Cheat Sheet: Motes Breaks Down Each Team’s Round 3 Chances
Each team's Round 3 prospects, broken down by Reserve World Champion Ryan Motes.

Ryan Motes is a master at breaking down the finer points of team roping, and after finishing this year 18th in the PRCA world standings, he stepped up to help us break down the first two rounds of the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Dustin Egusquiza and Travis Graves

Round 2: 3.8 seconds 

Round Winnings: 26,230.77 points each

Total NFR Earnings: 54,423.08 each

World Standings Earnings: 118,599.12; 110,937.09

World Standings: 1,1

Motes’ Take: “Somebody asked me last week, with the barrier being that much longer, would there be less 3’s? But 2-under is still a short barrier. The longer you put it out there, the farther he can reach. The steer rolled away from TG but he did a good job getting around them. TG riding Chip over there let him shut it down fast, and you could see how confident he was on him. It was just a great run.” 

[Read More: Round 2 Winners Egusquiza and Graves]

Luke Brown and Joseph Harrison

Round 2: 4.3 + 5 seconds

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings: 28,192.31 each

World Standings Earnings: 117,857.28

World Standings: 2

Motes’ Take: “This looks like it’s Luke’s set up. For them, Luke riding Cowboy, you see what you see—one, two, three, turn the steer. Their run might set up farther out in the arena, but with Joseph throwing aggressive, they’ll keep being short 4 making the exact same run they’re making. Joseph doesn’t ever get a leg on that steer like he did last night. He kicked over into it, and there was no doubt he should have roped that steer 99/100 by two feet, and last night happened to be the time he didn’t. Luke is always one of the biggest threats to win the average. The world title comes down to a person with a chance to win top three in the average, so I look for Luke to turn a lot of steers out there. He should turn all 10.” 

Colby Lovell and Paul Eaves

Round 2: 4.4 seconds

Round Winnings: 20,730.77 each

Total NFR Earnings: 30,730.77 each

World Standings Earnings: 96,239.41, 86,889.81

World Standings: 3,5

Motes’ Take: “They’re always a chance to be fast. Paul, a lot like Luke, he’s one you don’t expect to miss. I look for Colby to be doing the same thing—coming with a little faster shot. He’s turned two great steers and it’s untypical of Paul to miss. They’re one steer down, but it will pay good on nine still. Hopefully they keep catching and get a chance in the average.”

Clay Smith and Jade Corkill

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings: 21,000

World Standings Earnings: 90,703.55 each

World Standings: 4,3

Motes’ Take: “That was very unexpected. Jade is the best heeler of our generation if not one of the best ever. Clay Smith will keep spinning every steer for money. Jade missed one last night. That’s as untypical as you will see. That steer pushed off to the right and put him in a bad spot. The steer took a long, high jump and jumped over the top of his top strand. For them, they’ll have to place in the rounds, so they’ll be more aggressive earlier on. Clay might take a few more chance but he’ll do the same thing all week long. It really fits Clay’s setup. They’re going to press and place in the next several rounds. Come next weekend, they’ll be right there.”

Erich Rogers and Paden Bray

Round 2: 5.6 + 5 seconds

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings: 36,230.77 each

World Standings Earnings: 88,772.34 each

World Standings: 5, 4

Motes’ Take: “He did exactly the same thing he always does, breaks at the pin and gives his heelers a good throw. Winning the first round as a rookie behind Rogers, Paden’s got to feel good about that. With the arena being wider, the steers are rolling away from the heeler. There’s a lot more left but the chutes have a funny angle to them. Even Round 1, with the steers being strong, it seems like the steers are rolling down the arena, getting their heads back as the heelers go to throw. Paden heeled that steer from a long ways back. The one last night he got crossed up a little bit, took a couple extra swings and took a tough shot. He’ll keep jacking it down there quick. Their run looks a lot like Luke’s and Joseph’s.”

Cody Snow and Junior Nogueira

Round 2: 4.3 + 10 seconds

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings: 14,230.77 each

World Standings Earnings: 83,458.83; 72,314.74

World Standings: 6, 10

Motes’ Take: “Cody broke the barrier, and that steer didn’t start. At Vegas the start is quicker and you have to anticipate them leaving. The steer slipped and broke left a little bit, but for Snow, he’s going to keep spinning steers. They’ve been a top three team throughout the year, and obviously Junior will finish fast. Snow will keep taking the same start, because he can’t get on himself and start missing the start. When you miss the start them steers will be rolling and hard to place. In order to have a chance for good money, you have to take the start Cody took last night. They’re not all going to slip. Junior’s horse Timon is really good. He will give Junior a good, strong finish like he always does.

Andrew Ward and Buddy Hawkins

Round 2: 4.9 seconds

Round Winnings: 6,769.23 each

Total NFR Earnings: 16,769.23 each

World Standings Earnings: 80,641 each

World Standings: 7, 6

Motes’ Take: “The first round, those guys are a team who catch a lot. They’re underestimated sleepers to place high in the average. I was so surprised to see them go out in Round 1. They won Coleman’s NFR average roping last year, and placed in the average at the X-Factor deal. Last night their 4.9-second run was what we’re used to seeing. Andrew can reach, and all summer long and they made the same run they made all summer. Buddy threw quicker than he normally does in Round 1, and he doesn’t miss steers. Andrew will keep turning steers like he did the first two nights. They’re 4.7 to 5.2 all summer long and can do it 100 times in a row. 

