After a rousing opening week, college football delivered another interesting slate of games, despite what looked to be a soft schedule.
Upsets ruled the weekend, but some draft prospects also made headlines. Without many big-time match-ups on the docket, my notebook isn't quite as extensive as a week ago. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts from the weekend that was in college football as it pertains to the 2013 NFL Draft.
Games watched: Mizzou vs. Georgia, Mississippi State vs. Auburn, USC vs. Syracuse, LSU vs. Washington, Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati
Missouri vs Georgia
- Georgia rush linebacker Jarvis Jones stole the show on Saturday night. He blew by Missouri linemen with ease, pressuring James Franklin all night. He put the nail in the coffin with an interception, which was really just a bad play by Franklin, and then forced a fumble on the next drive. Jones was impressive, but he used pure athleticism to make plays. The main knock on him is his lack of creativity as a pass rusher, and that was not answered on Saturday.
- Missouri defensive end Brad Madison was the most impressive Tiger on the field. He held strong at the point of attack consistent throughout the night and got into the backfield on a couple of occasions. He proved himself worthy of consideration for a day three selection.
- Aaron Murray was not overly impressive in a hostile environment against an average pass defense. He made some impressive throws, showing off his strong arm and accuracy. His decision making and accuracy were inconsistent, though, which has been par for the course in Murray's career.
- Junior Georgia wide receiver Marlon Brown was dominant. He displayed crisp route running and physicality over the middle of the field. He was sure-handed throughout the night, and Murray's first option in the red zone. He's on my radar now.
- Missouri linebacker Zavier Gooden left the game with injury and may not play next week. That's bad news for a guy fighting to keep his draft stock alive.
Mississippi State vs. Auburn
- Mississippi State junior quarterback Tyler Rusell had a strong showing. Pocket presence is there, arm strength is there and athleticism is definitely there. Need to see him do it consistently and against better defenses, but this was an encouraging game from him.
- Mississippi State junior running back LaDarius Perkins show excellent lateral agility and decisiveness against Auburn on Saturday. He is a quick cutting back with some speed. I'll be keeping my eye on him for the remainder of the season.
- Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks was the Bulldogs' best defensive player on Saturday. He made two interceptions, both of which were great grabs. He was reading the quarterback's eyes all day and made nice breaks on the ball. With David Amerson struggling to start the year, Banks could climb towards the top of the cornerback rankings.
USC vs. Syracuse
- USC's Matt Barkley really wasn't all that impressive against Syracuse. His offensive line wasn't great, either, but Barkley didn't make a ton of challenging throws. He threw a TON of screen passes and completed some slants. He also threw an ugly pick on an intermediate route. He'll have better days, but there are a lot of strong quarterbacks in this class that could start pushing him for the top spot.
- USC junior wide receiver Robert Woods is finally starting to look healthy. Woods displayed his precise route running and sticky hands against the Orange. He also got himself in great position to make catches, showed nice body control and physicality to bring down some tough 50-50 balls. Woods will have a tough competition on his hands to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.
LSU vs. Washington
- This game was a somewhat uneventful blowout, but I got a good look at Alfred Blue on Saturday. While he's not overly powerful or fast, he gets to the corner effectively and runs down hill. He is an efficient running back who can do it all. The defenses will get tougher, so it will be fun to see how Blue rises to the challenge.
Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
- The most impressive player on the field was Cincy defensive end Walter Stewart. He has a quick first step and sheds blocks very well. Saw him make quite a few plays in the running game and, obviously, a big sack.
- Ray Graham returned to action and rushed for 100 yards. It was good to see him back, though I'm not sure he's full speed just yet. He could be one of the top running backs in this class if he proves that he is healthy.
What games did I miss? What did you see this weekend? Drop a comment below or let me know on Twitter @MatthewFairburn.