Posts by Robert Hess Sean Berger David Street Andy Narotsky

College Football Week 4 Roundup

Greetings, SQ fans! Another weekend of exciting college football! Let's reveal our thoughts on what happened.

1. Which team had the most impressive win?

Andy: For a team with a disappointing loss to start the season, Michigan has really turned things around. Harbaugh’s squad pummeled #22 BYU 34-0, holding the Cougars to 105 yards of

Greetings, SQ fans! Another weekend of exciting college football! Let’s reveal our thoughts on what happened.

1. Which team had the most impressive win?

Andy: For a team with a disappointing loss to start the season, Michigan has really turned things around. Harbaugh’s squad pummeled #22 BYU 34-0, holding the Cougars to 105 yards of total offense. Michigan’s stout defense stymied a hot BYU offense, holding its 3rd straight opponent under 100 yards rushing. The Wolverines held the ball for 38:38, an impressive feat against a ranked opponent.

David: I was hoping to avoid bias but I just can’t ignore what my Gators did. Down 27-14 with the end of the game closing in, Will Grier engineered a stunning comeback with two touchdown passes including one on an incredible 4th-and-14 conversion. Had that conversion failed, Florida would have lost to Tennessee for the first time since 2004. The team bent but never broke and showed mental toughness.

Sean: How about Utah? The Utes went into Eugene and annihilated Oregon, 62-20. Talk about a statement win. On offense, Utah put up 21 and 28 points in the second and third quarter, respectively. But that doesn’t even begin to tell the story of how well they produced. For one, they gained 79.6% of the total amount of yards that was available to them. Their highest total percentage of available yards gained before this game was 59.6% the week prior against Fresno State. It looked like a role reversal in this game with Utah looking much like Oregon has the past few years.   

Robert: West Virginia. The Mountaineers absolutely dominated the Maryland Terrapins. With quarterback Skyler Howard tossing four touchdowns and nearly 300 yards and running back Wendell Smallwood darting through the Terrapins defense for 147 yards and a score, the Mountaineers offense looked impressive in setting a program record with 37 first downs. But the defense looked indomitable: Maryland QB Caleb Rowe was held to 10 of 27 passing for 67 yards as the Mountaineers picked him off four times.

2. Which team had the most disappointing loss?

Andy: The Oregon Ducks losing at home is a rarity. The Oregon Ducks losing at home by 42 is even rarer. In fact, the last time they lost by that much at home was in 1977. Utah’s Travis Wilson had a field day in Eugene, throwing for 4 TDs and refusing to let up on the gas. Oregon’s Vernon Adams only went 2-for-7 with 26 yards and 1 TD. He didn’t finish the game. Clearly the Flying V can’t replace the Flyin’ Hawaiian. Utah, of course, is a real contender this season and this will perhaps help change how underrated they have been, but a loss like this from Oregon was unexpected.

David: I agree with Andy. Who expected Oregon to get blown out on their home field? Anybody? I certainly didn’t. While I am not surprised that the Ducks allowed 62 points considering their defense is awful, I am surprised that they only scored 20 points, especially in Eugene. Where was that “quack attack” offense? It was nowhere to be found. Give a ton of credit to Utah. They look like serious contenders not just for the Pac-12, but possibly for the national championship.

Sean: For this one I have to go with Tennessee. For the second time this season, the Vols let a double-digit lead slip out of their hands. On the road against the Florida Gators, Tennessee had a shot to break the previous 10-game winning streak the Gators had on them. However, a late fourth quarter collapse by the defense let the Gators pull out with a victory. It seemed to me the play calling was a little conservative towards the end of the game, much like it was in the loss to Oklahoma. Butch Jones better get the ship right or he could find himself on the hot seat sooner than expected.

Robert: The Texas Tech Red Raiders must be heartbroken. A week after going to Arkansas and silencing Bret Bielema, Kliff Kingsbury nearly led his players to a monumental victory. Instead, #3 TCU survived when Aaron Green caught a tipped pass and got one foot down on fourth and goal with 23 seconds left. Can it get any more disappointing than that?

