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Instant analysis: Tracking CFB's top 10 players in Week 13

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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 13th 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 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12


1. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville (vs. Kentucky, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 1
Week 13 stats: 16-of-24 for 281 yards, 2 TD, 3 INTs. 25 carries for 171 yards (6.8 average), 2 TDs (lost a fumble).
Reuter's analysis: Was there a hangover for Jackson after the Cardinals' loss to Houston last week? It didn't look like it on the first drive with Jackson hitting two passes for 62 yards and scoring on a 19-yard run up the middle to get the lead. Things got a little tricky as Kentucky turned up the pressure and made Jackson throw from his back foot when it wasn't putting him on the ground. But once his line settled down, Jackson drilled passes when the pocket was clean, finding receivers on deep crossers and on the sideline, as he's done throughout the season. He's also improving his ability to change his arm angle to make throws through the rush. However, he turned the ball over four times on Saturday. His feet proved dangerous, as he sliced his way for over 150 yards and two scores. It wasn't enough, though, to overcome his mistakes as well as those from his defense.

2. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (vs. LSU, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 2
Week 13 stats: 2 tackles (1 for loss), 1 QB hurry.
Reuter's analysis: Garrett, who's been hampered by an ankle injury, looks to be as healthy as he's been in a while, but wasn't able to make many plays due to the "respect" (aka double and triple teams) LSU showed him most of the night. He played standing up, in a wide-nine technique, and inside on third downs to challenge guards. LSU rarely ran to his side, and when it did, there were 600 pounds of blockers coming toward him. Garrett got through the double teams on the edge to force plays inside, and made a tackle behind the line of scrimmage in the second quarter. He's able to take a strong tight end into the backfield on the edge, extending his arm and pushing for leverage. Occasionally, Garrett showed off his quickness to beat a left tackle around the edge, including putting a big hit on the quarterback in the fourth quarter, but LSU did a great job of getting the ball out of the pocket quickly (and staying out of third-and-long) to negate his pass rush. The junior picked up a personal foul penalty late in frustration when he wanted a holding call against LSU but didn't get it.

3. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (did not play at Texas A&M)
Last week: No. 3

4. Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina (vs. North Carolina State, Friday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 4
Week 13 stats: 23-of-38 for 280 yards, 3 TDs. 9 carries for 55 yards (6.1 average).
Reuter's analysis: Trubisky started the game by running wild. He eluded big DE Bradley Chubb in the backfield on a read-option play for a 41-yard gain, though the drive petered out when interior pressure put him to the ground on third down. Trubisky's team couldn't score early, but his skills were on display throughout the first half. He was on the money with nearly every throw (with a couple of drops stalling drives), impressively standing up against blitzers to complete out routes. Throughout the game, Trubisky showed off his mobility within the pocket, feeling pressure and keeping his feet moving, but with his eyes downfield. He also threw accurately running to his right and left. He beat Cover 2 multiple times by threading the ball into tight spaces. Trubisky didn't connect on a deep pass early, but flipped a ball 50 yards while running to his right in the fourth quarter. It was a beautiful deep ball with excellent arc to allow his receiver to run underneath. The Tar Heels came up short in the end, with Chubb and others making just enough plays to keep the lead, but scouts will give Trubisky a high grade for his efforts.

5. Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama (vs. Auburn, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 6
Week 13 stats: 6 tackles (2 for loss).
Reuter's analysis: Allen always seemed to be around the ball. The 290-pounder consistently hustles, playing on the outside quite often and chasing down much smaller offensive players from behind. Allen's strong hands allow him to win vs. tackles, getting the corner in spite of his defensive tackle-like build. On one play, Auburn didn't bother blocking him as the run play was meant to go to the other side. That didn't work out so well, as the ball carrier would tell you. Allen even got some work in the Tide backfield (instead of the opponents') as a fullback on a third-and-one play; not surprisingly, he made a block. In short, Allen surprised no one by having yet another excellent outing for the No. 1 team in the country.

6. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (vs. South Carolina, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 7
Week 13 stats: 26-of-32 for 347 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT. 5 carries for 19 yards (3.8 average).
Reuter's analysis: Watson got off to a great start against in-state rival South Carolina, throwing three scores in the first quarter. Of course, receiver Mike Williams made two great plays on the first two TDs. But hey, someone has to get the ball to him, right? Watson threw on-the-money slants and a tight spiral to take advantage of the middle of the field. A potential fourth touchdown hit his receiver, Deon Cain, in the facemask (Cain also prevented another score later with a pass interference penalty). He was decisive and accurate; the only pass Watson missed in the first half became an interception as he led tight end Jordan Leggett a bit too much over the middle, leading to a pick on a tipped ball. He continued to look proficient from the pocket, with a perfect fade pass to the left side of the end zone to cap Clemson's opening drive of the second half. He continued to pick apart the Gamecocks' secondary until he left the game late in the third quarter. Watson isn't running as much this year, and he didn't look explosive in that capacity tonight, but I think he would make plays against man coverage if he was asked to. Overall, this was a great performance against a mediocre defense, but Watson's ability to distribute the ball to all levels of the field was good tape to put out into the scouting community.

7. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson (vs. South Carolina, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 10
Week 13 stats: 6 catches for 100 yards (16.7 average), 3 TDs.
Reuter's analysis: You can't do much better than Williams' opening-series touchdown catch. He beat his man downfield, used his inside arm to create separation, and went up to high-point the ball with his hands extended away from his body. That was an NFL catch, as was his second score of the half, as he literally carried a defender on his back the last few yards to put the team up 14-0. Williams also blocked well on runs, escorting his man out of bounds on a Wayne Gallman score at the end of the first half. He wasn't really needed in the second half, so coaches kept him out of the mix while others made plays for Watson and the Tigers. NFL teams saw enough, as well, to know he's a legitimate playmaker.

8. Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan (at Ohio State, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: No. 5
Week 13 stats: 7 tackles, 1 INT. 4 carries for 4 yards. 1 punt return for 5 yards. 1 kickoff return for 44 yards.
Reuter's analysis: Peppers is one of Michigan's leaders, and he played like it. He got chances on offense, forcing his way through a hole for a first down on an early carry. He couldn't get into the end zone later on a Wildcat read-option play, however, thanks to OSU end Sam Hubbard. On defense, Peppers played the run quite well, sticking J.T. Barrett when the quarterback tried to keep the ball inside. In coverage, Peppers made an athletic interception on a tipped pass, which gave the Wolverines a chance to extend their lead in the third quarter. That was the first pick of his career -- his lack of INTs had been a bugaboo for scouts wondering if he could make turnovers. He took away the primary receiver on one third down in the first half, resulting in a sack and punt. Peppers missed one big tackle in the second half, but mostly made the stops once engaged in the physical match-up. His efforts weren't enough, though, as the Buckeyes got the big play at the end to pull out the double overtime victory.

9. Tim Williams, LB, Alabama (vs. Auburn, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 9
Week 13 stats: 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass breakup, 1 QB hurry.
Reuter's analysis: Williams made an impact in the first half of this year's Iron Bowl, nearly getting a strip-sack but instead settling for a forced fourth down. He twisted inside with Jonathan Allen going outside, overwhelming the left tackle with his power and quickness. Through most of the game, though, Williams was a non-factor because of the Tide's rotation and Auburn's lack of passing attempts (and offensive plays). After ArDarius Stewart scored a third-quarter touchdown, the cameras caught Williams giving his teammate a huge hug and words of respect. On the following series, Williams came in to make a play in the backfield, using his quickness to avoid an H-back block to flatten the ball carrier. Being a good teammate, in addition to a potentially very good pass rusher, makes Williams an intriguing prospect.

10. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama (vs. Auburn, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: No. 8
Reuter's analysis: Robinson was ready to play in this Iron Bowl. He came out with as much physicality as he has all year, putting Auburn defenders on the ground regularly while both run-blocking and pass-protecting. He stuffed Tigers edge defender Carl Lawson on the few plays where they faced each other, only losing the edge once when overextending and losing his balance. When needing to get low in short-yardage situations, he pushed the pile splendidly. Robinson was injured on a run play, but his dual braces kept his legs healthy; there was no drop in his performance as the Tide rolled.

