HH College Football Weekend Preview

FBS Game of the Week: #25 Washington @ #8 Stanford, 8:00 PM, Stanford, California

TV Listing: ABC

Point Spread: Stanford -21

Summary: The Cardinal is off to another great start behind star quarterback Andrew Luck. Stanford is averaging nearly 500 yards of total offense a game, while putting up over 45 points. Their defense has been very good, and has allowed just 11 points a game (5th best in the nation). Washington will be the Cardinal's toughest test to do date, as they are averaging over 400 yards of total offense and 37 points a game. At the same time the Huskies defense features a couple NFL talents and will provide a tougher challenge than what Luck and company are used to facing. In the end Stanford is too strong and will have home field advantage, wrecking any chances of the Huskies to get the upset. Prediction: 42-24, Cardinal

Players To Watch:

Stanford- (While there is no doubt that Andrew Luck is the best player in college football, the chances of the Redskins trading up for him are pretty slim, so the focus here is on other prospects)

Offensive Tackle Jonathan Martin (6’6", 305). Martin is widely considered the 2nd best offensive tackle in the country who is draft eligible. Considering that Andrew Luck is almost guaranteed to come out, it is widely assumed that Martin will declare as well. If he comes out he is likely a top 10 pick and could be taken before the Redskins select, but as seen in the past, based on team's preferences a certain player could fall a few spots. Martin is a perfect fit for the Redskins as he is very athletic and built for more of a zone blocking scheme. Martin has protected Andrew Luck's blind side for three years now, and has been nearly flawless doing so. He's got quick feet, and sets a good base, and could be an immediate starter at LT (moving Trent to RT) and giving the Redskins the bookends they need.

Offensive Guard David DeCastro (6'5", 310) DeCastro is arguably the best interior lineman in the country and could be the first one off the board next April. He moves extremely well in space and would be a day one starter for just about every team in the NFL. He's probably better as a run blocker, but he is a smart tough lineman, with a good anchor against the pass rush. DeCastro might not be an option for the Skins unless they trade back, or he falls to the 2nd round, but if they are in a position to take him he'd be an excellent fit.

Washington- NT Alameda Ta'amu (6'3", 337). Ta'amu is probably the top nose tackle in this draft class. He's an excellent run defender and constantly draws double teams to slow him down. Despite his size Ta'amu has good quickness to go along with impressive strength. Right now he projects as a late first round pick, but could be a good option for the Skins if they move back in the first round. 

Wide Receiver Jermaine Kearse (6'2", 205). Kearse is a good mid round receiver prospect, with solid size, quality hands and nice speed. Kearse has been somewhat of an afterthought this season as he's no longer Jake Locker's primary weapon and he's been hobbled on a sprained ankle, but the talent is there. He's gotten more targets of late and this could be a big game for him. Right now he looks to be a 4th round receiver, and could be an intriguing option for the Skins in that 4-5th round range.


FBS Random Game: USC @ Notre Dame, 7:30 PM, South Bend, IN

TV Listing: NBC

 

 

Point Spread: Notre Dame -8.5

Summary: Both of these once power house programs are in the middle of a rebuilding period, but both school still have plenty of NFL Draft talent, making this a fun game to watch Sat. night. Overall the USC offense is the strength of the team, but it has proven to be very inconsistent. Notre Dame is a team that looks to be missing one or two pieces on each side of ball, but they should be able to beat USC at home. Prediction: 35-24, Fighting Irish


Players To Watch:

USC

Quarterback Matt Barkley (6’2", 220). Barkley is thought of by many to be the 2nd best quarterback prospect in the country by Andrew Luck. While I wouldn't put him that high (and don't see him as top 10 material), Barkley has plenty of upside. While on the shorter side Barkley still has nice size, and a good arm. His decision making has improved dramatically these last few years. The biggest knock on him is his accuracy, and how he handles pressure. While Barkley completes a lot of balls at times he is way off target and he owes more than a few completion percentage points to stud WR Robert Woods who catches anything thrown within 5 feet of him. Barkley also is very wild while under pressure, and while in college it hasn't caught up to him, it will likely lead to interceptions at the next level. If Barkley has an Aaron Rodgers type of fall the Redskins could be interested in him in the 2nd half of the first round.

Inside Linebacker Chris Galippo (6'2", 250) Galippo has become a leader on the Trojans defense, and projects well to an inside linebacking position in a 3-4 defense. He's got good instincts and takes good angles to the ball carrier. He's a sure tackler who wraps up and stops the ball carrier in his tracks. Galippo has also shown some pass rush ability, and is decent in pass coverage as well. Right now he projects as a 4th or 5th rounder, and could be a good special teamer as a rookie, with the potential to develop into a starter down the road.

Notre Dame- WR Michael Floyd (6'3", 224). Floyd gets overshadowed by some other receivers, but he is just as talented as anyone who has come out the last few years. He reminds me of a Dez Bryant type (though a better comparison might be Miles Austin), as he's big, strong, great at the jump ball with very good speed. Floyd gets overlooked in some draft circles, because he isn't in a high powered offense, but he has put up great numbers for his career. He could easily slide to the mid-late first round range, and if the Redskins decide to go WR, he'd be a great option.

ILB Manti Te'o (6'2", 255). Te'o has developed into one of the best linebackers in the country. He's a tackling machine, with incredible instincts and athletic ability. He covers a lot of ground, and could project into just about any defensive system. For the Redskins he'd be the perfect complement to London Fletcher, and could fill his shoes as the defensive leader when he retires in a few years. Te'o projects to go in the mid-late first round range. And if the Redskins haven't addressed their ILB need, he'd be a good option.

FCS Game: #20 Jacksonville State (6-1) @ Kentucky (2-4), 12 PM, Lexington, KY

TV Listing: ESPNU

 

Summary: The Gamecocks of Jacksonville State will have a rare opportunity to knock off an SEC foe late in the season. If the name sounds familiar to SEC fans, it's because the same squad knocked off Ole Miss in double overtime last year 49-48. Kentucky is desperate for a win, losing their last four games. At first glance it may not seem that meaningful to the Wildcats, but a win here could help propel them to a bowl bid. After this game the have winnable matchups against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, at Vanderbilt. It's a big stretch, but UK could turn their season around against a FCS foe. Prediction: Kentucky- 29, Jacksonville State- 17


Players To Watch:


Kentucky-

Safety, Winston Guy Jr. (6’1", 211). Guy has been the ironman in the Kentucky secondary playing in 45 straight games. He's a pretty average safety prospect, but excels in run support. He can certainly develop into a useful NFL player.

Outside Linebacker Danny Trevathan (6'0", 225) Trevathan is the leader of the Wildcat defense, for what he lacks in size he makes up for in heart. This is your definition of a high motor guy.

Jacksonville State-

DB, AJ Davis (6'0, 185): Davis is a solid DB that will get some looks by NFL squads, he has ample experience and has even been effective in the pass rush.

DE, Monte' Lewis (6'3, 255): Lewis will likely be evaluated as a linebacker at the next level. He is a preseason All-American and preseason Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

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