The college football Week 2 slate is upon us, and the team of draft evaluators and CFB analysts at Pro Football Network are here with instant takeaways from the weekend slate. Find our immediate reactions to all the action from start to finish in college football’s Week 2 Saturday games.
College football Week 2 live blog
Taking into account all of the weekend’s slate of action, our CFB/Draft department will all be on hand for their instant reactions as they come in. For clarity’s sake, each takeaway, reaction, and result will be culminated by the initials of the analyst responsible: TP for Tony Pauline, CM for Cam Mellor, IC for Ian Cummings, OH for Oliver Hodgkinson, and JF for James Fragoza.
Who goes first- Harsin or Frost?
9:15 p.m.: You hate to talk about people being fired- or at least I do- but you have to wonder which coach will be the first to get the boot.
Scott Frost was almost fired last year but got a reprieve after reworking his contract in favor of Nebraska. It may not matter. After a terrible loss to a mediocre Northwestern squad in Week 0, Frost and his Cornhuskers are battling for survival against Georgia Southern, with the score 28-28 at halftime.
Brian Harsin barely survived after just one season at Auburn, and there was finger-pointing and an investigation at the close of 2021. When Auburn legacy Bo Nix left for Oregon, that really raised eyebrows. The thought process entering the season was Harsin would be fired after the 2022 campaign, yet watching Auburn’s performance tonight, you have to wonder if he’ll make it to October.
The Tigers are presently getting outclassed and losing at halftime to San Jose State. And while the Spartans deserve credit as they came prepared to play, they literally look like a JV team compared to Auburn.
One other coach who may not make it to Halloween is Karl Dorrell of Colorado. The Buffs are 0-2 this season after getting smashed by Air Force today. TP
Looking for a sleeper defensive lineman?
9:05 p.m: Remember the name Tyler Lacy of Oklahoma State. He’s an athletic 6’4″, 275-pound lineman who can play defensive tackle or defensive end. Lacy is quick, super explosive, and very intense. He’s made several big plays behind the line of scrimmage tonight as the OSU defense has taken over the game from Arizona State.
Why do I say Lacy is a sleeper? I presently grade Lacy as a mid-fifth round prospect, almost two full rounds earlier than the scouts I’ve spoken with. TP
Torrence adjusting well to the SEC
8:50 p.m.: When Billy Napier accepted the head coaching job at Florida, the thought process was he’d bring along a bunch of his former players from Louisiana via the transfer portal.
One of those players who followed Napier was O’Cyrus Torrence, presently the starting right guard for the Gators, and the senior has been very impressive. Torrence has an NFL build, blocks with great fundamentals, and is strong as an ox.
The ability to get to the second level and block in motion has really surprised me, especially considering Torrence tips the scales in excess of 340 pounds. Most every scout I’ve spoken with pegged Torrence as a middle-round/early Day 2 pick, and he looks to be every bit that against Kentucky. TP
Can anyone stop Jordan Addison?
8:35 p.m.: It was a bit surprising when Jordan Addison made the late announcement that he was transferring from Pitt, but as I stated during my USC preview — the Lincoln Riley offense was a perfect fit for him. Thus far, Addison has two catches for 97 yards with one TD as the first quarter against Stanford closes out.
Addison is proving he is the real deal, and besides being a terrific pass catcher, he’s unbelievable running after the catch. Belief in the scouting community is Addison will enter the 2023 NFL Draft. TP
That’s why people will fall in love with Will Levis
8:15 p.m.: Will Levis is a quarterback that’s going to garner a wide range of opinions as we move towards the 2023 NFL Draft. Some scouts love Levis and believe he’s first-round material. Others say he’s a big-armed thrower who must improve his short game as well as pass placement and belongs on the second day. Truth be told, I am presently in the camp of the latter.
Regardless, the 60-yard strike for a long touchdown he just delivered is what the optimists will point to, and that’s understandable. Levis is a big pocket passer with a major league arm and the ability to throw perfect vertical passes.
