What a week of college football! We had undefeated’s dropping around the nation, ‘Bama is still ‘Bama (what else is new?), and we’re still figuring out who the contenders and pretenders are around the nation.
There are not many standout games again this week, but there are some solid prospects being put on display in interesting positional matchups. Without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s prospects to watch.
UCLA vs Colorado
UCLA TE Joseph Fauria
Fauria (6’7, 255lbs.) came into the season as one of the top tight ends in the country. While he hasn’t had many consistent opportunities in the early part of the season due to a run first offense and inconsistent quarterback play, he has shown that he can produce when given the ball, which was evident by his seven catches for 95 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games of the season.
He already is halfway to matching his touchdowns from last season and is averaging more yards per catch than last year. Fuaria is actually on pace to record more receptions as well. On the year, he has 11 receptions for 142 yards and three touchdowns.
Oregon vs Washington State
Washington St. OLB Travis Long
This game will probably be a blowout victory for Oregon, as they come into this game with the most explosive ground game in the country, a potential Heisman candidate at running back, and an efficient passing attack. But one player Oregon will have to pay extra attention to will be OLB Travis Long. He (6’4, 245lbs.) has been on a tear this season and is doing it while playing a new position.
Formerly a defensive end in Washington State’s old 4-3 defense, he is now playing OLB in their 3-4 defense and has been on fire, recording at least two sacks in three out of four games this season. So far, Long has 27 tackles and 6.5 sacks.
San Diego State vs Fresno State
S.D.State CB Leon McFadden
While not the prettiest matchup this weekend, this is a great opportunity for McFadden to show off his skills as San Diego State will go up against a big play offense in Fresno State. McFadden (5’10, 185lbs.) is easily S.D. State’s best defender, and has 19 tackles, five deflections, two interceptions and one touchdown this season.
Despite not being tested often last season, he was still able to record 15 pass deflections and two picks. Fresno State QB Derek Carr has already thrown for over 1,000 yards and has two receivers with over 300 yards receiving. Will he test McFadden this weekend?
Georgia vs Tennessee
Georgia S Baccari Rambo
This is Rambo’s first game back from his four game drug related suspension and will play his first game of the season against the dangerous Tennessee passing attack. Rambo (6’0, 220lbs.) had a great season last year compiling 52 tackles, seven pass deflections, and eight interceptions.
With Tennessee QB Tyler Bray tossing the rock deep to WR’s Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson (who have combined for 660+ yards and six touchdowns so far this season), Rambo will have to be on his A-game early and show he is still a force to be reckoned with in the pass game.
Kentucky vs South Carolina
Kentucky OG Larry Warford
Warford (6’3, 330lbs.) is big body on the interior of the offensive line, and he knows how to use his size and strength. He is a monster in the run game and in his time at Kentucky, they have been able to run the ball well. Easily Kentucky’s best offensive linemen and a top 5 offensive guard, Warford is equally good in pass protection, as he showed well against Florida’s talented defensive line last week. Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney can both rotate inside on passing downs, so it’ll be interesting to see how Warford holds up against another great defensive line for the second week in a row.
TCU vs SMU
TCU LB Kenny Cain
Cain (6’1, 225lbs.) is not the biggest linebacker, but he is proving to be one to keep an eye on as the draft process and the season play out. Cain has the task of replacing two very talented linebackers in Tank Carder and Tanner Brock, and so far is doing a solid job.
Through two games played, Cain has nine tackles, two interceptions, and a pass deflection. He was instrumental in TCU’s win over Virginia last week and has shown very well in coverage last season and part early of this year. He has the look of a solid cover two coverage linebacker at the next level.
Texas vs Oklahoma State
Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat
Texas is undefeated and ranked 12th in the nation and Jeffcoat and the Texas defense is a big reason for the fast start. Jeffcoat (6’5, 245lbs.) and Texas play the first of three straight heavyweight matchups this week against the Cowboys. Oklahoma State is an offensive juggernaut, ranking first in total yards and points scored per game in the nation, second in passing, and sixth in rushing.
Jeffcoat and the Texas defense will have to step it up big time to contain such an explosive offense by applying pressure and containing big plays in the run game. On the season, Jeffcoat has 12 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass deflection.
Oregon State vs Arizona
Oregon St. CB Jordan Poyer
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez loves to throw the ball and Wildcats QB Matt Scott leads the 11th best passing attack in college football with over 340 yards per game. Poyer (6’0, 190lbs.) has not really been tested this season as the first two games Oregon State has played has been against teams that prefer to run the ball. He will have his opportunity to show what he can do in coverage this week. On the season, Poyer has six tackles, one sack, and one deflection.
Iowa vs Minnesota
Iowa CB Micah Hyde
Iowa has not looked good so far this season, but some players have put forth solid efforts early in the season, including Micah Hyde. Hyde (6’1, 190lbs.) has the size NFL teams love, and while he has yet to record an interception, that has more to do with teams not testing him than it does his talent. Proving to be an excellent tackler, Hyde has 27 tackles-including 14 in a one point loss to Central Michigan last week- and one pass deflection.
Game of the Week: Ohio State vs Michigan State
Michigan St. DE William Gholston/ Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins
Gholston (6’7′, 280lbs.) has the monumental task of helping the Spartan defense contain one of the best players in the country in Ohio St. QB Braxton Miller. Through four games this season, Miller has almost 1,200 total offensive yards and leads the Bucs in rushing, and he has scored 14 total touchdowns. Outside contain will be huge in this one, so Gholston will have to really play his up to match his potential if Michigan St. is going to have a chance to stop Miller and the Bucs’ offense. On the season, Gholston has 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, and one pass deflection.
On the flip side, Hankins (6’3, 320 lbs.) will have to control the line of scrimmage, as OSU’s defense will have to stop bruising RB Le’Veon Bell. On the season Bell has 610 yards rushing with five touchdowns, averaging 5.2 per carry. Hankins is a beast on the line, a potential top ten pick in the NFL draft who is capable of beating double and even triple teams, and is coming off two straight ten tackle games. On the season, Hankins has 25 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack.