College Football Match-ups Week 7

By | October 14, 2016

The season is in full bloom and despite a plethora of lackluster action this coming weekend, we also have a chance to see some Top 25 teams match-up as they struggle to remain relevant for Holiday Bowling. And of course their games feature some serious Pro Prospects as well.

#1 Alabama at #9 Tennessee; 3:30 PM ET; CBS … The folks at Tennessee are wondering who the heck put together a schedule that has had them playing Florida, Georgia, at Texas A&M and this week against Alabama in successive weeks. Certainly this final week of this scheduling gauntlet will give Tennessee a pretty good indicator whether the program is in fact back as they face the #1 ranked defending national champions.

Not surprisingly, when two SEC powers go head-to-head there will be plenty of NFL draft prospects on display starting with the week’s best one-on-one match-up when Alabama has the ball and star junior Tide LT Cam Robinson goes up against Vols’ LDE Derek Barnett. Robinson is a top 5-10 prospect, while Barnett appears to be back on the rise in the eyes of NFL scouts after posting 5 sacks in the last three weeks versus quality SEC teams. Alabama also has a dominating DE in senior DE Jonathan Allen is another Tide player with top 10 potential, while redshirt sophomore CB Marlon Humphrey is one of the top 2-3 candidates at the position for the upcoming draft. Same story for OLB Tim Williams, one of the most explosive edge rusher in the country, although he has struggled at times both on and off the field so far this fall. The talented Alabama defense also features MLB Reuben Foster, SS Eddie Jackson and OLB Ryan Anderson, each of whom has top 100 potential. On the other side of the ball, TE O.J. Howard joins Robinson as this top-rated guy at his position.

Tennessee is not yet as deep or talented as Alabama, but does have some the best skill-position talent in the country in QB Josh Dobbs, junior RBs Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, while Corey Vereen combines with Barnett to give the Vols a disruptive pair of DEs. Prospects to watch:

ALABAMA                                                                                     TENNESSEE

#74  OT  Cam Robinson, 6-5, 330, JR                                        #11  QB  Josh Dobbs, 6-3, 210, SR
#50  OG  Alphonse Taylor, 6-5, 345, SR                                     #1   RB   Jalen Hurd, 6-3, 240, JR
#88  TE  OJ Howard, 6-5, 245, SR                                               #6  RB   Alvin Kamara, 5-10, 215, JR
#93  DE  Jonathan Allen, 6-3, 295, SR                                       #3   WR Josh Malone, 6-2, 200, JR
#9    DE  Da’Shawn Hand, 6-3, 280, SR                                     #9  DE   Derek Barnett, 6-3, 260, JR
#54  DE  Dalvin Tomlinson, 6-3, 305, SR                                  50  DE   Corey Vereen, 6-2, SR
#10  LB   Reuben Foster, 6-1, 240, SR
#56  LB Tim Williams, 6-3, 240, SR
#22  LB  Ryan Anderson, 6-2, 255, SR
#26  CB  Marlon Humphrey, 6-1, 200, RSO
#4    SS   Eddie Jackson, 6-0, 195, SR
#99  PK  Adam Griffith, 5-10, 195, SR
#15    P    JK Scott, 6-5, 200, JR

NORTH CAROLINA (4-2) by 4 @ MIAMI (4-1); 3:30/ET ABC
I don’t really think the Hurricanes are about to free fall to mediocrity, but their QB/BRAD KAAYA is banged up after the loss to FSU. If KAAYA is able to play effectively the matchup with UNC QB MITCH TRUBISKY could be quite fascinating. But they are both Juniors and I think both should stay in school another year. IN fact the best prospects for both squads are underclassmen. Keep your eyes on Soph DT/NAZAIR JONES #90 for the Tar Heels. He’s a potential First Rounder for the 2018 Draft. I’m hoping RB/ELIJAH HOOD is back in the saddle again this weekend. He’s a Top 100 guy for 2017. I like UNC in a close and exciting game. Prospects to watch:

NORTH CAROLINA                                                          MIAMI

#45 MIKE BART/DE 6’3/270                                                #6 JAMAL CARTER/S 6’1/210
#71 JON HECK/OT 6’7/300                                                   #3 STACY COLEY/WR 6’1/193
#34 ELIJAH HOOD/RB 6’0/220 JR                                  #63 DANIEL ISADORA/OG 6’4/310
#2 DEZ LAWRENCE/CB 6’1/185                                        #26 RAYSHAWN JENKINS/S 6’2/208
#3 RYAN SWITZER/WR/RS 5’10/185                                #15 BRAD KAAYA/QB 6’4/210 JR

