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Zach's Draft Corner: Biggest Upsets So Far/What to Watch

November 8, 2019

 

  Image Credit: Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Zach’s Draft Corner, where it’s always amateur hour.

 

 

There is nothing more beautiful in college football than the massive upset.  On one side, you have an unranked team, gearing themselves up for one of the biggest games on the schedule.  On the other side, you have a usually more talented, high-ranked team who is looking to put a beatdown on the hapless squad in their way of a higher ranking come playoff time.  Some punches are thrown.  The Goliath expects their opponent to go down easily, but David withstands the punches better than anyone expected.

 

At halftime, there is buzz all around the stadium.  If the ranked team is at home, it's a nervous energy of knowing that something isn't right.  This is not how the game is supposed to be going at all.  The fans expected an easy win, and now it's looking like the game will be anything but easy.

 

If the underdog is at home, it's pure elation.  The energy is exciting, and every fan in the stands is high on it.  Let's face it, they weren't expecting to be in this situation either.  They are playing with house money at this point, and they plan on making that home stadium louder than it has ever been in the second half.

 

The second half rolls around, and you can feel every down as it plays out.  Eventually, there becomes a moment when everyone knows the game is clinched.  The surrender cobras come out while this pitiful team celebrates on your field, or the 5-star recruits dodge students rushing on to the field to celebrate with the team they supported for the past three hours on their way to an improbable victory.  The nation is momentarily captivated, but the two fan bases hold on to that moment for an entire season, both good and bad.

 

Ten weeks into the regular season, we have already had quite a few of these energizing moments.  This week, we are going to rank the top five upsets of the college football season.

 

5.  Kansas State over #5 Oklahoma, 48-41, at Kansas State, Week 9

 

Why it was a great upset

 

Oklahoma was a top five team coming into this matchup, and Kansas State was unranked.  Oklahoma was steamrolling teams left and right, and needed to do so if they wanted a chance at the College Football Playoff.  Oklahoma needed to play this season perfectly, as Big 12 teams are typically seen as lesser competition.  The score was 24-23 Kansas State going into halftime, but a 24-0 run to start the second half put Kansas State well ahead of the Sooners in the fourth quarter.  The crowd got louder and louder with each score, and the home crowd got to witness their Wildcats pulling off one of the best upsets of the season.

 

Why it wasn't higher

 

Kansas State is actually good.  They lost back-to-back games early in the season, which knocked them off of the radar for a bit.  They are back, though, as the College Football Playoff Committee put them at #16 in their first rankings.  Also, this upset was at home, making it slightly less impressive.  Even worse, Kansas State almost blew the lead.  After the score was 48-23, Oklahoma roared back with 18 points of their own and a chance to at least tie the game in the final minutes.  It almost felt like Kansas State held on rather than them pulling the upset.

 

4.  UCLA over #19 Washington State, 67-63, at Washington State, Week 4

 

Why it was a great upset

 

UCLA was terrible to start the season.  They dropped matchups to Cincinnati, San Diego State, and Oklahoma in the first three weeks of the season.  Now they have to go on the road to nineteenth-ranked Washington State, and with less than seven minutes to go in the third quarter, the Cougars were leading 49-17.  UCLA hadn't scored 32 points in an entire game to this point in the season, so it seemed like an impossible lead to overcome, especially on the road.  All the fighting Chip Kellys did from that point forward was drop a 50-burger on Washington State in less than 22 minutes of game time!  The Wazzu Cougars gave up points out the wazoo in the third and fourth quarters to give UCLA their first win of the season.

 

Why it wasn't higher

 

Washington State is actually bad.  The loss to UCLA started a three-game losing streak for the Cougars, and they currently sit 4-4 with four games remaining.  This was certainly an epic comeback, and finishing fourth on this list is nothing to scoff at.  However, UCLA and Washington State seem more like equals at this point than a David versus a Goliath.

 

3.  USC over #10 Utah, 30-23, at USC, Week 4

 

Why it was a great upset

 

USC looked like they were going to have yet another horrid season.  They were able to trounce Stanford, but a loss against BYU dashed the hopes of the Trojan faithful.  To make matters worse, their starting quarterback was injured, meaning that USC was walking into a home game against maybe the best defense in the PAC 12 with a backup quarterback.  They then proceeded to never trail in the contest, matching and exceeding every blow Utah managed to land.  USC had fewer yards, more turnovers, and over 16 minutes less time of possession, but still managed to come out on top.  To make it even more impressive, Utah has won every game since, working their way up to 8th in the playoff rankings, while USC is an average 5-4.  This may wind up as the only loss on Utah's resume at the end of the regular season, and one-loss teams have been kept out of the playoffs when they reside in the PAC 12.

