|While Keith Price looked good in defeat, we probably have seen the last of Colt Lyerla for a while.|
Each Monday during the college football season, NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah identifies five things that are chugging along smoothly and five things that are off the rails.
1. Washington QB Keith Price: Price displayed outstanding toughness, poise and playmaking skills in the Huskies' battle against No.5-ranked Stanford. He completed 33 of 48 passes for 350 yards and two touchdowns. He repeatedly took huge hits in the pocket, and he played through a painful thumb injury on his throwing hand. His ability to buy time and create plays outside of the pocket kept the Huskies in the ballgame, and they nearly pulled off the upset before falling, 31-28, to the Cardinal.
2. Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde: The Ohio State offense is loaded with dynamic players, but it was Hyde's bruising, hard-nosed running that allowed the Buckeyes to escape Evanston, Ill., with an unblemished record. Hyde rushed for 168 yards and three touchdowns to lead Ohio State to a come-from-behind, 40-30 victory over previously unbeaten Northwestern. Hyde missed the first three games of the season after being suspended for an off-the-field incident, and it's very doubtful the Buckeyes would've won this game had he not returned to the lineup. He ran with power, vision and balance. He was the difference-maker in this game.
3. Stanford WR Ty Montgomery: Montgomery wasted little time making his mark against the Washington Huskies, returning the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. Stanford didn't play very well on offense (only 279 total yards), but it was bailed out by Montgomery's kick returns (4 returns for 204 yards) and playmaking ability as a wide receiver. The junior speedster caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. He also chipped in with two carries for 30 yards. Montgomery is easily the most polished and dynamic wide receiver I've studied at Stanford over the last decade.
4. Florida State QB Jameis Winston: Winston put on another aerial show over the weekend as the Seminoles pasted Maryland, 63-0. The ultra-talented freshman passer completed 23 of 32 throws for 393 yards and five touchdowns. On the season, he's tossed 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions. He has outstanding physical skills, but I've been most impressed by his poise and confidence in the pocket. His feet are always calm, and he doesn't get rattled when bodies are around him. That is a very rare trait in any quarterback, much less a first-year starter at the collegiate level.
5. Baylor offense: It's hard to single out just one player to praise for the Bears' offensive performance Saturday. As I was watching another game, I noticed the Baylor-West Virginia score roll across the bottom line of my television, Baylor 56-West Virginia 14. It wasn't until the second time it rolled by that I realized that was the HALFTIME score. Are you kidding me? The final score was much worse, as Baylor handed the Mountaineers an embarrassing 73-42 defeat. Check out these offensive numbers for the Bears: 864 total yards, 396 passing yards, 468 rushing yards and 38 first downs. Imagine what those numbers would look like if Baylor didn't turn the ball over four times.
1. Oregon TE Colt Lyerla: On Sunday afternoon, Lyerla announced that he was leaving the Oregon football program for personal reasons. This wasn't entirely shocking, considering the one-game suspension Lyerla served this past weekend for a "violation of team rules." There is clearly an issue between Lyerla and the Oregon coaching staff. Whenever he decides to pursue his professional career, you can be sure NFL scouts will dig deep into this situation. As a player, I love Lyerla's blend of size, explosiveness and agility. However, he does need to improve as a pass catcher. He dropped several catchable balls this fall.
2. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney: South Carolina knocked off Kentucky on Saturday night, and it did so without the services of its best player, junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Not long before the game started, Clowney informed the coaching staff that his sore ribs would keep him from playing. Head coach Steve Spurrier was clearly frustrated by the situation and has done very little to hide that fact in his dealings with the media since the game. I love Clowney as a player, and I understand why he's being cautious, but this situation will raise some red flags with NFL evaluators. Does he love football? His only real blemish is his tendency to take a few plays off, and now he's skipped an entire game.
3. Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins: Seferian-Jenkins is arguably the top tight end in college football. He's 6-foot-6, 270-plus pounds, and he is normally a very reliable pass catcher. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong time to drop an easy ball Saturday night. On third-and-10, with less than two minutes to play, Seferian-Jenkins dropped a beautiful pass from quarterback Keith Price that would've kept a potentially game-tying (or winning) drive alive. The Huskies would fail to convert on fourth down and fall to the Cardinal, 31-28. He will have an opportunity for redemption this weekend, when the Huskies host the No. 2-ranked Oregon Ducks.
4. Georgia RB Keith Marshall: It was tough to watch Marshall struggle to contain his emotions on the sideline after suffering a season-ending ACL injury against Tennessee on Saturday afternoon. With fellow running back Todd Gurley sitting out with an injury, the stage was set for Marshall to have a huge game. He already had 33 yards on five carries before suffering the gruesome injury while trying to corral an underneath throw from Aaron Murray. This injury is a huge blow to the Georgia offense, and puts a lot of pressure on Gurley to return as quickly as possible.
5. Utah QB Travis Wilson: Wilson had a rough Thursday night against the UCLA Bruins' defense. The sophomore signal-caller threw for 288 yards and two scores, but he was intercepted six times. Utah's defense played well enough to win the game, limiting Brett Hundley to 211 yards passing and sacking him three times. Unfortunately for the Utes, Wilson's turnovers were too difficult to overcome, and UCLA escaped Salt Lake City with a 34-27 victory.
Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.