College football open thread & notes (week 5)

Here’s what I’m watching this weekend in college football:

Washington vs UCLA
Kentucky vs Ole Miss
Oklahoma vs TCU
Alabama vs Arkansas
NC State vs Clemson

The TV gods are being very generous this week. All of the games apart from Kentucky vs Ole Miss are being broadcast in the UK — and I’ll be able to watch Will Levis against the Rebels using ESPN Player.

I’m starting this open thread a day earlier than usual so people can pass comment on the game tonight between Washington and UCLA. I won’t be watching this game live but will watch it on playback on Saturday morning.

Quarterback watch

I want to start with some thoughts on Jaren Hall from last night. This was far from Hall (or BYU’s) best performance. It was sloppier than his stat-line (17/27, 274 yards, three touchdowns, zero interceptions) suggests.

Utah State mixed between tricky opponent and hopeless. BYU’s first drive lasted two plays — two wide-open, easy throws were all Hall needed to get his first score. After that, however, the Aggies tightened their belts and forced a few uncharacteristic errors.

Hall’s second drive contained an awful dropped interception. He was flat-footed on the throw, inaccurate and lobbed it straight to a defender. This would’ve been a costly turnover deep in his own half and Hall was lucky to escape an ugly pick.

It was the first of three straight drives that ended with a punt. On the third of these drives, Hall took an avoidable sack (I have been saying he shares some of Russell Wilson’s traits).

He then sacked himself to end a drive that included a horrible dropped pass in the end zone that took a score off the board for BYU.

There were a few grumbles and groans from the home crowd but they re-grouped after half-time. Hall showed fantastic ball-placement on a 14-yard throw to the front right corner of the end zone. It was perfectly thrown — giving the receiver every chance to grab a touchdown.

Even then, on the next drive he could’ve had another turnover. He led his receiver too much on a throw and almost got him hammered by a lurking defender. The pass tipped off his fingertips and was fortunately caught by another receiver rather than a defensive back for a fluke completion.

His third touchdown was another easy, no-coverage/no-resistance jolly-up. An early Christmas present from Utah State.

I wanted to be wowed in this game and if anything, it was a bit underwhelming. It was certainly the least impressed I’ve been by Hall this season — having watched all of his games. BYU play Notre Dame and Arkansas next — so there’s a great opportunity to make a greater statement than he did here.

The game tonight involving Washington and UCLA involves the increasingly hyped-up Michael Penix Jr and the slightly underrated Dorian Thompson-Robinson. I understand why Husky fans are getting excited but a little bit of perspective is required with Penix Jr. He came to UW because he’s familiar with Kalen DeBoer and his scheme which, let’s be right, is very QB-friendly. No doubt he’s made some impressive throws recently but I also think his release is quite elongated and he has a history of injuries. It’s just something to consider. No doubt, though, this should be a fun game.

Will Levis vs Ole Miss will be box-office viewing. The Rebels have the more talented roster (by some distance) but Kentucky has the better QB.

Bryce Young gets to shoot it out with K.J. Jefferson in the Alabama vs Arkansas contest. C.J. Stroud and Ohio State host Rutgers. Anthony Richardson won’t play until Sunday after Florida’s game at home to Eastern Washington was pushed back 24 hours due to Hurricane Ian.

Tanner McKee and Stanford take on Oregon in a late game on Saturday evening. It’s a weekend off for Tennessee and Hendon Hooker. Miami also has no game this weekend — meaning we’ll have to wait a week to see if Tyler Van Dyke remains the starter.

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103 Comments

  1. Peter

    Feel like I’m being greedy here but who are you watching for in the NC state v. Clemson game? And the tcu v. Oklahoma game?

    • Rob Staton

      I am going to watch both games with an open mind, not really focusing on anyone. I like Bryan Bresee and Trenton Simpson a lot so will typically be drawn to them — but also will be watching to see if anyone else stands out. I’m not a big fan of Devin Leary the NC State QB (for the NFL anyway).

      Want to see more from Quentin Johnson the receiver at TCU.

      • Peter

        Going to try and catch some Kansas football. Their qb and that offense look fun.

        Not projecting him to the pros or the seahawks but he’s having a hell of a year so far.

  2. cha

    The PC doublespeak is strong today.

