The storylines coming out of Week 8 were upset and one noteworthy injury. And the upsets weren’t limited to the Power 5. BYU knocked off the undefeated Boise State team.
The American Athletic Conference was the highlight for prospects, this week, as some of the most dynamic offenses were on display.
Shane Buechele, QB SMU
In what was a minor surprise, SMU blew out Temple 45-21. The win-loss outcome wasn’t particularly surprising as SMU was a favorite and is undefeated, but the lopsided win was unexpected. One of the biggest reasons for the blowout was SMU’s ever-improving passing attack led by QB, Shane Buechele. He passed for 457 yards and six TDs on 53 pass attempts. After losing his starting job at Texas to Sam Ehlinger, Buechele transferred to SMU for his final two seasons of eligibility and thus far he’s found success. He’s passed for over 2,000 yards and 18 TDs in seven games with a 64.8% completion percentage. Buechele was a four-star prospect coming out of high school so his success isn’t particularly surprising, but it’s easy to write off a prospect when they’re forced to transfer. But it appears that Buechele could turn himself into a draft sleeper with his two seasons at SMU.
SMU travels to Houston and will look to keep their undefeated record intact. Houston has allowed nearly 300 passing yards per game, this season, so Buechele should have another strong outing.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB Memphis
Gainwell ranked third in yards for the week, nationally. No, not rushing yards — he was third in receiving yards with nine receptions for 203 yards. But he also rushed for over 100 yards and a TD in the team’s big win over Tulane. This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned Gainwell this season and it probably won’t be the last if he keeps up this level of production. He’s rushed for 830 yards and eight TDs while averaging 7.3 yards per carry. And most notably, he’s averaging 4.8 receptions per game and has 440 yards and three more TDs. As a redshirt freshman, Gainwell is checking all of the boxes for a potentially elite RB prospect.
Memphis goes on the road to take on a Tulsa team that has allowed 195 rushing yards per game.
Reggie Roberson Jr., WR, SMU
If you play college football DFS, you already know why I’m mentioning Roberson this week. He led all receivers for the week with 250 yards and three TDs on just eight receptions. This outing pushed him to fifth overall in receiving yards for the year with 795. And despite playing with another strong WR, he’s accounted for a 36% share of the team’s receiving yards and TDs. With one season of eligibility remaining, Roberson could emerge as the top senior WR prospect and should be a target in devy drafts.
Roberson or his teammate, James Proche, should find some space to be productive against the porous Houston defense.
Other Notable Players
Cole McDonald continued his strong season with a 404 passing yard, three TD performance. For the year, he has the third most passing yards in the FBS.
Mason Fine hasn’t quite lived up to his sky-high preseason expectations, but this week showed why they were so high. He passed for 375 yards and a TD in North Texas’s win.
Brenden Knox had the second most rushing yards in the FBS last week for Marshall with 220 yards and two TDs en route to a 36-31 win over FAU. The sophomore has 719 yards and seven TDs for the year and is a player to keep an eye on.
It’s unlikely Louisiana Tech WR, Malik Stanley will turn into a noteworthy NFL prospect as he’s already a senior, but he had his best performance of his college career with 212 yards and a TD.
Gabriel Davis has emerged as the top WR for UCF. Following his 164-yard, two-TD game, he has a 35% market share and a 0.405 dominator rating for the season. If Davis elects to declare for the draft after this year, he could be a steal in rookie drafts.
Antonio Gandy-Golden has been one of my favorite under-the-radar prospects and he’s lived up to expectations, this year. He has a 45% share of yards and a 34% share of TDs.
Week 5 Group of Five Matchups of the Week
The Group of Five slate of games is mildly unimpressive for Week 9, but there are a few stylistic matchups.
Tulane at Navy
This game may not have conference implications, but it will be a fun one to watch. These are two of the more unique offenses. Navy averages 345 rushing yards per game while only passing for 93 per game. Their starting QB, Malcolm Perry has rushed the ball three times more than he’s passed and leads the team with 792 rushing yards. For Tulane, they run a slightly more balanced offense with 267 passing yards and 205 rushing yards per game, but similar to Navy, their leading rusher is QB, Justin McMillan. Darnell Mooney isn’t the dominant receiver he was during his 2018 campaign, but with his 0.317 dominator rating, he remains a sleeper draft prospect.
North Texas at Charlotte
Mason Fine and Benny LeMay lead the way in this matchup of two sub-0.500 teams. Neither stands out as an elite prospect, but it should turn into a high-scoring affair as both of these teams average 30 points per game and allow more than 30 points per game. The one player I will watch closely for devy is Victor Tucker. The sophomore WR has a 0.24 dominator rating and is averaging more than 15 yards per reception.