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Week 5: Booms and Busts

Sunday, September 30, 2018


Week 5 Booms


Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray -- 432 passing yards and six TDs -- vs. Baylor: Make it seven total touchdowns when we throw in his rushing touchdown, which tied Baker Mayfield’s single-game touchdown record…  Murray was unstoppable -- 20.5 yards per attempt -- once he entered into the game after serving a short suspension for being late to practice this week after sleeping in. The quarterback turned his extra sleeping time into a game with more passing touchdowns (6) than incompletions (4) as he hit Marquise Brown (2), CeeDee Lamb (1), Lee Morris (2), and Grant Calcaterra (1) for scores. With Murray’s athleticism and Brown/Lamb as elite receiving weapons, Murray is very much in the Heisman running on the undefeated Oklahoma Sooners.


Washington State QB Gardner Minshew -- 445 passing yards and three TDs -- vs. Utah: The senior quarterback slung the ball 56 times to get the 28-24 win over Utah. His 7.9 yards per attempt is not that notable, but his 445 yards were the second most of any FBS1-A quarterback on the week and he was able to accomplish that with the team finishing with exactly zero rushing yards. Minshew also accounted for all four Cougar touchdowns (he also ran one in for his second rushing touchdown of his career) in the close win. Minshew will head into next week’s game against Oregon State with 14/3 TD/INT ratio.


Ball State QB Riley Neal -- 402 passing yards and four TDs -- vs. Kent State: Just like the two quarterbacks listed above, Neal was able to contribute a rushing touchdown along with 61 yards on the ground. The redshirt junior’s passing yards were a single-game career-high and were also the most by a Ball State Cardinal since 2013. Neal got there not by completing a high percentage of his passes, but by creating big plays. In fact, seven of his receivers had a gain of at least 15 yards. The Cardinals will bring a 2-3 record into next week’s game against Northern Illinois, whomst he shredded up for four touchdowns back in 2015.


Arizona State RB Eno Benjamin -- 312 rushing yards and three TDs  -- vs. Oregon State: Yes. You read that correctly. Benjamin took down Arizona State’s single-game rushing record by averaging a robust 10.4 yards on his 30 carries. The sophomore back had two 40+ yard touchdown runs, but also ran one in from 10 yards out. His three rushing touchdowns were equal to his output in 13 career games going into last night. Oh, did I mention he hauled in a receiving touchdown as well? It was a memorable game for Benjamin and the Sun Devils, but there’s not much time to celebrate with an important game against Colorado up next.


Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson -- 254 rushing yards and two TDs -- vs. Arizona State: It’s remarkable that Jefferson’s career-high 254 rushing yards weren’t even the most in the game, but ASU’s Eno Benjamin was running really hot late last night. Jefferson (5’10/211) made an appearance on the Booms List earlier in the year after breaking out for 238 rushing yards and four scores in his first start with Artavis Pierce sidelined. In this weekend’s game, Jefferson averaged 8.2 yards on his 31 carries and he scored touchdowns from 11 and 27 yards out, but even that high production led to a 52-24 loss for the Beavers. It will be interesting to see how playing time will be distributed when Artavis Pierce returns (he’s out another couple weeks or so) because both backs have shown they can flat out ball.


Clemson RB Travis Etienne -- 203 rushing yards and three TDs -- vs. Syracuse: With Kelly Bryant planning to transfer and Trevor Lawrence leaving with an injury, Clemson had to lean on Etienne (5’10/200) to escape the game against Syracuse with a win. The sophomore running back came up huge in the fourth quarter where he scored two of his three touchdowns, including the go-ahead two-yard touchdown with just 44 seconds left on the clock. In the win, Etienne averaged 7.5 yards on his 27 carries, and he now has a three game streak of at least 120 rushing yards that he will look to extend next week against Wake Forest. If Chase Price remains as the starting quarterback next week, expect Etienne to see another huge workload.


Wake Forest WR Greg Dortch -- 163 receiving yards and four TDs -- vs. Rice: The redshirt sophomore tied the Wake Forest record for the most single-game receiving touchdowns during the blowout win over Rice. Dortch, whose mom runs the Instagram page “YouGotDortched,” was able to take a beautiful pass from freshman Sam Hartman to the end zone for 55-yard score before throwing an additional three more touchdowns on top. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder is one of the nation’s most explosive young playmakers, highlighted by his 16 total touchdowns in 13 career games, but he will have to come up big if the Demon Deacons want to take down ACC powerhouse Clemson next week. There’s upset appeal here, especially if Trevor Lawrence (concussion) misses the game.


