The penultimate weekend of college football’s regular season is highlighted by a game between two unbeaten teams — BYU and Coastal Carolina. And it’s a contest that was pieced together at the last minute when the previous opponents of the two teams had to bail due to virus outbreaks. That aside, there are plenty of matchups between next-level prospects to watch all day in Week 14 of the college football season.
Once again, we’ll be here all Saturday with opinions and breaking news on many of the NFL Draft prospects. Information on how and where to watch, which includes kickoff times and the TV schedule, can be found below.
All of the live Week 14 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 14 College Football Live Blog with Tony Pauline, Ian Cummings, and Nick Farabaugh
News and updates for the Week 14 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).
Podcast: Between the Hashes Note: This article continues after the podcast player. To subscribe to Between the Hashes with Tony Pauline and Cam Mellor, find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.
Chad Muma is Laramie’s new hidden gem (12:00 AM)
A year after Logan Wilson gets drafted on Day 2, Wyoming has another stellar linebacker prospect that should turn heads. Junior Chad Muma is an animal and is all over the football field. His instincts, motor, and athleticism all make him a prospect to keep an eye on. It is tough to get a read on if Muma will actually come out given the fact that he is just a true junior, but he has all the makings of a quality NFL linebacker.
The looseness in Muma’s hips helps him mirror guys up the seam in coverage. I am not a huge fan of his man coverage, simply because he cheats a lot and seems to be against using his feet to try and mirror receivers. Using him in shallow zones where he can use his eyes and fluidity is where he works best. However, Muma is a guy that fits into multiple schemes, and will gain hype throughout the process. NF
Brant Kuithe showing his strengths (11:55 PM)
Utah has used the mismatch chess piece that is Brant Kuithe to perfection today. He already has five receptions for 52 yards, and the Beavers have no answer for Kuithe’s athleticism in space once he gets matched up against a linebacker. Kuithe is just outmuscling guys at the catch point and in the open field. He has that hot motor and try-hard attitude that really makes him a fun player to root for on the Utes.
Kuithe is just a solid athlete who is smooth in space, however, and he may not be a star at the NFL level. Better athletes will be able to keep up with him, and Kuithe is not a sufficient enough blocker to demand being on the field as a true lead tight end. However, as an H-Back or even a tight end that moves around the formation, there is potential here. I would not be surprised to see Kuithe end up being quality depth for whoever picks him up. NF
Quiet half for Frank Darby (11:45 PM)
Star Arizona State receiver Frank Darby has been held in check by UCLA thus far on the day. Recently getting a Senior Bowl invite, Darby has some big-play ability. He has trouble beating press off the line of scrimmage, but he has explosiveness and strong hands.
The real draw to Darby is his ability to win after the catch. Darby is crafty and elusive, similar to Brandon Aiyuk last year. Darby may be better suited for a role in the slot that can allow him to use his quickness and physicality in and out of his breaks. There is a place for a guy like Darby in the NFL, but teams just have to know how to use him and they can have quite the weapon. NF
Ronnie Rivers is so much fun (11:35 PM)
This Nevada-Fresno State game is a blast in general, but Fresno State running back Ronnie Rivers is dynamite. He is an elusive back if there ever was one. He has some of the most impressive lateral agility I have seen thus far in this class. You look at how effortlessly he plants his foot in the ground and cuts on a dime and it is astounding. Rivers takes ankles every week thanks to that specific skill.
Rivers just has a natural feel for leverage and feels spaces as they open up. That type of natural vision and processing is fantastic when you pair it with that quickness and some short area explosiveness. Rivers had a touchdown called back and it was a shame because it was yet another play where his dynamic cutting ability created big plays. He may not work as a featured back at the next level, but Rivers is a fantastic rotational back to any team looking for one. NF
Quentin Lake has a bright future (11:20 PM)
Speaking of UCLA Bruins with NFL bloodlines, Quentin Lake, son of former NFL safety Carnell Lake, is a fantastic case study into why the NFL loves guys with NFL bloodlines. Lake is almost like a second coach out there on defense for the Bruins. He reads things incredibly well and even though he is not an outstanding athlete, Lake is quick and explosive enough to make all the plays. He does not change direction all that well, but if you play him in a two-high scheme, you can stomach that anyways.
With those instincts and some legitimate ball skills, Lake is better working in the box and over the middle of the field. Whether that is as a robber or almost like another linebacker, Lake can do it all. He tackles exceptionally well and can even move out to the slot and man up receivers. Even if a team drafts him as depth at the next level, Lake has a bright future as a special teamer. But I think Lake can be more than that, and people should pay attention to his tape. NF
Osa Odighizuwa should shoot up boards (11:10 PM)
This has been a disappointing year for the defensive line class, to say the least. No one has really filled the void left by some disappointing prospects, either. One of the guys that could potentially shoot up draft boards is UCLA defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa. He has already received his Senior Bowl invite, and Odighizuwa is stringing together high-level performances at this point.
With a springy first step, Odighizuwa works first as a great penetrator in the interior of the defense. His bull rush and improvement in his pad level is huge for his ability to penetrate on the interior. Odighizuwa is flexible and quick in short areas while also having the density to take on double teams in the run game. He registered a sack tonight against Arizona State using his club-arm-over combination, and it is deadly. He has football bloodlines and natural tools, which should make him a potential Top-100 pick when it is all said and done. NF
Darian Kinnard flying under the radar (11:05 PM)
Kentucky has one of the nastiest offensive lines in the nation. It is no surprise to see them produce NFL talent along the offensive line as a result. Right tackle Darian Kinnard might just be the best of the bunch. Kinnard has the NFL frame that teams want from a mauling lineman. He has smooth mobility, good feet, and cinder blocks for hands. This young man packs a punch behind his frame.