 

Why it wasn't higher

 

Although it's been a long time since USC was the USC we all remember, can we really say it's truly an upset when a team that still recruits 5-star players defeats a team from Utah at home?  Looking purely at the totality of the team and how they rank, this was an upset.  But looking at the individual parts on each team, this seems like less of an upset to me.

 

2.  Illinois over #6 Wisconsin, 24-23, at Illinois, Week 8

 

Why it was a great upset

 

There are certain storylines that replay themselves over and over again with upsets in college football.  My favorite one is the top-ten team has a matchup against another top-ten team in the following week, so they completely overlook the cupcake they are playing this week.  That looks to be exactly the case here.  Wisconsin was already getting ready for their week 9 showdown against Ohio State, but they forgot that they had a game against Illinois first.  

 

Wisconsin was favored by a whopping 31 points against the Fighting Illini, and quickly took a 10-0 lead.  Illinois responded with a 48-yard touchdown in the second quarter.  No big deal, broken plays happen, and the Badgers just needed a win.  Wisconsin got the score up to 20-7 in the third quarter, when Illinois scored again on a 43-yard run.  Again, broken plays happen, and Wisconsin is still winning.  Wisconsin gets the score up to 23-14 in the fourth quarter, and it looked like everything was pretty much set.  Illinois wasn't ready to die, though, and rattled off a 4-play, 75-yard touchdown to bring the game to within 2.  Illinois intercepted Badger quarterback Jack Coan with two minutes left, drove to within field goal range, and kicked a 39 yard field goal as time expired to defeat the mighty Badgers.

 

Why it wasn't higher

 

It's hard to beat this upset.  It truly is.  If I am being nitpicky, Illinois was at home.  While it led to a great "rush the field" moment, it was still a home game.  Also, Wisconsin almost seemed like they wanted to give the game away with some questionable coaching.  In Wisconsin's second-to-last drive, Wisconsin threw the ball twice and snapped the ball with double-digit seconds left on the play clock before fumbling the ball.  On their last drive, they again tried to play hurry-up offense while calling passes on over half of their plays.  Wisconsin has one of the best running backs in the nation and instead tried to throw the ball when running down the clock.  Wisconsin deserved to lose this one.

 

1.  South Carolina over #3 Georgia, 20-17 in Double Overtime, at Georgia, Week 7

 

Why it was THE BEST upset

 

This game had everything.  South Carolina came into the game as a 24.5-point underdog on the road to play one of the most talented teams in the country.  This game was supposed to be an easy victory for the Dawgs, but turned into a back and forth slugfest.  Georgia took the lead, with an early field goal, but South Carolina answered with a 93-yard drive for a touchdown capped off by a 46-yard reception by Bryan Edwards.  Georgia answered with a touchdown of their own on the next drive.  South Carolina managed to tie the game with three minutes left in the half, but the upset chatter began when Israel Mukuamu picked off Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm during a 2-minute drill and ran 53-yards into the end zone for a South Carolina lead going into halftime.

 

The slugfest continued through the second half, with neither team scoring at all until Georgia executed a 96-yard drive to tie the game with only 1:48 left in the game.  All of the momentum seemed to swing back to Georgia, and overtime is usually where the most talented team cruises to victory.

 

Georgia was on offense first, and after just driving 96 yards on the Gamecock defense, it seemed like they were bound to score again.  Then Jake Fromm threw his third interception of the game.  South Carolina had the ball back, with 25 yards between them and sweet victory against one of the best teams in college football.  Instead, they drove 9 and missed the field goal.  We were going to the second overtime, with Georgia fans thanking the lucky stars for their seventh chance to pull out the victory.

 

In the second overtime series, South Carolina got the ball all the way down to the Georgia 2-yard line, but was stuffed on the touchdown attempt.  The field goal was good, and Georgia had the ball.  Georgia couldn't move the football, but had one of the best kickers in college football coming to the line.  This entire season, Rodrigo Blankenship hadn't missed a kick of less than 50 yards for the Bulldogs, so this was as close to a chip shot as he could get.  And he missed.  South Carolina, after treading water for an entire half and then some, including missing a field goal that could have won the game for them sooner, managed to topple the Georgian Goliath.

