A host of canceled games can’t diminish the excitement of the Week 7 college football schedule, headlined by the primetime matchup between Georgia and Alabama. Besides the big contest in the SEC, the ACC also had several games scouts will be watching. The PFN Live Game Day Blog was up and running all day Saturday and if you missed any of the action, you can get caught up with our Week 7 College Football Recap and News.
Week 7 College Football Recap and News
Our Week 7 college football recap, news, and updates for Week 7 was timestamped with the initials of the analyst. “IC” is Ian Cummings, “MV” is Matt Valdovinos, “NF” is Nick Farabaugh, and “TP” is me (Tony Pauline).
Week 7 College Football Recap and News: Primetime Games
Boston College tight end Hunter Long continuing to ascend (12:00 AM)
Boston College suffered a tough 40-14 loss at the hands of Virginia Tech tonight, but it was yet another game where Hunter Long caught a touchdown and proves himself a mismatch weapon, especially in the red zone.
Temas that scout Long will love his strong hands and fight through contact. His athleticism is more than enough to cause trouble up the seam and when flexed out in space, Long wins at a consistent clip. He is the main guy in this offense and the favorite target of Phil Jurkovec. Long is currently my TE4 and a day two pick. NF
Christian Barmore’s inconsistency is worrying (11:55 PM)
Alabama has had some rough plays on the defensive side of the ball this year. Even talented players like Dylan Moses have struggled. Christian Barmore is another talented player that has his fair share of struggles on the year. The biggest culprit for Barmore’s struggles is his ridiculously high pad level. Without playing with better leverage, Barmore will have a hard time making the jump to the next level. Even his arsenal of pass rush moves is not vast.
I have mocked Barmore in the first round multiple times because his flashes are great. It is these flashes that draw you in and get you to notice his upside. Barmore’s physical skillset, including a potent first step, is what will make him a lock for a Top-75 pick. However, I have worries and doubts about his immediate jump. There are other talented defensive linemen in this draft, and I could easily see Barmore falling to day two as a result of his inconsistency. NF
Marvin Wilson gives UNC headaches (11:40 PM)
Despite Sam Howell’s noble and spectacular second half, the North Carolina offense did have trouble. The rosy view was shattered by the aforementioned Robinson and future first-round pick Marvin Wilson. In particular, on the last drive of the game, North Carolina ran the ball right at Wilson, but Javonte Williams was dropped for a loss by the talented interior pass rusher.
Wilson’s athleticism and quick hands will jump out to anyone watching his game for the first time. The physical build that Wilson has as a broad, stout frame allows him to play with a low pad level and stun interior offensive lineman. It is the jolt in his hands that really makes Wilson so dangerous. The Tar Heels found that out the hard way, and Wilson’s contributions on the Seminoles defense helped them pull out a narrow win. NF
Janarius Robinson putting his name on the map (11:30 PM)
It seems that every time there is a tackle for loss in the backfield, Florida State EDGE Janarius Robinson is somehow involved. Robinson has fantastic length and a decent, but not a great first step. However, it is more than enough for him to use that length as a weapon and really jolt tackles that he faces.
Robinson, as such, has proven himself to be quite a formidable player. He was in on a half-sack of Sam Howell on this crucial drive at the end of the fourth quarter and has three tackles for loss and two sacks on the day. Robinson has upside, and while still raw, scouts will take notice of the raw physical tools. As a high upside day three pick, Robinson makes a world of sense for teams. NF
Devonta Smith proving he’s a first-round talent (11:20 PM)
Another game and more plays are being made by Alabama star wide receiver Devonta Smith. With 160 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Smith has been a problem for these Bulldogs in the secondary, including Eric Stokes.
Smith is the most pro-ready receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. He already has NFL caliber route running thanks to quick footwork and deceptive eyes. One of his touchdowns showcased Smith’s elite hands and ball skills as he rose above a Georgia defensive back to make the catch.
