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F10Y CFB – Week 10 Scouting Notes, Georgia vs. Tennessee

This game has been on everyone’s mind from the moment Tennessee upset Alabama in week seven. These were the top two teams in the country, although the playoff committee didn’t agree, having Ohio State ranked between them. For the added drama this was set up as the game of the season! One which would go a long way to deciding who will win the SEC East, and make the SEC championship game.

In all honesty the game never lived up to the billing, as the Georgia defense suffocated one of the best offenses in the country, and rightly won the game 27-13. 

I’ve covered Tennessee a couple of times already this season, so we’ll focus the main notes on the Georgia players, but we’ll start with some brief notes on the defeated Volunteers.


I’ve been a big fan of quarterback Hendon Hooker and his performances this season, but even I will admit that this was not a good day at the office for him. He was constantly harassed by the Georgia front four, and his big play receivers were very much kept in check.

He looked sharp completing short passes, but he missed on three big deep balls, over throwing his receivers every time. From a scouting perspective this game showed the limitations he has, but it shouldn’t hurt his stock too much, as he already has big performances in big games this season. So when evaluating, there’s no need to start moving him down boards on just one bad day.

Tennessee were very happy to have wide receiver Cedric Tillman back from injury, and although his stat line doesn’t stand out (7 catches for 68 yards), it was nice to see him back out there and showing the scouts his nice routes and sure hands.

In Tillman’s absence Wide Receiver Jalin Hyatt has been putting up some monster performances. Hyatt couldn’t really get going in this game though as he was superbly marshalled by the Bulldog secondary.

He also got hurt twice in the game and never really threatened the big plays like he has in the previous weeks. His name is still hot right now though, and if he hasn’t sustained any game costing injuries, he has an easy three game slate to finish the season and keep his name relevant. 

I think right tackle Darnell Wright has moved himself into the top 100 with his performances this season, and he did a good job in this game too, which will keep his stock on the up.

Without elite EDGE Nolan Smith, most of the Georgia pressures were from the interior, but when the Bulldogs did send outside rushers Wright handled them easily. He has all the tools you need, and now the light seems to have come on for this former 5-star recruit, and he is starting to live up to the high school hype and play his way into day two of the draft. 


This Georgia team has a true leader in quarterback Stetson Bennett, and no matter what you think of him as a draft prospect, it’s hard not to root for this undersized overachiever.

The offense goes through him, and he makes enough good throws and improvised plays, to always have his team in position to win games. He was excellent here hitting the big plays when needed, and his running touchdown was a thing of beauty.

All that being said, Bennett is probably not going to be drafted, as his size limitations and arm strength will be big issues. Even so, you can easily see him being a Chase Daniel type back-up in the NFL and will probably turn into a very good coach when he’s done playing.

The star of this offense is Tight End Brock Bowers. He’ll be eligible for next year’s draft, but he is already the front runner to be TE1 in the 2024 group.

He is undersized (6’3 230lbs) and is deployed more like a receiver than a true tight end so he can show off his excellent hands and run after catch ability.

Tennessee did a pretty good job on him here though and limited him to just three catches in the game, but you can see the great hands and precise routes are there, and he will be widely talked about in next year’s cycle. 

Fellow Tight End Darnell Washington is draft eligible though, and he has been making quite a name for himself this year. Some of his highlight plays from earlier in the season are quite mind-blowing, especially when you consider his size.

He is almost like an extra offensive tackle out there, but one that can catch and probably run in the 4.5’s at the combine, making him a really intriguing prospect.

This game won’t feature on his highlight reel though, as he was held catchless, and his trademark aggressive blocking wasn’t as destructive as it normally is. He is still going to be drafted high, if he decides to come out, but he needs to pick the production back up, and get himself back into the TE2 conversation.

Georgia has produced some very good offensive lineman in recent years, and there’s two more that have first round potential, if they declare. Both center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger and left tackle Broderick Jones are Redshirt Sophomores and are listed as the same size too at 6’4 310lbs, but there is a difference of over 500 snaps played between the two. Van Pran-Granger has played the more snaps and he is a lot more polished technique wise.

He is an excellent tone setting leader of this line, and has played exceptionally well this season, including this game where he was picking up blitzes and opening up nice running lanes all day long. He has great football IQ, looks a decent athlete and has a strong powerful base, all vital traits of playing Center. There really isn’t a clear cut OC1 in this class yet, so if he were to declare he’d put himself in that mix for sure.

