When the Devy Breaks travels the college football landscape, keeping you up-to-date on last week’s results, previewing the big upcoming tilts, and providing updated devy rankings.
In last week’s article we reviewed a slate of games that seemed laden with upsets. This past weekend however, showed us just how volatile this sport can be with four teams ranked in the top-10 losing outright. Georgia, West Virginia, and Washington all lost on the road in difficult environments while Penn State was unable to take advantage of a home game against Big Ten West rival Michigan State.
We also saw Auburn and Miami (FL) lose to unranked opponents while Notre Dame, Texas, and UCF all narrowly avoided upset losses. Alabama might be in a league of their own but it’s clear that there’s still plenty of parody across the college football landscape.
This weekend’s slate offers four matchups between ranked teams highlighted by a (22) Mississippi State at (5) LSU and (16) N.C. State at (3) Clemson.
Iowa State RB David Montgomery set a career-high in yards rushing on Saturday against West Virginia putting up a 29-189-1 line. It was his third-straight 100-yard game and his fourth-straight game with a rushing touchdown. His lack of passing-game involvement compared to last season is worth noting but he’s still evading tackles at an impressive rate which has been his calling card in the past. He’s also accounted for 79 percent of the Cyclones’ non-QB rushing production through six games. Some of the pre-season shine may be gone but Montgomery remains a high-end 2019 RB prospect.
Bowling Green WR Scott Miller put up a 8-206-2 line against Western Michigan on Saturday. The 5-foot-11-inch, 166-pound senior has accounted for 33 percent of his team’s receiving yards and TDs through six games. As a 19-year-old sophomore in 2016, he posted a 0.44 Dominator Rating, placing him in a favorable cohort regarding breakout age and future production. He’s unlikely to wow scouts from a size or athletic standpoint, but Miller’s production is difficult to ignore when searching for potential later-round rookies of note in the 2019 draft.
USC WR Michael Pittman Jr. torched Colorado’s secondary on Saturday finishing with a 5-144-2 line. It was his second career 100-yard outing and first with multiple TDs in 24 games. Injuries and competition for playing time behind the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Deontay Burnett have limited Pittman Jr.’s production but he still has an outside shot at NFL relevance. If he does declare for the 2019 draft, he’ll need a strong finish to the season and impressive workout metrics to get on the radar. Draft Scout ranks him 32nd among WRs in the 2020 class.
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
At 6 feet 3 inches, 214 pounds, N.C. State’s Kelvin Harmon already looks the part of an NFL WR. And following his fourth-straight game with at least 94 yards receiving, he’s being projected as a first-round draft pick and drawing comparisons to Alshon Jeffrey. He’s yet to register a true breakout season, falling short of the required 0.30 Dominator Rating mark as a sophomore in 2017 (0.26). Aside from that specific metric, his overall resume is spectacular and as a likely high draft pick his ceiling remains high. This week he’ll face a remarkably stingy Clemson secondary allowing a measly 5.7 yards per pass attempt.
To say Pooka Williams has been a revelation for a struggling Kansas Jayhawks’ program would be an understatement. He currently ranks third nationally in yards rushing (534) among freshman RBs and ninth among all qualifying RBs in yards per carry (7.5). Williams has accounted for 55 percent of his team’s non-QB rushing production in five games played and is averaging 126 total yards per game. If he can remain productive and add weight to his frame over the next two or three seasons, Williams has the potential to end up a solid fantasy option. Texas Tech, Williams’ next opponent, ranks 106th nationally in stopping explosive rushing plays per S&P+.
Massachusetts’s Andy Isabella is another undersized, ultra-productive WR on a bad team, in the same vein as Scott Miller. Currently accounting for 45 percent of his team’s receiving production, he’s one of the most dominant WRs in the country. With a breakout season (0.34 DR in 2017) already on his resume, Isabella is on pace for a monster 91-1,436-14 season-long line. Questions about athleticism and quality of competition are warranted. But Isabella is on my radar as a potential late-round WR sporting an outstanding production profile. On Saturday he’ll face a Coastal Carolina secondary ranked 81st nationally in defensive pass efficiency according to S&P+.
Andy Isabella can't be stopped!— FloFootball (@FloFootball) August 25, 2018
Isabella has his third score of the game as Ford finds him for a 42 yard touchdown this time. pic.twitter.com/T6jyF8303H
Check out my updated devy rankings. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter or the message boards to let me know what you think.