Who's hot and who's not for Week 7
Need to know who's trending up and down as we head into Week 7? Jesse Siegel has you covered with his latest edition of Who's Hot and Who's Not.
Five rushing touchdowns in a single game deserves at least a shoutout. That's what Boston College running back Andre Williams did Saturday against Army. Williams rushed 30 times for an incredible 263 yards and five scores against the Black Knights. It was the second time this season Williams topped the 200-yard rushing mark in a single contest. On the year, the senior running back has run 133 times for 768 yards and seven scores. Despite his appearance as a workhorse back, Williams averages a robust 5.8 yards per tote. Surprisingly, Williams does not lead the nation in rushing. In fact, he isn't even second. Antonio Andrews of Western Kentucky and David Fluellen of Toledo both have more than 800 yards on the ground this season. Nevertheless, Williams is an obvious stud for the Eagles.
Let's look at the rest of the pigskin action in this edition of the College Football Barometer.
JJ Green, RB, Georgia: The Bulldogs keep winning despite significant injuries to their star running backs. The "Gurshall" combination of Todd Gurley and Marshall has gone down in succession in each of the last two weeks. Gurley likely will return at some point the next couple weeks from an ankle injury, though he is doubtful for Georgia's next tilt against Missouri. Meanwhile, Marshall suffered an ACL injury in Saturday's OT thriller at Tennessee and is done for the year. Green rushed 17 times for 129 yards against the Vols on Saturday and looks to have the first crack at the featured tailback slot. Fellow rusher Brendan Douglas will also get some touches and even found the end zone Saturday, but Green averaged 7.6 yards per rush and appears to be a better play. Green is a must-add in the surprisingly run-heavy attack of the Bulldogs.
Chris Harper, WR, California: Harper has already surpassed his entire yardage total from a season ago. He exploded for 13 catches, 216 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 44-22 loss to Washington State. Harper has had three 100-yard receiving outputs already in 2013 en route to 555 yards and four touchdowns through five contests. Another benefit for Harper is that the Bears are not a very good football team this season. As such, they likely will be playing from behind in most games and forced to pass. Harper's quarterback, freshman Jared Goff, has proven more-than-capable at the helm, piling up 1,806 passing yards. As such, the sophomore Harper has the ability to put up some serious numbers.
Dallas Crawford, RB, Miami: Duke Johnson gets the pub for Miami, zigging and zagging through opposing defenses en route to a standout sophomore season. However, Crawford has become the hammer inside the red zone for the Canes. He has scored two rushing touchdowns in each of the last three games for the Canes. Crawford is slightly bigger than Johnson and is a better downhill runner; Johnson has also had issues holding onto the football, and has been nicked up in almost all of Miami's games this season. As such, Crawford has reaped the rewards of carrying the ball in tough, bruising circumstances. Johnson is still the lead dog and arguably the top running back in the country, but Crawford is an excellent handcuff and has value as long as he's consistently finding the promised land.
Imani Cross, RB, Nebraska: Cross is the second-string running back for the Huskers, but as with Crawford above, that doesn't necessarily mean he has little value. Cross has scored six touchdowns in five games this season for the run-heavy Cornhuskers, including three over his last two tilts. Ameer Abdullah is the lead back, but with a toe injury to quarterback Taylor Martinez, there are more rushes to go around. Backup QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. is nowhere near the runner that Martinez is, meaning that Cross can reap the benefits of added touches. Nebraska faces a Purdue squad this weekend that has allowed 36.6 points per game this season, 114th in the nation. As such, Cross is a great bet to find the end zone once again.
Adam Humphries, WR, Clemson: Humphries is an interesting sleeper pick that has become an increasingly more viable option the last two games. The junior wideout broke out with three catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns at Syracuse on Saturday. Humphries is a deep threat who scored on two grabs of more than 40 yards during the first quarter of the contest. With so much attention given to Sammy Watkins, Humphries and fellow receiver Martavis Bryant have been forced to earn the trust of star quarterback Tajh Boyd. Humphries had five catches for 67 yards in the previous game against Wake Forest, so his stock could be on the upswing. The Tigers average 44.2 points per game, meaning there should be plenty of opportunities for Humphries as well. Is Humphries a flash in the pan or is he here to stay? We'll find out soon enough.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State: Lockett left Saturday's game with Oklahoma State due to an undisclosed injury. Lockett has been sensational for the Wildcats, surpassing 100 yards in three of the Wildcats' first four contests before the injury. He had monstrous statistics in a losing effort at Texas on Sept. 21, hauling in 13 passes for 237 yards. Check back on Lockett's status during the week, particularly since K-State will play host to Baylor on Saturday in what will almost certainly be a shootout. The Bears average an outrageous 70.5 points per game, so Lockett should have plenty of opportunities to counteract the Baylor offensive if healthy.
