Written by Joe Carpenter
Welcome to College Cram Session. I will be breaking down a few college games to watch each week. The games will have players on each team that will be worth watching for your dynasty team. Lets get ready for another great year of college football and prepare our selves, starting with week one.
Game 1: North Carolina vs South Carolina (Aug. 29th 6 pm, ESPN)
This is a fun game that is one to watch and we all know why; his name is Clowney. Clowney is an awesome player, but there are others to watch for here.
North Carolina has a very talented QB in Bryn Renner, who is in his senior year, Bryn took over the starting role his sophomore year where he finished 10th among division 1 FBS quarterbacks with a 161.2 quarterback rating. Bryn has improved his passing yards and passing touchdowns from his sophomore year to his junior year with yardage going from 2,769 to 3,356 and touchdowns from 23 to 28, with interceptions going down from 12 to 7. After improving in everyway, expect him to be a quarterback to watch in this game and for the future. Running back A.J. Blue will be starting for the Tar Heels this year since Gio Bernard is off and playing for the Bengals. Blue has been a backup his whole career, totaling 604 yards and ten touchdowns. Blue is a powerful back that needs to learn to catch some balls out of the backfield. Blue has the chance to have a good season, but he needs to stay healthy and consistent.
South Carolina’s quarterback, Connor Shaw, is looking to impress this year. Shaw needs to stay healthy and gain Spurrier’s support since the coach likes to run a two quarterback set. Connor has a chance to show the NFL that he is a reliable quarterback. Shaw is a great game manager and his experience shows that he is a contender in SEC competition. Shaw’s favorite target will most likely be tight end Rory Anderson. Rory stands at 6’5’’ and 242 pounds, a physical tight end. Rory only caught 14 balls last year, but scored five times. He is a player who is capable of breaking out this year. Make sure to watch back, Mike Davis, who will get the start against UNC. The Gamecocks love to run the ball and with Lattimore out of the way and off to the NFL, Davis will take this chance. Davis is only a sophomore so he won’t be in the next draft, but watch him for future productivity.
This will be a fun game as both teams are ready to prove that they tough opponents for conference foes.
Mississippi State has a reliable quarterback, Tyler Russell, who is ready to prove himself to NFL scouts. Russell started four games his sophomore year and then took over as starter his junior year. Russell completed 231 passes for 2,897 yards with 24 touchdowns and only 10 interceptions. Tyler goes into this season as the all time leader in passing efficiency with a 136.38 rating in Bulldog history. I am looking for him to move on draft boards quickly this season. The Bulldogs have a solid running back prospect in LaDarius Perkins. Perkins, who ran for a touchdown in his first seven games last season, became only one of two RBs to do so. Perkins ran for 1,024 yards with eight touchdowns. Perkins enters this season as a candidate for the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top player and an All-SEC list by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports.
Oklahoma State has another strong wide receiver set to have a big year and have a splash on draft day. Tracy Moore had his draft stock take a hit last year when he injured his ankle in mid- October, but with receiving a medical red shirt he will be allowed one more year of eligibility. In 2011 with Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball, Moore finished with 672 yards and four touchdowns. Moore is built well as a wide receiver with good body strength to run over defenders. He is a route runner with average speed, but knows when to separate on his route and get open. Moore has had his trouble with injury and the law, so if he can stay healthy and out of trouble, he will be worth drafting. OSU also has a RB named Jeremy Smith who is worth keeping an eye on. Smith ended last season with eight rushing touchdowns with 388 rushing yards and 32 receiving yards. The neat fact about Smith is that he has the second longest streak of games with touchdowns in school history (ten), only behind Barry Sanders. This game will be fun to watch and interesting to see if these four guys can help or hurt their draft status.
Alabama should take this game and run with it on their way to another great season. Virginia Tech is looking to rebound from a tough year and winning this one would be a way to start.
Alabama’s QB, A.J. McCarron, is a leader, who is intelligent, can make mostly any throw you need him to, and can avoid tackles to run for positive yardage. McCarron has the chance to do something extremely special and win his third national title, which is something that hasn’t been done before. He led the nation in passer efficiency with a 175.28 rating, and threw 30 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions. McCarron is still criticized about whether he can be an NFL quarterback. I believe McCarron is going to be a stud quarterback in the NFL and will make some dynasty owners very happy. I would keep an eye on Kevin Norwood, a wide receiver who likes to come up big in games for McCarron and the Tide. Norwood is a guy who shows up and is the guy who McCarron trusts to go down the stretch. In the 2011 Title game, he led all receivers with 78 yards on four catches. In the NFL I see him as a slot receiver with the potential to be more.
