Week 12 on the college football schedule kicks off amidst more than a dozen games canceled or postponed. But despite this, there is an exciting group of games ready to be played, some that could prominently affect the national rankings. As is the case every Saturday, we will be here all day with news and analysis. Information on how and where to watch, which includes kickoff times and the TV schedule, can be found below.
All of the Week 12 college football news and live analysis will get underway at noon and wrap up after midnight ET in our College Football Live Game Day Blog. Be sure to also check out the college football TV schedule, which can be found by scrolling to the bottom of the post. And finally, keep up with NFL Draft stories and analysis from the PFN NFL Draft crew by visiting PFN daily.
Week 12 College Football Live Blog with Tony Pauline, Ian Cummings, and Nick Farabaugh
News and updates for the Week 12 college football action through midnight ET will be timestamped once we kick off at noon, and each update will be followed by the initials of the analyst. “IC” is Ian Cummings, “NF” is Nick Farabaugh, and if there are no initials, it’s me (Tony Pauline).
Jovani Haskins playing a strong game (12:00 AM)
In the hard-fought Week 12 college football overtime battle between Rutgers and Michigan, it is undeniable that Rutgers tight end Jovani Haskins has played a role in this game. His one catch was a go-ahead touchdown in overtime that showcased his functional athleticism in space. However, make no mistake, the real place where Haskins made himself felt was in the running game along the goal line.
With some key runs in the red zone, Haskins has driven out defensive ends on the edge on two touchdown runs and aided the two-point conversion push to the end zone. He is doing the dirty work, and while it is far from flashy, Haskins will earn points with scouts for doing it at a high level. He could be a late Day 3 selection as it stands. NF
USC safeties both should be picked in April (11:55 PM)
USC has a pair of safeties in Talanoa Hufanga and Isaiah Pola-Mao who both should hear their names called in April at the NFL Draft. Both of these guys are drastically different players, but their strengths mesh very well together as a duo. Hufanga’s physicality and high football IQ as a box safety-linebacker hybrid make him dangerous. He is a guy that is getting legitimate NFL buzz and could be a top-100 selection. Watch him play and it is the definition of playing with your hair on fire.
Pola-Mao, on the other hand, is a freaky 6-foot-4 free safety with ball skills and range. It is not often you see a free safety with that type of height and length, but Pola-Mao has it and can man up guys over the slot as well. His stock will be far more dependent on how he plays this season, but both of these guys could be selected within the first 150 picks in April. NF
Cam McGrone’s impact is missed by Michigan (11:45 PM)
After leaving the game on a cart in the first quarter, Michigan linebacker Cam McGrone has been sorely missed by the Wolverines defense. On a defense that is already without star pass rusher Kwity Paye, the loss of McGrone’s athleticism and coverage ability at the second level leaves a void for a Michigan team that has been beaten to the sidelines.
The hope is that this injury is not too severe for McGrone. He is a dynamic athlete with every physical tool that an NFL team would want in a linebacker. The reverberations of him not being on the field are clear for Jim Harbaugh and his staff. They will be clear as day to scouts as well. McGrone is a still bit green, but the upside he possesses makes it so that if he chooses to declare, it would be hard to envision McGrone escaping the second round. NF
Don’t forget about Tyler Vaughns (11:35 PM)
USC has a few talented wide receivers this season, including Amon-Ra St. Brown and Drake London. While those guys get a ton of buzz, it feels like Tyler Vaughns can get pushed to the back burner at times. Time and time again, Vaughns continues to prove to be a reliable target for Kedon Slovis this season. His contested catch ability in particular is impressive due to his explosiveness and ball skills. The length Vaughns has allows him to rise up and make those catches too.
Vaughns is not an adept route runner by any means, but his physicality and size make him an intriguing option as a big slot at the next level. He has the short-area quickness and football IQ to settle down in zones to be a prime middle-of-the-field target. Vaughns can even help facilitate in the run game, as he is a strong, willing blocker. People forget about Vaughns, but he could easily be a worthwhile Day 3 pick for a team. NF
Cade Otton a rising sleeper tight end (11:15 PM)
In a tight end class that already has some players who have risen from the ashes, the Pac-12 is producing an impressive prospect in Washington TE Cade Otton. Otton has taken a large leap from last year in terms of his receiving ability. He has strong hands but also is quick enough in and out of his breaks to create separation. Otton, as a pure prospect, looks at least on par with former Washington tight end Drew Sample in that regard. That mismatch ability has allowed Otton to go over the century mark against Arizona tonight.