    Praised the job Coby Bryant has done at nickel but then proceeded to say “he has a long way to go” and “it is a very intricate position with a lot to learn.”

    • Big Mike

      Yeah, or maybe you could just play him at his natural position especially considering his coverage grades last year. I just don’t understand this with he and Lewis. Can someone explain to me why they do this.

      • Zane

        Maybe the fact that we have plenty of outside corners and very few nickel? Someone has to play it. If he wasn’t there he’d be on the bench.

        • Peter

          Why draft a very good outside corner when you need a nickel?

          Just more weird team building.

          • Joe

            I’m not going to complain they’ve got an outside corner working at nickel. I’ve seen enough of the failed safeties as nickels experiment. Guys with outside corner ability are obviously valuable and I like what I see from this CB group, but I get where you’re at on Pete forever square pegging it and frankly, there are a lot of questions to ask about how and where and why aren’t some of these CBs playing.

          • HOUSE

            Peter,

            They had just brought Justin Coleman in. I don’t think Bryant was drafted with the intention of him going into the slot. Having Jones, Burns and Coleman missing time couldn’t ever have been part of the plan

  3. Rob Staton

    Is there anything Will Levis can’t do…

    https://twitter.com/clowespn/status/1575877010257285121?s=51&t=clWqnG0IstpyT5xJ-w8CqQ

    • Sea Mode

      The more you can do…

    • seaspunj

      I hope Will Levis during the draft interview does something fun like DK did going shirtless. Maybe Will Levis goes acapella

      • Roy Batty

        Maybe walk into the interview and offer everyone gum.

        Pete would swoon.

  4. Rob Staton

    FWIW — I think the Seahawks will win on Sunday

    • Peter

      Too many injuries for detroit looks like.

      Still even with swift out I hope their run game can be slowed way down.

    • Ashish

      Hawks will play 75% game good but will manage to give it away W to Lions.

      • Fudwamper

        This. We have seen enough decimated opponents pick apart the hawks. Shoot I think it was the washington team miss 3/5 thier o line and they tore apart the d.

        • Sneekes

          Agreed. I recall being relieved when Dalvin Cook was injured a couple of years back, and then Mattison ran all over us.

          Fans of the English football team West Bromwich Albion have an unofficial motto for the club: “Semper te fallant” (They will always fail you). I think it also applies to the Hawks these last few seasons.

          • Cambs

            lol apart from the Hawks’ one golden season, that’s all of Seattle sports

            • Big Mike

              Incorrect. Sonics 78-79

              • Hawkdawg

                Washington Huskies, 90-91

    • ShowMeYourHawk

      Even after Jamaal Williams has a career day? 🙂

    • Romeo A57

      Don’t want to hear that as I already bet against the Seahawks. You called the Bronco game correctly, but I think Seattle’s defense can still blow this game even though the Lions are missing some of their playmakers.

  5. Blitzy the Clown

    One thing about Penix is him being left handed would make Lucas the blind side OT 🤷🏻‍♂️

    All joking aside I’m looking forward to the game. Love both teams/schools dearly.

    • Ashish

      Interesting point – if Hawks select Penix – Lucas is our blind side (Right -> Left Tackle). I like Penix in limited snaps i saw.

      Rob, thanks for sharing the good games i get lost all the time which college game to follow.

  6. Fudwamper

    Agree with Rob elongated throw. But man he can makes some pretty throws and good tight window throws.

  7. KD

    Now THAT is aggressive playcalling! 7-0

    • KD

      Well, that sucked. KEK

  8. KD

    Wow! Huskies just allowed UCLA to have that momentum

  9. KD

    Thought it was funny that the announcer brought up Penix as a Heisman candidate. Yeah, that’s not happening.

    • KD

      So all that shit I talked about t

      • KD

        …he Huskies being legit, Woops! you can’t be the #15 team in the nation and play like this.

        • Peter

          But from a draft stand point…..dorian Thompson Robinson is fun to watch. Middle late round I wouldn’t hate it.

          And I love Walker but…charbonnet…still looking good.

  10. Ashish

    Huskies where is defense?

    • Elmer

      Defense needs work, and personnel. This is a program that is rising from the ashes of the previous coaching regime. They are doing a good job, but it can’t be done all at once.

