Week 9 CFB Breakout Performers


Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa

Not many high-profile debut disasters come to thoughts that had been as unhealthy as Taulia Tagovailoa’s for Maryland. Just a little over per week in the past in opposition to Northwestern within the late season opener, Tagovailoa regarded helpless behind a putrid Maryland offensive line. For one, he didn’t earn even 100 yards passing regardless of throwing the ball 25 occasions. Worse but, he threw three interceptions with out discovering the top zone as soon as. Tagovailoa was irrefutably horrific. 

The Alabama switch turned that ship round actual fast in his second begin. Tagovailoa erupted by finishing 26-of-35 passes for 394 yards (11.3 yards per try), three touchdowns, and only one interception, finally resulting in a 45-44 upset over the Gophers. Certain, it helps that Minnesota’s kicker missed an additional time additional level, however that Maryland was on this recreation in any capability is a testomony to Tagovailoa’s exhibiting.

Merely wanting like a reliable quarterback would have been a a lot ok benchmark for Tagovailoa to succeed in in opposition to Minnesota on Friday evening contemplating his debut, however he was a lot greater than that. Tagovailoa regarded like a bona fide stud, not less than as a lot as anybody can in Maryland’s offense. 

What’s extra is that Tagovailoa did so by way of a number of avenues. He, in fact, dominated by way of the air, however he was additionally an issue on the bottom, which was not true in his debut. Tagovailoa carried the ball eight occasions for 64 yards and a pair of scores on Friday, which is sort of a far cry from his pitiful three carries for -16 yards in opposition to Northwestern the earlier week. 

Maryland RB Jake Funk

Look, when a crew like Maryland upsets a crew like Minnesota, in fact there are going to be a number of breakout stars. There isn’t any different manner for an enormous underdog to drag off such a victory. 

Funk is a specific type of breakout star, although. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound redshirt senior had by no means earned greater than 200 yards in a season. His earlier excessive was 173 yards in 2019, and he at all times hovered someplace close to the 150-yard vary. At no level in Funk’s profession has he been greater than a depth participant. 

It was not like Funk had clearly stepped right into a beginning position this 12 months, both. He earned simply six carries within the Oct. 24 opener in opposition to Northwestern, which tied for first with two different gamers. Certain, he was seeing an uptick in manufacturing, however he didn’t look like “the man” out of the gate in 2020. 

Maybe that adjustments now. Within the upset over Minnesota, Funk carried the ball 21 occasions for 216 yards. Sure, Funk broke his single-season document for yardage in 4 quarters in opposition to the Gophers. He tacked on a receiving landing, too, which was his first since 2017. 

It’s only one recreation, however since Funk was already extra within the combine this 12 months than in earlier years, it feels secure to say {that a} recreation like this could thrust him right into a everlasting position because the starter. 

Tulane WR Duece Watts

Watts entered the weekend with 10 catches for 192 yards, all of which he earned within the first handful of video games this 12 months. He had been a JUCO participant up till this season, so he had no different FBS performances to match to. None of his performances by way of the early portion of this 12 months had been notably spectacular, although. 40 yards right here, 35 yards there, 50 yards right here, no matter.

In Week 9 alone, Watts had 114 yards and two touchdowns. Although the 114 yards didn’t fairly match his profession whole to that time, his two touchdowns had been twice that of what he entered the weekend with. Watts, a junior, actually put himself in a special mild with this sort of efficiency. 

It’s robust to inform how a lot confidence one ought to place in Watts doing this once more. Watts was a three-star JUCO product in Tulane’s 2020 signing class and has constantly produced one thing each week this 12 months. Watts has by no means earned fewer than 38 yards, so there’s not less than a point of consistency and baseline to his recreation. Maybe he can hit these heights once more when Tulane inevitably get right into a shootout with East Carolina subsequent week. 

San Diego State RB Greg Bell

Bell is a former Nebraska switch. Although he earned some enjoying time with the crew in 2018, Bell by no means actually discovered his footing there, and finally transferred out after realizing the change to Scott Frost as HC might not have been for him. It’s fairly widespread for gamers to bail when the teaching employees that recruited them leaves, which is probably going all that occurred with Bell. 

In any occasion, Bell took his 12 months off in 2019, as per switch guidelines, and has returned in 2020 with some spark. His first recreation in opposition to UNLV in SDSU’s debut win this season was stable, although not precisely game-changing. This week was totally different. 

In opposition to Utah State in Week 9, Bell erupted for simply over seven yards per try. He carried the ball 22 occasions for 157 yards and located the top zone as soon as, establishing himself very comfortably because the crew’s main again. Bell’s efforts made it straightforward for SDSU to get forward and keep forward, finally choking their opponents out of this recreation by way of time of possession. SDSU possessed the ball for nearly 38 minutes, leaving Utah State with simply 22 minutes to make issues occur. 



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