If he were to declare, Otton would be one of the more all-around tight ends in the draft. He is a strong blocker and gets movement at the point of attack with strong hands and ideal pad level. In the coming weeks, Otton should be on radars. If he continues to string together games, Otton will assuredly hear his name called in April and has the makings of a potential surprise Day 2 pick. NF
Olaijah Griffin flashing early for USC (11:05 PM)
Coming into the season, Olaijah Griffin was such a frustrating prospect because of his maddening inconsistencies. However, the tools are there. Griffin has the length, fluidity, quickness, and long speed to cover anybody when he is playing at his best. Thus far against Utah, Griffin has been extremely solid, aiding USC in their first three-and-out on defense. The great thing about Griffin is that he understands to take receivers away with his feet first rather than his hands. It allows him to stay in that hip pocket and have a chance at the catch point on every play.
Griffin’s run support shows a willingness to get physical, as he came down from his cornerback spot to aid in a tackle for loss in the running game in the first quarter as well. If he can continue to play at a high level, Griffin could begin to build more buzz. NF
Azeez Ojulari is rising to meet newfound expectations (10:55 PM)
Georgia just closed out Mississippi State after a key fourth-down sack by edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. Not even talked about among pundits prior to the season, Ojulari has quickly established himself as a potential first-round pick with fantastic traits that dazzle viewers.
Those traits include an explosive first step, crafty hand usage, and phenomenal flexibility in Ojulari’s hips and ankles. It creates an ideal edge rusher prospect that is tough to stop for even top tackle prospects. The variety of moves that Olujari has makes him special.
This is not a player who relies only on his explosiveness and speed rush; his dip and rip combination is his most deadly thanks to that flexibility and explosiveness combination. Still, Ojulari does a delightful job of toying with opposing tackles and is meeting every new expectation that is being put out. He should be a first-round pick in April at this rate. NF
Jamien Sherwood could be an early draft pick (10:50 PM)
Auburn secured a victory over Tennessee tonight and it was delightful to see Auburn safety Jamien Sherwood continue his high level of play. Make no mistake, Sherwood’s physicality is a big part of his appeal. Despite playing as a deep safety at times, Sherwood has a lot of pop behind his pads and lays the wood. In addition, he gets physical with bigger players like tight ends in man coverage, which allows him to take them on effectively.
Sherwood is an ideal player in the growing sub-package league that is the NFL. He can take away the big tight ends and has the quickness to match the quicker slot receivers. In other words, Sherwood is the type of player that can do it all as a chess piece. He can work in the box as a physical run defender or as the dimebacker in a dime package. He has the length, instincts, and footwork to take on receivers of all types. Sherwood’s resume is growing as he continues to put out more tape, and it would be no surprise to see Sherwood become a top-100 selection in April. NF
Strong all-around game for Rhamondre Stevenson (10:40 PM)
Oklahoma is out to a commanding 34-13 lead over Oklahoma State, and their main output of offensive production has been through running back Rhamondre Stevenson. With a big play on the second play from scrimmage via a screen pass, Stevenson is proving to be an all-around problem for the Cowboys tonight. His 147 yards from scrimmage prove that he can be trusted to do most things asked of a running back in the NFL. His tough, hard-nosed running style is fun to watch. Stevenson always finds a way to grind out the tough yards and fall forward.
Stevenson continues to prove himself as a do-it-all back that can set a powerful tone for the offense. He can handle the volume and protect the quarterback with an ever-increasing pass protection skillset. Stevenson is starting to build momentum and raise his draft stock into early Day 3 consideration. NF
Melton leading by example (10:20 PM)
The upstart Rutgers program has led from the get-go against Michigan this evening and receiver Bo Melton has come up big during the game’s important moments. Melton has 4 receptions for 85 yards and 1 TD. In the prior four games, his totals included 20 receptions, 334 yards, and four TDs. Melton, graded as a PFA coming into the season, has ordinary size and speed but polished pass-catching skills.
Unlikely to be selected in the draft, Melton has enough skill to make a roster as a fifth receiver/return specialist in the NFL.
Muse not measuring up (10 PM)
Entering the season, scouts graded South Carolina tight end Nick Muse as a fourth-round prospect, a full two rounds earlier than I graded the senior. It seems we both overrated Muse. While the South Carolina passing game has been inconsistent, Muse has just 17 receptions in the Gamecocks eight games, including this evening’s contest against Missouri.
Muse is a solid tight end with average size and below-average speed. He must test well before the draft to cement himself as a day three pick and Muse projects as a third tight end on Sunday.