Solomon Patton, WR, Florida: It's been feast or famine for Patton, who exploded at Arkansas on Saturday to the tune of six catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. However, in Florida's prior contest at lowly Kentucky, Patton caught three passes for just 12 yards. Patton is the leading receiver in terms of yardage for the Gators and has scored four times in the last four games. However, he has had two games that were complete duds, which makes things difficult in terms of predicting when his large outbursts will occur. UF also travels to LSU next week, meaning Patton will have trouble maneuvering against an elite defensive unit. Patton must prove he can be more consistent before becoming an Upgrade or recommended option.
Tommy Shuler, WR, Marshall: Shuler hasn't exactly been bad, he just hasn't been as much of an impact player as expected. The diminutive wideout caught an obscene 110 balls for 1,138 yards and six touchdowns in 2012. He had five 100-yard games last year, including a 19-catch, 200-yard outburst in a loss at Purdue. Through five games in 2013, Shuler has just one 100-yard receiving game, and he has failed to score a touchdown in each of his last three contests. Shuler gets plenty of targets, so he remains a viable option for the Herd. However, he hasn't been the same player as a season ago.
Chuckie Keeton, QB, Utah State: Keeton suffered a season-ending knee injury during Friday's loss to BYU, tearing his ACL/MCL. Keeton passed for 1,388 yards, 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions for the Aggies and completed a career-high 69.4-percent of his throws before the injury. Junior Craig Harrison will take Keeton's place. Harrison has limited experience with just 55 career passes (41 of which came in Saturday's loss, of which he completed a mere 18). Wide receivers Travis Reynolds, Travis Leeuwen and Brandon Swindall may all see a downtick in production as a result, as the Aggies lean more heavily on running back Joey DeMartino.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Texas Tech: Mayfield twisted his right knee Saturday at Kansas and had to be helped off the field in the 54-16 rout of the Jayhawks. The coach may change, but the high-powered offense remains the same in Lubbock. Coach Kliff Kingsbury installed the freshman Mayfield as his starter from the get-go and has been rewarded with a 5-0 start to his career. Mayfield has 1,488 yards and eight touchdowns through those five contests. However, Mayfield's status is in the air for next Saturday's clash with Iowa State, and Mayfield has also cooled down a bit since the start of the year. The freshman gunslinger has one touchdown and five interceptions over his last three contests. A gimpy quarterback battling through a rough stretch may not be the best option, even in the spread attack.
Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina: Renner dressed but did not play for the Tar Heels against Virginia Tech on Saturday. Renner had been seen with a walking boot on his left foot, but was supposed to play initially. That didn't materialize, and sophomore Marquise Williams stepped in to throw for 277 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a losing cause. Renner hasn't had much help, but he's regressed during his senior campaign. He had 3,000-yard passing seasons as a sophomore and junior but has completed a career-low 59.9 percent of his passes in 2013. The Heels are 1-4 this year, with their only win coming against Middle Tennessee. He'll have almost two weeks to heal up before a Thursday matchup on national TV, but he'll have to face a rested and undefeated Miami Hurricanes squad. As a result, Renner is not the best option.
Beau Blankenship, RB, Ohio: Another player who has failed to live up to expectations this year is the senior Blankenship. The 5-foot-9 rusher notched 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground during a scintillating junior campaign. This season has been a vastly different story, though. Blankenship has just 246 yards and two touchdowns through five contests for the Bobcats; he averages 3.8 yards per tote, the worst average of his career by at least one yard. Blankenship has not crossed the 100-yard plateau once this season. Perhaps most oddly, the Bobcats are 4-1 despite Blankenship's struggles. With Blankenship splitting carries with fellow senior Ryan Boykin, the Bobcats may not view him as vital to their future success for the remainder of the 2013 campaign.
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