The West Virginia/Texas game was one of the best of the year so far. To start things off, the referees were calling a very tight game early on. West Virginia lost one of their best offensive linemen because of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for hitting an opposing player’s helmet and wide receiver David Sills received a penalty for giving a “horns down” sign to the Texas fans after scoring a touchdown.
Besides the penalties, the wide receivers in the game were very productive. Sills caught two touchdowns and did most of his damage in the first half. Texas wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey, one of the more fun names in college football, made some ridiculous contested catches in the game and Collin Johnson made a few nice plays himself, including a long catch and run called back by penalty.
If the back and forth play was not enough, an interesting scenario played out at the end of the first half. Texas head coach Tom Herman called a timeout to ice the kicker right before a field goal. However, the decision backfired. The West Virginia kicker missed the first field goal, which did not count, but made the second one, which did. Did I mention West Virginia went on to win the game by one point? Ouch.
I also saw a similar situation play out in the Texans/Broncos game last Sunday. Maybe coaches will start to consider no longer using the “ice the kicker” strategy. I know my golf mulligans are almost always better than the first shot. As a side note, check out Bill O’Brien’s commentary of Vance Joseph’s decision in last Sunday’s game if you live under a rock and have not seen it yet. I will let you decipher what he said.
All in all, it was a great back and forth battle between the two teams. Will Grier threw an absolute dime to bring West Virginia within one point with 16 seconds to go. He completed the ensuing two-point try to Sills, but Herman called a timeout right before the ball was snapped. It did not matter, as Sills ran the second try in for the one-point victory.
You can find the final results of each week ten game here.
Some of the top performers of the week
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D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia (156 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 3 rec, 18 yards)
It appears D’Andre Swift is finally getting healthy again. Saturday was his second straight game of 100 yards rushing and his career high at Georgia. The Bulldogs needed him to step up against a tough Kentucky team and Swift sure did. One of the top devy prospects, he figures to be fun to watch over the last few months of the season.
Trey Sermon, RB Oklahoma (206 yards rushing, 3 TDs)
Sermon racked up over 200 yards rushing in Oklahoma’s high-scoring battle against Texas Tech on Saturday. He showcased his vision and sharp cutbacks for most of the night.
N’Keal Harry, WR Arizona State (9 rec, 161 yards, 3 TDs)
Harry had a big day in Arizona State’s upset victory over 15th-ranked Utah. He is not a speedster, but he does have a unique blend of size, athleticism, and body control. My main concern with him is the difficulty he has beating press coverage.
Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin (208 yards rushing 3 TDs, 1 rec, 30 yards)
Jonathan Taylor is so consistent. He has rushed for at least 100 yards in eight of nine games this season and did so in ten of 14 games last season. Running behind one of the best offensive lines in college football definitely helps, but Taylor possesses an elite combination of power and balance. He also has quick, nimble feet for someone his size. It was nice to see him catch a pass in this game, something I would like to see more of going forward.
Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis (132 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 3 rec, 72 yards, 1 TD)
Henderson did it again. He continues to make my top performers list because of the big plays he seemingly makes every week. He could end up being a nice, underrated prospect in the 2019 class.
Honorable Mentions: Tyree Jackson (358 yards passing, 3 TDs, 22 yards rushing, 3 TDs), Anthony Johnson (8 rec, 238 yards, 3 TDs), Darrin Hall (229 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 1 rec, 4 yards), Khalil Tate (350 yards passing, 5 TDs, 1 INT, 15 yards rushing), J.J. Taylor (40 rushes, 192 yards, 1 rec, 12 yards), Dillon Mitchell (8 rec, 156 yards, 2 TDs), Kyler Murray (360 yards passing, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 100 yards rushing, 1 TD), J.K. Dobbins (163 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 1 rec, 22 yards), Will Grier (346 yards 3 TDs, 2 yards rushing), Sam Ehlinger (354 yards passing, 3 TDs, 52 yards rushing, 1 TD), Lil’Jordan Humphrey (9 rec, 143 yards, 1 TD), Eno Benjamin (175 yards rushing, 2 TDs), Terry Wright (6 rec, 1 46 yards, 3 TDs), Nick Fitzgerald (243 yards passing, 4 TDs, 107 yards rushing), Tamorrion Terry (5 rec, 142 yards, 2 TD), Joshua Kelley (161 yards rushing, 1 TD, 6 rec, 32 yards), Raheem Blackshear (38 yards rushing, 8 rec, 162 yards, 1 TD), Hakeem Butler (5 rec, 164 yards, 2 TDs), Connor Heyward (157 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 1 rec, 2 yards), Tylan Wallace (8 rec, 112 yards, 1 TDs, 6 yards rushing, 1 TD, 24 yards passing), Devin Singletary (184 yards rushing, 3 TDs), Aca’Cedric Ware (205 yards rushing, 3 TDs, 1 rec, 6 yards)
Performances which did to live up to expectations
Cam Akers, RB Florida State (10 carries, 29 yards, 4 rec, 30 yards, 1 TD)
Akers had another rough day against North Carolina State on Saturday. He did have a good day receiving but did not have much room to run once again. I still believe in his talent, but it has been difficult for him to develop behind his uninspiring offensive line.
