Here at Dynasty Scouts, we’ll always do our best to keep you informed about the latest happenings in college football. In short, 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
Kalen Ballage, RB Arizona State (Junior)
13 carries, 137 yards, seven touchdowns; two catches, 48 yards, one touchdown vs Texas Tech
Ballage likely had his best day as a football player this week. He ended the game with eight total touchdowns while rushing for 137 yards on 13 carries (10.53 ypc). He also added another 48 yards on two receptions. The Sun Devils appreciated it all as they beat Texas Tech 68-55 to up their record to 2-0.
Last week, Ballage was not as significant against a much weaker opponent in Northern Arizona. He finished his day with ten carries and 56 yards and just one touchdown but this had more to do with the Arizona State clobbering (44-13).
On the season, Ballage now has 23 carries for 193 yards (8.39 ypc) and eight touchdowns, which leads the NCAA in scoring. Arizona State will now take on Cal at home then travel to take on the Trojans of USC. Can he keep up this pace?
Luke Falk, QB Washington State (Junior)
55/71 for 480 yards, four touchdowns, one interception vs Boise State
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The locker room had the ice bags ready for Luke Falk’s arm after he went on a 71 passing attempt marathon. It was all in vain as the Washington State Cougars ended up on the losing end of a 31-28 score against the Boise State Broncos.
Even though the Cougars are now 0-2 on the season, nobody can take away how well Luke Falk has been playing this season. He put up 480 yards and completed 77.5 percent of his passes this week. He also had four touchdowns and over 400 yards for the second week in a row.
Falk is a traditional drop back passer who hangs tough in the pocket. His accuracy is top-notch in the short-to-intermediate ranges and that was on display the past two weeks. He has a quick delivery that can lead the receivers to the ball and also has good anticipation skills. He needs to work on rolling to his left, but solid moving to his right. He also seems to struggle with arm strength as well, as he needs to wind up for the deep throw.
Royce Freeman, RB Oregon (Junior)
21 carries, 207 yards, two touchdowns; two catches, 29 yards, zero touchdowns vs Virginia
Royce Freeman is dominating the competition once again. This week he got a full load in against the Cavaliers of Virginia. His 207 yards on 21 carries (9.9 ypc) puts him in seventh for most yards after he only had ten carries last week in a blowout win against UC Davis. Even though he had limited touches against the Aggies he still produced with 87-yards and two touchdowns.
Freeman’s biggest run of the day came on an 85-yard touchdown run. He took the handoff went to his left, made a bunch of defenders miss, picked up a key block, and gone for the score. He now has 18 100-yard games since the 2014 season.
Freeman is a big back with a wide base. He has the power to run over defenders and has excellent vision. He can make the sharp cuts as he has good body control. Most importantly is his ball security. Freeman has lost just one of his three fumbles in 597 touches.
Tavares Martin Jr., WR Washington State (Sophomore)
12 catches, 159 yards, one touchdown vs Boise State
Martin was the big winner of Luke Falk’s decision making, bringing in 12 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown this week. Martin played a much larger role than he did in the loss to Eastern Michigan. Against the Eagles he only caught four passes for just 34 yards and did not score.
He has already equaled his reception total and has surpassed his touchdown total from his freshman season. It appears he will be more active in this dynamic offense and may be someone to watch.
Washington State will now be at home for the next two weeks. They will first face Idaho and then start conference play against #22 Oregon.
Troy Williams, QB Utah (Junior)
14/23 for 194 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions; seven carries, 13 yards, zero touchdowns vs BYU
It was a rough day for Williams as he only put up 194 yards against the BYU Cougars defense. He also threw three interceptions and could only get the ball in the end zone once. He did complete a high percentage of passes at 61 percent, though.
Last week he was much better against Southern Utah. Again, he was very accurate, completing 20-of-35 attempts for 272 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception.
Myles Gaskin, RB Washington (Sophomore)
12 carries, 67 yards, one touchdown; three catches, 12 yards vs Idaho
Gaskin is off to a slow start this season. In week one, he struggled against Rutgers, when he could only gain 57 yards on 15 carries and did not score in their 48-13 victory. This week he could only put up 67 yards with a long of just 11 against Idaho.
Gaskin is coming off a season where he rushed over 100 yards in seven games and scored 14 touchdowns, so many were expecting a strong year from the sophomore, especially after his 181 yard, four touchdown performance against Southern Mississippi in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
The Huskies will now take on Portland State Vikings at home then travel to Arizona to start conference play. Let’s see if Gaskin can get himself going here soon.