3. Offensive Player of the Week

David: I didn’t give it to him last week but I am giving it to him this week. LSU running back Leonard Fournette was dynamite once again as he set yet another career high in rushing yards, blitzing Syracuse’s defense for 244 yards on the ground. He is averaging an insane 210.3 rushing yards per game. Those are video game numbers, people.

Andy: It’s gotta be Fournette. As David mentioned, he’s averaging over 200 yards per game. If he keeps this up, he’ll have a real shot at breaking Barry Sanders’ season record for rushing yards. Fournette is currently on pace for 2,313 yards on the ground, a few hundred shy of Sanders’ 2,628 yards in 1988. Fournette needs to bump up his performance just a touch to surpass the greatest college rusher of all time. That’s how well he’s playing.

Sean: I’m going to give some love to a guy who plays for Memphis in the American Athletic Conference in QB Paxton Lynch. If you don’t his name right now, you probably should. With the way he’s performing so far, he’s going to shoot right up draft boards, kind of like Blake Bortles did a couple years ago. Last week against Cincinnati, Lynch threw for 412 yards and averaged 11.4 yards per attempt. If that’s not enough to make you a believer, take into account that he also ran for 52 yards and averaged nearly five yards per carry.

Robert: TCU survived Texas Tech thanks to WR Josh Doctson. The 6 foot 3 redshirt senior did his best AJ Green impersonation by hauling in a whopping 18 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns. To put his accomplishment into perspective, Texas Tech actually held Doctson to just a single reception in the fourth quarter. There’s a reason Doctson is widely considered the top receiving prospect for next year’s NFL Draft.

4. Defensive Player of the Week

David: Safety Jeremy Cash had a big game for the Duke Blue Devils. His 12 total tackles and one sack guided his team to an upset victory over Georgia Tech.

Andy: Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah had 5 tackles and 1.5 sacks during the Cowboys’ win against Texas, including a half sack on the Longhorns’ penultimate drive, forcing a punt. The clutch play by Ogbah helped OK State secure a 4-0 start.

Sean: Keanu Neal deserves the defensive player of the week for me. After missing the Gators first two games of the season, Neal has come on strong and last week his performance was pivotal in the team’s win. The safety registered 14 total tackles on the night and also forced a key fumble that led to a Gators touchdown. Any time you can stop the opposing offense, and help your own offense at the same time, I’d say you deserve a pat on the back.

Robert: Middle Tennessee State’s T.T. Barber seemed to be everywhere this past Saturday. In a 27-25 loss to Illinois, the linebacker posted 14 tackles (nine solo), two tackles for loss, and a sack.

5. Freshman of the Week   

David: Although he didn’t put up the biggest numbers (112 receiving yards and one touchdown on five receptions), Florida WR Antonio Callaway gets my vote here because he was absolutely clutch when it mattered. Converting on 4th-and-14, Will Grier threw a laser to Callaway who took the ball all the way to the end-zone and ultimately gave Florida the victory.

Andy: Josh Rosen went 19-for-28 with 2 TDs and a 96.9 QBR in UCLA’s road win against #16 Arizona. The Rosen One is showing up game after game, and during this win he looked like a redshirt senior managing the game, not a true freshman in his 4th-ever start.

Sean: As David takes the receiver who made the big catch, I’ll take the QB who made the big throw; Will Grier. Grier didn’t have the best looking numbers in the first three quarters of the game, but really turned it on in the final 15 minutes. The redshirt freshman threw for 141 yards and two touchdowns, including a 63-yard game-winner. But what impressed me the most about Grier this week was the fire he showed on fourth down. Grier and the Gators offense converted five out of five fourth downs against Tennessee. That’s the reason he deserves the game ball right there. Without the clutch performance of Grier, the Gators could be 3-1 with their tails between their legs taking on Ole Miss this week.

Robert: Texas A&M receiver Christian Kirk was an absolute beast in the Aggies’ win over Arkansas. The 5-11 receiver reeled in eight catches for 173 yards and two scores, the second of which won the game in overtime. For the season, Kirk is averaging a whopping 18.4 yards per reception.

