College Football 2012: 10 Players Whose Offseason Hype Is Gone
One week of the college football season doesn't tell us much, especially when the majority of FBS teams are playing programs that could lose to many high schools.
But the performance of certain players who we heard a lot about in the offseason does get our attention.
It is only one game, but there were a lot of big-name players who did not play well last weekend.
Let's take a look at 10 of them.
David Piland, Houston QB
David Piland was in the offseason spotlight as the lucky guy who had to replace Case Keenum, who happened to be a quarterback who threw for more than 19,000 yards and 155 touchdowns in his career.
It has been a while since Cougar fans have seen horrible quarterback play, but they saw some last weekend. Piland completed only 17 of 44 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown.
What makes his performance even worse is that it came in a loss to Texas State, a first-year FBS school.
With that type of production, I think I'll begin to warm up my arm and send some film to Conference USA.
James Vandenberg, Iowa QB
With all of the attention going to Denard Robinson in the Big Ten, Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg, was considered one of the more underrated QBs in the conference. After all, he did throw for more than r 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns last season, while limiting his interceptions to seven.
But on a day in which he could have stolen the spotlight from the Michigan Wolverines star, Vandenberg failed to deliver against Northern Illinois, of all teams. Sure, he completed nearly 64 percent of his passes, but he averaged fewer than than four yards per completion and did not throw for a single touchdown.
He was sacked six times, and the Hawkeyes only won by one point.
Robinson may have played poorly against Alabama, but we will need to see better production from Vandenberg before we give him the title of best signal-caller in the Big Ten.
Michael Ford, LSU RB
Head coach Les Miles has said all offseason that he would prefer that one or two running backs separate themselves from the pack and help lead this LSU offense. The Tigers have enough quality backs that they can afford to give a couple to run-deficient teams such as Western Michigan and Washington.
And although Michael Ford was the leading rusher a year ago, it appears that Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue are the two who have received the message loud and clear. Those two combined for 264 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the victory over North Texas.
Ford only ran the ball eight times for 50 yards, which isn't bad. But after the performance from the other two backs, it looks like he may be an afterthought in this offense.
There is no doubt that Miles will use every running back, as they are all talented, but don't expect Ford to be the leading rusher for LSU.
Tevin Washington, Georgia Tech QB
My, oh, my. The boneheaded decision of the week goes to Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington.
The senior signal-caller did a solid job of managing the game against Virginia Tech. He completed 10-of- 15 passes, ran for 63 yards and was keeping his Yellow Jackets in the game. But in overtime, Washington threw the ball up for grabs as he was falling backward after being hit by Hokie defenders.
Virginia Tech, of course, intercepted the pass and went on to win the game with a field goal.
Washington is one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, but that bad decision likely cost Georgia Tech a shot at a berth in the ACC championship game.
E.J. Manuel, Florida State QB
E.J. Manuel actually did not play badly in Florida State's 69-3 win over Murray State. He completed 72 percent of his passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. And while those numbers are more than enough to earn a victory over an FCS school, they also tell us another thing about him.
He is no Heisman candidate.
There is a chance that the senior could lead this team to a national championship, but his numbers will not be sexy enough to receive an invitation to New York. In Week 1, Southern Cal's Matt Barkley threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns, West Virginia's Geno Smith did the same. Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas scored three touchdowns on just seven touches.
Please stop the Heisman talk when it comes to Manuel. It is not going to happen.
David Amerson, N.C. State CB
David Amerson is not on this list because he failed to intercept a pass against Tennessee. But after the season he had last year with 13 interceptions, it is a shocker when he does not get his hands on the football at least once.
The junior cornerback is here because he was burned several times and was often chasing Tennessee receivers, as the Volunteers were scoring touchdown after touchdown. It was almost as if Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray was picking on the ACC record-holder and may have exposed a weakness.
Amerson has the height at 6'2" and ball skills to be a first-round pick in next year’s NFL draft. But after the performance he had in Week 1, his stock has taken a serious hit.
Eddie Lacy, Alabama RB
Mark Ingram leaves for the NFL draft and Trent Richardson instantly replaces him. Richardson leaves for the next level and Eddie Lacy is expected to replace him. Instead, it was true freshman T.J. Yeldon who stole the show against Michigan.
Lacy only carried the ball nine times for 35 yards and a touchdown. Yeldon was the workhorse, carrying the ball 11 times for 111 yards and a score. Due to his instant success, many are wondering if the rookie back will become the starter for the Crimson Tide.
Lacy has been extremely productive as a backup throughout his career. If Yeldon continues to have games like he did last weekend, Lacy may remain in that role.
Kiehl Frazier, Auburn QB
Kiehl Frazier's dual-threat abilities were supposed to benefit this Auburn offense and help the Tigers get into the end zone more often. Instead, Auburn only scored 19 points against a suspect Clemson defense, and the first-year starter did not play well.
He completed only 40 percent of his passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers were able to get into the red zone three times, but had to settle for three field goals.
I still like Frazier as a quarterback and think he will improve, but much of the excitement about him has died down after his subpar performance.
Rex Burkhead, Nebraska RB
Many had doubts about Rex Burkhead and his Heisman chances heading into the regular season. Despite rushing for 1,300 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns in 2011, there were many people who still didn't give him a fair shot at the award.
In the victory over Southern Miss, Burkhead rushed for 68 yards on only three carries and scored a touchdown. But he left the game early with a knee injury and remains questionable for this week’s matchup against UCLA.
There is no question Burkhead is one of the better running backs in the Big Ten. But with injury issues and the recent emergence of quarterback Taylor Martinez, it looks like his Heisman chances have quickly vanished.
Denard Robinson, Michigan QB
How many times has Denard Robinson been on the Heisman radar only to fail to live up to those expectations?
Last week was the perfect opportunity for him to make a statement, but yet again, he choked on the big stage. Not only did Michigan lose in embarrassing fashion, but Robinson only completed 42 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions.
If you take away the two busted coverage plays by Alabama, Michigan only had 85 passing yards.
Robinson will remain one of the more exciting players in the country. But with his turnover issues and struggles against great defenses, we all must realize that the senior will likely never win the Heisman Trophy.
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