Another good college football weekend when it comes to individual match ups. We're here to guide you through the battles within the wars.
DT LOWELL LOTULELEI (UTAH) VS. OG DAMIEN MAMA (SOUTHERN CAL)
Not a thrilling match up, but it's the best one on a meager Friday Night Football slate, so keep an eye on it and enjoy it. Damien Mama is currently a late round prospect who wins with power, and that also happens to be Lowell Lotulelei's strength as well. Another match up to keep an eye on in this game is to see if Utah FS Marcus Williams helps provide some extra support for whichever CB is lined up against Trojans WR Juju Smith-Schuster.
EDGE MARQUIS HAYNES (OLE MISS) VS. RT GREG PYKE (GEORGIA)
Whoever created the college football schedule this season did Ole Miss no favors. The team had to play Alabama and Florida State, who were ranked 1 and 2 as recently as last week, in the first four weeks of the season. Their two losses has dropped them to #23 in the polls, but one thing that hasn't dropped is the jaw-dropping play of Marquis Haynes. Again, Haynes put his impressive speed to power on display this past week getting the best of top-rated OT Cam Robinson, and I expect him to wreak havoc against Georgia's Greg Pyke this week, who is a guard playing right tackle for the Bulldogs and struggles in space. This is a recipe for disaster for Kirby Smart's squad.
DT MALIK MCDOWELL (MICHIGAN STATE) VS. OG DAN VOLTZ (WISCONSIN)
Malik McDowell has looked like one of the most dominant players in college football thus far this season, and after facing off against Quenton Nelson and Notre Dame last week, he gets another opportunity to test his mettle versus versatile Badgers lineman Dan Voltz. Voltz is what you would call "country strong," so it will be fun to see if McDowell can use his technique and hand quickness to beat Voltz on Saturday.
WR ZAY JONES (EAST CAROLINA) VS. CB BRANDON FACYSON/TIM HARRIS (VIRGINIA TECH)
East Carolina isn't the most exciting team to watch, but productive WR Zay Jones is a prospect who could make an NFL roster in 2017. He faces a huge challenge this week in going against towering CBs Brandon Facyson (6'1") and Tim Harris (6'2"), so this week will be important to showcase his route running and ability to beat the press off the line.
QB COOPER RUSH (CENTRAL MICHIGAN) VS. FS QUIN BLANDING (VIRGINIA)
Although he already was on the radar for draftniks, the Hail Mary fiasco that coffined Oklahoma State put Cooper Rush on the map for the general public. Rush is an interesting QB prospect that could enjoy a Carson Wentz-like rise up draft boards if he can continue to stack good performances together, but he will need to avoid Cavaliers FS Quin Blanding this week to do so. I still have to review Blanding in further detail, but what I saw that impressed me in the Virginia vs. Oregon game was Blanding on the sideline trying to rally his teammates after getting off to a slow start and jumpstarting a pedestrian defense. I like that.
WR AMBA ETTA-TAWO (SYRACUSE) VS. CB JAMAR SUMMERS (CONNECTICUT)
One silver lining from the Lamar Jackson-Syracuse conquest was Orange WR Amba Etta-Tawo. I did some more research on him, and the University of Maryland Grad Transfer was recently added to the Biletnikoff Watch List for 2016 and could boost his stock with a big game against UConn CB Jamar Summers, who is a draftable prospect. Etta-Tawo could be this year's Geronimo Allison with a sneaky productive year and perhaps a good Shrine Game bowl-type showing. Bookmark his name.
OLB JARRAD DAVIS (FLORIDA) VS. RB JALEN HURD (TENNESSEE)
When Jarrad Davis makes contact with the 240-lb Jalen Hurd, you should be able to hear it all the way from the upper rafters of the Stadium. Davis hits like a truck and Hurd is a power back in every sense of the word, but I expect Hurd to struggle against a very good Gators defense. We currently have Davis as a fringe 1st/2nd rounder, #29 on our Big Board.
CB CHIDOBE AWUZIE (COLORADO) VS. WR DARREN CARRINGTON (OREGON)
We had Awuzie on our match ups article last week, and he had played a key role in a Buffalos fumble recovery that almost put Michigan on notice. Whereas last week Michigan's Jehu Chesson was more of a possession WR, Awuzie will be able to add to his portfolio this week going against a more speed-type WR in Oregon's Darren Carrington, who will literally be dressed like a duck this weekend.
WR CHRIS GODWIN (PENN STATE) VS. CB JOURDAN LEWIS (MICHIGAN)
#RumorHasIt that Wolverines CB Jourdan Lewis will be making his 2016 debut this weekend against Penn State, and his first task will be locking up the ultra-productive Chris Godwin. Jourdan Lewis' draft stock took a minor hit by missing the first few weeks with injury, so let's see if you can come back in and close the gap with players like Desmond King and Teez Tabor after a very good 2015 campaign.
RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY (STANFORD) VS. DT EDDIE VANDERDOES (UCLA)
UCLA has some playmakers on defense, but will it be enough to keep the electric Heisman candidate McCaffrey in check? This will certainly be the biggest test for Stanford so far this season, and PFF has DT Eddie Vanderdoes as the highest-rated DT in college football through the first three weeks of the season. Let's see how much damage McCaffrey does to that statistic.
TE JEREMY SPRINKLE (ARKANSAS) VS. FS ARMANI WATTS/SS JUSTIN EVANS (TEXAS A&M)
Jeremy Sprinkle was a player that jumped out to me when watching Arkansas through the first three weeks of this season, but he will have his hands full this week going against the talented safety tandem of Armani Watts and Justin Evans, both of which are Top 100 prospects. Razorbacks DE Deatrich Wise Jr. against Aggies OT Avery Gennesy is another battle to keep your eye out for on the other side of the ball.
If you want to see where we have each player stacking up for the 2017 NFL Draft, check out our Big Board.