Category Archives: In-game reports

2018 Valero Alamo Bowl In-game report: Iowa State vs. Washington State, 12-28-18

Washington State emerged victorious in a back-and-forth thriller against Iowa State.  The Cougars defeated the Cyclones 28-26 to win the 2018 Valero Alamo Bowl.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

16 Gardner Minshew (6’2 220) Washington State QB-Senior

Former East Carolina quarterback Gardner Minshew’s transition to Pullman culminated with his selection as college football’s 2018 Johnny United Golden Arm Award winner.

The East Carolina transfer put together a season that ended with him winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, which is given to the nation’s top senior quarterback.  Minshew impressed in the Valero Alamo Bowl with his short compact delivery and his elusiveness in the pocket.  Iowa State opted to rush just three defensive linemen for the better part of the game and he took his time with patient reads.  When he is at his best, Minshew can power off his back foot and drive the ball in the short and intermediate passing game.  At the next level, the Cougars quarterback will have to answer questions about his deep ball accuracy and ability to run a less quarterback-friendly offense than head coach Mike Leach’s air raid offense.  The former ECU Pirate finished his senior season with 4,779 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and nine interceptions. 

4 Marcus Strong (5’9 185) Washington State CB-Junior

Marcus Strong showed his anticipation and ball skills when he jumped a slant in the first quarter and ran the interception in for a touchdown. The junior cornerback, however, was called for a taunting penalty and had his touchdown negated.  For the game, Strong finished with seven tackles, one sack and one interception.  He impressed this season -and against Iowa State- with his ability to compete and play through the whistle.  Despite giving up nine inches against Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler, Strong got physical and made life hard on the taller opponent.  The lack of size will concern scouts, but the Cougars cornerback has the right mentality to play on the outside in the NFL. 

18 Hakeem Butler (6’6 225) Iowa State WR-Junior

Butler is physical and not afraid to put his hands on the opposing cornerback to create room in his routes.  He also showed the skills to seal the edge during running plays.  Despite his height, Butler can still get low and get in-and-out of his breaks (see his comeback routes during the first half).  The junior had a productive season, posting 60 catches for 1,318 yards and nine touchdowns.  Against Washington State, he caught nine passes for 192 yards.  This included an acrobatic one-handed catch over the middle of the field. 

32 David Montgomery (5’11 216) Iowa State RB-Junior

David Montgomery has the tools to be an every down back at the next level.  He showed soft hands in the receiving game in the Valero Alamo Bowl (4 catches for 55 yards). And like he did all season long, he refused to go down on first contact.  Against Washington State, he ran for 124 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. On the season, the Cincinnati native rushed for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

2018 Walk-On’s Independence Bowl, In-game report: Duke vs. Temple, 12-27-18

A dominant second half by the Blue Devils was enough to help them cruise to an Independence Bowl victory. Duke scored 35 unanswered points to defeat Temple, 56-27.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

17 Daniel Jones (6’5 220) Duke QB-Junior

With Oregon’s Justin Herbert returning to Oregon for another season, Duke’s Daniel Jones should get some attention earlier in next year’s draft.  That is if the redshirt junior decides to declare early.  The Blue Devil signal-caller finished with one rushing touchdown, five passing touchdowns and two interceptions against Temple.  A throw that stood out to me was his pump-and-go pass for a touchdown to T.J. Rahming, the slight pump was enough to get the defensive backs attention and clear the way for Rahming.  Jones not only sold the pump with his legs, head and arm moving in sync but he threw a good pass as well.  The game was a microcosm of his season: a mixed bag of good and bad.  Scouts will question his pocket awareness.  Against Temple, he was sacked three times and for his career, he’s been sacked 82 times. I would like to see the internal clock in his head operate a little quicker and if plays aren’t developing, see him throw the ball away.  The positives for Jones is that he has good size, great athleticism for his stature, can throw on the run and has worked with David Cutcliffe, who has enjoyed a myriad of success with young quarterbacks. 

Jones (No. 17 pictured) connected with Rahming (No. 3 pictured) on a career-long 85-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter of Saturday’s Walk-On’s Independence Bowl against the Owls.
3 T.J. Rahming (5’10 170) Duke WR-Senior

You can’t help but think of former Duke wide receiver and Redskins current slot receiver, Jamison Crowder, when you see T.J. Rahming. The two have identical builds and are used in similar situations. Rahming is used on jet sweeps as a motion man and works mostly in the slot.  Rahming might be a little faster straight-line than Crowder but he doesn’t have the same agility as his elder.  Like Crowder, Rahming also can help out in the punt return game (5.9 yards per punt career average).  Against Temple, Rahming caught 12 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. 