Kinnard is far from a perfect prospect. His hand placement gets erratic at times and he does not have ideal length for the next level. However, you can see where Kinnard wins and that is at the point of attack by just mauling guys off the line. He is a people mover and a steady pass protector.
Due to his lack of length, I do think Kinnard could be viewed as a guard by NFL teams, and it is easy to see him opening up lanes as a puller at guard in the NFL. Kinnard has serious appeal, and when it is all said and done, he is working himself into a mid-round selection. NF
Jabril Cox is up and down (11:00 PM)
Despite LSU’s lackluster performance on the day, it has been a day of good and bad for LSU linebacker Jabril Cox. Cox’s natural athleticism and coverage ability are huge boons for a guy who is proving he can play with anyone after an illustrious career at North Dakota State. Cox does not back down from a challenge and has held up well thus far today against the stresses of the Alabama offense.
LSU has been using Cox almost as a nickel cornerback at times today. He faced John Metchie on more than one occasion. He did surrender a touchdown, but there have been significant quality reps from Cox. Cox’s run defense has been suspect today however. He is getting reached at the second level and got ran right through by Najee Harris. This is a game that some teams will love and one that will cause others to run far away from Cox. I firmly believe Cox is still a Day 2 selection because his appeal in the modern sub-package NFL is so overt. NF
Carson Strong continuing to rise (10:45 PM)
The best kept secret at quarterback in college football is Nevada QB Carson Strong. Behind his strong play this season, Nevada has surged to a great 5-1 record that has gone under the radar. With two more touchdowns in the first half today against Fresno State, Strong has the Wolfpack in the lead before halftime. Strong is the type of player that gives you most of what you want on any given game tape.
Strong’s throws outside the numbers are absolutely gorgeous. It is with great consistency that he hits those downfield throws to his plethora of weapons. Strong’s eye manipulation is some of the best in the class. He toys with safeties, linebackers, and defenders to uncover his pass catchers. I can firmly say that Strong has me intrigued about his NFL future, because there are some extremely enticing tools in his toolbox. NF
Mac Jones’ muddy evaluation (10:40 PM)
In a quarterback class that is still trying to shuffle out its board, a firm riser has been Alabama quarterback Mac Jones. After taking over for the injured Tua Tagovailoa last season, Jones dazzled with poise and some money throws, especially down the field. Make no mistake; he has continued to throw dimes this season and has proven he has the touch and feel to make the throws across the field. This is a guy who is mechanically sound and has the accuracy you want in a good quarterback prospect. At the very least, that is encouraging.
The evaluation gets tough when you consider the scheme that Jones is in. It is the combination of a simple scheme for a quarterback and absurd talent around him that makes Jones’ evaluation questionable. It is almost too easy for Jones. He has yet to showcase dynamic ability outside of structure at a high level. That will hurt him in the NFL. Even in structure, he makes some bad decisions and does not see things through in the post-snap. I like Jones and think he is the fifth-best quarterback in this class, but I am significantly less sure about the upside and starter potential he possesses. He might just be a really, really good backup. NF
Cornell Powell- From out of nowhere (10:20 PM)
Cornell Powell just hauled in a 65 yard TD pass, which gives him 4 receptions for 90 yards this evening. He’s on his way to his fourth 100-plus yard receiving game this season. And scouts had no idea about Powell before this season. The prior four seasons Powell combine for 40 receptions, which included a redshirt season in 2018. When Justyn Ross was lost before the season began the door opened for Powell, who has blown down the doors. Prior to tonight’s game against Virginia Tech, Powell has totaled 37 receptions, 594 yards and 4 TD’s.
In a nutshell Powell has gone from unknown to mid-round draft pick.
DeVonta Smith- I mean holy crap! (10:10 PM)
The match-up between Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and LSU sophomore Derek Stingley Jr. was one I highlighted this morning. Forget about Stingley- I wanna see Stephon Gilmore or Richard Sherman try and stop the Bama senior!
Thus far tonight Smith has 7 receptions for 219 yards and 3 TD’s, at halftime!!! He’s made some spectacular receptions and displayed great speed blowing by LSU defenders. No surprise I had Smith being selected with the seventh selection in round one during my recent mock draft.
Goode playing better than his name (10 PM)
The Cal Bears look poised to pull an upset over the Oregon Ducks tonight in an effort primarily led by the defense. Linebacker Cameron Goode is having a breakout game and leading the way for the Bears. With eight minutes left in the second half he’s recorded 5 tackles, 3 TFL’s and 1 sack, besides just recovering a fumble.
Goode has been a bit inconsistent throughout most of his Cal career and never lived up to expectations- part of the reason he’s graded as a PFA. Part of the problem is schematic- Goode is a 4-3 OLB playing in a 3-4 at Cal. He has the size and speed to play on Sunday’s but needs to play at a high level every game, or perform the way he is this evening.
Yusuf Corker = Underrated safety (9:45 PM)
At the top of the evening I mentioned the lack of talent at the top of the safety position. There will be a good number of players at the position who will be available on day three of the draft that could turn into steals at the next level. Prospects who may not pass the eyeball test or run the fast forty but are just good football players.
