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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 2 NCAA Football Reactions and Week 3 Preview

I had the opportunity to go out and watch #4 ranked TCU matchup against Baylor in Frog Territory with the main purpose in mind to scout Left tackle Marcus Cannon, yet I came away with more than just an evaluation on Cannon.


Cannon to me, seems like an NFL ready offensive guard prospect. He has a strong anchor, uses his hands well, and can move in space. The surprising part of Cannon is his ability to get to the second level and block well. On numerous occasions, he got out and blocked on linebackers or cornerbacks, showing good balance throughout the block. My reasoning in stating he ought to be drafted as a guard is simply because of his slow slide step. He dominated Baylor ends until Coach Patterson pulled him in the 2nd quarter, however I am not quite sure if he has the foot quicks to be a productive tackle at the next level. His physique and build is similar to that of a Leonard Davis; Davis is 6'6 355 lbs whereas Marcus Cannon is 6'6 350 lbs. These striking similarities and style of play have influenced me to believe Cannon will soon be one of the most sought after guards in this years upcoming draft.

Moving forward, what I ended up seeing was impressive play on all facets of the TCU offense, from the way they came on and off the field, to the receiver's blocking abilities, and to their overall athleticism as a unit. Being the first game in which I saw them in person, I feel the Horned Frogs are worthy of their top five ranking, and I hope they can string together some impressive victories to sway BCS voters.

  • Andy Dalton has a quick delivery and somewhat strong arm, he understands how to effectively attack an opposing defense by making the correct reads, and has the ability to pick up 1st downs running.
  • Jeremy Kerley is an explosive player who needs to get as many touches as possible for TCU to be as successful as they can be. Whether it is returns, runs, or receptions Kerley is the jack-of-all trades in this offense and is a legitimate playmaker with exceptional ability; I look forward to seeing more of this kid.
  • Ed Wesley is strong back who maintains his balance well through the point of attack and into the second level. He finds the gap in the defensive and for the most part is a one cut back. He has performed impressively over the course of these first three games, and for TCU to win ballgames down the stretch, they will need to continue producing yardage on the ground

Moving on , some noteable players who saw their draft stock rise/fall;

Ryan Mallet

Mallet in my opinion is the best quarterback coming into next year's NFL draft, and here is why:

  1. His physique and body frame
  • This is one of the main knocks on Mallet throughout the country, and I feel it may actually help him. Before every game I watch of Mallet, announcers always state that his mobility is an issue. Yet each game I have seen of him this season, Mallet has avoided the rush throughout (; Mallet has extreme accuracy on the run and does a solid job of keeping his eyes downfield, looking for open receivers.
2. His improved decision making
  • Currently standing at a 4.5 to 1, TD to Interception ratio, Mallet scans and reads the defense much better than any other QB i have scouted this season.
3. Arm Strength
  • Mallet can make every throw on the field, unlike any other quarterback in college football aside from Stanford's Andrew Luck. Who I can understand being argued as better than Mallet, mainly for his smarts and pocket presence.
4. And finally, his improved accuracy as a whole.

  • Mallet still airmails a few passes, but this season he looks more consistent than ever.
Mallet faces his biggest game of the season at home versus the Alabama Crimson Tide. I truly believe that this game, as was the case with Jake Locker last week versus Nebraska, will either propel or drop Mallet on scouting boards across the NFL. Whether it was right or not to fully accredit the poor production from Jake Locker remains to be seen for me, as I did not personally watch that game and cannot put a true analysis to it; however, watching Mallet so far this season, I feel he has the ability and the weapons around him to upset the Crimson Tide come saturday.

This coming weekend's matchups between Stanford and Notre Dame, and Alabama and Arkansas, will truly test the abilities of highly touted quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Ryan Mallet.

For Mallet, this could blow open the SEC East and spark a conference championship for the Razorbacks; as well as solidify himself as the 2011 top quarterback prospect.

For Luck, this will in all reality be his first true test, as the first wave of opponents this season were pushovers. If Stanford were to win, it would mark a huge step towards success for a dwindling Pac-10 conference that has shown ability in 2010. With a large crowd in to watch the Fighting Irish, look for Stanford to steal the show.

Stanford vs. Notre Dame

Stanford not only has a top notch quarterback in Luck, as they have a strong running game with the duo of Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney; both backs have a hard-nosed running style, and have shown ability so far in 2010. Both will be counted on heavily, as Notre Dame has been absolutely atrocious on rushing defense, allowing 5.11 yards per carry and nearly 200 yards per game. Look for Stanford to pound the rock, but also look for Stanford to lockdown the high flying areial attack of the Fighting Irish. Stanford as of last week, is the top ranked pass defense in the country, holding opponents on average below 100 yards. For the Irish to succeed, Armando Allen will need to play big and churn out yards on the ground.

Point of Emphasis for Game:
  • Whoever can run the ball, and stop the run, will win this ballgame in a close finish. Notre Dame will have to play much, much better on defense if they expect to even keep this game close; I feel that Brian Kelly will have cleaned up some of the mishaps, however Stanford's Andrew Luck will simply be too much for the Irish to handle.

Arkansas vs. Alabama

Arkansas has a different monster to fight this weekend, the AP poll's #1 ranked team and reigning BCS champion of 2009, Alabama. Alabama returns essentially their entire front seven, all of whom absolutely shut down the running attack of opponents. Good thing for Arkansas is that they had no ties to the ground anyways! The Razorbacks of 2010 live and die off the arm of Ryan Mallet and his go-to receivers Joe Adams and Greg Childs. In favor of this passing attack, is that Alabama had to fill 3 secondary positions due to graduation/draft, leaving Arkansas' experienced receiving corps faced off against a young, but also talented secondary.


Point of Emphasis for Game:

  • If Alabama can eat up the clock with their power running game, they will keep Mallet off the field and disrupt Arkansas' offensive rhythm. The return of Marcel Darius is extremely vital, as his presence in the interior will force the ball out of Mallet's hands very quickly; not allowing long developing pass plays that require max protection. The front seven of Alabama need to contribute in the pass defense of Arkansas by putting as much pressure as possible, in order to stymie their potent aerial attack.
  • For Arkansas to win, they need to minimize the damage done by perennial running backs, Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson of Alabama, and simply outscore the Crimson Tide. The only way Arkansas wins this ballgame is through a shootout against a fairly untested secondary. I feel that Mallet will play very well, and throw to the tune of 400 yards and 3-4 TDs; whether or not they win remains to be seen.

Stanford wins in a close one (-3.5), and Arkansas upsets Alabama (-4.5)

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