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College Football Week 3 Roundup

Week 3 is in the books! Wow! What a great weekend of college football it was! Let's look back to see what happened:

1. Which team had the most impressive win?

Robert: Northwestern. The Wildcats haven’t been relevant in years, but they are the winners of the 2015 Nerd Bowl. The Big Ten program has

Week 3 is in the books! Wow! What a great weekend of college football it was! Let’s look back to see what happened:

1. Which team had the most impressive win?

Robert: Northwestern. The Wildcats haven’t been relevant in years, but they are the winners of the 2015 Nerd Bowl. The Big Ten program has dominated both Stanford (who just defeated USC at the LA Coliseum) and Duke and has given up just 16 total points in three games this season. Northwestern currently boasts the country’s stingiest defense, yet its offense needs some work, as freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson has completed just over 50% of his passes and has tossed more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1).

David: Definitely Ole Miss. The Rebels had never beaten the Alabama Crimson Tide in back-to-back years until Saturday. Chad Kelly threw for 341 yards and three touchdown passes and the Ole Miss defense forced five turnovers as the Rebels were able to get a huge victory in Tuscaloosa. At one point, Ole Miss was up 30-10. Although it’s still early, the Rebels look like the real deal.

Sean: This game might have been a blowout, but I was really impressed by the Georgia Bulldogs’ offensive explosion against South Carolina. The 52 points that the Bulldogs put up is the most that any opposing offense has scored against a Steve Spurrier-coached team. To put into perspective just how impressive that offensive performance was, Georgia gained 95.1% of the yards available to it. That’s insane, and it’s probably the best metric you’ll see an offense put up against an SEC defense.

Andy: LSU was a known powerhouse coming into the season, but the absolute dismantling of Auburn showed how dominant this team can truly be. Led by Sophomore RB Leonard Fournette, the #8 Tigers travel to Syracuse next week for a game that they should handle easily. LSU should give the rest of the SEC a run for its money this season.

2. Which team had the most disappointing loss?

Robert: Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets traveled to South Bend to take on Notre Dame, who were playing their first game without injured starting quarterback Malik Zaire. Not only did the GT defense get decimated by RB C.J. Prosise (22 carries, 198 yards, 3 TDs), but the option offense was completely stuffed by Notre Dame’s front seven. If it wasn’t for two meaningless touchdown passes in the final minute, Justin Thomas’ QBR would have been even more atrocious than the 9.3 he posted. Granted Georgia Tech won’t be passing much this season, but this game proved that the Jackets are vulnerable on both sides of the ball.

David: Auburn. Although this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering they had to go to overtime to beat FCS foe Jacksonville State, it still has to sting. Auburn was picked by many (including me) to go to the college football playoffs, and so far they have absolutely failed to live up to expectations. Their 45-21 loss to LSU could signify a long season for them. Unless miraculous changes happen, this team is in serious trouble.

Sean: I’ve got to give this one to BYU. BYU was given every opportunity to pull the upset for a third straight week, but just couldn’t get it done against UCLA. When an opposing true freshman QB gifts you with three interceptions, you have to take advantage of that. To come out of this with a one-point loss is just heart-breaking, and it’s one that the Cougars will be lamenting about for the rest of the season.

Andy: Alabama. Losing to a good SEC rival in Ole Miss by a score of 43-37 isn’t exactly a disappointment, but the Crimson Tide showed that their issues on defense and under center make them extremely vulnerable to good teams. If they can’t outplay good teams in Tuscaloosa, how can they do it into the playoffs?

3. Offensive Player of the Week

Robert: C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame and Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU. For the second straight week the senior back averaged over nine yards per carry, a figure aided by a 91-yard touchdown run, the longest in Notre Dame’s illustrious history. Prosise has racked up the fifth most rushing yards in all of college football and his success will help keep defenses honest against QB DeShone Kizer. Fournette absolutely obliterated Auburn’s porous defense, finishing the game with 19 carries for 228 yards and three scores. The SEC’s supposedly stout defenses cannot contain LSU’s sophomore sensation.