 

South Carolina celebrated.  They celebrated hard.  They owned Sanford Stadium, ripping branches off of the famed hedges.  Not only did they go into Goliath's house and defeat him, they turned his house into their house, only to lose the next two games to Florida and Tennessee.  That is why this is the best upset of the season thus far.

 

TV Guide

The sheer amount of college games on at any given time can be completely overwhelming.  Every week, in the TV Guide section of my column, I will choose the top two games at any given time slot and outline the various prospects you can watch in those games.  That way, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and hit the “Previous Channel” button on your remote to toggle between games chock full of pro prospects.  Here is your guide for week eleven (all times Eastern, playoff rankings in parentheses).

 

As a reminder, we have a new format for the TV Guide this season.  I’m going to list all of the draft eligible players that will impact the games themselves, meaning the lists will be pretty long.  Then, I'll summarize each team by showing the players seriously in contention to be drafted at this point in time.  However, it's important to know that one exceptional season can cause an impactful player to become a draftable player, so these names are still good to monitor.

 

Friday, November 8

 

University of Central Florida at University of Tulsa, 7:00 PM, ESPN 2

 

UCF

Brandon Wimbush, Senior Quarterback, #3

Greg McRae, Junior Running Back, #30

Adrian Killins, Senior Running Back, #9

Marlon Williams, Junior Wide Receiver, #6

Tre Nixon, Junior Wide Receiver, #16

Gabriel Davis, Junior Wide Receiver, #13

Trevor Elbert, Senior Tackle, #79

Josh McMullen, Senior Tackle, #60

Jake Brown, Senior Tackle, #77

Cole Schneider, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #65

Jordan Johnson, Senior Center, #72

Brendon Hayes, Senior Defensive Tackle, #6

Malik Barrow, Junior Defensive Tackle, #95

Nate Evans, Senior Linebacker, #44

Nevelle Clarke, Senior Cornerback, #14

Brandon Moore, Junior Cornerback, #20

Richie Grant, Junior Safety, #27

Jordan Hayes, Senior Safety, #11

Antwan Collier, Junior Safety, #3

 

Davis has been a huge surprise for UCF this year, including a very impressive showing against the Stanford stud Paulson Adebo at the beginning of the season.  Schneider continues to look strong along the offensive line, and Grant and Collier have limited the amount of big plays on defense. UCF may not be the undefeated next-five juggernaut they’ve been the past couple of seasons, but they still have talent.

 

Tulsa

Keenen Johnson, Senior Wide Receiver, #8

Trevis Gipson, Senior Defensive End, #15

Cooper Edminston, Senior Linebacker, #42

Diamon Cannon, Senior Linebacker, #6

Reginald Robinson, Senior Cornerback, #9

Manny Bunch, Senior Cornerback, #10

 

It’s Friday night football, so Tulsa gets here by default.  Nothing much to see, though, outside of some awesome names.  I mean, come on.  Diamon Cannon?  Manny Bunch?  These are fantastic.

 

University of Washington at Oregon State University, 10:30 PM, FS1

 

Washington

Jacob Eason, Junior Quarterback, #10

Salvon Ahmed, Junior Running Back, #26

Aaron Fuller, Senior Wide Receiver, #2

Andre Baccellia, Senior Wide Receiver, #5

Quinten Pounds, Senior Wide Receiver, #21

Hunter Bryant, Junior Tight End, #1

Cade Otton, Redshirt Sophomore Tight End, #21

Trey Adams, Senior Tackle, #72

Henry Roberts, Senior Guard, #59

Henry Bainivalu, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #66

Nick Harris, Senior Center, #56

Levi Onwuzurike, Junior Defensive Tackle, #95

Josiah Bronson, Senior Defensive Tackle, #90

Benning Potoa'e, Senior Defensive End, #8

Ryan Bowman, Junior Linebacker, #55

Myles Bryant, Senior Cornerback, #5

Elijah Molden, Junior Cornerback, #3

Keith Taylor, Junior Cornerback, #27

Brandon McKinney, Junior Safety, #23

 

Eason may not be in the QB2 conversation anymore, but he can certainly get QB3 if he comes out this season.  Otton, Adams, and Harris are a great offensive line, with Adams as the best of the bunch.  They open plenty of holes for Ahmed. On defense, Onwuzurike and Molden are the top prospects, though the rest of the secondary is starting to improve.

