Statement games abounded last weekend in college football. The Gators and Gamecocks threw their collective hats into the national championship ring. Florida stymied the LSU Tigers, while South Carolina held one of the most potent offenses in the land in check in a 35-7 rout of Georgia. The two will square off Oct. 20 in the Swamp. Meanwhile, Heisman frontrunner Geno Smith tossed four more touchdowns to lead West Virginia to a tough triumph over Texas, vaulting the Mountaineers into the Top 5 as well. Still, idle Alabama remains atop the polls with Heisman darkhorse A.J. McCarron leading the way.
What about the rest of the College Football landscape? Let's dive into this week's Barometer.
Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon - Lyerla is a hybrid tight end/running back who lines up all over the field for the Ducks. With the ability to catch the ball as well as take a carry out of the backfield, Lyerla has caught four touchdowns this season while also rushing for another score. He caught two touchdown passes against Washington on Saturday in the 52-21 blowout, often lining up in the backfield in a special package with backup quarterback Brian Bennett. Lyerla is not your average tight end, giving him increased value in leagues where he is eligible at that slot.
Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State - The Pack has found itself trailing for much of the last two weeks, forcing Glennon to air it out. The senior quarterback has responded with 97 passes en route to 699 yards and six touchdowns. Although his completion percentage has not been great over that span, the sheer number of passes bodes well for Glennon's fantasy production. N.C. State only has one likely ranked opponent left on its schedule (Clemson), meaning Glennon should have more success as the season rolls on.
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia - The lone bright spot for the Bulldogs in their 35-7 thrashing at the hands of South Carolina may have been the reappearance of Mitchell on the offensive side of the ball. The second-leading receiver from 2011 was switched to cornerback full-time to start 2012. However, with leading receiver Michael Bennett lost for the season due to an ACL tear, Mitchell has been switched back to wideout and led Georgia with three catches for 52 yards Saturday. With home-run ability, including as a kick returner, Mitchell could be a chic pickup.
Kasey Carrier, RB, New Mexico - Carrier missed 2011 with a knee injury and wasn't exactly ripping it up before then either. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry in 2010 and did not receive a touch in New Mexico's season-opener in 2012. However, he has exploded in his last three games, including a 23-rush, 191-yard outbreak against Texas State, as well as four rushing touchdowns. Over his last three contests, including a tilt with Boise State, Carrier has rushed 62 times for 406 yards and six touchdowns. With a 6.5 YPC average over that span, Carrier figures to continue to be fed the rock for the 3-3 Lobos.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska - Burkhead has been in and out of the Nebraska lineup with a knee injury, and he was once again forced out of Saturday's contest at Ohio State in the third quarter. He rushed 14 times for 119 yards before exiting. Although the injury is not considered serious, Burkhead has completed just two games this season. He scored 15 times on the ground in 2011, leaving fantasy owners likely disappointed with his senior campaign thus far.
Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada - Fajardo left Saturday's tilt with Wyoming in the fourth quarter due to a back injury, leaving his status for the Wolfpack's next game against UNLV in question. The dual-threat QB was 19-of-26 for 221 yards and two touchdowns before his exit. Fajardo has scored 16 touchdowns in six games, totaling nearly 2,000 yards of offense. If he is out for an extended period, Fajardo's absence will certainly be a big loss to fantasy owners.
Silas Redd, RB, USC - Redd left Thursday's game at Utah with an ankle injury. The Penn State transfer has been the leading rusher for the Trojans, carrying the pigskin 75 times for 415 yards and five touchdowns this season. Redd will have a few extra days to get healthy due to the Thursday contest, but with Curtis McNeal also nursing leaving that game due to a concussion, USC could be forced to rely on sophomore D.J. Morgan.
Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State - The leading receiver for the Spartans, Sims left MSU's clash with Indiana with an ankle injury, failing to record a catch for the first time this season. Sims has 24 catches for 313 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Michigan State has relied heavily on Le'Veon Bell and the running game while quarterback Andrew Maxwell got his feet under him. However, Maxwell and Sims appeared to be developing a nice rapport before the injury. Monitor Sims' status for this week's game against Iowa.
James Franklin, QB, Missouri - After missing time due to a shoulder injury earlier this season, Franklin was knocked out of Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt with a knee injury. Diagnosed with a sprained MCL, Franklin will miss a few weeks and be replaced by Corbin Berkstresser. It's safe to say Franklin's first year in the SEC has been less than stellar, as the Tigers sit at 0-3 in the conference and Franklin has just four touchdowns in 2012. Franklin has thrown just four touchdowns this season after reaching the end zone 21 times through the air in 2011.
B.J. Daniels, QB, South Florida - Daniels has had essentially four full seasons as the starting quarterback, but his statistics have stayed pretty much the same throughout. As a senior, he is on pace for career-high touchdowns but also career-high interceptions. Daniels is completing just 56 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Although he remains a superior runner as a quarterback, Daniels has tossed seven picks in his last four contests as the Bulls have dropped all four of those games. Daniels has not progressed as expected under center for USF.
Mike DeWitt, RB, Air Force - DeWitt came into 2012 as the supposed featured fullback in the triple-option attack for the Falcons. Instead, Cody Getz seized the star rushing role, compiling 887 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. To add injury to insult, DeWitt missed Saturday's game with Navy and is questionable for this week's matchup with Wyoming. Even if deemed fit to play, though, DeWitt is the third, or maybe even fourth, option for Air Force.
Brandon Oliver, RB, Buffalo - Oliver has missed the last two games for the Bulls with a leg injury, a crushing blow for the Bulls. Oliver rushed for an insane 238 yards against Morgan State on Sept, 8, and averaged 6.0 yards per carry before the injury. Oliver has not played since Sept. 19 and is questionable for Buffalo's next tilt at Northern Illinois. When healthy, he is an elite option at running back. Obviously, that has not been the case in 2012, though.
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