David: Greyson Lambert. When you set an NCAA record for completion percentage, you deserve some love. Lambert absolutely tore up South Carolina’s defense as he passed for 330 yards and three touchdown passes on 24/25 passing (a ridiculous 96.0 completion percentage). In most cases, he won’t put up the flashiest numbers. But it’s obvious that he can step up when the Georgia Bulldogs need him to.

Sean: While David goes with the obvious choice here, I’m going to go with someone who was put to the test and passed with flying colors. It’s not easy to play your first SEC game against Alabama and come out with a victory, but that’s what Chad Kelly did. Kelly threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 21 yards and another score on the ground. He rekindled the memories of Johnny Manziel having a similar performance against the Tide. Sure he had some luck (throwing off his back foot, while getting hit by multiple defenders, only to have his pass bounce off a defender’s helmet and into the hands of an open receiver for a touchdown), but he had the poise of someone who had done this before.

Andy: Baker Mayfield went 32-for-38 with 487 yards and 4 TDs while dismantling Tulsa on Saturday. He also ran for two more scores. In fact, Mayfield set Oklahoma’s school record for all-purpose yards in one game with 572 yards total. Any time a school record is set at a school like Oklahoma, recognition is in order. The former Texas Tech QB is making Oklahoma look like a serious contender this season.

4. Defensive Player of the Week 

Robert: This one’s easy – Northwestern sophomore LB Anthony Walker. Walker has won the Big Ten defensive player of the week award twice in the first three weeks. This past weekend against Duke, Walker led the Wildcats D with 19 total tackles. His lateral speed has helped Northwestern limit its opponents to 5.3 points per game.  

David: Myles Garrett. There might not be a better pass rusher in the nation than Myles Garrett right now. He had an incredible game against Nevada with seven tackles (four for loss) and 3.5 sacks. Garrett is a blitzing machine and will be a nightmare for any quarterback that has to deal with him.

Sean: This player has flown under the radar the past couple of weeks, but Boston College DE Harold Landry played great against Florida State. The sophomore registered 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and 11 total tackles. He was the key cog on a defensive front that gave BC ample opportunities to knock off the Seminoles. Consistently getting in the face of Everett Golson, Landry was part of a force that held the Florida State QB to just 119 passing yards. Clearly, Landry deserves some recognition for his performance.

Andy: Colorado’s Kenneth Olugbode had 13 tackles and a pick six, giving his Buffaloes a 7-point lead over the Colorado State Rams in the 4th quarter. Colorado went on to win the contest in overtime, and Olugbode’s high motor was a major reason for the victory. The 60-yard interception return was Colorado’s first of the season.

5. Freshman of the Week

Robert: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has been an absolute monster since being handed the keys to the Nittany Lions offense. In Penn State’s opening game, Barkley was given just one rushing attempt. Since then? He’s simply gone off for 310 yards on 30 carries. In a 28-3 win over Rutgers on Saturday, the explosive back rumbled for 195 yards and two scores on 21 carries. His 9.1 yards per attempt ranks sixth in the nation.

David: Jake Browning. The freshman quarterback for the Washington Huskies had a very solid game as he passed for 368 yards and three touchdown passes on 22/31 passing. Browning was an absolute beast in high school as he set a high school national record for touchdown passes (229) including a ridiculous record-breaking 91 touchdown passes his senior year. Good numbers in high school don’t always translate to good numbers in college but Browning has looked like a very steady for quarterback for the Huskies after a slow start.

Sean: I’m going to go with another lesser-known QB that plays for Middle Tennessee. Brent Stockstill played phenomenally against Charlotte this past weekend, racking up 369 yards and five touchdowns through the air. If that’s not good enough, Stockstill’s pass efficiency rating was 261.10, while he completed 23 of 27 passes. Granted I know this was against Charlotte, who is in the process of transferring from the FCS, but that team was 2-0 heading into the matchup having already beaten an FBS opponent this season.  

