With a myriad of games to pick through, and lacking a truly marquee match-up, multiple games of interest were smattered throughout last weekend. No real reason to dawdle as week five of the collegiate season is in the books with week six kicking into gear a night early.
– The enigma that is Jevan Snead was on display for the entire nation last Thursday. Unfortunately for this aspiring top selection, the quarterback played terribly. Snead shuttered at pressure forcing highly erratic throws. His inconsistency has been consistent throughout his stay at Ole Miss. Snead will have to step up against top SEC competition later this year if he wants to enter the conversation as an elite quarterback prospect. Otherwise, he will be best served return Oxford, Mississippi for another year under center.
– At the opposite end of the spectrum is South Carolina’s Eric Norwood who always steps up in the spotlight. Norwood made the transition to linebacker early in his career from defensive end, but his pass rush skills are still superb. Some will look at his height at a listed 6-feet-1-inch tall as a hindrance. Instead, especially with the success of players like James Harrison and Elvis Dumervil at the professional level, these thoughts may be changing. Norwood has a natural leverage advantage and exploits it especially in his pass rush. He can dip the shoulder, gets under lineman’s pads, and displays numerous rush moves.
– Offensively, the Gamecocks conscientiously attempting to get the ball to their talented tight end target Weslye Saunders. Saunders is a nice athlete, a solid blocker, but he really struggled adjusting to the ball in this game. He dropped two very catchable passes because they were not in his comfort zone.
– Friday night Missouri traveled to Nevada. The Wolfpack’s pistol offense has been quite influential around the college ranks, but has been no where near as effective this season as it has been in recent years. But curiosity struck wanting to watch Tiger All American Sean Weatherspoon combat this unique formation. Upon review, it was slightly disappointing to watch the linebacker play without much physicality. Weatherspoon really did not attack blocks or play downhill. His greatest asset appeared running sideline to sideline and dropping back in coverage based on this small sample viewing.
– In a year Blaine Gabbert could become what is highly touted predecessor Chase Daniel never became at Missouri, a top rated quarterback prospect. This sophomore has prototype size, a very strong arm, and will have the obvious high production with accompanies a Gary Pinkel offense.
– Michigan State traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to kick off their Big Ten season to no avail. As the Badgers running game with the bruising John Clay finally hit stride, top linebacking prospect Greg Jones struggled throughout. The mike backer was not getting much protection from his defensive tackles and was getting engulfed by the much larger Badger offensive lineman. Jones at times was outweighed by nearly 100 pounds by the man blocking him at the second level.
– Said Wisconsin offensive line is talented once again. Gabe Carimi is a legit first round talent at left tackle and is already a pro ready pass blocker. He slides very well in his set, with good positioning, punch, while reestablishing his hands when needed. He was knocked off balance one time when he anchors well on his post leg, but the result was inconsequential. After being entrenched at center a year ago, junior John Moffitt has been moved to left guard. The results have been mixed, but this lineman did miss some time early in the season due to injury. As Moffitt gets more comfortable he should improve on his angles and maintaining blocks.
– If college football can be likened to a horse race for a second, the Miami Hurricanes would be considered a thoroughbred. While the Virginia Tech Hokies would be what is affectionately referred to as a “mudder”. Unfortunately for Miami, it rained all day long and their high potent offense was brought to a screeching halt. The Hokies simply controlled the game with their running attack. Fantastic freshman Ryan Williams had success particularly running behind his senior laden left side of the offensive line. Sergio Render may play off balance a bit, he may not be the best athlete, and playing in space is troublesome; but his down blocks are crushing and can cave in a side at times. Ed Wang is inconsistent in about every aspect of his game, but he appeared more athletic off the edge than initially anticipated. Throw the almost 290 pound tight end Greg Boone into the mix, and that side of Virginia Tech’s offensive line has the ability to take over games as evidenced by this past weekend.
– No real reason to watch Florida versus Kentucky past the first half. Those who did not missed the major injury to quarterback Tim Tebow. But it was the play of over hyped prospect Carlos Dunlap which was most disappointing. This defensive end was lethargic off the snap. He did not appear to possess much explosion. The junior simply did not appear to be a quick twitch athlete against an inferior opponent and was driven off the ball a few times as a result. His combination of size and overall athleticism are certainly captivating, but his play has yet to dictate elite prospect status.
– Toby Gerhart and the Cardinal’s took over the game against an improving Washington Husky program. Gerhart is one of the premiere power runners in the nation racking up an impressive 200 yards this past weekend. As a running back prospect, there are areas of his game which appeared questionable. Gerhart runs a little high and allows a lot of contact to his legs and torso instead of running behind his pads. He does not have a top gear and is a liability when trying to run outside the tackles. His pass blocking is subpar when asked to participate in this area. He is not as good an athlete Brian Leonard upon leaving Rutgers. He is no where near as powerful as former Buccaneer great Mike Alstott, a name of which he has been compared. Gerhart is simply a hard working between the tackles runner who will likely be a specialty back at the next level.
– Last night the Hawaii Warriors left the islands and came east to battle WAC rival Louisiana Tech. With Hawaii’s run n shoot offense, this likely was not the best game for highly rated defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith to showcase his talents on a national stage. Still, it was easy to see Smith’s powerful frame overwhelming Warrior linemen, often demanding double teams. He was the first defender this year to register a sack against Hawaii.