 

Oregon State

Jake Luton, Senior Quarterback, #6

Artavis Pierce, Senior Running Back, #21

Tevin Bradford, Senior Wide Receiver, #8

Isaiah Hodgins, Junior Wide Receiver, #90

Noah Togiai, Senior Tight End, #81

Blake Brandel, Senior Tackle, #73

Nathan Eldridge, Senior Guard, #64

Gus Lavaka, Senior Guard, #63

Nous Keobounnam, Junior Center, #69

Elu Aydon, Senior Defensive Tackle, #99

Avery Roberts, Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker, #34

Shemar Smith, Senior Linebacker, #41

Andrzej Hughes-Murray, Senior Linebacker, #49

Hamilcar Rashed, Junior Linebacker, #9

Jalen Moore, Senior Safety, #33

 

Oregon State has quite a bit of depth, but only one star.  That star is Isaiah Hodgins, who might be the best receiver to come from the Beavers since Chad Ochocinco.  Linebackers Roberts and Rashed stand a good chance to be drafted, and will provide a good test for Salvon Ahmed.

 

Saturday, November 9

 

Penn State University (4) at University of Minnesota (17), 12:00 PM, ABC

 

Penn State

K.J. Hamler, Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver, #1

Pat Freiermuth, Redshirt Sophomore Tight End, #87

Will Fries, Junior Tackle, #71

Steven Gonzalez, Senior Guard, #74

Mike Miranda, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #73

Michael Menet, Junior Center, #62

Robert Windsor, Senior Defensive Tackle, #54

Yetur Gross-Matos, Junior Defensive End, #99

Shaka Toney, Junior Defensive End, #16

Shane Simmons, Junior Defensive End, #34

Cameron Brown, Senior Linebacker, #6

Jan Johnson, Senior Linebacker, #36

John Reid, Senior Cornerback, #29

Tariq Castro-Fields, Junior Cornerback, #5

Garrett Taylor, Senior Safety, #17

Jonathan Sutherland, Redshirt Sophomore Safety, #26

 

This Saturday is going to be historic, no matter what happens.  This is the first time in college football history that two games (in the regular season) each include two undefeated, power five teams with eight wins or more.  Much to everyone’s surprise, this is the first, with Penn State and Minnesota squaring off in the early slot.  Hamler and Freiermuth are playmakers on offense, and Fries, Miranda, and Menet held up well against a strong Iowa defensive line.  The stars, though, are Gross-Matos and Toney, who are maybe the top pair of defensive ends in the nation.  Castro-Fields has had some trouble this year, but still could be drafted in April.

 

Minnesota

Mohamed Ibrahim, Redshirt Sophomore Running Back, #24

Rodney Smith, Senior Running Back, #1

Shannon Brooks, Senior Running Back, #4

Tyler Johnson, Senior Wide Receiver, #6

Chris Autman-Bell, Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver, #7

Blaise Andries, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #77

Conner Olson, Junior Center, #64

Micah Dew-Treadway, Senior Defensive Tackle, #18

Carter Coughlin, Senior Defensive End/Linebacker, #45

Winston DeLattiboudere, Senior Defensive End, #46

Kamal Martin, Senior Linebacker, #21

Thomas Barber, Senior Linebacker, #41

Chris Williamson, Senior Cornerback, #6

Antoine Winfield Jr., Redshirt Sophomore Cornerback, #11

 

Yes, that’s right.  The Golden Gophers are here, and everyone is shocked.  You can say that they haven’t played anyone yet, but they’ve been crushing the teams in front of them.  Sound familiar?  The Gophers are led by a duo of skill positions on offense in Ibrahim and Johnson.  Johnson is at least a second-round guy, and might be one of my favorite receivers in the entire class.  Minnesota also boats some talent on defense in Coughlin and Martin.  Watch out for Winfield, though.  The son of former baseball legend Dave Winfield, Antoine, when healthy, has been electric in the secondary and in the return game.  He could be the one to break the game.