Both Auburn junior safeties have futures at the next level (9:40 PM)
I graded Jamien Sherwood as a fifth-round prospect and Smoke Monday as a PFA off their sophomore film of 2019 and both players have shown terrific progress this season. Sherwood had 43 tackles and 2 PBU’s this season and added another five tackles tonight against Tennessee. Besides a great name, Smoke Monday was right behind Sherwood with 38 tackles. He’s added four tackles this evening and brought an interception back 100 yards for a score.
Sherwood is an athletic strong safety while Monday is rangier with the ability to line up at free safety.
Otton going off against Ariona (9:10 PM)
The University of Washington has produced a good number of tight ends who went on to have success in the NFL and Cade Otton will be the next. The junior is a well-rounded tight end who catches the ball extremely well and also gets results as a blocker. He’s not a true downfield threat, rather a smart pass-catcher who sneaks behind defenses for long receptions. He’s already caught five passes for 72 yards against Arizona tonight and the game is not even halfway through the second quarter.
I presently grade Otton as a fifth-round prospect but I believe he has at least two rounds of upside potential if he continues to improve his game.
Brightwell a bright spot in the desert (8:55 PM)
Arizona is presently getting pounded by Washington and it looks as though it’s going to be another long season for the Wildcats. Despite this scouts have been impressed in the early going with Arizona running back Gary Brightwell. The hard-charging ball carrier has 22 yards on three carries this evening after a 112-yard rushing performance during the loss to USC a week ago.
Brightwell entered the season graded just outside the last round by scouts, yet if he continues to play impressive football he will cement himself as a day three pick.
The struggles continue for Hill (8:45 PM)
Off the 2019 film, I graded Georgia center Trey Hill as a day two selection and one of the best center prospects in the nation, but his play has fallen flat this season. Early in the campaign, there were constant exchange problems between Hill and the quarterback as well as a lot of bad snaps. Watching him tonight Hill looks lost at times. He bends at the waist, looks like he’s stuck in cement, and has been pushed off the line. This against a desperate Mississippi State team that’s impressed no one this season.
Perkins looks like a top 10 pick tonight (8:25 PM)
Oklahoma has taken command of the Bedlam Bowl in the early going, and Ronnie Perkins has loomed large in the Sooners’ dominance. He’s been a disruptive force from the get-go, making plays behind the line of scrimmage or pressuring the OSU quarterback despite double team blocks. Perkins has a bit of maturing to do, but I’ve always felt he’s a unique talent and a sensational edge rusher for the next level.
Big play Schwartz headed to the NFL? (8:10 PM)
Like South Carolina, Auburn is a program that’s had more ups and downs this season, as well as having a head coach on the brink. However, we have witnessed some terrific individual efforts on the team, such as Tigers receiver Seth Williams. Auburn’s other pass catcher Anthony Schwartz has had his moments, including the just-completed touchdown reception of 54 yards, which brings the Tigers within three points of Tennessee.
Schwartz had 38 receptions in six games before tonight and ranks just behind Williams. Known as one of the fastest players in college football, I’m told Schwartz will go through the process of getting a grade and opinions on where he will land should he enter the draft. Those close to the situation tell me it’s better than 50/50 Schwartz enters the draft.
The silver lining for South Carolina (8:00 PM)
It’s been a tough year at South Carolina; the team has not played well, the head coach got the boot, and their top two corners opted out last week to prepare for the draft. If there’s a silver lining, it has been the play of linebacker Ernest Jones. Fast, fierce, and intuitive, Jones is omnipresent and continuously around the action. Coming into tonight’s game, the junior had already tallied 78 tackles in seven games.
Presently I grade Jones as a third-round prospect.
One more major match-up to watch during the battle of Oklahoma (7:35 PM)
I mentioned the battle between Oklahoma State receiver Tylan Wallace and Sooner corner Tre Brown to start the day. However, there is another big match-up scouts will be eyeing.
Cowboys right tackle Teven Jenkins draws a lot of love in the scouting community, and while I grade the big blocker as a fourth-round prospect, many scouts feel he’s a top 50 pick. Tonight he’ll battle Sooners pass rusher extraordinaire Ronnie Perkins, who I presently grade as a first-round prospect. The face-off between the pair should be fun to watch.
A familiar Big Ten defensive back prospect nearly catalyzes comeback (7:25 PM)
He was a big part of Indiana’s upset win against Penn State earlier in the year. Today, his interception of Justin Fields almost culminated in an eventual victory for the Hoosiers. Junior safety Jamar Johnson is a player, pure and simple. He’s come up big in the most significant moments so far this season, and in those moments, the 6-foot-1 defender has flashed impressive upside and instincts.