  11. Hawks4life

    THE DROUGHT IS OVER, THE MARINERS ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!

    • Peter

      Need the mariners to advance for me to not think this is the same old mariners.

      The 90’s through 2001 mariners I why I don’t follow MLB in the slightest.

      Congrats to the faithful. Here’s to my hometown team. Fingers crossed this is well and truly the start of something.

      • Hawks4life

        Well your “same old Mariners” wouldn’t have made the playoffs. This is the best moment in Seattle sports since the SB win, and we won’t see the SB or playoffs for 21 years at this rate

        • Peter

          Again I’m stoked for fans that have kept the faith.

          Seems like something might finally be building with the m’s.

          If this is the biggest thing since winning the superbowl I think goes to show just how accepting we were that the seahawks were always getting in to the tournament and just how far off a cliff they have fallen.

          I’d love for the m’s to go deep on the playoffs. I’ve got tons of friends and family I’d love nothing more than to hear their excitement.

    • Big Mike

      Over in such a dramatics fashion too (Love ya Cal!!). So freakin’ AWESOME!

  12. KD

    Yikes! UCLA just went up to the big guy, pulled his pants down and showed the crowd what was hiding under there.

  13. Rob Staton

    Feels like everything I’ve been saying about Penix Jr and Thompson-Robinson showed up in that game

    One player getting far too much attention, the other not getting anywhere near enough

    DTR is a very good player

    • Peter

      What do you expect the reason is? The pac-12 effect? Late games? The chip Kelly factor?

      Trying to do an apples to apples comp with last year. DTR is fun as heck, great mobility, I haven’t looked super hard at throwing mechanics but he is nowhere near, to me, someone like Willis was…..meaning horrendous.

      Ucla play a few tough opponents coming up. Wonder how he gets viewed if he keeps them rolling.

      Again I’m not talking top 15 pick. Still thinking third round.

      Not trying to bash on the husky nation. I just don’t see anything with Penix when you look at his total time in college.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      That was a statement game from DTR. And Charbonneau. Holy cow.

      The hype around Penix was getting over the top. Some of the comments by the announcers pregame 🙄

      Bruins DL did a very good job against a strong Washington OL and Penix didn’t cope with the pressure well, throwing the 2 interceptions. Otherwise, his numbers were good and he showed off his arm.

    • Roy Batty

      Is Aikman the last UCLA QB to become an NFL star?

  14. GoHawksDani

    This blog was always good at managing expectations. I think we need that aspect again.
    I’d say, it’s around 90% chance the Seahawks won’t draft Levis.
    To draft him, you’d need means and opportunity. Let’s say PCJS #1 on draft night. They’d likely target a QB, but we cannot be sure. They might go with defense and draft a QB later, because they trust Geno and want to develop a “cheaper pick QB”. They might trade back because think there’s a ton of holes and not in love with this QB class. They might stay put, but draft a different QB (they always think they’re smarter than everyone else). I think if they have the opportunity, they’ll very-very likely would draft Levis (like 80%), but it’s still not a given.

    The bigger question is the opportunity. As Rob wrote, this draft is not that top heavy. There’s very few players who are blue chip, A-list and clearly top10 category. It is highly likely that valued positions, like QB, OT, DE will rise even further just because if there are no clear options, the positional value will have more weight.
    Opportunity could come in 4 ways: Hawks have #1 pick OR they have an early pick (#2-#4) and previous teams would pass on Levis OR they have an early pick (#2-#6) and for some reason Levis would fall., OR #1 or #2 would be willing to trade with Hawks for our #2-5 and DEN R1, and maybe our R2.

    #1 pick is easy: You just have to have the desire to pick Levis and he’s yours. BUT…while SEA is pretty dysfunctional and lacks some stars, there are worse teams in the NFL most likely, or PC will want to comPete, other teams might embrace the tank more. So I’d give #1 pick around 20% chance

    Other teams pass on Levis, or a potential trade up:
    There’s probably 13 teams in NFL who wouldn’t want Levis even if they’d have #1-2 pick (KC, BUF, LAC, BAL, LA, CIN, ARI, PHI, DEN, MIN, JAX, MIA, CLE)