 

Vanderbilt University at University of Florida (10), 12:00 PM, ESPN

 

Vanderbilt

Riley Neal, Senior Quarterback, #6

Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Senior Running Back, #5

Kalija Lipscomb, Senior Wide Receiver, #16

Jared Pinkney, Senior Tight End, #80

Saige Young, Senior Guard, #56

Dayo Odeyingbo, Junior Defensive End, #10

Caleb Peart, Senior Linebacker, #9

Cam Watkins, Senior Cornerback, #31

 

Riley Neal is garnering some love in scouting circles at quarterback, and now he gets to square off against one of the best defenses in the nation.  The same goes for Vaughn and Lipscomb, who are looking to claw their way into Day 2 territory.  Meanwhile, Pinkney is likely the best prospect of them all and is trying to surpass Colby Parkinson and Brycen Hopkins as the nation’s top tight end prospect.

 

Florida

Lamical Perine, Running Back, Senior, #2

Josh Hammond, Wide Receiver, Senior, #10 

Kadarius Toney, Wide Receiver, Junior, #1

Trevon Grimes, Wide Receiver, Redshirt Sophomore, #8

Van Jefferson, Wide Receiver, Senior, #12

Tyrie Cleveland, Wide Receiver, Senior, #89

Freddie Swain, Wide Receiver, Senior, #16

Lucas Krull, Tight End, Junior, #7

Kemore Gamble, Tight End, Redshirt Sophomore, #88

Stone Forsythe, Tackle, Junior, #72

Jean Delance, Guard, Junior, #56

Nick Buchanan, Center, Senior, #66

Kyree Campbell, Defensive Tackle, Junior, #55

Adam Shuler, Defensive Tackle, Senior, #88

Jabari Zuniga, Defensive End, Senior, #92

Jonathan Greenard, Defensive End, Senior, #58

David Reese, Linebacker, Senior, #4

C.J. Henderson, Cornerback, Junior, #1

Marco Wilson, Cornerback, Redshirt Sophomore, #3

Donovan Stiner, Safety, Junior, #13

Brad Stewart Jr., Safety, Junior, #2

Jaewon Taylor, Safety, Senior, #29

 

For Florida, the cream of the crop is on defense.  Zuniga looks to be one of the top edge defenders in this class, Greenard is coming on strong on the other side of the line, and C.J. Henderson will compete for a first round spot in the secondary.  For the rest of these prospects, this season will be all about trying to work their way into the spotlight.  Plenty of them have been doing just that, with Perine and Stewart teetering on day two status.  Jefferson, Cleveland, Campbell, Reese, Wilson, and Stiner are also solidly in the day three conversation.

 

Louisiana State University (2) at University of Alabama (3), 3:30 PM, CBS

 

LSU

Joe Burrow, Senior Quarterback, #9

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Junior Running Back, #22

Lanard Fournette, Senior Running Back, #27

Derrick Dillon, Senior Wide Receiver, #19

Dee Anderson, Senior Wide Receiver, #11

Justin Jefferson, Junior Wide Receiver, #2

Stephen Sullivan, Senior Tight End, #10

Jamal Pettigrew, Junior Tight End, #80

Thaddeus Moss, Junior Tight End, #81

Saahdiq Charles, Junior Tackle, #77

Badara Traore, Senior Tackle, #74

Adrian MaGee, Senior Guard, #73

Damian Lewis, Senior Guard, #68

Lloyd Cushenberry, Junior Center, #79

Breiden Fehoko, Senior Defensive Tackle, #91

Tyler Shelvin, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #72

Rashard Lawrence, Senior Defensive Tackle, #90

K'Lavon Chaisson, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End, #18

Andre Anthony, Junior Defensive End, #46

Justin Thomas, Junior Defensive End, #93

Jacob Phillips, Junior Linebacker, #6

Patrick Queen, Junior Linebacker, #8

Michael Divinity, Senior Linebacker, #45

Kristian Fulton, Senior Cornerback, #1

Grant Delpit, Junior Safety, #7

Todd Harris, Jr., Junior Safety, #33

 

This is the Michael Scott "Oh my god it's happening!" meme game of the season, let alone the week.  During the pre-season, marked this game as the best of the season, and neither team has disappointed.  If it wasn’t for Ohio State’s surprising #1 playoff ranking, this would be a 1-versus-2 matchup for the ages.  

 

For years, I’ve been wondering what LSU, a team that always recruits extremely well and consistently has one of the best defenses in the country, would look like if they had a quarterback that was actually worth anything.  It looks like I am finally getting my wish now that Joe Burrow, a highly recruited transfer from Ohio State who finally is living up to his potential.  In some eyes, he has surpassed Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa as QB1 in this class, and there is no better chance for him to prove that than by winning a game against him in Tuscaloosa.  He is getting help on offense from Jefferson and Charles.  As always, the LSU defense is stacked with first round prospects in Lawrence, Chaisson, Fulton, and Delpit, with a trio of day three linebackers in Phillips, Queen, and Divinity.