9 Michael Dogbe (6’3 280) Temple DL-Senior

Dogbe is a little light for a defensive tackle but his activity and constant movement is never lacking.  In a time where defense is more about reacting than dictating, Dogbe is a throwback see ball/ get ball type of player.  In the Independence Bowl, Dogbe impressed with his ability to attract double teams and follow and stick with the play from behind.  He projects best as a 4-3 defensive tackle or a 3-4 defensive end at the next level.  At Temple, single digit numbers are reserved for tough and hardworking players and Dogbe has earned his stripes.  For the season, Dogbe finished with 12.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and three forced fumbles. 

Texas Longhorns vs Oklahoma Sooners, 12-1-18: In-game report

The Oklahoma Sooners were able to get revenge for a loss against Texas earlier in the season by defeating their Red River foe in the Big 12 Championship Game.  Oklahoma used an efficient offense and an opportunistic defense to win 39-27 and clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff in the process.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

33 Gary Johnson (6’0 230) Texas LB-Senior

Johnson literally jumps out of nowhere to make plays.  The senior linebacker is able to contort his body,  get really low and explode past offensive linemen to make plays in the backfield.  Johnson had a third and goal tackle for loss on the Sooners first possession after he blew past the Sooners linemen to stuff the play in the backfield. Johnson also impressed with his hustle to the football.  After Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb caught a curl route and took it 50 yards downfield, Johnson snuck up behind him and poked the ball loose, turning what would’ve been a massive play for Oklahoma into a turnover for Texas.  Johnson’s pursuit to the football will catch the eyes of scouts, but he will have to work on shedding blocks once he is engaged. 

2 Kris Boyd (6’0 195) Texas  CB-Senior 

Boyd is a technician at cornerback.  His ability to mirror receivers and play off of their motions is NFL-quality.  The senior cornerback has had a pass deflection in all but two games this season.  Boyd had another pass deflection when he mirrored Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown on a fade route and then brought his hands through Brown’s hands to knock the ball away at the last second.  Boyd is also a willing tackler on the outside.  Look for a team, who is looking for man-to-man corners to target Boyd in this year’s draft. 

2 CeeDee Lamb (6’2 189) Oklahoma WR-Sophomore

The Sooners star receiver is a fluid route runner, who also has excellent hands in traffic.  Regardless of his slight build, Lamb has shown the willingness to extend his body and leave himself susceptible to shots to his ribs.  The sophomore receiver can make big plays as a receiving option on screens or he can make plays for others as a lead blocker on bubble screens to other receivers like he did in the first half against Texas.  Lamb caught a touchdown over the middle to bring the Sooners within one point of the Longhorns in the second quarter.  Despite his fumble, Lamb was productive, finishing with six catches for 167 yards and a touchdown.

Michigan vs. Ohio State, 11-24-18: In-game report

Michigan and Ohio State met on Saturday at the “Horseshoe” with a spot in the Big Ten Championship and possibly a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line. Ohio State capitalized on Michigan’s special teams errors in the second half and rode its offensive and defensive lines to a 62-39 victory.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

9 Donovan Peoples-Jones (6’2, 208) Michigan wide receiver-Sophomore 

Peoples-Jones made all types of grabs on Saturday and when his team needed plays on late down situations, he was the man targeted. The sophomore wide receiver finished with seven catches for 64 yards against the Buckeyes.  Peoples-Jones isn’t afraid to make catches over the middle but will be a problem at the next level on the outside because of his quick feet and his ability to accelerate and de-celerate to relieve himself of tight coverage.  For the season, the sophomore has caught 39 passes for 541 yards and seven touchdowns.   The sophomore is also a threat as a punt returner (two career punt return touchdowns and averages 9 yards a return). 

Ohio State offensive and defensive lines

Chase Young (No. 2 pictured) has 5.5 quarterback sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss for the Buckeyes entering the 2018 Big Ten Championship game.

