Clemson’s Ryan Carter
Defense hasn’t necessarily been the name of the game ahead of the 2018 College Football Playoff, even though three of the four teams involved field three of the nation’s best defenses.
Alabama allows the fewest points (11.5 per game) of any team in Division 1-A. Clemson ranks second, giving up 12.8 points per game, and Georgia is tied for third (with Wisconsin) at 13.2 points allowed. The fourth team in the playoff, Oklahoma, didn’t crack the nation’s top 50 defensively (25.0 points allowed), but the Sooners make up for it by leading the nation in offensive yards (583 per game) and ranking fourth in scoring with 44.9 points per game. Continue reading
Six secondary standouts from football’s week that was:
Steven Parker, SS, Oklahoma (NCAA): With under a minute to go in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against TCU, the Sooners were clinging to a seven-point lead before giving up a touchdown. But instead of going for the extra point and the tie, TCU went for two and the win. That’s when the sophomore Parker made the play of the day, leaping in front of Horned Frogs QB Bram Kohlhausen and knocking down a pass intended for a receiver who was open in the end zone. Parker’s perfectly-timed play preserved a 30-29 victory for Oklahoma and kept them in the national championship playoff picture.
Bene Benwikere, CB, Panthers (NFL): Still-undefeated Carolina was dang-near flawless in all facets of Sunday’s 44-16 victory over Washington. QB Cam Newton threw five touchdowns to lead the offense, while the defense forced five turnovers. Benwikere made his mark on the first play from scrimmage of the second half when he sacked Washington QB Kirk Cousins, forced a fumble and recovered the fumble all on the same play. That set the table for Newton’s fifth TD pass, and the Panthers would cruise to a 10-0 record. Continue reading