WaterCooler Talk: Week 4

With week four of the college football season behind us, Matt and I wanted to take a look back and give our hot takes on some of the big stories of the weekend and a quick preview of the big week five games.

Paul’s Hot Takes

Memphis defeated Cincinnati 53-46 last Thursday night and the big story were the quarterbacks for each team. Gunner Kiel started out looking really impressive but took a shot to the head in a scary situation and left the game with a concussion. That was the second week in a row he left the game with a possible head injury. Kiel has all the tools as a former big time recruit of Notre Dame. He is a player that I think a few NFL teams will be intrigued by and he could possibly be a mid-round pick. On the other side, Paxton Lynch again looked impressive. NFL teams will be interested to study him; at 6’7” he offers an interesting combination of size and athletic ability with enough passing skills. He has a chance to be a late round pick as a developmental quarterback for an NFL team.

Jim Harbaugh continues to turn around the Michigan program, faster than I expected. This week they beat #22 BYU by a score of 31-0. Harbaugh seems to have a good game plan each week and relying on his running game to lead the attack. De’Veon Smith continues to impress this year and be one of the focal points of the offense.

Leonard Fournette was once again dominant this past weekend, as he led LSU to a 34-24 victory over Syracuse. Fournette had 26 carries for 244 yards and two touchdowns. It will be fascinating to study him and Nick Chubb of Georgia for the next year and half, as both are not eligible to be drafted until the 2017 NFL draft. Both of these players have elite traits and as I mentioned on the podcast last week, I think the gap between Fournette to Chubb is significantly smaller than the gap is for every other running back to Fournette. I believe he is a special talent and will enjoy watching him continue to develop.

One other quick take from the LSU game, Malachi Dupree had his most productive collegiate game catching four passes for 73 yards and one touchdown. Dupree, as also discussed on the podcast has the potential to turn into an elite weapon in the receiving game. It will be interesting to see as the year goes on if they maximize his talents enough and make him a bigger focal point of the offense behind Fournette.

If you like offense, I hope you were watching TCU against Texas Tech this past weekend as TCU pulled out a victory in the final seconds 55-52. The story of the game was the play of the TCU connection at quarterback and wide receiver. Trevone Boykin was 34 of 54 for 485 yards and four touchdowns and his top receiver Josh Doctson hauled in 18 catches for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Both of these guys, while dominant college players, will have to really impress NFL scouts during the draft process to move up draft boards. Boykin due to his size and lack of pure passing skills will be looked upon as more of a late round developmental pick and Doctson projects to more of a mid-round draft selection.

The game that I was most interested in this past weekend was Texas A&M against Arkansas. Texas A&M came in undefeated and I thought it was a classic opportunity for a letdown game versus a struggling to find their way offensively Arkansas team. While Arkansas played better than their first few games, the Aggies found a way to victory winning 28-21 in overtime. The big story of the game was the amazing performance again by freshman sensation, Christian Kirk. Kirk had eight receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns. While all of us on the podcast thought Kirk was going to be a big time player, I do not think any of us, expected this kind of production so soon.

While Auburn made a quarterback switch to Sean White, it was not enough to get a victory over Mississippi State as they lost 17-9. White, who replaced the struggling Jeremy Johnson, was adequate completing 20 of 28 passes but for only 188 yards and no scores. The best performance for Auburn was by running back Payton Barber, who has become the focal point for the Auburn offense. The rest of this season for Auburn has to be about figuring out who the long term solution is under center and if they can fix the issues that led to Jeremy Johnson struggling and being benched.

The shocker of the weekend was Utah destroying Oregon 62-20. Travis Wilson was the star of the game as he threw for four touchdowns and ran for a 5th for Utah. Oregon looked flat all game and give credit the Utes for going into Oregon and completely slowing down the potent Ducks offense. Both Oregon quarterbacks, Jeff Lockie and Vernon Adams really struggled in this game. It will be interesting to see how Oregon bounces back after two losses early in the year.

Matt’s Hot Takes

One of the more impressive performances of the weekend was by Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins as they defeated Arizona 59-30. Rosen, who was coming off a terrible performance in his last game, looked really sharp against Arizona, completing 19 of 28 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns. He showed consistency in his throws and mechanics and solid accuracy of the football. He looks like he is making every stride in the right direction as UCLA continues to climb the ranks and looks to be in the process of becoming one of the elite teams in college football this year, due to their freshman quarterback.

As for Arizona, Nick Wilson and Anu Solomon are both great college players, but to me they need to show improvement in their skill sets before they take that next step and are discussed in higher regards in terms of being viable NFL prospects.

Jared Goff led California to a 30-24 victory over Washington. Goff was 24 of 40 for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Goff continues to show why he is the number one quarterback prospect in college football. He is accurate, displays sound mechanics, is aggressive down the field, smart with his throws, and shows good poise in the pocket.  With Goff running the show, California is off to a 4-0 start as he gives them a chance to win every game they play this season.

 

Week 5 games to look forward to:

#23 Auburn @ #15 Oklahoma

Texas @ #4 TCU

#13 Alabama @ #8 Georgia

Texas Tech @ #5 Baylor

#3 Ole Miss @ #25 Florida

#21 Mississippi State @ #14 Texas A&M

#6 Notre Dame @ #12 Clemson