Rocky’s V: Things to watch this college football season

08/29/2012

I.) Is Zach Mettenberger for real?

There have been few QBs in recent memory that have come into a season with as much hype as LSU’s untested Zach Mettenberger. Yes, he’s big and pretty. Yes, he’s got a cannon for an arm. Yes, he leaps tall buildings in a single bound. But can he produce in a REAL game? In my 12 years of playing major college and pro football I have seen many guys you’ve never heard of look like Peyton, Montana or Elway in preseason non-contact drills and in 7-on-7. But take off that red jersey and put them in a game with angry defenders storming the pocket and they quickly faded into obscurity. I want to see Zach Mettenberger produce when the bullets are live…until then, I’m not sold.

II.) Guy I’m rooting for:

Arkansas RB Knile Davis. His career so far has been thwarted by not just “an” injury bug, but a whole swarm of them. Since high school he has suffered two broken right ankles, a broken collarbone, and in 2011, a freak broken left ankle that cost him the entire year. This is after he exploded onto the scene in 2010 with 1,322 yards, 13 TDs and an astonishing 6.5 yards per carry. Word from camp is that he has recently squatted 570 pounds and ran a blazing 4.3 40-yard dash. If he stays healthy, he will rush his way into the top 10 in the 2013 NFL draft.

III.) Can Florida State get out of their own way?

FSU is poised for a huge year with talent galore thanks to the #1 recruiting class in 2011 and the #2 rated class in 2012. But the Seminoles are annually one of the most penalized teams in the country. Last year they ranked in the nation’s cellar with a whopping 103 infractions. By comparison, 2011 BCS Champion Alabama had just 66 penalties. Trust me, those additional yards add up.

IV.)  My dark horse Heisman finalist:

Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. Yes, he’s only a sophomore, but in 2011 he led all freshman in the nation in receiving yards per game, all-purpose yards per game, and touchdowns. Watching him on tape this offseason I saw a kid with a 6th gear who is noticeably faster and more explosive than anyone else on the field — and this is in the speedy ACC. If you pause his tape when he catches the ball and see his relationship to the closest defender then let the tape run a few seconds, he has expanded that distance three-fold. He will serve a two-game suspension for an offseason drug arrest, so I’m not saying he will win the Heisman – but he will be a part of the conversation at the end of the year. Once he’s back on the field, look for him to wreak havoc on opposing defenses and put up Heisman-worthy numbers.

V.) No fear for Arkansas

If you watched SEC media day as I did, you have no worries of a disastrous season caused by the offseason Bobby Petrino fiasco. The brilliant move to hire a familiar face to the program, John L. Smith, stabilized a situation that could have spiraled out of control. John L.’s energy is infectious and his demeanor is just what the doctor ordered. You’re talking about a guy who in his spare time has flown jets, climbed Mt. Kilamanjaro, and even ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, for God’s sake. Do you really think a football season against all odds is going to fluster him? Couple him with a team that has adopted a mantra of “us against the world” in the wake of all the doubters and you have a combination for championship football.

— Rocky Boiman

Rocky Boiman is an analyst for Westwood One’s coverage of NCAA Football. Each week in “Rocky’s V,” the former Notre Dame captain and Super Bowl champion writes about five topics that have captured his interest from around college football. You can also follow Rocky on Twitter.

Comments Closed

Comments are closed.

Most Recent NCAA Football Posts

NCAA Football Highlights: UCLA 38 – USC 20

11/23/2014
PASADENA, CA - Brett Hundley threw three touchdowns and rushed for another as UCLA got one step closer to clinching the Pac-12 South with a 38-20 victory over USC on Saturday night. Hundley was 22...
0
Brett Hundley

USC vs. UCLA – Preview!

11/22/2014
Westwood One's coverage of college football continues on Saturday as USC visits UCLA. Coverage begins at 7:30 PM Eastern on Westwood One and streaming right here at WestwoodOneSports.com. For a...
CFM - USC v UCLA

College Football Pick 6: Week 13

11/22/2014
As we reach Week 13 of our College Football Pick 6, Jason Horowitz and Chris Doering are still neck and neck at the top of the standings. Derek Rackley had the best weekend last time around and...
College Football Pick Six

Player of the Week: Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon

11/19/2014
This week's AutoZone "In the Zone" Player of the Week for college football is Melvin Gordon. The Wisconsin running back ran the ball 25 times and set a new FBS record with 408 yards rushing in the...
Melvin Gordon

College Football Pick 6: Week 12

11/15/2014
Week 11 wasn't too kind to our panelists, with Chad Brown, Chris Doering and Jason Horowitz all posting 3-3 weeks. Derek Rackley's faith in Arizona St. and TCU paid off, giving him the best mark...
College Football Pick Six

Auburn vs. Georgia – Preview!

11/15/2014
Westwood One's coverage of college football continues on Saturday as Georgia hosts Auburn. Coverage begins at 6:45 PM Eastern on Westwood One and streaming right here at...
CFM - Auburn-Georgia

College Football Pick 6: Week 11

11/07/2014
It seems that perfect weeks in our Pick 6 are like London buses. Wait around ages for one and all of a sudden two come along at the same time. A week after Chris Doering went 6-for-6, Jason...
College Football Pick Six