Andy: I’ll have to agree with Robert — Saquon Barkley tore up the Rutgers defense on Saturday. For a team that can’t seem to get its supposedly tremendously talented quarterback to hit any receivers, Barkley is a saving grace for an otherwise troubled offense. What makes him even more impressive is that Barkley is performing at such a high level behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football.

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College Football Week One Recap

Greetings, SQ fans! What a week of college football it was! The college football staff at SQ has recapped what the week was like and here is what we said.

1. Which team had the most impressive win?

Sean Berger: Texas A&M really impressed me in its win against Arizona State. Going into a neutral

Greetings, SQ fans! What a week of college football it was! The college football staff at SQ has recapped what the week was like and here is what we said.

1. Which team had the most impressive win?

Sean Berger: Texas A&M really impressed me in its win against Arizona State. Going into a neutral site game and facing a top-15 team isn’t easy, especially to start the season. Texas A&M QB Kyle Allen played well in the season opener, throwing for 198 yards and two touchdowns. However, the retooled Aggie defense, under new defensive coordinator John Chavis, stole the show for me. The Aggie defense held Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici to just 199 yards passing after he had averaged 341.5 during his last four games with at least 22 attempts. Myles Garrett registered two sacks on the night, and now Texas A&M looks to be a surprise contender for the SEC West.

Robert Hess: Northwestern. The Wildcats held #21 Stanford to just 240 total yards and won the turnover battle 2-0. After two consecutive 5-7 seasons, it’s great to see Pat Fitzgerald’s team defeat a ranked opponent. In a down Big Ten West, the Wildcats hope to compete for the division title. With their stubborn defense, Northwestern seems like a legitimate threat to Wisconsin.

Andy Narotsky: Temple’s win over Penn State was impressive for a number of reasons. Temple snapped a 39-game winless streak against it’s in-state rival, and did so in extreme fashion. The Owls sacked Christian Hackenberg 10 times, including once on a two-man rush. Considering this was a team that only two seasons ago lost 10 games, things are looking up in Philadelphia for Temple. Keep an eye on their defense this season.

David Street: I agree with Sean. I was definitely impressed with Texas A&M’s win over Arizona State. Arizona State was a sleeper pick to make a legitimate run to the playoffs and they got destroyed by the Aggies. It seems that Coach Sumlin made the right choice at quarterback as Kyle Allen had a solid game with nearly 200 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one rushing touchdown. DE Myles Garrett was on point, producing eight total tackles and two sacks for the Aggies.

2. Which team had the most disappointing loss?

Sean: Although a couple Conference USA teams (FIU and Western Kentucky) snagged some big wins over opponents from the SEC and American this weekend, the most disappointing loss this weekend has to be Stanford’s loss to Northwestern. Coming into the game, Stanford had high hopes of competing for a PAC-12 title, and while this loss doesn’t affect their chances there, it doesn’t exactly set the tone for a great season. Northwestern’s defense dominated the Cardinal offense, holding Stanford to just six points and 240 total yards.

Robert: Sean stole my team with the most disappointing loss, so I’ll go with the Texas Longhorns. Texas was routed by #11 Notre Dame 38-3, as Malik Zaire completed 19 of 22 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Texas looked like they hadn’t prepared a quarterback, and limped to 163 yards of total offense, “led” by Tyrone Swoopes’ 93 yards on 7 of 22 passing. In Charlie Strong’s debut, the Longhorns lost their first season opener since 1997. Unless running back Jonathan Gray can create magic on the ground, it looks like it will be a long season in Austin.  

Andy: Nebraska falling to BYU 33-28 on a Hail Mary as time expired surely took the wind out of the Huskers’ sail. The Cornhuskers also broke a 29-year win streak on opening games, which had to sting even more. BYU definitely earned the win and played well, so ultimately Nebraska can’t be overly upset about this, but it still stings to have the win within your grasp and taken away from you just like that.

