College Football, Week 4 updates for the 2022 NFL Draft
What happened early on Saturday?
NFL Draft / College Football Thoughts
I’m going to try bullet points again. The first part of this post goes over some QB passing stats, then I talk about a few lists of 2022 NFL Draft prospects, then we get into Week 4 of the college season including Grayson McCall’s latest 200+ passer rating effort.
Last season was unusual because schools played a vastly different number of games, but there were two QBs who had five 400-yard passing days: Mac Jones and Kyle Trask. Only two other players had more than two 400-yard passing days, one being Trevor Lawrence and the other being left Dillon Gabriel. Jones, Trask, and Lawrence are in the NFL, but Gabriel suffered an unfortunate setback.
Eight quarterbacks had two 400-yard passing days, including number two pick Zach Wilson. The other seven are still in college, including Sam Howell, Kenny Pickett, Carson Strong, Matt Corral, and Jake Haener.
Fresno State has a giant offensive lineman named Bull. Named BULL!
This season, Brennan Armstrong and Bailey Zappe have two 400-yard passing days. Haener had 378 yards against UNLV on Friday night (just shy of his second 400-yarder) and he continues to lead the nation in passing yards.
The list of passing leaders in the aughts and tens is almost exclusively air raid passers, including 11 400-yard games by Graham Harrell with Texas Tech in 2007, nine by Colt Brennan (Hawaii, 2006), BJ Symons (Texas Tech, 2003), and Anthony Gordon (WSU, 2019). Derek Carr had eight with Fresno State in 2013, and Case Keenum had two seasons at Houston with seven 400-yard games. The list of players with six 400-yard games includes three players from Texas Tech (including Patrick Mahomes) and two from WSU (including Gardner Minshew).
East Carolina WR Tyler Snead had five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown against Marshall last week, while also throwing a 27-yard touchdown. Snead also threw a touchdown in Week 2 against South Carolina. In the first nine games of the 2019 season, Snead had 24 catches. Then against SMU, he caught 19 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. In 2020, Snead caught five touchdowns, rushed for a touchdown, had a passing touchdown, and returned a kick for a touchdown. He had a good punt return average but never housed one. Here is his 19-catch game.
The fact that Snead is a wide receiver is remarkable. He looks like an undersized running back. It says a lot about the direction the game is going.
An article from 247 Sports called “Get these players more touches”: Ohio State WR Chris Olave, Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer, Oklahoma WR Marvin Mims, Texas WR Joshua Moore, Texas A&M RB/WR Ainias Smith, Auburn RB Jarquez Hunter, Baylor RB Trestan Ebner, Texas Tech WR Erik Ezukanma. Tacked on briefly: NC State RB Zonovan Knight, SMU RB Ulysses Bentley, Virginia WR Dontayvion Wicks, Kentucky WR Wan’Dale Robinson, South Carolina WR Josh Vann.
Right now I’m at the point of knowing Olave, Mayer, Mims, Ezukanma, Knight, and Robinson.
Saturday Down South’s top 10 players in the SEC, going from 1 to 10: DT Jordan Davis, DL Will Anderson, QB Matt Corral, OT Evan Neal, DE BJ Ojulari, CB Kaiir Elam, Bryce Young, Jalen Catalon (ARK), Wan’Dale Robinson, DeMarvin Leal.
247 checking in on players who had been tabbed for breakout seasons before the year: Florida DT Gervon Dexter (breaking out), Clemson WR Ajou Ajou (not breaking out), UNC WR Josh Downs (breaking), Ole Miss LB Cedric Johnson (not), Minnesota DE Boye Mafe (breaking), TCU WR Quentin Johnson (breaking), Cincinnati TE Leonard Taylor (not), LSU DE Ali Gate (N/A), Notre Dame OT Blake Fisher (inj), Mizzou QB Connor Bazelak (breaking), Stanford RB Austin Jones ((not), Texas DT Moro Ojomo (fine), USC WR Tahj Washington (fine), Miami TE Will Mallory (not).
Grayson McCall goes 10-of-14 for 162 yards, 2 TD in the first half against UMass and he was pulled from the game with a 36-0 lead. McCall had another drop on a long bomb but he still managed to maintain marks that should help him continue to lead the country in passer rating and yards per attempt. McCall also rushed for a touchdown. In 2020, McCall had his fourth 200+ passer rating game in the final game of the regular season. McCall has four 200+ passer ratings in four tries already this season.
Northwestern RB Evan Hull had 22 carries for 216 yards and 2 TDs against Ohio. Hill is a redshirt sophomore who rushed for 286 yards as a true freshman, 209 yards in 2020, and 262 yards coming into Saturday.
SMU RB Ulysses Bentley IV, who was just mentioned among RB prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft, had 20 carries for 153 yards against TCU. Not a good run defense day for TCU, who also allowed 110 yards to RB Tre Siggers. And QB Tanner Mordecai did have four touchdowns, but also three interceptions.