Michigan came into Columbus with the nation’s top-ranked defense and a huge reason why was because of their ability to pressure the quarterback with four men.  However, by games end, Ohio State’s offensive and defensive line had stolen the show. The Buckeyes didn’t give up a sack and sacked Michigan junior quarterback Shea Patterson (6’2, 205) three times.  In the fourth quarter on 3rd and 12, Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young (6’5, 265) flushed Patterson from the pocket and made him throw off-balance, which led to an interception by junior safety Jordan Fuller (6’2 204). Defensive linemen Robert Landers (6’1 283) and Jonathon Cooper (6’4 257) also contributed with sacks. Offensively, the Buckeyes rushed for 249 yards and passed for 318 yards.  

“They slowly devastated us throughout the game. Knowing all the yards they were putting up and how easily they were scoring, it was tough. It was very tough,” Michigan senior defensive back Tyree Kinnel said in a post game press conference. “They completely beat us everywhere. Run game, pass game, everyone is to blame.”

7 Dwayne Haskins (6’3, 220) Ohio State QB-Sophomore
Haskins has set Big Ten passing marks for passing yards (4.081) and touchdown passes (42) in 2018.

Haskins seems to be getting more and more comfortable as the season goes on. The Potomac, Maryland, native completed 19-of-30 passes for 318 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday.  Despite the big game atmosphere, Haskins never forced any throws against a stout Michigan defense.  Aided by a strong running game and a clean pocket, he picked the Wolverines apart.  Haskins has the arm to make all the throws and is big enough to shake defenders off.  If the sophomore can continue to play with the poise he showed on Saturday, look for him to continue to move up future NFL Draft boards.

39 Malik Harrison (6’3, 245) Ohio State LB-Junior 
Harrison has contributed 8.5 tackles for losses for the Buckeyes in 2018 (as of 11/27/18).

Harrison impressed with his form tackling ability against the Wolverines. The junior linebacker used his eyes well and was able to make tackles on Michigan senior running back Karan Higdon (5’10 202) by being patient and meeting Higdon in his running lanes. Harrison can also be used in blitz packages.   He sacked Patterson on the second play of the game when he came into the backfield untouched.  For a player his size, Harrison has excellent sideline-to- sideline ability  yet is strong enough to take on interior linemen in the running game.  Harrison projects best as a 4-3 outside linebacker. 

Cincinnati vs. UCF, 11-17-18: In-game report

A fast paced offense and some self-inflicted wounds aided UCF to its 23rd straight victory. The Knights defeated the  Cincinnati Bearcats, 38-13, and clinched a spot in the AAC championship in the process. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

UCF offense 

They aren’t called UCFast for nothing. The Knights play at one of the fastest paces in college football and have the players at the skill positions to make it work.  They currently average 43 points per game and scored 38 against Cincinnati, who hadn’t given up for more than 30 in the six games previous.  The list of contributors offensively is exhaustive.  Six different players caught at least one pass and five different players ran the ball at least once.  In his first season as head coach, Josh Heupel has carried over some of the spread principles that he used in Oklahoma under Bob Stoops. Junior quarterback McKenzie Milton (5’11, 185) isn’t the prospect that Sam Bradford was coming out of Oklahoma under Heupel’s tutelage, but the UCF quarterback is putting up reminiscent numbers.  The Knights will need a lot of help to get into the College Football Playoff but even if they don’t make it, their offense will pose a big problem to any Power 5 team because of the one-on-one matchups they can create week-to-week. 

UCF defensive ends 

Davis, pictured, has 15.5 tackles for loss for the Knights entering the team’s AAC Championship Game.

Senior defensive end Titus Davis (6’3, 250) and junior defensive end Brendon Hayes (6’3, 293) are two premier pass rushers who feast on opposing quarterbacks once UCF takes big leads. The two tag- teamed for a turnover in the second quarter, when Davis met Cincinnati freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder (6’4, 212) in the backfield, forcing a fumble that Hayes recovered.  For the game, Davis finished with three sacks, bringing his season total to six. Hayes, the better edge-setter and run defender between the two, had five tackles and a pass deflection.

Cincinnati mistakes 

Before the Bearcats could settle down, they were already in a hole. In the first half alone, the Bearcats lost a fumble, missed a field goal, had a field goal blocked and missed an extra point. 

“We generated some momentum early in the game and gave it right back to them, whether it was a missed field goal or extra point or something like that,” Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell said. “When you’re playing the champs, when you’re playing a team as good as they are, you can’t have mishaps like that.”