    There’s 5 teams that likely wouldn’t want him as they have a young QB who’ll just need a bit more time, or they have a proven vet who might be around the end of his career, but still going strong and probably will be for a couple of years – and maybe even have a potential successor (GB, TB, SF, NYJ, NE)

    And 5 teams with a somewhat questionable QB, but might go in a different direction (LV, TEN, IND, NYG?, PIT)

    Teams that would probably jump on the opportunity: WAS, DET, NO, CHI, CAR, DAL, HOU, ATL

    Current worst teams:
    NE, NYJ, LAC, LV, PIT, TEN, HOU, WAS, ARI, IND, SEA, DET, CAR, NO, ATL (teams without at least 2 wins)
    ARI will probably get better, so will LAC for sure. NE is tricky without Mac Jones and with Belichick at the helm but that is a tough division. From these my guess is that option to go #1 in draft is likely: HOU, LV, WAS, SEA, DET…maybe NO and CAR but that division is so soft, so maybe not.

    If WAS, HOU, DET, NO, CAR and maybe even LV will have the #1 pick, it’s very likely they’d refuse most trade as they want a young franchise QB and if Levis is much better then the others it’s just not worth it. And for that reason they won’t pass up on him either.

    If a QB needy team will be #1, which is likely, SEA will need a miracle to get Levis

    The last option: Levis falls for some reason, or other emerge big time. It can happen…but the reason of the fall could take him out from the Hawks board or push him further, so it doesn’t guarantee anything. If others emerge that’d definitely help, but based on what I read from Rob, currently we cannot see anyone rising majorly.

    So…unless Hawks will have the #1 pick, there’d need to be a miracle that a team with a good QB falls to #1 and willing to either trade (if Hawks has #3-4-5 pick) or Hawks would need #2 pick.

    It can happen…I’m not saying, it’s impossible for the Hawks to draft Levis…they might pick #1, maybe they pick #3 and #1 rates Stroud higher, #2 doesn’t in an immediate QB-need. But we should brace ourselves, that it’s not very likely

    • Rob Staton

      Why do we need to temper expectations?

      Just because I rate Will Levis — and have done for some time, before he received national consensus as a high draft pick — doesn’t mean I or anyone else is banking on him being Seahawk.

      One option of several.

      If there’s one thing we’ve done over the last few weeks and months it’s comprehensively discussed a wide range of different QB’s

      • seaspunj

        I agree this season you showed numerous reviews on many QBs and what I am truly appreciating in this evaluation discovery is seeing Will Levis rise to the cream of the crop from my own eyes and personal reviews

        my hope is that JS goes balls out and has that same conviction which was rumored with Josh Allen willing to trade for 1st overall pick from the Browns.

        for me that’s my hope … as much as I want Levis as a Seahawk, a lot of QB needy teams will be vying for a franchise QB and may be ahead of the Seahawks to draft Levis.

        This season the NCAA QB research and evaluation has been very rewarding and offers hope to emotionally invest that our Seahawks can pick a QB to lead us to to a new era. Rob you genuinely have put so much effort and more importantly created a following to see what you see with your discovery

        I liked learning about TVD and Anthony Richardson this season as well as Levis my hope is that all these QBs develop because it allows options if Levis doesn’t get drafted by the Seahawks

        I remember the Andrew Luck RG3 draft. That season we all know Seahawks got Wilson. all 3 QBs were studs at one point during their career.

      • GoHawksDani

        Not talking about you, Rob. I know you showed us a lot of options.
        But as Levis seems on a different level than most others, we as fans start to hope that “yeah, we might suck now but at least we could draft Levis”.
        I’m just pointing out that there is a pretty good chance that we might suck and still not able to draft him. And maybe won’t be able to draft Stroud either (if we pick #3-4-5 and they go #1 and 2)

    • Peter

      You are not wrong that there are a ton of variables that can play out from now until the draft.

      It’s hard for me to not view Seattle as one of the worst teams though. A win tomorrow will feel good and 2-2 feels decent. There’s only one thing I know about this team. It’s that Lucas is an absolute badass.

      Other than that I’m not sure where the wins come from. Tomorrow seems like the kind of game where the last team with the ball probably wins. The hawks are a bit better defensively certainly on the goal line than Detroit but a whole lot worse offensively at scoring and moving the ball.

      Even with a win tomorrow I still have Seattle at five wins for the season.