SOUTHERN MISS (4-2) @ LSU (3-2) by 10; 7:30/ET SEC Network
I remember what happened at USC when ‘Coach O’ took over for Lane Kiffin, and I expect much of the same from LSU. THey should roll in this one against a solid, if unspectacular Southern Miss team. Not sure if FOURNETTE will play or not, but it should be the LSU Defense that controls this contest. DERRIUS GUICE/RB #5 is actually a more multi-faceted back than FOURNETTE. LSU is loaded everywhere but at QB, and LES MILES might still have his job if GOLDEN EAGLES QB/MULLENS played for the Tigers. This could be a better game than many think, but I cannot see the Tigers coming up short. Prospects to watch:

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI                                                LSU

#12 D’MERIUS ANTWINE/SS 6’0/215                                   #52 KENDELL BECKWITH/ILB 6’2/252
#77 JACOB FLEMING/OT 6’4/302                                          #83 TRAVIN DUVAL/WR 6’2/203
#9 NICK MULLENS/QB 6’1/195                                                 #7 LEONARD FOURNETTE/RB 6’1/230 JR
#17 ELIJAH PARKER/LB 6’2/220                                           #92 LEWIS NEAL/DE 6’2/265
#5 D.J. THOMPSON/WR 6’3/200                                           #77 ETHAN POCIC/OC 6’7/310
*************************                                                         #18 TRE’ DAVIOUS WHITE/CB 5’11/191
*************************                                                         #33 JAMAL ADAMS/FS/6-0/210/JR

I truly believe that right now BRET BIELEMA has a better balanced team than Ole Miss can handle. They are also big and tuff in his image. If AUSTIN ALLEN/QB #8 isn’t too banged up to play effectively after beat downs in the past few games he has enough moxie, FBI and skill to put up points on that Ole Miss D. And the lack of a Rebels running game will make CHAD KELLY a tasty target for the Razorback D. The loser here will be fighting to go to a December Bowl never mind a Holiday Bowl. I will take the home team. Prospects to watch:

MISSISSIPPI                                                                          ARKANSAS
#1 TONY BRIDGES/CB 6’1/185                                                #51 BROOKS ELLIS/ILB 6’2/248
#12 TONY CONNER/SS 6’0/215                                                #4 KEON HATCHER/WR 6’2/218
#17 EVAN ENGRAM/TE 6’3/235                                            #80 DREW MORGAN/WR 6’0/195
#93 D.J. JONES/DT 6’0/324                                                    #70 DAN SKIPPER/OT 6’10/325
#10 CHAD KELLY/QB 6’2/215                                                 #83 JEREMY SPRINKLE/TE 6’6/255
#8 QUINCY ADEBOYJO/WR 6’3/195                                    #48 DIETRICH WISE/DE 6’5/280

OHIO STATE (5-0) by 8 @ WISCONSIN (4-1); 8PM/ET ABC
A major Big Ten showdown between two relatively young teams who look like legit Top 15 teams. I expect the difference here to come down to Heisman Candidate QB/J.T. BARRETT/16 who is a dynamic leader and a dual threat as a runner and passer. The UW D has proven itself to be stout, featuring another of the WATT brothers in LB/T.J. But the Badgers O will be hard pressed to score much on the Buckeyes D, led by McMILLAN/#5. Ohio State lost a ton to the 2016 NFL Draft, but their young guys now have 5 starts under their belts and are looking elite. I believe the difference in this game could boil down to the Badgers having lost their PK to back surgery. I will take Ohio State by single digits. Prospects to watch:

OHIO STATE                                                                          WISCONSIN
#65 PAT ELFEIN/OC 6’3/300                                                  #47 VINCE BIEGEL/OLB 6’4/245
#59 TYQUAN LEWIS/6’4/260 JR                                             #6 COREY CLEMENT/RB 5’11/214
#5 RAEKWON McMILLAN/ILB 6’2/240/JR                       #42 T.J. WATT/OLB 6’5/247 JR
#84 COREY SMITH/WR 6’1/195                                              #15 ROBERT WHEELWRIGHT/WR 6’3/202
#6 SAM HUBBARD/DE/6-5, 265/RSO

Cheers for another week.