Simply put, there is very little Smith can not do and he has a relatively high ceiling as well. With his impressive tape, I have a hard time seeing Smith getting out of the first round. This should be a good story coming out of the Week 7 college football recap. NF
UNC running back Javonte Williams a riser (11:15 PM)
North Carolina is currently trying to construct a comeback after falling behind 24-0 against Flordia State, and one of the big cogs in the machine of the comeback has been Junior running back Javonte Williams. Not even on my radar prior to the season, Williams is a tough runner with a dense body. As such, he grinds out yards, always falls forward, and has plus contact balance.
Williams, however, is an all-around running back. He has soft hands and a vast running back route tree. With two touchdowns, including one through the air, Williams has showcased his expansive skillset tonight. NFL scouts will certainly take note of the talented back who has over 150 yards from scrimmage tonight. He can certainly move his way into the late rounds of the draft. NF
Richard LeCounte is a baller (11:00 PM)
The Georgia secondary has a ton of talent, but the best player in the vaunted secondary today has been senior Richard LeCounte. With three interceptions including one tonight, LeCounte continues to prove that he is a playmaker and valuable in the defensive backfield.
LeCounte’s value extends to the run and screen game, where he will fight hard to work downhill and make key tackles. His best trait is his impressive football IQ. That football IQ extends to his incredible route recognition and anticipation. All in all, it gives him a versatile skillset that NFL teams love. LeCounte right now is at worst a mid-day two picks. NF
Georgia has a good one in center Trey Hill (10:55 PM)
Offensive lineman do not get their shine enough. The Georgia offense runs through the offensive line. With a potent run game, it is no surprise that the Bulldogs have produced multiple NFL prospects that have gone on to the NFL, including two first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
For the 2021 NFL Draft, center Trey Hill is someone that has to be on everyone’s radar. Hill is the definition of a people-mover and has a great anchor. That is in large part thanks to the great strength that Hill possesses. Outside of that, Hill has a fantastic football IQ. He helps the Georgia offensive line with communication and points out stunts before the snap.
That is underrated, but a critical trait. Hill can really move and climb to the second level as well. Stay tuned for the latest college football news – if he declares, Hill should be a plug-and-play guy at the next level, and projects as a day two pick. NF
Jaylen Waddle could be the first receiver off the board (10:45 PM)
A 90-yard touchdown from Mac Jones to Jaylen Waddle has just allowed the Crimson Tide to strike back against Georgia to take the lead once again at Bryant Denny Stadium. Waddle continues to prove each week that he is a game-changing talent out of the slot and is increasingly proving he can work on the boundary through contact.
It is not just his insane speed, it is how quickly he reaches that top speed. Waddle is instantly explosive off the line, and that makes it a tough matchup for any defensive back to work with while in man coverage. Add in the fact that Waddle has ball skills and immaculate hops to rise up and snag contested catches, and Waddle is a weapon that will give defensive coordinators headaches.
The need for speed at the NFL is higher than ever at the NFL level. Waddle brings that speed and a walking home run threat to wide receiver needy teams in the first round. Following the Week 7 college football recap, there will be plenty of chatter about who the WR1 is in the 2021 NFL Draft. NF
Tough day for Dylan Moses (10:40 PM)
Dylan Moses came back this season after tearing his ACL prior to the 2019 season and has been solid for the most part. However, tonight has been his worst performance of the year, even if that does not show up in the box score. Moses still has eight tackles on the day, but he has simply had a bevy of issues.
For one, Moses is not seeing the field well at all. This is a guy who is biting on misdirection and play-action all game. In addition, he just looks a little lifeless out there. Moses has been beaten in man coverage at times. The mental issues with Moses are his downfall. Teams exploit him by using play-action and RPOS as he vacates the space in the middle of the field.
Moses has struggled to shed blocks today. When defenders reach him at the second level, it seems as if he does not have a plan to beat them. Moses’ hands go dormant. While the talent for Moses is undeniable, his recent struggles to begin the year have to concern some scouts. This will be a piece of college football news and analysis to monitor moving forward as we head into the 2021 NFL Draft. NF
Welcome back FSU! (10:20 PM)
After getting beat every way possible in the opening weeks of the season, Florida State has quickly turned it around and is pounding undefeated North Carolina. The Seminole defense has led the way and junior corner Asante Samuel Jr. has looked really good. Samuel has 5 tackles and 2 PBU’s, including a break up in the end zone to prevent a touchdown by the Tar Heels.