      Levis as a hawk? Odds seem rough. Do I want levis as a hawk? Heck yeah and a new coach asap.

  15. Blitzy the Clown

    You the Dr Pepper Fansville commercial with Bryce Young?

    You think the other son’s name is CJ on purpose?

    “This is my family now CJ”

    • Happy Hawk

      I wouldn’t mine meeting the Dr Pepper mom in Fansville. LOL

      • Big Mike

        😳😳😳

  16. AlaskaHawk

    Max Duggan, QB for TCU is having a good game, two touchdowns and a long run for another touchdown. 77% completion rate this year. Someone to keep an eye on.

    Here’s hoping the Seahawks don’t draft Oklahoma secondary.

    • AlaskaHawk

      TCU continuing the beatdown. Oklahoma defense looks terrible.

    • AlaskaHawk

      So here is the positives about Duggan. He’s a decent quarterback with some running ability. And more importantly he will probably still be available in the fourth round.

  17. DriveByPoster

    Someone is streaming the Kentucky game on Youtube, if anyone is interested. Levis looking fairly ordinary at the moment but is constantly under pressure. Looks like he broke or dislocated a finger on his non-throwing hand getting sacked in his own end-zone.

    On the plus side, his runnning back, Rodriguez looks like a proper player.

  18. Troy

    Levis just flat out looks good, I really hope the hawks draft him

  19. MountainHawker

    I’m not sure how Levis does anything with that oline (right tackle specifically)

    • Rob Staton

      I just hope he escapes serious injury this year

      That O-line completely letting Kentucky down

  20. DDF

    Not making excuses but that 2nd turnover can’t really be blamed on levis. The right tackle barely touched the defender. 2 turnovers inside the red zone though. Yikes…not a great way to finish the game. All in all though he was playing smart, conservative football, trying to rely on rodriguez. Similar to how he’d be asked to be as a rookie in Seattle.

  21. Volume12

    Bryce Young is unreal. Has learned that for a shorter QB you dont have to climb a ladder in the pocket. Stay @ the top of your drop. Unprecedented.

    • Rob Staton

      I think ‘unreal’ is going a bit far

      There are plenty of question marks too — and it’s always nice when you can play with Alabama’s supporting cast

      First round talent and could go very early but balance needed IMO

      • Rob Staton

        And now he’s hurt himself throwing the ball without any contact

        Not seen that before

        Bit worrying that his throwing motion has seemingly injured his shoulder or arm

        • HuskyHawk

          He landed awkwardly on the shoulder earlier.

        • Roy Batty

          The Alabama receiver, Bond, is indicative of all that supporting cast. Guy is a freshman and is already breaking ankles. He just broke both the ankles on his covering CB on the same play.

          The talent Young has to draw on is a bit of a cheat code.

        • Volume12

          lol he hurt it on the play before.

          • Rob Staton

            Well, you and the broadcasters are assuming that

            No need for the snark

            • Volume12

              Assuming it? He came up holding his shoulder after the tackle on the sidelines.

              • Rob Staton

                Yes, assuming. He carried on and it was only after throwing that pass that his arm went limp.

                Before that pass, his arm was not limp.

                • Volume12

                  He gets tackled awkwardly on his shoulder, sits up and reaches for it, then throws a pass for the 1st time on the next series and his arm/shoulder give out. He aggravates it. Didn’t go out because of his throwing motion.

                  • Rob Staton

                    I’ll just say it again then.

                    His arm wasn’t limp.

                    He then threw a pass, perfectly normally, and his arm gave way and went limp.

                    But keep going.

  22. cha

    Adam Schefter
    @AdamSchefter
    ·
    17m
    Lions downgraded WR DJ Chark to out for Sunday’s game vs. the Seahawks.

    No D’Andre Swift, no Amon-Ra St. Brown, no Chark.

    The Lions are doing everything they can to help the Seahawks out tomorrow.

    • Rob Staton

      At this rate they might not have 22 players

      We might have to lend them a couple

      I vote we give them Cody Barton

      • cha

        Pete said yesterday they are really missing LJ Collier.

        What kind of a defense do you have when you say that?

        • Rob Staton

          That’s ‘breakout star’ LJ Collier to you and me

        • DriveByPoster

          Perhaps it’s because he’s the guy that normally pays for the donuts or something?

