Week One Observations
By: Ian Kenyon
September 7, 2010
Aldon Smith - DE, Missouri
In the first installment of our weekly Tuesday article, I chose to take a look at all of last weekend's action and reflect on the games and performances that stuck out to me. Make sure to check back every Tuesday for a new article from now until Draft Day.

Players who helped themselves:

Aldon Smith (DE, Missouri) -- He was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week as well as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after notching 10 tackles, three sacks, and two tackles for loss in Missouri's 23-13 win against Illinois. Smith set a school record with 11.5 sacks last season and was #53 overall on our preseason Top 100. His best weapon is his speed, but he features an impressive repertoire of passing rushing moves and is a fit for opposing offensive lines. The 2009 Freshman All-American looks even quicker this year and is poised for a monster sophomore season.

Janoris Jenkins
Janoris Jenkins (CB, Florida) -- Jenkins completely shut down his side of the field against Miami (OH), and even scored on a 67-yard interception return. He also had five tackles and his interception was a crucial turning point in an ugly Florida performance. The Redhawks had all the momentum and were driving the ball down the field again when Jenkins intercepted the ball and put up Florida's first points of the game.

Kendall Hunter (RB, Oklahoma State) -- Coming off an injury plagued junior season, many wondered how Hunter would rebound this year. How does 21 carries for 257 yards and four touchdowns sound for a 2010 debut? Hunter looked like the same explosive player that led the Big 12 in rushing in 2008. Expect Kendall to be in the hunt for Big 12 Player of the Year in 2010.

DeMarco Murray
DeMarco Murray (RB, Oklahoma) -- If it weren't for Murray, Oklahoma would have likely lost their home opener against Utah State. Murray looked extremely explosive while carrying the rock 35 times for 208 yards and two scores. His combination of speed and open field moves drew some comparisons to Reggie Bush this weekend and if they have to rely on him to win games throughout the season; don't be surprised to see Murray enter Heisman talks.

TJ Yates (QB, North Carolina) -- With North Carolina's stacked defense, many, including myself, thought the one thing holding the Tar Heels back from National Title contention would be their quarterback play. Yates was beyond disappointment in 2009, throwing for 14 TD and 15 INT in his 13 starts. However; Yates proved all of the doubters wrong Saturday night by completing 28 of 46 passes for 412 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions against a good LSU defense. He made good decisions and led a late charge in the fourth quarter by the Tar Heels.

Players who hurt themselves:

Michael Pouncey
Michael Pouncey (C, Florida) -- In his first game taking over the Center position for his twin brother Maurkice who bolted to the NFL last year, Michael struggled mightily. He had trouble all day snapping the ball to QB John Brantley which led to eight Florida fumbles on the day; three of which were lost. Michael appears to be a much better fit at guard and should probably be moved there by Florida coaches sooner rather than later.

Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma) -- Jones was thought of as a likely breakout candidate after a good freshman season but looks like he may hit a sophomore slump instead. In week one, he completed only 47.2% of his passes and threw two interceptions against an inferior Utah State defense. He is going to need to play much better if Oklahoma is going to contend in the Big 12.

Greg Romeus
Greg Romeus (DE, Pittsburgh) -- A potential top 10 pick, Romeus has all of the physical tools you look for in a stud defensive lineman, but his performance against Utah left me with a ton of questions. He appeared to play unmotivated and gave up on plays that weren't to his side of the field. He looked extremely inconsistent; at times he'd go full-throttle and look dominant, and other times he would appear very lazy on the field. All of this could be contributed to either attitude problems or conditioning issues which does not bode well for a player of his ability.

DeAndre Brown (WR, Southern Miss) -- Despite catching four balls for 65 yards and a touchdown on Friday night, Brown's performance severely hurt him in the eyes of NFL scouts. Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora expressed concerns over Brown's attitude and effort during the Eagle's opening game against South Carolina. All of Brown's catches came in the fourth quarter when the game was already decided and he showed very inconsistent effort running his routes throughout the first half.

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams (RB, Virginia Tech) -- Considered a Heisman contender heading into the season, Williams looked anything but in his first action of the season on national television. He was given the bulk of the carries for the Hokie offense and averaged a measly 2.1 yards per carry on 21 attempts. He did score three touchdowns (two rushing), but none of those plays were anything spectacular and he did not look like the explosive freshman we saw last season.

Best Games:

East Carolina vs. Tulsa -- What can be said about game that provided over 1100 yards of offense between both teams, 47 fourth quarter points, and ended on a hail-mary? In by far the most thrilling game of the weekend, the East Carolina Pirates were able to up-end Tulsa in a 51-49 victory. This game also marked the debut of ECU coach Ruffin McNeill.

Boise State vs. Virginia Tech -- This was the most hyped game of the weekend and it did not disappoint. Boise State jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and looked like they were going to blow out the Hokies, but Virginia Tech was able to fight back and held a 27-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter. With about seven minutes left in the game, Virginia Tech kicked a FG to take a 30-26 lead and looked ready to steal the game from the Broncos after forcing a three and out on Boise's next possession. The Broncos got the ball again, down four with two minutes left. Kellen Moore led Boise down the field in under a minute to get the eventual game winning touchdown for a 33-30 Boise State victory.