The question scouts and general managers must be ready to answer: Is Levis a plug-and-play signal-caller who’s NFL-ready? TP
A Barn Burner in the Steel City
7:50 p.m.: What a terrific contest at Heinz Field as Tennessee defeats Pittsburgh in overtime. Several players really stood out including Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda and Volunteers receiver Cedric Tillman. I wrote about each during my ACC and SEC previews.
Abanikanda is going to be a terrific change of pace/third down back on Sunday, and I presently grade him as a fifth-round prospect.
Tillman, on the other hand, will make a big move up draft boards if he continues at this pace. He’s a big, fast receiver, measuring 63″ and over 210 pounds, while timing in the 4.4s in the 40 and playing even faster. While I initially graded Tillman as a late second-round prospect, I mentioned loving his upside. If Tillman keeps this pace up, he’ll be selected earlier than former Tennessee receiver Alontae Taylor, the 49th selection in April’s draft. TP
Week 2: Upset Saturday
7:35 p.m.: Marshall goes into Notre Dame and beats the Irish –upset!
Washington State goes into Madison and beats Wisconsin — upset!!
Appalachian State goes into College Station and beats Texas A&M — upset?
Well, yes, but not to the extent everyone will make it out to be. Appalachian State is much better than anyone is giving them credit for. Conversely, TAMU is ridiculously overrated- I made mention of this during my SEC video preview. Presently just one Aggie, receiver Ainias Smith, holds a top-100 grade on my board, and just two more players on the depth chart have draftable grades.
While everyone was focusing on Jimbo Fisher mouthing off about Nick Saban, as ridiculous as it was, the focus should’ve been on how TAMU is set for a really poor season in 2022. TP
Houston is 2022’s version of Cardiac Cats
6:40 p.m.: Jayce Rogers brought the Houston Cougars back into the game against Texas Tech as the Cardiac Cats are back at it again. A week after coming from behind against UTSA, Houston is looking primed to extend their win streak with a big victory over Texas Tech. The offense has been largely held in check, but the defense, including Rogers’ interception returned for a touchdown that tied the game at 17 points apiece. This will be another fantastic finish. CM
Clayton Tune, Tank Dell open half with a bomb
5:59 p.m.: The Houston Cougars started off slowly against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, but the start of the second half has been completely different. QB Clayton Tune showed off his arm strength on the first play of the third quarter, hitting Nathaniel “Tank” Dell deep for 63 yards that showcased why this pair is the Group of Five’s best QB/WR combination. CM
Steven Gilmore all but ices it for Marshall
5:36 p.m.: Just moments after taking the lead, 19-15, the Marshall Thundering Herd may have iced a huge upset victory. Steven Gilmore jumped a hitch route on the outside and returned it for a touchdown to push Marshall’s lead to 11 points. Gilmore, who opted to return to Marshall this season to re-up his 2023 NFL Draft stock, has had a great start to his final campaign, and this game is an indicator of his incredible talent. CM
Khalan Laborn pacing Marshall’s upset big vs. Notre Dame
5:30 p.m.: Khalan Laborn has quickly made a name for himself at Marshall this season, filling in place of last year’s touchdown leader Rasheen Ali. Laborn, a former five-star recruit coming out of high school and Florida State Seminole, has put the Marshall Thundering Herd on his back, carrying the ball 28 times for 159 yards and a touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter. His most recent run saw him leave Brandon Joseph in the dust as he set up the go-ahead touchdown for the Thundering Herd. CM
Pitt’s offensive line struggles continue
5:15 p.m.: The Pittsburgh offensive line has looked shaky, at best, as the second quarter has gone on against Tennessee. This culminated with a late-half blown assignment that saw their quarterback Kedon Slovis slammed to the turf and fumble the football in the process. Slovis has taken a beating in this game so far and this type of bodily harm cannot continue. CM
Hendon Hooker, Bru McCoy, and Cedric Tillman shine
5:05 p.m.: The Tennessee Volunteers have slowly started to exercise their will on the Pittsburgh defense. With a strong defensive performance in the second quarter, the Vols trio of playmakers in QB Hendon Hooker and WRs Bru McCoy and Cedric Tillman sparked a lead as the SEC foes have begun to take it to Pitt. McCoy registered a long touchdown that was an impressive display of strength with his route running and at the catch point, while Tillman pulled in a 61-yard reception with his speed and separation skills. Each play has sparked the Vols’ 21-17 lead as the game nears halftime. CM
Tommy DeVito, Illinois up early on Virginia
5:00 p.m.: It was a big offseason addition for the Illinois Fighting Illini secured the transfer services of Tommy DeVito. Now, three games into their season, it’s apparent why the coaching staff was so high on receiving his commitment. DeVito gives Illinois a chance to win every game they’re in, and against Virginia is no different. He’s shaken off an early interception on what appeared to be a miscommunication and thrown two touchdowns while controlling the game when the Illini have the ball. Illinois has also gotten the benefit of a fumbled punt return for a scoop and score touchdown as they lead 21-3 in the first half. CM