 

Alabama

Tua Tagovailoa, Junior Quarterback, #13

Brian Robinson, Junior Running Back, #24

Najee Harris, Junior Running Back, #22

Jerry Jeudy, Junior Wide Receiver, #4

Henry Ruggs III, Junior Wide Receiver, #11

DeVonta Smith, Junior Wide Receiver, #6

Miller Forristall, Junior Tight End, #87

Major Tennison, Junior Tight End, #88

Scott Lashley, Junior Tackle, #76

Matt Womack, Senior Tackle, #77

Alex Leatherwood, Junior Guard, #70

Jedrick Wills, Junior Guard, #74

Deonte Brown, Junior Guard, #65

Chris Owens, Junior Center, #79

LaBryan Ray, Junior Defensive Tackle, #89

Phidarian Mathis, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive Tackle, #48

Raekwon Davis, Senior Defensive Tackle, #99

Anfernee Jennings, Senior Defensive End, #33

Terrell Lewis, Junior Defensive End, #24

Christopher Allen, Redshirt Sophomore Defensive End, #4

Dylan Moses, Junior Linebacker, #32

Ben Davis, Junior Linebacker, #1

Joshua McMillon, Senior Linebacker, #40

Trevon Diggs, Senior Cornerback, #7

Xavier McKinney, Junior Safety, #15

Shyheim Carter, Senior Safety, #5

Jared Mayden, Senior Safety, #21

 

It’s really amazing just how much talent Alabama gets every season.  Everyone on this list will likely matter at some point.  This year, in the first round alone, Alabama will likely have Tua, Jeudy, Ruggs, Leatherwood, Davis, Diggs, McKinney, and Carter selected.  Even Jedrick Wills is getting some first-round love.   That’s literally over one-quarter of the first round that could be from the University of Alabama.  That’s not even counting Dylan Moses, the injured linebacker who was the unanimous LB1 coming into the season.  Harris, Smith, Tennison, Lashley, and Jennings round out the stacked squad.

 

University of Iowa (18) at University of Wisconsin (13), 4:00 PM, FOX

 

Iowa

Nathan Stanley, Senior Quarterback, #4

Mekhi Sargent, Junior Running Back, #10

Brady Ross, Senior Fullback, #36

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Junioe Wide Receiver, #6

Shaun Beyer, Junior Tight End, #42

Nate Wieting, Senior Tight End, #39

Tristan Wirfs, Junior Tackle, #74

Alaric Jackson, Junior Tackle, #77

Levi Paulsen, Senior Guard, #66

Landan Paulsen, Senior Guard, #68

Brady Reiff, Senior Defensive Tackle, #91

Cedrick Lattimore, Senior Defensive Tackle, #95

Daviyon Nixon, Junior Defensive Tackle, #54

A.J. Epenesa, Junior Defensive End, #94

Chauncey Gholston, Junior Defensive End, #57

Djimon Colberts, Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker, #32

Kristian Welch, Senior Linebacker, #34

Matt Hankins, Junior Cornerback, #8

Michael Ojemudia, Senior Cornerback, #11

Geno Stone, Junior Safety, #9

 

If the critics are right and Minnesota is actually not great, they will probably lose to Penn State.  Iowa and Wisconsin each have two losses, but both still have games against Minnesota on the schedule.  If Minnesota loses, the winner of this game controls their own destiny for winning the Big Ten West and making the Big Ten Championship game.  Epenesa needs to have a strong game here after his relatively slow start to the season.  Wirfs has moved into the top ten on most boards with his versatility at both tackle spots and his superior athleticism and technique.  Alaric Jackson missed a few games due to injury, and if he doesn’t have a good showing against Wisconsin, he may be driven to return to school.  For Iowa, the remaining draftable prospects include Stanley, Sargent, Smith-Marsette, Beyer, Nixon, Colberts, Welch, and Stone.

