Start vs. Sit: Who to Play, Who to Bench Week 8

Start vs. Sit: Who to Play, Who to Bench Week 8

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


Zach Terrell, QB, Western Michigan (vs. Miami (OH))
Terrell and Western Michigan got off to a slow start, but he's picked it up the last couple of weeks. While his yardage totals haven't been great, he has four touchdowns in both of his last two games. Miami is not a step up from his recent opponents, so he could be in for another nice game. He already has three games with four total touchdowns, and he just may do that again.

Anu Solomon, QB, Arizona (vs. Washington State)
Solomon has been easing back into form after suffering an injury. He threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado last week, and he has yet to throw an interception this season. Washington State's offense has picked it up recently, but their defense has not undergone the same improvement. This has all the makings of a high-scoring shootout, and that can only benefit Solomon.

Drew Hare, QB, Northern Illinois (vs. Eastern Michigan)
Hare has perhaps not quite been what was expected this season. He only has nine passing touchdowns to three interceptions, and only one game with more than two passing scores. His rushing totals have been a bit limited as well. However, he has three games with at least 358 yards passing and two touchdowns, and those were the games against easier competition. Eastern Michigan is one of the worst teams in FBS, as is tradition, so this could be another of his big games.

LJ Scott, RB, Michigan State (vs. Indiana)
Scott only had eight carries last week. That's not good. However, he has two touchdowns in each of his last three games. That's good. Last week he face the stout Wolverines defense in Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, when Scott played Purdue, he got 18 carries for 146 yards. Indiana is giving up over 500 yards and 35 points per game. Scott has been Michigan State's best running back this year, and with his nose for the end zone, another multiple-touchdown game could be in the offing.

Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State (vs. Wyoming)
McNichols did not play in Boise State's loss to Utah State, and the team unsurprisingly struggled in his absence. He is expected back for this week's matchup with Wyoming, though, which should allow him to hit the ground running. This is a guy with 14 total touchdowns, and almost 200 yards receiving to go with 485 yards rushing. If he is healthy - and do keep an eye on him just to be sure - it should be a grand return for McNichols.

Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida (vs. Southern Methodist)
People don't often pay attention to South Florida, at least not since Jim Leavitt left, but Mack has rushed for 689 yards on 6.5 yards per carry this season. He only has three touchdowns, but he had nine last season, so not scoring has not been a recurring issue for him. SMU, for all their offensive improvements, is still a team that gives up points with gusto. Even if Mack doesn't find the end zone, he should be in line for his fourth straight game with over 100 yards rushing.

David Glidden, WR, Oklahoma State (vs. Kansas)
The Cowboys have spread the ball around a bit, but they've done it en route to being 17th in passing yards per game. Glidden leads the way in receptions, yards, and he is tied for the team lead with three touchdowns. He seems to be Oklahoma State's top receiving option, and, against Kansas, that is a good thing. Yes, Kansas looked a little feisty against Texas Tech, but let us not forget they remain Kansas. Oklahoma State should be just fine, and that includes Glidden.

Mitch Mathews, WR, BYU (vs. Wagner)
While a lot of teams are facing increasingly difficult schedules, BYU has Wagner on the docket this week. No team has an easier matchup, and that bodes well for BYU's leading receiver Mathews. Yes, he's had a couple games that weren't great, but it is one thing to struggle against Michigan. It would be a surprise to see Mathews have an off game against Wagner, and he could add to his touchdown total, which currently stands at six.

Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA (vs. Cal)
UCLA is coming off back-to-back losses, but Payton has not seen his play dip at all. In fact, last week against Stanford, he caught six passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. He's scored in four of his six games, and he has 486 yards receiving. Cal is still waiting for its defense to catch up with its offense, so this has the makings of a high-scoring affair. The Bruins will be looking to return to the winning side of things, and Payton should get plenty of looks from Josh Rosen in that quest.


Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky (at Louisiana State)
Doughty has been fantastic this year, throwing for at least 350 yards in all but one game and passing for at least four touchdowns in each of his last four games. That being said, a road game against LSU is an entirely different kettle of fish. You want to believe in Doughty, but this is such a tough matchup. In WKU's season opener, Doughty was held to 209 yards and a touchdown by Vanderbilt. That could easily happen again here. Maybe Doughty will prove us wrong, but the odds are against it.

Jared Goff, QB, Cal (at UCLA)
When we last saw Goff, he was throwing five interceptions against Utah. Though he likely won't do that again, he does have at least one interception in all but one of his games. UCLA's defense isn't as tough as Utah's, and it would be a mistake to put too much weight on the most recent outing for Goff, but do you want to risk starting him on the road against an opponent that is, at the very least, solid defensively after such an off game? It's best to play it safe here.

Tommy Armstrong, QB, Nebraska (vs. Northwestern)
Armstrong is having a solid year overall despite Nebraska's bad luck. He has 15 touchdowns passing, but he also has six interceptions, including three against Miami (FL). He also had a rough game against Illinois, who aren't terribly stout on the defensive end. Northwestern did give up 40 last week against Iowa, but that was mostly on the ground. They've only given up 146.7 yards per game passing.

Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee (at Alabama)
Hurd got off to a good start to the season, but in his last two games he hasn't found the end zone or rushed for more than 90 yards, even though he has averaged 20 carries per game. Admittedly, he did run for 102 yards and two touchdowns against Florida earlier in the season, but Alabama is probably even tougher, especially with the way they have been playing recently. It could be Hurd's third straight game without a score or a 100-yard game.

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State (vs. Utah State)
After a slow start to the season, Pumphrey has really picked up his play. This has been against teams like Hawaii and San Jose State, though. Utah State is currently only allowing 20.3 points per game, and they are allowing fewer than 100 rushing yards per game. Pumphrey's hot streak could come to an end against the Aggies.

Tra Carson, RB, Texas A&M (vs. Mississippi)
Carson's performance has been all over the place. He has three games with over 20 carries and over 100 total yards, and he has three games with 13 carries or less and no more than 59 yards rushing. Last week, Alabama held him to 46 yards rushing. Ole Miss is coming off a rough game against Memphis, and Robert Nkemdiche's status is up in the air, but this is still a defense that should be able to make things tough for Carson.

Devin Lauderdale, WR, Texas Tech (at Oklahoma)
After a big season opener against Sam Houston State in which he caught eight passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, Lauderdale has largely disappointed. He's dealt with missed time, only has one touchdown, and hasn't had more than five catches in a game. On top of that, the Sooners are only allowing 152.2 yards per game passing and they just blanked Kansas State. This does not seem likely to be a bounce-back game for Lauderdale.

Geronimo Allison, WR, Illinois (vs. Wisconsin)
Allison has scored a touchdown in back-to-back games, but he was also held to 53 yards on four receptions by North Carolina. He's also coming off a concussion in Illinois' last game. He's expected to play this week, but he may not be at the peak of his powers, and Wisconsin is third in the nation in scoring defense.

Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M (vs. Mississippi)
The same premise that applies to Carson also applies to Reynolds. Texas A&M has one of the tougher matchups this week, and Reynolds has only topped three receptions once this season. He also hasn't scored a touchdown in his last three games, and all his touchdowns came against Ball State and Nevada. Ole Miss is a different story.

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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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