The Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 11 Top Performers From Each School

New Pac-12 NFL Blood

This wee, only one Pac-12 NFL player repeated from Week 10’s Best Pac-12 NFL list. Finally, we get some fresh faces and new players on here. Let’s see who joined the ranks of the best!

Arizona

Nick Folk – New England Patriots

It’s not often that a place-kicker joins the best of Pac-12 NFL players. Yet here we are. With the New England offense moving slowly, their defense and special teams are picking up the slack. 

In a tight, 17-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Folk scored the majority of the Patriots’ points. He went three-for-three with field goals of 35, 22 and 39 yards.

Arizona State

Lawrence Guy – New England Patriots

Although his three tackles don’t seem like much, Lawrency Guy was a key-cog in the Patriots’ defensive win. Against the Eagles, his two biggest were:

  • Penetrating tackle on Miles Sanders on the one-yard line (shown in above Tweet)
  • Fumble recovery after the strip-sack by Danny Shelton

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Cal

Cameron Jordan – New Orleans Saints

Through 10 games, Cameron Jordan’s racked up:

  • 18 quarterback hits
  • 8 tackles for a loss
  • One fumble recovery (and one should-be touchdown)
  • And 10 sacks

On Sunday, he managed to hit quarterback Jameis Winston four times, get 1.5 sacks and add a tackle for a loss. It was another All-Pro game for Cameron Jordan. His stats and 82.0 PFF grade are why he is still among the best Pac-12 NFL players in the league.

Colorado

Josh Tupou – Cincinnati Bengals

Although the Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Oakland Raiders, Josh Tupou played very well. It was by-far his best game of the season. Tupou compiled seven tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss, one stuff and one forced fumble.

In his third season, he’s regularly seeing playtime. Keep in mind, Tupou accounted for just 10 defensive snaps in 19-percent of defensive snaps in Week 1. In Weeks 10 and 11, he earned 30 (67-percent) and 39 (56-percent) snaps. It’s a mild breakout for the Colorado product.

Oregon

Kenjon Barner – Atlanta Falcons

Honestly, is there anything better to watch than a special teams touchdown? They are rare, special and should be treated as such.

In the first quarter, up 3-0, Kenjon Barner fielded the punt from Younghoe Koo at the Atlanta 22. He then took it 78 yards to the house. The seventh-year journeyman just earned his first, NFL punt/kick return touchdown. Of course, his highlight-touchdown is worthy of praise.

Oregon State

Jordan Poyer – Buffalo Bills

Yes, their game was against the hapless Miami Dolphins. Nonetheless, the Buffalo Bills won by 17 and Miami finally couldn’t cover the spread. 

In this game, Jordan Poyer did his usual damage as a reliable tackler. He totaled six tackles (four solo) and also added a fumble recovery. On the season, Poyer now has 72 tackles, one sack, 2 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and an interception. 

Stanford

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers

Somehow, even though he compiled nearly 200 yards from scrimmage, the Carolina Panthers only scored three points. How on Earth is that possible? What else does Christian McCaffrey have to do?

In their Week 11 matchup, our Pac-12 NFL superstar turned 14 carries into 70 rushing yards and also caught 11 balls for 121 yards. 191 yards from scrimmage. Yet, only three points for the Panthers. This team needs to get a viable quarterback or send the Stanford star to another team. His play deserves the playoffs.

UCLA

Eric Kendricks – Minnesota Vikings

Eric Kendricks is elite. Right now, he’s playing the best football of his career. He currently owns a 90.5 PFF grade. Last week, he earned a spot on the top Pac-12 NFL list with his fourth-down heroics. 

Because of his stellar form, the Vikings have utilized Kendricks in pass coverage this season. He’s stepped up to the challenge with 12 pass break-ups. Eric Kendricks, with 85 tackles and 12 pass breaks-ups, is playing like a top-three linebacker.

USC

Sam Darnold – New York Jets

Though his 43.7 (No. 25) QBR on the season is uninspiring, Sam Darnold played his best game this week. He displayed an excellent passing ceiling with 293 yards and 4 touchdowns. Yes, he still took two sacks and threw an interception against Washington. But, this was one of the better games for Darnold and his 6-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio since returning from illness is promising.

Also, keep in mind these two things before putting down Darnold:

Utah

Marcus Williams – New Orleans Saints

Heading into Week 11, Marcus Williams already was PFF’s top safety. That’s already praise enough for a Pac-12 NFL player. But then, he went and showed out in Week 11. Games like this show why he is the best of the best. Not only did he record three tackles and two pass break-ups. But, he also took an interception to the house.

There’s nothing like a pick-six for football fans. Especially defense enthusiasts. Marcus Williams is having a career year.

Washington

Danny Shelton – New England Patriots

Down ten to six with just over two minutes left in the first half, Danny Shelton came up big. His strip-sack of Carson Wentz put the Patriots in excellent field position. Unfortunately, as is the case this year with the Patriots’ offense, they came away with three points. Though they started at the Eagles 22, they couldn’t score a touchdown. It’s a shame.