Samuel was graded as a solid third-round prospect coming into the season. He’s an athletic corner with good speed but someone who only needs to polish and complete his game. TP
Hokie ball carrier drawing a lot of interest from scouts (10:15 PM)
Khalil Herbert, the graduate transfer from Kansas who’s off to a fast start, is having another terrific game and has really caught the eye of NFL scouts. Herbert has 123 yards on 12 carries against Boston College including a 59-yard dash which ended in a Hokie touchdown. He also took a screen pass 29-yards for a score.
Herbert has a compact build and terrific quickness. Besides a burst of speed, he shows solid power and decent pass-catching hands. He was not graded by scouts coming into the season but Herbert now has a chance to slide into the late part of next April’s draft. TP
Miller Forristall – the UDFA turned 10 year NFL veteran (9:40 PM)
Miller Forristall entered the season graded as a street free agent and anywhere from the second to third-rated tight end on the Alabama depth chart. But in watching him, you can see why he’ll have a career in the NFL. Forristall is not a seam stretching tight end rather a tough, stout blocker who plays while injured and will be a good number three at the position. TP
DeVonta Smith – WOW!! (9:15 PM)
There may be flashier receivers and there may be receivers with better big-play ability but you can’t help but love DeVonta Smith.
As I stated in the college football news preview – he’s just a complete receiver with natural receiving skills. Smith broke up a sure interception by coming back to the ball to make a reception then, despite being held, he made another important third-down reception.
I presently project Smith as a mid first-round pick and he works better in confined quarters compared to former Bama wideout Jerry Jeudy. TP
Leatherwood almost there (9:10 PM)
As I mentioned in my preview – I grade Alex Leatherwood higher than most and you can see why. He’s a terrific pass protecting left tackle prospect who blocks with great fundamentals while displaying outstanding agility. Leatherwood needs to improve his play strength which will help him finish blocks, but that should come in time. TP
Georgia secondary finding its groove (9 PM)
After a busted play on Bama’s second snap from the line of scrimmage which resulted in a touchdown for the Tide, Georgia’s secondary has found its’ groove. Safety Richard LeCounte has made some nice plays and that was a terrific PBU by Tyson Campbell on third down to force a punt.
As my board shows, Georgia has three corners that grade as second-day selections with LeCounte stamped as an early fourth-round pick. TP
Keep an eye on Landon Dickerson (8:55 PM)
Alabama center Landon Dickerson has looked good in the early part of this game. He’s shown a lot of power run blocking and easily holds the point in pass protection. I’m looking forward to seeing if Dickerson can match the power of Georgia DT Jordan Davis as well as the quickness and agility of Devonte Wyatt. He’s a similar to former Bama center Bradley Bozeman, presently starting at guard for the Baltimore Ravens. TP
Ojulari looks good in the early going (8:35 PM)
Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari has already had an impact on the Georgia defense despite the Bulldogs being down 7-0. On the second Alabama series, which was a three and out, Ojulari knocked away a pass then looked very athletic on third and long, dropping off the line in coverage. He never made the play, but the fact he’s showing he can do more than just pin his ears back and rush up the field is another star on his resume.
Week 7 College Football Recap and News: Georgia vs. Alabama Preview (7:45 PM)
There’s a lot of excitement and college football news heading into tonight’s Georgia-Alabama, with good reason. The game has national title implications, it’s full of NFL prospects, and there’s the backdrop of the Nick Saban saga. There will be plenty to talk about in the Week 7 college football recap and news. Here’s my draft board for tonight’s contest and the matchups to look out for.
|1st||4.04||Patrick Surtain II||Alabama||2||CB||3Jr|
|FA||2.80||Brian Robinson Jr.||Alabama||4||RB||4Sr|
Alex Leatherwood (Alabama/OT) vs. Azeez Ojulari (Edge/Georgia):
I have Leatherwood rated higher than most and believe he’s a much more natural left tackle than former teammate Jedrick Wills, who’s doing a good job holding down that position for the Cleveland Browns this season.
