We are basically at the half-way point of the season. This is certainly a transition week when playoff hopes will thrive or die.
The Tops No Longer the Tops for CFF QBs???
Austin Reed’s CFF production has seen a decline in over 5 PPG from his first five games in 2022. His ADOT, Drop %, and Big Time Throw % are all essentially the same. So what gives? It is possible the Tops are just talent superior to the watered-down CUSA and are taking their foot off the accelerator, something they couldn’t afford to do last year. They have only scored one TD (a rushing TD, no less) in the second half of their two conference games.
WKU has also faced Ohio State and Troy so far, so there is still hope for Reed and this passing game to get back on track with the pace of their previous two seasons. Here is hoping Liberty and NMSU can create a shootout environment and force the WKU play-calling to stay aggressive.
Spring Game Heroes
Just your friendly reminder that spring game outbursts should be taken with a grain of salt. Here are a handful of guys who garnered various levels of spring buzz based on their surprising scrimmage performance:
Not everyone can be Ashton Jeanty (167 yards and three TDs on five total touches in the spring game). Alternatively, the inverse of this can be true as well. Jawhar Jordan and Jamari Thrash did nothing in their spring game, and Jaylen Raynor threw four interceptions in his. However, the beat writers remained very high on their potential heading into the fall.
A New Sooner to Emerge
I promise not to make OU a weekly topic here, but as I sip my victory barleywine and puff my victory cigar, I can’t help but ponder who gets the opportunity at WR with Andrel Anthony’s unfortunate season-ending injury. Anthony and his team-leading targets at the time of his injury came almost exclusively on the boundary, so expect the only two WRs with more than 40 pass snaps out wide to get the first crack- Nic Anderson and Jayden Gibson.
These two have combined for a ridiculous 441 yards and 8 TDs on just 17 catches! Clearly, that isn’t sustainable, but OU is second, only to Washington, in Pass EPA. This offense has been incredibly efficient. Now, OC Jeff Lebby said Anderson’s role will continue to grow. He likely slides into Anthony’s vacant spot, but it was actually Jayden Gibson who initially replaced Anthony at the X in the Texas game. I’d take my shots on Anderson if I am in a standard league, but I would take a long look at Gibson in deeper CFF dynasty or C2C leagues where Anderson is likely already rostered.
WAKE UP, Wake!
John Wolford, Jamie Newman, Sam Hartman…The Wake system has historically been a boon for CFF QB production. However, Mitch Griffis is averaging just 16 PPG (less than 8 PPG in two conference games) with a schedule that has seen Elon, Vandy, Georgia Tech, and ODU. He has eight turnovers to just nine TDs, and he leads the country in turnover-worthy passes with 18 (Fowler-Nicolosi second with 14) in just five games. He’s been bad. So bad that he quite possibly would have been benched if Wake had better replacement options.
The coaching staff has made a conscious effort to shake free of the “slow mesh” stigma by renaming it and proclaiming they hardly even use it. But it looks so effective when they run it. Embrace the slow mesh, ClawDog! If not, the pass game struggles could continue. Wake still has the 3rd, 7th, 8th, and 16th-ranked pass defenses left on their schedule. Sheesh!
Welcome back, Tez!
The CFB and CFF communities rejoice with the return of the uber-talented wideout from Charlotte. It will be very interesting to see what Walker’s usage looks like the rest of the way. In his return, he was tied for the lead in targets with eight but was fourth in pass snaps played. Clearly, UNC made an effort to feature him last week. I think it is fair to think that his snaps continue to increase as he works himself into game shape, but I also think it is fair to assume the slot position (Nate McCollum) remains the primary target for Drake Maye, as it has been throughout his career in Chapel Hill.
Cheers and good luck in week 7!