Yusuf Corker of Kentucky fits the bill on this one.
One of the leaders of the Kentucky defense, Corker is smart, instinctive and very tough. He gets the most from his ability and he’s a stout run defender with solid ball skills. UK is drubbing South Carolina this evening 27-3 and Corker has 3 tackles and 1 INT to his credit after entering the game with 66 tackles- second on the Wildcats defense.
I have a fifth round grade on Corker, primarily as he’s expected to time the forty somewhere around 4.55 seconds. If he runs faster Corker could be selected earlier yet in the right scheme he can play on Sunday.
Jobe to join Surtain in April’s draft? (9:15 PM)
Alabama cornerback Josh Jobe often gets lost in the shuffle with all the terrific talent on the Tides defense but the junior is having a terrific season. He already has 4 tackles in tonight game against LSU and that follows up 10 tackles against Auburn last week.
During Wednesday’s edition of The Draft Insiders podcast I mentioned ‘Bama corner Patrick Surtain will enter the 2021 draft- which will surprise no one. Last week I was told expectations are Jobe will follow his teammate and also declare for the draft. I presently grade Jobe as a late fourth, early fifth round prospect. Scouts I’ve spoken with feel Jobe is more deserving of being an early fourth round choice and could sneak into the second day of the draft with good pre-draft workouts.
Feel the Teal!! (9 PM)
What a terrific game from start to finish. Now everyone knows who Coastal Carolina is! Now I know what a Chanticleer is!
Joking aside, there were several terrific performances by players on both sides, probably none more so that Coastal pass rusher Jeffrey Gunter, a transfer from North Carolina State. The redshirt junior finished the contest with 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 QBH and a forced fumble. Stats don’t tell the entire story as Gunter was omni-present all night and forced a holding penalty on BYU’s final drive, pushing the Cougars back another ten yards.
Gunter, senior Tarron Jackson and redshirt sophomore Jerrod Clark are all legitimate next level prospects on the CC defensive line and made life tough for the BYU offense this evening.
Kameron Brown- a name to keep an eye on (8:25 PM)
Tonight’s battle of the unbeatens between BYU and Coastal Carolina has been enjoyable and one to watch. Also, if you’re watching, you are probably being introduced to a host of next-level prospects you didn’t know about.
Coastal Carolina’s Kameron Brown would be one of them.
The transfer from Charleston Southern is a big-bodied possession receiver with a smooth style and dependable hands. Brown consistently comes away with all the receptions and offers his quarterback a big target. He leads all Coastal receivers this evening with three receptions for 47 yards. Receiver may not be Brown’s ultimate position at the next level as the team that signs him as a PFA may want to put 10-pounds on his 225-pound frame and turn him into a move tight end.
Christian Darrisaw looks terrific in the early going vs. Clemson (8:10 PM)
Virginia Tech junior tackle Christian Darrisaw is getting all types of “pub” in the internet world, and why not? The athletic blindside protector has shown a lot of improvement in his game this season. Off to a fast start tonight against Clemson, Darrisaw is fundamentally sound, fluid, and has improved his strength at the point.
I stamped Darrisaw as a second-round prospect over the summer, and it’s possible the junior could slide into the late part of round one if he enters the draft.
Tonga looking dominant (7:55 PM)
Khyiris Tonga of BYU could be the most underrated nose tackle prospects from the senior class. Coming into the Coastal Carolina contest, scouts have Tonga graded as a fifth/sixth-round selection, about a half-round later than I have the big man graded. Yet Tonga has played exceedingly well this season and looks terrific tonight.
Tonga is more than just a gap occupier who takes up space and eats up blockers. He’s a terrific playmaker, as evidenced by his six tackles this evening. Tonga is big, strong, but also athletic as he’s projected to run the forty under 5-seconds flat, a terrific time for a 325-pound defensive lineman.
’21 NFL Draft getting an injection of talent at the safety position? (7:40 PM)
Safety looks as though it will be one of the weaker positions in next April’s draft. There’s one player at the top, Oregon’s Jevon Holland, who opted out of the season, then a significant drop-off. The position is screaming for an injection of talent; it may just get what it needs.
Sources tell me the feeling in TCU is junior safety Trevon Moehrig is likely to enter April’s draft. While I’ve not heard from any sources around Moehrig, those familiar with the Horned Frogs program believe the junior is taking his game to the NFL. Besides a game-saving one-handed interception in the end zone today, Moehrig has 44 tackles and nine PBU’s to his credit this season. I presently grade the junior safety as a third-round prospect.
Late slate of college football features a ton of exciting prospects (7:25 PM)
It’s almost time for the late slate of college football in Week 14, and there will be plenty to watch in this batch. Oregon-California just kicked off a few minutes ago, and within the hour, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Alabama, LSU, Miami, and Oklahoma will all be in action. And on top of that, the second half of the BYU-Coastal Carolina game is on the way.
Although players like Penei Sewell, Trevor Lawrence, Christian Darrisaw, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Ronnie Perkins headline the late games, they don’t begin to cover the number of draft hopefuls that will take the field tonight. Stick with us for more updates; Tony and Nick will close it out. IC
On-the-run throw showcases Wilson’s upside as a first-round QB (7:15 PM)
One throw that’s been making the rounds does an excellent job of displaying Zach Wilson’s NFL upside. Regardless of Wilson’s performance tonight, he’s put enough on tape this year to warrant an early selection. But this throw features traits that rest at the foundation of Wilson’s success.