Deebo Samuel, WR South Carolina (3 rec, 17 yards)
The South Carolina offense often holds back Deebo Samuel and teammate Bryan Edwards, but it was discouraging to see Samuel only muster 17 yards receiving on a day quarterback Jake Bentley threw for over 300 yards.
This week, I give you my devy tight end rankings. Noah Fant is in a tier of his own, but there are still many other talented tight ends out there.
Jared Pinkney has been very productive this year and sits just inside my top-five tight ends. TJ Hockenson sits right below him. He is usually overshadowed by teammate Noah Fant, but Hockenson has still been productive himself.
Irv Smith has been making quite a few nice plays this year and has moved up my rankings this year, up to number seven overall.
I had Hunter Bryant up near the top earlier in his career, but injuries keep mounting for him, including a knee injury that sidelined him for a majority of his sophomore season this year. He returned last week, so he is a talented player to keep your eye on over the last few weeks of the season.
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 eleven schedule here.
1.) Wake Forest @ #21 North Carolina State – 11/8 @ 7:30 PM EST on ESPN
Greg Dortch and Kelvin Harmon are two very talented receivers in college football. Dortch is a small, explosive playmaker while Harmon is a big-bodied player who makes some fantastic catches down-field. While they will not be on the field at the same time, it will still be fun to see what each can do in this one.
2.) Wisconsin @ #14 Penn State – 11/10 @ 12 PM EST on ABC
Wisconsin suffered a couple of surprising losses earlier this year, which have knocked them out of the top-25 rankings. However, they still possess one of the best running backs in the country, sophomore Jonathan Taylor.
Penn State has a talented running back of their own, Miles Sanders, who might end up being one of the top running back prospects of the 2019 class.
3.) Oklahoma State @ #7 Oklahoma – 11/10 @ 3:30 PM EST on ABC
The Bedlam series has been known to provide plenty of fireworks. Last year, Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph battled it out in a 62-52 Oklahoma victory. This year, Kyler Murray steps in to try to lead the Sooners to their fourth straight victory in the series. Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill looks to duplicate the huge game he had in this series last year while Tylan Wallace is one of the more talented receivers flying under the radar in college football.
4.) Florida State @ #4 Notre Dame – 11/10 @ 7:30 PM EST on NBC
Florida State has really struggled this year, but they possess enough talent to put up a fight when they are clicking. Cam Akers has dropped down many devy rankings because of his dreadful season, but he is still a very talented player who will likely have a better NFL career than college one.
It will certainly be a tough test, but Notre Dame has a chance to go undefeated this year. A large part of their success can be attributed to how much of a difference quarterback Ian Book has made. He certainly has Irish fans excited and thinking playoffs.
5.) #2 Clemson @ #22 Boston College – 11/10 @ 8 PM EST on ABC
While we have the wide receiver match-up between Dortch and Harmon on Thursday night, Sunday night brings us a battle of two special running backs, Travis Etienne and A.J. Dillon. Etienne possesses a unique blend of power, balance, and athleticism while Dillon is a physical specimen who is very tough to bring down.
Evident in their dominant 29-0 victory over LSU last week, Alabama might be too tough to defeat this year with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa playing at such a high level. We know their defense is usually one of the best in the country seemingly every year, but their offense might be even better than their defense this year. I am curious to see if any of the playoff teams can even keep it close enough to test the Crimson Tide at all. We might be looking at one of the best college football teams of all time. Just do not start thinking they can keep up with the Raiders or Bills.
Feel free to reach out in the comments section below or on Twitter @KyleHoldenFF with any questions as we look ahead to week eleven of the college football season.
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