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. Florida State QB Jameis Winston: Winston put on a show against Clemson, leading the Seminoles to a dominating 51-14 victory. He completed 22 of 34 passes for 444 yards and three touchdowns. He also contributed a rushing touchdown. Clemson sent a lot of pressure at him, and he calmly stood tall in the pocket and picked their secondary apart. He showed a deft touch on his deep ball and also displayed outstanding velocity to fit throws in very small windows. He bought time with his legs and made accurate throws while moving to both his left and right. He should be the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.
2. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney:Clowney clearly won the rematch with Tennessee offensive tackle Antonio Richardson. Clowney finished the game with five tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. He didn't record a sack, but he was disruptive throughout the game. His first-step quickness was an issue for Richardson in both the run and passing game. There are still too many plays where Clowney refuses to chase the ball, but it's not nearly as bad as it was earlier this season. Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, Clowney's improved play wasn't enough to avoid the upset at the hands of the Volunteers. Tennessee kicked a last-second field goal to defeat South Carolina, 23-21.
3. Central Florida RB Storm Johnson: Johnson was instrumental in the Knights' come-from-behind win over Louisville. The junior running back produced 188 total yards (109 rushing, 79 receiving) and two scores (one rushing, one receiving). He ran with power, vision and balance. He also flashes the elusiveness to make defenders miss after the catch. He lacks homerun speed, but I love the way he finishes every run. The Knights' 38-35 victory over the No. 8-ranked Cardinals was arguably the biggest win in the history of the program.
4. Arizona State defense: On Saturday night, the Arizona State defense dominated a very good Washington Huskies offensive attack, limiting them to 212 total yards. Washington running back Bishop Sankey entered the contest as the nation's leading rusher and the Sun Devils completely shut him down. Sankey finished the night with only 22 yards on 13 carries. Washington's final rushing total: minus-5 yards. The ASU defensive effort was led by two talented seniors, Will Sutton (three tackles for loss) and Carl Bradford (two tackles for loss). Their consistent penetration never allowed the Washington offense to get into a rhythm.
5. Tennessee WR Marquez North: There were several wide receivers that posted bigger numbers than North (three catches for 102 yards), but his 39-yard catch to put the Vols in field-goal range earned him a spot on this list. With a South Carolina cornerback draped all over him, North reached out his left hand to haul in the 3rd-and-10 pass from quarterback Justin Worley. A few plays later, the Vols would kick the game-winner and knock off the No. 11-ranked Gamecocks. North has made a few flash plays this season, but this is a play they'll be talking about in Knoxville for quite some time.
1. UCLA QB Brett Hundley: Hundley never settled into a rhythm, as the explosive Bruins' offense was held to 10 points by a very physical Stanford defense. Hundley only produced 192 passing yards, and he was picked off twice. His accuracy and decision-making weren't up to his normal standard. He missed several easy throws early in the game, and he forced balls into coverage in the second half. One of the interceptions was the result of a slip by his receiver, but the other was clearly his fault. He'll have a great opportunity to redeem himself this weekend, when the Bruins head up to Eugene, Oregon to take on the No.2-ranked Ducks.
Things we learned
From Jadeveon Clowney returning to form to Florida State's complete dismantling of Clemson, here are the 38 lessons learned from the college football weekend. More ...
2. Florida offense: The Florida offense has struggled all season long, but it hit rock bottom on Saturday in a blowout loss (36-17) at Missouri. The Gators only managed 151 total yards and turned the ball over three times. They averaged 1.9 yards per rush and didn't have a single pass completion of 15 yards or more. They struggled to protect the quarterback throughout the game, and when QB Tyler Murphy did have time to throw, he was inaccurate. The offense only produced 10 points, with the other touchdown coming from the return game.
3. Cal: New Cal coach Sonny Dykes has a long road ahead to rebuild this football program. They are currently one of the worst teams in the country. The Bears' only victory this season came against Portland State. In the other six contests, the Bears (1-6) have lost by an average margin of 25.3 points. They suffered another ugly setback on Saturday, losing to Oregon State 49-17. The Bears do have a promising freshman quarterback (Jared Goff), but they need to get a lot better in the trenches before they can become a competitive team in the Pac-12 conference.
4. Tajh Boyd: Boyd had a rough night against a very fast and athletic Florida State defense. He finished the game with only 156 passing yards and one touchdown. He turned the ball over three times, including a first-quarter fumble that was returned for a score. He repeatedly skipped balls in front of wide-open receivers, and he forced several balls into heavy traffic in the middle of the field. He was clearly outplayed by Florida State's talented freshman signal-caller, Jameis Winston.
5. Texas A&M defense: The only thing preventing Johnny Manziel from winning his second Heisman Trophy might be the Texas A&M defense. Manziel was brilliant against Auburn but, once again, the Aggies' defense let him down. Auburn produced a late drive to knock off A&M, 45-41. In the Aggies' two losses this season, the offense has put up a total of 83 points. Unfortunately, the Aggies' defense has allowed 94 points in those two contests.