” for the projected 2019 class. As you can see below, I have five wide receivers at the top, with the top two in a tier of their own. A few running backs work their way into my next two tiers and a tight end even makes his way into the third tier. Noah Fant looks like a prospect on the level of O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, and David Njoku.
Rodney Anderson starts off the fourth tier, which also extends into the early second round. He would be much higher in my rankings if he was not hurt and his availability for the Combine was in jeopardy.
You can find my full set of devy rankings here.
Below are some of the more intriguing match-ups on this upcoming week’s slate. You can check out the full week seven schedule here.
1.) #2 Georgia @ #13 LSU – 10/13 @ 3:30 PM EST
Georgia will likely face its toughest test of the season so far when they take on LSU on Saturday. Jake Fromm has played well for most of the year but will need to be on top of his game in this SEC matchup. Maybe stud sophomore D’Andre Swift can break out and help relieve some pressure.
2.) #7 Washington @ #17 Oregon – 10/13 @ 3:30 PM EST on ABC/ESPN2
3.) Missouri @ #1 Alabama – 10/13 @ 7 PM EST on ESPN
Can Drew Lock have success against the tough Alabama secondary, even if Emanuel Hall does not play? Can Tua Tagovailoa continue his superhuman start to the season? Will he and Jerry Jeudy continue to display the chemistry they have had in the first month of the season? These are some of the answers I will be looking for in this interesting matchup.
4.) #15 Wisconsin @ #12 Michigan – 10/13 @ 7:30 PM EST on ABC
This could end up being a classic Big-10 “win in the trenches” type game. Wisconsin will surely try to run often with Jonathan Taylor and one of the best offensive lines in the country. Michigan might try to do the same with Karan Higdon, who has played well to start the season.
5.) #19 Colorado @ USC – 10/13 @ 10:30 PM EST on FS1
What a wide receiver matchup we have here. While they will not be on the field at the same time, Laviska Shenault and Amon-Ra St. Brown are two of the top receivers in college football. St. Brown is a much savvier player than a normal true freshman and has great chemistry with quarterback JT Daniels. Shenault is an athletic specimen who excels catching deep passes and evading defenders with the ball in his hands. Tune into this one for some “must-watch” wide receiver play.
Will any team run the table and go undefeated this year? The top six-ranked teams, plus a few others, all still have a chance to do so. While I ask myself this question every year around this time, very few teams do in fact remain unbeaten. Even Alabama usually loses a game or two every year.
Feel free to reach out in the comments section or on Twitter @KyleHoldenFF with any questions as we look ahead to week seven of the college season.
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