Pitt extends lead, but Slovis needs better protection
4:35 p.m.: Pittsburgh TE Gavin Bartholomew put forth a jaw-dropping move against Tennessee early in the second quarter. Bartholomew leapt a defender along the sidelines and scampered the rest of the way for a big touchdown that pushed Pittsburgh’s lead to 17-7. Kedon Slovis has taken a beating, however, on seemingly every pass. He’s been pressured heavily and is starting to show that wear on his body as he was seen having his throwing hand looked at on the sidelines. CM
Cam Ward, Washington State’s D finding their grove
4:30 p.m.: In a quiet but exciting game, Washington State and Wisconsin aren’t quite highlighting the 3:30 slate of games. However, Washington State’s defense has come to play as David Gusta has flashed high-level run defense early on, and CB Chau Smith-Wade just limited the Badgers’ short-area passing attack nicely with a great play.
This led the way for Cam Ward to put together a quick four-play drive that saw him complete two impressive passes and get the Cougars on the board. Ward, a transfer from Incarnate Word, can make a name for himself with more drives like this against Wisconsin’s defense. CM
UTSA receivers assisting the air attack
3:20 p.m.: UTSA has three next-level receiver prospects for the NFL, and all are performing well today against Army. Zakhari Franklin has eight catches for 97 yards with two TDs, De’Corian Clark has six receptions for 83 yards, and Joshua Cephus has eight catches for 100 yards.
One week ago, during a two-point loss to Houston, Cephus had seven catches for 106 yards with one TD. All three are more possession-type wideouts, though Clark runs a 4.45-second 40 at 210 pounds, and the trio could find themselves in the late rounds next April. TP
Advantage Bryce Young
3:05 p.m.: And therein lies the difference between C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young. While the Ohio State quarterback is a tremendous vertical passer, we just saw why Young was the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner and will be a high draft pick very soon. After struggling to get anything going all day, Young was methodical, if not surgical, moving the Bama offense down the field and into the end zone.
His field vision and decision-making are unparalleled to any NFL quarterback prospect on the college field today. And he’s head and shoulders a better short and intermediate passer compared to Stroud. There’s plenty of time to see how it all plays out, but as of right now, advantage Young. TP
USA sleeper lighting it up
2:50 p.m.: When Jalen Tolbert was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of last April’s draft, the cupboard was certainly not left bare at receiver for South Alabama. Super senior Jalen Wayne has picked up the reigns for the Jaguars, and the Day 3 prospect is off to a hot start.
After three receptions for 98 yards with 2 TDs last week against Nicholls State, Wayne has six receptions for 66 yards and 1 TD against Central Michigan as the first half comes to a close. Wayne is a long, sure-handed wideout I’ve graded as draftable the past three years. 40 times during pre-draft workouts will determine exactly where in Day 3 Wayne ends up. TP
Shaka Heyward his usual consistent self
2:30 p.m: Duke linebacker Shaka Heyward has had a terrific game as the Blue Devils hope to pull off a mild upset against Northwestern. Heyward has six tackles with two TFLs and just broke up a pass on third down to stop a Wildcats drive. Heyward has been a terrific linebacker for Duke the past three years, and though not a great pass rusher, he’s outstanding at making plays in space. If he runs well in the lead-up to the draft, he’ll cement himself as a day three pick. TP
Bama DBs keeping them in the game
2:15 p.m.: You have to be impressed with the play of the Alabama safeties today. Brian Branch and Jordan Battle, both third-round prospects on my board as well as fifth-rounder DeMarcco Hellams have all made several big plays throughout the afternoon. TP
Georgia State hanging tough
2 p.m.:After losing a tough game to South Carolina a week ago, Georgia State is hanging tough against North Carolina this week, as they are down by 11 points at halftime. Keep an eye on GSU left guard Travis Glover, a legitimate next-level prospect experienced at tackle as well. Glover has next-level size, long arms, and moves well blocking in motion. TP
Spencer Rattler picking up where he left off in 2021
1:25 p.m.: It was just about a year ago when the wheels started falling off for Spencer Rattler, then the starting quarterback at Oklahoma. At the time, Rattler was a consensus top-10 prospect, yet in a matter of a few weeks, he was riding the bench in Norman. The hopes were a change of scenery would benefit Rattler after he announced his transfer to South Carolina, yet we’re seeing much of the same from the signal-caller in the early going.
