7 things you need to know in college football
Here are the seven things you need to know from this past weekend in college football:
1. Oregon is in trouble
For a team with as much talent as they have on both sides of the ball, the Oregon Ducks are in big trouble with their struggles at the quarterback position. Jeff Lockie completed just two passes of ten yards or more in the air on Saturday against Utah, and now has a grade of -4.4 from just 121 snaps this year. He still looks like a better option than Vernon Adams Jr. (-5.8) though, after he went just two-for-seven in the same game. They combined to throw two touchdowns against the Utes, but both came on throws behind the line of scrimmage and neither have shown anything to get Ducks fans excited at this point.
2. Utah is starting to look really good
Oregon’s quarterback struggles aside, let’s not discount the fact that this was a very good performance by Utah. Quarterback Travis Wilson (+3.0) had his best game of the season, completing 18 of the 28 passes he attempted for 227 yards and four touchdowns, with all four scores coming on throws of 10 yards or more. Defensively, Lowell Lotulelei (+15.8) is having a fantastic start to the year, particularly against the run. The Pac-12 is wide open, and if Utah can continue to play like this, they’ll be right in the hunt.
3. Things are starting to go right for Michigan
The more I see of Utah, the more I like, which makes Michigan’s loss to them in the first week of the season seem better than it did back then. The Wolverines still have their issues, with quarterback Jake Rudock (-15.4) struggling in every game so far this season. On defense things continue to look better with each passing game. Up front Chris Wormley (+15.6), Maurice Hurst (+11.4) and Ryan Glasgow (+7.9) have impressed, while safety Jabrill Peppers (+6.6) is having a strong season in the defensive backfield.
4. Memphis could be this season’s surprise package
Memphis has scored 44 points or more in all four games this season, behind quarterback Paxton Lynch (+12.5) who has now thrown for 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s looked good throwing the ball downfield, going 9-for-12 and throwing two touchdowns on passes travelling 20 yards or more in the air. Looking ahead though, that game against Ole Miss on October 17th looms large, and will be a big test of Memphis’ credentials if they aim to go undefeated this year.
5. UCLA’s defensive line is incredible, but they can only go as far as Josh Rosen takes them
Led by Kenny Clark (+21.1), the UCLA defensive line has continued to dominate through the first four weeks of the season. They have six players on the unit with a positive grade so far. The defense in general has been outstanding, but their hopes of winning the Pac-12 will come down to quarterback Josh Rosen (+0.9) and his ability to develop some consistency in his young career. Rosen’s grades from his first four games have been very much up and down, ranging from -4.8 to +4.6. They don’t necessarily need him to perform at that top level each week, but they do need to make sure he isn’t struggling too much that it hinders their performance.
6. Jared Goff is on pace for an incredible year
The best quarterback in the nation so far this year, and by a comfortable distance, has been Cal’s Jared Goff (+21.4). He has graded at +4.1 or better in every game so far this year, throwing 10 touchdowns and excelling throwing the ball downfield. With 16 completions and two dropped passes from the 22 throws of 20 yards of more downfield made by Goff, no quarterback in the nation has a higher accuracy percentage than Goff’s 81.8 percent.
7. Is TCU as good as everyone thinks?
The close win over Texas Tech has plenty of people asking the question and, while the grades have yet to come in from that game, we haven’t been overly impressed by TCU so far this year — certainly not enough to have them in the top three or four teams in the country. For all the hype surrounding Trevone Boykin (+4.8), and as much as he hasn’t necessarily played poorly, he also hasn’t been the outstanding Heisman candidate in our eyes that he has been in many. He’s completing less than 50% of the passes of 20 yards or more he has attempted, with a lot of underthrown passes. Defensively, defensive tackle Aaron Curry (+7.5) and safety Denzel Johnson (+10.0) have stood out, but they don’t seem to have the same top level talent of Ohio State and Michigan State at the top.