PIGSKINS WEEKLY PROSPECTS WATCH; Week II

By | August 31, 2017

We have moved past a pretty marginal, short game list of a Week 1 of the College season and now it’s time for the real deal as September begins. Here my 4 most interesting games, based in great part on the 2018 Draft Prospects who will be performing in them. I am attempting to restrain myself from listing any prospects who are not seniors, but there will be games in which an underclassmen is exceptional and I will invariably bend that rule. There will be no holds barred once we get a few weeks into the season.

THURSDAY. AUGUST 31. 8PM ET. ESPN
OHIO STATE by 9 @ INDIANA
Urban Meyer pulls into Bloomington for a tune-up game with his retooled roster. What the Buckeyes lack in experience they more than make up for with fresh troops with talent equal to those players lost from last years roster. Of note is the fact that the Buckeyes enter the season with new Coordinators, including fired IU head man KEVIN WILSON as the OC. It won’t matter much since Urban’s program and the players are entrenched in their successful ways. Two of the Big Ten’s best QB will duel here with BARRETT/OSU and LAGOW/IU presenting contrasting skill sets and styles. BARRETT is the better runner, but it is LAGOW who has the rifle arm. BARRETT’s top 3 receivers are all in NFL Training Camps this summer, but it just opens the door for new talent. The Buckeyes D is loaded and has surprising vet experience. Believe it or not OSU returns 15/22 starters and 48 letterman. IU returns 8 of their top 9 tacklers from last season, amongst their 62 returning letterman. If the IU D can come out fast this could be a close game.

OHIO STATE                                                                    INDIANA

#16 J.T. BARRETT QB 6’2/220                                          #21 RICHARD LAGOW QB 6’6/240
#85 MARCUS BAUGH TE 6’5/250                                   #80 IAN THOMAS TE 6’5/250
#54 BILLY PRICE OC 6’4/310                                             #8 TEGRAY SCALES OB 6’0/230
#59 TYQUAN LEWIS DE 6’4/265                                     #19 TONY FIELDS FS 5’11/205
#35 CHRIS WORLEY IB 6’2/240                                      #74 NATE HUFF DT 6’2/310
#33 DANTE BOOKER OB 6’3/240                                   #16 RASHARD FANT/CB 5’10/175
#7 DAMON WEBB S 5’11/195                                            #17 CHRIS COVINGTON IB 6’2235
#6 SAM HUBBARD DE 6’5, 265
#25 MIKE WEBER RB 5’10/215

SATURDAY SEPT. 2 NOON ET. FSI
MARYLAND @ TEXAS by 5
The LONGHORNS make their debut under new Head Coach TOM HERMAN and it’s a nice tune up game against a physical, competitive bunch from Maryland, which had a slightly better record (6-7 vs 5-7) than Texas last season. Look for the Longhorns to look a lot more inspired than in the past few years under Charlie Strong, who faced a lot of non-support from Texas alums during his coaching tenure. But the talent is fairly equal right now on these two teams. So, if Texas pulls away it could be a sign of good things to come for 2017. Texas QB SHANE BUECHELE learned a lot last season starting as a true frosh and could put up some big numbers this season if he gets help from his teammates. The talent overall is pretty even, but hole field should big a big boost for the Longhorns.

MARYLAND                                                                TEXAS

#48 DERRICK HAYWARD TE 6’5/235                       #47 ANDREW BECK TE 6’3/253
#41 JESSE ANIEBONAM DE 6’3/260                         #58 BRANDON HODGES OT 6’4/310
#57 KINGSLEY OPARA DT 6’3/300                            #40 NAASHON HUGHES OB 6’4/237
#1 JERMAINE CARTER LB 6’0/235                            #46 MALIK JEFFERSON OB 6’3/238 JR
……………………………………………………                            #55 CONNOR WILLIAMS LT 6’5, 320 JR

SATURDAY, SEPT. 2 3PM ET ESPN @ Charlotte
N.C. STATE by 8 vs. SOUTH CAROLINA
The Wolfpack, under former UW Coach DAVE DOEREN look like a loaded roster this season. 17/24 starters return from a 7-6 squad. Best of al they have JR. QB RYAN FINLEY (ex-Boise State) at the helm. He has a live arm, but can run to extend plays quite effectively. His top 4 receivers from 2016 return. The Defense is stout, led by an entire senior/veteran DL. WILL MUSCHAMP/HC continues the program rebuild for the Gamecocks. JAKE BENTLEY/QB looks like the QB Steve Spurrier wanted in his program, but never got in Columbia. BENTLEY faces the happy prospect of having his top 5 receivers back from 2016. Youth will be served under MUSCHAMP, and my guess is this is good timing for the Wolfpack to go on the road and win their opener in a close, low scoring game.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE                                     SOUTH CAROLINA

#1 JAYLEN SAMUELS H-B 5’11/223                            #51 CORY HELMS/OG 6’5/308
#50 TONY ADAMS OG 6’2/322                                     #93 ULRIC JONES DT 6’6/309
#35 KENTAVIUS STREET DE 6’2/282                        #10 SKAI MOORE LB/SS 6’2/221
#27 JUSTIN JONES DT 6’2/315                                     #4 BRYSON ALLEN-WILLIAMS IB 6’2/229
#9 BRADLEY CHUBB DE 6’4/275                                 #7 JAMARCUS KING/CB 6’1/186
#2 MIKE STEVENS S 5’11/200                                     #24 D.J. SMITH S 5’11/195

SATURDAY SEPT. 2 3:30 PM ET NBC
TEMPLE @ NOTRE DAME by 5
It’s time to get a look at the “new” Fighting Irish team and start getting an impression as to whether HC BRIAN KELLY has righted the ship, or if the 4-8 2016 team is the new norm for the Irish. KELLY has reinvented his coaching staff (again) which includes new Coordinators on both sides of the ball. BRANDIN WINBUSH is the new QB after having redshirted last season. The book on Winbush says he is athletic with a strong arm. He gets back 6 of last year’s top 7 receivers. Look for ND to also run the ball first behind a strong OL. The D is young, but does return 7 starters. TEMPLE takes the field without hC MIKE RUHLE who fled for Baylor after divine guidance told him to. GEOFF COLLINS is the new man and the team returns over 40 lettermen. The issue may be that only 10 of them were starters last season. Expect a tight game with new QBs turning the ball over a bit perhaps. If the Owls win this one then expect another tough/long season in South Bend.

TEMPLE                                                                         NOTRE DAME

#5 KEITH KIRKWOOD WR 6’3/218                            #80 DURHAM SMYTHE TE 6’6/256
#17 ADONIS JENNINGS WR 6’3/205                         #68 MIKE McGLINCHEY OT 6’8/312
#53 LEON JOHNSON OT 6’5/320                                 #5 MYLES MORGAN IB 6’1/238
#3 SEAN CHANDLER S 6’0/190                                  #48 GREER NARTINI OB 6’4/240
#94 JULIAN TAYLOR DE 6’5/280                              #56 QUENTON NELSON OG 6’4/320 JR