On the throw in question, Wilson quickly anticipates pressure and starts to roll to his right. He uses his motion and his eyes to bait a couple of defenders to the sideline, where a receiver is running a route, and then at the last second flashes his eyes back inside and throws a dart off-platform to a receiver just outside the hash.
Wilson doesn’t have the sheer talent as Fields or Lawrence, but that’s a high bar to clear. Wilson still has the athleticism necessary to roll out and extend plays. He still has the arm elasticity to generate velocity on the move, and on top of that, he knows how to use his eyes to open up windows, even in off-script situations. That’s what matters. IC
Zach Wilson finds end zone for first time late in first half (7:00 PM)
With less than two minutes to go in the first half, Zach Wilson finally found the end zone. He hit wide receiver Dax Milne on an out-breaking route past the sticks, and Milne took it the rest of the way, tip-toeing on the sideline as he dodged defenders. The throw didn’t have a ton of pace on it, which accentuates the fact that Wilson’s physical tools, while still solid, are not elite, like those of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.
That Wilson touchdown will mask the fact that, until that play, the Coastal Carolina defense had largely held him in check. He had only completed 50% of his passes, and for BYU’s lone touchdown drive before that, running back Tyler Allgeier was the main threat. Wilson’s remaining task is to prove he can elevate the Cougars in the second half, now that we know the Chanticleers are giving him a challenge. IC
It’s Breece Hall vs. Isaiah Spiller for RB1 in the 2022 NFL Draft (6:50 PM)
Looking ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft, there can sometimes be a lack of certainty. It comes with the territory, as the 2021 season will be vital in developing the focus of that class. But early on, we can already tell that the battle for the RB1 position will include two players who are currently true sophomores: Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller and Iowa State running back Breece Hall.
Both running backs have near-elite size for the position (Hall is 6-foot-1, 215, while Spiller is 6-foot-1, 225), and both have been producing well this season, although Hall’s production has been in a tier of his own. Especially after his latest performance, Hall likely has a leg up on Spiller. His combination of elusiveness, contact balance, explosiveness, and receiving ability makes him a multifaceted threat in the Cyclones’ offense, but he’s a workhorse back first. IC
Kyle Pitts is an absolute monster (6:35 PM)
I don’t like to deal in absolutes when talking about the draft. It’s not a safe habit to take up, as there are so many subjective elements and contextual cues to draft evaluation. But at this point in the 2020 season, I feel comfortable saying this: Kyle Pitts is an absolute monster on the field.
Pitts has torn apart the entire SEC this year, and this week against Tennessee, it’s business as usual. Pitts has seven catches for 128 yards, and he’s again proven his ability to fulfill a diverse allotment of roles. Earlier, he used a brisk stutter-step, inside-cut combo at the line to gain separation on a slant for 15 yards. More recently, he made an acrobatic sideline catch on an overthrown pass from Kyle Trask, using his length and body contortion ability to stay in bounds.
Pitts has the ability to do so much, and his abilities help to open up the Florida offense. His wide receiver-tight end versatility at 6-foot-6, 240 pounds is unheard of, and he should be a lock to go first-round regardless of positional value. IC
Indiana’s underrated defense causing problems for Graham Mertz (6:25 PM)
The 16th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers only have six points as they enter the final minutes of the fourth quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers continue to prove that they’re here to stay as college football competitors with Tom Allen as the head coach, and the defense, in particular, has taken to his energetic, forceful tone.
For the entirety of this game, former top quarterback recruit Graham Mertz has failed to gain any sort of comfort. Indiana’s fast-paced defense has rendered him inert, and he was additionally picked off by playmaking safety Jamar Johnson — Johnson’s fourth pick of the season. Between Johnson, Tiawan Mullen, Jaylin Williams, and Micah McFadden, Indiana has players who might find a role at the next level. IC
Zach Wilson already under pressure against Coastal Carolina in early stages (5:55 PM)
Strength of schedule is a legitimate asterisk for both Brigham Young and Coastal Carolina. Still, it’s clear that the Chanticleers are in an echelon above their conference opposition, as they’re showing so far today. Zach Wilson, who’s consistently gotten off to strong starts this season, failed to complete his first three pass attempts, and one attempt, an underhand flip to his running back, was almost intercepted when the running back didn’t expect it.
Wilson may try to press a bit more and make things happen on his own today, which could unearth some of the volatility we’ve seen from him in previous years. At this point, not much is going to change about Wilson being a first-round quarterback, but today’s game will be significant for NFL teams trying to discern how far he still has to go before he can be a starter. IC
Ifeatu Melifonwu getting buzz, both good and bad, from performance against Notre Dame (5:45 PM)
He’ll get some flak for getting juked out of his shoes by Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams. Still, Syracuse defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu has shown off some of his upside today, even as the Orange gets expectedly lambasted by the Fighting Irish, now down 38-14 in the fourth quarter.
On one play in the second half, Melifonwu lined up at cornerback on the left side of the field. Melifonwu took his receiver in man coverage, used his physicality in press coverage to keep the receiver in front of him, and when Ian Book tried to loft one over to his target, Melifonwu showcased his insane vertical athleticism by leaping to bat the ball down, high-pointing it at its peak.