6 knocking on the door

Jamal Adams, S, LSU (at Texas A&M, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 13 stats: 5 tackles (2 for loss; one sack).
Reuter's analysis: Adams' ability to diagnose is one of his best traits. Even when the defensive call has him going from in the box to Cover 2 right before the snap, Adams is able to read his keys on the fly, changing directions to stop a screen throw back in the area he just vacated. Adams is always aware of the open receiver off the snap, and mirrors the man well. In the first half, his quickness covering a receiver screen and securing a tackle for loss was impressive. He single-handedly stopped a third-down play in the third quarter by sprinting across the field to smother WR Christian Kirk. Adams showed his willingness to pop pads in the run game, as well. Oh, and he plays on the punt coverage team. He also showed great sportsmanship at the end of the game, giving quarterback Trevor Knight an "attaboy' as he was helped off the field with a leg injury. And at the end of the game, Adams was fighting hard to prevent the Aggies from scoring even though the game was well in hand for LSU. There's not much more you could ask from a player.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (vs. Florida, Saturday, 8 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 13 stats: 26 carries for 153 yards (5.9 average), TD. 3 catches for 26 yards (8.7 average).
Reuter's analysis: Florida State's offensive game plan to start off the game vs. rival Florida? Run Cook behind junior left tackle Roderick Johnson. He had six touches for 60 yards and a score on the first two drives, including an eight-yard reception (also to the left side). Cook's jump-cut ability and acceleration through creases make him a consistent threat to go 10-15 yards on every run, no matter which way he runs. His pure speed makes it difficult for linebackers and safeties to take correct angles, as Florida's defenders found out. On more than one occasion, a Florida safety came flying toward the line of scrimmage, only to see Cook go by him, turning on the jets toward the sideline. The Seminoles used that speed, along with Cook's willingness to carry the load, late in the game. He tiptoed through holes and churned his feet to keep the chains moving while time ticked off. Cook got nicked up early in the fourth quarter but came back out to keep the pressure on the Gators' defense. He was a cheerleader late in the game, pumping up the crowd while the Seminoles iced the victory.

Luke Falk, QB, Washington State (vs. Washington, Friday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 13 stats: 33-of-50 for 269 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs. 4 rushes for minus-4 yards.
Reuter's analysis: Falk started off the Apple Cup by displaying his phenomenal touch when placing a 36-yard pass down the middle. His receivers dropped a couple of passes, however, so the Cougars only scored a field goal on the drive. That was a theme throughout the game, as lapses in concentration cost the team. When the junior had time in the pocket, he stood tall and kept his feet underneath him to deliver excellent throws to the sideline or over the middle. Falk's not as impressive on the run as he is from the pocket (limited mobility and accuracy when on the move). When throwing off his back foot, Falk loses significant pace and accuracy. He did pick up an important third-and-short in the red zone with his feet in the first half; unfortunately, he threw a pick at the end of the half that prevented them from closing a 35-10 gap. Falk also threw an interception late by throwing behind his receiver, and safety Budda Baker undercut the route. Those mistakes, Falk's lack of help from his receivers and poor red-zone play calling vs. a stout Huskies front prevented his team from getting the win and a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA (at Cal, Saturday, 7 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Reuter's analysis: McKinley displayed glimpses of his talent on Saturday night, though his Bruins couldn't shut down Cal's offense. He played on both sides of the defense, in two- and three-point stances to challenge the Bears' tackles. In third-and-long situations, he consistently ran around his man, turning the corner to bring blind-side pressure. When firing off the ball, he brings power and speed to the equation in an impressive way. McKinley's reputation comes as a pass rusher, but he often chases run plays up the middle to prevent longer gains. And when McKinley tackles someone, he puts them to the ground hard with his strong arms and tenacity. UCLA won't be getting a bowl bid this year, but McKinley's play in this game, as throughout the season, has given him a great chance to be an early round selection.

Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State (vs. Michigan, Saturday, 12 p.m.)
Last week: Knocking on the door
Week 13 stats: 1 tackle, 1 pass breakup.
Reuter's analysis: It was a tough day for Conley in the slot, though that's a very difficult spot for a larger cornerback to play. He was beat on an arrow route from the slot early for a first down, and twice in the third quarter, once on a first-and-goal. Conley wasn't tested much outside in this game, mostly because Michigan didn't try going out there often because they weren't sure quarterback Wilton Speight could get the ball there against very good Buckeyes cover men like Conley. I'm guessing NFL teams won't be sticking Conley in the slot much, as he's better suited to play outside, where he can use his physicality.

Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin (vs. Minnesota, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.)
Last week: Unranked
Reuter's analysis: Ramcyzk's been a great find for the Badgers, as well as NFL scouts, in his first year on campus. Pass protection is his specialty right now, using his tall, athletic build to mirror ends coming off the edge. Ramcyzk (pronounced RAM-check) resets his hands and moves his feet. He's also able to hook his man to prevent him from turning the corner. The former Wisconsin-Stevens Point all-conference pick also comes off the ball strong in the run game, as he moved Gophers defensive ends out of the hole on Saturday. Ramcyzk plays too high at times, allowing defenders to get under his pads to penetrate and failing to get push in the run game. He's certainly game to make his presence felt in the run game and got very low on a game-tying goal-line touchdown run in the second half. If Ramcyzk finds that push more consistently, he has a chance to be a very good NFL starter.

Dropped out: Michigan State DL Malik McDowell (knocking on the door last week).

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter @chad_reuter.

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