Today, Johnson lit up the stat sheet with two interceptions, a pass deflection, and a sack against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Johnson displayed impressive instincts, awareness, and positioning on both interceptions, and on the second one, he used blistering closing speed to hawk an errant throw from Fields. Johnson’s playmaking ability jumps off the screen, and if he keeps it up, he’ll stay on the screen come Sunday. IC
Desmond Ridder wills Cincinnati to wins with his arm and his legs (7:10 PM)
The Cincinnati Bearcats continue to be one of the nation’s best stories. While their defense deserves a lot of credit for making the UCF offense uncomfortable today, Desmond Ridder’s four-touchdown effort has been the key driver of Cincinnati’s success. With the fourth quarter starting to close, the Bearcats lead by 11.
Ridder is a supremely talented quarterback, but he still hasn’t caught on as a consensus Day 3 option at quarterback. Today’s game only reinforces what we know about Ridder; he’s an elite positional athlete with a live arm, and he’s also smart with how he approaches risk. Cincinnati is on the verge of remaining undefeated, and Ridder is a big reason why. IC
Iowa DT Daviyon Nixon seals the deal against Penn State with pick-six (6:55 PM)
Daviyon Nixon is known for his ability to seal off lanes and rush at the line of scrimmage, as the 6-foot-3, 305-pound interior lineman has 3.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss so far this year. But the junior’s most impactful play against Penn State wasn’t a tackle variation. Instead, it was a pick-six on Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford.
Clifford looked to pass to the left side, near the line of scrimmage, but just after he released, Nixon made a quick-reacting play and jumped up to pick off the pass. He then turned upfield and managed to outrun the much smaller Clifford, taking the interception into the end zone. Nixon’s name hasn’t reached the highest ranks in the 2020 defensive line class quite yet, but the Hawkeyes lineman has a very good combination of size and athleticism, as was evidenced on his last play.
Given the weak nature of this year’s IDL class, Nixon could be a big riser as the season progresses; he’s matched his 2019 sack total and exceed his tackle-for-loss total in less than one-third of the games. IC
Northwestern’s defense making life hard for Wisconsin offense, Graham Mertz (6:40 PM)
There are less than nine minutes to go in the Big Ten clash between Wisconsin and Northwestern, but Paul Chryst’s squad only has seven points. Northwestern’s defense has made life hard for the Badgers’ offensive attack; Graham Mertz tossed two interceptions to freshman standout Brandon Joseph earlier and just threw another to junior defensive back Greg Newsome II.
Northwestern’s defense has been flying around today, and it has a little bit of everything. Stout run defender Earnest Brown IV anchors the front four. Paddy Fisher headlines the linebacker room as a big, high-upside player, and Newsome II, standing at 6-foot-1, 190, has quietly been one of the conference’s leading pass deflectors through two seasons. IC
Kenny Pickett rebounds with touchdown drive, again shows upside (6:25 PM)
Kenny Pickett’s interception earlier was one of his worst plays of the 2020 season. Still, the senior signal-caller has since rebounded with two touchdown drives, the first of which came late in the second quarter against Virginia Tech. Pickett capped off the touchdown drive with an impressive scoring strike to Jaylon Barden, on which Pickett again displayed his promising off-script traits.
Pickett took the snap and began his drop back, but a free rusher pursued him on the blindside. Pickett used his instincts to feel the rusher and quickly evade, and he then rolled to his left, where he got his shoulders around and passed across his body to hit a closing window in the end zone. Pickett has the unique ability to generate exceptional velocity off-platform as a thrower, and that’ll allow him to hit windows that other quarterbacks can’t. IC
Najee Harris provides a reminder of his athletic proficiency (5:55 PM)
Alabama RB Najee Harris is a very imposing, physical presence at 6-foot-2, 230, but an aspect of his game that remains underrated is his athleticism. It’s true; Harris doesn’t have top-end speed, but there’s a lot more that goes into athleticism than sheer speed, and Harris has almost everything else.
On his touchdown run to put Alabama up 21-3, Harris showed off this athleticism. At the line, Harris made a quick, agile cut upfield to avoid interior rushers, then exploded into the deep third, gearing up fast enough to get into the open field. The defensive backs stuck with Harris, but he used his balance and a stiff arm to stay upright and reach the end zone. Harris’ complete profile as a running back will likely render him a Day 2 selection. IC
Mike Rose another linebacker on the rise on the CFB stage (5:45 PM)
While we’re on the topic of linebackers, let’s pivot to the Iowa State-Kansas State clash, where Mike Rose continues to be a standout defender for the Cyclones. With his instincts and competitiveness at the catch point, the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Rose notched his fourth interception of the season not long ago.
