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College Football Monday - Week 9
Team of the Week: Oregon
Players of the Week
Offense: QB Connor Shaw - South Carolina
Defense: DT Ra’Shede Hageman - Minnesota
Photo: DT Ra’Shede Hageman - Minnesota
Upcoming Game of the Week: Miami (7-0) at Florida St (7-0)
Florida St. Climbs in Polls After Impressive Win over Clemson
In a soft weekend schedule that saw many top ranked clubs romp over easy opponents, the upcoming week presents a classic Miami/Florida St clash. This weekend, both clubs will enter the matchup in the top seven rankings, a rare event since the glory days of the ‘90s.
The national matchup showcases QB Jameis Winston of FSU and Stephen Morris of Miami who are having fine seasons. Winston is one of the top two Heisman Trophy candidates entering this contest and a top performance here on a big stage might push him to the forefront. Morris has quietly had a fine senior effort that has elevated his status for the NFL Draft 2014. The winner here can claim a chance at the national title with a strong final month. Both clubs are cut in the mold of their school’s tradition – speed, defense and big play ability.
A gritty performance by South Carolina QB Connor Shaw vs Missouri was one of the more impressive efforts this season and spoke volumes of his intangibles as a leader for the position. He threw 3 TD passes and came off the bench to rally the Gamecocks to a double OT victory over an undefeated Tiger club on the road. The victory puts SC within reach of the SEC East title behind only Missouri in the division. The SC-Clemson finale on Nov. 30th will have top ten ramifications that could influence the top BCS matchups, in addition to both the SEC and ACC races.
One of the roller coaster rides this season is the Minnesota Gophers. Between their surprising 6-2 start and the inconsistent health of HC Jerry Kill, their weekly report ranges from shocking to disappointing. Kill has had repeated seizures over recent seasons before returning. His health and recovery have become part of the momentum of this squad. The club has been a streaking hot and cold team over that period with the talent to win at least 8 or 9 games this season. DT Da’Shede Hageman put on a dominant performance Saturday in their upset of #23 Nebraska. Hageman combines rare speed, quickness and power for the inside with the ability to win with speed or power as a pass rusher. He can secure a 1st round pick with strong performance at the Senior Bowl.
For pure excitement, the Oklahoma 38-30 win over undefeated Texas Tech included countless big plays on both sides of the ball. Both the Sooner and Bears have two weeks to get their clubs ready with bye weeks on the schedule this week. With the Baylor Bears coming to Norman in November, it will probably be the deciding game in the Big 12 this season.
The upset of the week has to be the Duke 13-10 win over Virginia Tech. It was the Blue Devils first win over a top 25 team since the 1994 season. They gained only 198 yards, but it was enough to defeat the Hokies who struggled behind QB Logan Thomas who threw 4 interceptions. Logan will be a case study this postseason for the NFL Draft. This is a huge athlete at 6’6” 240 lbs., mobility and a strong arm. But he continues to struggle with many critical mistakes. poor decision making and inconsistent throwing technique. His draft status has fallen significantly this season and he needs a strong postseason to establish a potential NFL starting grade.
Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals networks, sports publications and web sites.