For someone so young, he has a really high floor and would be a very safe pick who could anchor your line for a decade. 

Jones on the other hand would be much more of a gamble, but he plays the premium left tackle position, where teams are more likely to take a chance on potential rather than production.

I was super high on Jones during the summer, as you could see from the few games he stepped in for Jamaree Salyer last year that he was so naturally gifted.

However, I’m not sure I’ve seen enough progress this season to give him the lofty top ten pick that I’ve seen in recent mock drafts. He was inconsistent here against Tennessee, looking like an All-Pro on one play and undraftable the next, but teams will look at that upside and think they may get the next great one. But it all hinges on whether he can fulfil that potential.

I personally would like to see him go back for another year at Georgia and iron out those flaws he has now, as if he did, he has number one overall pick potential.

If he did come out though, I can see him ending up in the range that Dallas took Tulsa’s Tyler Smith last year, a player he compares favourably to, right now.

This Georgia defense lost so much talent to the NFL last year that there were questions entering this season whether they would be able to replace them all.

Well they have.

With Defensive Tackle Jalen Carter, they probably have the best player they’ve had for some time. Carter has been banged up this year, missing two full games and barely featuring in several others. However, for this game, he was back to full strength, and boy what a difference he makes to this team.

He is such a phenomenal watch, it’s so easy to just focus on him alone and watch him tear apart respected offensive lineman. Tennessee’s guard Javontez Spraggins will be having nightmares after Carter took his soul in this game.

He has such a quick first step that  he can club, swim or bull rush you before you are set, and in a blink of an eye he is in the backfield causing mayhem. He was credited with four tackles, two for a loss and a sack.

Not only that but he caused two fumbles too, all in his first full time action for months against the number one ranked team!

He is a lock for the top ten, and depending on what team is drafting where, has a legitimate shot at being a top three pick.

Georgia has another potential first round defender in cornerback Kelee Ringo. He was another one who flashed huge potential last season when he cracked the starting lineup, but hasn’t kicked on quite as much as hoped, although he is still flashing elite traits at times.

He had a very up and down game here against the Volunteers, giving up eight catches on just nine targets, but then made a sensational interception on a deep ball in the end zone. He has all the size and speed you want, but his technique can fail him at times, and he has given up 61.1% receptions when targeted, which is far too high for a player of his calibre.

Whilst this isn’t the season he wanted so far, plays like the interception in this game show what he can be. Big speedy corners like this don’t grow on trees, and usually end up as first round picks.

Follow Keith on Twitter @lordlucken

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2022 CFB: Will Rogers – Is the Hype, just Hype?

Has Will Rogers reached his peak or is there more to come?

Prior to this weekend’s schedule, there was a fair amountl of buzz about Will Rogers at Mississippi State. He had started the season well and was making things happen, with a 78% pass completion, 752 yards and 9 passing touchdowns.

My general interest has been the ACC quarterbacks in these first few weeks, however Will Rogers is someone who has also turned my head.

Are we looking at a quarterback who has come out of nowhere to be a real force in the SEC? Or was the hype just that, and he was going to come crashing back down to Earth?

Unfortunately for all viewers, apart from LSU of course, Rogers hit a bit of a brick wall at the weekend. It was his least effective performance of the season, and he just struggled to get going.

So, what was the cause? And how was he so effective in the first two games of the season? 

Walking Over Memphis

Week 1 saw a standout performance from Will Rogers. He threw five touchdown passes for 452 yards in a convincing win over Memphis, with a pass completion of 77%, he was locked on and was dominating the game.

Everything that Rogers did against Memphis was simple, yet effective. He received the ball from the snap and was quickly releasing the ball to the nearest open receiver. He looked comfortable targeting the running back coming out of the backfield but was equally effective looking at receivers further down field. His longest reception was just 35 yards, but he was quick with everything he did and didn’t hang around in the pocket for too long.

The slight hiccup he had against Memphis was his interception. Although this was minor in a game that he dominated, the way he turned the ball over was slightly disappointing – He was quick from the snap, but the slight misread on the pass allowed the ball to get picked off by the defender for an easy interception. It didn’t make too much of a difference to the score, or the way he played, but something that would need to be highlighted due to the nature of his game. 

As simple as it sounds, Rogers targeted the nearest opening receiver and built-up significant yardage by having receivers that are willing to create space for themselves and make good yardage after the catch. The game plan worked perfectly for Mississippi State and they ran out comfortable winners.

