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F10Y CFB – Week 5 Scouting Notes, Clemson vs. NC State

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This was the game of the week for me, well on paper at least, as the two top dogs in the ACC, both top ten ranked, duked it out in a night game. The reality was that Clemson should have won by more than the ten points they did, and are now favourites to sweep conference play and get a good shot at the College Football Play-off.

We’ll start the notes with the winning Tigers…


I got a decent look at Clemson last week against Wake Forest, and the offense in that game looked so much better than it did for much of last season. This game was a bit of a mixed bag, but this was also the best defense that the Tigers had faced so far this season, so a regression from last week’s big output was expected.

Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei looked a different beast last week against the Demon Deacons throwing for 371 yards and five touchdowns, but he was back to a more conservative game plan against the Wolfpack, where the emphasis was on ball control rather than splash plays.

He did go deep a couple of times but he overthrew both passes and his overall accuracy is still a bit of a worry for me. Clemson have used him more to run the ball this year, and he does a nice job of getting what he can on the ground, but as a pure passer there are still many questions for me that need answering.

Obviously he is playing much better than last year, but I think he’s quite a way down the quarterback draft list still, although with that size and arm strength there will be plenty of intrigue if he does throw his name into the 2023 draft. 

Clemson have churned out some exceptional wide receivers over the last decade, but this current bunch are not living up to that standard. The Tigers have instead turned to a more run based attack, utilising the tight ends in the passing game, and they have a guy who may make it to the next level.

Davis Allen is a big target (6’6 250) with decent hands who looked good last week snaring two touchdowns and was a valuable outlet for his quarterback in this game too.

He has functional strength as a blocker, but he certainly won’t wow anyone in that department, although he does enough to survive. If Allen tests well he should certainly find himself in that mid day three range, and should make an NFL roster. 

Defensively, Clemson have three stud players, all of whom could be first round picks, but one of them Defensive Tackle Bryan Bresee was out of this game, so all eyes were on the other two…

I really like EDGE Myles Murphy – Who was highly rated in our summer scouting series.

He is bigger than most of the EDGE’s in this potential draft class, so he doesn’t possess the bend and dip of those smaller guys, but he does win with strength and quick hands consistently. This was an odd game for him, as statistically he had 1.5 sacks and a couple of pressures, but he was nullified for stretches of the game which doesn’t happen very often.

There was one pressure he went straight through the left tackle with power, and although not the level of athlete of some of the top guys, he can still win around the edge on the outside shoulder of the tackles. He is the same size (6’5 275) as last year’s number one pick Travon Walker but won’t test as well as he did, but he should be a first round lock, and possibly as high as the top ten.

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There is plenty of hype surrounding linebacker Trenton Simpson, but I’m not quite as high on him as the consensus seems to be.

There is no doubting his athletic ability as he glides around the field effortlessly, but for me there seems to be questions with instincts and that’s a concern for someone in the middle of the defense.

He has moved into a more traditional off-ball Linebacker position this season, as he was more out in the slot in 2021, so perhaps that explains some instinctual issues, but this will be his NFL position, so he needs to look better than this for the rest of the season to maintain first round status.

The old position Simpson moved from has been taken by true sophomore Barrett Carter, and this game was very much a coming out party for him. He has all the athletic ability that Simpson does, and although he doesn’t have the same size, he is a fearless player who understands his role perfectly. We could be talking about Carter in the same way we did about Simpson next season when he’ll be draft eligible.

NC State

This Wolfpack offense struggled to move the ball against Clemson, especially in the second half, as the offensive line couldn’t control the line of scrimmage. I like quarterback Devin Leary, but this game showcased his limitations.

When he has time, as he did in the first half, he can move this offense down the field nicely. What he has trouble with is coming off script and producing under pressure, which is how the second half went. I’m not sure there’s a lot of upside to him, but you can see him carving out a nice NFL career in a back-up capacity.

Leary’s most reliable target, wide receiver Thayer Thomas certainly appears to have an NFL future. Everyone needs one of these crafty slot receivers that can always get open and have safe hands, and Thomas is an excellent example of one. Not the biggest or the fastest, but he drops virtually nothing and is a consistent chain-mover. Call him a poor man’s Hunter Renfrow, who has an outside chance of going late in the draft.

Defensively NC State were very impressive at times, despite giving up 30 points. The three man defensive line has a thankless task at times, just occupying spaces and eating blockers, but these guys are excellent at doing it.

I’ve been a big defensive tackle Cory Durden fan for a long time, even back to his Florida State days he stood out to me. Now he is used exclusively as a nose tackle in their odd front, so he sees plenty of double teams and has to fight on every snap to keep lineman off him and keep in on the play.