But, what isn’t a travesty is the New England Patriots’ defense. They look like one of the greatest defenses of all time. If players like Danny Shelton can keep bailing out the offense, they might win yet another Super Bowl.

Washington State

Jalen Thompson – Arizona Cardinals

As most know, the Arizona Cardinals need help in their secondary. Their pass-defending is among the worst in the league. However, Jalen Thompson got his first interception this week.

Additionally, he also had his first pass break-up. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the rookie out of Washington State.

Miss Week 10’s Best Pac-12 NFL Performances?

https://unafraidshow.com/the-best-pac-12-nfl-players-week-10-top-performers-from-each-school/

Unafraidshow Bold Prediction: Call football beats USC

California Golden Bears win debut against UC Davis

What the odds say about Cal Football’s chances

Per Vegas sports-books, Cal Football opened as 6.5-point underdogs. ESPN’s Football Power Index gave USC a 63.1-percent chance of winning, while numberFire’s Win Probability gave USC a 59.2-percent chance. Adding to that, USC is ranked fifth in Unafraidshow’s Pac-12 Power Rankings, while Cal is seventh. Almost everyone has USC claiming the victory.

Why USC Should Win

It’s for good reason, too. Don’t get me wrong. USC is a good team. They are 6-and-4, bowl eligible and have a breakout quarterback.

USC’s Offense

Currently, USC’s offense averages:

  • 30.5 points-per-game
  • 444 yards-per-game (311 passing, 133 rushing)
  • 45-percent success rate on third down (59 of 131)
  • 56-percent success rate on fourth down (5 of 9)

In nine games this season, Kedon Slovis looks like a future-star.

His 156.1 Passing Efficiency Rating and 20-9 touchdown-interception ratio are both good. In the seven games he’s started and finished, Slovis has four wins, three losses. His wins came against Stanford, Arizona, Colorado and Arizona State. When he started, USC lost to BYU, Notre Dame and Oregon. All in all, he’s played well for a rookie.

Star Wide Receivers

With all the praise given to Slovis, it’s important to remember that USC’s wide receivers are the stars of the show. In the Pac-12 conference, USC’s top-three wide outs are each top-ten in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

  • Michael Pittman Jr.
    • 71 (No. 1) receptions
    • 938 (No. 1) receiving yards
    • 8 (No. 3) receiving touchdowns
  • Tyler Vaughns
    • 62 (No. 3) receptions
    • 752 (No. 4) receiving yards
    • 5 (No. 8) receiving touchdowns
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • 55 (No. 5) receptions
    • 666 (No. 7) receiving yards
    • 5 (No. 8) receiving touchdowns

USC’s Defense

On defense, they’re holding teams to 28.1 points-per-game and 418 yards-per-game. That’s not ideal, considering they’re only averaging 30.5 points-per-game. But, it highlights why they are 6-and-4 and not 8-2.

Why Cal Football will win

Injuries to USC

Unfortunately, USC’s recent health hasn’t been good. Running backs Stephen Carr, Merkese Stepp and Vavae Malepeai were all out. Hopefully Carr and Malepeai can play against Cal. But if not, USC plays without three, key running backs.

More importantly, USC’s Brett Neilon left last week’s game with a calf strain. That calf strain sidelines him for multiple weeks, while Justin Dedich takes over. Adding to that is the health of Kedon Slovis. Again, during the same game against WSU, Slovis dealt with cramps that briefly sidelined him. While he sat out two series, they had to use an IV pump.

After starting out the game 15 of 17 for 297 yards and 4 touchdowns (on the first four drives), USC slumped. They only scored three points the rest of the game. Following the four touchdowns, their drives ended:

  • 5 punts
  • One fumble
  • One interception
  • One turnover on downs
  • One field goal

If USC isn’t in better health, Cal football takes the W.

Cal Football’s Defensive Strength

While not elite anymore, the Cal football defense is still good. They rank 30th in DFEI, according to footballoutsiders. Their .38 DFEI best USC’s .25 DFEI. Additionally, the strength of Cal’s defense directly challenges the strength of USC’s offense. Cal’s secondary is their best feature, while USC’s talent is in their receiving corps. They’ll have their work cut out for them guarding Michael Pittman Jr., but if anyone can do it, Cal can.

Chase Garbers is back

Remember Chase Garbers?

Back when the Cal football program was winning and ranked, Garbers was their guy. Before his Week 5 injury, Garbers led Cal to four straight wins. In five games (one partial), Garbers showcased a 148.1 Passing Efficiency Rating, alongside an 8-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. After years of poor play, Cal actually had an offense. Following his injury, they lost four straight games.

But now, finally throwing without limitations, Chase Garbers is good to go. Even if Justin Wilcox won’t name him as the starter yet, he should be. Garbers played well enough at the start of the season to earn the job. Moreover, Garbers brings a running dimension. Oh, and let’s not forget that Garbers led Cal football to a victory last season against USC.

