Weekend Recap

Week 8: Booms and Busts

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Saturday Standouts

Texas Tech QB Pat Mahomes vs. Oklahoma -- The records. All of the records. They belong to Pat Mahomes, now, after a performance for the ages. Mahomes threw for 734 yards, rushed for 85 and compiled seven total touchdowns, shattering just about every record in the books in the process. His 819 total yards of offense set an FBS record. His 52 completions broke the school record previously held by his own head coach. He tied the Big 12 record with his 88 passing attempts. Texas Tech lost the game.

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield vs. Texas Tech -- There were other games played on Saturday, but none offered the absurd lack of defense that the Sooners and Red Raiders provided. While Mayfield might not have thrown for 734 yards, he did notch the second-best passing performance of the weekend in terms of yardage with his 545 yards. Which is an insane number of yards, which makes Mahomes’ total look even more absurd. Oh, and Mayfield broke the Oklahoma single-game record with his seven touchdown passes.

Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon vs. Texas Tech -- If you paired the Red Raiders’ offense with, say, Wisconsin’s defense, you would have a phenomenal team. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders’ offense is paired with the Red Raiders’ defense. That is how you roll to a 3-4 record despite having one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Mayfield threw for seven touchdown passes against them, while Joe Mixon and Dede Westbrook proved to be the skill-position beneficiaries of Texas Tech's porous ways. Mixon rushed for 263 yards on 31 carries and caught four passes for 114 yards, totaling five touchdowns along the way. Westbrook hauled in nine passes for 202 yards and a pair of scores.

Utah RB Joe Williams vs. UCLA -- There really were other games played on Saturday, this being one of them. If Williams isn’t a cult hero yet, that will come soon enough. He left the football team in mid-September, retiring from the sport only to rejoin the Utes and spring back up with two phenomenal October performances. On Saturday, he rushed for 332 yards and four touchdowns. His 332 yards on the ground stand as the best showing by an FBS runner this season.

LSU RB Leonard Fournette vs. Ole Miss -- Shortly after Williams wrapped up his superlative showing, Fournette looked like he might well top those 332 yards. He didn’t, not quite. Still, the junior back was brilliant against the Rebs on Saturday, rushing for 284 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 17.8 YPC, which feels like a typo. His shortest touchdown came on a 59-yard run. LSU has now ripped off three consecutive wins under interim head coach Ed Orgeron, scoring a combined 125 points in that space. Fournette has played in all of one of those games. Of course, because the gravitational tilt of the college football sphere makes these things happen, LSU will next play Alabama.

Bowling Green WR Scott Miller vs. Miami (OH) -- Westbrook led the country with his 202 yards receiving this weekend. A pair of relative unknowns followed him up on the leaderboard. Both Scott Miller (11-178-2) and Carrington Thompson (8-177-2) posted grand performances in losing (Miller) and winning (Thompson) causes. Miller had three 100-yard receiving games entering Saturday’s contest, so his big showing wasn’t a huge surprise. Thompson, more surprising. He had surpassed 50 yards just once prior to destroying Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

UCLA QB Mike Fafaul vs. Utah -- Had Patrick Mahomes not attempted 88 passes on Saturday, Fafaul’s 70 would look downright obscene. As is, lightweight. Get back to us when your arm has detached from your body. That aside, I would like to highlight Fafaul just because his game was equal parts brilliant and confounding. Fafaul threw for 464 yards (brilliant), five touchdowns (also brilliant!) and four interceptions (oh) in the Bruins' 52-45 loss. Josh Rosen figures to return from a shoulder injury after the upcoming bye, relegating Fafaul once more to the bench.    

Syracuse QB Eric Dungey vs. Boston College -- When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. I questioned Dungey’s validity as a fantasy starter against the tough defenses of Virginia Tech and Boston College these past two weekends. Neither was a great call, but it was a particularly bad call on Saturday. Dungey had no problem with the Eagles this weekend, throwing for 434 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 54 yards, just because. And that whole thing about the gravitational tilt of the college football sphere applies here, too, as the Orange will be off on bye this coming weekend, resting up for a showdown with Clemson on November 5. 

Saturday Ghosts

Oregon RB Royce Freeman vs. Cal -- Freeman has been dealing with a leg injury of late and that might have contributed to his rushing for just 10 yards on 15 carries in Friday’s double-overtime loss to the Golden Bears. That would make more sense than Cal’s defense magically becoming competent. They weren’t, not even with Freeman ghosting the game. Tony Brooks-James gashed them well enough to make up for the future NFLer's quietude, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown. Even with a scrappy performance against Cal, one which saw the Ducks climb up from an early 21-0 disadvantage to force double-overtime, Oregon is now on a five-game losing streak.

Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett vs. Penn State -- Not this time, J.T.. Eventually, Ohio State’s extreme hit/miss offensive tendencies were going to catch up with them. After the Buckeyes eked out a 30-23 overtime win against Wisconsin last weekend, the Nittany Lions made sure to end matters in regulation on Saturday, sacking Barrett on fourth-and-23 to secure a 24-21 victory. Barrett threw for 245 yards and a touchdown while rushing for just 26 yards. He has not thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game since October 1.

Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly vs. LSU -- Like Barrett, Kelly is on a bit of a cold streak. He has not thrown for more than one touchdown in any of his last three games. LSU kept the chill on in Saturday’s win, limiting Swag to 209 yards passing with a singular scoring pass. They also picked him off twice. It isn’t getting any easier next week, as the Rebs will face a rolling Auburn squad. Matters lighten after that, though, as three of their final four games come against Georgia Southern, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. The lone toughie in the final month will come against Texas A&M on November 12.

Arkansas RB Rawleigh Williams III vs. Auburn -- It’s nice to see Auburn and LSU getting their acts together, as both teams should at least pose vague annoyances for Alabama over the next month-plus. Poetically, the turning point for both species of Tigers came when they played each other. Entering that September 24th contest, Auburn sat at 1-2 and while LSU’s 2-1 record looked outwardly fine, their offense was a rotten thing. Auburn ultimately won the game to start a four-game winning streak in which they’ve surrendered a total 37 points, while LSU sent the Mad Hatter off to eat grass elsewhere and proceeded to embark on a three-game winning streak of their own. Nice sliding doors moment, as Auburn’s Gus Malzahn could well have lost his job if his squad had fallen against the Tigers. Job: Secure. The Tigers completely swamped Arkansas Saturday, holding the Razorbacks to 215 total yards. Back Rawleigh Williams was coming off a strong 180-yard performance against Ole Miss, but managed a paltry 22 yards on Saturday. His long run went for all of eight yards.

Texas A&M RB Trayveon Williams vs. Alabama -- Nine carries for 23 yards, no touchdowns. Don’t hang your head, young man. Alabama does this to everybody. The freshman sensation overwhelmed Tennessee in his last game, finishing out with 217 yards against the Vols. That was never going to happen against a terrifying Tide run defense and lo and behold, it did not happen. Not exactly like the Aggies were committed to busting it open with Williams, though. He received just nine carries. Keith Ford outpaced him on that front, 15-9. This might just have been situational, but it could also have been something of a subtle teaching moment by Kevin Sumlin after Williams had a late fumble in that Tennessee game. 

Houston RB Duke Catalon vs. SMU -- The Cougars, once the apple of everybody’s eye and the subject of a thousand “darkhorse Playoff contender!” pieces, have now lost two of their last three games. On Saturday, they fell to SMU by 38-16 final. Everybody disappointed in this one, with Duke Catalon just one of a crowd. He was making his return after missing the previous three games due to a concussion and while Houston offered him a healthy 17 carries on Saturday, Catalon did relatively little with them, finishing with 54 yards rushing. He has yet to crack 90 yards on the ground in any of his four games played. Fantasy owners can reasonably drop him off their rosters if another option presents itself.

Oklahoma State WR James Washington vs. Kansas -- While the statistical highs this weekend were very, very, very high in some cases, Washington’s metaphorical kite just got tangled and ended up in the bushes. He logged just one catch for nine yards in a game where the Jayhawks surrendered 44 points. Mason Rudolph targeted him all of four times. Perhaps the one neat development that came with Washington’s performance is that he now has one game in which he posted a 9-296-2 receiving line this season (vs. Pitt on September 17) and one in which he has posted a 1-9-0 line. I think that’s neat anyway.

Arizona State WR Tim White vs. Washington State -- White could sympathize with Washington, as both gentlemen were largely non-factors in high-scoring affairs. In White’s case, the Sun Devils posted 32 points, but even with Washington State proving somewhat generous, the wideout finished with only three catches for 48 yards. One of those catches accounted for 40 of his yards. The day was a washout for fantasy purposes, except in those leagues which award points for return yardage. White finished out with 140 yards between punt and kick returns.   


Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/weekend-recap/week-8-booms-and-busts-1