Player Notes – Week 12

* Baylor QB Robert Griffin III (or Robert Griffith Junior III as McLovin from the Dan Patrick show calls him) had a monster day vs Oklahoma. Baylor had never beaten the Sooners. Baylor pulled off the upset, winning 45-38. Griffin was a big part of that.

Griffin was 21-34-479 with 5 TDs and no picks. There was a combination of skill and luck involved. On one long TD pass the ball was intended for an intermediate receiver. It was deflected and went flying down the field. The ball happened to hit WR Kendall Wright in stride and he went all the way for the TD. That play covered 87 yards.

Other times Griffin did use pure skill in getting the best of the OU defense. He said after the game that Oklahoma was good at DE and CB, but weak in the middle of the field. The plan all along was to attack the Safeties. That’s just what Baylor did. Griffin made good reads and good throws.

Griffin came up huge late in the game. With the score tied at 38 and less than 2 minutes left, Baylor was prepared to go conservative. OU coach Bob Stoops called a timeout after a 1st down run play. That was all the prodding that Baylor needed. Griffin scrambled 22 yards on 2nd down to put the Bears out near midfield. A couple of plays later, with just :20 left, Griffin sealed the deal. He went to the LOS and read the Sooners defense. Griffin adjusted his protection and had them slide to a side. He took the snap and dropped back. Griffin moved up in the pocket and then found a receiver down the right side and hit him with a laser in the endzone to put Baylor up 45-38.

That drive showed you that Griffin is smart, skilled, and poised. Is there anything else you want in a franchise QB? He ran his offense. He ran when needed, but also made a great throw for the score. He was a leader on the field. There was no panic. Great showing by Griffin and Baylor. Not everyone will love him, but everyone can see that he’s very talented even if he doesn’t fit what they ideally want in a QB. And listen to him in an interview. Really smart young man. He is not the typical dumb jock. Sharp cat. Should be a high pick in late April.     
He’s got some good teammates. C Philip Blake is in his 3rd year as a starter. Has time at RT in the past. Good size at 6’3, 320. Moves well laterally. Anchors very well. You aren’t driving him backward much. Interesting player. From Canada, like last year’s star OL Danny Watkins. What is it with Baylor and the Great White North? Odd connection. Maybe Art Briles found a mouse in his beer and instead of giving him a free case they just handed him a couple of good OL.

NT Nicolas Jean-Baptiste is a large man. He lists at 6’2, 335 and carries it well. He’s only in his 2nd year as a starter and still needs work. You can’t ignore his physical potential. He had 2 sacks vs OU. He used power moves on both, but also is nimble for such a big guy. He’s a project, but someone looking for a NT has to be interested.

* Kentucky LB Danny Trevathan had a great game vs Georgia. That is the best game I’ve seen a LB play this year. Let’s start with the stats: 17 tackles (12 solo), 3 TFLs (1 was a sack), 2 FFs. Trevathan was a force all game long. He got one FF by hitting the RB square and knocking the ball loose. He had one play that was textbook stuff. Danny flowed with the play, engaged the OL, shed him by using his hands to push the guy off him, and then stuffed the RB on an inside run. Guys like Manti Te’o and Vontaze Burfict don’t do that and they’re 250 or more. Danny is 6’1, 230. Kentucky help UGA to 19 points and 317 yards. The play of Trevathan was a major reason.

I don’t think he’ll be a 1st round LB because I’m not sure he’s got the combination of size and athleticism that teams covet. The Senior Bowl will be huge for him. If Danny puts on a show down in Mobile, who knows. If you get a chance to re-watch UK/UGA, do it.

* Ohio State C Michael Brewster is one of the best interior blockers in the nation. He had a miserable day vs Penn State. I lost count, but at least 4 of his snaps were dribblers that ruined plays. I have no idea what the issue was. One thing that could have bothered him was Penn State DT Devon Still. Brewster had to block Still a few times and might have been speeding up his motion to be ready for Still. The box score doesn’t show Still with a sack, TFL, or even tackle. He’s been super productive this year.

* Last week UNC DE Quinton Coples played his best game of the year. He had 8 total tackles, 2.5 TFLs, a FF, and a pass deflection. Coples looked quicker off the edge than usual. Most impressive play was when he hit a Va Tech player by hustling in pursuit. Coples got the guy with a big shot.

* Va Tech RB David Wilson has the potential to be a 1st round pick. He’s fast, strong, and shifty. He does have one huge issue…fumbling. Coples knocked the ball away from him too easily on one play. That problem will only get worse in the NFL. Wilson has got to work on that.

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