TCU RB Zach Evans had 15 carries for 113 yards. WR Taye Barber had five catches for 114 yards.
Texas scored 70 points in a win over Texas Tech. Super freshman RB Bijan Robinson had 137 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards. Texas Tech QB Tyler Shough was benched. WR Erik Ezukanma was held to seven catches for 56 yards.
The Florida State punter can punt with either foot.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly pulled QB Jack Coan (injury?) in favor of backup Drew Pyne. Coan averaged just 5.4 yards per throw and Notre Dame needed a boost to beat Wisconsin, which they did 41-13. RB Kyren Williams struggled to find room to run and had 18 carries for 33 yards. S Kyle Hamilton probably played well.
Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz had four interceptions. Notre Dame CB Cam Hart had two of those. Jack Kiser and Drew White each had a pick-six off of Mertz. Wisconsin sophomore LB Nick Herbig had two sacks.
Minnesota RB Treyson Potts had another good game, rushing for 141 yards on 28 carries, but the Gophers lost to Bowling Green on Saturday, 14-10. QB Tanner Morgan had been getting a little draft buzz but he’s been terrible and he went 5-of-13 for 59 yards and two interceptions.
I’m avoiding these really ridiculous matchups between schools that don’t belong on the same field. (I always make an exception for McCall and Coastal Carolina itself used to be one of those out-matched programs.) But I will note that Pitt QB Kenny Pickett, recently reaching my top-10 for QBs, went 24-of-28 for 403 yards with five touchdowns in a 77-7 win over New Hampshire. We have to strike games like this from the record to some degree. Pickett’s numbers will look fantastic. What else could Pitt do other than play their best against any opponent?
LSU beat Mississippi State 28-25, and I don’t know how to highlight offensive linemen in these posts each week, but I’ll try. Mississippi State OT Charles Cross is viewed as a 2022 first round pick; what I can tell you is that Mississippi State ran 62 pass attempts in their air raid offense and QB Will Rogers was only sacked one time.
LSU star freshman WR Kayshon Boutte had two touchdown catches. CB Derek Stingley, a potential top-5 pick, is “out for a while” with an injury.
Mizzou LB Blaze Alldredge had six tackles and 0.5 sacks against Boston College. Alldredge is one of the most productive pass rushing linebackers in college football.
Kent State QB Dustin Crum went 19/33, 308, 1/0 against Maryland. WR Dante Dephas had 10 catches for 151 yards.
Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa went 31/41, 384, 3/1 in a 37-16 win over Kent State. WR Dontay Demus Jr had four catches for 108 yards.
Purdue held WR David Bell out of the game against Illinois because of injury and the Boilermakers passing fell apart. QB Jack Plummer went 12/21 for 95 yards and Aiden O’Connell threw 2 INTs in a 13-9 win. DE George Karlaftis had another sack.
Illinois RB Joshua McCray had 24 carries for 156 yards.
Iowa State RB Breece Hall had 27 carries for 190 yards and two touchdowns, plus 51 yards in the air and another score in a 31-29 loss to Baylor. Hall looked like a potential star and someone ready to establish himself as a potential first round RB.
Arkansas WR Treylon Burks may also lock down first round status during the season. He caught six passes for 167 yards in a 20-10 upset over Texas A&M.
A&M RB Isaiah Spiller was good, carrying it 12 times for 95 yards, with a long of 67. He also had 26 receiving yards.
Clemson fell to 2-2 with a 27-21 loss to NC State in two OTs. WR Justyn Ross had 77 yards and 2 TDs. But he misses Trevor Lawrence.
UTSA RB Sincere McCormick, also hopeful to be a top RB in the draft, had 42 carries (42!) for 184 yards and 3 TDs, plus 33 receiving yards in a 31-28 win over Memphis. UTSA is now 4-0.
Memphis WR Sean Dykes had 167 yards and WR Calvin Austin III had 142.
Another strong day for a back—Duke RB Mataeo Durant had 21 carries for 124 yards.
Auburn S Smoke Monday had a pick-six against Georgia State. Just wanted to note that there’s a Smoke Monday.
Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson, potentially a top-10 pick by next year, had another sack. These instant reports are going to be way more “fantasy heavy” with QB, RB, and WR highlighted the most — it’s just difficult to track much more than that in many cases. So I’m glad when I can talk about players at other positions and hopefully as I learn to do this better, I’ll be expanding my instant reactions to other positions. It helps when good prospects show up in box scores—that’s undeniable. Even to NFL scouts.
Florida State dropped to 0-4 as Louisville QB Malik Cunningham went 25/39, 264, 2 TD with 56 rushing yards and 2 more TDs. I haven’t discussed Cunningham much here yet. He’s been on the radar for a while but never to the point where people felt comfortable thinking of him as a pro quarterback. This is his best passing game of the year, but he has also now rushed for two touchdowns in all four Louisville games. LB Yasir Abdullah and freshman DL Ashton Gillotte each had two sacks.
That’s it for the morning updates.