In the past, a match up between Notre Dame and Miami would receive more press, especially a game that had such a tight outcome. However, this past weeks match up between the former college football powers flew under the radar due to similarly disappointing seasons. For Notre Dame especially, the Fighting Irish are staring down a losing season due in part to poor defensive play, especially along the defensive line. However, their defensive line woes found a cure in the Miami offensive line and defensive tackle, Jarron Jones, was the biggest benefactor in this defensive turnaround.
Jarron Jones came to Notre Dame as a highly touted high school prospect but injuries really prevented him from reaching that potential for much of his career. Against Miami, however, Jones' six tackles for a loss, one sack, a QB hit, two hurries and a batted pass showed the world the type of career he could have had if he was able to stay in good health. Jones was a one man wrecking machine against the Hurricanes and his dominance was probably the biggest factor in Notre Dame's close win.
The 6-5, 305 pounder has an impressive blend of quickness and strength that makes it obvious why people have been so enamored with his potential. Despite his height, he has an ability to get good pad level, which helps his versatility at the next level. Jones could play anywhere from one technique to five technique in the NFL. It is tough to know where jOnes could go in the draft at this point, because there is still a lot of projection involved, not to mention extensive injury history to consider. However, if Jones can continue to play at such a high level, he could be a hot name come spring time.
Other Performances of Note:
Mason Rudolph, QB, OK State: After starting the season cold, Mason Rudolph has really turned it on the last few weeks. He had arguably the best game of his career against a tough West Virginia defense last week. This quarterback class is looking like anyone can emerge as the top quarterback in the eyes of the NFL, so a continued hot streak for Rudolph will rightfully have people talking about him as a potential first rounder.
Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU: The best running back in college football (yes, you read that right), had another incredible performance against one of the best defenses in the country in Clemson. Cook posted nearly 170 yards, not including a huge run he had that was wiped out by a ticky tack penalty. Cook is creating yards in-between the tackles while also threatening the home run ball on every play. He truly looks like a special running back.
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida: The entire Florida defense feasted against the Georgia Bulldogs in week nine, with Teez Tabor and Caleb Brantley deserving recognition for stud performances, but Jarrad Davis was the true star on the Gator defense on Saturday. The undersized, speedy linebacker was all over the place against Georgia, absolutely wrecking their run game and passing game. His speed is so devastating and he plays with such attitude, it makes him impossible to slow down. Georgia had no answers on offense as a great performance from Davis helped hold Georgia to three yards PER PLAY.
D'Cota Dixon, S, Wisconsin: Wisconsin has had one of the toughest stretches of games in recent memory, facing Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska in consecutive weeks. Despite going 1-2 over that stretch, Wisconsin has made every one of those games a close one with their outstanding defense. On a unit full of studs, D'Cota Dixon stands out in a talented secondary. The 5-10, 200 pound safety plays like his hair is on fire and his coverage and tackling abilities make him a very affective player in all facets of the game. Dixon had another big game against Nebraska, looking great in coverage all day and reeling in a key interception.