While Rattler has thrown some magnificent passes against Arkansas, there’s a lot of inconsistency and even confusion from Rattler. He can’t get the South Carolina offense going — which was the reason Rattler was pulled from the Oklahoma lineup last year. TP
Andre Carter looking all he’s cracked up to be
1:05 p.m.: Defensive end/edge rusher Andre Carter of Army is one of the best-kept secrets outside the scouting community. I say outside the scouting community because league scouts consider the future officer as a day two prospect. He’s a very athletic defender at 6’5 1/2″ and 250 pounds. Carter’s also giving UTSA fits in the first half of today’s game.
Despite sliding the protection Carter’s way all game and double teaming the senior, Carter just came up with an impressive sack on third down. He already has two tackles and one tackle for loss as the first half closes out. Expect Carter to get a lot more publicity as we move through the season, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the prospect from Army at a postseason scouting event such as the Shrine Bowl as well as the Combine. TP
Ricky Stromberg looking strong in the center
12:50 p.m.: Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg has looked strong all day and is helping the Razorbacks control the line of scrimmage against South Carolina. Stromberg is a tough, wide-bodied blocker who plays with great intelligence. He looks like a Day 3 pick, but his approach and size lead me to believe he’ll be a late-round pick at center, who ends up starting on Sunday. TP
CMU transfer looking good at USC
12:35 p.m.: Last season, I wrote glowingly about Central Michigan safety Devonni Reed, who was a consistent and productive two-year starter for the Chippewas. Reed chose to transfer to South Carolina and take the second senior season offered by the NCAA. In the early going against Arkansas, the hard-hitting safety has made several nice plays despite his team being down 7-0. Despite scouts completely ignoring Reed, I’ve consistently graded him as a potential late-round pick. TP
Keep an eye on Keondre Coburn
12:20 p.m.: Texas came up with a big third down stop, forcing Alabama to kick a field goal. They’ve gotten good pressure on Tide signal-caller Bryce Young and have come away with a few sacks. Much of that is thanks in part to defensive tackle Keondre Coburn, a wide-bodied lineman that has consistently drawn double team blocks- freeing things up for his teammates on the edges. Coburn is an under-the-radar defensive tackle and an athletic 6’1 1/2″, 335-pound lineman who clogs the middle and also makes plays on the ball. He presently has an early fourth-round grade on my board. TP
Alabama-Texas and a host of top picks get us started
An interesting day of college football starts off with Alabama taking on the Texas Longhorns in Austin. It will be tough for UT to stay with the Tide, but there are some interesting next-level matchups.
Scouts will want to see if the Longhorns’ dominant duo at running back, Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, can produce against one of the top linebacker units in the nation. Robinson grades as a top-15 prospect, and Johnson has Day 2 grades. Bama’s Henry To’oTo’o has Day 2 grades as well, Will Anderson Jr. is the top prospect in the nation on my board, while true sophomore Dallas Turner is a top-15 pick in the making.
Today will be the toughest game of the year for Texas offensive tackle Christian Jones — keep a close watch when he’s matched up against Anderson. Jones was a two-year starter at left tackle, then switched to the right side this season. Despite scouts telling me he’s a very late-round pick, I have consistently graded Jones as a middle-round prospect. TP