Every week of college football brings new surprises and expectations. This week, after much hype, the Bedlam game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State was a bust after the Sooners ran out of the gate and immediately scored three touchdowns against the Cowboys, who were expected to at least make it competitive. Over at the Big Ten however, Ohio State was forced into a dog fight against Indiana, and only won due to a pick-six from cornerback Shaun Wade. Also in the Big Ten, it looks like the Northwestern Wildcats are the team to beat in the Western Conference after beating down Wisconsin’s offense. Below are the prospects who stood out during Week 12 of college football.
Ty Fryfogle WR (Indiana)
The Hoosiers were not afraid to attack Ohio State through the air and, unfortunately for the Buckeyes, more often than not they succeeded. The senior wide receiver was able to outmuscle cornerbacks for the ball against man coverage, and then outrun coverage and find the seams in zone. It was a complete performance leading to a stat line of 218 yards and three touchdowns. The highlight of his day had to be the 63-yard pirouette catch early in the fourth quarter. It was a spectacular display of balance and concentration.
Najee Harris RB (Alabama)
Harris didn’t see a ton of action because of the complete lopsided score against Kentucky, but the star senior running back put just enough on tape to remind you why he may be the best tailback in the country. Doing most of his damage in the second quarter, Harris’s speed and power were too much for the Wildcat defenders already tired from chasing down wide receivers. On zone runs, he breaks out a nasty little jump cut in order to change direction, then has the acceleration to burst through the hole and the power to finish runs. Harris really is the complete package.
Ronnie Perkins EDGE (Oklahoma)
Perkins has been on a tear since being newly reinstated from his suspension earlier this season, and he took his game to a whole new level against Oklahoma State. On paper, the Cowboys were supposed to have a strong offensive line, but Perkins nonetheless shredded OSU. By the end of the first half, the junior pass rusher had four tackles, two sacks and three tackles-for-loss. He was also able to short-circuit the first drive of the game on one of his many pressures, by spooking the quarterback into throwing the football in the dirt and causing an intentional grounding penalty. He’s quick and he really knows how to turn speed to power.
Smoke Monday S (Auburn)
A member of the All-Name team, the junior defensive back was blowing smoke against Tennessee on Saturday. With the Volunteers in the red zone late in third quarter, down by three, Monday sat in the middle of the end zone, read the quarterback’s eyes and jumped in front of the receiver’s route for an interception. Then the 6’2”, 196-lb Monday ran the ball 100 yards back the other way for an Auburn touchdown. It capped off a strong day in coverage for the young man, but that play completely changed the complexion of the game.
Isaiah Likely TE (Coastal Carolina)
I highlighted the Chanticleers’ defense in my Week 12 preview, but I suppose I should have spared a thought for their offensive prospects. Likely is an athletic move tight end who only caught three passes against Appalachian State, but they went for a total of 118 yards. Those receptions were examples of how his speed to leave linebackers and even safeties in the dust if they don’t commit to covering and running with him immediately. Then, when he has the ball, he’s a bear to bring down.