Durden has a great get off and arm over move, which when timed right will split the double teams and get him into the backfield. His role will never offer him the chance to be statistically productive, but his value can’t be overlooked, and some NFL odd front teams should spend a day three pick on him for sure. 

The benefactors of the big guys up front are the linebackers, who can exploit the chaos and make the plays.

NC State has three good ones, all of whom could end up being drafted, but for me the highlight performer from this group against Clemson was Isaiah Moore.

He is a fifth year player who really burst onto the scene as a Freshman in 2018, but has never really kicked on. Injuries have played their part, and he missed half of last season with one, so he needed a good final year to get him back on the NFL radar, and this game tape should do that.

In this game, Moore was always around the ball and quick to react to plays developing in front of him. He is a good form tackler who wraps up nicely making sure the ball carrier gets down. Now I doubt he’ll test that well, and with the injury history to consider too he’ll be a late round pick at best, but these types of guys are always hanging around on NFL rosters.

I do love a hard hitting, play making safety, and Tanner Ingle certainly fits that bill. He flies around the field hitting anything that moves and will sacrifice his body to get in on a tackle. He is undersized for this role (5’10 185) and you’d expect that his body wouldn’t hold up in this role in the NFL, but I’m not backing against this guy as he has a bit of Tyrann Mathieu about him, and he turned out alright didn’t he?

By Keith Lucken – Follow Keith on Twitter @lordlucken

Catch the rest of Keith’s scouting notes HERE.

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CFB 2022: Week 1 – Winners & Losers

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Well, that was an explosive week of action. From 120+ point games, to huge upsets and standout individual performances, week one didn’t disappoint.

The best thing about the NFL season starting after the college football season is that we get a weekend of non-stop action, five days straight and at the time of writing it hasn’t even finished yet.

As always there are three winners and three losers, however there could have been a lot more this weekend. So on the winners side, shout outs go to Old Dominion, Caleb Williams/Jordan Addision and Cam Ward amongst others.

Winners – Andy – @Ajmoore21 

Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State

The performance of a quarterback will, like it or not, nearly always impact the result of a team – everyone that watches football knows that. Well, Spencer Sanders is one of the most frustrating quarterbacks in college football. One week he’s firing on all cylinders, the next he’s turning the ball over and costing his team.

Maybe that is set to change in 2022. Sanders dragged his team to victory on Thursday night, setting a career high in passing yards and accounting for six of the Cowboys’ eight touchdowns. WIth 406 yards and four passing scores, Sanders was imposing through the air, but that shouldn’t take away from how improved he looked outside of the pocket. There was a clear sense that his awareness had improved, with the alarm in his head triggering on time and getting him away from the defender in order to make a play.

Clearly there’s a lot of belief in OSU and Sanders this season, they wouldn’t have been ranked 12th in the preseason poll if that wasn’t the case. But after Central Michigan put up 44 points on the OSU defense, it would be reasonable to question whether it’s going to have to be the Texas native that propels his team to success in a soon-to-transform Big12. 

Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs weren’t disrespected after their National Championship win, but it seems those that doubted whether they’d be the same dominant team in 2022 did at least do them a disservice.

In a game that was previewed by many as a battle of two respective football powerhouses, it certainly felt over after the first quarter. Georgia’s defense was dominant from the off, even with their former Defensive Coordinator standing on the opposite touchline, they never looked in any danger of being mismatched. Bo Nix was shaky, even by his standards, but that was mainly because of the work of the Bulldogs’ secondary, covering the Ducks’ receivers like a blanket all game long.

Stetson Bennett has had more than his fair share of doubters, but if anyone still thinks he lacks the quality to win at this level, it was the passing game which impressed most in this one. Bennett passed for 368 yards and two scores before being hooked with the scoreline out of reach. If anyone thought that Kirby Smart’s men wouldn’t be in the mix come the end of the season then they should have been forced to change their opinion after this performance.  

Jacoby Windmon, LB, Michigan State

If Bennett and Georgia were dominant as a whole, then Jacoby Windmon gets the award for dominant performance by an individual. The Michigan State linebacker put up four sacks, a forced fumble and seven total tackles in the Spartans’ win over Western Michigan.

The most impressive element of Windmon’s night was that he put on such a huge show on his debut. After transferring from UNLV in the offseason, the former three-star recruit did everything he could to impress Mel Tucker, earning a starting spot in the process. The faith Tucker showed in him evidently paid off for him big time, as his explosive play made him a one man wrecking ball in the Broncos’ backfield.