 

Wisconsin

Jonathan Taylor, Junior Running Back, #23

Bradrick Shaw, Senior Running Back, #7

Quintez Cephus, Senior Wide Receiver, #87

A.J. Taylor, Senior Wide Receiver, #4

Danny Davis III, Junior Wide Receiver, #6

Jake Ferguson, Redshirt Sophomore Tight End, #84

David Moorman, Senior Tackle, #68

Cole Van Lanen, Junior Tackle, #71

Tyler Biadasz, Junior Center, #61

Isaiah Loudermilk, Junior Defensive Tackle, #97

Zack Baun, Senior Defensive End, #56

Chris Orr, Senior Linebacker, #54

 

It should come as no surprise that a team like Wisconsin features studs at running back and the offensive line.  Taylor and Biadasz are first round talents, but the rest of the offensive line will get drafted whenever they enter the process.  Cephus is the rare Wisconsin receiver that has some talent.  On defense, Baun and Orr have been impressive, and should both get drafted.  Loudermilk has had a quieter season than expected, but still has a chance to get drafted.

 

University of Missouri at University of Georgia (6), 7:00 PM, ESPN

 

Mizzou

Kelly Bryant, Senior Quarterback, #7

Larry Rountree, Junior Running Back, #34

Johnathon Johnson, Senior Wide Receiver, #12

Albert Okwuegbunam, Junior Tight End, #81

Yasir Durant, Senior Tackle, #70

Tre'Vour Wallace-Simms, Senior Guard, #75

Trystan Colon-Castillo, Junior Center, #55

Kobie Whiteside, Junior Defensive Tackle, #78

Jordan Elliott, Junior Defensive Tackle, #1

Chris Turner, Junior Defensive End, #39

Tre Williams, Junior Defensive End, #93

Cale Garrett, Senior Linebacker, #47

DeMarkus Acy, Senior Cornerback, #2

Ronnell Perkins, Senior Safety, #3

 

Missouri is making their first appearance on the Guide this season, but don’t be confused.  They have some talent, but not a ton.  The best of the bunch is easily Okwuegbunam, who has the chance to be the next David Njoku as a freakishly athletic tight end who can’t block to save his life.  Elliott is next in line as a likely day two pick.  Otherwise, Rountree, Johnson, Durant, Wallace-Simms, Colon-Castillo, and Acy are all fighting for day three selections.

 

Georgia

Jake Fromm, Junior Quarterback, #11

D'Andre Swift, Junior Running Back, #7

Brian Herrien, Senior Running Back, #35

Tyler Simmons, Senior Wide Receiver, #87

Matt Landers, Redshirt Sophomore Wide Receiver, #5

Demetris Robertson, Junior Wide Receiver, #16

Lawrence Cager, Senior Wide Receiver, #15

Charlie Woerner, Senior Tight End, #89

Eli Wolf, Senior Tight End, #17

Andrew Thomas, Junior Tackle, #71

Isaiah Wilson, Redshirt Sophomore Tackle, #79

Solomon Kindley, Junior Guard, #66

Ben Cleveland, Junior Guard, #74

Tyler Clark, Senior Defensive Tackle, #52

Julian Rochester, Senior Defensive Tackle, #5

Malik Herring, Junior Defensive End, #10

Monty Rice, Junior Linebacker, #32

Tae Crowder, Senior Linebacker, #30

Eric Stokes, Redshirt Sophomore Cornerback, #27

Tyrique McGhee, Senior Cornerback, #26

J.R. Reed, Senior Safety, #20

Richard LeCounte III, Junior Safety, #2

 

Coming off a huge victory against Florida, Georgia wants to shake the stigma of being the team that lost in the biggest upset of the season.  Swift and Thomas will absolutely have first round grades at the end of the day.  Led by Fromm, their offense is stacked for college.  However, Simmons, Landers, Robertson, Woerner, Wilson, Kindley, and Cleveland are probably closer to day three prospects at this point than first rounders.  The defense is not quite as stacked as far as quantity, but they do have quality safeties in Reed and LeCounte.  Herring, Rice, and Stokes round out the defensive side of the ball as late-round hopefuls.

 

Iowa State University at University of Oklahoma (9), 8:00 PM, FOX

 

Iowa State

La'Michael Pettway, Senior Wide Receiver, #7

Deshaunte Jones, Senior Wide Receiver, #8

Chase Allen, Junior Tight End, #11

Bryce Meeker, Senior Tackle, #74

Josh Knipfel, Senior Guard, #66

Julian Good-Jones, Senior Center, #51

Ray Lima, Senior Defensive Tackle, #58

JaQuan Bailey, Senior Defensive End, #3

Eyioma Uwazurike, Junior Defensive End, #5

Matt Leo, Senior Defensive End, #89

Marcel Spears, Senior Linebacker, #42

Justin Bickham, Senior Cornerback, #7

Braxton Lewis, Senior Cornerback, #33

Greg Eisworth, Junior Safety, #12

 

Watch out, Boomer.  Iowa State is another one of those teams that is always ripe to upset their more talented competition, and have gone into Oklahoma and won before.  Chase Allen is a decent tight end, but the best player is definitely defensive star Ray Lima.  Bailey and Eisworth also have a chance to be drafted.

