College football is ruled by the SEC. The best teams have come from this conference for years and the most entertaining games typically get shown on CBS at 3:30. I want to take this time though to talk college football outside of the SEC. Each week they’re all we hear about, but today we discuss the ACC, Pac 12, and a school with one of the creepiest mascots in the country. Last season, I was a huge advocate of a certain ACC quarterback not named Jameis Winston. We’ll start with this quarterback in week ten’s edition of The Fifth Quarter.
Marquise Williams is red hot. There was a time this season when using Williams was risky. With Mitch Trubisky on his heels and getting significant playing time, there was no way you could roster Williams. Well, he’s put the quarterback questions to rest with his recent play. In his last three games (Notre Dame, GT, UVA), Williams has thrown for 952 yards and eight TDs. He has also added 254 yards and three TDs on the ground. In his first five games of the season he had 11 TDs. In those three games he has 11. Williams is red hot and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Jordan Payton has very little upside. In the last few weeks, I’ve been a big fan of Payton and with good reason. He got to face off against two of the worst pass defenses in the country: California and Colorado. His total stat line in those two games was 10/112/1. With matchups like those, it’s not a good sign to end games with those kinds of numbers. So, what limits his upside? It all starts with Brett Hundley, who has rushed for five TDs on the season. While he has been a very efficient and great passer lately, he spread the ball around too much for Payton to really capitalize on these matchups. Between Hundley and Paul Perkins, a great runner who is getting hot when it comes to finding the end zone, there’s just not enough to go around for a low catch total receiver.
Run like hell from Stanford’s run game. It’s impossible to guess who is going to get the most carries on this team. It also doesn’t help that none of the runners have impressed in 2014. In their last game, nine different players recorded a rush and nobody reached double digit carries. Remound Wright is the only running back to reach double digit carries and he’s only done that three times in eight games. Wright has 69 carries on the year, something that David Cobb could accomplish in almost two games. Barry Sanders has the best yard-per-carry average, but only has 40 attempts. And lastly, Kelsey Young has 38 carries and hasn’t found the end zone yet. While Stanford has been a great place for running backs in recent years, this is not one of those years. Run like hell and don’t look back.
Virginia Tech is struggling to defend the run, but not the pass. You could say that the Hokies inability to stop the run in the past three games has impacted their pass defense, but that’s not the case. The Hokies have faced UNC, Pitt, and Miami in the last three weeks and have given up 699 rushing yards to go along with six rushing TDs. In those three games, teams have thrown for 198, 121, and 92 passing yards. Sure, Miami just didn’t need to pass the ball, but UNC did and they couldn’t. The best QB of the bunch, Marquise Williams and UNC threw for just 198 yards on 37 attempts. While 34 total attempts in the other two games is extremely low, they still weren’t effective as getting the passing game going. 6.7 and 5.8 yards per attempt would rank them in the top 45 for that stat. Go after the Hokies and their run defense, but do avoid picking receivers and quarterbacks against them.
Defense is optional at Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers have been absolutely brutal defensively this season and such was the case Saturday against Old Dominion. They gave up 51 points, yet still won by 15. It’s quite impressive really that they can be that bad defensively and still win a few games. Well, they average 41 points allowed per game while scoring 45 themselves. This means great things when it comes to fantasy implications. UTEP’s Aaron Jones is averaging almost six yards per carry and faces them in the upcoming weeks. Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon has struggled when it comes to yardage, but has scored in seven straight games. Finally, Marshall gets to face these Hilltoppers at the end of the season, which can only mean tons of points from Devon Johnson and Rakeem Cato.