Both Cincinnati and Ohio State walked into this week with major in-conference tests to see if they could really be labeled as contenders. Suffice to say they both passed with flying colors. The Buckeyes barely broke a sweat against Michigan State, winning 56-7, while Cincinnati easily handled a previously strong SMU offense, only surrendering two touchdowns in a 48-14 win. Meanwhile, No. 2 Alabama had an actual contest against Arkansas, which came within a touchdown of bringing their game into overtime, while completely wasting a late-game drive where they recovered a fumble. Below are the prospects who stood out during Week 11 of college football.
QB Malik Cunningham (Louisville)
Perhaps the best dual-threat quarterback in college football, Cunningham threw for 303 yards, ran for another 224 yards and had seven total touchdowns against an overwhelmed Duke defense. He was the second person in FBS history to throw for more than 300 yards and run for 200 yards in the same game. You’d be excused for believing Lamar Jackson had returned to the Cardinals, as Cunningham produced four scoring plays of 35 yards or more, including a 72-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. With a couple more late-season performances like this, Cunningham could rocket up draft boards in what is a weak quarterback class.
WR John Metchie III (Alabama)
Expected to be the next great Alabama receiver, Metchie had a slow start to the season but has managed to find his stride recently. His draft buzz should be back following a strong game against Arkansas, where he had ten catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. The junior wideout displayed his typical quick foot work and change of direction in the first half where he did most of his damage. He looked completely dominant at times during the half, ending with six catches for 122 yards in those two quarters alone.
CB Andrew Booth (Clemson)
An athletic specimen, Booth has ridden a strong season of performances into first-round consideration. If there was a criticism to his play this year though, it’s that he had yet to record an interception despite his sticky coverage and ability to play the run. The junior finally answered the bell, however, against Wake Forest, by coming down with a beautiful interception—on what looked like a comeback route—despite being massively interfered with by the receiver.
LB Henry To’o To’o (Alabama)
While the aforementioned Tide receiver was having his game on offense, the transfer from Tennessee also had a strong defensive game against the Razorbacks. The middle linebacker finished with a team-high 13 tackles, including three for a loss, to go with two sacks. To’o To’o was at his best playing downhill, whether that was against the run or the pass, acting as a blitzer.