Nelson Wyatt and Levi Lord

Round 2: 4.5 seconds

Round Winnings: 15,653.85 each

Total NFR Earnings: 25,653.85 each

World Standings Earnings: 76,345.39, 77,543.89 

World Standings: 8, 7

Motes’ Take: “Nelson is a little like Andrew Ward. Nelson has headed really, really good all summer. He’s turned as many steers as anybody for money. That head horse is good. They’ll be aggressive, and a team that’s a threat in the rounds. They’ll catch a lot of steers to be 4.5 or under as the week grows on. The first round got Levi beat a little bit, and they got him knocked down. But that was a smart job on both’s behalf. They made a better start last night but Nelson will turn a lot of steers to be mid-4.”

Chad Masters and Wesley Thorp

Round 2: 4.7 seconds

Round Winnings: 11,000 each

Total NFR Earnings: 21,000 each

World Standings Earnings: 73,682.49 each

World Standings: 9, 8

Motes’ Take: “That was as surprising as anything to see Chad miss. He helped me at the World Show and Futurity and has run 100s and 100s of steers in that situation. We expected him to do the same thing he did in Round 2. Chad will nail the start, set them up fast, and Thorp is as aggressive as there is a heeler to rope them in a great spot and get a great finish. It will be worth money every night.” 

Charly Crawford and Logan Medlin

Round 2: 5.0 seconds

Round Winnings: 4,230.77 each

Total NFR Earnings: 14,230.77 each

World Standings Earnings: 69,460.04, 68,851.61

World Standings: 10, 11

Motes’ Take: “For Charly, he’s turned two pretty good steers and both hit just a little bit funny. For them guys, their run all summer is a lot the same. Logan’s heel horse is really, really good and runs around there and rates the steers really good off the corner. Charly will keep turning steers, and Logan heeled a tough steer last night. He’s plenty capable of catching them because Drago puts him where he can get over them and get some separation for some finish.” 

Clay Tryan and Jake Long

Round 2: 5.3 seconds

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings:

World Standings Earnings: 67,629.29; 73,227.15

World Standings: 11, 9

Motes’ Take: “Their steer stepped left just a little bit. That will be something that factors in a lot the later part of the week. They’ll start fading to the left, it’s so big and open toward those calf roping chutes that they’ll be rolling off that way. It happened to three teams last night. Jake Long did a good job getting him heeled. That arena isn’t terrible wide before it starts angling down. Clay had to go back up the fence. It will be a factor, with the barrier 2 foot longer than typical, you have to leave as a heeler but you don’t want to shove the steer. It’s hard to get over there. Jake did a good job and got him heeled. 

Brenten Hall and Chase Tryan

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings: 16,769.23 each

World Standings Earnings: 63,914.15

World Standings: 12, 13

Motes’ Take: For Brenten and Chase, they were 5.2 on their first one and made a good run on a strong, straight steer. It was just snappy and smooth to start it off. But that’s their run, real straight down the middle. It was a consistent 5.2 on a strong steer. Last night the steer stepped into Brenten, he kind of split them and it dropped on. For Chase getting over there, Chase never really picked up on his hand, and his horse Friendly is quick but he had to reach at the steer. That’s a hard go. You have to throw because your header is going to run out of room. He reached at him, and it’s tough to get around one that far to the left. If Brenten headed him clean, Chase would have got over him. 

Kolton Schmidt and Hunter Koch

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings:

World Standings Earnings: 61,021.85 each

World Standings: 12, 13

Motes’ Take: “He’s 0 for 2, not the start anybody wants. With their run, Kolton just needs to be consistent and Hunter is so aggressive. For them on the bigger stronger steers, Kolton won’t be 0 for 3. As the next 8 runs happen, Hunter and Garfield will be riding around the end of it and throwing and pulling. They’ll have to be aggressive and take some chances because of the position they’ve got themselves in. They’ll have to pick up the pace.”

Levi Simpson and Shay Carroll

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings:

World Standings Earnings:

World Standings:

Motes’ Take: “Their first steer really was off to the right and Levi bombed, Shay heeled him good and bobbled his dally and got him stopped just out of placing. Last night his loop hit in front of the feet and folded. People talk about the NFR being tough to the left, but left is hard over there too. Levi got it on him fast, and they’d have been 4.4. As he went to set it down, that steer got his head back little bit. Shay was just a little behind getting it down. That horse of Shay’s looks really, really good. There’s a handful of horses—like Junior’s—that a guy can get all the way over the top. The quicker you can get them heeled, the easier your shot. Levi will keep spinning steers. He’s headed as good as anybody and will keep taking that aggressive shot. That head horse is good. They’ll bounce back.”

Jeff Flenniken and Tyler Worley

Round 2: NT

Round Winnings:

Total NFR Earnings:

World Standings Earnings:

World Standings:

Motes’ Take: They were first out and Worley roped a leg to be 5.2 one out of placing. They’re the second-fastest leg and stayed in the average. For Jeff, he’s a guy who quietly turns a lot of steers. He was hesitant at the barrier in the first round, and he turned a good steer last night. He’ll get on a roll and ht more comfortable he gets, the faster he’ll get as the week goes on. He’s one of the best young headers going, and he’ll be a staple. he’ll be a person people get to see at the Finals quite a bit. Worley ropes two feet.

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