      • Nicholas M

        Can we just give them Cody Barton regardless?!?!

    • Roy Batty

      Who needs receivers when you can have a third string TE line up against Barton or Brooks?

      Seam routes, crossing routes, pick plays…you name it. Just feed them and they will feast.

  23. Sea Mode

    This guy had a couple really nice routes/catches:

    https://twitter.com/BCFootball/status/1576254098373869568

  24. Sea Mode

    Apparently he learned their defense fast enough…

    Ian Rapoport
    @RapSheet
    ·4h

    The #Panthers are elevating former #Seahawks second-round S Marquise Blair to their game-day roster, source said.

  25. Roy Batty

    Good god Will Anderson is fast.

    He is instantly in the backfield grabbing the RB.

  26. Roy Batty

    Alabama is just imploding.

    This is going to be a wild finish.

    • Rob Staton

      For the first time in a while they look normal this year

      Beatable by teams, not just Georgia

      • Roy Batty

        Some of these routes Arkansas has their receivers running are horrendous.

        Who has 3 receivers crossing within 2 yards of each other over the middle?

        • Roy Batty

          Game over.

          Arkansas run D disappeared.

          Alabama will ram it down there throat from here on out. Meanwhile, Jefferson doesn’t have ability to quick strike. His Oline is looking gassed.

  27. Palatypus

    Hey Rob, I have family from New Orleans attending the Vikings/Saints game tomorrow and wanted to apologize for their behavior.

    Also, I would like to thank your country in advance for lodging at the Isle of Wight.

  28. cha

    A meeting of Seattle franchises….

    Seahawks: We traded Russell Wilson away. There is a critical shortage of cringe in our fair town!

    Kraken: We got you fam.

  29. Jordan

    Hope Bryce Young is okay. Should be.

    That play/contact would point to ac joint/labrum injury.

  30. Palatypus

    LSU @ Auburn is a comedy of errors.

    BTW, just racked the German Pale I am brewing for the Seahawks game in Munich.

    5 pounds Briess Pilsen malt, all grain, milled and bagged.
    3 pounds Briess powdered pale malt extract
    2 pounds of local raw honey

    Burton salts, Calcium Chloride, Burton water salts, Gypsum, Irish Moss…about 1 teaspoon each.

    2 oz of Yakima Chief Tetnang
    2 oz. of Yakima Chief Hallertau Mittelfruher
    2 oz of Yakima Chief Saaz as a finishing hop unbagged added in the last 15 minutes of the boil.

    Kviek ale yeast (Voss)

    Making beer and watching football.

    Prolst!

  31. GoHawks5151

    I feel like Pete will like Cam Rising, QB from Utah. He seems like the point guard QB that he desires. Plays in the pro style O, good on play action and roll out, deep ball is OK, can run the zone read, tough and a leader. Got a chance for some statement games vs UCLA and USC next 2 weeks and Oregon later

    • Palatypus

      Yup, UCLA better than we all thought this week.

      BTW, did anyone else notice how Scott Van Pelt has been killing it with his college football picks?

      https://www.espn.com/chalk/story/_/id/34692425/college-football-week-5-scott-van-pelt-winners

    • Palatypus

      And, you know, LSU beat Auburn on the road today but both teams were 3-1 and unranked. Both teams played a really sloppy game today, but Auburn blew a big lead. What do you bet that LSU is ranked #15 on Monday?

      I want to believe LSU has a good quarterback, but I just don’t see it.

  32. Sean-O

    Here’s a link to Todd McShay on the Ryen Russillo pod talking college QB prospects. This was before the games on 10/1. They’re talking the usual names. FYI – McShay ranks them Stroud, Young, Levis. Always interesting to her other’s perspectives.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH1_JPgMJrE

  33. Van Gogh

    Best Player I saw today – Caleb Williams …… dang, he’s only a Soph.

  34. Cam

    Honestly I wouldn’t mind if we spent our early picks on defense and interior line. Then draft Caleb Williams the next year

    • Rob Staton

      So you’re banking on being the worst team in the NFL in 2023?

      That’s the plan?

  35. seaspunj

    Barton is just brutal

  36. seaspunj

    is it a catch?

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