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College football’s Week 9 recap: Lightning and Thunder

Week 9 of college football action featured a prototypical bruising tailback and a speedy slot receiver.

The ACC witnessed an explosion of offense this week in college football, so it seemed only fitting that any recap should feature players involved in those inter-conference games, but the real offensive MVP, who rushed for over 200 yards, hails from the PAC-12. Not to be forgotten, the defenders this week are all middle-round prospects looking to make a rise up the board this season. More about each 2019 draft prospect below.

RB Zack Moss (Utah)

The Utes were determined to pound the rock against UCLA and Moss was their battering ram, so much so that he ended the day with 211 yards on 26 runs. As always, the 215-pound junior proved difficult to bring down, but he also managed to show off some long speed on one particular 60-yard scamper which is important for his evaluation. Also important was the fact that he caught two passes for 14 yards and held up in pass protection.

C Garrett Bradbury (NC State)

Syracuse and NC State had an old-fashioned shootout, thanks to some great protection provided by the offensive line for both teams. For the Wolfpack, that protection was provided by Bradbury. The center was extremely light on his feet, which led to a couple nice runs, but allowed him to shine in his pass sets. His movement skills helped on run fakes, allowing him to pretend like he was run blocking, and then immediately shifting to a pass protection set.

WR Sean Riley (Syracuse)

The diminutive slot receiver for the Orange didn’t just go toe-to-toe with the NC State defensive backs, with his 164 yards he also managed to keep up with the Wolfpack’s Kelvin Harmon who had a monster day on the other side of the field. Defensively, NC State had no answer for Riley as he was too quick for linebackers and safeties and too polished a route-runner for slot corners. Several of his catches came on third downs, keeping drives alive and eventually leading to an upset.

ER Ben Banogu (TCU)

TCU usually chose to only rush three players on third downs against Kansas, but the senior still managed to get to the quarterback twice for sacks. Where Banogu really stood out though was in holding the edge in run defense, finishing the day with 4.5 tackles for loss. If Banogu can continue to stack productive weeks like this, he could go from being considered late rounder to more of a mid-round consideration.

LB Ryan Connelly (Wisconsin)

The day began well for Connelly and the Wisconsin defense as a whole against Northwestern. Connelly made an very athletic play to tip a pass which ended up as an interception for the Badgers. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s offense was no help and the defense eventually collapsed as well. No one should blame Connelly though, who found himself chasing running backs all day while leading his team in tackles with fourteen.

CB Bryce Hall (Virginia)

Hall can be labeled as a “draft riser” this year and that rise continued against UNC. The junior leads the nation in pass break ups, and had two against UNC, because he know how to position get his hands into the chest of the receiver and force an incompletion at the very last minute. The few times he does allow a catch, Hall uses his long arms to quickly wrap up and limit any yards after the catch. He also threw in a johnny-on-the-spot fumble recovery against the Tarheels.