Only a junior, Melifonwu is 6-foot-3, 213, and has some versatility in the secondary. He still has some room to polish his game, but his athletic potential is through the roof, both literally and figuratively. IC
Heavily-anticipated BYU-Coastal Carolina game kicks off (5:35 PM)
BYU is an undefeated team that hasn’t played anyone yet. So is Coastal Carolina. This week, these two teams, who haven’t played anyone compelling yet, will play each other in a matchup that pits the No. 13 team against the No. 18 team. A clash with a Power Five opponent (besides Kansas) would be more telling for both teams. Nonetheless, this game will be worth watching, and it could have playoff implications, depending on the gratuity of the college football playoff selection committee.
The headliner is undoubtedly Zach Wilson, a quarterback who’s skyrocketed into the early first-round conversation with his play this year. He’ll go up against a Coastal Carolina defense that’s led by standout edge rusher Tarron Jackson. Jackson, who recently accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl, is a bit undersized at 6-foot-2, 260. Still, he has some flexibility to go along with quick, strong hands and a relentless motor. IC
Tennessee not getting enough from senior wide receiver Josh Palmer (5:30 PM)
Florida is only up by 10 against Tennessee, a small margin considering their previous games this season, but that gap should only continue to increase, as the Volunteers’ offense has again been hard to watch. The running game is averaging 2.3 yards per rush, and the passing game can’t garner any momentum. The team needs more from senior wide receiver Josh Palmer, who’s been blanked so far, with a drop as his only statistic.
Palmer has good size at 6-foot-2, 210, and his flashes of body control can be fun. But he’s not assertive enough at the catch point, and focus drops only drive his draft stock down further. Palmer could have been considered a wide receiver sleeper before the season, but now, it’s clear that he’ll be buried by the 2021 receiver class in April. IC
Daelin Hayes shows off athleticism with interception in coverage (5:20 PM)
As a 6-foot-3, 268-pound edge rusher, you’d usually expect Daelin Hayes to make plays off the line or in the backfield. But so far today, Hayes’ biggest play has been in coverage. Not long ago, Hayes picked off a pass from Rex Culpepper; he dropped back to cover the out-breaking route and sat in the zone as Culpepper tried unsuccessfully to fit the ball above Hayes’ head.
Hayes hasn’t been particularly consistent this year, but with his mobility in space and burst off the line, he offers some upside for NFL teams looking to nab a developmental edge rusher in the latter half of the draft. Hayes can, of course, boost his stock further if he shows out at the Senior Bowl. IC
Brock Purdy taking his turn on redemptive day for later-round quarterbacks (5:10 PM)
There must be a redemption tour for quarterbacks today because several later-round signal-callers are having impressive outings, one of them being Iowa State passer Brock Purdy. Purdy is 10 for 12 for 127 yards at the half and also has four carries for 28 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Purdy was once considered a potential Day 2 pick, but his volatility this year has convinced many to step off that platform. However, while his upside as an NFL starter is less apparent this year, he still has some intriguing qualities as a developmental player, and he’s showing that today. He looks very natural on play-action, and he has good mobility, which he uses to both extend plays and take matters into his own hands on the ground.
How the NFL deciphers this year’s mid-round quarterback pool will be a fascinating process to watch. There are so many names in that group, with a vast array of core competencies to consider. IC
Illinois getting a defensive boost from senior defensive lineman Owen Carney (5:00 PM)
The Fighting Illini remain in the lead in their bout with the Hawkeyes, and while the offense has been more efficient than usual, another reason for their success is a stingy defensive performance led by senior defensive lineman Owen Carney. Carney came into this game with 4.5 sacks in just four games on the year, and already, he’s added two more to the stat sheet.
At 6-foot-3, 260, Carney is a bit undersized for the NFL in terms of length and might project best as a 3-4 defensive end if he can fill out his frame a bit more. He’s not a great athlete either, but he’s got some power to his game, and he also has a high motor. Those kinds of players, while they may not be coveted early in the draft, often get a chance. IC
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s ability to affect a game’s momentum standing out (4:50 PM)
By now, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has established himself as one of the top linebacker talents and one of the most versatile players in the 2021 NFL Draft. Each game only serves as an added reference on his glowing resume. Early in the second half, Syracuse was looking to start the catch-up process after allowing 21 unanswered points, but before they could get going, Owusu-Koramoah forced a fumble, using his pursuit speed to levy hard contact, even on a challenging angle.
Owusu-Koramoah isn’t as big as last year’s headlining linebacker-safety hybrid. Still, he’s a relentless, authoritative defender on the second level who uses his athleticism and instincts to be one of the most impactful defenders in the nation every week. His near-perfect attendance near the ball allows him to generate game-changing plays, as we see time and time again. IC
Kadarius Toney reinforcing his profile with strong start (4:45 PM)
Positionally, you can make a case that no player has risen farther than Kadarius Toney this season. Toney has not only been a dynamic pass-catcher, but he’s also been near impossible for defenders to tackle, and he has big-play speed and acceleration as well. Already today, he has five catches for 86 yards, and his playmaking ability is again evident as Florida looks to create a buffer on the scoreboard against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Toney wasn’t on anyone’s radar heading into the 2020 campaign, but now, he’s practically a near-lock to go within the first two days. Toney is only 6-foot-0 and comes in under 200 pounds, but he’s just so incredibly dynamic, with the explosiveness, agility, and contact balance to be a top-echelon run-after-catch threat at the NFL level. IC
Brandon Peters has the Illinois Fighting Illini rolling against the Hawkeyes (4:30 PM)
Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters has always been one of those players who’s had some of the traits but could never put things together. Injuries and coaching turmoil have segmented his journey at the college football level. Still, today, he’s putting up numbers against a vaunted defense, proving his intrigue as a quarterback sleeper in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Thus far, Peters has completed all seven of his pass attempts for 91 yards and two scores, as Illinois leads the 19th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes 14-0 in the second quarter. Peters’ first touchdown pass was particularly impressive: A laser to Daniel Barker that struck him perfectly through a closing seam in the intermediate range. Peters’ inconsistency won’t give him much help on the NFL Draft stage, but he has enough arm talent and athleticism at 6-foot-5 to get a look as a developmental quarterback. IC
Checking in on Ian Book as Notre Dame reaches halftime (4:20 PM)
At one point, Syracuse had a 7-3 lead, but the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have turned what was once a close game into a three-possession blowout. Notre Dame leads 24-7 at the half, and in what has been a rarity, Ian Book is a big reason why.
