The unbeaten teams’ list continues to be trimmed every week, last week one of the pre-season favorites, Wisconsin, fell at the hands of the BYU Cougars. One team continues to stand tall though, Tua Tagovailoa’s Crimson Tide look as good as ever and the young QB is dominating, with a stat line of 646 yards, 8 TDs, and 0 INTs.
However, I’m going with a different theme in this week’s winners. With such a large talent pool, and RBs the flavor of the day, it is often difficult to pinpoint stand out WRs in the college game, especially those that are going to make it at a pro football level.
With that in mind, all this week’s winners are receivers who were key performers for their team in week 3.
Donovan Peoples-Jones, Wide Receiver – Michigan
The Wolverines have started the season 2-1, but after a rocky start against Notre Dame, new QB, Shea Patterson, has started to fire on all cylinders. In week 3 against SMU, Patterson and Peoples-Jones proved that time spent on the practice field can translate into production on game day.
The former 5-star recruit fired 3 touchdown passes to Peoples-Jones during the game, including a pinpoint back shoulder fade which the receiver dragged in like a pro in the second quarter. The Sophomore receiver was the main target in terms of yardage as well, racking up 90 yards on 4 receptions.
This is a big season for Peoples-Jones, with Tarik Black going down injured early, he has got to step up and perform for Jim Harbaugh’s men. More performances like this will certainly go down well.
Jared Pinkney, Tight End – Vanderbilt
Ok, he’s a Tight End but I’m counting him as a receiver for this article. Pinkney has impressed in his last two games for the Commodores, going for 98 yards against Nevada before a big game in the loss to Notre Dame which saw him haul in 5 catches for 111 yards and a TD.
Pinkney has serious NFL caliber, during the offseason he spoke of his desire to improve and have the breakout season that would see him move up draft boards across the league. Vanderbilt’s system is built to exploit Tight Ends, with Offensive Coordinator Andy Ludwig certainly keen to exploit the athleticism shown by his star weapon.
Kyle Shurmur is clearly enjoying his football, throwing for 326 yards against the Fighting Irish. This will only benefit Pinkney, if he keeps up this form then you should be looking to see him on Sunday Nights this time next year.
Emanuel Hall, Wide Receiver – Missouri Tigers
The Tigers are dominating teams this season, and have put up 40 or more points in all 3 games so far. Hall has been a large part of that, he already has 430 yards on the season and his 3 TDs have already tied his season bests from the last 2 years.
Last week against Purdue was his least productive of the year so far, as his 4 catches produced 88 yards, still, not a bad return for someone who NFL evaluators thought could only run a go route coming into this season.
Hall has clearly upped his game this season, proving some of his doubters wrong with his ability to improvise on the play, creating separation from all kinds of routes and becoming Drew Lock’s go-to guy. With his QB looking to go high in the 2019 draft, Hall will look to use him for all he’s worth for the rest of the season, before joining him in Nashville next Spring.
What is happening in Tallahassee? Two weeks after I featured the Seminoles in the loser column, they find themselves back here yet again. This time a humbling 30-7 loss to Syracuse has made them the laughing stock in the NCAA.
It was painful to watch at times on Saturday night, with Deondre Francois hopelessly exposed by his o-line time and again. Francois only completed 50% of his passes for 178 yards, adding FSU’s only touchdown with his legs in garbage time as they lost to Syracuse for the first time in 52 years.
It’s clear something has to change, but Willie Taggart has made it clear he’s standing behind his QB, instead it seems the new coach will continue to rotate the o-line and focusing on improving production from his WRs in week 4 against the Northern Illinois Huskies.
Nebraska is one of only 10 football programmes to win 800 or more NCAA games, however, they are clearly going through hard times at the moment. After their season opener was postponed against Akron, the Cornhuskers have been beaten by Colorado and Troy, leaving first-year coach, Scott Frost, admitting things might get even worse before an upward trend starts.
That being said, if someone can turn it around it is certainly Frost, last year’s epic season at UCF has given him the belief in his own ability and he is clearly determined to see his former programme succeed.
This week they go up against Michigan, with Frost believing that nothing would spark a Nebraska revival better than landing a blow on Shea Patterson’s playoff push.
The Trojans took a beating at the hands of Texas at the weekend; the 37-14 loss means that SC has their first back to back double digit losses since 2000. In week 2 they were run over by Bryce Love, who ran for 136 yards as the Trojans failed to get the ball into the end zone.
J.T Daniels hasn’t enjoyed the best start to the season, 2 INTs against Stanford and another against Texas showcase accuracy issues which will have even the most ardent fan worried.
Receiver Amon-Ra St Brown is proving that all is not lost though, 167 yards from 9 catches against Texas and 98 yards from 7 catches against the UNLV Rebels are putting the Freshman on NFL radars immediately.
Games to watch in Week 4:
Missouri v Georgia
Oregon v Stanford
Michigan v Nebraska
By Andy Moore – @AJMoore21