CFB 24/7  

 

Instant analysis: Tracking CFB's top 10 players in Week 10

Print

Editor's note: In this space we'll track the top 10 players in college football (based on NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter's rankings) through the 10th weekend of the season. Here you'll find each player's final stats and analysis of their performances. The post will be updated throughout the day as games conclude. All times listed are Eastern.

Tracking CFB's top 10 players: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9


1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (at Boston College, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 1
Week 10 stats: 12-of-17 for 231 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT. 15 carries for 185 yards (12.3 average), 3 TDs.
Reuter's analysis: Well, it took less than a minute and a half to for Boston College's sturdy defense to learn that it hadn't faced a player like Jackson before. He made a 69-yard touchdown run to start off the game. Jackson put out and seam routes right on his man because he had confidence in his line and his receivers to do their jobs. Multiple deep throws had sufficient power and arc to allow his pass-catchers to run underneath. He proved to be human by throwing a sideline route too far inside, allowing the safety to make the interception. But the game was already decided by that point (35-0). The prohibitive Heisman favorite continued to make plays with his arm and feet into the second half (including a 53-yard touchdown run) to boost his record-breaking season.

2. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (at Mississippi State, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 2
Week 10 stats: Didn't record any stats.
Reuter's analysis: Garrett tried to go vs. Mississippi State despite his leg injury, but he just wasn't himself early on. He missed a tackle covering the option in the red zone and then committed a roughing-the-passer penalty that helped the Bulldogs go up 14-0. He started to stand up off the snap more regularly and was able to affect the game on passing downs, beating single or double teams to get into the quarterback's face. Midway through the third quarter, Garrett limped off the field but his toughness showed once again as he reappeared to help his team try to get back into the game. Alas, he wasn't able to make plays for his squad and the fourth-ranked Aggies dropped the road contest in Starkville.

3. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (vs. Alabama, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: No. 3
Week 10 stats: 17 carries for 35 yards (2.1 average). 1 catch for 8 yards.
Reuter's analysis: It was tough sledding again for Fournette against a pro-caliber Nick Saban defense that was unafraid of LSU's passing attack. A couple of times early, he chose not to follow his blocking, which caused issues because Alabama's defense is just too strong and fast for him to bounce outside. Occasionally, he got five or six yards on zone runs, where he could pick his spot to cut, or when the offensive line was able to create a lane for him. One highlight run featured a great spin move against a low tackle attempt. But Fournette ended up with only 35 rushing yards on the night because of Alabama's elite rush defense. Still, NFL scouts saw enough for his talent in this uphill battle to know that he'd fit in their team's offense quite nicely.

4. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina (vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Week 10 stats: 20-of-32 for 329 yards, TD. 6 carries for 44 yards (7.3 average), TD.
Reuter's analysis: While Trubisky is not as physically imposing as Lamar Jackson or DeShone Kizer, it was clear from his performance in the win over Tech that he'll be able to run an NFL offense effectively. His accuracy is impressive. The majority of his throws to the opposite side of the field were right on target, and his misses were barely off the mark. Trubiksy hits receivers on the run and has enough arm strength to hit them wherever they're located. One of the junior's best assets is touch on shorter throws, which makes UNC quite dangerous on tunnel screens. On option plays, Trubisky has enough quickness to get five or six yards a clip; actually, he looked like a running back in the open field on his way to a score on a draw in the fourth quarter. He's exactly what most scouts want to see in a potential starting quarterback.

5. Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan (vs. Maryland, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 5
Week 10 stats: 5 tackles (1 for loss), 1 QB hurry. 2 rushes for 19 yards (9.5 average). 1 kickoff return for 14 yards.
Reuter's analysis: Though Peppers didn't make many splash plays on Saturday, he played a role on Michigan's offense, defense and special teams. And frankly, the Wolverines didn't need him to be Superman in the rout of Maryland. He had a presence as a ball carrier early, and was part of a successful flea flicker. On defense, he repeatedly displayed excellent recognition skills and the speed to make plays. He's willing to be the second or third player to the ball, instead of watching, if one of his teammates starts to make a tackle. And when needed in coverage, Peppers ran with inside receivers to take away what is typically a mismatch (linebacker vs. receiver). Even without big stats, he looked like one of the top five players in college football.

6. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (vs. Syracuse, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 4
Week 10 stats: 13-of-16 for 169 yards, 2 TDs. 7 carries for 39 yards (5.6 average), TD.
Reuter's analysis: Clemson's leader did what he needed to do to ensure the Tigers got a win against an overmatched Syracuse squad. Watson threw some passes into tight windows over the middle, splitting linebackers and safeties to move the ball down the field. He dropped a pretty deep ball down the left sideline for WR Deon Cain in the second quarter, tossing a 65-yard touchdown. On the next series, Watson did it again, but the catch wasn't made by junior Mike Williams (who leaped up to grab a touchdown late on that drive.) Watson's feet were involved, too, as he walked in for a one-yard touchdown run and picked up important yardage when needed. Unfortunately, he suffered a shoulder injury late in the first half and did not return to the game, although Clemson said he was available.

7. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama (at LSU, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: No. 6
Week 10 stats: 3 tackles (one sack), 1 QB hurry.
Reuter's analysis: The senior made his presence known early in the battle in Baton Rouge, pushing the left tackle back and putting him to the ground, wrapping up LSU quarterback Danny Etling once he had held onto the ball too long. Through the rest of the game, Allen didn't make many tackles, as he was mostly double-teamed. Despite facing two blockers, Allen continued to push the blockers and squeeze into a gap, but couldn't get to the ball as often. Scouts will appreciate his effort.

8. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama (at LSU, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: No. 7
Reuter's analysis: Even though many looked at Robinson vs. LSU edge defender Arden Key as an important matchup in the game, those two didn't face off very often. Robinson typically crashed inside or was on the move throughout the game, leaving Key alone. But when the sophomore came at him, Robinson was able to keep him from the pocket. The probable All-American also stopped blitzes on his side of the field. Robinson isn't the most fleet of foot but he does use his reach to get a hand on linebackers to knock them off course when he's on the move. It was a solid showing for Robinson.

9. DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame (vs. Navy, Saturday, 11:30 a.m.)
Last week: No. 8
Week 10 stats: 19-of-27 for 233 yards, 3 TDs. 9 carries for 52 yards (5.8 average).
Reuter's analysis: Kizer's accuracy was uneven again today, as he sailed throws when rushing them instead of finishing his motion. He also failed to step into throws when crossing the field, putting the ball in the ground of front of his receivers when he didn't set his feet. But when standing strong in the pocket to deliver, Kizer made good short, intermediate and deep throws. He also made good decisions on option plays, using his feet and size to move the chains. Unfortunately, ND only had six offensive drives for the entire game, so Kizer wasn't on the field very much as the Irish fell to Navy.

10. Teez Tabor, CB, Florida (at Arkansas, Saturday, 3:30 pm.)
Last week: No. 10
Week 10 stats: 2 tackles.
Reuter's analysis: It wasn't a good day for the Gators' defense. Arkansas stayed away from Tabor for most of the game, taking advantage of other defenders when daring to throw the ball. The junior was flagged on a questionable pass interference call early after falling when Keon Hatcher ran a jerk route in the end zone. Tabor's want-to to go for the ball in the situation was worth noting. He was beaten downfield occasionally on stutter routes, and Razorback slot receiver Jared Cornelius made him look a bit slow on crossers, but Cornelius does that to a lot of corners.

6 knocking on the door

Jamal Adams, S, LSU (vs. Alabama, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: No. 9
Week 10 stats: 6 tackles (1 for loss), 1 INT.
Reuter's analysis: Adams did a bit of everything for the Tigers in the SEC West showdown with Alabama. He started things off with an interception, displayed his nasty side by popping tight end O.J. Howard while he waited for a deflected pass to come his way. He had a rare missed tackle against receiver Calvin Ridley, but that kind of thing will happen against elite talent. Adams brought down Ridley later in the game on a 3rd-and-short, preventing the receiver from reaching for the first down.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (at North Carolina State, Saturday, 7 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 10 stats: 18 carries for 65 yards (3.6 average), TD. 2 catches for 17 yards.
Reuter's analysis: North Carolina State came to play against the Seminoles (again), holding down FSU's offense -- including Cook. Cook was the top passing target early, corralling throws in the flat and running through some tackles to pick up what he could. But not until the late third quarter was he able to get the blocking to attack the perimeter on the run. He finally got into the end zone on the last play of that quarter to help the Seminoles get back in the game. Cook showed he's not an especially strong runner in terms of pushing piles. He is quite willing, though, to keep his feet moving after contact, spinning or pushing ahead to get an extra yard. In pass protection, Cook squared up his man and anchored quite nicely against linebackers. In the end, he did enough to help his team win.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC (at Oregon, Saturday, 7 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 10 stats: 2 catches for 10 yards (5.0 average).
Reuter's analysis: Smith-Schuster was nearly silent against the Ducks, even though the Trojans dominated the game. Perhaps the back injury that plagued him earlier this season has not cleared up completely -- he didn't get on the field much in the second half with his team well ahead. He only managed 2 catches for 10 yards due to tight coverage by Oregon defenders. This wasn't a good thing for Smith-Schuster, given that scouts are already worried about his ability to separate with speed. He did manage to be a factor on the outside, blocking for running back Ronald Jones early in the game.

Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State (at Illinois, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 10 stats: 2 QB hurries.
Reuter's analysis: McDowell lined up inside more often against Illinois than he had the past couple of weeks, though he did frequently line up at end. He made more of an impact today at tackle, collapsing the pocket by taking blockers into the backfield and getting his long arms into the passing lane. However, he isn't consistent using his strength to shed blocks when in a position to do so. Right after McDowell went down with an injury in the third quarter, Illinois scored a touchdown on a run play between the tackles. That was no coincidence. The injury sidelined him for the rest of the game, and Illinois took advantage, scoring late to pull out the 31-27 victory.

Tim Williams, LB, Alabama (at LSU, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 10 stats: 4 tackles (1.5 for loss, including 0.5 sacks).
Reuter's analysis: Williams had one of his better all-around efforts for the Tide this season in the team's most important contest. In the first quarter, he made a play in coverage right off the bat, flattening a receiver in the flat. Throughout the game, he held the line on run plays, showing his strength. Williams was able to get into the backfield to rush throws, though he did miss out on a couple of sacks because he couldn't stay upright when turning the corner against LSU's right tackle. Still, NFL coaches that have interest in Williams will look to this tape when trying to convince their general manager that they can work with his overall skill set.

Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida (at Arkansas, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Week 10 stats: 3 tackles.
Reuter's analysis: A size/speed prospect on the outside, Wilson's coverage caused Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen to check down regularly. He was too physical on one play late in the first half, getting an iffy pass interference call in the end zone that set up a Razorbacks score. As big and strong as Wilson is, Arkansas receivers were able to block him on the outside so he couldn't get loose to make the stop on runs in his direction. Still, he chased plays from behind when uncovered and did his job stopping the pass as well as he could. Scouts won't be put off by this performance.

Dropped out: Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey (knocking on the door last week).

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop