Commentary

Johnson leads Alabama defense; Oklahoma State defense sliding

Alabama got a big boost from a senior defender while Oklahoma State's defense is sinking. Todd McShay has that and more in his Week 11 Stock Report.

Originally Published: November 10, 2008
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

The opportunity is there every week. Some players seize it; others let it slide away. Here's a look at the players who shined or slipped in Week 8:

Stock up

[+] EnlargeRashad Johnson
Crystal LoGiudice/US PresswireRashad Johnson (49) and his nose for the ball were a big part of Alabama's win over LSU.
1. Alabama DS Rashad Johnson
Not a bad afternoon for Mr. Johnson against LSU. The ball-hawking senior stole the show with three interceptions in Alabama's toughest test to date, a 27-21 overtime victory in Death Valley, and all three of Johnson's picks had a big impact on the outcome of the game. The first set up QB John Parker Wilson's one-yard touchdown plunge that gave 'Bama an early 7-0 lead, and Johnson returned the second pick 54 yards to pay dirt to tie the game at 14 with 4:33 remaining in the first half. His final pick came in overtime, ending the Tigers' first possession of the extra session and setting up the Crimson Tide's game-winning touchdown three plays later.

2. Iowa RB Shonn Greene
Greene has been gashing defenses all season but his performance in Iowa's upset of previously unbeaten Penn State has finally earned the junior workhorse some much-deserved national recognition. Greene carried the ball 28 times for 117 yards and two scores, the second of which pulled Iowa to within a field-goal (23-21) with 9:20 remaining. Backup K Daniel Murray would later seal Penn State's fate by connecting on a 31-yard attempt, giving the Hawkeyes their first win versus a top-five opponent since 1990. Greene is the only back in the FBS to rush for 100-plus yards in each outing this season.

Stock down

More Ups and Downs
Todd McShay takes a look at other big names rising and falling across college football after Week 11. Insider Insider

• USC's linebackers dominating
• Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin dazzles
• Penn State QB Daryll Clark stumbles
• Notre Dame offense falls flat at BC

1. Oklahoma State's defense
At least Texas made some adjustments in its loss to the Red Raiders on Nov. 1 and limited the Texas Tech offense to only a pair of touchdowns in the second half. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, looked absolutely clueless against Tech. After losing a fumble on the opening possession, QB Graham Harrell guided Texas Tech on seven consecutive touchdown drives. Harrell completed 80 percent of his throws for 456 yards and six scores in the 56-20 beatdown, and despite giving him double- and triple-team attention, the Cowboys had no answers in the red zone for Red Raiders WR Michael Crabtree, who finished the evening with three touchdown receptions.

2. LSU QB Jarrett Lee
The Tigers have claimed two of the last five BCS national titles with a pair of pedestrian quarterbacks (Matt Mauk and Matt Flynn), but unfortunately for LSU and its fans the play of current QB Jarrett Lee has been several notches below pedestrian this season. Saturday's performance in the overtime loss to Alabama served as a new low, however, with Lee completing 13 of 34 attempts and throwing four interceptions, including one that was returned 54 yards for a touchdown. That interception marked the sixth time in nine games that Lee has thrown a touchdown for the wrong team. The talented sophomore is clearly overwhelmed at times by the speed and complexity of the college game, and LSU might want to consider sitting Lee before his confidence is irreparably shattered.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN Insider. Listen to Todd McShay break down the biggest games and give you all the scores on "College GameDay" on ESPN Radio every Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. ET. He also is a frequent contributor to ESPNU.