Ojulari is someone I’ve gushed over since the summer, and the red-shirt sophomore has seemingly improved weekly this season. What’s the latest college football news on his draft status? I’m told Olujari is not really thinking about it right now but will go through the process when the season is over. Once he gets his draft grade back- which is likely to be a top 42 grade- people surmise he will make the jump.
Mac Jones/QB, DeVonta Smith/WR, Jaylen Waddle/WR (Alabama) vs. Georgia’s secondary:
Despite a tepid finish in 2019, Mac Jones has picked up where a healthy Tua left off. His improvement this season is surpassed only by that of Jaylen Waddle, who is rounding into a complete receiver. Then there’s DeVonta Smith, who is a complete receiver.
Georgia may have the deepest secondary in the nation – not the best players at the top- but the deepest at nickel, dime, and safety. Senior Davis Daniel came into the season graded as a potential top 45 selection by many scouts, but he’s the second-rated UGA corner on my board. I’m told some scouts presently have both Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes graded ahead of Daniel. TP
Sleeper WR out in North Texas (7:40 PM)
UNT receiver Jaelon Durden keeps rolling along despite his job being made more challenging due to the loss of teammate Jyaire Shorter.
Durden, who leads the nation with nine touchdown catches and posted a career-high 244 receiving yards last week, has nine receptions for 149 yards as the third quarter closes out against Middle Tennessee. UNT is presently up 35-28.
The latest college football news on Durden was that he was graded as a PFA coming into the season, but his stock is moving towards the late rounds. He’s a smaller yet sure-handed receiver and also offers potential as a return specialist. TP
Week 7 College Football Recap and News: How Much Longer for Malzhan? (7:30 PM)
This week there will be two big college football news stories in the state of Alabama as they pertain to college football. The first will be the result of tonight’s Georgia-Alabama game. The second is the future of Gus Malzahn at Auburn.
Malzahn has been on the hot seat each of the past two seasons, and were it not for AU beating a Tua-less Crimson Tide in the final regular-season game of 2019; he probably would not have seen the light of day in 2020. Short of the inability to come to buyout terms on his contract, I would be shocked if Malzahn is still the Auburn head coach come next Saturday. All of this probably would have been expedited if it was not for a bad call by the officials a week ago, which gave Auburn an undeserved victory over Arkansas.
Part of the issue is the blind allegiance to Bo Nix – the fleet-footed but wayward passer for the Tigers.
Most are aware of the story by now. Bo is the son of former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix, who helped lead the Tigers to a record of 11-0 in 1993. Bo is an exciting quarterback- a little too exciting. He can’t make the easy throws, misses wide-open receivers, or forces pass catchers to come away with acrobatic receptions that aren’t necessary.
At this point, Auburn should turn to Grant Loy, the underrated graduate transfer from Bowling Green, who is a much better passer. TP
Week 7 College Football Recap and News: Late Afternoon Games
Dillon Gabriel: Superstar in the making (7:15 PM)
UCF lost their star QB, Mackenzie Milton, in late 2018 to a gruesome knee injury, and many were left wondering what the UCF Knights would do at the quarterback position. Who was the heir apparent to one of the best passers in school history? Little did we know, UCF had a true freshman passer coming in the following year named Dillon Gabriel, who would take over the starting gig after the first week of the 2019 season and never look back.