Recap of the Pac-12 Referee Debacle during WSU vs Cal

Pac-12 Referees at it Again

Wow. That was the worst call of the season. Every Washington State fan should be infuriated. It is despicable what the Pac-12 referees and officials did to their team. While mistakes happen every game, this was without a doubt a horrible penalty. But, even worse, this poor call and what ensued after uncovered pure incompetency by the Pac-12 conference.

For those that missed it, here’s what happened:

Saturday (An Egregious Mistake)

  • Down 20-11 in the third quarter, WSU’s Travell Harris returns kickoff to the 50-yard line.
  • WSU penalized for illegal hands to the face. Football placed at WSU 8-yard line.
  • Referee realizes he made an error. Because the penalty was against WSU, it should have been placed at Cal’s 35-yard line. The drive results in a field goal.
  • WSU loses to Cal 20-33

Sunday (Incorrect Apology)

Pac-12 Statement
  • First, the Pac-12 releases the above statement acknowledging “mechanics error”.
  • In that statement, they claim that WSU was informed of the mistake “After the next play was run”.
  • In punishment, the Pac-12 suspends referee for one game and crew is “downgraded”.

Tuesday (Where is No. 15???)

Wednesday (6:38 of Game Clock)

  • In review, the Pac-12 corrects its statement that they informed Washington State “after the next play was run.”
  • After realizing his mistake, Matt Richards (referee) decided to wait until the next media break to inform Washington State. Their drive took up 6 minutes and 38 seconds of the game clock…

What this all means for Pac-12 refereeing

Among college football, the Pac-12 is not respected. It’s the ugly duckling of the Power Five. Because of mistakes like this, and other failures of Larry Scott, Pac-12 football is taunted.

For Pac-12 fans, it’s clear that Pac-12 referees are inconsistent and consistently make poor judgment calls. But, it’s one thing to make a mistake as an official. It’s an entirely other issue to have no measures to correct it.

Is this not 2019? Don’t we have booths, staff and video replay? The Pac-12 should utilize on-site and off-site video assistants to make sure that errors like this don’t happen. Honestly, it’s pathetic. Absolutely depressing. Football programs shouldn’t endure Pac-12 referee mistakes that ruin a game. We are better than this.

It’s about time that the Pac-12 owns up to its faults, corrects its mistakes and takes action for the future. Apologies aren’t enough.

What are the Worst Pac-12 Referee Mistakes?

If you remember an official error that is bigger than this one, comment below or Tweet at us!

In Ugly Win, Washington Huskies Gain Bowl Eligibility

Joe Tryon Washington Huskies

What Happened to the Washington Huskies Offense?

Against a very beatable Oregon State defense, the Washington Huskies barely scraped together 19 points. In their previous five games, OSU’s defense allowed an average of 33.8 points-per-game to opponents. However, against the odds, they rattled Jacob Eason.

Jacob Eason’s Poor Play

On the day, Washington Huskies’ Jacob Eason completed 16 of 32 passes. Aside from his abysmal 50-percent completion percentage, Eason’s 5.5 yards-per-attempt show how much he struggled. Usually content with letting it fly, Eason wasn’t confident, or accurate, enough to make big plays. At game’s end, Eason amassed just 175 yards and two interceptions. 

Even worse, one of those interceptions was taken to the house by Jaydon Grant.

  • 50-Percent Completion Percentage
  • 175 Passing Yards
  • 5.5 Yards-Per-Attempt
  • Two Interceptions
  • One Pick Six
  • 83.4 Passing Efficiency Rating
  • 27.1 QBR

By far and away his worst game of the season. Eason needs to forget it quickly.

Salvon Ahmed and Hunter Bryant

Thank goodness someone showed up for the Washington Huskies offense. Otherwise, they would have dropped to a .500 record on the season. In their win, Hunter Bryant was his usual self. With five catches and 90 yards, he displayed why he is the top tight end in the nation. Even on the worst day for Eason, Bryant can ball out.

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Additionally, Salvon Ahmed was the Washington Huskies source of strength. He ran the ball 25 times for 174 yards and two scores. More importantly, in the fourth quarter, Ahmed clinched the victory. His 60-yard touchdown was a sigh of relief for every UW fan.

Washington Huskies Dominant Defense

Even though their offense struggled to hold a drive, UW’s defense showed up! They held Oregon State’s offense to 119 yards. Not 119 passing yards or rushing yards. 119 total offensive yards. They suffocated the Beavers.

Impressively, the Washington Huskies forced OSU to punt 10 times, while only allowing six first downs. It was a lights out performance. Additionally, they didn’t give up a single point. If not for Eason’s abhorrent play, UW would have gotten the shut-out.

Before playing the Huskies, Jake Lutton’s 19-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio was second-best in the nation. However, UW’s defense held him to just 88 yards, one interception, zero touchdowns, and an awful 8.5 QBR.

We haven’t seen UW’s defense play like this in some time. It was reminiscent of the 2016 Washington Huskies. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come for the Dawgs.