It helps that Book has been kept clean by his stout offensive line, but Book has completed 21 of his 29 pass attempts for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and he also added an impressive touchdown on the ground, fighting his way into the end zone.
As mentioned earlier, Book will spend the closing stages of this season and the Senior Bowl trying to prove he can be an NFL quarterback, and while he can’t accomplish that in one game, Book is playing well, and he’s taking some calculated risks. IC
Zaven Collins in action as Tulsa takes on the Midshipmen (4:15 PM)
Staying on the theme of defensive prospects who are currently skyrocketing, let’s take a look at the battle between the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes and the Navy Midshipmen, where linebacker Zaven Collins is now compounding his explosive ascension in the 2021 NFL Draft. Not long ago, Collins used his quick closing speed and instincts to nullify a screen pass, and it’s clear that his impact for the Tulsa defense remains a crucial part of their success.
Tony recently had Collins go in the middle of the first round in his latest mock draft. As Collins continues to reaffirm his elite athleticism, imposing size, and processing ability, he’s slowly turning that into a reality. Beyond Collins, Tulsa’s defense has a few other players to pay attention to, mainly their cornerback duo of Allie Green IV and Akayleb Evans. Green IV is a long 6-foot-3 cover man who’s physical in press coverage, while Evans has impressive hip fluidity for his 6-foot-2 size. IC
Trevon Moehrig making a bid to be the top safety in the 2021 NFL Draft (4:00 PM)
Much like this year’s interior defensive line class, the 2021 NFL Draft’s safety class has undergone a great deal of shuffling and remains volatile even this late into the year. It’s still a fairly deep class, but injuries and opt-outs have disrupted the evaluation process, and at the end of it all, a completely new name might be at the No. 1 safety spot. Trevon Moehrig is one of the few who’s still making plays at this point in the year, and he might be rallying to make his case.
In truth, Moehrig has been solid all year, but the 6-foot-2, 202-pound junior has been fantastic today against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Earlier, he had a massive end zone deflection in man coverage, using his athleticism and ball skills to make a leaping swat. He also had an interception on a red zone trip for the Cowboys, using his concentration to corral the ball with one hand after it was deflected.
Moehrig is one of the few safeties in this class who has the requisite size, athleticism, and reaction quickness to be a multi-phase player on the back end in the NFL. That versatility, combined with his ever-apparent playmaking upside, might vault him into Round 1. IC
Late-season performance will likely cement Ian Book’s draft projection (3:55 PM)
Ian Book has been a steady college quarterback for a long time, but there’s never been a great deal of tangible confidence in his NFL projection. Book has good mobility and competitiveness, but there doesn’t seem to be much upside beyond that, and he doesn’t often elevate an already-talented roster around him.
Book’s late-season performance, which will include an ACC Championship appearance and a likely playoff appearance, may end up defining his draft stock in the coming cycle. If Book can finally show hints of elevation, perhaps he can rise beyond the late-round ceiling that’s currently being stamped under his name. He’s probably a Day 3 signal-caller no matter what, but teams may be intrigued if he can convert when the pressure is highest.
Syracuse is giving him a fight so far this week, so that pursuit for elevation starts today. IC
Tylan Wallace means so much to the Oklahoma State offense (3:45 PM)
Spencer Sanders has some moderately intriguing traits as a late-round developmental quarterback, but wide receiver Tylan Wallace is the force that truly makes the Cowboys’ offense hum. Wallace is having another spectacular day, with seven receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown in Oklahoma State’s tense contest versus the TCU Horned Frogs.
The offense was anemic for much of the day until Wallace broke free on a deep wheel route from the slot, using his toughness through physicality and his awareness of blind spots to find a seam near the sideline and streak down the field. Sanders hit Wallace in stride, and Wallace held the ball through contact as he pressed into the end zone. Now, Wallace is out with a knee injury, and the offense looked visibly damaged without him.
Wallace isn’t an imposing specimen, standing at just 6-foot-0, 190, but he has a complete skill set as a receiver. He’s one of those Day 2 picks that should produce for a long time on the NFL stage, regardless of the situation. IC
Olave headed to the NFL? (3:20 PM)
The Ohio State-Michigan State contest has not been much of a game, with Justin Fields taking over from the onset. His favorite target, receiver Chris Olave, is also having a productive outing with nine receptions for 98 yards as we reach the midway point of quarter number four.
With the incredible talent at the top of next April’s receiver class, Olave is often the forgotten man. I do believe the junior could slide into the late part of the first frame, and from I’m told, he will make himself available for the 2021 draft. Since the start of the season, the word is Olave has already settled on representation.
