Even as we prepare for college football’s “game of the year,” it’s a great time to look for devy prospects at all levels.
The Group of Five received some of the spotlight in Memphis’s win over SMU.
Stephen Calvert, QB Liberty
Playing against UMass will make any competent FBS offense look like a juggernaut.1 Still, Calvert has been a highly productive QB since he and Liberty joined the FBS last season. For the year, Calvert has an AY/A of 10.3 and a 61.7 percent completion percentage. He’s passed for 5,706 yards since joining the FBS, including 2,638 in nine games this year.
Liberty takes a step up in competition as they travel to BYU. After becoming bowl eligible for the first time in program history, Calvert will have an opportunity to show that he could be a player that NFL teams should be watching.
Jaret Patterson, RB Buffalo
Buffalo ranks in the top 20, nationally, in rushing yards per game, and Patterson has been the leader of that attack. With 995 yards, he’s a lock to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards for his second year in a row. Last week’s performance was one of his best this year. He had 33 carries for 160 yards and two TDs. This performance was good enough to rank eighth in the FBS in yards and was his fourth 100-yard game this season. Patterson is just a sophomore, so there’s an opportunity to acquire him cheap in next year’s devy draft.
Buffalo is on bye this week but returns against Kent State next week. A win would make the Bulls bowl eligible, and with Kent State allowing more than 250 rushing yards per game, Patterson should be heavily involved.
C.J. Johnson, WR, East Carolina
Somewhat unexpectedly, ECU and Cincinnati turned into a shootout with ECU finding success passing. Freshman WR, Johnson, accounted for week-leading 283 yards and a TD on 12 receptions. Johnson was a three-star prospect in the class of 2019 and has made an instant impact with 682 yards and 3 TDs for the season. This represents slightly more than a 29% share of the team’s receiving yards. This young of a breakout is typically a positive sign for future success. Johnson is a player to target.
East Carolina travels to SMU this week. They’ll need to score at a similar rate to keep up with SMU’s offense, which means Johnson will have opportunities to produce.
Other Notable Players
The scoring might have been an outlier, but Holton Ahlers put on a show against the vaunted Cincinnati defense. His 535 yards were the most of any QB last week, and he added on 4 TDs.
Caleb Evans only passed for 215 yards and 2 TDs in UL-Monroe’s loss to Arkansas State, but it was his 148 rushing yards and 3 TDs that were the story. He ranked tenth in rushing yards for the week and single-handedly kept this game close.
Despite the loss, Shane Buechele produced like a top QB. He passed for 456 yards and 3 TDs.
Marcel Murray accounted for nearly 200 yards of offense and three TDs for Arkansas State in the win.
Week 5 Group of Five Matchups of the Week
As I’m releasing this later in the week, there’s already been some action in the MAC conference, or “MACtion” as degenerates lovingly call it, but some fun games are coming up on this week’s slate.
East Carolina at SMU
Coming off of their close loss in a high-scoring affair against Cincinnati, ECU travels to Texas to take on SMU. From an aesthetic perspective, this game is joy personified. SMU has gone over in their betting total in all but one game this year, and ECU has gone over in each of their last three. Points should be aplenty, and that’s why the line has been set at 72. From a devy perspective, the aforementioned C.J. Johnson is my favorite prospect on the Pirates’ squad. For SMU, it will be the Shane Buechele and James Proche show.
Liberty at BYU
The Liberty Flames are bowl eligible in just their second year in the FBS. But they’ve mostly feasted on a terrible schedule. The 4-4 BYU Cougars represent a significant step up in competition. But for devy purposes, there’s one name to watch: Antonio Gandy-Golden. He’ll likely be a Day 3 draft pick on everyone’s rookie sleeper list next season. Keep on eye on him this week.
Image Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Antonio Gandy-Golden.
- I should have considered this more before I gave out the under on the RotoViz CFB Podcast, last week. (back)