Joe Tryon’s Performance of a Lifetime

Oregon State couldn’t contain Joe Tryon. He was an absolute wrecking ball on defense.

  • 7 tackles
  • 4.5 tackles for a loss
  • 2 sacks
  • Forced a turnover on downs with a fantastic open-field tackle

This was his game. Yes, the rest of the Washington Huskies defense played well. Levi Onwuzurike created disruption after disruption. Additionally, the secondary held up and stifled the pass game. But, if there’s one defensive MVP of the game, it is certainly Joe Tryon.

Take What You Can Get

While not the type of win UW fans want to see, it was still a win. And, with their sixth win of the season, the Washington Huskies are officially bowl-eligible. If they finish out the season strong, Husky fans can at least root for a bowl victory. Granted, this season was a huge letdown. This isn’t the playoff team fans hoped for. But still, it was a good day to be a Husky.

Tyler Huntley is the Best Quarterback in the Pac-12

Utah Utes College Football Playoff Week 3

A Hobbled Tyler Huntley Took Down Washington

It’s unbelievable what Tyler Huntley is doing this season. Against Washington (at Washington), Huntley made play after play. His 85.0 PFF grade and 139.6 Clean Passer Rating show this. Moreover, Huntley was incredible on third down.

Even with Zack Moss averaging 3.7 yards-per-carry, it didn’t matter. Because Tyler Huntley proved he could take over a game. And he did it all on an injured leg!

Leading the Utes to a come-back win against the Huskies solidifies his position at the top of Pac-12 quarterbacks.

Tyler Huntley’s Efficiency

This 2019 season, the Pac-12 has a host of talented quarterbacks. Justin Herbert is currently projected to get drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft. Additionally, Jacob Eason earned praise for his NFL arm-strength and Anthony Gordon leads the FBS in passing yards and passing touchdowns. It’s an excellent year for Pac-12 quarterbacks. However, based off the metrics, it is actually Tyler Huntley that is currently the top Pac-12 quarterback.

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Tyler Huntley’s Impressive Passer Ratings

While Tyler Huntley ranks 30th in passing yards (2,062) and 64th in passing touchdowns (11), his efficiency is off the charts! Currently, Tyler Huntley leads all Pac-12 quarterbacks in Passing Efficiency Rating (182.5), NFL Passer Rating (124.6) and ESPN’s QBR (96.0). His 182.5 Passing Efficiency Rating ranks 5th among qualified FBS quarterbacks. After watching Utah Utes games and pouring over stats, Huntley’s accuracy is phenomenal. This is NFL-level precision. 

Touchdown to Interception Ratio

As said above, Huntley has just 11 passing touchdowns this season. But, he’s only thrown one interception. Additionally, Huntley carried the ball into the end zone four times. His 11-1 touchdown to interception ratio is great, especially considering his four rushing scores.

He’s not a game manager

Whether on broadcasts or Twitter, Tyler Huntley’s been labeled a “game manager”. Because of his lower counting stats (yards and touchdowns), combined with Utah’s defensive and rushing prowess, it’s an easy judgment to make. Though easy, it’s inaccurate.

Game managers don’t let the ball fly like Huntley. They keep passes short and safe. Yes, he doesn’t throw the ball as often as other college quarterbacks. But, when he does, he isn’t afraid to take shots. His 10.8 yards-per-attempt and 11.7 adjusted yards-per-attempt both rank fourth in the nation. No other Pac-12 quarterback tops him in either of those categories. 

Should Tyler Huntley be in the Heisman Conversation?

So, in review, Tyler Huntley ranks higher than all other Pac-12 quarterbacks in:

  • Passing Efficiency Rating
  • NFL Passer Rating
  • ESPN’s QBR
  • Yards-Per-Attempt
  • Adjusted Yards-Per-Attempt

It’s time to give Tyler Huntley the reigns of the Utah Utes offense. Let him show Pac-12 and the rest of college football what he’s made of. He’s already proven that he can be efficient and productive when called upon. Huntley, even with a bum-leg, can carry his team. If he leads his team to a Pac-12 title and college football playoffs, he has to be in the conversation.

Huntley is accurate, efficient, impressive and leads a strong offense. He’s an elite college quarterback and should be treated as such.

The Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week Nine Top Performers From Each School

Pac-12 NFL Week Nine

Pac-12 NFL players are Still Shining in the Spotlight

Pac-12 wordmark

Unafraidshow, due to popular demand, is once again going College by College to give the best Pac-12 NFL players Week Nine. Each school gets at least one alumni and top-performer. No one is left out. Even if Washington can’t finish a game, at least Husky fans can watch Shaq Thompson light up defenders. Stanford fans tired of losing? Watch Christian McCaffrey put defenders on skates. It’s still a good year to be a Pac-12 NFL fan.

The Best Pac-12 NFL Performances, Program by Program

Arizona

Dane Cruikshank – Tennessee Titans

Unfortunately, Dane Cruikshank wasn’t able to tackle Colin Jones on the Carolina Panthers’ fake punt. While Cruikshank hit Jones shy of the first down, Jones pushed to the first down.