Dominant in Arizona

Despite falling behind to Arizona in Week 2, Mississippi State showed determination and grit to turn the deficit around before going ahead and dominating the game.

After a slow start from Rogers, he started to turn it on towards the end of the first quarter, sticking to the game plan of Week 1 and finding the nearest open receiver and releasing the ball quickly; it was all quick game. His first touchdown pass of the day to Caleb Ducking was quick, effective and showed remarkable accuracy to put it perfectly over the defender’s head and into the arms of the receiver.

Despite being 6 for 7 heading into the second quarter, an uncharacteristic hesitation saw Rogers throw his only interception of the game. His lack of open options saw him hesitate with his throw before being slightly inaccurate and throwing to the defender – This was a similar problem to Week 1 and his interception against Memphis. Although it was his only mistake, there were similar characteristics to his interception the week before.

Another thing that stood out from Week 1 to Week 2 was his conversion within the 10 yard line of the endzone. He made five thrown attempts across two weeks, all with similar outcomes. They were mainly batted away by the defenders, but none of them really looked like making an impact on the score.

He was effective, however, in turning the game in the favour of Mississippi State. He threw 302 yards, 4 passing touchdowns and had a pass completion of 79%. Rogers dominated more in the second half of the game, throwing three touchdowns and allowing Mississippi State to run away with the game. His effectiveness in the short passing game, and quickly moving the ball allowed for this to happen, and Arizona struggled where they looked so effective in the first half. 

Bayou Hangover

With the domination of Memphis and Arizona in the first two weeks of the season, alongside some good stat numbers for Rogers, there seemed to be a bit of hype over what he could achieve in Tiger Stadium, Louisiana. LSU had looked shaky against Florida State in Week 1, before a big win in Week 2, so anything could have happened in their Week 3 contest.

All eyes were on an intriguing battle between Rogers and Jayden Daniels. Daniels had started off the season well, picking up 114 rushing yards in Week 1, as well as 209 passing yards and a decent 73% pass completion. He followed this up with three passing touchdowns, in a 10 of 11, 137 yard dominating performance against Southern University. 

These two quarterbacks couldn’t be any more different. Daniels is an agile, mobile quarterback who could easily pick up 100 rushing yards in a game, whilst Rogers is more of a pocket quarterback who will target quick passes and work his way down the field 8 10 yards at a time.

LSU’s game plan was evident from the beginning – Limit Rogers’ options in the short pass game and try to make him look longer.

This was clear on a few occasions, especially in short yardage situations. There was a line of defenders around the down marker so limited space for the Bulldogs’ offense to work which caused Rogers to look deeper into the backfield for a play or rely on a virtually non-existent running game. 

The Tiger’s tactics led to four sacks and the quick passing game wasn’t allowed to get going. That time spent in the pocket limited the options and the Mississippi offense looked far less threatening when this was the case. 

The latter stages of the game had a different feel about it. Rogers was allowed a bit more space to make his quick passes, however the accuracy on passes dramatically decreased. A couple of easy passes in their first drive were missed after LSU went a touchdown up in the fourth and to top off a miserable time in Death Valley, an interception when looking further down the field summed up his evening perfectly.

This was a tough performance against an LSU defense that was expecting the way he played.

So was the hype, just hype?

This is a difficult one to determine. The first opposition he had that adjusted their gameplan to stop him from doing what he does best, he struggled to really make a real impact on the game. However, he was hugely impressive in the first couple of weeks of the season and that can’t go unnoticed.

A game at home to Bowling Green is exactly what he needs after this performance and there is an opportunity to go back to what he does best but may also help him adapt as a quarterback to work both the short passing game and the longer passing game. If he can do this as the season progresses, then he will become a much bigger threat in tough games. He isn’t the most agile, as shown by his rushing stats, so he will rely on his offensive line to provide protection when he’s in the pocket, but he has shown his ability to get out of tight spaces and still make decent plays.

Will Rogers may not be a standout quarterback compared to others that I have covered, but there’s a level of potential there that’s intriguing.

The Bowling Green game will be a nice way to bounce back after that LSU defeat, but tough games against Texas A&M, Arkansas, Kentucky and Alabama to follow will really test his ability as a quarterback.

We could see remarkably improved performances in those games but my gut feeling is that he will struggle to build on the momentum gained in the first two weeks of the season.

By Jake Tweedie – Follow Jake on Twitter @AccukAnalysis1