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.
Here's some battles that are on tap for the upcoming weekend:
OT KALEB MCGARY VS DE JALEN JELKS
This game is absolutely rife with NFL-caliber match ups including QB Justin Herbert vs. SS Taylor Rapp, WR Dillon Mitchell vs. CB Byron Murphy, and RB Myles Gaskin vs. LB Troy Dye Jr. to name a few. But the battle I will be keyed in on is Ducks edge rusher Jalen Jelks against Huskies right tackle Kaleb McGary. Jelks is a little bit behind pace to match his 7 sack/15.5 tackles for loss 2017 season, but the 6'6" edge rusher has been fighting double teams all season and tasked with setting consistent edges in the run defense to funnel runners back inside. McGary has an athletic build for an offensive lineman and could be high on any zone blocking team that is in need of a starting right tackle. This game is likely going to be the first tape scouts watch when assessing player grades.
OT DALTON RISNER VS DE JORDAN BRAILFORD
Another trench battle, Risner will have his hands full with Oklahoma State edge rusher Jordan Brailford. Brailford has been on a tear this season with 8 sacks and 2 forced fumbles and is the best edge rusher that no one is talking about through the first six weeks of the college football season. Risner is the veteran captain at right tackle for the Wildcats but has the positional versatility to play all five spots on the offensive line. Whoever wins this individual match up on Saturday is going to get a big boost to their draft stock, and with how loaded the edge rusher class is shaking up to be, Brailford needs it.
RB D'ANDRE SWIFT/ELIJAH HOLYFIELD VS LB DEVIN WHITE
The undefeated Georgia Bulldogs have a tall task ahead of them going against an LSU defense that can almost all play on Sundays. If Georgia is going to run the football, Devin White is going to have something to say about it. The inside linebacker currently sits as our sixth best player on our 2019 Big Board and his range and speed is going to make some defensive coordinator very happy come April. The Bulldogs have the most talented stable of runners in college football even with some injuries to the unit, which makes you wonder if Elijah Holyfield will be pushed to declare for the draft after this season.
WR DENZEL MIMS VS CB KRIS BOYD
Super pumped for this match up in the Big 12. Denzel Mims is the best wide receiver that Baylor has had since Josh Gordon (no, I did not forget about Corey Coleman), and Kris Boyd continues his stock boosting 2018 tour with yet another premier match up. We currently have an early day two grade on Mims and if you didn't see his catch last week, do yourself a favor and look it up. Boyd has a great chance to separate himself from a fairly week senior cornerback class, but he needs to continue his physical brand of football while making sure he doesn't get too handsy against Mims on an island.
WR FELTON DAVIS VS CB AMANI ORUWARIYE
Another skill position match up, but this time we go to the Big Ten. Amani Oruwariye has had an up-and-down season so far this year, and while the physical tools are there to start on Sundays, he needs to show more consistency. Luckily for him he gets to go up against one of the best receivers in the conference in Felton Davis III, who gives me serious Sidney Rice vibes with his ball tracking ability. Sparty got upset last week against Clayton Thorson and Northwestern where Davis was held to just 50 yards receiving, so he should be looking for revenge this week.
OG BEAU BENZSCHAWEL/OT DAVID EDWARDS VS DE RASHAN GARY
Rashan Gary missed last week's game against Rutgers with an injury but should be back this week. That's good for Michigan, because they are going to need all the defensive line reinforcements that they can get going against this NFL-caliber Badgers offensive line. Depending on alignment, Gary will be lined up on either right guard Beau Benzschawel or right tackle David Edwards, and neither player is a welcoming match up. This is one of those games that Gary needs to keep his name in the top half of first round conversations, not only as a pass rusher, but also to keep impressive sophomore rusher Jonathan Taylor at bay in the run game.