Last season Gabriel threw for 3,393 yards, with 27 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. He also added three touchdowns on the ground. This season though, Gabriel has played on an entirely new level. Coming into his current match-up against Memphis, Gabriel had accumulated 1,155 passing yards(385ypg) and had a 9-2 touchdown to interception ratio. Against Memphis, he’s amassed a ridiculous 548 passing yards and counting, with five touchdowns and no interceptions. I’m not convinced Gabriel doesn’t have a bid as the best sophomore quarterback in the country. –MV
Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller, 2022 RB1? (7:00 PM)
Last year a Texas A&M was running back that caught my eye after posting 217 yards and three touchdowns in one game. That running back was Isaiah Spiller, who has been one of the top running backs in the nation. He had just eight carries in his first game of the season but still posted 117 rushing yards on the day. In his third game, against Florida, he dominated, displaying elite vision, contact balance, and explosiveness. He’s gone over 100 yards again in this week’s game against Mississippi State. He has added another two touchdowns as well. Spiller should be viewed as a favorite to be the first back selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. – MV
UCF WR Marlon Williams continues 2020 tear (6:45 PM)
Coming into his fourth game of the season, UCF WR Marlon Williams was averaging just under 130 yards per game and two total touchdowns. Currently, against Memphis, he has registered 169 yards and a touchdown. The third quarter has just finished. Williams projects as an inside receiver who dominates after the catch. He’s an explosive athlete and makes tough catches in contested situations. A weapon and a chain mover, expect Williams to become a much more popular name over the next few weeks. – MV
Jaycee Horn’s performance demands attention (6:35 PM)
South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn was a popular name among draft pundits coming into the season. His fluid hips and natural acceleration make him a natural press-man cornerback, and he suffocated Auburn WR Seth Williams today. It was the best performance by a defensive back we’ve seen this season. True first-round level film produced by Horn today; he’s not commonly talked about as the best cornerback in the 2021 Draft, but if he continues to play like this, he will be. – MV
KJ Costello failing to meet expectations. (6:20 PM)
Mississippi State QB KJ Costello had high expectations coming into the season. A naturally talented passer paired with an offensive genius in Head Coach Mike Leach, the expectation was that Costello would contend for the coveted QB4 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft. It seemed like this thought process was accurate after Costello torched the LSU defense for 623 and 5 touchdowns. However, Costello has severely struggled since the game against the defending National Champions, as he’s thrown one touchdown to eight interceptions over his last three starts and has been benched in the previous two games. Will Costello bounce back, or is this where his draft stock dies? – MV
Moore gets tenth catch for the fourth straight game (6:00 PM)
And just like that, Elijah Moore is at the ten-catch mark again. He just used his speed to separate in the end zone and honed in on a low pass from Corral with impressive body control and focus. Moore is quickly becoming one of the better offensive weapons in the SEC, and if he keeps this pace, he may become a prestigious member of the 2021 NFL Draft wide receiver class. IC
Elijah Moore continues on a torrid pace in 2020 (5:45 PM)
It hasn’t been a banner day for Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss offense, but junior wide receiver Elijah Moore has been a bright spot once again. Moore has yet to go a week without at least ten catches, and he’s trending toward maintaining that mark against the Razorbacks.
Despite a subpar outing from quarterback Matt Corral, Moore has nine receptions for 98 yards, and he could be due for more production as the Rebels try to come back. Moore is small in stature at 5-foot-9, 185, but he brings impressive speed, quickness, and run-after-catch ability.
It’s clear that Moore is a riser in this receiver class. Dynamic ability is in high demand at the NFL level, and were Moore to declare; he’d generate interest for that reason. IC
Defense driving ACC showdown between Notre Dame and Louisville (5:20 PM)
We thought maybe we’d see some fireworks with Louisville fielding two of college football’s most explosive weapons heading into their Week 7 game against the Fighting Irish. Still, almost four quarters through the action, the Cardinals haven’t been able to get anything going.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has again flashed the versatility and athleticism that should make him a coveted prospect at the next level. His instincts allow him to make plays in coverage and position himself to impose behind the line. IC
K.J. Costello’s slide continues early against Texas A&M (4:50 PM)
After engineering a thrilling upset against the defending champions in Week 1, K.J. Costello has undergone a perplexing nosedive in terms of quality of play. He just under-threw a ball to the end zone, ultimately contributing to an interception by Aggies cornerback Myles Jones.
Costello came into the season as a potential sleeper to claim the QB4 mantle, and his union with offensive guru Mike Leach only strengthened his candidacy. But Costello has devolved into an erratic, replacement-level passer; his pick to Jones was his 10th of the year in just over three games. IC
UAB’s defense enjoying playmaking ability from Jordan Smith (4:40 PM)
The UAB Blazers are making short work of Western Kentucky here in Week 7 of college football today, and while this game wouldn’t usually attract much scouting attention, UAB outside linebacker Jordan Smith simply demands attention.
