What We Learned In College Football Week 9

Who’s Up?

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Edge, Oklahoma:  It is rare to turn on a Big 12 contest and become fixated on a defensive player but that is just the kind of player that Ogbonnia is-rare. Okoronkwo is listed at only 6’1 but plays longer as he has a very long wingspan. Okoronkwo had a nice day Saturday recording 10 tackles and a sack for the Sooners. He has now tallied 51 tackles and an impressive 7 sacks on the year. Okoronkwo was an unknown for the most part going into the season and is now getting late first round consideration.

Who’s Down?

Parris Campbell, RB/WR, Ohio State:  I was expecting Parris Campbell to jump right in and fill the void that Curtis Samuel left going to the NFL. Campbell has big-play potential and is a threat in the return game, the passing game, and as a runner but just hasn’t seemed to find a consistent role in the Buckeye offense this year. Campbell is only a JR so he could in theory come back next year and earn a bigger role, but with the emergence of sophomores JK Dobbins and KJ Hill that certainly would not be a certainty. Injuries haven’t helped either. Parris has had to leave early the last 2 games now.

I See You

Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame:  Does Josh Adams have one of the best (maybe THE best) offensive line in college football blocking for him this year? Yes, yes he does. It wouldn’t be fair to discredit the production that Adams is giving the Irish in the running game, however, for this though. His 202 yard performance against a very good NC State front puts Adams over 1,000 on the season and is very deserving of the Heisman hype and chatter that we are starting to hear out of South Bend. There really is a RB for every NFL team and system in this class. Adams can be a difference-maker in a one-cut system where he can use his explosive first step and breakaway speed the best.

Who is The Winner of The Main Event?

Mason Rudolph vs. Will Grier Saturday Film Session Week 9

Saturday was certainly not Mason Rudolph’s best game. West Virginia clearly did their homework and watched the tape from the week before against Texas that featured Rudolph struggling to get into rhythm. Texas mixed in some unique coverage packages that often included 3 safeties playing cover 3 and taking away the deep ball. Rudolph is such a good college QB because he can be effective at different levels in the passing game. Against Texas, Rudolph didn’t seem comfortable settling for only the underneath throws and seemed like he was pressing to get the ball down the field.

West Virginia gave the Cowboys a lot of similar coverage looks that they saw the week before from Texas. While you could tell it frustrated Rudolph again on Saturday it wasn’t nearly as bad. Rudolph seemed more willing to read what West Virginia was giving him and taking advantage of it. Rudolph finished the day with a modest 216 yards passing, three passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and one interception. Rudolph made several NFL caliber throws (a couple third down conversions on out routes come to mind) on Saturday. He has a ton of weapons on offense and he generally does a nice job being the point guard and getting everyone involved. A good point guard knows who his go-to guy is and feed him. Rudolph did that Saturday as well by connecting with WR James Washington early and often. It wasn’t all roses for Mason, however. He floated some passes, threw the one interception at an awful time in the game, and frankly threw a couple other balls that were lucky not to be picked off as well.

While this wasn’t Mason Rudolph’s best game, Will Grier was pretty terrible on the day if we need to be honest. Sadly, this is somewhat of my first impression of Grier as this was my first opportunity to watch him in a full and live game. I am aware that Grier has had a very nice year coming into this game so I will be sure to watch him some more and give him more of a full evaluation.

Grier threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns so it wasn’t all bad. He had a nice drive to end the half at a crucial time in the game. He had some impressive throws and it is very evident that he is the leader of the huddle. Grier also threw four interceptions and had a fumble (that fortunately bounced out of bounds). To be fair, the weather was pretty terrible and his team was always playing from behind. This isn’t to make an excuse but it is only fair to put things in perspective. Grier, overall just made a lot of poor decisions. His arm seems strong enough for the NFL but he doesn’t have elite height or athleticism. There are other 6’2 QBs who aren’t mobile that have successful NFL careers. These QBs just have to be really good in all other areas in the game and frankly Grier just didn’t display these traits on Saturday.

Winner:  Mason Rudolph

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