Booms and Busts: Week Three

Christopher Crawford

Week 3 Booms

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa -- 444 yards passing, five touchdowns -- vs. South Carolina: At this point, we wouldn't blame you for yawning when we talk about Tagovailoa, because this is becoming old hat. Oh well. Tagovailoa was sensational in the blowout win over the Gamecocks, and he continues to show the accuracy, arm strength and poise in the pocket that make him a candidate to be the first pick by whatever team (the Dolphins) select first. He's certainly helped by his weapons, but that accentuates how good Tagovailoa is. We're gonna miss getting to write about him in this section next year.

Notre Dame QB Ian Book -- 360 yards passing, five touchdowns -- vs. New Mexico:To be fair, two of these touchdowns came on 'flip' passes where Book simply just pushed the ball forward to sweeping wideouts and the Notre Dame receivers did the rest. He also made some excellent throws in the blowout of the Lobos, and he added a rushing touchdown for good measure. Book isn't perfect, but his accuracy and ability to get the ball downfield to wideouts like Chase Claypool make Notre Dame a playoff contender. We'll find out how much of one they are when they face off against Georgia next week.

Central Florida QB Dillon Gabriel -- 347 yards passing, four touchdowns -- vs. Stanford: We can definitely say "Brandon who?" now. We aren't gonna say "McKenzie who?" because it wouldn't be nice and it wouldn't be accurate, but it'd be hard to be not impressed with what the freshman did in the 45-27 rout of Stanford (it's worth pointing out the game wasn't really that close). The southpaw signal-caller was able to get the ball deep against a secondary for the Cardinal that has NFL players -- although we'd say a few guys had their stock hit in this one -- and you'd never guess this was a player that was playing high school football in Hawaii last year. Gabriel should have this job on lock, and then the Knights might -- we emphasize might -- have a tough choice when McKenzie Milton is healthy enough to play next year. 

Navy QB Malcolm Perry -- 151 yards passing, 156 yards rushing, six total touchdowns -- vs. East Carolina: Ahh, Malcolm Perry. How quickly we forgot about you. Well, I assume you did, anyway, because it's been a while since we've seen Perry this dominant. He's battled injuries throughout his career at Navy -- and yes, it does feel like that career has been going on since about 2012 -- but when he's at full strength, he can really run the triple-option. Football is better when the service academies are good, and the Midshipmen look much, much better so far than they did in 2018. 

Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard -- 256 yards rushing, three touchdowns -- vs. Tulsa: Has anyone adopted Chuba Chuba choo choo yet? Because I'd like to, if possible. Hubbard dominated the Hurricane defense on Saturday, and with the Cowboys' passing game only so-so, he basically carried (no pun intended) Oklahoma State to the victory. It's already the second game that Hubbard has gone over 200 yards with three touchdowns on the season. We're super excited to see what he can do against Texas next weekend. 

Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins -- 193 yards rushing, two touchdowns -- vs. Indiana: This was a very impressive game from Dobbins, and it could have been even more impressive -- statistically, anyway -- if this game was remotely close and there was reason to give Dobbins the ball more in the 51-10 shellacking of the Hoosiers. Dobbins showed off the stiff arm again, and he also added a receiving score, showing he's not a one-dimensional player. There are some tremendous college running backs putting up big numbers right now, but Dobbins deserves more respect. I said it last week, and I'll probably have to say it again.

Alabama RB Najee Harris -- 33 yards rushing, 87 yards receiving, two touchdowns -- vs. South Carolina: So, this wasn't the most impressive game on the ground. Far from it. That being said, it was a very impressive game through the air, and Harris deserves a mention because of this play, and this play alone: 

Goodness. Gracious. That just might be the touchdown of the year, and let's keep in mind this came on fourth down with the Crimson Tide only up a touchdown. Harris can play, folks.

Clemson WR Amari Rodgers, -- 121 yards receiving, two touchdowns -- vs. Syracuse: Incredible. Certainly not the most impressive stat line of the week, but given the circumstances, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one. You see, in case you weren't aware, Rodgers tore his ACL just six months ago. Most people are still recovering from surgery with months to go before they're ready to play. Rodgers was out there showing off the speed you see in very few healthy players. It's just another weapon for the best offense/team in football.

Liberty WR Antonio Gandy-Golden -- 174 yards receiving, two touchdowns -- vs. Buffalo: If you haven't heard of Gandy-Golden, you'd be forgiven; he plays for a football that is most famous now for having a coach who was coaching games from a hospital bed then being good at football. But you need to know the name. Gandy-Golden is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound wideout who can shake defenders off with ease and high-point the football over the tallest of defensive backs. There are some questions about the speed, but Gandy-Golden's production and tape are going to make him an NFL player in 2019. 

Minnesota WR Tyler Johnson -- 140 yards receiving, two touchdowns -- vs. Georgia Southern: Now that's the Johnson we remember from last year. After a couple of quiet games against Fresno State and South Dakota State, the senior wideout was dominant against Georgia Southern, and the Golden Gophers needed it in a close 35-32 victory over the Sun Belt school. Johnson flirted with the NFL and might have been one of the first wideouts off the board had he gone pro last spring, but as a 'twitchy' athlete and quality route-runner, he has a chance to be a high draft selection in 2020, too; even in a much more crowded wideout class.

Week 3 busts

The schedule: What the heck, universe? Sure, these schedules are set years in advance, but this was ridiculous. There wasn't one matchup between two Top 25 teams, and while we did have two technical upsets in BYU beating USC and Temple topping Maryland, for the most part these games were lopsided and dull. There are better weeks ahead, but we'd appreciate fewer clunkers going forward. I don't think we're asking too much.

The ACC: We had some question marks about this conference coming into the year, and this week provided more answers toward the negative than the positive. First of all, Clemson is pretty good. Now, about the rest of the group. Boston College got housed by Kansas. Yes, Kansas. Syracuse has looked very, very bad over the last two weeks; including the crushing by the Tigers Saturday night. NC State got shellacked by a West Virginia team that looked awful the previous two contests. Virginia Tech just scraped by Furman -- a 1-2 FCS team -- and Georgia Tech did not get by a 1-2 FCS team; losing in overtime. Again, this conference is going to get a playoff team because Clemson is the best team in college football (sorry, Bama), but the rest? Not great, folks. Not great.

Purdue WR Rondale Moore -- three catches, 25 yards -- vs. TCU: Moore is a victim of two things: Circumstance, and expectations. We have gotten so used to seeing Moore post double-digit catch games and go over the century mark that it's hard to imagine him struggling like this. It's also important to remember that starting quarterback Elijah Sindelar was unable to play against the Horned Frogs due to a concussion, and backup Jack Plummer was not up to the task (13-for-29, two interceptions). Still, Moore had a very poor game by his and most starting wideout standards, and it's a bummer. I don't like this one bit.