Tony Pauline has mentioned Jordan Smith on several occasions this season, and with good reason, the 6-foot-7, 255-pound defender has the length and athleticism to make plays in several phases. He’s primarily an edge rusher, but he just used his reach to secure an interception and stymy yet another Hilltoppers drive.
Smith has Day 2 upside, per Pauline, and his amalgamation of traits is a big reason why; he’s a versatile edge defender with a ton of athletic upside for his size, and an NFL coaching staff might be able to mold him into a weapon. IC
Sam Hartman another deep sleeper with potential at QB (4:25 PM)
If you’re looking for names to add to your “sleepers” list at the quarterback position, here’s another one: Sam Hartman. The Demon Deacons started Jamie Newman over him last year, so Hartman ended up redshirting, but Newman’s transfer allowed Hartman to reclaim the starting job.
Hartman hasn’t seen a ton of volume yet this year, but just four minutes into his game against Virginia, Hartman is 4 for 4, with 107 yards and a touchdown. Hartman is a smaller, nimble passer who has a strong arm for his size, and as he gets re-acquainted with the starting role, look for him to keep making plays. He might not hit the draft as a redshirt sophomore, but he’s a person to watch for the future. IC
Week 7 College Football Recap and News: Early Games
Jaycee Horn deserves emphasis after the performance against Auburn (4:10 PM)
Tony afforded a mention to Jaycee Horn earlier and rightfully so – he’s going to be a big topic of discussion in the Week 7 college football recap. Still, the South Carolina cornerback deserves another update dedicated to his name for emphasis after his lockdown performance against Seth Williams and the Auburn Tigers this week.
After the first Horn update, Horn tacked on another interception and pass deflection, bringing his totals to two interceptions and four pass deflections on the day. He used his superior athleticism to blanket Seth Williams and used his size and physicality to neutralize Williams’ contested catchability. Horn is a true complete cornerback, and right now, he’s soaring up the draft board. IC
Jarret Doege helps WV to victory in a three-score effort (3:55 PM)
In one of the less consequential early-session games, the West Virginia Mountaineers trounced the Kansas Jayhawks to the tune of 38-17, and quarterback Jarret Doege helped to manifest that result with a 300-yard, three-touchdown performance.
Doege came into the season with an opportunity to take a leap, but he hasn’t gotten off the ground as quickly as other prospects. His game against Kansas was a perfect encapsulation of his skill set. Doege’s lack of arm talent was evident in some plays, and he’s still more inconsistent than desired, but his mental traits give him a floor in terms of production. IC
Shi Smith having another strong game (3:25 PM)
Shi Smith was graded as a middle of day three pick by scouts, but he may be moving towards the early part of the draft’s final day with his performance this season. Today against Auburn, the senior has eight receptions for 76 yards with one TD to his credit, bringing his four-game total to 34 receptions. He’s made several important and acrobatic receptions today as South Carolina is heading towards an upset victory over Auburn.
Smith is a quick and explosive wideout with tremendous pass-catching skills. He nicely projects as a number four receiver on an NFL depth chart who should also be able to return punts. TP
Palmer continues to struggle (2:50 PM)
After getting pounded by Georgia a week ago, Tennessee is now getting a whoopin’ from Kentucky in Week 7 of this college football Saturday. The offense has been terrible, once again, and Josh Palmer has not helped the situation.
The receiver was graded as a fourth-round prospect from some scouts entering the season and has not come close to living up to expectations. He has one reception for the day, bringing his four-game total to 15. Palmer was a wait and see type prospect that has not lived up to expectation. TP
Riley Cole — Keep him on your radar (2:20 PM)
South Alabama linebacker Riley Cole is having another productive game. With eight minutes left in the third quarter, he’s already racked up seven tackles, including one for loss. Cole is a tough, instinctive linebacker and was handed a late-round grade by scouts entering the season. He’s not the most athletic defender and makes more plays with his head than sheer physical skills and speed.