However, aside from that painful moment, Cruikshank played well on special teams. He totaled two tackles (one solo) and a blocked PAT. It wasn’t the best game for the special-teamer. But, he still made plays when he could.

Arizona State

Lawrence Guy – New England Patriots

Lamar Jackson is an unbelievable talent. Even with Russell Wilson in the NFL, no other quarterback is as elusive as Jackson. He consistently makes plays with his legs that no other player could. And yet, Lawrence Guy (Pac-12 NFL standout) was able to get to him.

On 53 offensive snaps, Guy compiled:

  • Four tackles (2 solo)
  • Two tackles for a loss
  • Two quarterback hits
  • One sack
  • One stuff
  • One fumble recovery

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Cal

Mychal Kendricks – Seattle Seahawks

In a 40 to 34 win against the Buccaneers, the Seahawks defense didn’t show up in a dominant way. However, Mychal Kendricks was a Pac-12, NFL difference maker . He came away with four tackles (three solo), one pass defended, one stuff and one tackle for a loss.

But, his biggest play came against left tackle Donovan Smith. Kendricks bull-rushed Smith into Jameis Winston. It forced a fumble and Rasheem Green recovered it and returned it 36 yards. All in all, it was an excellent showing for the linebacker.

Colorado

Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos

As a running back, Phillip Lindsay has so much going against him. 

  • Size: 5-foot-7, 184lbs
  • Drafted Capital: Undrafted
  • Snap Share: 51.4-percent

Nonetheless, Lindsay and his 4.44 wheels make splash plays again and again. How could Pac-12 NFL fans root against him? Efficiently, Lindsay finished the day with 9 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown. Lindsay also created 40 yards and evaded two tackles. He was instrumental in the Denver Broncos’ 24 to 19 win against the Cleveland Browns. 

Oregon

Justin Hollins – Denver Broncos

In the 24 to 19 win, Justin Hollins played 24 snaps and totaled just two tackles. However, it was a big day for Hollins.

Regardless of all other stats, Justin Hollins gets the credit today because he claimed his first sack. The fifth-round rookie out of Oregon took down quarterback Baker Mayfield and earned his big moment.

Oregon State

Matt Moore – Kansas City Chiefs

Yet again, Matt Moore impressed. In his three games (two started), Matt Moore’s stats include:

  • 59 completions on 90 attempts (65.56-percent)
  • 659 yards
  • 4 touchdowns
  • Zero interceptions
  • 102.0 Passer Rating
  • Two wins

This week, against the Vikings, Moore completed 71.4-percent of his passes with an average yards-per-attempt of 7.9. It was by far his best game. Additionally, even though he was hurried four times, he didn’t throw an interception. Moore is exactly what the Kansas City Chiefs needed while Patrick Mahomes is healing.

Stanford

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers

Come on man. Christian McCaffrey’s success makes it impossible to give anyone else from Stanford a highlight. 166 yards, 3 touchdowns, 5 evaded tackles. My goodness man. Will the carnage ever stop?

He’s this generations Marshall Faulk or LaDainian Tomlinson. In 2019, McCaffrey is playing at a level far above every other running back. We all get to witness his greatness. Stanford, well done. You’ve got the best Pac-12 NFL running back.

UCLA

Kolton Miller – Oakland Raiders

Kolton Miller keeps it a hundred. Because, Miller played every offensive snap of the Oakland Raiders first nine weeks. He’s their best offensive lineman and he continues to show promise.

Against the Detroit Lions, Miller and the offensive line set the stage. They racked up 171 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns and allowed just 1 sack. It was a great day for the second-year tackle.

USC

Tyron Smith – Dallas Cowboys

Even with two weak holding penalties, the New York Giants still couldn’t do much against Tyron Smith. Against the free-falling Giants, the Dallas Cowboys rolled up 172 rushing yards and also kept Dak Prescott clean. Prescott, without being sacked, was able to pass for three touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott ran for 139 yards on 23 carries.

Smith, at 28 years old, is still a great offensive tackle. Even in an off-year, he owns a 74.5 PFF grade. On the season, he’s been penalized five times and has allowed just one sack. He’s a dominant force on the Cowboys offensive line. Prescott and Elliott are lucky to have him.

Utah

Eric Rowe – Miami Dolphins

Oh. My. Goodness. The Miami Dolphins won a game! Can you believe it?

Well, in that game, Eric Rowe stood out. He helped keep Sam Darnold and the New York Jets at bay. Primarily covering tight-end Ryan Griffin when in coverage, he was only targeted once. It wasn’t completed.

Additionally, Rowe added four tackles (three solo) and was on the field for 97-percent of the Dolphins defensive snaps. Though the Dolphins are in tank-mode, at least Rowe is making his presence known.