Rose, a junior, has decent athleticism for his frame and combined with his intangible traits, he could carve out a role at the NFL level. He might not rise above the Day 3 conversation, but Rose has an imposing size, and his motor allows him to maximize that and make plays for his team. IC
Former four-star recruit making plays for Western Kentucky on defense (5:25 PM)
Once heralded as a four-star recruit, with offers from schools like Ohio State, Penn State, and Vanderbilt, Hilltoppers linebacker Eli Brown has fallen under the radar since moving out of the SEC. He spent his first three seasons with the Kentucky Wildcats but decided to transfer to Western Kentucky to be closer to his family to help support them.
The move may have somewhat stunted Brown’s development, but the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker still shows off his upside on occasion, and when he flashes, he looks to be a cut above his C-USA competition. Today, against FIU, Brown made an instinctive break in the middle of the field and wound up picking off a pass into the intermediate range. He then used his speed to run the ball back for a touchdown, putting WKU up two possessions. Brown’s solid size-athleticism combination should give him a shot at an NFL camp, and if he starts to up his ball production, he may get consideration on Day 3. IC
Obligatory stat update for Zach Wilson, the biggest riser of the 2021 NFL Draft (5:10 PM)
We’re live at LaVell Edwards Stadium, home of the greatest offense known to man, where Zach Wilson is once again putting up insane numbers. Today, in an effortless blowout against Northern Alabama, Wilson is 10 for 16 for 212 yards and four touchdowns, finding the end zone on 25% of his throws. As it stands, Wilson has now completed 176 of his 237 attempts for 2,724 yards, 26 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. Oh, and he also has almost 200 yards and eight scores rushing.
Wilson’s standout performance today is just an extension of his 2020 season; he’s been electric all year, and while he’s not close to challenging for Justin Fields’ QB2 spot, Wilson’s appeal as a legitimate first-round quarterback only gets stronger each week. He continues to display all the traits necessary to be a franchise quarterback. IC
Penn State’s explosive edge duo starting to wreck Iowa’s offensive game plan (4:55 PM)
It was bound to happen eventually; with three minutes to go in the first half, Penn State’s edge duo of Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney finally made a game-changing impact, with Oweh and Toney delivering losses on back-to-back plays. On second down, Oweh wrenched open a lane with his length and used his explosive closing speed to wrap up Tyler Goodson in the backfield. One play later, Toney dismantled the drive with a sack, showing decent bend and acceleration around the edge.
Both Oweh and Toney are outstanding athletes who have high upside, and Oweh, particularly, has the combination of explosiveness and size that NFL scouts look for in their first-round edge rushers today. If they can continue to keep a reeling Penn State squad in this game, they’ll only further legitimize their respective NFL Draft profiles. IC
Kenny Pickett, unfortunately, lives up to his last name versus Hokies (4:45 PM)
Kenny Pickett is one of #MyGuys in the 2021 NFL Draft. I’m not shy about that; he has a very good pallet of traits for modern quarterbacking, above-average athleticism to arm elasticity to contagious toughness in high-pressure situations. I see Pickett as a massive sleeper at the quarterback position in the draft, but with opportunities fleeting, he’s running out of time to reach his full potential.
One quarter through Pitt’s game against Virginia Tech, Pickett has been pedestrian. It’s worth noting that he hasn’t been one-hundred percent very often this season, and Mark Whipple’s offense isn’t doing him any favors, but Pickett’s volatility from 2018 and 2019 is starting to rear its ugly head again. Pickett gifted an interception to Tech’s Chamarri Conner just one play after a Panthers forced turnover.
Pickett has a ton of upside, and his positive impact on Pitt’s offense has been noticeable this year. But at this point, it’s tough to see him as more than a Day 3 developmental option. But there are a lot of tools to work with, which elevates his value. IC
Demetric Felton does it all for UCLA in clash with the Ducks (4:30 PM)
There’s an immense pool of offensive talent in the 2021 NFL Draft but a much smaller subcategory of players who qualify as hybrid candidates at the NFL level. One of those coveted versatile players is UCLA’s Demetric Felton, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound spark plug who’s having it his way against the Oregon Ducks early in Week 12.
