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Three-Point Stance: Players that need to bounce back, QB, injuries

Rivals National Columnist Mike Farrell is here with the 10 players who need major bouncebacks from Week 1, the very cool connections we are seeing between five-star quarterbacks and five injuries that will play a massive role down the line.


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D.J. Uiagalelei
D.J. Uiagalelei (USA Today Sport Images)

Week one is always tricky but there are players we just expect more out of who disappointed. These guys all need to bounce back from poor Week 1 performances.

1. QB D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson — Big Cinco was a big letdown against Georgia in the marquee game of Week 1, but he had no help from an offensive line that gave up seven sacks. He completed barely 50 percent of his attempts, and had only 178 yards. This week's matchup against FCS South Carolina State will almost undoubtedly get him back on track.

2. QB Graham Mertz, Wisconsin - Mertz had one of the worst games of his short career against Penn State in Week 1, throwing two backbreaking interceptions and losing a fumble in the red zone. Lucky for him, Wisconsin welcomes in Eastern Michigan this weekend.

3. QB JT Daniels, Georgia - Despite beating Clemson, Daniels did not have a banner day for the Dawgs, as their offense only mustered three points. Daniels simply looked out of sync with his receivers. UAB has the potential to be pesky, but that shouldn't prevent Daniels from racking up numbers similar to what we saw toward the end of last season.

4. DB Derek Stingley, Jr., LSU - Stingley had one of his worst collegiate games against UCLA, allowing both passing attempts thrown at him to be caught, including a touchdown, and also missing three of five potential tackles. With McNeese State and Ed Orgeron's son coming to town, expect him to be more on point.

5. DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon - Yes, we know all about the injury, so there is that caveat, but even beforehand Thibodeaux was not the dominant force against Fresno State that we expected. If Oregon is going to have a chance against Ohio State in Columbus this weekend, he needs to be back to full strength and consistently in the backfield.

6. RB Noah Cain, Penn State - Outside of one 34-yard run, Cain was very pedestrian in Penn State's win over Wisconsin. His 12 other touches went for a combined 41 yards, which isn't going to get it done. However, he should have plenty of opportunities against Ball State.

7. WR Justyn Ross, Clemson - Ross was another victim of Georgia's ferocious defense, and even played second fiddle on his own team to Joe Ngata, finishing with four catches for 26 yards. Expect to see him get involved early against SC State and try to prove he hasn’t lost anything after a year off and surgery.

8. WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas - In the Razorbacks' opener against Rice, Burks had only five catches for 42 yards in a game that was more tightly contested than the final score would indicate. He'll need to step it up big-time against Texas if the Hogs are going to pull off the upset.

9. RB Breece Hall, Iowa State - Hall struggled with FCS Northern Iowa in the Cyclones' opener, averaging only three yards per carry. Iowa State is going to need him at 100 percent against Iowa this weekend, but it's not going to be easy. The Hawkeyes yet again have a very formidable defense.

10. QB Dylan Morris, Washington - Morris was awful against FCS Montana in the Huskies' shocking loss. He threw three interceptions and zero touchdowns, and did not look like he was on the same page as his receivers. Against Michigan, the Huskies are going to need him to play a whole lot better if they are going to win in the Big House.



Bryce Young
Bryce Young (USA Today Sports Images)

There was always a connection between Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. Both played high school football in Georgia and battled for recognition as the top quarterback in their class throughout their high school careers. Both had stellar college careers despite different paths and they met in the College Football Playoff twice. They battled for draft position as well, with Lawrence seen as No. 1 and Fields fighting for a spot in the top 10 spot.

We are seeing that dynamic unfold again with Bryce Young and D.J. Uiagalelei from the 2020 class. Young and Uiagalelei hail from the same state (California), they battled it out for recognition as the top quarterback in their class and now they are beginning their runs at the national title and NFL Draft. Uiagalelei had a slight head start after filling in admirably for a sidelined Lawrence in two games last season, while Young looked average in mop up duty last year behind Mac Jones. But one week into the college football season and all the buzz is about how amazing Young looked against Miami and how poorly Uiagalelei played against Georgia.

I have a feeling we are seeing yet another battle for the top spot in the 2023 NFL Draft between two former five-stars who have been battling for top status since they were in high school. You’d think this would happen more often but it really doesn’t – perhaps it could be a trend that’s just starting. And I assume we will see them play against each other once again in the playoff this year or next year. It’s just fun to follow.



Mohamed Ibrahim
Mohamed Ibrahim (USA Today Sports Images)

Injuries are part of football and here are five from Week 1 that could affect conference title races.

OL Tate Rutledge, Georgia — This is a big blow to the Georgia offensive line as Rutledge has five-star talent and the Bulldogs aren’t as experienced up front as they would like.

RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota — This one essentially kills Minnesota’s chances in the Big Ten West as the Gophers looked very competitive against Ohio State before he went down.

WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan — Bell has been up and down in his career at Michigan but he’s the best the Wolverines have and can make some great plays. This won’t help the passing offense.

LB Christopher Allen, Alabama — OK, it’s Alabama so maybe it won’t hurt much but he was the second-best linebacker on the team behind Christian Harris. That has to factor somehow.

WR Ja’Lynn Polk, Washington — Polk was expected to be a major target for the Huskies after transferring from Texas Tech but he lasted one play. Now, the questionable passing game becomes even more iffy.