Complete Week Nine Player Rankings & Projections l More Sit & Starts
Last Week's Quarterback Starts (points in parentheses):
Darron Thomas (34), Taylor Martinez (53), Robert Griffin (38), Jerrod Johnson (13), David Piland (15), Dominique Davis (26), Dwight Dasher (24), Ryan Colburn (5)
Grade: B. Most were pretty decent starts outside of Piland, Johnson, and Colburn.
Last Week's Quarterback Sits:
Ben Chappell (13), Josh Nesbitt (7), Blaine Gabbert (20), Jake Locker (11), Diondre Borel (5), Bryan Ellis (21), Tim Jefferson (10), Andy Dalton (26)
Grade: B. Felt pretty good about these performances, but I did not expect Ellis to have the day he did against the Mississippi State defense.
For this week, I opted to go with a lot of guys whom you may not normally start but who have interesting matchups. This is the time of the year when your stars may have a bye week and you need a filler so you can continue to drive for the playoffs. There are some familiar names like Persa, Harris, and Kinne, but you may be surprised to see Scheelhaase and Arnaud.
1. Dan Persa, Northwestern vs. Indiana
Pat Fitzgerald and Company lost a close one to Michigan State and are looking for someone to take behind the woodshed. Enter Indiana. The Hoosiers cannot stop anyone and that trend will continue with Persa. Just look at the damage Ryan Aplin did against Indiana and you can expect even better from Persa.
2. Jacory Harris, Miami vs. Virginia
I know we have not called Harris' name too often and most of the time he is just not worth all the interceptions he throws, but against Virginia, he is a good start. Against the Cavalier secondary, North Carolina's T.J. Yates looked more like Peyton Manning. Expect Harris to have a 3-4 touchdown night and possibly not even throw one to the other team.
3. Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois vs. Purdue
The Boilermakers are reeling right now and I expect the Zookers to just push down on their throats. Scheelhaase will not light up the skies but expect him to toss a couple of touchdowns while also running for another touchdown or two.
4. Austen Arnaud, Iowa State vs. Kansas
If head coach Turner Gill played right now against his team, he would light them up. That is how bad their defense has been. Arnaud has not been stellar this year but he will look awfully good against the Jayhawks. Expect Arnaud to toss a couple of touchdowns and add at least another one on the ground.
1. Pete Thomas, Colorado State vs. New Mexico
Thomas is just a freshman and has taken his lumps. Thomas has tossed just eight touchdowns to nine interceptions but he has shown some promise with three touchdown days against Idaho and UNLV. Well the next big performance will come this weekend as the Rams take on the floundering Lobos.
2. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa vs. Notre Dame
Kinne is running the Tulsa offense pretty well but the reason you should start him is because of the porous Irish defense. They just lost their nose tackle in Ian Williams and have not shown the ability to stop anyone this season. Kinne should be able to muster a pair of scores in the air but should also gouge them in the ground game as the Irish have struggled against running quarterbacks this season.
3. Austin Dantin, Toledo vs. Eastern Michigan
Dantin has been pretty inconsistent this year but the one constant that you can bank on is that everyone will score against Eastern Michigan. If you are in a pinch, there are several worse options than Dantin against the Eagles.
4. Alex Gillett, Eastern Michigan vs. Toledo
Gillett had a breakout game against Ball State in which he ran the ball 35 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns and even ran for 86 yards and a score against Virginia the next week. Toledo cannot stop anyone and I have a feeling we see some nice rushing numbers out of Gillett against the Rockets.
Sit Em! Quarterbacks
1. Robert Griffin, Baylor vs. Texas
Texas has been reeling lately and Griffin is red hot. So why bench him? The Longhorns are not going to lose to Baylor. It is beneath them and they will step up their game and limit the talented signal caller.
2. Matt Barkley, USC vs. Oregon
If Oregon gets the score up, then Barkley will struggle. The Trojan backfield is pretty battered and bruised and it looks like it may be on Barkley's shoulders to put up the points. Barkley will have a decent day but not good enough to start him.
3. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State vs. Iowa
Iowa's defense is the best that Michigan State may see all year and they will certainly slow down Cousins. Now bear in mind that every time I have said to bench Cousins, he has done pretty well but I think he will throw in the low 200s with two touchdowns and at least one interception. The Iowa front seven will harass him and the defensive backfield is talented enough to exploit any off throws.
4. Aaron Murray, Georgia vs. Florida
Murray is playing lights out lately but the Gator defense is still very stout and will make Murray look like the youngster he is. Georgia will have a hard time establishing the run which will force Murray to win the game on his own, which he will struggle to do.
1. Austin Davis, Southern Miss vs. UAB
UAB has been playing a lot better lately both on offense and defense and they just gave Mississippi State a run for their money. Look for the Blazers to harass Davis and make him scramble to complete passes.
2. Alex Carder, Western Michigan vs. Northern Illinois
Carder has been lights out lately but will face a stiff test in Northern Illinois who is only giving up an average of 18 points a game. The Huskies will run the ball all over the Broncos and will keep Carder off the field as long as they can.
3. Dominique Davis, East Carolina vs. UCF
Sure Davis played well enough to beat NC State but Central Florida has a stingy defense and Davis will meet defensive end Bruce Miller personally at least once in the game. Expect the Knights to frustrate and fluster Davis into making some untimely throws and forcing him into bad situations.
4. Jordan Wynn, Utah vs. Air Force
It seems like when a team plays Air Force, they tend to run a lot more (see TCU). Expect a heavy dose of Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide with Wynn only throwing when he needs to. Air Force fields a disciplined, ball hawking defense and most teams like to run on their small defensive linemen.