College Football Week 8 Live Reactions, Results, and Takeaways

The college football Week 8 slate is upon us, and the team of draft evaluators and CFB analysts at Pro Football Network are here with instant takeaways from the weekend slate. Find our immediate reactions to all the action from start to finish in college football’s Week 8 Saturday games.

Taking into account all of the weekend’s slate of action, our CFB/Draft department will all be on hand for their instant reactions as they come in.

For clarity’s sake, each takeaway, reaction, and result will be culminated by the initials of the analyst responsible: TP for Tony Pauline and CM for Cam Mellor.

91-yard punt in Toledo vs. Buffalo

4:10 p.m. ET – You read that headline correctly, a 91-yard punt happened in the Toledo vs. Buffalo game. Hidden to most on ESPN+, Toledo punter Jonathon Batzke booted a 91-yard punt from the shadow of his own goalposts.

Batzke got a very favorable bounce that carried the ball but it still went 50+ yards in the air before bouncing out of the back of the end zone. The 91-yard punt netted 77 yards of field position for Toledo but Buffalo would still score on the next possession. CM

Tulane Flexing Early vs. Memphis

3:58 p.m. ET – It’s an early lead but it’s a big early lead for Tulane in their first game as a ranked team in over three decades. Michael Pratt led an impressive drive for their offense before Jha’Quan Jackson took a punt 90 yards to the house for a big 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Safety Macon Clark then proceeded to make a highlight-reel play of his own, jarring the ball loose from the Memphis tight end on the next drive. Clark is a hard-hitting safety who has made multiple plays in seemingly every game this season. CM

Hyatt dominant once again

3:20PM- Granted it’s a performance against IAA competition, but Jaylin Hyatt put up huge numbers in the Volunteers thrashing of UT-Martin.  With more than 10 minutes left in the final quarter, Hyatt has 7 receptions for 174 yards with 2 TD’s, including a 66 yard scoring romp.  With Tennessee up 65-21, Hyatt was taken out of the game long ago.  Next week Tennessee plays Kentucky then it’s a three week stretch against Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina, teams with corners and secondary players that grade as top three round prospects who will challenge Hyatt.  As mentioned at the start of the day, Hyatt has been talking with agents and the feeling from his inner circle is the junior will enter the draft. TP

Clemson’s LT also playing well

3PM- I mentioned how well I thought Orange left tackle Matthew Bergeron looked in the opening of the Syracuse-Clemson contest.  Tigers left tackle Jordan McFadden also deserves plaudits as he’s played well, especially in pass protection.  McFadden is a wide bodied blocker who plays with terrific fundamentals.  Scouts I’ve spoken with have a day three grade on McFadden but I have him as a third round prospect, albeit at guard rather than tackle.  TP

Uiagalelei benched

2:40 PM- Updating the post from 2:05 today, Dabo Sweeney evidently saw enough poor play from quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and has benched him in favor of freshman Cade Klubnik TP

RU secondary senior leaders shutting down Indiana

2:40PM- After falling behind 14-0, Rutgers has rallied to take the leads by three points over Indiana and has shut down the Hoosier offense.  Much of he credit goes to a pair of defensive backs previously mentioned in this blog.  Safety Christian Izien leads Rutgers with 6 tackles while corner Christian Braswell has broken up three passes.  Both players are PFA types yet each has next level traits and will compete for roster spots this upcoming summer. TP

Uiagalelei needs a lot of work on his game

2:05PM- Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei shows a lot of next level flashes but needs a ton of work on his game.  He’s constantly missing open wide outs and pass catchers, under throwing targets (as we just saw) or throwing behind them which results in a loss of opportunity.  I love his upside but it would be a huge mistake for Uiagalelei to enter the 2023 draft given the present unpolished state of his game.  TP

