Sadness is the primary feeling leaving Week 12 of college football because of the injury to Tua Tagovailoa, but rather than focusing on an injury, I’m here to flip the script and focus on the potential excitement from games you missed.
The two featured games of the week turned into blowouts, but there was some exciting scoring to be had.
Brady White, QB Memphis
Whether it’s fair or not, White is often criticized as a QB who is merely capable of leading a mediocre program. But as Memphis moves to 9-1 after a 341-yard, five-TD performance from White, that criticism is looking less and less fair. This performance brings White to 2,852 yards and 28 TDs for the year with just five interceptions. He’s completing 67.4% of his passes and ranks seventh nationally with 11.5 adjusted yards per attempt. White is a former four-star, top-100 prospect who originally enrolled at Arizona State before transferring to Memphis and thriving in the pass-happy offense. White appears to have adequate size and production to be a meaningful NFL prospect. Should he perform well in the draft process, he could be a name to watch if he lands in questionable depth chart.
Memphis travels to South Florida for what should be a winnable conference game. South Florida hasn’t allowed a passer to eclipse 225 yards in six games so this will likely be a less productive game than normal for White.
Tre Harbison, RB Northern Illinois
Against a formidable Toledo squad, Harbison put together the eighth-best rushing performance of the week. He accounted for 168 yards and a TD in the win. For the year, he’s rushed for 1,021 yards and eight TDs on 230 carries. He’s experienced a slight drop in efficiency from his 2018 campaign, but his second straight 1,000-yard season is nothing to scoff at. The junior back will be a player to track during his final season of eligibility.
Harbison and Northern Illinois have already taken part in mid-week MAC-tion as they lost to Eastern Michigan. Harbinson contributed well, though, 112 rushing yards. Next up is the season finale against Western Michigan.
Corey Xavier Sutton, WR, Appalachian State
En route to a blowout win, Sutton was one of the top-performing receivers in the country, last week. His 173 receiving yards ranked third in the FBS. His 556 receiving yards is hardly eye-popping, but the 27.5 percent share that it represents is notable for the redshirt junior. While he’s unlikely to have the raw production, he may have a big enough market share to be a viable prospect. He’ll need a strong final season with an average reception near 17 yards to raise his stock.
Appalachian State hosts Texas State in a winnable conference matchup. Texas St. has allowed over 200 passing yards per game, this season, and Sutton could exploit it.
Other Notable Players
Senior QB, Kaleb Barker, isn’t going to be a highly regarded NFL prospect, but he’s putting the final touches on a productive college season. With two games remaining, he’s already surpassed 3,000 passing yards.
It’s been several weeks since I’ve mentioned Appalachian State RB, Darrynton Evans. He rushed for 131 and a TD while averaging over seven yards per carry.
Western Michigan WR, Skyy Moore, not only has an elite player name, but he’s been quite productive in his first year. He’s accounted for 609 yards and three TDs and his 162 yard game against Rice ranked seventh on the week.
Week 5 Group of Five Matchups of the Week
Louisiana Tech at UAB
Losing starting QB, Tyler Johnston, didn’t stop UAB from running up the score on UTEP. The fill-in option, Dylan Hopkins, filled in admirably, but his success wasn’t as a passer as he completed just five passes. But his 163 yards rushing made all of the difference. One player I’m watching in this matchup is freshman UAB RB, Jermaine Brown Jr. Brown rushed for 116 yards and a TD on 22 carries, last week. For Louisiana Tech, this win is crucial to maintain their leading the C-USA West division and they’ll need to bounce back from the 31-10 loss to Marshall. Keep an eye on freshman WR Smoke Harris who led the team in receiving last week.
SMU at Navy
Despite the bad loss to Notre Dame, I’m rolling Navy back out in a critical AAC matchup. The dichotomy of styles in this game will make this game fun. SMU brings in an air raid led by Shane Buechele and James Proche. Navy is led by running QB, Malcolm Perry and a triple-option attack. SMU has gone over their game total in but one game this year which would likely be bad for Navy. Look for Navy to try to slow the game pace while SMU attempts to score in a hurry and drag the Midshipmen into a shootout.