 

Oklahoma

Jalen Hurts, Senior Quarterback, #1

Trey Sermon, Junior Running Back, #4

Kennedy Brooks, Redshirt Sophomore Running Back, #26

CeeDee Lamb, Junior Wide Receiver, #2

Lee Morris, Senior Wide Receiver, #84

Grant Calcaterra, Junior Tight End, #80

Marquis Hayes, Redshirt Sophomore Guard, #54

Creed Humphrey, Redshirt Sophomore Center, #56

Neville Gallimore, Senior Defensive Tackle, #90

LaRon Stokes, Junior Defensive End, #96

Kenneth Mann, Senior Defensive End, #55

Kenneth Murray, Junior Linebacker, #9

Caleb Kelly, Senior Linebacker, #19

Mark Jackson Jr., Senior Linebacker, #42

Tre Brown, Junior Cornerback, #6

Parnell Motley, Senior Cornerback, #11

 

Jalen Hurts is officially locked in the middle of the Heisman battle, and I really don’t know what it’s going to take to stifle Lincoln Riley.  This offense is running on all cylinders, led by CeeDee Lamb and Creed Humphrey as first-round locks.  Sermon, Brooks, Calcaterra, and Hayes all are draftable prospects on day two or three.  On defense, Gallimore and Murray are the only hopefuls, but they are looking better and better as time goes on.

 

University of Wyoming at Boise State University (22), 10:15 PM, ESPN

 

Wyoming

Austin Conway, Senior Wide Receiver, #25

Logan Wilson, Senior Linebacker, #30

Antonio Hull, Senior Cornerback, #4

Alijah Halliburton, Senior Safety, #3

 

Whew.  That was a great Saturday slate.  Now it’s time to get put to sleep by a not great Wyoming team playing on a blue field.  Yep.  Brown and yellow uniforms running around a blue field.  The jokes write themselves, people.

 

Boise State

John Hightower, Senior Wide Receiver, #16

CT Thomas, Junior Wide Receiver, #6

Ezra Cleveland, Junior Tackle, #76

Eric Quevedo, Senior Guard, #79

John Molchon, Senior Guard, #77

Garrett Larson, Senior Center, #67

David Moa, Senior Defensive Tackle, #55

Curtis Weaver, Junior Defensive End, #99

Kekoa Nawahine, Senior Safety, #10

 

The star of the Broncos is Curtis Weaver, who is sneaking into the end of the first round just as quickly as he sneaks into the backfield with a strong junior season.  Cleveland is also a day two prospect at tackle.  Elsewhere, Hightower, Moa, and Nawahine are also draftable talents.

 

University of Nevada at San Diego State University, 10:30 PM, ESPN 2

 

Nevada

Malik Henry, Junior Quarterback, #16

Kelton Moore, Senior Running Back, #23

Kaleb Fossum, Senior Wide Receiver, #3

Jake Nelson, Senior Tackle, #71

Gabe Sewell, Senior Linebacker, #7

Daniel Brown, Senior Cornerback, #25

 

You might remember Malik Henry from his time on the Netflix show “Last Chance U” as the hot-headed, ultra-talented quarterback.  After a revolving door at the position to start the season, Henry has wrestled the job away.  And just as quick as he got the starting job, he was removed from participation by the program so that he could focus on himself.  Oh well.

 

San Diego State

Juwan Washington, Senior Running Back, #29

Chase Jasmin, Junior Running Back, #22

Parker Houston, Senior Tight End, #82

Daishawn Dixon, Senior Guard, #79

Keith Ismael, Junior Center, #60

Kyahva Tezino, Senior Linebacker, #44

Tariq Thompson, Junior Safety, #14

 

There’s really only one player to watch here, and that’s Kyahva Tezino.  He doesn’t have great athleticism, which may limit his ceiling as a true sideline-to-sideline linebacker, but he is an incredibly smart player.  Those types of players can always find a home somewhere.

 

 

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