Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Player to Bench for Week 9

Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Player to Bench for Week 9

This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.

As somebody who lives in Michigan, there is one game that is dominating the landscape this Halloween weekend. However, it is my job to look beyond the Wolverines and Spartans squaring off for superiority in this state. I have looked through every conference's matchups for Week 9 to find players' worth starting, and also the guys you might want to consider sitting this week.

AAC

START

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati at Tulane

Last week didn't go great for Cincinnati. They struggled to beat lowly Navy, and this is a team that style points really count for. Now, they get to play a Tulane team that has allowed 46.0 points and 319.5 passing yards per game. It's time to get those style points, and that starts with Ridder, who could have his first 300-yard game of the season. That's not unfathomable. He's had at least 295 passing yards twice.

SIT

Jaylon Robinson, WR, UCF at Temple

Robinson is practicing this week and expected to play after missing four games, giving the Golden Knights their top receiver back. However, he's returning to a team that does not have Dillon Gabriel under center. Also, he'll be on the road against a team that ranks 10th in passing yards allowed per game. Is that partially because the Owls can't stop the run? Perhaps, but in that case, UCF may just be focused on running the ball as well.

ACC

START

A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest vs. Duke

The Demon Deacons just

As somebody who lives in Michigan, there is one game that is dominating the landscape this Halloween weekend. However, it is my job to look beyond the Wolverines and Spartans squaring off for superiority in this state. I have looked through every conference's matchups for Week 9 to find players' worth starting, and also the guys you might want to consider sitting this week.

AAC

START

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati at Tulane

Last week didn't go great for Cincinnati. They struggled to beat lowly Navy, and this is a team that style points really count for. Now, they get to play a Tulane team that has allowed 46.0 points and 319.5 passing yards per game. It's time to get those style points, and that starts with Ridder, who could have his first 300-yard game of the season. That's not unfathomable. He's had at least 295 passing yards twice.

SIT

Jaylon Robinson, WR, UCF at Temple

Robinson is practicing this week and expected to play after missing four games, giving the Golden Knights their top receiver back. However, he's returning to a team that does not have Dillon Gabriel under center. Also, he'll be on the road against a team that ranks 10th in passing yards allowed per game. Is that partially because the Owls can't stop the run? Perhaps, but in that case, UCF may just be focused on running the ball as well.

ACC

START

A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest vs. Duke

The Demon Deacons just dropped 70 on Army and now faces a team that ranks 127th in passing yards allowed per game? Sign me up! Jaquarii Roberson is the top name on the Wake Forest depth chart, but don't overlook Perry. He may only has 29 catches in seven games, but they've gone for 600 yards and eight touchdowns. Perry is a big-play receiver.

SIT

Jashaun Corbin, RB, Florida State at Clemson

The Tigers have faded into the background, but we have to remember that's on the offense. Clemson's defense has allowed a mere 16.5 points per game. Corbin just got to run all over UMass, but being on the road in Death Valley is still an imposing proposition for an offensive player, even if Dabo's team isn't heading to the playoff this year.

Big 12

START

Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State vs. TCU

Vaughn started the season with three-straight 100-yard rushing games, and while he's slowed down on the ground he's still a contributor through the air. In addition to his 583 rushing yards, he has 302 receiving yards. The TCU defense is collapsing, and it has given up 238.2 rushing yards per contest. Maybe Vaughn gets back over 100 yards on the ground this week.

SIT

Leddie Brown, West Virginia vs. Iowa State

To me, the Cyclones have pretty clearly the best defense in the Big 12. They rank in the top 16 in points, rushing yards, and passing yards allowed per game. Iowa State is going to shut some offenses down the rest of this year, and I think that Brown and the Mountaineers will be part of that, even at home.

Big Ten

START

Bryce Williams, RB, Minnesota at Northwestern

Minnesota is unfortunately down its top-two running backs to start the season, so Williams has gone from getting no touches to being arguably the lead back. Over the last two games, he has 30 carries, and he's taken those touches for 175 yards and two scores. Northwestern has given up 252.0 rushing yards per game, and it just allowed two different backs for Michigan to cross the century mark on the ground.

SIT

Kenneth Walker, RB, Michigan State vs. Michigan

Many of the Michigan fans I know are pessimistically sure that the Wolverines are a facade and this to fall apart. I am not burdened with that nihilism. The Wolverines have only allowed 14.3 points per game, behind only Georgia. Walker was just kept in check for the first time this year, as Indiana held him to 84 yards on 24 carries. Michigan has a better run defense. Walker's Heisman train may end up derailed.