For the game, the Bearcats were comparable when it came to total yards and third down efficiency. But the early lopsided score made the Bearcats one-dimensional and turned what could have been a close game into a blowout. 

Mississippi State vs. Alabama, 11-10-18: In-game report

A pair of sophomores on different sides of the ball are leading the charge for the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.  Behind its star quarterback and dominant defensive line,  Alabama defeated Mississippi State, 24-0.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

13 Tua Tagovailoa (6’1, 218) Alabama QB-Sophomore  

While a bit undersized, Tua Tagovailoa has the traits of an NFL starting quarterback.  His excellent feet and natural throwing motion stood out once again on Saturday.  In the first quarter, the sophomore perfectly lofted a pass to junior tight end Irv Smith, Jr. (6’4, 240) at the one-yard line near the sideline between two defensive backs. The pass led to a one-yard rushing touchdown. The Hawaii native is also athletic enough to still be able to evade pressure even while dealing with a knee injury that requires him to wear a brace. When the pocket breaks down, Tagovailoa is able to sense it and tries to run.  This can be good and bad.  The positive is that once it led to a 10-yard first down pickup.   On the negative side, Tagovailoa was sacked four times partly because he refused to throw the ball away and sank in the pocket.  He has a lot of the tools to be successful at the next level but I will be interested to see how he improves when it comes to not taking unnecessary sacks. The sophomore quarterback completed 14-of-21 passes for 164 yards with one touchdown and one interception. 

92 Quinnen Williams (6’4, 289) Alabama DL-Sophomore 

Williams is one of the coveted defensive lineman in college football because he can play both the run and the pass. Against the pass, Williams was able to use a rip move and get up field to force a sack at the end of the first quarter.  Against the run, Williams plays with great leverage, which allows him to keep a low base and take on multiple interior linemen.  Williams (5 sacks on the season) is violent with his hands and should be able to contribute immediately in either a 4-3 front as a defensive tackle or 3-4 scheme in the NFL as a defensive end. 

Mississippi State blitz packages 

The Bulldogs mustered just 169 yards of total offense but on defense, they may have been on to something that could help other teams in their quest to dethrone Alabama.  Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s unit held Alabama to 305 total yards, which was 200 less than its season average.  They sacked Tagovailoa four times when Alabama had come into the game with just six sacks allowed.  Shoop did it with a variety of blitzes from a number of directions. Three different players accounted for the four sacks.  Sophomore linebacker Willie Gay, Jr. (6’2, 235) led the team with two sacks and also had an interception.  Gay, Jr. was used as a blitzer on multiple occasions prior to his interception, and he was able to fool Tagovailoa by dropping into coverage on the pick.  The numbers will show a blowout but the Bulldogs defense gave Alabama all they could handle. 

Stanford vs. Washington, 11-3-18: In-game report

Washington and Stanford squared off in Seattle as both teams try to keep pace with first place Washington State in the Pac-12. The Huskies got off to a quick start and were able to hang on for a 27-23 victory. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

13 Alijah Holder (6’2 188) Stanford CB-Senior 

Holder may not have the height of former Cardinal CB/WR Richard Sherman, but there are some striking similarities. The senior cornerback is always around the football like Sherman and has eight pass deflections on the season and a forced fumble. Holder is best in press coverage but again -like Sherman- could be susceptible when forced to move his hips and keep up with quick-twitched receivers. The senior projects best at the next level as a Cover 3/ press-man cornerback.  Against Washington, Holder finished with three pass deflections and seven tackles. His production and big play ability (five forced fumbles and two interceptions on the season) will grab scouts attention as we move closer to the end of the regular season.

3 Jake Browning (6’2 210) Washington QB- Senior 

Browning may have done himself a disservice by returning to school as this season his numbers are more pedestrian, throwing 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions. The senior quarterback was benched against California earlier in the season,  and this comes just two seasons after leading the Huskies to a College Football Playoff Appearance by throwing 43 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Browning has somewhat of a herky-jerky delivery and throws the ball with little arch.  However, Browning , who grew up just two hours away from San Francisco, could be beneficial in an offense like the 49ers for example, who move the pocket and value accuracy. The Folsom, California native has a slight frame but he is an experienced leader with four years of experience behind center.  Look for Browning to be drafted in the later rounds and start his career as a backup. 

