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Week 6: Booms and Busts

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Week 6 Booms


Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins -- 455 passing yards and six TDs -- vs. Indiana: It was a career game for the Buckeye quarterback. Haskins’ 455 passing yards and six touchdown passes were both single-game career-highs, and it makes his case for the Heisman Trophy stronger. The potential first-round quarterback showcased his elite touch and accuracy, while also showing he can take hits in the pocket with his big frame. Indiana was able to put some pressure on Haskins at times but that didn’t stop Haskins from putting his receivers in great spots to make big plays. Haskins and the Buckeyes will bring a 6-0 record into Minnesota next week. Just like Tua and the Tide, Haskins and the Buckeyes are getting close to being must-see TV regardless of opponent.


Washington State QB Gardner Minshew -- 430 passing yards and five TDs -- vs. Oregon State: Minshew, who transferred from East Carolina this offseason, has now thrown for at least 319 passing yards in all six games this season, and he’s been a 2018 Booms List recipient a couple times now. The senior quarterback was able to find four different receivers for touchdowns and ten different receivers for receptions in Saturday’s 56-37 win while averaging 10.75 yards per pass attempt. After another big game, Minshew is now up to 2,422 passing yards and 19 passing touchdowns on the season. The Cougars have one of the nation’s best passing offenses, and they will look to continue that next week against Oregon in what should be a high-scoring contest.


Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson -- 373 passing yards and three TDs -- vs. Michigan State: Going into Saturday’s game, Michigan State had the best rushing defense in the country. They were allowing just 1.5 yards per carry and 40.3 yards per game, so Northwestern opted to put the game solely into Clayton Thorson’s hands. It wasn’t a perfect game -- he had two interceptions -- but Thorson was the reason why Northwestern came away with the win. The senior quarterback dropped back to pass 47 times (the fifth most of his career), but he was still able to maintain a quality 7.93 yards per pass attempt while throwing three touchdowns. The big win brings Northwestern’s record to 2-3, and they will try to get to .500 next week against a struggling Nebraska team.


Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald -- 195 rushing yards and two TDs -- vs. Auburn: Fitzgerald (6’3/235) also threw for 69 yards, but the story on Saturday, as it usually is, was his legs. The senior quarterback led the Bulldogs in carries (28) and rushing yards (195) against a defense that was only allowing 92.8 rushing yards per game, which was 8th best in the nation going into the week. To lock up the win over No. 8 Auburn, Fitzgerald ran right up the middle for a 21 yard score to extend the lead to 14 points with just a few minutes remaining. Fitzgerald also broke the SEC career record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback, which was previously held by Tim Tebow. Mississippi State will face off with the LSU Tigers after this week’s bye.


USF RB Jordan Cronkrite -- 302 rushing yards and three TDs -- vs. UMass: The rushing yards were not only a career-high, but it was also a University of South Florida single-game record. He was even flirting with Samaje Perine’s all-time record at one point before slowing up at the very end of the game. All three of Cronkrite’s touchdowns were long ones and they all came in the third quarter -- two of them were 75+ yard scampers and the third came from 30 yards out --  but he was balling and picking up yardage all game long. Cronkrite’s huge running game led the Bulls to a 58-42 victory, which gives South Florida a perfect 5-0 heading into next Friday’s game against Tulsa.


Kansas State RB Alex Barnes -- 250 rushing yards and three TDs -- vs. Baylor: Barnes (6’1/225) set his career-high for rushing yards in the 37-34 loss. He did so by averaging 11.4 yards per carry on his 22 rush attempts. The junior back started the party with a 55 yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but he also added 34 and 48 yards scores later in the game. This isn’t a knock on Barnes at all, but Baylor’s rushing defense has been porous -- the Bears have allowed 5.4 yards per carry this season --  to put it lightly. Kansas State needs to keep feeding their best offensive player next week against an Oklahoma State team that is capable of putting up a big offensive score.


Nebraska WR JD Spielman -- 209 receiving yards and one TD -- vs. Wisconsin: The 209 yards were a single-game career-high for the redshirt sophomore, which is tough to do against a tough Wisconsin defense. Spielman (5’9/185) got there by breaking loose for a 75 yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, but he was picking up chunk yardage all game long. That was the case last week as well, when he posted a 10-135-2 receiving line against Purdue. Spielman and quarterback Adrian Martinez are beginning to really click, which should help the Cornhuskers snap their 0-5 skid shortly. Spielman will bring his five touchdowns into next week’s game against Northwestern.


