Week 3 College Football Preview

Week 3 of College Football is finally here! Hussam Patel gives his top three week 3 college football preview and games that you need to watch.

Photo Credit: Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 3 of the 2022 college football season is finally here. Here are the top three college football previews and games from week 3 that you need to watch.

Penn St. vs. Auburn preview

#22 Penn State Nittany Lions v Auburn Tigers. 3:30 P.M. EST, CBS

  • Line: Auburn -3, o/u: 46

Penn State week 3 college football preview

Sean Clifford is the most important player on Penn State’s roster, and the team’s success will heavily rely on what he does leading the offense. Clifford does have some help, though, as last week saw the arrival of one of the top players for the future, freshman running back Nick Singleton.

There were problems against Aidan O’Connell and the Purdue passing game, but the secondary held its own. Between that game and the Ohio win, Penn State has allowed just 48% of all passes to be completed.

Penn State’s offensive line is still looking to show some solid improvement. Through two games, this group has given up a big play to the opposing defense just when you think things are improving.

The Nittany Lions have an advantage at quarterback and feature multiple wide receivers to spread the ball around against the Auburn Tigers.

Auburn week 3 college football preview

For all of the problems the Tigers had least season, run defense wasn’t one of them. They held Penn State to 90 yards and just 2.7 yards per carry in the 28-20 game last year.

TJ Finley has thrown three more interceptions than touchdowns this season, and he will be going up against a solid defensive secondary led by cornerback Joey Porter Jr.

Running back Tank Bigsby should be a featured player, just as he was last year in this game when he ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns. He should get his work in this week. It’s a small sample size, but Penn State has surrendered 161 total rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground in its first two games.

Clifford and Singleton may have a tough time establishing much rhythm against Derick Hall and the Auburn defense. Can TJ Finley rise up and get the O moving? 

Miami vs. Texas A&M preview

#13 Miami Hurricanes v #24 Texas A&M Aggies. 9 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Texas A&M -5, o/u: 45

Miami week 3 college football preview

Miami’s defense isn’t quite there yet, but it showed off the offensive talent in layups against Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss, with 100 points and well over 1,000 yards in the two games.

So far, the early returns on Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke are as advertised. Working in new OC Josh Gattis’ system, Van Dyke has hit on 73% of his passes, connected with 12 receivers, and heads an offense that averages 9.0 yards per play, can spread things out, and works well in space.

Miami’s defense struggled last year (28.4 points a game allowed) and had issues with tackling and inconsistent play at linebacker. They still struggled early against Southern Miss and Bethune-Cookman.

The Hurricanes’ back seven is untested so far in two games, and had its weaknesses a year ago. They haven’t faced anything like Ainias Smith or Evan Stewart yet, either.

Texas A&M week 3 college football preview

For all of the team’s problems, the offensive line has been good in pass protection so far, the secondary hasn’t allowed much of anything, and there’s too much talent overall to be this mediocre.

The Aggies need to control the tempo and establish the run behind Devon Achane. Miami is 8th nationally allowing 58.5 yards per game on the ground, but hasn’t faced a back of Achane’s quality yet.

LSU transfer Max Johnson gets the start this game. Playing mistake-free ball and getting the ball in space to receivers Ainias Smith, Evan Stewart, Chris Marshall, and Yulkeith Brown has to be the priority.

The Aggies had aspirations of contending for a playoff spot, but now face major questions before the SEC opener.

BYU vs. Oregon preview

#12 BYU Cougars at #25 Oregon Ducks. 7:30 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Oregon -3.5, o/u: 58

BYU week 3 college football preview

Jaren Hall finds ways to guide BYU to victories when facing Power 5 opponents. Hall improved to 7-1 all-time as a starter against P5 foes following last week’s win over Baylor.

The Cougars are legitimately punishing on defense and still relatively healthy on that side of the ball. Offensively, BYU doesn’t usually do anything to beat itself. 

BYU will need more production from the backfield this week to have success against Oregon in their week 3 matchup.