So far, Felton has 10 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, and he’s also been getting involved in the receiving game and the return game. Felton brings outstanding athletic traits for his frame, possessing elite shiftiness and explosiveness out of direction changes, and he couples it all with a searing fast play speed.
So far in 2020, Felton — a recent Senior Bowl addition — has been used less in the passing game. Still, as evidenced by his 55 catches for 594 yards in 2019, he has legitimate receiving ability, and he can be a valuable piece for the right offensive mind. IC
Iowa offensive line holds slight advantage early in battle with Penn State (4:20 PM)
The Big Ten matchup between Iowa and Penn State is highlighted by a trench battle filled with NFL talent on both sides. Iowa’s offensive line carries legitimate NFL Draft prospects such as Alaric Jackson and Tyler Linderbaum. At the same time, Penn State edge rushers Jayson Oweh and Shaka Toney both have a chance to go within the first two days.
So far, Iowa’s line has gotten the better of Penn State’s line, using mismatches on the interior to clear lanes for running backs Tyler Goodson and Mekhi Sargent. With that being said, it’s still early, and as Iowa logs more pass attempts, look for Oweh and Toney to use their athleticism to move the needle. IC
Jaelon Darden gets 30th career touchdown catch, strengthens draft profile (4:10 PM)
In one of the lesser-heralded Saturday afternoon bouts, the North Texas Mean Green leads Rice by a score of 14-10. The difference can be attributed to a touchdown reception hauled in by senior receiver Jaelon Darden. On the scoring play, Darden caught a pass over the middle of the field, used a quick stop to disrupt the safety’s balance, and then cut the other way, using his burst to reach the end zone just before contact.
Darden is notably undersized, standing at just 5-foot-9, 174, and more likely than not, he’s a priority free agent in the 2021 NFL Draft. But Darden does have excellent production, and he’s a threat at all levels of the field, with solid quickness in the short-range and outstanding ball tracking ability downfield. IC
Justin Fields sneaks away with a win over Indiana despite worst 2020 outing (4:00 PM)
Justin Fields had his worst showing of 2020 today, against an upset-minded Indiana squad. That season-worst outing featured 378 total offensive yards and three total touchdowns to go along with three interceptions. Fields shouldn’t move up or down on the draft board after this one, but it was an important reminder that he is indeed human after starting the 2020 season at a torrid pace.
Fields remains a bonafide starter in the 2021 NFL Draft and the clear QB2 to Trevor Lawrence’s QB1-ness. But even Fields, the best QB2 to come out in almost a decade, has things to work on. His first interception precipitated from his late identification of the single-high safety in Cover 3. His third interception, a momentum-shifter for the Hoosiers, resulted from him trying to do too much in an unstable situation. It was a rough game, but it’s ultimately a blip on an otherwise sparkling resume. IC
Kyle Trask carries on elite production versus Vanderbilt (3:45 PM)
It was a typical day of statistical dominance for Florida quarterback Kyle Trask today. The Heisman candidate meticulously tore up the Vanderbilt secondary, completing 26 of 35 passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns. Trask now has over 2,500 yards, 31 touchdowns, and just three picks in seven games this season.
There is, of course, a difference between statistical production and diagnostic ability. Trask is an excellent example of this, as opinions on his NFL projection are primarily split. But regardless of whatever limitations might be perceived with Trask, his latest outing again showcased his redeeming traits. Trask can see the field reasonably well, and his execution of Florida’s offense has been superb. He may not have the mobility and arm talent of preferred modern passers, but his high floor will generate interest. IC
Sleeper Northwestern corner considering the draft (3:20 PM)
Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome caught my eye so much as a sophomore in 2019, I immediately graded him as a top 125 selection. He’s played well this season, and I’m told Newsome is seriously considering throwing his hat into the 2021 NFL Draft.
Newsome is a nice sized corner with a physical game. He squares off against Wisconsin in a few minutes, who sport talented freshman quarterback Graham Mertz.
FIU junior duo looking good (3:00 PM)
No senior from Florida International presently carries a draftable grade, yet two underclassmen listed in my recent rankings have played well.
Junior wideout JJ Holloman is on a bit of a hot streak after a slow start to the season. He posted four receptions a week ago against Florida Atlantic, and seven minutes into the second quarter today, he’s posted two receptions for 54 yards and one TD against Western Kentucky.
Junior defensive back Rishard Dames has played well this season, leading his team in tackles (32) and PBU’s (2).
Both players presently rank as late-round/PFA types with the ability to make a roster at the next level.
