Daily Blog • December 5th

By Phil Steele

My QB's of the Week
Casey Cochran, Connecticut • Kevin Hogan, Stanford

QB Casey Cochran (Connecticut) – Despite a tough season, things may be looking more positive heading into next year for UConn as they may have found their new QB of the future in Casey Cochran who threw for 311 yds and 2 td’s in his 1st career home start. He gets his 2nd start this weekend in front of the home crowd against a Memphis defense that was gashed for a season-worst 534 yds in their 20 pt loss to Temple a week ago.

QB Kevin Hogan (Stanford) – While he generally doesn’t put up flashy numbers, the Cardinal will need a huge game out of Kevin Hogan in Tempe if Stanford is to beat the Sun Devils and deliver their 2nd straight Pac-12 championship. A dual-threat talent, Hogan has potential to put up big numbers as he threw for 329 yds and 5 td’s just 2 weeks ago against Cal. We like his chances here.

My RB's of the Week
Essray Taliaferro, Marshall • Henry Josey, Missouri

RB Essray Taliaferro (Marshall) – On a pass-happy Marshall offense Essray Taliaferro has proven to be a threat on the ground with 5 games of 100+ yards including a career-high 161 yds a week ago against ECU. This weekend’s opponent Rice has allowed that same 161 yard rushing mark per game this year giving us even more reason for his selection as the Thundering Herd look to take home the CUSA title.

RB Henry Josey (Missouri) – After a devastating knee injury a season ago, Henry Josey has put together a remarkable 2013 as one of the consistent offensive weapons on a week by week basis including rushing for at least 95+ yds and a td in each of the L/3 contests. He gets the call this weekend in the SEC title game against an Auburn defense that was victimized on the ground in the Iron Bowl to the tune of 218 rush yds.

My WR's of the Week
Shaun Joplin, Bowling Green • Kelvin Benjamin, Florida St

WR Shaun Joplin (Bowling Green) – If the Falcons are going to compete with BCS-hungry NIU this Friday, they’ll have to match offensive strike for offensive strike. For that reason, we’ll go with Shaun Joplin who is fresh off a 149 yd reception game vs Buffalo and has nearly double the #2 WR in both receptions and yards.

WR Kelvin Benjamin (Florida St) – While he’s 3rd on the team in both receptions and receiving yards, Kelvin Benjamin is a threat to take it to the house at any moment with 12 td catches including 5 over the L/2 games. While Duke has had a commendable year we believe they will struggle matching up against the mighty FSU offense and after Benjamin’s 9 catch, 212 yd effort last week, we’ll make him a selection here.

My D's of the Week
Connecticut • Ohio St

Connecticut Defense – After dropping their first 9 games of the year the UConn Huskies have proven that they still have some fight left in them as they are on a 2-game winning streak against conference foes Temple and Rutgers. It started with their success on the defensive side of the ball and what better way for them to finish but with a matchup against a Memphis squad that has failed to eclipse the 280 yard mark in 4 of their last 5 games.    

Ohio St Defense – In order for Ohio St to continue their path to the BCS Championship, they must shore up a defense that has allowed over 1,000 yds in their past 2 contests. We expect that to happen starting this weekend as the Bucks take on a Michigan St offense that is averaging 374 ypg including scoring just 14 pts and gaining 249 yds last week against Minnesota.


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Phil Steele is a college football analyst who has been publishing his annual College Football Preview since 1995. His magazine is regarded as one of the best in the business.