With Senior Bowl practices and the game itself moving from Ladd Peebles Stadium to the new facility on the South Alabama campus, expect Cole to receive an invitation to this all-important pre-draft scouting event. It will give scouts a great chance to watch Cole and break him down and provide the event some hometown flavor. TP
Liberty continues to roll on (2:10 PM)
The Liberty Flames are 4-0 and presently up on Syracuse 28-14 in the Orange Dome. And based on conversations I had earlier this week, their quarterback Malik Willis has caught the fancy of NFL scouts. Willis was not guaranteed to be the starter over the summer as the program was looking to Maine transfer Chris Ferguson, graded by scouts as a PFA. But Ferguson has had trouble seeing the field; Willis has been so dominant.
Willis is a prototypical RPO quarterback who beats opponents with his arm and legs. While he needs to improve his passing technique, Willis is relatively accurate, very athletic, and is an electrifying player to watch. TP
Bubba Bolden improving weekly (1:20 PM)
Entering the season, Bubba Bolden was not even a blip on the college football news and scouting radar, but his play in 2020 is earning him a lot of praise. Bolden was a force for the Hurricane defense from the get-go and has played well in today’s defensive contest against the Pitt Panthers.
Known primarily as a downhill run defender best between the numbers, Bolden just made a terrific interception in the front corner of the end zone. Unfortunately for Bolden, the ‘Canes were called for an unsportsmanlike penalty, which negated the interception. Little by little, Bolden is displaying a complete game, which will translate into a move up draft boards. TP
Jaycee Horn, an SEC cornerback to remember (12:55 PM)
It’s been a tough season for South Carolina and an equally tough day as the Gamecocks are down to Auburn. Yet cornerback Jaycee Horn is having a terrific contest and he’s handling Seth Williams, Auburn’s star receiver. The junior has 3 PBU’s today, as well as an interception, which the Gamecocks just converted into a touchdown. Entering the season, Horn was my highest-rated South Carolina prospect and was given a third-round grade over the summer. TP
Where will Amari Rodgers be drafted? (12:45 PM)
Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers is all over the draft boards; some scouts grade him as a fourth-round prospect while others label him a free agent. Except for his height (he measures in the area of 5-feet-8.5-inches), I love Rodgers’ game, as he does the little things well.
The question comes down to how fast Rodgers really is, and how he tests in the lead-up to the draft. Some tell me he’s a 4.5-second forty guy (and the high 4.5’s), which would hurt his draft stock. Others guesstimate Rodgers to be a high 4.4-second guy. In the end, forty times will be a big factor in where Smith ends up in the draft. TP
ECU left tackle D’Ante Smith on the sidelines again (12:30 PM)
Smith, graded as a late-round pick by scouts, played in the season opener against Central Florida before leaving the game late with an injury. This is the third consecutive game Smith has been on the sidelines. Stay tuned for the latest college football news for an update on his injury status in the coming days. TP
Has D’Eriq King come back to earth? (12:20 PM)
Miami quarterback D’Eriq King was the toast of the town after a great start to the season, but may have come back to earth. He played disastrously against Clemson last week and could not move the offense. It’s not going well in the opening portion of the Pittsburgh game, a team with a more talented defense than the one he faced a week ago. King has missed a lot of easy passes early on and again cannot move the Hurricanes offense. It’s early, but how King rebounds from a week ago bears watching. TP
Chatter growing on Myles Sims (12:15 PM)
Georgia Tech cornerback Myles Sims, a redshirt sophomore and Week 1 riser, is building a good degree of momentum for himself in the scouting and college football news circles. He did a great job against Florida State to open the season, but the competition he’ll face takes a big leap today against Clemson. Keep an eye on Sims’ battle against the connection of Trevor Lawrence and Amari Rodgers. TP
Preview of Saturday’s Games
Malik Cunningham, Javian Hawkins, and Tutu Atwell to challenge Notre Dame’s defense
Highlighting the early slate of games in Week 7 of the college football schedule, Louisville and Notre Dame kick off at 2:30 EST. This will be a challenging game for the Irish defense. Receiver Tutu Atwell, running back Javian Hawkins, and quarterback Malik Cunningham are slippery players who create yardage when the ball is in their hands. The athleticism and agility of the Notre Dame defense will be tested. When the lines switch sides, I expect Notre Dame — whose offensive line is full of NFL prospects that are playing well — to plow over the Louisville defense. TP
UMass to make season debut this afternoon, and scouts will be taking notice
UMass takes the field for the first time in Week 7 of the college football season after cobbling together a late schedule. From a national point of view, their game against Georgia Southern, which kicks off at 4 PM, holds little meaning. From a scouting and college football news perspective, however, there will be a lot of eyes on this one.