Va.Tech is a team that is looking to bounce back; their QB Logan Thomas is looking to do the same. I honestly see Logan as the only dynasty capable player on this team.. Logan is built at 6’6’’ and 257 pounds, combined with his athleticism, that size will definitely be an eye-opener for scouts. Logan led the Hokies in rushing last year, which was the first time a Hokies quarterback has done that since 1965. Logan threw for 2,976 yards with 18 touchdowns, but threw 16 interceptions. The biggest knock on Logan is that his mental part of the game just isn’t there yet. He doesn’t disguise his passes very well as you will sometimes see him stare down defenders. I think Logan will surprise people by becoming more accurate and patient in his senior year.
This game here is the last game of the first week of the college football season. Pittsburgh gets to open its first season as a member of the ACC on national TV at home.
Florida State is a strong team that is looking to welcome Pittsburgh to the ACC in a Seminole kind of way. Florida St. has a running back by the name of James Wilder Jr. who is a solid player. James is a running back who has the build of a pro and a guy who will run you over. James split time last year and finished with 635 yards rushing yards with 11 touchdowns. Wilder has the vision to find the holes, always seems to gain positive yardage, and is going to make you earn your tackle. Wilder has the potential to jump to the top of the running back list with a stellar year this year. The Seminoles need some wide receiver help for their young quarterback. Kenny Shaw and Rashad Greene are those guys. Kenny is a great route runner who has great hands. Kenny finished third on the team last season with 532 yards and scored three touchdowns. Kenny has the ability to play on the outside, but I see him more as a slot guy. Greene has the lead the team in receiving the past two seasons plus yards, touchdowns and receptions. Greene will be a great help for the young quarterback because he attacks the ball out of the air and will get the ball up field quick with his explosive speed after the catch. Both of these receivers will be worth watching during this game and this season as the climb up draft boards.
Pittsburgh has decided to make their starting quarterback Tom Savage. Savage has gone through a lot in his college career, beginning when he was named the starting quarterback of Rutgers when he was a true freshman. Rutgers named him the Offensive team MVP after throwing for 2,211 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.. Savage then seemed to fall off the planet, starting only four games his sophomore year, deciding to transfer to Arizona where he didn’t play any games and sat out a season. Savage has now found a home at Pitt.. I think Savage has the ability and potential to shine this year and we will see on Labor Day if he starts off in the right direction. Savage will have a solid wide receiver to throw to in Devin Street. Street finished last season leading the team in receptions (73) and second on the team in yards and touchdowns (975/5). Street finished third in the Big East in receiving yards per game and second in the Big East in receptions per game. Street has very soft hands and always seems to catch everything that is thrown his way. He is a wide receiver who is a lot like Rashad Greene, will go up and get the ball out of the air and fights for yardage after every catch. The only knock is his break away speed after the catch, but he has enough talent in every other aspect of the game that NFL scouts will love his play and so will you. Street will be a player to watch this game as he builds on that NFL resume.
This game is by far the best game of the week, with all the talent that this game has in it, plus two top five teams going head to head, is exactly what we’re looking for.
Georgia: Aaron Murray completed 386 passes for 3,893 yards last season with 36 touchdowns and a very impressive QB rating of 174.82. Murray also has the most touchdowns thrown in NCAA history with 95 and still a season to go. I expect great things from Murray this year. Murray’s main target will be Malcolm Mitchell who is a superior athlete. Mitchell has seen time at cornerback; punt returner, and wide receiver. Mitchell will be the go to guy this year, since Tavaress King is off to the NFL. Mitchell had 572 yards receiving last season, second on the team, and four touchdowns. I see those numbers doubling now that he will be Murray’s go to wide receiver. The guy looking to take some catches away will be tight end Arthur Lynch. Lynch broke out last year where he caught 24 passes for 431 yards and four touchdowns. Lynch is a TE that knows how to block, which will keep the coach’s trust in him. Lynch isn’t a speed guy, but he will catch the passes thrown his way.
Clemson: Tajh Boyd. Boyd is my number two quarterback going into this season. I love his athletic ability, his movement to avoid the sack, and his ability to get out of the pocket and run for yards. Boyd finished last season running for five touchdowns in the last three games. Boyd can also stand in the pocket and throw the ball on a dime to the wide receiver. He threw for 3,896 yards last year with 36 touchdowns. I see Boyd repeating as ACC player of the year this year. Boyd will take full advantage of the weapons around him in RB Roderick McDowell and WR Sammy Watkins. Watkins is a WR looking for a bounce back year after dealing with suspension for two games and missing one game because of illness. Watkins finished last year with 708 yards and 3 touchdowns, lousy numbers compared to his freshmen year. I see Watkins bouncing back this year. McDowell is finally getting his chance to shine with Andre Ellington out of the way. McDowell finished last season with 450 yards with five touchdowns. McDowell is very athletic combining speed with agility.