20 Bryce Love (5’10 202) Stanford RB- Senior

The first thing that jumps out about Bryce Love is his excellent vision and patience. The senior running back allowed the play to develop in front of him before cutting back and breaking a tackle to score a touchdown in the third quarter. Love, who has 490 rushing yards on the season, won’t come close to the 2,118 yards he posted a year ago.  The Wake Forest, North Carolina native has dealt with an ankle injury this season and his team has been behind in a fair share of their contests, nullifying his ability out of the backfield. The production, vision and experience are there for Love, but he will have to work on his pass protection and catching ability at the next level.  Against Washington, Love finished with 71 rushing yards on 18 touches.  

Navy vs. Notre Dame, 10-27-18: In-game report

Notre Dame and Navy traveled to San Diego to rekindle a rivalry. However, an efficient offense and a fundamentally sound defense allowed the Fighting Irish to make quick work of the Midshipmen, winning 44-22.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report: 

53 Sam Mustipher (6’2 306) Notre Dame OL-Senior 

DraftNasty highlighted Mustipher in our season preview to begin the season and in 2018, the Fighting Irish senior lineman has remained a constant positive for the offense. Mustipher routinely finished blocks against Navy with a little extra force and he isn’t afraid to mix it up with defensive lineman that are his size or bigger. However, what makes Mustipher an NFL-caliber interior lineman is his ability to get to the second level quickly like he did against Navy linebacker Taylor Heflin (6’2 229).  Mustipher was able to move Heflin out of the way with ease, paving the way for the team’s second rushing touchdown of the night.  The Irish rank in the top third in the nation in passing yards, rushing yards and points per game and Mustipher’s expertise along the line is a huge reason why.

12 Ian Book (6’0 203) Notre Dame QB-Junior 

Book has put together a five-game winning streak since he took over as the starting quarterback against Wake Forest.  One of the reasons, head coach Brian Kelly moved on from senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush (6’2, 222) is because Book is more efficient in the passing game.  Wimbush was pulled after tallying four interceptions and one touchdown in his three starts to begin the year.  Since being named the starter, Book has thrown 13 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 76-percent of his passes. Book’s accuracy is on par with some of the best in college football, and his best throws against Navy came on a pair of back-shoulder throws to senior wide receiver Miles Boykin (6’4 228), which both resulted in touchdowns. Book has also rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns.  The California native’s mobility to evade the rush and his pinpoint accuracy should be enough continue to carry the Fighting Irish offense.

Notre Dame defense vs. Navy offense

The Midshipmen pride themselves on their triple option offensive attack but against the Irish they couldn’t get anything going. Notre Dame jumped out to a 27-0 advantage in the first half and by that point the Midshipmen were too far behind to make a difference. The Fighting Irish defensive line routinely overpowered Navy’s front five. The defensive line was able to keep senior linebacker Te’von Coney (6’1 240) clean of blockers and allow him to make 14 tackles. As a whole, the defense forced three turnovers and four three-and- outs.  If the Fighting Irish can stick to the assignment football that won them the game against Navy, then they should be able to continue to challenge for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Appalachian State vs. Georgia Southern, 10-25-18: In-game report

Appalachian State (5-2, 3-1)  and Georgia Southern (7-1, 4-0) met on Thursday night in a battle to decide supremacy in the Sun Belt conference.  Georgia Southern used its triple option offense and suffocating defense to defeat the Mountaineers, 34-14.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

44 Anthony Flory (6’1 230) Appalachian State LB- Senior 

Flory posted 87 tackles in 2017 and is well on his way to matching the total in 2018.

Flory is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who flows to the football and has the ability to form tackle.   He finished with 10 tackles against the Eagles. The senior linebacker trusted his eyes on numerous occasions and was usually the first to the football despite Georgia Southern cloaking a lot of their runs with misdirection. During a first quarter run by Eagles sophomore quarterback Shai Werts (5’11, 190), Flory not only set the edge and forced Werts to cut back, but he shed his blocker and made the tackle.  Flory should be able to also contribute as an outside linebacker at the next level despite playing as an inside linebacker in college because of his speed, strength and position IQ.  Look for Flory, who was named to the preseason All-Sun Belt first team, to continue to make plays at all sides of the field.

