College Football Today: Week Seven Preview
Michael Pratt has seen his draft stock dip. (Sports Illustrated)
The controversial fumble that cost Miami a win last week was the right call, according to the ACC’s officiating supervisor; LSU DB Greg Brooks Jr. is getting incredible support is his fight against brain cancer; and Alabama DB Malachi Moore (ankle) will be a game-time decision on Saturday. Here are some other stories we’re following heading into Week Seven of the college football schedule.
Michael Pratt Trying to Bounce Back
Trying to build off a great 2022 in which it had the greatest turnaround in college football history, the Tulane Green Wave is off to 4-1 start, but is just 2-3 against the spread, so is not necessarily the smartest bet.
The defending AAC champs have a fascinating matchup on Friday against the Memphis Tigers. We’ll be watching Tulane QB Michael Pratt closely in this one, as he hasn’t been quite as dominant since coming back from a knee injury a few weeks ago.
Once considered a possible second round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, he’s now projected to go in the middle of the fourth round. And while Pratt would have been hard pressed to keep up the level of play he set in his season debut, his performance has dipped in each contest since, so he’ll be looking to break that trend against the Tigers.
Even so, his play has gotten better each season, and he’s shattered his career high in yards per pass attempt in this, his fourth season (11, after putting up 8.9 last year). Pratt excels as a long passer (see video below), but needs work in his rushing and scramble game. He’ll need to step up his performance if he’s going to move back into the top 10 among quarterback prospects for the 2024 draft.
Heisman Trophy Watch
We’re now almost halfway through the 2023 college football season, so it’s high time to check in on the Heisman Trophy candidates. Leading the way right now is Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. who is at +220 according to the Fanduel Heisman odds.
The senior pivot really bounced back nicely after moving to Washington last season, but has taken his game to a whole new level this year. Yes, Penix is coming off his toughest game of the season as he failed to throw a TD pass against Arizona after managing at least three in each of the first four games. Even so, he completed 30-of-40 passes for a solid showing.
A likely early second round pick in the 2024 NFL draft, Penix is considered a left-handed version of Teddy Bridgewater. and he has now passed 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams as the favourite for this year’s honour.
Memphis Looking for Statement Win
As mentioned above, the Tulane-Memphis game is probably the marquee game for Friday given that it’s the only matchup of the night involving two winning teams.
It’s been a tough slog for Memphis recently. The Tigers won their first two games, but are just 2-1 since, and all three games could have gone either way. In beating Boise State last time out, Memphis had to rally from 17 points down.
Tiger QB Seth Henigan had his finest game of the season to lead the comeback, tossing two TDs and avoiding a pick for just the second time in five tries this year. He was especially dangerous on the ground, rushing for season-bests 64 yards and 4.9 YPC.
Henigan has become a more efficient passer this season (120-of-175) and has avoided getting sacked as often as last year, but the interception rate is an issue. He is not likely to be drafted next year.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
French singer Bezu was born Andre Pierre Nestor Bezu and died in 2007. Among the biggest hits with his group Le Grand Saint Germain was “Ali Baba,” released in 1988.