College Football Players Who Will Rebound from Poor Week 1 Performance

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistSeptember 4, 2013

College Football Players Who Will Rebound from Poor Week 1 Performance

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    Some of college football's stars shone bright in Week 1, highlighted by quarterbacks like Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater and Jameis Winston kick-starting their 2013 Heisman campaigns.

    But some of college football's stars shone dull, for whatever reason, getting their season off on the wrong foot and causing (variant degrees of) panic among their fans.

    Fortunately, for a lot of the players who fall under the second category, Week 2 brings with it not just a second chance, but also a beatable opponent.

    If they disappoint for the second straight week, it might be time to sound some alarms.

DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

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    Not to belabor a previously made point, but Clowney's "bad game" against North Carolina was blown out of proportion. He didn't play his best, sure, but the Tar Heels were consciously running away from him.

    That won't be the case against Georgia in Week 2 when the Bulldogs, a much more cocksure bunch, will try (at least more than UNC did) to play Clowney straight up. They'll double-team him when the situation calls for it, but he won't be their primary concern on each and every snap.

    Clemson's Vic Beasley was able to make some plays against UGA in Week 1, finishing with two sacks. Clowney finished with four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack against Georgia in 2012.

    That all seems to add up for—at least—a couple big plays in Athens.

QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

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    Unpopular opinion alert: Logan Thomas might not be terrible.

    That theory, of course, comes in conjunction with a much more popular opinion alert: Alabama's defense is really, really good.

    There's no excuse for 5-of-26 passing—not even if it came against the San Francisco 49ers. Thomas has to do better. But he wasn't exactly helped by his receivers, whom ESPN's Kevin Weidl counted seven dropped passes from against Alabama.

    There's no denying Thomas' potential, and against Western Carolina this week he should have more than enough time and options to rebound from last week's display. The FCS Catamounts allowed 475 yards to Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

QB Casey Pachall, TCU

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    Pachall wasn't so much "benched" against LSU; he was just yanked in favor of the backup quarterback.

    That may sound like a farce, but there is a difference (albeit a small one). The mobile Trevone Boykin better fit what TCU was trying to do against the Tigers, a defense that proved too strong in the secondary for the Horned Frogs' receivers. He could make more things happen in different ways.

    But, according to Stefan Stephenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, head coach Gary Patterson confirmed that Pachall is still the starter. Boykin will get some reps, but Pachall will be tasked with stretching the field against defenses that aren't run by John Chavis.

    That endeavor starts in Week 2 against an FCS opponent, Southeastern Louisiana. Pachall should look more like he did in 2011.

WR Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State

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    Stewart's poor numbers were a reflection of his team's poor offensive performance. Even in an impressive victory over a decent SEC team, there was work to be done on that side of the ball—especially through the air.

    Typically a dominant passing team—in large part because of players like Stewart—the Cowboys struggled to find a rhythm against Mississippi State, leading Stewart to finish with just four receptions and 39 yards.

    But now that J.W. Walsh has officially been named the starter, the offense can finally start to find its identity. Walsh is (supposedly) a weaker passer than Clint Chelf, but Stewart did fine during his four-game starting stretch last season, finishing with averages of eight catches and 88 yards per game.

    Against high-scoring but defense-deficient Texas-San Antonio, he should put up similar, if not better, numbers.


WR Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss

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    It's unfair to say that Moncrief had a "poor" performance against Vanderbilt, but given the offensive fireworks on display, he certainly had a quiet one.

    Moncrief finished the 39-35 shootout with just five catches for 56 yards. He was outshone not just by fellow All-SEC candidate Jordan Matthews of the Commodores, but also by freshman teammate Laquon Treadwell (who finished with nine catches for 82 yards).

    With defenses now zeroing in on Treadwell, Moncrief won't face the same type of coverages he faced last year—coverages he was still able to shred for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    Quarterback Bo Wallace will get him reinvolved against Southeast Missouri State.