UMass WR Andy Isabella -- 191 receiving yards and one TD -- vs. USF: Isabella (5’10/190) makes the Booms List once again after posting a 13-191-1 receiving line against Jordan Cronkrite and the USF Bulls. The senior receiver has broke his single-game career-high for receptions (13) in back-to-back weeks now, so it’s fair to say he’s on a roll at the moment. In Saturday’s game, Isabella accounted for 47 percent of UMass’ receiving yards while the Minutemen used three different quarterbacks, but they all just locked onto Isabella so it didn’t affect his production. After another big game, Isabella now has an 11-game streak of at least 95 yards or one touchdown, dating back to last season. Isabella will bring a big 53-838-8 receiving line into the bye week before returning on October 20th against Coastal Carolina.


Ohio State WR Parris Campbell -- 142 receiving yards and two TDs -- vs. Indiana: Campbell (6’0/200) is an incredible athlete and NFL prospect, but his production -- he was only averaging five receptions per game heading into this week -- hasn’t matched that solely because of a lack of volume with Ohio State supporting numerous stud skill position players. That all changed on Saturday when Dwayne Haskins, who set career-highs in both passing yards and touchdowns, peppered the redshirt junior with targets. Campbell made the most of his extended looks, as he set his career-high in receptions (9) while breaking off for 142 yards, which were the second-most of his career. A chunk of those yards came on a short pass in the flats that Campbell took for a 71 yard touchdown where he turned on the jets to beat Indiana defenders to the end zone. Hopefully Campbell will stay heavily involved so he can make more noise next week against Minnesota.


Week 6 Busts


LSU QB Joe Burrow -- zero touchdowns and two interceptions -- vs. Florida: This was by no means an easy matchup against the Gators for Burrow and the Tigers, but he followed up last week’s huge game with his worst game of the season this week. Burrow’s receivers didn’t do him any favors by dropping a couple of passes, but Burrow threw two late interceptions that shut the door on any chance of a comeback win. Burrow will have to clean things up if LSU wants to take down undefeated Georgia next Saturday. He will bring an 8/2 TD/INT ratio into that one.


Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham -- 214 passing yards and zero touchdowns -- vs. Mississippi State: Stidham (6’3/215) hasn’t been playing good ball all year long, and it has now cost a good Auburn team two football games and a chance at the College Football Playoff. In Saturday’s game, Stidham completed just 50 percent of his passes and averaged 5.63 yards per pass attempt, which seems bad but that’s his new normal. Stidham is now averaging 196 passing yards per game and only has five touchdown passes in six contests. The redshirt junior is still looking for his first game with over 275 yards. At one point Stidham was in the mix as a first-round prospect but that ship has certainly sailed. He will try to figure things out next week against Tennessee.


BYU QB Tanner Mangum -- 270 yards on 45 pass attempts -- vs. Utah State: BYU, who has beat Wisconsin and Arizona this year, got blown out by Utah State 45-20 on Saturday. Mangum was inefficient (6.0 yards per pass attempt) despite playing in garbage time for a large chunk of the game. Even his two touchdowns came when BYU was down at least three touchdowns, so his box score numbers really don’t paint the picture of what actually happened. Mangum has never been an asset for the offense -- yesterday was his first game this season passing for over 210 yards -- but he needs to play at least average ball for BYU to become bowl eligible in his senior year. BYU will face Hawaii next week in a game that may not feature Cole McDonald if his injury lingers.


Kentucky’s offensive game plan vs. Texas A&M: Benny Snell was only given 13 carries. Let me repeat that. Benny Snell was only given 13 carries… This is the dude that has averaged 144 rushing yards per game with eight rushing touchdowns this season and is the biggest reason why Kentucky entered this game undefeated. The season-low 13 carries weren’t because he was struggling either as Snell was averaging 4.6 yards per carry in the game. I figured it was going to be Snell City once the game went to overtime, but Kentucky took the ball out of Snell’s hands on a 3rd-and-2 which led to a sack, a missed field goal, and ultimately their undefeated season. The Wildcats are still a legit team and Snell will get his moving forward, but this was a winnable game that slipped out of their hands. They get a bye to review the tape and to build a game plan that features Snell for the October 20th game against Vandy.


Hawaii WR John Ursua -- 30 yards and zero touchdowns -- vs. Wyoming: Ursua just can’t avoid making the Booms and Busts column this season, but this time it was because he was held in check. There is an explanation however. Before the game, it was announced that quarterback Cole McDonald would not dress, and that Chevan Cordeiro would start in his place. Cordeiro was predictably a huge downgrade to McDonald, and it affected Ursua’s stat line. Hopefully the Rainbow Warriors get McDonald back soon so this offense can return to putting up 50-point games. College football is more fun with Hawaii’s offense putting up huge numbers in the late-late-late spot on Saturday nights.




Email :Hayden Winks



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