Oregon Ducks week 3 college football preview

A matchup with a talented and physical BYU team will be a good indicator of where Dan Lanning can take his team in year one

Containing Jaren Hall and keeping him from escaping the pocket will be a big task for a defensive front that hasn’t consistently collapsed the pocket.

Oregon was unstoppable in the run game last week after struggling to move the chains against Georgia. The Ducks collectively averaged 5.5 yards per carry while totaling 263 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.

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Way too early Miami Dolphins 2022 4th Round Mock Draft

Next up in the Miami Dolphins too early mock draft series is the fourth round. These two players should be on Miami’s radar this fall.

Mykael Wright and Nick Ford may be options in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL Draft

Next up in the Miami Dolphins way too early mock draft series is round 4. Below are the links to the previous rounds as well as a list of the following picks. The two players who will be broken down today are prefect fits for the Dolphins. Both players fit what head coach Brain Flores looks for in a player and could contribute immediately.

Previous Way too Early Miami Dolphins 2022 Mock drafts:

The Dolphins have the following picks remaining:

  • 4th round: Current pick and Steelers Pick
  • 5th round: Current Pick
  • 6th round: Current Pick and Patriots Pick
  • 7th round: Tennessee Titans Pick

With the uncertainty of Xavien Howard past 2022, poor play of Noah Igbinoghene, and a struggling offensive line these two PAC-12 players may be of service to the Miami Dolphins in 2022.

Mykael Wright

Mykael Wright has been a rising star in the Ducks backfield. Wright boasts fluid body movements and blazing speed in the secondary and as a kick returner.

Wright stands at 5’10 173 pounds and has shown that he has the ability to play as an outside corner in college. Due to his of his measurables some teams may see him as an inside corner.

What stands out about the Oregon defender is his loose hips, as a result he’s able to burst out of and phenomenal footwork allowing him to recover when beat.

Furthermore, Wright tends to keep his eye level disciplines continuously matching Receivers tempo by looking at their torso.

I watched his 2020 tape against USC and he played mostly to the field. I noticed his effort in trying to keep his front shoulder down to help keep his balance and not loose his vision against bigger WRs.

When playing press man he does not tend to stay square at the LOS, he tries to run with his man instead of playing physically and jamming them, this can be a lingering issue given his stature and build.

Speed masks some of Wrights deficiencies, especially when Wright gets caught on double moves, at times he mirrors well and at times he drops his shoulders and plays with a high pad level.

He needs to be consistent.

Another year of playing time in the Ducks defense should help Wright be more consistent and increase his awareness in man and zone coverage.

“I think the next development for Mykael is to continue to develop his body. He’s a very sharp young man in terms of the football [knowledge], not a man of many words but in terms of schematically understanding coverage, understanding concepts that the offense is trying to throw at him, he’s very astute.”

Rod Chance, Oregon Ducks DB Coach

Wright is already an intellectual player, he knows where to get in place and understand route concepts and angles well. He’s got a knack for evading rub routes and collides with WR’s at the point of attack to make a play on the ball.

If Miami wants to get a solid corner that has experience on the outside and the tools to play nickel I wouldn’t doubt Brian Flores being interested in Mykael Wright.

Nick Ford

The Miami Dolphins love versatility on their team, especially amongst the Offensive line.

In 2018, Ford started 6 games at Left Guard and one game at Right tackle.

In 2019, one game at Right Tackle and 13 games at Right Guard. In 2020, one game at Left Tackle and four games at Center

With a 6’5 315 pound frame Ford looks to be a prospect the Dolphins may consider come draft day. He fits the current OL profile being over 6’4 and 310 pounds.

Ford looks to be the starting Center for the Utes in 2021 but can play inside if needed. He opted to stay with Utah this season

“I got my grade thing back, which said I was a 3rd, maybe 4th round, with a chance to improve my stock by the combine to maybe 2nd or 3rd round.”

Nick Ford on returning for another season at Utah

Currently, Solomon Kindley still struggles in the passing game, he’s been demoted to 3rd team OL, Nick Ford can be a plug and play Left guard.

