Week 9 of the college football season came with plenty of heroes and a few goats as well. College Football 24/7 takes a look at some draft prospects who made some noise, for better or worse.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
So maybe Watson isn’t thrilling NFL scouts this year like some expected. Nobody can say he’s not thrilling in general. Clemson awakes Sunday morning undefeated at 8-0, thanks largely to Watson’s late-game heroics against Florida State. On a day that Boise State, West Virginia, Nebraska and Baylor all caught their first losses of the season, Watson’s clutch performance made sure Clemson didn’t.
Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State
How good was Cook Saturday? On a field full of future pros, NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah had no doubt which was the best of the group. Cook exploded for 169 yards and four touchdowns, including second-half scores of 43 and 70 yards. The junior has now rushed for more than 100 yards in five consecutive games.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Absent an injury, you can just about stamp his name on the Heisman nameplate. Jackson threw four touchdown passes against Virginia on Saturday in a 32-25 win, but more importantly, he pulled what could have been a disastrous Saturday for Louisville’s season out of a dangerous fire. It wasn’t his best game — Jackson committed two turnovers — but he shined late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line.
Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
The Wolverines star flashed his versatility once again in a 32-23 win over Michigan State. Defensively, he came up with a sack and a fourth-down tackle for loss for a key turnover on downs. Offensively, he took a direct snap and ran around right end for a 3-yard touchdown to give UM its first points. The exclamation point? A length-of-field return of a fumble on a two-point try that gave Michigan two points of its own to end the game.
Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
If you thought the absence of Atlanta Falcons fourth-round pick Justin Hardy was going to take the excitement out of the ECU receiving corps, Jones has taught you differently. Add another 19 catches to Jones’ mind-boggling season for the Pirates after a 41-3 rout of UConn. He hasn’t been held to under 10 catches since Sept. 10 against N.C. State, and at his per-game pace, he’ll reach the 100-catch mark next week at Tulsa.
Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
Darboh’s career-best game came with the ideal timing of a rival opponent in his senior season. Darboh made eight catches for 165 yards and, while he didn’t get a touchdown, he was the spark the Michigan offense needed in a 32-23 win.
Jarron Jones, DT, Notre Dame
Six tackles for loss is a pretty active season for an interior defensive lineman. Jones did it on a single afternoon. The 315-pounder took up residence in the UM offensive backfield in making half of the Fighting Irish’s 12 TFL’s for the day, and one of its five sacks. Jones, a senior, shouldn’t just hope NFL scouts come across this game tape. He should mail 32 copies.
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Due to an ankle sprain, there was some question as to whether Davis would even make it on the field Saturday against rival Georgia. Did he ever. Davis made a team-high seven tackles, including 2.5 for losses, and a quarterback hurry. One of the top linebacker prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, Davis will fortify an already-tough Florida defense as UF looks to put the November finishing touches on a second consecutive SEC East title.
Kenny Hill, QB, TCU
Struggling in a 10-10 tie with Texas Tech in the third quarter, Hill threw an interception and TCU coach Gary Patterson couldn’t watch any more. The former Texas A&M quarterback was benched and did not return in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Red Raiders. Foster Sawyer took over and couldn’t pull out the win, but for Hill, it marked his second midseason benching at two different schools in the last three years.
Josh Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
A once-promising season for Tennessee is going downhill quickly, especially after a loss to South Carolina on Saturday in which Dobbs was, to be kind, ineffective. The senior threw two interceptions, one of which led to a South Carolina touchdown. Dobbs completed just 12 of 26 passes for 161 yards, and rushed for only 27. Early in the season, Dobbs overcame some bad first-half play with some second-half magic. The last two weeks, however, the only magic is Tennessee’s disappearing offense.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Nine carries for 20 yards? On a brutal day for Georgia’s offense as a whole, Chubb’s day was as telling as anything in a 24-10 loss. Georgia’s offensive line couldn’t handle a stout Florida defensive front, so there is plenty of blame to go around. But the season is quickly becoming a forgettable one for Chubb, who has failed to rush for 100 yards in six of the Bulldogs’ last seven games.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.
Winners and losers from Week 9 in college football – NFL.com