Jacksonville State vs. Mississippi -- It's not very often that an FCS school beats an SEC school, but Jacksonville state did just that on Saturday by upsetting Ole Miss 49-48 in a two-overtime thriller in Oxford. In the second overtime, Mississippi got the ball first, scored a touchdown and kicked the extra point to go up 48-41. Jacksonville State lost five yards on their first three plays and faced fourth and 15 from the 30 yard line but Kevyn Cooper was able to haul in a 30-yard touchdown pass to bring Jacksonville State within a point of a third overtime. On the road and being the underdog, they decided to go for two and got it on a pass from Coty Blanchard to Calvin Middleton.

Temple vs. Villanova -- This game was probably more exciting for me than most viewers. I had money on Temple (-4) at home against the Wildcats. It was a relatively slow game that saw both teams exchange field goals all-day, but facing a 24-22 defecit, Temple kicker Brandon McManus kicked a 43 yard field goal to take a 25-24 lead with three seconds left in the game. Thinking my bet was all but lost since I needed Temple to win by four or more, I shut the game off. Big mistake on my part; On the ensuing kickoff, Villanova attempted to lateral the ball and the lateral was picked off by Temple defensive back Justin Gildea who ran the ball into the end-zone giving the Owls a 31-24 victory and winning my bet.

Utah vs. Pittsburgh -- In probably one of the sloppiest games of the weekend (23 penalties for 174 yards and five turnovers between the two teams), the Utes were able to hold off Pittsburgh in overtime in a 27-24 victory. Utah held a 24-13 lead with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter and appeared like they were going to cruise to an easy victory. But during the next possession, WR Jonathan Baldwin finally showed up and grabbed a 44 yard touchdown pass and a two point conversion to bring the Panthers within three. In one of the weirdest moments of the weekend, Pittsburgh got the ball back down three, drove into field goal range and were setting up for a game-tying field goal as time expired, and Dan Hutchins appeared to have nailed it but Utah coach Kyle Whittingham called timeout just before the ball was snapped to ice the kicker. On his second attempt, Hutchins missed the kick, but Whittngham again called timeout just before the ball was snapped. Finally on his third try, Hutchins made the kick and brought the game to overtime. In overtime, Pittsburgh QB Tino Sunseri threw an interception on their first possession which let Utah line up for the game winning field goal and a 27-24 victory.

Disappointments:

Oklahoma -- When the #7 team in the country hosts the unranked Utah State Aggies, everyone expects the game to be a blow out. However, the Sooners struggled throwing the ball and their defense was shredded to the tune of 421 total yards for the Aggies. The Sooners had seven penalties for 70 yards and turned the ball over twice and did not look at all like a top 10 team in the 31-24 victory at home.

Florida's offense -- While watching this game I started to wonder how much Tim Tebow really meant to this Florida offense. The Gators had 26 net yards of offense through three quarters and if it weren't for a few big plays they were in jeopardy of being embarrassed by the Redhawks in the swamp. John Brantley and Michael Pouncey looked completely out of sync, accounting for five botched snaps. Jeff Demps fumbled the ball three times before he broke free for a 72-yard touchdown run.

LSU -- Considering North Carolina was playing extremely short-handed, the Tigers were supposed to be able to handle the Tar Heels with relative ease. After two quarters it appeared as if that would be the case, jumping out to a 30-10 lead at halftime. LSU seemed to completely self destruct in the second half and had to fight off a late rally from the Tar Heels. North Carolina had the ball at the LSU six yard line down six points with only a few seconds on the clock but an incomplete pass secured a 30-24 victory for the Tigers.

USC's defense -- Thursday's game against Hawaii marked the beginning of the Lane Kiffin era at USC, and while the offense performed well, the game left many questions about their defense. Hawaii was able to post 588 yards of offense against a USC defense that was expected to be one of the best in the Pac-10 this year. Along with the yardage total, USC was not able to force a single turnover all game and looked overmatched by Hawaii's spread offense.

Cincinnati, post Brian Kelly -- Known for their high-scoring offense last year, the Cincinnati offense was supposed to be just as explosive this year with returning QB Zach Collaros and WR Armon Binns. After getting out to an early 14-0 lead, Fresno State scored 28 unanswered points en-route to a 28-14 victory. It looks like Cincinnati may miss Brian Kelly more than they originally thought.





(May 1) -- The NFL Draft is in the books and Sideline Scouting would like to thank our visitors for making this our most successful year to date. We hope you enjoyed our coverage. Sideline Scouting will be back next year and better than ever. We have some big changes planned that we hope will make your visits here even more enjoyable.


*Cameron Newton
QB, Auburn
Von Miller
LB, Texas A&M;
*Marcell Dareus
DE, Alabama
*A.J. Green
WR, Georgia
*Patrick Peterson
CB, LSU
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