Every Tuesday I take a look through my notebook from the games I’ve sat and watched over the previous weekend and highlight a few things I wrote down. There may be some things you missed, some players who stood out for good or bad reasons, or even just some things I’m going to keep my eye on more closely when I get into detailed scouting on certain prospects.
What I can tell you is there’ll be very little rhyme or reason as to the games I’ve chosen to watch, or indeed as to what I choose to comment on.
So let’s get into it shall we?
Can they play any defense in the state of Texas?
The answer, by the way, appeared to be no based on the way the Texas Tech @ Texas game went. I watched about 3/4 of this game without my notebook so don’t have detailed scouting notes for you, but aside from commenting on how much better Texas looked on offense with Charlie Thompson at the helm I will just mention one player who really caught the eye.
That man is Bijan Robinson who amassed 137 yards on 18 carries and had 2 catches for 54 yards on top of that. As I tweeted during the game, Robinson is electric with the ball in his hands and whilst he may only be a sophomore right now I can already see him garnering a lot of NFL attention next year if he keeps making plays like this one.
LSU @ Mississippi State
With Derek Stingley Jr out to having re-injured his foot, I was left without an obvious first round draft pick to watch in this one. Having said that however, I found myself intrigued to watch Mississippi State LT Charles Cross and LSU LG Ed Ingram. Yes, you’re about to get some offensive line scouting notes you lucky devils!
Let’s start with Cross – as I definitely liked what I saw from him in this game. I ought to caveat that by saying that LSU’s best pass rusher this season was out injured and Ali Gaye played but clearly wasn’t at 100% and so he wasn’t exactly up against some of the more elite pass rushers the SEC had to offer. But time and again he dropped back and made sure his QB had plenty of time to throw the ball and looked solid in pass protection. This was more about using his physicality to win at the line of scrimmage for Cross than anything else more technical – but he did everything he needed to well.
LSU’s offensive line generally played well too and I thought Ingram, similar to Cross, had a decent game without really being challenged too much. He did let himself down at one point in the second quarter however as he totally whiffed on a block that got Max Johnson sacked on a second down play.
Without Stingley, Cordale Flott really stood to me in the LSU secondary. He seemed to be all over the place, playing very fast indeed, and his interception was a perfect example of how to play zone coverage effectively whilst still reading the quarterback, understanding where the ball is going to go, and getting into the right place to make the play without blowing the coverage.
But Emmanuel Forbes, the Mississippi State sophomore cornerback, was the absolute standout player in this game. More often than not he was left 1-on-1 with LSU’s best receiver and time and again he got the better of whoever lined up across from him. His interception saw him mirror the receiver perfectly and keep himself in perfect position to make the play as the ball came towards him. He’ll be a first round pick next year or the year after – mark my words.
My game of the week – Texas A&M @ Arkansas
I’ve got so many notes from this one that I could be here all day writing them up – so I’m calling for the no huddle hurry up here!
Jalen Wydermyer was surprisingly under-utlised in this game, which I found very bizarre. Why not use your best receiving threat when you’re consistently coming under pressure?
Isaiah Spiller by contrast was very often used and I couldn’t help but be impressed by his patience in waiting for the play to develop and a hole to open up for him. He also got involved in the passing game and his burst once he has ball in hand is exciting to watch. He’s my RB-1.
Kenyon Green was pretty much the only Aggie offensive lineman to walk away with any credit from this game, such was the dominance of the Arkansas defense. He started at right guard but moved to left tackle in the second half and was pretty much the only guy who appeared to be able to block for more than a second or two.
DeMarvin Leal was another who had a quiet game – I’m going to have to watch of him to make a decent judgement because it felt as though he didn’t really show up for this one.
Let’s start with Treylon Burks shall we – the guy is a cheat code. He runs such perfect routes, knows how to get back to the football and help his quarterback out, has absolutely elite speed despite being 6’3 and 225lbs, and has learned how to find space in zones and break down a defense. I can see him continuing to rise up draft boards if he hasn’t already.
Another who I can see rising quickly is edge rusher Tre Williams. Williams has had an interesting couple of years to say the least and has entered the transfer portal twice in the last 9 months. But he seems to have landed on his feet at Arkansas and his physicality and athleticism are very interesting. He certainly made himself known time and again in this game.
Given how well the defensive front played, Jalen Catalon wasn’t really called on too much in the secondary, but QB KJ Jefferson is definitely one I’m keen to watch develop. The comparisons to Cam Newton are too much too early but there is definitely some exciting potential there.
5 things I wished I’d watched but didn’t
- The 1st quarter of the Georgia @ Vanderbilt game – just to see really how bad the Commodores were to find themselves 35-0 down inside 15 minutes.
- The 4th quarter of the Notre Dame @ Wisconsin game as the score went from being tied at 10, to Notre Dame running away as 41-13 winners. I was very glad I picked the Fighting Irish in this one – and went 4-2 against the NFL Draft Punks Pick 6 competition!
- Emeka Emezie‘s performance for NC State as they took down Clemson in double overtime. Emezie has 14 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown and was just consistently available for his QB all day long.
- Bowling Green taking down Minnesota on the road – the Falcons were 30 point underdogs!
- Chris Rodriguez Jr continuing to light it up for Kentucky – 26 carries for 144 yards this week. Nice work yet again from him on the ground.