Players of the Week November 8th

Isaiah McKenzie – Georgia Wide Receiver/Return Specialist. Diminutive is what true freshman Isaiah McKenzie looks like compared to some of his teammates. The roster lists him at 5-8, 165, but I am not sure how much I believe of that. Isaiah McKenzie is not very big.

Size doesn’t seem to matter much as this guy is extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Georgia was looking to rebound after being embarrassed by Florida the previous week and took on Kentucky last Saturday. McKenzie took the opening kickoff back 90 yards for a Touchdown, igniting the Bulldogs to a 21-0 lead over Kentucky in the first quarter.

In the third quarter, McKenzie pretty much sealed the victory with a 59 yard punt return for his second Touchdown of the day on returns.

The Plantation, Florida product is in the top 10 in the entire country in Kickoff and Punt returns.

Cameron Artis-Payne – Auburn Running Back.  Auburn was upset by the Aggies of Texas A%M this past week, but it was no fault of Cameron Artis-Payne’s. He more than did his fair share to keep his team in the game. The 5-10, 210 senior from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ran for 221 yards on 30 carries and scored 2 Touchdowns. Without a couple of late fumbles, Auburn wins this game but they have had more than their share of breaks in football games in recent times.

Artis-Payne is up to 1190 yards rushing on the season and 9 Touchdowns on his way to a probable All SEC team selection. People like to brag about how great the SEC is and part of the reason is that they keep a lot of their own at home and they will go to a Pennsylvania and grab one of the best from those areas. Penn State would love to have Cameron Artis-Payne right now.

Marcus Mariota- Oregon Quarterback. Mariota has mostly just been quietly getting the job done all season. Don’t get me wrong, Mariota has been really good. He just hasn’t been throwing for 400 or 500 yards in a game like some national Quarterbacks have been doing.

This past weekend against ranked Utah, Mariota did much of the same again. He threw for 239 yards and 3 Touchdowns on 17 out of 29 passing.

Mariota also ran for 114 yards and another Touchdown on 18 carries.

The amazing stat for Mariota this season is he has thrown for 29 Touchdowns with only 2 Interceptions, so far. He has thrown for 2,780 yards and he has run for 524 yards and another 8 touchdowns.

Returning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, has thrown for 2,540 yards and 17 Touchdowns compared to 11 Interceptions. Winston kind of blew his chances at repeating by all the off field activities, but all is for naught anyway as Dak Prescott will win the Heisman going away.

Mariota should be picked ahead of all of them by the NFL as he looks like another Colin Kaepernick except with a lot more common sense.

JT Barrett- Ohio State Quarterback. Barrett was 3rd string in the Spring Game, but beat out Cardale Jones for the back up spot in the Fall. When starter Braxton Miller went out for the year before the season even started, redshirt freshman Barrett was the new starter. Barrett has not been without his struggles, but he is getting better and better every week.

Against Big 10 favorite, Michigan State, Barrett was still even better completing 16 out of 26 passes for 300 yards and 3 Touchdowns. That brought his freshman year totals up to 2,156 yards passing and 26 Touchdowns. Not a bad year for a top senior Quarterback, but very impressive for a freshman.

He also ran for 86 yards on 14 carries and scored 2 more Touchdowns on the ground.

Braxton Miller is supposed to come back next season, but I am not sure what the Buckeye coaches will do with that. I sure don’t think Barrett should be holding a clipboard on the sidelines. Miller is the better runner, but I would say that Barrett might be the better passer and particularly for a freshman. That’s why Buckeye coach Urban Meyer makes the big bucks.

Corey Coleman- Baylor Wide Receiver. The Baylor Bears gave the Oklahoma Sooners a surprising 48-14 beating in Norman, Oklahoma. Corey Coleman was a major part of the beating with 15 receptions for 224 yards and 1 Touchdown. Coleman leads the Bears with 44 catches and 796 yards and 8 Touchdowns. Baylor and TCU are now in first place in the Big 12 with Baylor having a win in a head to head against the Frogs.

Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin Running Back. In spite of the banishment, I still think that Todd Gurley is the top Running Back in the country. But, Melvin Gordon is right up there with him and is better in some ways. Gordon had another great day last week against the Purdue Boilermakers

running for 205 yards on 25 carries and a Touchdown. Gordon has never been known to be much of a receiver out of the backfield, but he had 3 catches for 44 yards and a 27 yard Touchdown.

Gordon is up to 1,501 yards on the season and 3,829 career rushing yards and 35 Touchdowns. Wisconsin improved to 7-2 on the season with a crucial contest coming up this weekend against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. If Wisconsin beats Nebraska, they will be sitting in the driver’s seat of the Big 10 West.

Grant Hedrick – Boise State Quarterback. Boise State found itself in a precarious situation on Saturday against the University of New Mexico Lobos. They were behind and not many saw that happening. They actually had to scratch and claw and fight their way back most of the game which doesn’t say a lot about the Boise State defense.

Boise Quarterback Grant Hedrick kept bringing his team back. Hedrick completed 21 passes out of 32 attempts for 367 yards and 4 Touchdowns and no interceptions. The Boise State Broncos have lost 2 games this season and Hedrick threw 4 Interceptions in each loss.

Hedrick also had a nice night on the ground finishing with 131 yards on 15 carries and 2 more Touchdowns.

Not a lot of defense in this game with Boise giving up 505 rushing yards to New Mexico, but they did manage to come back and win 60-49.

Lorenzo Carter – Georgia Defensive End. Carter was a highly recruited 5 star Defensive End/Outside Linebacker out of Norcross, Georgia. At 6-6, 235, Carter ran a 4.6 40 in high school which makes him a rare breed of size and speed something along the lines of a Jadeoven Clowney type of player. The Bulldogs have been playing great defense at times this season and they have not played Carter all that much so far.

Against Kentucky on Saturday, the Georgia Bulldogs turned him loose on an unsuspecting Kentucky Wildcat team. Lorenzo Carter responded with 2.5 sacks and another quarterback hurry, and 9 total tackles. He also had 3.5 tackles for losses.

It was only a matter of time with Lorenzo Carter and now he is really starting to open some eyes around the country.

Gerod  Holliman – Louisville Safety. In 1968, the University of Washington’s Al Worley intercepted 14 passes. That record has stood for 46 years, but it has a shot at being broken this season by the Louisville Cardinal’s amazing Gerod Holliman.

Holliman is a 6-2, 215 sophomore out of Miami’s Southridge High School is on a tear like few other college Defensive Backs have ever been.

On Saturday, Gerod Holliman picked off 3 passes against Boston College to bring his total of interceptions up to 13 on the season.

Louisville is sitting at 7-3 on the year with 2 games left against Notre Dame and Kentucky, plus a bowl game to break the 46 year old record.

Holliman also had 4 interceptions and had another tackle for loss, plus a pass break up.

Cedric Reed – Texas Defensive End. I am never really for a college star leaving for the big bucks of the NFL before his college eligibility is used up. But, maybe sometimes it is actually better. Cedric Reed had 10 sacks as a junior and was considered a hot prospect at Defensive End because of his size, speed and motor. For whatever reasons, Cedric Reed was just not having a productive senior season and he was probably costing himself hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Going into Saturday’s game against West Virginia, Reed had 1.5 sacks on the year and 40 tackles total.

Against the West Virginia Mountaineers, Cedric Reed finally had that breakout game that everyone was expecting of him going in.

He had 12 tackles, 3 sacks,  and another 4 tackles for loss. Reed had another quarterback hurry and forced a fumble.

Texas is having a bad season overall, but they pulled even at 5-5 after shocking ranked West Virginia on Saturday in Austin. Texas needs to beat either Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Oklahoma or TCU to gain a bowl berth. Can’t believe we are already at this time of year. Seems like just yesterday that we were all excited about the season starting.

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