Georgia Southern triple option offense

The Eagles haven’t lost a game in the conference midway through the season and that’s because opposing defenses haven’t been able to solve their option attack.  Georgia Southern ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game, averaging 275 yards.  Werts is the straw that stirs the drink and even if he isn’t running, his ability forces defenses to key in on him. The sophomore quarterback finished with 129 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. What makes the Eagles attack even more potent is that every once in a while, Werts can make a defense pay through the air. He completed a 57-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Darion Anderson (6’0, 185). It was Werts’ only completion of the night, but on the season, he has completed 57 percent of his passes and hasn’t thrown an interception.  Senior running back Wesley Fields (6’0, 205) adds another punch to the backfield alongside Werts.  He rushed for 98 yards and two touchdowns on Thursday.  One thing for the team to monitor centers around ball security.  Georgia Southern recovered all three of its fumbles against the Mountaineers, but a team that runs as much as they do could be susceptible to fumbles. The Eagles only loss this season came to the second-ranked Clemson Tigers.  If this offense keeps playing this well, they could make a run into the nation’s Top 25. 

Georgia Southern defense

The Eagles defense was fast and played as a unit against Appalachian State.  It’s hard to point out one player, who stood out because so many different players made plays.  14 different players finished with at least two tackles. The Mountaineers scored 38 points and nearly upset Penn State earlier this season but against the Eagles, they couldn’t get anything going after their starting quarterback, sophomore Zac Thomas (6’1, 205), left with a concussion in the first quarter.  Georgia Southern forced four turnovers and didn’t turn the ball over themselves and right now they have a +19 turnover ratio. With a sound defense and a ball-controlling offense, Georgia Southern will be hard to take down in the Sun Belt.

NC State vs. Clemson, 10-20-18: In-game report

 A game that was supposed to feature two Top 25 teams turned into a blowout.  Clemson defeated NC State, 41-7, at home, behind a sensational  performance from their freshman signal-caller. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:      

16 Trevor Lawrence (6’5, 205) Clemson QB-Freshman   

Clemson was forced to use sophomore running back and Heisman hopeful Travis Etienne (5’10, 200) as a decoy against NC State, who decided to make Lawrence beat them with the pass. The freshman quarterback indeed did just that.  Lawrence threw for 308 yards and one touchdown while completing 66 percent of his passes.  Most impressively was his ability to spread the ball around and put it in positions where receivers could run after the catch. The Tigers used a steady diet of comeback routes, which required Lawrence to anticipate when his receivers would break off the top of the route.  When they did, he often  threw an accurate ball to the outside shoulder so that the cornerback couldn’t undercut the route.  13 different Tigers caught at least one pass.  Coming into the game, the question was did the Tigers have enough playmakers on the outside.  After a strong performance against a ranked opponent, those questions will be no more. Lawrence has at least two more years of school, but his patience going through his progressions will keep scouts intrigued going forward.

99 Clelin Ferrell (6’5, 260) Clemson DE- Junior

Ferrell didn’t add to his six-sack season total on Saturday, but he did finish with five

Ferrell posted 18 tackles for loss in 2017.

tackles, including two for loss.  The junior defensive end displayed an ability to get off the ball in a hurry.  On one run in the third quarter, he met the NC State running back in the backfield for a five-yard loss.  Ferrell is a premier pass rusher (21.5 career sacks) who forces quarterbacks to roll opposite of him because he gets up the field so quick. The Richmond, Virginia native is slated to be a top pick in this year’s draft but like any player with his type of speed, he must make sure he keeps gap integrity. On one play in the second quarter, Ferrell got past his man but was too vertical and NC State senior running back Reggie Gallaspy (5’11, 235) blew right past him.  

NC State offense vs. Clemson defense

Williams has been a four-year contributor for the Tigers.

NC State entered the game with a 61-percent conversion rate on third down, which was the highest mark in college football. However, the Wolfpack finished just 2-of-12 on third downs and totaled 297 yards,  nearly 150 less than its season average. Clemson was too much for the Wolfpack on first and second down, which led to 3rd and longs. The Tigers feature two of the best pass rushers in college football with Ferrell and senior defensive end Austin Bryant (6’6, 280). On the back end, the Tigers have the ability to play in press-man or zone.  Both coverages led to interceptions on Sunday, senior linebacker Jalen Williams (5’10, 210) dropped back in a zone coverage to pick off a pass over the middle while earlier in the game junior defensive back K’Von Wallace (6’0, 195) caught a batted pass for an interception as a result of solid man coverage.  The moral of the story is don’t get down early to Clemson, because their defense has the potential to make opposing offenses pay both with talent and scheme.