Ford’s experience playing tackle shows up in pass protection. He has good patience and anchor against various player types and different blitzes

When working up the field, Ford is able to comfortably navigate in space for his size.

In the run game, he plays similar to Kindley as he’s physical at the point of attack and a bully that makes OL coaches happy. His powerful lower body helps to get that initial push off the LOS and gain momentum in tight spaces.

Ford is limited in scheme aspects as he may not fit zone schemes. He’s best suited in a power run scheme where he is able to make on his man and beat him. If he was put into a zone scheme his redirection and footwork would be too slow to get upfield, especially in pulling situations.

If the Dolphins decide that OL depth is important in the mid rounds of the NFL Draft Ford could be a name to watch out for.

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Summer Scouting: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon

(Photo by Samuel Marshall/Eric Evans Photography)

Kayvon Thibodeaux has been on the NFL’s radar since his freshman year with the Oregon Ducks. As a true freshman, Thibodeaux racked up 9.0 sacks and 14.0 tackles for loss. Last season for the Ducks, Thibodeaux had a bit of drop-off in production, only accumulating 3.0 sacks, however, his tackles-for-loss (TFL) rate was still rather high, averaging over 1.5 TFLs per game as opposed to his freshman season when he averaged 1.08 TFLs per game. Despite the hype, he has received as a pass-rusher, and rightfully so, it may not even be the best part of his game as he is one of the better run defenders along the defensive line in college football which gives him a high floor as a prospect.

Strengths:

  • Excellent strength at the point of attack
  • Converting speed to power
  • Good initial pop on contact to put OL on his heels
  • Anchor v. the run
  • Push-Pull
  • Puts OL at the end of his reach, allows him to peak over OL’s shoulders
  • Ability to play in space/drop in coverage
  • 2 & 3 point stance versatility
  • Run defense instincts
  • Motor is always running
  • Goes for ball when he gets to the quarterback
  • Wins w/ leverage, gets his arms over his eyes
  • Gets his hands up at the LoS to effect passing lanes
  • Shown the ability to win w/ an inside move

Weaknesses:

  • Snap anticipation
  • Shoulders get perpendicular to the LoS when attacking in his pass-rush, opening up his chest for OL
  • Feet get narrow when engaged with OL
  • Not a large tool-kit as a pass-rusher
  • Lacks hand counters, gets caught on blocks if he doesn’t win w/ his first move
  • Can struggle to get the QB to the ground

2021 Season Statistics:

25 solo tackles, 17 assisted tackles, 42 total tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks, and 3 pass deflections in six games played

Preliminary Grade:

7.88 – First Round Grade

A Tale of two Safeties

It only took two seasons for the Miami Dolphins to find a replacement of who this current coaching staff thought Minkah Fitzpatrick could be. With the 36th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Jevon Holland out of Oregon.

Last week there was a report that came out From Jason La Canofra that Brian Flores wasn’t all in on Tua Tagovailoa, Benjamin Allbright tweeted Miami doesnt know what they have In Tua.

This is not a Tua Tagovailoa article, I urge you to read Rishi Desai’s article on why you shouldn’t be worried about Tua.

Instead I wanted to talk about the story on what The National Media Coverage on the Dolphins and what the Dolphins are actually trying to do. This idea was spurred into my head by Jeremiah Bogan who has a Podcast with Scott Robinson Jr.-check it out.

You might’ve seen my reaction when the Dolphins selected Jevon Holland on the PhinManiacs livestream and On Campus host Jeremiah Bogan delving into the reason why he initially did not understand the pick of Holland. We were led to believe that Miami wanted a Defensive Back (safety) who has good range in the defensive backfield with good Ball Skills, an Earl Thomas type of player.