Blaze Alldredge = Tackling machine (2:55 PM)
It’s been a strange season at Rice. The team had eight games canceled or postponed, and in just their fourth contest of 2020, they are smashing unbeaten Marshall 20-0 with three minutes left in the game. And while it’s been up and down for the Owls, the one constant has been linebacker Blaze Alldredge. He’s already recorded 10 tackles and helped contain running back Brenden Knox to 76 yards on 20 carries.
Alldredge has poor size (6-feet/220 pounds) and speed (4.88s forty), but he’s tough as nails and instinctive. He won’t be drafted but will have a real opportunity to make an NFL roster as a two-down defender on the inside of a 3-4 and a special teams demon on coverage units.
Grant Hermanns, the next Dennis Kelly? (2:40 PM)
In 2012 nobody had Dennis Kelly graded or had a scouting report on the big Purdue tackle, except the Philadelphia Eagles- and myself. Kelly was unheralded but went in the fifth round of the draft, and nine seasons later, he’s still in the NFL.
Could history be repeating itself? Maybe.
I’ve had Grant Hermanns on my NFL prospect list the past three years and grade him higher than NFL scouts, who stamped the blocker as a street free agent. Hermanns is a big-bodied college left tackle who plays tough, powerful football. He’s better suited for the right side in the NFL, and while I don’t believe he’ll be selected in the draft like Dennis Kelly, I do think Hermanns will be signed as a PFA and fight for a roster spot next summer.
Wyatt Davis looking every bit like a first-round prospect (2:20 PM)
Earlier this week, I had the San Francisco 49ers selecting guard Wyatt Davis with the 16th selection in my first-round mock draft. The Ohio State junior has looked every bit a mid-first round choice today against Michigan State. Davis has not missed a beat despite center Josh Myers not playing due to COVID protocols. In fact, Davis has taken it upon himself to lead the offense and the team. He’s been dominant all game and annihilated Spartans defensive tackle Naquan Jones on the occasions when they face off against one another.
Another strong performance from Jamien Sherwood (2:00 PM)
After getting hammered by Alabama a week ago, Auburn has fifth-ranked Texas A&M, and specifically, quarterback Kellen Mond reeling. Mond has just 97 yards passing at the midway point of the third quarter and has made several questionable decisions.
Junior safety Jamien Sherwood has been a force today with six tackles. The athletic Sherwood is really starting to develop his game and refine his defensive back skills. While I presently grade him as a fourth-round prospect, several scouts stamped Sherwood as a potential third-round pick before the season based primarily on his upside- which he’s starting to meet.
Michal Menet building buzz in the scouting community (1:30 PM)
I’ve gushed over Penn State offensive tackle Rasheed Walker since the summer and placed him in the first round of my recent mock draft. But Nittany Lions center Michal Menet is another PSU blocker getting a lot of positive chatter in the scouting community.
Menet has solid size and plays tough, efficient football. He rarely has mental lapses and flashes ability blocking in motion. Menet presently grades as a Day 3 prospect, though many scouts feel he’ll be drafted soon after the fourth round begins.
Pete Werner = One of the most complete LB prospects in the nation (1:20 PM)
Micah Parsons is a more explosive athlete. Zaven Collins has better size. Yet Pete Werner of Ohio State does not get the credit he’s due.
Werner is a complete three-down defender whose instincts and intangibles are off the chart. The senior has solid size (6-feet-1.5-inches, 233 pounds), decent speed (4.7s area), and his ability to remain disciplined with assignments, read then react, and do the little things well is impressive. Unlike Parsons and Collins, Werner is a Day 2 prospect, but someone who will have a long, productive career in the NFL if used correctly.
Josh Thompson the next Longhorn out the door? (1:00 PM)
Last week offensive tackle Sam Cosmi and safety Caden Sterns both announced they were opting out of the remainder of the season and opting into the 2021 NFL Draft. So who’s next for UT? Sources tell me is could be another defensive back: Josh Thompson.
Thompson is a talented defensive back who has played both cornerback and safety for Texas. He has solid size/speed numbers and large upside. Coming into the season, I graded the junior as a sixth-round prospect.
Don’t sleep on Stoner (12:50 PM)
The conversation of receiver prospects at Oklahoma State usually starts and ends with Tylan Wallace, but don’t sleep on his teammate Dillon Stoner. Though not as fast or quick as Wallace, the senior is a smart, sure-handed pass-catcher who knows how to separate and make himself an available target for the quarterback. Don’t expect fast times in pre-draft workouts; rather, expect Stoner to run good routes and catch everything thrown to him, which could push him into the last rounds.
Togiai looks like a man possessed (12:30 PM)
Last year, Ohio State defensive tackle Tommy Togiai came off the bench as the team’s primary backup. This season, the junior has taken his game to the next level and looks unstoppable. In four games this season, Togiai has 15 tackles, one less than all of last season, and three TFL’s, one more than last season. Though not the biggest interior defensive lineman, Togiai is quick, relentless, and explosive. He’s also very strong for his size and projects well on the inside of a four-man line.
TAMU duo of OT’s continue to impress (12:15 PM)
Throughout the season, I’ve mentioned the Texas A&M duo of Carson Green and Dan Moore several times during the game day blog, primarily concentrating on Moore. Now it’s Green’s turn. Though not as athletic as his teammate, Green is tough, fundamentally sound, and smart. He does a great job using body positioning to seal defenders from the action or smother them from the play altogether.
Both players are last-day picks, with Moore graded slightly ahead of Green on my board. I think both will ultimately be pushed in from tackle and end up at guard in the NFL.