At 6’2” and 229lb, Windmon is in that ideal linebacker category, sizewise. However, it was his speed and ability to anticipate the move of the lineman opposite that ensured he had so much success on Saturday night. Draft scouts and opposing Big10 Offensive Coordinators will surely have been put on high alert after week one. 

Losers – Lee – @Wakefield90 

The Pac-12

Even though we have all but drawn a line under week 1 of the college football season, we can pretty much rule out the Pac-12’s involvement in the college football playoff for another year.

The conference faces an uphill battle each year with the way that the conference and its teams are viewed in the eyes of the playoff committee, as well as the majority of the college football community. Add that to the absolute bludgeoning the conference took in the offseason, with the imminent departures of USC and UCLA and the losses for Utah and Oregon this weekend really are compounding the misery out west.

Considering that the Utes and Ducks lost to SEC opposition, these results only take another step towards strengthening the grip that the SEC has grabbing a second playoff team this year.

Utah put up a fight, and only lost by virtue of a last minute, end zone interception so perhaps all isn’t lost and there’s still USC who have opened up the season 1-0 with their defeat of Rice, but let’s face it. It’s over. 

Big Ten Officials and UCLA Attendances

Staying with the theme of the summer and keeping the favour from above of the Pac-12 falling into deeper and deeper decline, let’s talk about buyer’s remorse.

As much as USC and UCLA are big brands, are they going to bring everything they can to the table… What I am talking about in particular is attendance and atmosphere.

I understand that the Big Ten wants the big schools to enhance its portfolio of name brands, but when fans turn on their TV, surely they want to see fans packing the stands and making a tonne of noise to support their teams?

Look at it. I guess it was only Bowling Green but when I think of the Big Ten fans, I think of Penn State white outs, I think of Wisconsin’s fans going crazy to Jump Around, I think of Iowa’s players and fans waving to the nearby children’s hospital and The Big House, holding more fans than any stadium can in the Western hemisphere. Does this look fit what the Big Ten is trying to achieve?

Steven here summed up Pac-12 thoughts quite nicely, I think.

Devin Leary and NC State

I’ve got to admit, I don’t love this one and perhaps I only feel like Leary is a loser this week because of preseason expectations on him and the Wolfpack. It also doesn’t help their case when we consider that there was very little in the way of upsets in week 1.

NC State entered the season ranked #13 and Leary, one of the better draft eligible passers, was there to lead them, and as we have come to expect, ranked teams serve themselves up a nice, easy game in week 1.

The majority of these ranked teams dispatched their smaller foes with ease; #12 Oklahoma State, #10 Baylor, #14 USC, #16 Miami all had routine wins and ran up the scoreline.

Not NC State though. They faltered against an East Carolina side who stuck around and defended doggedly, with no bigger example than on this fourth down.

So why am I pinning this mainly on Leary? 

Well, if we look at the numbers first; a 51% completion percentage with a touchdown and an interception, against this level of competition just doesn’t look great.

Next, drawing a bank in the second half completely in terms of points, just allowed East Carolina to stick around and make life a little hairy. It’s just not what is expected for a thirteenth ranked team and a high-quality passer, so for falling short of expectations Leary and the Wolfpack find themselves in the losers column this week.

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ACC Preseason All-Conference Team

Welcome in to day two and part three of our all-conference mini series here at F10Y CFB.

Yesterday we brought you the SEC and Big Ten conference selections (which you can find here on the college section of the website).

Next up with the Atlantic Coast Conference, which has been selected by the main man when it comes to all things ACC, Andy Moore.

Check out Andy’s picks below:

The ACC has a lot of talent at the ‘sexy’ positions in 2022. There could be any of five or six QBs earning the pre-season starting spot in this all-conference team, but Devin Leary’s consistency, calming presence and talent ultimately gets him the nod.

Elsewhere, there’s some great depth at wide receiver with Dontayvion Wicks, AT Perry and Josh Downs making the cut ahead of the likes of Zay Flowers, Keytaon Thompson and others. Running back could be the one arguably week position, with Sean Tucker easily the best of a lot of guys with potential but minimal production so far in their career.

The offensive line could have gone a number of ways, but like the defense there are a couple of key guys that just have to be included. Zion Nelson and Caleb Chandler have been dominant in their college careers to date, and both figure to be big names in the 2023 draft.

On defense there’s a lot of Clemson and Pitt, both of which are unsurprising given the pedigree the schools, but Bryan Bresee and Habakkuk Baldonado should be particularly dominant.

Thanks for reading! Later today we will be dropping the Big XII team at 5pm