However, Jevon Holland is not that guy at Safety, from what everyone said Miami needed. Lance Zierlen tweeted below that he thinks Holland is Comparable to Fitzpatrick. In a sense- Zierlein is right

Let’s take into Context what Kind of Player Minkah Fitzpatrick is first and foremost from Zierleins scouting report on him:

Strengths

“Loves ball, lives ball

Extremely competitive play demeanor with a history of showing up big in the biggest games

Versatile chess piece with experience all over the field

Can step right in and cover the slot, play high safety or handle nickel linebacker responsibilities

Good feet with ability to transition backward and forward smoothly around the field

Gets to top chase speed quickly

Can become rangy safety

Able to stick a foot in ground and drive to the ball

Plays with “ball-man” vision of an off-ball defender in basketball

Has awareness from zone to make loads of plays

Has nine career interceptions and four pick-sixes

Has downhill mindset as a hitter

Plays off of blocks and into tackling position

Dangerous blitzer off the edge

Attacks line of scrimmage from high safety look in run support and welcomes physical challenges

Special teams ace with 22 career coverage tackles”

Weaknesses

“Plays with some hip tightness that limits lateral agility in coverage

May not have pure cover talent to play full-time cornerback

Allows some separation out of breaks

Feet are more quick than explosive when chasing receivers from the top of the route

Still needs to improve his awareness when asked to play deep safety

Has to learn to dial back urgency and play with more patience on the next level

Comes in hot as tackler and will run himself out of position to finish”

I, also wrote up a scouting report on Jevon Holland, you can find it here

He’s a solid tackler, although he’s more likely to have issues with more physical receivers and backs at the next level, unless he can add weight to his frame without losing quickness. Holland’s best trait might be his versatility; his cover skills are good enough for him to be used interchangeably at free safety and slot corner.

A blurb of my scouting report on Jevon Holland

When you read the scouting report there are some similarities in the play style; however, when you put on the tape both Fitzpatrick and Holland are two very different types of players. Fitzpatrick and Holland may be “versatile” DB’s but they have different versatilities and play styles.

Below is Lance Zierlein’s scouting Report on Jevon Holland:

Strengths

“Looks, feels and moves like a pro player.

Versatility to move around in the secondary.

Proper eye balance between quarterback and route traffic from zone.

Adequate route-break anticipation from off-man.

Looks to smother and find entry point to play the throw at the top of the route.

Timing to open and sprint into phase with receiver.

High school receiver with excellent ball skills and competes hard for the football.

Tools for continued ball production on the next level.

Consistent punch and separates from perimeter blocks.

Flies into developing run lanes to greet runners near the line.

Makes centered, aggressive strikes as downhill tackler.

Flashed impressive punt return talent.”

Weaknesses

“Scouts have some concerns about long speed.

Loses coverage effectiveness as route progresses downfield.

Had trouble catching up once he got behind in man coverage.

Gets caught flat-footed at times.

A little labored transitioning from his pedal.

Average range as sideline-to-sideline tackler.

Needs to be quicker coming to balance and getting tackle-ready.

In 2019, pushed around at point of attack by Washington tight end Cade Otton.”

In Measurables both Holland and Fitzpatrick are comparable, skill level- not so much.

The Minkah Fitzpatrick Dilemma

Minkah Fitzpatrick is suited to play Slot Corner and the Free Safety position. Before even being drafted by Miami, Fitzpatrick was highly touted by Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban- Saban let Fitzpatrick into the coaches film sessions to breakdown what happened in the previous game and plan for their next opponent- it’s said Sabans mind is Minkah Fitzpatrick on the football field.

“I thought Derrick Henry (who won the Heisman Trophy at Alabama in 2015) was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen,” Harris says. “And he is, but then I watched Minkah. To me, Minkah is the standard of this program.”

Nick Saban on Minkah Fitzpatrick

Once drafted by Miami, he played primarily slot corner and a tad bit of safety under then head coach Adam Gase. He played some outside corner once Xavien Howard was sidelined by and injury. In Matt Burke’s defensive system Fitzpatrick was used where he was primarily comfortable with and had familiarity in the scheme.