Washington

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers

Though Halloween is over, Shaq Thompson is still a monster. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill knows this first hand. Versus the Tennessee Titans, Thompson was everywhere. He racked up:

  • 11 tackles (10 solo)
  • 2 stuffs
  • 3 sackles for a loss
  • One quarterback hit
  • One sack

It was by far his best game of the season. Next week, the Green Bay Packers have to keep Aaron Rodgers and company away from this beast.

Washington State

Andre Dillard – Philadelphia Eagles

It goes without saying that Khalil Mack is elite. Nevertheless, Andre Dillard locked him down. He limited Mack to just one quarterback hit and zero sacks or forced fumbles.

How about that? A 24-year old rookie went toe to toe with Khalil Mack and got the better of him. Dillard looks like a stud left tackle and a future pro bowler.

Miss Last Week’s Pac-12 NFL Offensive Leaders?

https://unafraidshow.com/best-pac-12-nfl-players-week-8-offensive-standouts-2019/

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 8 Offensive Standouts

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7 Offensive Standouts

It’s a Good Day to Be a Pac-12 NFL Fan

This weekend, Pac-12 football fans got it all. Oregon and Washington State certainly lit up the field offensively. The Ducks are currently ranked 6th in Unafraidshow’s College Football Rankings. Likewise, many Pac-12 NFL players gave us memorable performances in week 8. Here they are!

Best Quarterback Performance

Gardner Minshew II – Washington State – Jacksonville Jaguars

Minshew magic is back! Let’s go!

Unlike the rest of football fans, Pac-12 NFL fans knew that Minshew was for real. We knew a long time ago. It’s just great to see everyone else accept it.

Against a competent New York Jets defense, Minshew didn’t flinch. He compiled 279 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He also let the Jets sack him twice. But, for those who watched the game, his pocket-presence is next level. Minshew’s movement in the pocket and ability to extend plays is incredible.

Last, and definitely important, Minshew threw zero interceptions. Again. Overall, he has just 2 interceptions and 13 touchdowns this season. The sixth-round rookie is playing far above any expectation.

Gardner Minshew for Rookie of the Year!

Best Running Back Performance

Christian McCaffrey – Stanford – Carolina Panthers

Against the league’s second-best defense (New England Patriots are clear first), the Carolina Panthers flopped. They only scored 13 points, while the 49ers rolled through 51 points. However, that didn’t stop all-star, Pac-12 NFL running back Christian McCaffrey from creating highlights.

This season, McCaffrey’s durability and production is incredible. His 2019 stats include:

Keep rolling RUN-CMC.

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Best Wide Receiver Performance

Juju Smith-Schuster – USC – Pittsburgh Steelers

To say that this season has been rough for the Pittsburgh Steelers is to say the least. After a promising 2017 season and a breakout 2018 season, everyone was ready for Juju Smith-Schuster to keep the hype train going. With the departure of Antonio Brown (to mental illness?), Smith-Schuster was primed for an elite 2019 campaign.

But, all hope went down with Ben Roethlisberger. However, Smith-Schuster still has the ability to pop on the field. In week 8, he cleared the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. Granted, this week he played the Miami Dolphins (#tankfortua), but he’s a good wide receiver.

https://twitter.com/JimmyClarke/status/1189005033653882882

His plus-16.5 (No. 20) Production Premium and plus-39.2-percent Target Premium (No. 10) show that he still has talent, but he’s just trapped on an anemic offense.

Best Tight End Performance

Austin Hooper – Stanford – Atlanta Falcons

Even with Matt Schaub under center, Austin Hooper was a baller. He reeled in 6 of 7 targets for 65 yards and a touchdown. He was one reason why the Pac-12 NFL fans didn’t switch channels. Hooper’s late score helped the Falcons attempt a last-minute comeback (or at least cover the a plus-7.5 spread).

Honestly, look at those stats. Among tight ends, Hooper is:

Miss Last Week’s Pac-12 NFL Best Performances?

https://unafraidshow.com/best-pac-12-nfl-players-week-7-offensive-standouts/

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7 Offensive Standouts

Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7

Huge Performances from Pac-12 NFL Players in Week 7

Marvin jones California Golden bears Best Pac-12 NFL Players: Week 7
Marvin Jones has come a long way since Cal

While the Oregon-Washington game was the most exciting game of the weekend, our Pac-12 alumni showed up in Week 7 of the NFL. The best Pac-12 NFL players were clearly Aaron Rodgers and Marvin Jones. They unleashed their abilities in full strength. No one could stop them and we couldn’t get enough. Who else joined them this week?

Best Quarterback Performances

Aaron Rodgers – Cal – Green Bay Packers

Against the Oakland Raiders, Aaron Rodgers went full God-mode. He dismantled them in every way possible for a quarterback. Rodgers finished with this stat line:

  • 25 of 31 (80.65-percent completion percentage)
  • 429 Passing Yards
  • 5 Passing Touchdowns
  • 1 Rushing Touchdown

With a game like that, it’s no wonder that Rodgers notched his first perfect-Passer Rating of the season. It was a vintage performance from the Cal product and it’s why he is one of the best Pac-12 NFL players of all time.