Moss helping keep Iowa in the game

1:30PM- The Iowa defense have kept the Hawkeyes in the game against Ohio State, allowing 19 points in the first half and minimizing the damage by keeping the Buckeyes out of the end zone and forcing four field goals.  I have been very impressed with the play of Riley Moss, an underrated cornerback that has made several big plays thus far.  The 5th year senior has next level size at 6-feet-1 and 194 pounds, though his deep speed is suspect.  He’s tough, smart and Moss will nicely fit into dime packages on Sunday.  TP

Don’t forget about Orhorhoro

1:20PM- With all the love thrown at members of the Clemson defensive line such as Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy, it’s easy to forget about Ruke Orhorhoro.  Rest assured, the big, athletic defensive tackle is well thought of in the scouting community who believe Orhorhoro will end up in the middle rounds.  Orhorhoro has next level size (6-feet-4-inches, 305 pounds) growth potential and a to of upside.  He’s already knocked down two passes today against Syracuse. TP

Bryant definitely has next level potential

1:15PM- I continue to be impressed with Ben Bryant of Cincinnati- impressed meaning he’s giving me more than I expected.  Bryant has decent size (6-feet-3-inches and 215 pounds) and a next level arm.  He definitely makes a lot of next level throws, though his game needs polish. TP

Eichenberg- the Einstein of linebackers

12:50PM- I gave Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg a wait and see grade prior to the season and the junior has shown tremendous progress in his game.  He’s made several big plays to shutdown Iowa drives and his instincts as well as awareness are out of sight.  Size (6-feet-2-inches, 234 pounds) and speed (4.78s forty) are questions that must be answered but there’s no denying Eichenberg has a next level brain.  TP

Bush gets the early advantage

12:25PM- Cincinnati cornerback Arquon Bush, mentioned in today’s preview, just made a terrific interception to put the Bearcats in scoring position.  While the pass was thrown behind Rashee Rice, the ability to keep the action in front of him and the way he burst to the ball out of his plant, as well as his hands, shows why scouts are excited about the next level ability Bush brings.  TP

Good opening series for week 7 riser

12:20PM- It was a solid opening series for Syracuse who moved the ball downfield against Clemson until an incomplete pass on 4th and 3.  I was impressed with SU left tackle Matthew Bergeron, a week 7 riser.  He easily moves about the field and is very effective in motion.  His ability in pass protection stopping Myles Murphy out of a 3-point stance as well as Xavier Thomas, who rushed the passer standing over tackle, was impressive. TP

Hyatt Meeting With Agents

It’s a bit of a soft schedule for the noon kickoffs today, though there is one important matchup in the Big Ten as Iowa travels to Columbus for a meeting with Ohio State.

I’ve been outspoken about my affection for Buckeye linebacker Steele Chambers as well as the Hawkeye tight end duo of Sam LaPorta and Luke Lachey. The former two have been solid this season, though not as dominant as I expected, while Lachey had a good game against Michigan, but that’s about it.

Chambers is your classic weakside linebacker, very effective in space, so it will be interesting to see how he holds up against LaPorta, and eventually, Lachey.

An important game takes place in the American Athletic Conference as Cincinnati meets SMU in Dallas. The Bearcats need this game to keep pace with conference-leading Tulane.  The Mustangs can kiss goodbye their hopes of being in the conference title game if they don’t win. The important next-level matchup here is UC cornerback Arquon Bush trying to slow down SMU wideout Rashee Rice.

Rice was an early-season riser in my column, and he’s off to a terrific start. I was never as high on Bush compared to NFL scouts, who informed me he was a Day 2 pick on their board. Bush has played more like the fifth-round prospect I graded him as prior to the season. He played reasonably well against Tulsa two weeks ago, but the matchup against Rice will be his stiffest test this season.

Updating news from earlier this week — during the draft news and rumors mailbag on Thursday, I was asked if Jalin Hyatt would enter the draft. My answer? People close to him told me they believe Hyatt would enter the draft after the season.

I can now report Hyatt has had meetings — or at least teleconferences — with agents in recent weeks. Though it’s not a definite he enters the 2023 NFL Draft, it seems Hyatt is leaning that way. TP

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