Darren Carrington, WR Oregon (Junior)
Four catches, 59 yards, zero touchdowns vs Virginia
Carrington had a strong showing against UC Davis as he caught seven balls for 117 yards and scored a touchdown. Somehow he couldn’t come close in repeating his performance. Against Virginia he was only good for four catches, 59 yards and failed to find the end zone.
Many things are expected of the junior as he is one of the top-rated wide receivers in the Pac-12, but he’s off to a slow start considering the competition. He is leading the team in receptions and yards, but only has one touchdown when the team has scored 97 points in the last two weeks.
Carrington will try to get in the end zone when Oregon takes on Nebraska on the road and face Colorado at home.
Demetris Robertson, WR California
Four catches, 81 yards, one touchdown vs San Diego State
Robertson caught his first touchdown pass of his collegiate career. He contributed 81 yards on four catches as well.
Around the Nation
Premier Conference Performer
Cooper Rush, QB Central Michigan (Senior)
30/42 361, four touchdowns, one interception vs Oklahoma State
Central Michigan needed every ounce of Cooper Rush to take down #22 Oklahoma State, 30-27. The senior kept the Chippewas in the game all the way down the wire with 361 yards and four scores. Interceptions, fumbles and craziness would ensue during the entire fourth quarter, but Rush made the most of it at the end. His last pass of the game found Jesse Kroll for 42 yards, who then lateraled backward to Corey Willis for the nine-yard touchdown and the victory on the now infamous play that should have never happened.
The 1-1 Central Michigan team will now take on UNLV at home then travel to take on Virginia.
Ryan Higgins, QB Louisiana Tech (Senior)
34/52 passing, 409 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions; five carries, 17 yards, zero touchdowns vs South Carolina State
The coaching staff must have planned for Higgins to throw his arm off as he had a whopping 52 attempts. He finished with a solid completion rating of 65.4 percent and a 149.1 quarterback rating as well. The only issue to really be upset about would be his two interceptions.
Higgins did not play in week one due to his suspension for a DWI, but really made up for it. He reunited with wide receiver Trent Taylor, who finished with 11 receptions for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Keep your eye on Taylor and DeJuawn Oliver, who had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
The Bulldogs will now travel for two straight weeks. First, they will visit Texas to take on Texas Tech, then they’ll head to Tennessee to take on Middle Tennessee State.
Done Pumphrey, RB San Diego State (Senior)
29 carries, 281 yards, three touchdowns; four catches, 29 yards, no touchdowns vs California
The San Diego State Aztecs let Donel Pumphrey do whichever he wanted, or maybe it was the Cal’s defense that allowed that. Either way, Pumphrey is now coming off back-to-back strong performances. Last week against New Hampshire he had 98 yards on 21 carries and scored a touchdown. He also added 41-yards on four receptions.
Against Cal, it was a far more different story and a much better one at that. Cal couldn’t find an answer for the senior running back as he gashed the Bears for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Again, he added another four receptions for 29 yards.
San Diego will now travel to Illinois to take on Northern Illinois and then the following week will travel across the country to Alabama to face South Alabama. On the season, Pumphrey has 379 yards on 50 carries and four touchdowns.
Marcus Cox, RB Appalachian State (Senior)
18 carries, 133 yards, three touchdowns; one catch, eight yards vs Old Dominion
Marcus Cox carried the ball 18 times and gained 133 yards while scoring three touchdowns against Old Dominion. This performance is coming off his solid performance against #9 Tennessee. Last week, he rushed for 115 yards and scored a touchdown on a reception.
All three of the Cox touchdowns came inside the 10 yard line and in the first half. He had a nice long run of 37 yards as well. The Mountaineers will take their (1-1) record against the #22 Miami Hurricanes at home and then go on the road to Akron.
On the season, Cox has 42 carries for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
Richie James, WR Middle Tennessee (Sophomore)
14 catches, 183 yards, one touchdown vs Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt took it to Middle Tennessee and won 47-24, but that didn’t phase Richie James, who had another spectacular game. Last week against Alabama A&M, James had eight receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown in the 55-0 victory.
Even though the result was different, James still had a solid day with 183 yards on 14 catches and added a touchdown. The score came early in the first quarter to give Middle Tennessee a 10-5 lead on a 1-yard pass from Brent Stockstill.
The Blue Raiders will take their next game on the road against Bowling Green and then return home to face Louisiana Tech. On the season, James has 22 catches, 256 yards and two touchdowns.