It all changed once Brian Flores was Hired and brought his philosophies to Miami, Fitzpatrick was asked to play more multiple positions. At times he would play in the slot, deep safety and as a box safety. More often than not, Fitzpatrick was tasked with being near the LOS in 2019 as the team lacked significant talent on the defensive side of the ball- he was asked to load the box and tackle more. Fitzpatrick is primarily a Free Safety that can cover the defensive backfield and roam around the ball.

This ultimately led to Fitzpatrick wanting out of Miami and his sour dismissal from the team. He did not like the way Flores and the Dolphins were using him. Fitzpatrick, while did play the box and run at Alabama, was not successful and could not play the run at the NFL like he did with the Crimson Tide.

Now, in a recent interview with Tyler Dunne who was with Bleacher Report at the time, Fitzpatrick broke down some of the many issues that he was having as a member of the Dolphins with the first grievance he reflected on was his belief that Dolphins head coach Brian Flores misused the former first-round pick.

“Flores had Fitzpatrick playing the Patrick Chung role in his scheme, which Fitzpatrick believed completely misused his gifts,” “Oh, he was perfectly fine with moving around. As a rookie, Fitzpatrick had shifted from outside corner to nickel to free safety to strong safety to even 20-some snaps at linebacker. But now? Now, Flores wanted him to play all strong safety and all linebacker, where he could not use his athleticism or his mind.

“He felt as though Flores had no clue who he was as a player and didn’t care to find out.”

A lot of Dolphins fans did not like Fitzpatrick’s attitude and the way he spoke about the situation and it did indeed lead to him being traded to Pittsburgh where he is thriving as a deep safety. It’s not that the Dolphins failed to properly assess how versatile of a player is, it’s the fact that Brian Flores and then Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham had to rely on Fitzpatrick to gel the Dolphins atrocious defense together- in the end Minkah was not comfortable doing what he can’t do.

There were murmurs about Fitzpatrick’s mother in his ear to request a trade, but we might not know unless it comes to light. Did Chris Grier and the Dolphins muff on the selection of Fitzpatrick?

It’s hard to say concerning the circumstances but there was another safety who in turn could do everything Fitzpatrick could, Derwin James who was taken six spots later.

Derwin James has done pretty much everything in college and has done it in the NFL, albeit his recent injuries has not put him on the field much, Minkah Fitzpatrick might be versatile in some things; however, Derwin James is the epitome of versatility as he can play outside, inside, deep safety, box safety and even EDGE rusher.

Jumping to the Future with Jevon Holland

It only took two seasons for the Miami Dolphins to find a replacement of who this current coaching staff thought Minkah Fitzpatrick could be. With the 36th pick in the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Jevon Holland out of Oregon.

In 2018, Holland primarily played at Safety and per PFF’s Ryan Smith and put up a 59.9 coverage grade with 26 completions on 43 targets while only giving up 325 yards, two touchdowns and hauling down five interceptions. Furthermore in 2019, where Holland played most of his snaps at slot corner he notched a 68.5 coverage rating while allowing 45 completions on 72 targets for 487 yards, two touchdowns and four picks.

Jevon Holland is not the guy who would be roaming the defensive backfield like an Earl Thomas; instead, Miami undid the Minkah Fitzpatrick dilemma by drafting Jevon Holland who is a better fit in Coach Flores and Josh Boyers system. Now while Holland did play wide receiver and does have great ball skills it does make sense for him to play the back end safety a little in certain situations.

However, I believe that Holland is suited to play the overhang and box role Minkah Fitzpatrick could not. Holland can be the Patrick Chung type of player Coach Flores wants him to be. He can excel in the slot position, defend the run while playing in the box and occasionally be in the backend of the defensive backfield in zone and play man to man a little bit.

With a shutdown corner in Xavien Howard on one side, an athletically gifter corner in Byron Jones on another side and Eric Rowe who matches with opposing Tight Ends well, Holland is put in a position to succeed and can play to his strengths.

We talked about how Minkah Fitzpatrick was Nick Saban on a plate, Jevon Holland is Brian Flores to a T.

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