David: Although it was widely expected that Vanderbilt was going to have another poor season, it still has to sting knowing the fact that they were the only team in the SEC to lose their opening game (the LSU and McNeese state game was cancelled due to inclement weather). Johnny McCrary had a game to forget as he completed just 53% of his passes with one touchdown and two interceptions. Defensively, the Commodores were solid, allowing Western Kentucky only 11 first downs and just 246 yards. But that’s what makes the loss disappointing. The defense did its part and the offense couldn’t capitalize.

3. Which freshman stood out the most?

Sean:  Josh Rosen really impressed me in his first game as a true freshman, starting at QB for UCLA. For a kid who was playing in high school just last season, Rosen looked like a polished upperclassman. Completing 80% of his passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns, while finishing with a 192.52 QB rating, is a good way to announce your presence. He even did this against a power five school (Virginia), which will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows. I’m definitely excited to see this talented freshman progress throughout the season.

Robert: Although there are clearly some more accomplished freshmen (Josh Rosen was unbelievable in his debut), I’m going to go with BYU quarterback Taylor Mangum. With the Cougars down 28-27 to Nebraska with one second remaining, Mangum threw a perfect 42-yard strike to Mitch Mathews for the game-winning Hail Mary as time expired. Mangum had not played organized football since 2012 because of his LDS mission, yet impressed following Taysom Hill’s injury in the fourth quarter. Mangum finished 7 of 11 for 111 yards and the winning touchdown, and added 26 yards on five carries. A truly impressive road performance by a freshman who hadn’t played in years.

Andy: The answer has to be Josh Rosen, UCLA’s quarterback. Rosen has been hyped all throughout training camp and he really came to play this weekend. In addition to the stats that Sean mentioned, Rosen also became the first true freshman to start a season opener in UCLA history, and he grabbed the freshman school records for single-game yards, attempts, and completions. I think Rosen will prove to be a force to be reckoned with this season in Pac-12 play.

David: This isn’t even a question to me. UCLA QB Josh Rosen was far and away the most impressive freshman. In his first ever college game, he completed 80% of his passes and threw for 351 yards with three touchdowns and zero picks. He was one of the most hyped freshmen to ever enter college football and in his first game, he lived up to it. If he can maintain his production, UCLA could make a serious run to the playoffs.

4. Who is your Week One Heisman front runner

Sean: Week One is hard to get an accurate picture of the Heisman race, especially with the quality of opponents most power five schools schedule for their kickoff game. Coming into the week I was set on Trevone Boykin, and I’m going to stay set on him for at least one more week. He put up solid, but not spectacular numbers against a pesky Minnesota defense. Boykin’s 246 passing yards and 92 rushing yards are just a fraction of what he has the potential to put up with the offense TCU has. However, I’ll be more inclined to replace him if Josh Rosen or Malik Zaire have strong performances next week.

Robert: Since it’s just the first week of the season, I’ll make a fun choice. Braxton Miller rushed for 62 yards and a touchdown on six carries and reeled in two receptions for 78 yards and another score. Mind you, the Buckeyes had a legitimate road test against Virginia Tech, the only team that beat the defending national champions. If Miller can keep up this torrid pace and throw a few touchdowns as well, he can steal Heisman votes from all the other impressive candidates on his own team. More realistically, Notre Dame QB Malik Zaire leads the race for the Heisman at this ridiculously early stage.

Andy: In terms of flashiest overall performance, Braxton Miller of Ohio State probably deserves consideration for Heisman. His 140 total yards and 2 TDs are certainly impressive, but it will be more impressive if he can keep up even half that pace. If I had to give the Heisman based purely on first game performance, I would give it to Miller. However, I think that Josh Rosen has a real chance to continue improving, and recent history has dictated of late that this is a quarterback’s award to lose. Rosen has to continue to produce, but I think he will be in the driver’s seat for the Trophy before long.

David: I was very impressed with Alabama RB Derrick Henry. In just 13 carries, he bulldozed his way past Wisconsin’s defense with 147 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He also averaged a very impressive 11.3 yards per carry. A running back has not won the Heisman since 2009 but Henry has a real solid shot at winning it. The last running back to win the Heisman was Mark Ingram who also played for Alabama. 

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