Because the world is not the beautiful place we wish it to be, Connor Halliday, who was on pace to set the record for the most passing yards in a 12-game season, is out for the rest of the year after suffering a broken leg. However, that's not going to stop Mike Leach from throwing the ball all over the field, and the Washington State Cougars lead the FBS in passing yards per game. Somebody is going to step into that void, and that somebody is Luke Falk. Falk played last week after Halliday's injury, and went 40-for-59 for 456 yards, three touchdownsand an interception against USC. Clearly, there are no reins on Falk, and through sheer quantity, he could have some big games the rest of the way.
Now, the rest of this week's College Football Barometer for Week 11.
Cody Sokol, QB, Louisiana Tech - For most of the season, touchdown machine Kenneth Dixon was the only player on Louisiana Tech doing much from a fantasy perspective. Now, Sokol has joined him. In his last two weeks, Sokol has had his only two games of the year with more than 300 yards, and he has nine total touchdowns to only one interception. This is Sokol's first year as a starter, and the last couple weeks might indicate that perhaps things have gone to another level for the Bulldogs' passing game.
Michael Gordon, RB, Arkansas State - For the first several weeks of the season, Gordon was barely a contributor to this offense, but for four weeks he has been on a tear. He's had more than 100 yards in all of these games, and last week he scored a whopping five rushing touchdowns. Sure, the schedule has been easy, but that's the nature of the Sun Belt, which is as easy as it has been in years. Gordon should be able to keep his rampage going.
Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina - The Gamecocks are having an off year, but their offense has still been good, and Cooper has put together a couple of big games. He has five touchdowns in his last two games, including a rushing score, and last week he had 11 receptions for 233 yards as well. He's the clear No. 1 weapon for this passing game, and arguably for this offense with Mike Davis' issues this year, and this seems like a team that will be in a lot more shootouts, or in a position where they need to throw to try and stage a comeback.
Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M - The Kenny "Trill" Hill era, if it is not over, is at least on hiatus. Hill has lost his starting job to Allen, and he's also been suspended for two games, which means that, regardless of what happens, he won't be playing next week against Auburn. That leaves Allen at the controls for Kevin Sumlin's potent offense. Of course, that offense, and Allen, struggled last week against lowly Louisiana-Monroe. He only threw for 106 yards with one touchdown and one interception. It seems odd to leave a starting quarterback in this offense out of a starting lineup, and the Auburn defense has not been good, but it is hard to trust Allen.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska - Abdullah is having a huge year, and has even been bandied about in the Heisman conversation. He's fifth in the FBS in rushing yards, even though he had to leave last week's game with a knee injury. Knee injuries are usually spooky, particularly for running backs, but all talk is that Abdullah has suffered a minor MCL sprain. He may end up not even missing a game, but obviously there is always a chance he misses some time, or is limited. As Abdullah is basically a must start, this is a situation worth monitoring closely.
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State - Higgins is having a huge year, as he has 67 catches for 1,280 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last week, he caught eight passes for 143 yards and a touchdown, but he also suffered a shoulder injury that caused him to leave the game. His status for next week is up in the air.
Daxx Garman, QB, Oklahoma State - In past years, Oklahoma State has been known for its potent offense, but the last few weeks that has very much not been the case. The Cowboys have scored nine, 10 and 14 points, and Garman has been part of the problem. He has only one touchdown in these three games, to go with six interceptions. There are no easy games left on the schedule easier, so don't expect that to change.
Nick Wilson, RB, Arizona - Wilson got off to a hot start to the season, but he then proceeded to injure his ankle, and hasn't been the same since. In his last two games, he has rushed for only 18 yards in both games. He's getting less carries, and doing less with them. The Wildcats do have some easy matchups left, but there also a couple tough ones, and it is hard to trust Wilson based on his post-injury performance.
Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State - Thomas did have six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown last week, but that was against Illinois. The Fighting Illini are not Michigan State, and they probably aren't even Minnesota, and those are the Buckeyes next two opponents. These games are also on the road, where J.T. Barrett is less proven. Take, for example, their game against Penn State, where Thomas was limited to one catch for three yards. Ohio State ends the season with a couple nice matchups, but for the next couple of games, this is an offense to be worried about.