Every Friday, we take a look at the games within the games of college football and try to shine a spotlight on some of the elite positional matchups for the upcoming weekend.
This week’s episode is heavy on #Pac12AfterDark.
OT ANDRE DILLARD VS EDGE PORTER GUSTIN
Wazzou starting left tackle Andre Dillard will have his hands full against Porter Gustin on Friday night, but luckily for Dillard, Gustin is suspended for the first half due to a carryover targeting penalty in the second half of last week's game against Texas. This means that Gustin will be fresh for the entire second half and will give Dillard fits with his physicality and power moves. Gustin has been marred by injury for almost the entirety of his Trojans career so this season is important to prove to scouts that he can stay healthy and be effective.
QB DREW LOCK VS SS JR REED
Drew Lock has been listed as QB1 on many people's draft boards and a good performance against an all-world defense in Georgia this week can catapult him to the top spot. Lock's biggest knock so far has been a sub-par completion percentage and emphasis on protecting the football better, and through three games, he's answered those questions with a 69.0% completion percentage and an 11:1 TD:INT ratio. One player who will have something to say about it is underrated Bulldogs safety JR Reed who already has an interception and could add one or two more to his collection from the gunslinging Lock.
OG TANNER FARMER VS DE RASHAN GARY
Nebraska has had a turbulent start to the Scott Frost era and senior right guard Tanner Farmer went viral this week calling out players for not putting in the necessary effort and commitment to win at the collegiate level. Scouts enjoyed that diatribe, and now he'll have an opportunity to back up the talk against one of the best pass rushers in Rashan Gary. Gary lines up as a 3-4 defensive end in Michigan's hybrid defense and has the ability to penetrate line up over both the B and C gap, so Farmer will have to bring his "A" game against the Prince of Paramus.
RB TRAYVEON WILLIAMS VS LB MACK WILSON
Huge statement game this week for new Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher after going blow-for-blow against Clemson in their last outing. Alabama absolutely dismantled Ole Miss last week, but Texas A&M have the advantage of an extra week of preparation for what is being called the most explosive Crimson Tide team in the Nick Saban era. If they're going to get the upset, running back Trayveon Williams is going to need a big day on the ground to open up play action for Kellen Mond, but you better believe fringe first rounder Mack Wilson will be there to meet him every step of the way.
RB JUSTICE HILL VS LB DAKOTA ALLEN
Justice Hill isn't built for durability if you look at his physique and may be pigeon-holed as a complimentary back in the NFL, but that's why you don't go off looks. Hill has never missed a game in his collegiate career and runs with terrific physicality between the tackles. Hill also has the acceleration and speed to turn the corner for the home run, but unfortunately for him, Red Raiders linebacker Dakota Allen has the foot speed to match and meet him at the point of attack. Allen has done a terrific job in maturing off the field and the team captain's play so far this season has matched.
WR JJ ARCEGA-WHITESIDE VS CB THOMAS GRAHAM/FS UGO AMADI
I don't usually like doing this, but I'm putting two players on JJAW because that's what its going to take for Oregon to shut down one of the hottest receiver in college football across the first three weeks. Arcega-Whiteside has been a contested catch savant with 13 catches for 354 yards and 5 TDs already and the 5'11 sophomore Thomas Graham and 5'10 senior Ugo Amadi are going to have to go up on each other's shoulders to form a mega human to contend with JJAW's catch radius.