Complete Week Eight Player Rankings & Projections l More Sit & Starts
Week 8. The majority of you are sitting at 4-3 or 3-4, with the knowledge that your season likely hinges on the next two weeks. We now have more than enough data to determine which defenses are too stout to go against...and which ones are ripe for picking.
Last Week's Running Back Starts: DeMarco Murray (32), Jacquizz Rodgers (43), Mark Ingram (7), Rodney Stewart (25), Vai Taua (18), Lance Dunbar (10), Bobby Rainey (32), Lennon Creer (30)
Grade: A-. Only Ingram was disappointing.
Last Week's Running Back Sits: David Wilson (11), James Sims (2), Washaun Ealey (18), Zach Line (9), Matthew Tucker (4), Donald Buckram (7)
Grade: A-. Only Ealey would've been worth a start.
Start Em! Running Backs
1. LaMichael James, Oregon vs. UCLA
Rushed to get this one done by Thursday night. He runs wild against the Bruins.
2. Daniel Herron, Ohio State vs. Purdue
Herron was a hard-charging fella against a stout Wisky D last week, and he posted 19-91-2. The man has become a scoring machine, and this will continue against the Boilers.
3. Vick Ballard, Mississippi State vs. UAB
Before last week's struggles against the Gators, Ballard had posted 12 scores in six games. He returns to that pace against an overmatched Blazer defense.
4. Mikel LeShoure, Illinois vs. Indiana
Like Herron, LeShoure worked really hard last week, he just struggled to bust a big one against the Spartans. The Hoosiers will be much more accommodating.
Bonus: Keith Payne, Virginia vs. Eastern Michigan
Pick him up. Start him.
1. Zach Line, SMU vs. Houston
Zach, like Cliff and Norm, is now a regular. Houston is reeling and getting gashed on the ground.
2. Jacquise Terry, Kent State at Bowling Green
Terry has posted six scores over the last three weeks, and BG is 118th nationally against the run. Hips, ball, and stats don't lie.
3. Robbie Rouse, Fresno State at San Jose State
Rouse is rolling while SJSU is reeling. Rouse blew up against New Mexico last week, and the Spartans are being run over by pretty much everyone.
4. Ronnie Weaver, UCF vs. Rice
The junior has gained 200 yards and scored twice in the last two weeks. Just as important, he's carried it 51 times for George O'Leary during this span. It doesn't look like Brynn Harvey will make it back, and Weaver appears a workhorse. Just in time to welcome one of the nation's worst defensive units.
Sit Em! Running Backs
1. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State vs. Nebraska
It's fair to say that Hunter has been one of the nation's more impressive backs this season, however he'll be facing an angry and talented group of Huskers. The Pokes won't be shut down entirely, but I see tough sledding for Big Game Hunter.
2. Rodney Stewart, Colorado vs. Texas Tech
I'm just not feeling this Big 12 back either. Texas Tech's defensive numbers (102nd in total defense, 53rd against the run) are not impressive at all. However they've faced some pretty good offenses, ones that are a hell of a lot better than the Buffs. Like Hunter, I like Stewart a great deal, just not this week.
3. Johnathan Franklin, UCLA at Oregon
Franklin came back to Earth two weeks ago, gaining 54 yards on 13 carries against Cal. He remains grounded against Oregon this week.
1. Phillip Tanner, Middle Tennessee vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Tanner hasn't found the end zone in about a month; this one will be the Dwight Dasher Show.
2. Sam McGuffie, Rice at Central Florida
McGuffie is getting the carries, he's just not doing too much with them.
3. Matthew Tucker, TCU vs. Air Force
I know he's tempting, but Ed Wesley remains the play here.