Matt Moore – Oregon State – Kansas City Chiefs

Wow. Talk about composure and stepping up. Somehow, even though Matt Moore hasn’t played since 2017, he sealed the win for the Kansas City Chiefs. With the loss of Patrick Mahomes to a dislocated knee, fans were panicking. But, calm and collected, Moore displayed exactly what teams need from a backup quarterback. He threw for a modest 117 yards, no interceptions and dropped a dime to Tyreek Hill for a touchdown.

Without Moore on the team, they’d be tempted to trade for a potential quarterback bridge until Mahomes gets healthy. But, like New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater, the Chiefs have it covered.

Best Wide Receiver Performances

Marvin Jones – Cal – Detroit Lions

Even though he was up against the Minnesota Vikings defense, Marvin Jones erupted for four touchdowns. Four! It’s rare for an NFL receiver to get three touchdowns in a game, let alone four.

He was unstoppable. Uncoverable. On 13 targets, he caught 10 for 93 yards and 4 scores. To the delight of fans’ eyes, Jones had himself a game.

Best Tight End Performance

Rhett Ellison – USC – New York Giants

Now, this isn’t one of those Pac-12 NFL tight end games for the record books. But, Rhett Ellison had one of his better performances. He caught both targets for 33 yards and a touchdown. In a tight loss to the Arizona Cardinals, those were needed receptions.

Especially considering how inconsistent and poor Daniel Jones was playing. Hopefully, Ellison can find the end zone again this season. But, at least he joined the ranks of other Pac-12 NFL greats this week.

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Best Offensive Performances from Pac-12 Football Week 7

Best Offensive Performances from Pac-12 Football Week 7

Pac-12 Football Lit up the Scoreboards in Week 7

Pac-12 Conference states

Pac-12 Football had big offensive performances, with three teams (Oregon, Washington, Utah) scoring over 45 points. Multiple receivers and running backs found the pay-dirt multiple times. These top-athletes displayed powerful running, big-play ability, and creativity to make the Pac-12 Football’s Best Offensive Performances list.

While many Pac-12 football players had big games, Unafraidshow only has room for one at each position.

Best Offensive Performances from Pac-12 Football Week 7: Quarterback

Jayden Daniels – Arizona State

Though he’s a freshman, Jayden Daniels is ballin. He led the Sun Devils to a big win against the Cougars. He threw for three touchdowns, zero interceptions and showed off his mobility.

On Arizona State’s final drive, Daniels was poised as a senior. He executed play after play. Then, in a moment of brilliance and creativity, Daniels kept the ball and ran it in himself. It’s not every day Pac-12 football fans get to witness a freshman do this. Especially a freshman from the west coast. From San Bernardino to glory, it’s good to watch Jayden Daniels rise.

Running Back

Zack Moss – Utah

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On just five carries, Zack Moss ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. Yes, only five carries. Moss continues to be an underutilized, efficient runner. His five carries yielded yards of:

  • 16 yards
  • 9 yards
  • -1 yards
  • 91 yard touchdown
  • 6 yard touchdown

Moss didn’t even play in the second half. Why? Because the Utes didn’t need him any more. Although in a limited role, Zack Moss showed why he is in the conversation with Eno Benjamin for Pac-12 football’s best back. Moss is powerful and can take any carry to the house.

Wide Receiver

Brandon Aiyuk – Arizona State

There’s fast. And then there’s Brandon Aiyuk fast. As pointed out by Dane Brugler of The Athletic, Aiyuk’s route speed makes him an “underrated NFL prospect” in the 2020 class. With his acceleration and long-speed, Aiyuk torched the Cougars secondary. After a performance like this, Aiyuk’s rank among Pac-12 football receivers surges.

Against WSU, Aiyuk made the most of each target from Jayden Daniels. With 8 targets, he secured 7 receptions for 196 yards and 3 touchdowns. On those, he sped past the Cougars for touchdowns of 40, 86 and 36 yards. It was impressive!

Tight End

Jacob Breeland – Oregon

It is nigh-impossible to remove Jacob Breeland from any best Pac-12 football list. He is just too good at football. Breeland is reliable and can turn any reception into a big play. On the season, Breeland leads NCAA tight ends in receptions-per-game and touchdowns-per-game.

He’s a large target with speed and route-running skills. Like many first and second-round tight ends before him, he’s a matchup nightmare. It’s why Breeland is on scout’s lists as a potential second-round NFL pick in the 2020 draft.

However, after catching a 22-yards reception, Breeland suffered an injury that forced him from the rest of the contest. Mario Cristobal said that his leg injury is serious and will cause him to miss the rest of the season. If healthy, Breeland will get drafted on Day 1 or Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Disagree with the Unafraidshow’s Best Pac-12 football players?

If you disagree with this list, send in your own recommendations. Each week, Unafraidshow will rank the best quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end performances from Pac-12 football. Be sure to comment, tweet Unafraidshow, or email us immad@unafraidshow.com with your favorite moments of each Pac-12 football week.