Conference USA

START

Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky vs. Charlotte

By this point, many have joined me in my affinity for Bailey Zappe and Jerreth Sterns. However, let's go one step deeper on this offense. Corley has been the second-most-common target for Zappe, and he has 43 catches for 401 yards and four touchdowns through seven games. He may rack up yards, but he's a key cog in this passing offense, so don't overlook Corley just because he's not Sterns.

SIT

N'Kosi Perry, QB, FAU vs. UTEP

The Miners are surprisingly already bowl-eligible, and they can thank their defense for that. UTEP ranks 13th in points allowed per game, 30th in passing yards allowed per game, and seventh in rushing yards allowed per game. Perry has gotten some of his value on the ground, which is why I mentioned that last stat. When Perry faced the other notable Conference USA defense – UAB – he was held to 193 passing yards and threw three picks. Could history repeat itself?

MAC

START

Dylan McDuffie, RB, Buffalo vs. Bowling Green

So, um, there's only one MAC game this week. Buffalo is hosting Bowling Green and that's that. Fortunately, we still get a great running back option. McDuffie has taken over as Buffalo's lead back and has a touchdown in three-straight games. Bowling Green has given up 207.3 rushing yards per contest, so that sounds good as well.

SIT

Quian Williams, WR, Buffalo vs. Bowling Green

I don't know if I have ever recommended a start and a sit from the same team before, but here we are. Bowling Green hasn't been good against the run, but it ranks 11th in passing yards allowed per game. Williams has 597 receiving yards through eight games, which is good, but he's only scored one touchdown, and that was five games ago.

Mountain West

START

Deven Thompkins, WR, Utah State vs. Hawaii

Thompkins' senior season has been a breakout campaign. He's gone over 100 yards in five of his seven games, and he's tallied six touchdowns as well. Thompkins has also been targeted 87 times through seven games, so clearly, he's the focal point of the passing game. Hawaii has given up 282.3 passing yards per contest, and it always feels like a different proposition when it is on the road.

SIT

Ronnie Rivers, RB, Fresno State at San Diego State

Rivers is probable to play after injuring his leg, but I wouldn't blame him for not being enthused about taking the field in this matchup. The Aztecs win with shutdown defense, especially on the ground. They've given up a mere 90.7 rushing yards per contest, and they also rank fifth in points allowed per game.

Pac-12

START

Chase Garbers, QB, Cal vs. Oregon State

The Beavers play fun games. They have some fireworks on offense themselves, but they've also allowed 307.0 passing yards per contest. Garbers can take advantage of that, but he can also do damage with his legs. He just ran for 96 yards against Colorado, and he's rushed for 318 yards this season.

SIT

Jayden de Laura, QB, Washington State at Arizona State

How did de Laura do in his first game after Nick Rolovich was booted for refusing to get vaccinated? He threw for 257 yards with one interception against BYU. That was at home. Now, de Laura has to head on the road to face an Arizona State team that ranks in the top 25 in both points and passing yards allowed per game.

SEC

START

Connor Bazelak, QB, Missouri at Vanderbilt

There are some tough defensive matchups in the SEC this weekend. Then, there's Missouri visiting Vanderbilt. SEC teams are always relieved to see the Commodores on their upcoming schedule, especially quarterbacks. Vanderbilt has allowed 307.7 passing yards per game. No receiver on the Tigers have stood out above the pack, which is why I am recommending Bazelak, even if he can be erratic himself.

SIT

Jacob Copeland, WR, Florida vs. Georgia

Copeland has a touchdown in back-to-back games. Those games were against Vanderbilt and LSU. This is Georgia. Even at a neutral site, don't mess with the Bulldogs. They have allowed 6.6 points per game. At this point in the season, that's staggering.

Sun Belt

START

Kareem Walker, RB, South Alabama vs. Arkansas State

Walker looked iffy in returning from a quad injury last week. However, prior to getting hurt he rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns in three games. This is a perfect matchup for Walker to find his footing in. Arkansas State has somehow allowed 332.0 rushing yards per game. Only one team has allowed more passing yards than that.

SIT

Reese White, RB, Coastal Carolina vs. Troy

Coastal Carolina should be able to rebound after suffering its first loss of the season, but maybe not White. While he has seven rushing touchdowns, two came against CIT and three came against Kansas. Troy ranks 14th in rushing yards allowed per game, so the Chanticleers may need to rely on the passing game in this one.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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