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Start/Bench—Week 7 

 

Start
Garrett Smith, QB-UL Monroe vs Texas State
Smith has accounted for at least three TDs in three of five games, and the two in which he has not, the Warhawks played at Oklahoma and Auburn.  The sophomore quarterback has the luxury of playing at home against a Texas State defense that is allowing 304.4 yards per game through the air, fourth-worst in the FBS.

 

Aaron Duckworth, RB-Idaho vs New Mexico State
Duckworth was mentioned in Joe’s Weekly Observations a couple of weeks ago as a player on the rise, and this week the 5-8 junior running back faces a New Mexico State defense that has allowed 260.6 yards per game on the ground and 16 rushing TDs through five games.

 

James Gilbert, RB-Ball State @ Buffalo
Gilbert has carried the ball 20-plus times in four of six games and has three multiple-TD games and three 100-yard games.  In Week 7, Ball State’s offense will go against a Buffalo defense that is allowing 271.2 yards per game on the ground, fourth-worst in the FBS.

 

Jordan Chunn, RB-Troy v Georgia State
Chunn has topped the 100-yard mark three times this season and has scored a touchdown in four of five games.  This week, the Trojans host a Georgia State team that is allowing 262.8 yards per game on the ground, seventh-worst in the FBS.

 

Akrum Wadley, RB-Iowa @ Purdue
Even though Wadley has only topped the 100-yard mark twice in six games this season, he has scored at least one touchdown in five of six games.  In Week 7, Iowa travels to Purdue to face a Biolermakers defense that allows 244.2 yards per game on the ground and 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.

 

Ronald Jones, RB-USC @ Arizona
Justin Davis is sidelined with an ankle injury and Jones will get a chance to show what he can do against an Arizona defense that is allowing 188.0 yards per game on the ground.
 
Thomas Owens, WR-Florida International @ Charlotte
Owens’ production has picked up over the past three games and the Panthers’ offense will face a Charlotte defense that is allowing 296.8 yards per game through the air, ten-worst in the FBS.  His chances of scoring also improve, as the 49ers have the sixth-worst scoring defense in the FBS (40.7ppg).


Bench
Riley Ferguson, QB-Memphis @ Tulane
After throwing eleven touchdown passes in the first three games of 2016, Ferguson did not throw a TD pass in either of his past two games.  This week, he’ll face a Tulane defense that is ranked in the Top 15 in passing yards allowed per game (171.4).
 
Deondre Francois, QB-Florida State vs Wake Forest
Francois’ only 3-TD game of 2016 was in Week 2 against Charleston Southern, and even though the Demon Deacons are giving up 367.8 total yards per game, they are only allowing 18.0 points per game on the scoreboard, which ranks them in the Top 20.
 
Jalen Hurd, RB-Tennessee vs Alabama
Hurd is healthy and will be ready to play this Saturday when the Vols host Alabama, but his straight-ahead style plays into the strength of the Tide defense.  Don’t be surprised to see teammate Alvin Kamara get a lot more work in the Tennessee backfield, especially after his breakout performance last week at Texas A&M.
 
Corey Clement, RB-Wisconsin vs Ohio State 
The Buckeyes are the only team in the nation not to allow a rushing touchdown in 2016, so until that streak ends, we’re going to pass starting a running back against their defense, which by the way, gives up fewer than 100 yards per game on the ground (97.8).

 

Mike Weber, RB-Ohio State vs Wisconsin
We just mentioned how good the Ohio State defense has been so far, but Wisconsin’s defense isn’t too bad either.  Through five games, the Badgers are only giving up 90.4 yards per game on the ground and have only allowed two rushing TDs.

 

Cade Carney, RB-Wake Forest @ Florida State
Last week, Carney returned from injury and topped 100 yards for the second time in three games, but in Week 7 he’ll face a Seminoles defense budding with confidence after last week’s dramatic win over in-state and conference rival Miami.

 

D’Angelo Brewer, RB-Tulsa at Houston
Even after last week’s debacle at Navy, the Cougars’ defense is still ranked fourth in the nation against the run, allowing 86.0 yards per game and Tulsa’s offense does not run the triple option.  Even though Brewer is fifth in the FBS in rushing attempts, he may not get enough this week if the Cougars breakout to an early lead.

 

Kalen Ballage, RB-Arizona State at Colorado
In the last three weeks, Ballage has 92 total yards of offense, which means that he is averaging 30 total yards per game in PAC-12 games.  Aside from his 8-TD game in Week 2 against Texas Tech, Ballage has been a 100-yard, 1-TD running back at best.


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