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UW Huskies Get Big Win Over Wildcats, but Stay in Ducks’ Shadow

Washington Huskies

Huskies Get Another Bounce-Back Win

University of Washington Block W logo RGB brand colors

After a tight loss against Cal in Week 2 of college football, the Huskies bounced back in a big way against Hawaii. They ousted the Rainbow Warriors 52-20. Similarly, UW’s football team had another dominant performance against Arizona after an upset loss to Stanford. Even though the Wildcats were on a four-game win-streak, the Huskies beat them 51-27.

For Washington fans, the pendulum swung back into favor and joy. But, unfortunately for UW football, the Ducks had a more impressive win against the Colorado Buffaloes. With Oregon coming to town this week, does Washington have a shot?

Post-Game Notes from the Huskies Victory

Defense and Special Teams Carried the Huskies

Yes, the UW offense scored five touchdowns and three field goals. But in the first half, against an Arizona team on a four-game win-streak, the offense didn’t show up. Instead, the Dawgs made numerous big plays on defense and special teams. In the first half, the defense and special teams had:

  • 2 Sacks
  • 4 Tackles for a Loss
  • One blocked punt
  • Two forced fumbles and recoveries
  • One touchdown

At the end of the half, the Wildcats still led the Huskies. Despite incredible defensive play, the Huskies were still down 13-17 at half.

The Huskies Offense isn’t Perfect, even with 51 Points

Again, Washington decided to go for field goals. Early in the game, they played it safe. In the first quarter, they opted for two field goals instead of going for it. Fourth and five at the Arizona 10. Kick. Fourth and three at the Arizona 3. Kick. It’s unbelievable how often Chris Peterson and the Huskies exchange field goals for touchdowns. Think about it, if the Huskies converted just 50-percent of those fourth downs, they’d be better off. Yes, they tried to convert a fourth down on their first drive. They failed. But, math and analytics still show that it is optimal to go for it on the opposing half. After all, seven points is more than six.

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Additionally, the Huskies offense was sedentary, out-of-sync, and inconsistent in the first half. In fact, the Husky defense outscored the offense 7-6 in the first half. Their six drives yielded results of:

  • Turnover on Downs (4 plays, 9 yards AFTER STARTING AT THE ARIZONA 36)
  • Field Goal (8 plays, 62 yards)
  • Punt (3 plays, 5 yards)
  • Field Goal (4 plays, 0 yards AFTER STARTING AT THE ARIZONA 8)
  • Punt (6 plays, 43 yards)
  • Punt (3 plays, 4 yards)

Granted, the Huskies offense got rolling in the second half. They scored five touchdowns and a field goal in the second half. Eason and company got rolling. Sean McGrew and Salvon Ahmed showed consistency. Ahmed scored three rushing touchdowns and McGrew showed his efficient and explosive skill-set.

Arizona couldn’t stop them. However, the 2019 UW offense continues to be risk-averse and inconsistent. They need to find rhythm quicker and be willing to go for it on fourth down.

Huskies Finally Involve Puka Nacua

It is about time. In 2019, the Huskies continued to pepper their senior receivers with targets. With Aaron Fuller and Hunter Bryant making plays, that’s understandable. However, with a quality option like Puka Nacua on the bench, it didn’t make sense to keep putting Andre Baccellia on the field.

After getting his chance, Nacua let his name be known. The 6-1, 204-pound freshman caught three passes for 97 yards. Considering Jacob Eason only threw for 243 yards against Arizona, Nacua accounted for 40-percent of the team’s receiving yards. Excellent. It was a breakout performance for the freshman.

Huskies vs Ducks

Next up, the Huskies face off against the Oregon Ducks. Currently, the Ducks rank 12th in AP polls and 7th in Unafraidshow’s Power Rankings. They are impressive. So impressive, in fact, that they are 3.5 favorites in Seattle.

Against Oregon, the Huskies will be tested. The Ducks defense is elite. They’ve held opponents to 52 points in 6 games. But, more impressively, the Ducks haven’t let anyone score more than 7 points in their last five games. Because the Huskies offense has been hit-or-miss this season, Eason and company have to be on point.

Additionally, Justin Herbert and the Ducks offense continues to play well. Herbert has a touchdown in his last 34 games and Oregon has a top-5 offensive line in the nation. In Week 7, two Ducks offensive lineman were featured on PFF College’s Week 7 national team. So, it’s not going to be as easy for the defense to make big plays as they did against Arizona.

Last, it’s important to remember that Oregon’s only loss is against Auburn. In a close game. Since week 1, they’ve won each game handily. The Huskies, on the other hand, have swung back and forth between impressive and unimpressive. In order to win or even compete against the Ducks, the Huskies need to:

  • Create open looks for Jacob Eason
  • Give snaps to young talent like Puka Nacua
  • Make clean tackles and capitalize on turnover-opportunities
  • Attempt fourth down conversions early and often

If the Pac-12 is anything, it’s a conference of cannibals. So, an upset win is certainly possible for the Huskies.