Scott Miller, WR Bowling Green (Sophomore)
Five catches, 161 yards, three touchdowns vs North Dakota
Scott Miller didn’t have much of a chance to get things going last week when Bowling Green met up with the Buckeyes of Ohio State. That game was over by the end of the third quarter as the Buckeyes won 77-10. Against North Dakota (a far less talented team), Miller was able to get free against the coverage they set. He was able to catch five passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns.
On Bowling Green’s second possession of the game, quarterback James Knapke completed a pass to Miller for 71 yards and a touchdown. His second touchdown was from long distance as well – Knapke hit Miller for 51 yards. The third was just a simple 11-yard strike from Knapke.
The Falcons will now travel to Memphis and take on the Tigers next week, then host the Eastern Michigan Eagles the following game. On the season, Miller now has nine receptions for 188 yards and three touchdowns. All three of those categories leads the team.
Dane Evans, QB Tulsa (Senior)
15/32 passing, 127 yards, zero touchdowns, four interceptions; four rushes, 23 yards vs Ohio State
Not that it was going to be easy against the #4 ranked Ohio State, but Dane Evans made things a lot easier for the Buckeyes. First, the four interceptions. Head coach Philip Montgomery said, “Right before the half, the picks were a tough pill to swallow,” Montgomery would also go on to say, “We just made too many crucial mistakes at bad times.”
Evans completed fewer than half his passes for only 127 yards and the offense could only manage a field goal in the first quarter. No doubt, Evans will look to redeem himself when Tulsa takes on North Carolina A&T next week and then return home against Fresno State the week after.
Kareem Hunt, RB Toledo (Senior)
15 rushes. 66 yards, zero touchdowns; one catch, one yard, zero touchdowns vs Maine
These are the type of numbers I expect to see Toledo running back Kareem Hunt put up against a top-flight school, not against the Maine Black Bears of the Colonial Athletic Association. To compound the issue, Toledo put up 45 points.
It’s been a slow start for the senior as last week against Arkansas State he only put up 78 yards, but at least he scored a touchdown and caught four passes that week. Hunt is a power back, but I expect to see more than what he has given in the last two weeks. Toledo travels to Fresno State next week and then at home against BYU on the August 30th.
Matt Breida, RB Georgia Southern (Senior)
17 carries, 54 yards, zero touchdowns vs South Alabama
Matt Breida is one of the best running backs coming out of the Sun Belt conference, playing for an Eagles team that is 2-0 and has outscored opponents 78-9. You would figure Breida has something to do with that, but he hasn’t.
He has rushed for just one touchdown after rushing for 17 last season and at this point in 2015, he had five. He won’t catch the ball very often, so that doesn’t worry me, it’s his yards per carry against less mediocre teams in South Alabama and Savannah State that does. He has gone from 7.9 to 4.5 yards per carry.
The season is still young, but he will need to turn it around before it gets beyond his control. He will begin that trek next week at Western Michigan and then back on the road for Arkansas State.
Jake Maulhardt, WR Wyoming (Senior)
Four catches, 22 yards, zero touchdowns vs Nebraska
Jake Maulhardt had just come off a solid game against Northern Illinois as he caught five passes for 106 yards. This week it wasn’t all that impressive against Nebraska. Maulhardt posted only four catches and 22 yards without getting into the end zone.
The Wyoming Cowboys were defeated by the Cornhuskers 52-17, so you may have thought there would be some garbage time receptions going Maulhardt’s way but quarterback Josh Allen either didn’t see him in his 32 attempts, or he wasn’t showing his numbers so Allen could read him.
Wyoming will now take on UC Davis at home then travel to take on Eastern Michigan.
Devonte Boyd, WR UNLV (Junior)
Five catches, 84 yards, zero touchdowns vs UCLA
There was little doubt wide receiver Devonte Boyd was going to struggle against a solid Pac-12 team in UCLA, but his disappearance act (minus one long 56 yard catch) is a more than just struggling. For instance, his four other receptions totaled just 28 yards for measly seven yards per catch average.
We saw what Boyd could do against Jackson State last week as he had a 4/135/3 statistical line. Last season, he caught 54 passes for 904 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore, so big things should be happening.
We will see how he does in his next two games as the Rebels will travel to Central Michigan to take on the Chippewas, then return home and then home to face Idaho.
Robert Washington, RB Charlotte
11 carries, 43 yards, two touchdowns vs Elon
Washington had 11 carries for 43 yards and two touchdowns in the Charlotte victory against Elon. He only had five carries last week in the loss to Louisville, so his workload may be increasing, making him a player to watch. On the season, he now has 16 carries for 72 yards and those two scores.