UMass offensive tackle Larnel Coleman is highly regarded in the scouting community and has been given a solid Day 3 grade. It was to his benefit that the Minutemen decided to play this season. Coleman faces Raymond Johnson III, GSU’s top pass rusher, and a player I grade as a sixth-round prospect. TP
Alabama-Georgia matchup highlights Week 7 college football schedule
The Georgia-Alabama nightcap in Week 7 of college football should be fun to watch both as a fan and scout. As the game gets closer, I will get into the next-level battles to watch out for here in the Live Game Day Blog, but consider this — 26 players in this game have draftable grades on my board. Half of those players, or a baker’s dozen, are graded as top-100 selections.
Five of them are projected first-round picks. You can find out more about what I think of the SEC in my 2020 SEC Preseason Summer Scouting Preview. This is a game that scouts will point back to during prospect interviews in the lead-up to the 2021 NFL Draft. TP
Postponement of Tulsa-Cincinnati a loss for scouts
The Week 7 college football postponement of the Tulsa-Cincinnati until early December is a loss for scouts as they were looking forward to watching two major sleeper prospects moving up draft boards: Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins and UC quarterback Desmond Ridder, both underclassmen. Watch for the latest college football news regarding these prospects and keep their names on your radar — I’ll be talking about both as we move deeper into the season. TP
Scores from Saturday’s Action
Week 7 College Football Recap: Early Afternoon Games
- #8 Cincinnati at Tulsa – PPD | ESPN2
- #1 Clemson 73 at Georgia Tech 7 – Final – 12 PM ET | ABC
- Pittsburgh 19 at #13 Miami 31 – Final – 12 PM ET | ACCN
- #15 Auburn 22 at South Carolina 30 – Final – 12 PM ET | ESPN
- Kentucky 34 at #18 Tennessee 7 – Final – 12 PM ET | SECN
- Navy 27 at East Carolina 23 – Final – 12 PM ET | ESPN+
- Texas St. 20 at South Alabama 30 – Final – 12 PM ET | ESPNU
- South Florida 37 at Temple 39 – Final – 12 PM ET | ESPN+
- Liberty 38 at Syracuse 21 – Final – 12 PM ET | ESPN3
- Kansas 17 at West Virginia 38 – Final – 12 PM ET | FOX
- Army 28 at UTSA 16 – Final – 1:30 PM ET | CBSSN
- Western Kentucky 14 at UAB 37 – Final – 1:30 PM ET
- Louisville 7 at #4 Notre Dame 12 – Final – 2:30 PM ET | NBC
Week 7 College Football Recap: Late Afternoon Schedule
- Duke 20 at NC State 31 – Final – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN3
- UCF 49 at Memphis 50 – Final – 3:30 PM ET | ABC
- Ole Miss 21 at Arkansas 33 – Final – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN2
- Eastern Kentucky 29 at Troy 31 – Final – 3:30 PM ET | ESPN3
- #11 Texas A&M 28 at Mississippi St. 14 – Final – 4 PM ET | SECN
- UMASS 0 at Georgia Southern 41 – Final – 4 PM ET | ESPNU
- Virginia 23 at Wake Forest 40 – Final – 4 PM ET | ACCN
- North Texas 52 at Middle Tennessee 35 – Final – 5 PM ET | CBSSN
- Marshall at Louisiana Tech – 6 PM ET | CBSSN
Week 7 College Football Recap: Primetime Schedule
- #5 North Carolina at Florida State – 7:30 PM ET | ABC
- Southern Mississippi at UTEP – 7:30 PM ET | ESPN2
- #3 Georgia at #2 Alabama – 8 PM ET | CBS
- Boston College at #23 Virginia Tech – 8 PM ET | ACCN
- Florida International at Charlotte – 8 PM ET | ESPNU