Battle in the trenches is one to watch when Ohio State and Michigan State face off
Ohio State goes into Saturday’s contest against Michigan State shorthanded due to virus outbreaks, and head coach Ryan Day won’t be on the sidelines, either. The battle in the trenches between Buckeyes guard Wyatt Davis and center Josh Myers and Spartans defensive tackle Naquan Jones is one to watch, assuming all three are part of the action.
Jones looked like a star in the making two years ago as a sophomore, and he was graded as a potential third-round pick by scouts prior to the 2019 season. However, his game has since leveled off and even regressed in spots. The dominance he showed early in his Spartans career has dissolved into mere flashes the past year and a half. And while Jones has shown signs of life this year, it’s a different ballgame against Davis and Myers — two legitimate top-70 draft choices who play hard on every down.
Prospects to watch when defeated Coastal Carolina hosts undefeated BYU
BYU travels to Coastal Carolina in the game of unbeatens I mentioned in the open. It should be a fun, high-scoring contest on the Week 14 college football schedule, as both teams have a lot of offensive firepower.
The matchup to keep an eye on is BYU left tackle Brady Christensen, who I’ve reported is seriously considering entering the draft, against Coastal Carolina edge rusher Tarron Jackson. Jackson is explosive off the edge and plays hard, while Christensen is athletic with great length.
The other battle in this contest pits BYU safety Zayne Anderson against Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely.
Anderson is a prototypical BYU safety; he’s smart, tough, and instinctive, but he’s also slow. Likely is quickly growing into one of my favorite tight ends in the nation, and he’s a big-play threat at the position. Likely has just 17 receptions this season, but he’s averaging 24.9 yards per catch.
Scouts eyeing DeVonta Smith’s matchup with Derek Stingley, Jr. when LSU and Alabama battle
Alabama and LSU square off in another rescheduled contest on the Week 14 college football schedule. This game usually has national title implications, but not this year, as LSU has struggled from the start. Still, the battle between Crimson Tide wideout DeVonta Smith and the Tigers’ Derek Stingley Jr., who is possibly the best corner in the nation who isn’t draft-eligible, is one that scouts will be watching.
Week 14 College Football TV Schedule: How and Where to Watch
See below for all of the Week 14 college football games today. Find out what time each game kicks off along with the channel they will be broadcast on.
Week 14 College Football Early Afternoon Schedule
- #4 Ohio State at Michigan State – 12 PM ET | ABC
- #5 Texas A&M at Auburn – 12 PM ET | ESPN
- #15 Oklahoma State t TCU – 12 PM ET | ESPN2
- Western Carolina at #17 North Carolina – 12 PM ET | ACCN
- Rice at #1 Marshall – 12 PM ET | ESPN+
- Toledo at Northern Illinois – 12 PM ET | ESPN3
- Kansas at Texas Tech – 12 PM ET | FS2
- Texas at Kansas State – 12 PM ET | FOX
- Nebraska at Purdue – 12 PM ET | BTN
- Penn State at Rutgers – 12 PM ET | FS1
- Memphis at Tulane – 12 PM ET | ESPN+
- Arkansas at Missouri – 12 PM ET | SECN
- Troy at South Alabama – 2 PM ET | ESPN3
- Bowling Green at Akron – 2 PM ET | ESPN3
- Ball State at Central Michigan – 2 PM ET | ESPNU
- Eastern Michigan at Western Michigan – 2 PM ET | ESPN+
- Syracuse at #2 Notre Dame – 2:30 PM ET | NBC
Week 14 College Football Late Afternoon Schedule
- UL-Monroe at Arkansas State – 3 PM ET | ESPN3
- #6 Florida at Tennessee – 3:30 PM ET | CBS
- West Virginia at #9 Iowa State – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN
- #12 Indiana at #16 Wisconsin – 3:30 PM ET | ABC
- #19 Iowa at Illinois – 3:30 PM ET | FS1
- #24 Tulsa at Navy – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN2
- Boston College at Virginia – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN3
- Buffalo at Ohio – 3:30 PM ET | CBSSN
- Vanderbilt at #8 Georgia – 4 PM ET | SECN
- Stanford at #22 Washington – 4 PM ET | FOX
- San Jose State at Hawai’i – 4 PM ET
- Georgia Tech at NC State – 4 PM ET | ACCN
- #13 BYU at #18 Coastal Carolina – 5:30 PM ET | ESPNU
- Florida Atlantic at Georgia Southern – 6 PM ET | ESPN+
Week 14 College Football Primetime Schedule
- #23 Oregon at California – 7 PM ET | ESPN
- Colorado State at San Diego State – 7 PM ET | CBSSN
- Colorado at Arizona – 7 PM ET | FS1
- #3 Clemson at Virginia Tech – 7:30 PM ET | ABC
- South Carolina at Kentucky – 7:30 PM ET | SECN
- #1 Alabama at LSU – 8 PM ET | CBS
- #10 Miami at Duke – 8 PM ET | ACCN
- Baylor at #11 Oklahoma – 8 PM ET | FOX
- Houston at SMU – 9 PM ET | ESPNU
Week 14 College Football Late Night Schedule
- UCLA at Arizona State – 10:30 PM ET | FS1
- Fresno State at Nevada – 10:30 PM ET | FS1
- Wyoming at New Mexico – 10:30 PM ET | CBSSN
- Oregon State at Utah – 10:30 PM ET | ESPN