Fryfogle doing it again (2:40 PM)
Week 11 riser Ty Fryfogle continues to impress, and after outstanding games against Michigan and Michigan State, respectively, the Indiana receiver is taking it to the Buckeye secondary. With five minutes left in the third quarter, the senior has caught four passes for 132 yards with two TD’s, including a 33-yarder Fryfogle just grabbed in the end zone to close the gap to 14 points.
As mentioned earlier this week, scouts graded Fryfogle as a PFA before the season, yet there’s no doubt he’s made a big move up draft boards. Much of his final draft grade will be determined by how fast Fryfogle runs in the combine and/or pro-day workouts.
App State junior corner headed to the draft? (2:20 PM)
I continue to hear there’s a real possibility Appalachian State junior corner Shaun Jolly could be headed to the draft after the season. I had initially mentioned this possibility two weeks ago during the live-streamed Draft Insiders podcast.
Presently graded as my top ASU prospect and an early sixth-round choice, Jolly is a terrific cover corner with next-level ball skills. The issue is size, primarily height, as Jolly measures around 5-feet-9-inches, limiting his draft appeal and relegating him to nickel or dime packages at the next level.
Entering today’s game against Coastal Carolina, Jolly had totaled 32 tackles with four PBU’s and has added two tackles today. Don’t fret about the lack of ball production this season as the conclusion that must be drawn after watching any amount of Appalachian State film this year shows opponents are purposely throwing away from Jolly and rarely challenge him.
Brandon Peters rebounding well (2:10 PM)
After a disastrous opening game against Wisconsin, senior quarterback Brandon Peters is rebounding well against Nebraska. He’s 14 or 17 passing against Nebraska with one TD as the second half is underway.
Peters is a nice sized pocket passer with next-level arm strength. I graded him as a potential late-round pick before the season. Still, Peters needs to play consistently productive football and avoid awful performances like the Wisconsin game if he’s to slide into the last round.
Myron Cunningham = Inconsistent (1:20 PM)
Scouts stamped Arkansas left tackle Myron Cunningham as early as a third-round prospect, but the senior is too inconsistent for my liking, the reason I grade him as a late fourth-round pick at best. Cunningham has impressive size and flashes athleticism, but struggles finishing blocks, gets stuck in cement, and looks lost at times. All three were on display on the sack Cunningham just gave up to Andre Anthony of LSU, a redshirt senior who grades as a UDFA.
Cunningham really needs a coach to light a fire under him, and he must play to his level of ability on every snap.
Josh Imatorbhebhe off to a hot start against Nebraska (1:05 PM)
Illinois receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe started the season quickly before going into a big funk. He’s off to a hot start today against Nebraska with three receptions for 49 yards and a score. Imatorbhebhe is a dependable receiver with great size but sub-par speed. If he gets drafted, it will be very late, but the senior will have an opportunity to latch on to a depth chart as a fifth wideout and possession receiver.
Terrific D-Line play in the Indiana-Ohio State contest (1:00 PM)
Both defensive lines have come to play today, and just when it looked like the Buckeyes were on the verge of taking command early in the game, the Hoosiers defensive line stops them cold. That was a terrific stop by IU defensive tackle Jerome Johnson on third down to force a Buckeye punt. Johnson is a solid rotational interior lineman for the next level. I doubt he gets drafted, but I fully expect Johnson to compete for a roster spot next summer.
And just like that… (12:45 PM)
I started off by mentioning the big-play ability of Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely. The junior responded by hauling in a 75-yard reception for a touchdown. The athletic Likely is a move tight end prospect with growth potential and the ability to develop into a three-down player at the position.
Ohio State defensive line setting the tone early (12:15 PM)
Indiana needs to score points today but it looks as though the Ohio State defensive line won’t allow it. That was a terrific inside move by Buckeyes defensive end Jonathon Cooper for the sack.
Entering the season, I graded Cooper as a PFA and just outside of draftable range. That’s significantly higher than scouts, who never graded the fifth-year senior and left him off lists. Cooper is a small defensive end, but good enough as a pass rusher to get looks as a one-gap DE or a stand-over-the-tackle OLB.
Keep an eye on Coastal Carolina TE Isaiah Likely (12:05 PM)
Presently graded on my board as a sixth-round prospect, Coastal coaches have been raving about Likely to NFL scouts. Likely plays the tight end position like a possession receiver and is averaging more than 23 yards per catch this season with three touchdowns.
He only has 10 receptions this season as he’s been struggling with a foot injury the past few weeks. Likely is unlikely to enter next April’s draft (see what i did there), but he’s someone who could move into the top 75 picks with a good senior season in 2021.
