Matt Barkley had a modest performance as USC stormed past Washington 40-17. He ended the day with 174 yards going 18/28 with a touchdown and no interceptions and added a further score on a quarterback sneak. USC’s ground game dominated the Huskies on the day. This was a game Barkley will have wanted to win after losing to Washington last year (the Huskies defeated a USC team without an injured Barkley the year before too). Paired with the win over Notre Dame, that’s two big accomplishment’s which may have some sway in his decision on whether to declare or not.
Robert Griffin III led a dramatic fourth quarter comeback as Baylor defeated Kansas in overtime. Trailing 24-3 with time running out, Griffin had a 49-yard touchdown run, a 36-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Williams and a further 67-yard score to Tevin Reece to complete an eight-minute turnaround. Griffin added a third touchdown through the air in overtime to complete an improbable 31-30 victory. Of course you’d rather see quarterbacks dominate early and control a game, but Griffin proved today he can take a team on the brink of defeat and make it a winner. This will impress NFL scouts.
The Denver Broncos sent out a large team of personnel men to watch Arizona take on Colorado – with Nick Foles supposedly the focus of attention (hat-tip to Chris Steuber). I’m guessing they weren’t all that impressed given a three-interception performance in a cushing 48-29 defeat. Foles remains a late round pick at best in my view and it’s hard to see how a team like Denver who are desperate for a quarterback would put their faith in Foles being the answer.
Ryan Tannehill and Collin Klein padded the stats in four overtime periods, but the stat line was again disappointing from Tannehill on the whole. Prior to OT he had one score and one interception, but was throwing a meagre 4.6 yard average per pass. Kansas State eventually won 53-50 for Texas A&M’s fifth loss this year and Tannehill hasn’t maintained the magic touch in the win column. A lot of the draft momentum he had earlier this season was built around impressive wins in 2010, but unfortunately it’s slowly evaporating. He’s got some athletic potential but he’s a much greater project than some wanted to believe in the summer.
Brandon Weeden didn’t break sweat in a five-touchdown 66-6 waltz against Texas Tech. Oklahoma State are one win against rivals Oklahoma away from potentially playing in the National Championship game. Weeden went 31-37 with no turnovers, finding Justin Blackmon for two of his touchdowns. He’s a talented quarterback and his maturity shines through, but it’s still hard to picture him in the NFL. That’s aside from the obvious elephant in the room that he’ll turn 29 during his rookie season in the NFL.
Kirk Cousins has been hit and miss the season, but he had one of his better days leading Michigan State past Iowa 37-21. Cousins had three touchdowns and no turnovers, going 18/31 for 260 yards. He hasn’t had a good enough year to boost his stock beyond much more than a late round flier.
It was a bye week for Landry Jones and Oklahoma. Andrew Luck tackles Oregon later tonight while Austin Davis and Southern Miss host UCF.