Welcome to the third installment of Prospect Fight Night. This week, we’ll be looking at players from the game of the week, Texas vs. LSU. This game was a shootout. There was no shortage of offense during this game and it was incredible to watch. Let’s check out some background info on each team.
Each team came into this game ranked inside the top-10, meaning a top-10 ranking and a chance to add a quality win on their résumé is on the line. Texas entered the year with loads of hype; their quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, is trying to solidify his name as a top QB in the country and has plenty of weapons to do so. Wide receivers Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay are both uber talented players who can make a big play at any given time. On the flip side, LSU entered the year with some of the best talent in the country. Similarly, to Texas, LSU has a quarterback of their own trying to get his share of hype. Joe Burrow, who transferred to LSU before last year is looking to bounce back from a sub-par year. One important thing to remember about these schools is that they both claim to be “DBU,” so quarterback play would be a big piece of a winning formula for both teams. Speaking of DB’s, LSU has some talented players in the defensive secondary. Safety Grant Delpit highlights a talented DB room and does so in impressive fashion. My #3 overall player coming into this year of college football, Delpit doesn’t do much wrong. Sitting on the boundaries, standout cornerback, Kristian Fulton is sitting on an island. Last year, Fulton was sitting behind Greedy Williams in the depth chart, but now, he’s CB1 of that LSU Tiger defense. Across from Fulton is Derek Stingley Jr. who is a true freshman corner who we’ll be talking about as a first-round prospect in a few years. So, without further ado, shall we start the fights?
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, we have a match-up between two heavyweights looking to capture the victory. We have some great fights for you this week! Fighting on the under-card we have a fight between wide receivers and DB’s; and for the main event, we have the quarterbacks going up against each other to reserve their spot on the list of top quarterbacks in the country. As we start with the under-card, let’s introduce the fighters!
It’s time for the first of two fights! Fighting out of the orange corner, we have the two playmaking wide receivers form the University of Texas, Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay! Fighting out of the purple corner we have the two shutdown DB’s from LSU, Kristian Fulton and Grant Delpit! Let’s start the fight!
Starting with Kristian Fulton. Fulton unfortunately hurt his ankle in the first quarter of the game but continued to play after a brief time on the sideline. Fulton is a talented corner with fantastic traits. A patient worker, Fulton always seems to have his footwork and hand usage down to a science. His closing speed is fantastic and allowed him to make some plays on the ball that resulted in two pass breakups for him on the night. However, the problems that Fulton had last season might have followed him to this one. Perhaps the biggest issue with Fulton’s game is his ability to track the football. This was on full display as he attempted to undercut a deep throw that then flew five feet above his head and right to the intended receiver, resulting in a Texas touchdown. The other issue I have with Fulton’s game is his tackling, it’s not that he isn’t willing to tackle, it’s just that he isn’t the best tackler. He isn’t afraid to tackle runners but he’s far too passive while doing so. Evident at times tonight, Fulton prefers to try and grab ankles rather than wrap up and secure a sure-fire tackle. Fulton had an average night; he didn’t lockdown Texas receivers, but he didn’t let them run all over him. Now for Grant Delpit. Right out of the gate Delpit showed why he’s considered a top prospect. On a screen pass in the first quarter, Delpit same flying in from the secondary to secure the tackle for loss. That’s one of the best things about Grant Delpit’s game, his tackling. Which is why his performance was uncharacteristic. Aside from that tackle Delpit seemed to be missing his tackles. Two plays on the same drive he got schooled by Devin Duvernay. On one play he let Duvernay slip out of his grasp and run for a solid gain and on another Duvernay ran him over. Now I’m not worried about Delpit for the rest of the season, but he had an unusual game.
Now for the Texas receivers. Starting with Collin Johnson. Johnson is a big receiver who has a massive catch radius. He’s one of those guys you could throw the ball to on every play and there’s a good chance he’d come down with it. However, this game was a different story. Johnson seemed to be almost invisible as he only had three receptions for forty-nine yards. There’s not much to be said about Johnson’s performance other than that. Devin Duvernay on the other hand, stole the show. He finished the night with twelve receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. All night Duvernay was the guy making the plays for the Texas offense. The LSU defense had no answer for his play-making all throughout the game. Mainly operating out of the slot, he was able to use his speed and separation ability to get open all night and was able to get the ball frequently. As the game progressed it seemed like he got better and better. With less than 30 seconds to go in the game, Duvernay caught a touchdown pass to put the Longhorns within striking distance of the victory, unfortunately for Texas, they failed to recover the onside kick and lost. Now let’s see who won this matchup!
The winner, by split decision is…
Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson!
Or should I just say Devin Duvernay. He was clearly the best of these four players on the field and was one of the best players in all of college football this past weekend. Now onto the main event!
Fighting out of the orange corner, we have the senior quarterback from the University of Texas, Sam Ehlinger! Fighting out of the purple corner, we have the senior quarterback from LSU, Joe Burrow! Without any more hesitation, let’s get this fight going!
Joe Burrow has been a highly talked about player recently. People weren’t sure if he would take a step forward from last season. Well, it appears he has. Burrow was lights out on Saturday. His final stat line was 31-39 for 471-yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. Even though he threw an interception, Burrow showed immense improvement from last season and will hopefully continue this trend. While Burrow’s stat line is incredible, it doesn’t begin to describe the kind of night he had. Burrow seemed like a new player this week. LSU’s offense went vertical for this game and it payed off in a big way. Burrow was consistently hitting big throw after big throw, setting LSU up for success all night. Burrow was hitting anticipatory throws, progressing through reads and throwing with touch against Texas and it was a thing of beauty. Now let’s check out Sam Ehlinger’s performance.
Sam Ehlinger has some mixed opinions about him. Some people think he fantastic while others are a bit more hesitant. Ehlinger had a good night statistically on Saturday just like Burrow, he finished 31-47 for 401-yards and 4 touchdowns. The reason I say good night statistically is because the tape from the game wasn’t great. Ehlinger is incredibly inaccurate as a passer and that was very evident against LSU. He was consistently throwing behind receivers or over their heads. Most of his yards came from short throws that receivers could run with. The biggest problem is his accuracy, it was the same last year and doesn’t seem to be any different. If he gets looks from NFL teams, it won’t be at QB. Now for the winner.
And the winner of the main event is….
Without a doubt Joe Burrow was the best player on the field and it was impressive to watch. Let’s hope he can keep it up because it’ll be a fun season to watch LSU if he does.
I’ll be back next week with another installment! Thanks for reading!