College Football Is Wrapping Up, College Playoffs Are Beginning.
The regular season is now finished in college football for every team that isn’t Army or Navy. Conference champions were decided and teams made their case to play in the playoff.
Unfortunately most of the games didn’t end up being all that close. There wasn’t much drama.
#4 Washington vs. #8 Colorado
This game obviously meant a lot to both of these teams considering it’s the Pac-12 title game. It was played on a neutral field, Levi Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.
Washington knew that they needed to win, and looked good doing so, in order for them to lock up a spot in the college football playoff.
Colorado has had an unbelievable season. Last year the Buffalo’s finished 4-9 and last place in their division. This season they finished the regular season 10-2, and finished first in their division. Which gave them a chance to compete in the conference title game.
The first half of the game was competitive. Both of the defenses played well, which led to a lot of punts for both teams. The half ended with Washington leading 14-7.
The second half got off to a very bad start for Colorado, their quarterback threw a pick-6 on their first offensive play of the half and threw another pick on their next drive. Colorado was never able to recover and went on to lose the game 41-10.
Washington is a very talented team and have a lot of guys who will play at the next level. Colorado doesn’t have nearly the number of draft prospects but they do have a few.
- Wide Receiver John Ross, Junior, 5’11” 190: Ross doesn’t receive the attention that he deserves. He makes explosive plays on a pretty regular basis. Colorado did a good job of limiting Washington’s passing games and this obviously affected Ross’s ability to impact the game. Still though Ross ended up with four receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown came on a play where it looked like Washington’s quarterback was attempting to throw the ball away and just didn’t put enough on the throw to get it out of bounds. Ross leaped up and snatched the ball out of the air then ran 19 yards for the score. Ross will likely be selected late in the first round or early in the second.
- Safety Budda Baker, Junior, 5’10” 192 (Pictured Above): Baker didn’t have a huge impact on the stat sheet in this contest, however he did show that he could be a stud at the next level. He recorded four tackles, two pass defenses, and a quarterback hurry. One of the pass defenses came on a play where Baker was playing man coverage and his receiver went in motion to try to cause some confusion but Baker stuck with him. He read the route perfectly and nearly made a great interception but his foot came down out of bounds. Baker’s projected to be taken in the second or third round.
- Cornerback Sidney Jones, Junior, 6’0” 181: Like Baker the stat sheet doesn’t show the impact that Jones had in this game. Jones logged just three tackles. However Jones made life difficult for the Colorado offense for most of the game. He didn’t allow his receivers much separation. Colorado didn’t target receiver being covered by Jones often. As of now Jones looks like he’ll be taken somewhere in the first round of the 2017 draft.
- Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, Senior, 6’0” 205 (Pictured Above): Awuzie is Colorado’s best draft prospect and he had a pretty decent game despite the loss. The senior corner had seven tackles and two pass defenses. Washington’s passing attack, which is usually very productive, struggled for most of this game and Awuzie was certainly part of the reason for that. He’s projected to be taken somewhere around the third round.
- Inside Linebacker Kenneth Olugbode, Senior, 6’1” 220: Olugbode was probably Colorado’s most productive player in this game. The linebacker racked up 19 tackles and a half a sack and he is projected to be a late round selection.
- 3-4 Outside Linebacker Jimmie Gilbert, Senior, 6’5” 230: Gilbert is another Colorado linebacker projected to be selected in the late rounds of the draft. He had four tackles, half a sack, a pass defense, and three quarterback hurries against Washington.
#9 Oklahoma vs. #10 Oklahoma State
This game wasn’t technically a conference championship game, it was a regular season game where the winner would be crowned the conference champion. Which coincidentally was played on conference championship week.
It rained for most of the game and that seemed to affect both of the teams. Luckily for Oklahoma they were able to ride their run game to victory. The final score was 38-20.
In terms of draft prospects Oklahoma has quite a few and Oklahoma State doesn’t have very many.
- Wide Receiver Dede Westbrook, Redshirt Senior, 6’0” 176: Westbrook has established himself as one of the best wide receivers in college football. He finished with four catches for 111 yards and a touchdown in this game. His touchdown came from 69 yards out. The senior receiver has shown time and time again that he can make plays. He is projected as a second round pick.
- Running Back, Samaje Perine, Junior, 5’10” 235 (Pictured Above): Perine was an absolute workhorse in this game. He carried the ball 37 times for 239 yards and a score. He also added two fumbles, partly because of the rain. The junior running back isn’t a very explosive player but he is a strong runner who can wear down defenses. He’s currently projected to be selected in the third or fourth round.
- Running Back Joe Mixon, Redshirt Sophomore, 6’1” 226: Mixon, who is the more explosive member of the Sooners running back duo, was injured in the second quarter which forced him to sit out for a chunk of this game. However Mixon made his way back on to the field and managed to make an impact. He had 11 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown. Most of his production came on a fourth quarter 79 yard touchdown run that essentially sealed the game for the Sooners. If he goes pro he’s projected to be selected anywhere from the second to the fourth round.
- Wide Receiver James Washington, Junior, 6’0” 205: Washington has been Oklahoma State’s best playmaker all season. He was unable to make much of an impact in this game when his team needed him. The receiver only managed two catches for 50 yards. Coming into the game Washington was projected to be a third or fourth round draft prospect, but this game may hurt him some.
- Safety Jordan Sterns, Senior, 6’0” 200 (Pictured Above): Sterns is a late round draft prospect who performed well in this game. He recorded 19 tackles and a pass defense. The safety had to make a lot of tackles on Oklahoma’s running back because they were getting to the second level on a regular basis.
#3 Clemson vs. #23 Virginia Tech
This game looked like it would end in a blowout. With five minutes left in the third quarter Clemson was winning 35-14, but Virginia Tech battled back.
Virginia Tech had a chance to tie the game up late in the fourth quarter. They drove all the way down to the Clemson 14 yard line before throwing an interception. The final score was 42-35 Clemson.
Both of these teams have a few pro prospects on the offensive side of the ball, and Clemson also has some talented defenders as well.
- Quarterback Deshaun Watson, Junior, 6’3” 215: At the beginning of the year Watson looked like he would be by far the best quarterback in the 2017 draft class. That’s not a sure thing anymore however Watson played really well in this game. He completed 23 out of his 34 pass attempts for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one interception. On the ground Watson added 85 yards on 17 carries and scored two more touchdowns. This game will help Watson make his case for being the first quarterback to come off of the board in the 2017 draft.
- Wide Receiver Mike Williams, Senior, 6’3” 220: Williams isn’t the most explosive wide receiver in college football. He may be the most complete receiver however. In this game he caught five passes for 57 yards. He’s considered by most to be the best receiver in the draft class.
- Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, Senior, 6’1” 200 (Pictured Above): Tankersley played well in this game. He logged four tackles, a pass defense, and two interceptions. One of the interceptions came late in the fourth when Virginia Tech was driving to try to tie the game. Tankersley is one of the most talented cover guys in college football. He’s projected to come off of the board late in the first round or early in the second.
- Wide Receiver Isaiah Ford, Junior, 6’1” 190 (Pictured Above): Ford has been a solid playmaker this season for Virginia Tech. He performed pretty well in this game. The junior caught four passes for 89 yards. He’s a second or third round draft prospect.
- Tight End Bucky Hodges, Redshirt Junior, 6’6” 245: Hodges is probably Virginia Tech’s best draft prospect. He failed to make a big impact in this game however. The tight end only managed to catch one pass for 42 yards. Hodges is an athletic, pass-catching tight end that can create mismatches. He is projected to come off the board in the second round.