UMass WR Andy Isabella -- 198 receiving yards and three TDs -- vs. Ohio: The 12 receptions, 198 yards, and three scores were all single-game career-highs for the senior receiver. Isabella (5’10/190) put the first points on the board with a 39-yard touchdown reception and then added two more scores of 37 and 55 yards. After the career game, Isabella has a 40-647-7 receiving line on the season and is on pace to surpass last year’s 1,020 yards and ten touchdowns. Isabella will try to extend his streak of at least 95 yards or one touchdown next week against South Florida.


Hawaii WR John Ursua -- 148 receiving yards and three TDs -- vs. SJSU: The Booms List is not complete without an appearance by a Rainbow Warrior. Quarterback Cole McDonald has hit up Ursua (5’10/175) early and often to start the season, and yesterday was no different. Ursua, who led the team in all receiving categories with a 13-148-3 receiving line, scored the team’s final three touchdowns -- all of them came within the five yard line -- in comeback fashion to force the game into OT where Hawaii won 44-41. The junior receiver has multiple touchdowns in 5-of-6 games (12 touchdowns total) in what is on pace for a record-breaking season.



Week 5 Busts


Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman -- 9-of-20 with one TD and one INT -- vs. West Virginia: Bowman ended up leaving this game with an undisclosed upper-body injury, but he was struggling before his exit. The freshman quarterback was averaging just 6.15 yards per pass attempt and failed to complete even just half of his passes. Bowman’s expectations probably were too elevated after his 605 yard performance against Houston a couple weeks back, but everyone was expecting a huge statistical game from him with the Red Raiders trying to match Will Grier’s production. Luckily backup quarterback Jett Duffey was able to fill some of those expectations with a quality game in relief. Hopefully Bowman is able to get healthy soon, so we can see more passing game fireworks from Texas Tech, but it’s concerning that he was taken into an area hospital for further analysis.


South Carolina QB Jake Bentley -- 148 passing yards and three INTs -- vs. Kentucky: This was arguably his worst game as a starter, as his three interceptions tied a single-game career-high and his 46 percent completion percentage (13-of-28) was the second worst of his career. As the Gamecocks quickly learned, this year’s undefeated Kentucky Wildcats are no joke. When they went into halftime, the score was 24-3 and Bentley had just nine passing yards. He was able to make it look better by throwing a touchdown in the second half, but this was a disaster for the junior quarterback. Bentley also had to leave late in the game after sustaining a knee injury, but Muschamp says his quarterback “should be fine.”


Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond -- zero TDs with two INTs -- vs. Arkansas: The Aggies were lucky to be playing the Razorbacks or else they probably would have lost this game the way Mond was passing. In the first half, Mond was intercepted twice by linebacker Dre Greenlaw, but he also failed to have a passing touchdown for the first time this season. The sophomore quarterback was saved by a big running game by Trayveon Williams, who finished with 152 rushing yards and two touchdowns on his 29 carries. After the game, head coach Jimbo Fisher said, “Probably played our worst football game of the year by far and need to get things fixed. Had decent intensity. But our intelligence level, how to play and how to expect to win and play from ahead and do things that champions do and good football teams do, we've got to grow in it." That’s a perfect summary of how things went for the Aggies, but at least they came away with a win.


Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson -- 152 passing yards and one TD -- vs. Army: The Bulls got blown out 42-13 at home against Army. Jackson wasn’t able to move the ball down the field (6.3 yards per attempt) or complete passes with any consistency (41.6 percent completions) with potential first-round WR Anthony Johnson sidelined for most of the game. To be fair to Jackson, the wind played a factor into his play, but it was far from what he’s capable of -- he entered the game tied for third in the nation with 15 touchdown passes -- and not representative of the quarterback he is. The future NFL Draft Pick will look to get things back on track next Saturday against Central Michigan. Hopefully Anthony Johnson (hamstring) will be healthier in that one.


Duke’s running game -- 71 yards on 36 carries -- vs. Virginia Tech: To the surprise of many, stud quarterback Daniel Jones was able to return from his broken collarbone within just a few weeks, but it was clear that he was limited by the injury. Jones would have been more effective if Duke was able to help him out by running the football, but that didn’t happen. Leading rusher Brittain Brown only managed 35 yards on 12 carries, but Deon Jackson was worse with 34 yards on 15 carries. The Blue Devils finished the home game with a horrendous 1.9 yards per carry. Duke gets a bye week to figure out what went wrong and to get Jones a little healthier before playing Georgia Tech on October 13th.




Email :Hayden Winks



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