Indiana wide receivers to test Ohio State CB Shaun Wade
The fun starts at noon, as a pair of top-10 Big Ten teams square off. The Indiana-Ohio State contest offers plenty of battles for scouts to watch, the most prominent being Indiana wide receiver Ty Fryfogle — a Week 11 riser — and his teammate Whop Philyor battling Buckeyes cornerback Shaun Wade.
Fryfogle is off to a great start, and Philyor is well-liked in the scouting community. Wade is expected to be a first-round selection.
Nevada QB Carson Strong in the spotlight
Nevada quarterback Carson Strong, a name still met with shrugged shoulders in the scouting community despite his great season, takes college football’s national stage in Week 12 against San Diego State on Saturday afternoon.
Strong, a quarterback prospect I pegged as a future first-round pick, has been unstoppable since the season’s first game against Wyoming. The Aztecs have several next-level prospects in the secondary, including safeties Tariq Thompson and Dwayne Johnson Jr. This will be the toughest test yet for Nevada’s redshirt sophomore quarterback. The postponement of the Ole Miss-Texas A&M game allowed CBS to move this Mountain West contest to the national stage.
WR Tylan Wallace vs. CB Tre Brown a matchup scouts will be eyeing
The interstate rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State kicks off a week earlier than usual, but it still offers some exciting next-level matchups.
OSU receiver Tylan Wallace keeps playing better and better since returning from the injury that sidelined him for most of 2019. His main opponent will be cornerback Tre Brown, who’s getting a lot of chatter in the scouting community.
Brown is a shorter corner at 5-foot-9, but he’s tough and has next-level ball skills. In seven games this season, Brown has two interceptions and three pass breakups.
Week 12 College Football TV Schedule: How and Where to Watch
See below for all of the Week 12 college football games today. Find out what time each game kicks off along with the channel they will be broadcast on.
Week 12 College Football Early Afternoon Schedule
- #9 Indiana at #3 Ohio State – 12 PM ET | FOX
- Canceled: #4 Clemson at Florida State – 12 PM ET | ABC
- #6 Florida at Vanderbilt – 12 PM ET | ABC (Moved from ESPN)
- Appalachian St. at #15 Coastal Carolina – 12 PM ET | ESPN2
- Stephen F. Austin at Memphis – 12 PM ET | ESPN+
- Illinois at Nebraska – 12 PM ET | BTN
- Arkansas St. at Texas At. – 12 PM ET | ESPNU
- East Carolina at Temple – 12 PM ET | ESPN+
- Georgia Southern at Army – 12 PM ET | CBSSN
- LSU at Arkansas – 12 PM ET | SECN
- Florida International at Western Kentucky – 2 PM ET | ESPN3
- Rice at North Texas – 2 PM ET | ESPN3
Week 12 College Football Late Afternoon Schedule
- North Alabama at #8 BYU – 3 PM ET | ESPN3
- UTSA at Southern Mississippi – 3 PM ET | ESPN+
- #7 Cincinnati at UCF – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN
- #10 Wisconsin at #19 Northwestern – 3:30 PM ET | ABC
- UCLA at #11 Oregon – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN2
- Middle Tennessee at Troy – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN3
- Iowa at Penn State – 3:30 PM ET | BTN
- San Diego St. at Nevada – 3:30 PM ET | CBS
- Cal at Oregon St. – 3:30 PM ET | FS1
- Kentucky at #1 Alabama – 4 PM ET | SECN
- Kansas St. at #17 Iowa St. – 4 PM ET | FOX
- Abilene Christian at Virginia – 4 PM ET | ESPN3
- Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh – 4 PM ET | ACCN
- Georgia St. at South Alabama – 4 PM ET | ESPNU
Week 12 College Football Primetime Schedule
- Tennessee at #23 Auburn – 7 PM ET | ESPN
- San Jose St. at Fresno St. – 7 PM ET | CBSSN
- Mississippi St. at #13 Georgia – 7:30 PM ET | SECN
- #14 Oklahoma St. at #18 Oklahoma – 7:30 PM ET | ABC
- #21 Liberty at NC State – 7:30 PM ET | ESPN3
- Missouri at South Carolina – 7:30 PM ET | SECN ALT
- Michigan at Rutgers – 7:30 PM ET | BTN
- Arizona at Washington – 8 PM ET | FOX
Week 12 College Football Late Night Schedule
- #20 USC at Utah – 10:30 PM ET | ESPN
- Washington St. at Stanford – 10:30 PM ET | FS1
- Boise St. at Hawai’i – 11 PM ET | CBSSN