scouting match-ups - week 1
9/4 - Indiana at Wisconsin
Indiana has three good players on offense in Whop Philyor (WR), Peyton Hendershot (TE) and Stevie Scott II (RB). Each has the ability to challenge what should be a very stout Wisconsin defense. On defense, Marcelino Ball (SAF) will be looked upon to be their top guy, operating out of a LB-3rd Safety role with varying responsibilities.
Wisconsin has some solid talent on both sides of the ball. On offense, Cole Van Lanen (OT) is their highest regarded O-Linemen and will get NFL looks. Jacob Ferguson (TE) scratched the surface lat year, but should be a player to keep a good eye on. On defense, Isaiahh Loudermilk (DE) is a big-bodied base 3-4 DE who can get to the passer at times. Jack Sanborn (LB) will have to be the new leader for the LB corps if not the entire defense. He'll build upon his 80-tackle, 5.5-sack performance from last year . Rachad Wildgoose (CB) might be the funnest of the bunch to watch. He's a feisty DB that always seems to be up for the challenge. He'll be tested heavily in this game.
9/5 - Alabama vs. USC
Alabama has great prospects all over the place. While they lost Tua and some stud WRs, there's still a lot left to be excited about. Jaylen Waddle (WR) and DeVonta Smith (WR) form what might be the best receiver duo in the nation. Najee Harris (RB) is a very gifted back who should post big numbers yet again. He'll run behind a gifted O-Line. Alex Leatherwood (OT) will get Round-1 consideration, while Deonte Brown (OG) is one of the nation's best interiors. Landon Dickerson (C) could assert himself as another solid if not good interior prospect. Mac Jones (QB) doesn't get much hype, but he could turn the corner. As good as the offense could/should be, their defense might be better. Dylan Moses (ILB) looks to claim best LB honors after sustaining a season-ending injury in '19. The big guys in front of him should help. LaBryan Ray (DE) is another clog at the base 3-4 DE spot, as is Phidarian Mathis (DE). Rumor has it that Christian Barmore (NT) could be the next great interior, capable of earning several snaps if not starting. Backing everyone up will be a good secondary. Patrick Surtain II (CB) might be the nation's best at the position, while newcomer Josh Jobe (CB) is no one to sleep on. They will each be tested, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them each get picked on a bit if Slovis is on...
USC should be able to piece together a good receiving game this year. Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR) is a very gifted player, someone who could get Round-2 looks. Tyler Vaughns (WR) is very good in his own right, a player who runs great routes and has the quickness to challenge cover men. On defense, things start up front with Jay Tufele (DT). He's poised to have a strong year and should keep blockers honest. Marlon Tuipulotu (DT) needs refinement, but he's a solid running mate. While Drake Jackson (DE) isn't draft-eligible, he's a future 1st-Rounder. Palaie Gaoteote (ILB) is a young, gifted 'backer who does quite well against the run. Isaiah Palo-Mao (SAF) is adjusting to the college game nicely, could be good this year. Olaijah Griffin (CB) might be their best pure cover guy. He' good, but just how good...?
9/5 - North Dakota State at Oregon
North Dakota State always constructs a competitive roster, and this year should be no different. While he's still very young, Trey Lance (QB) looks like the next great QB to come from this program. He's not expected to repeat his 28 TD, 0 INT performance from 2019, but he doesn't have to keep generating Round-1 buzz. Dillon Radunz (OT) is another stud to watch. There isn't much buzz surrounding him right now, but if he and is QB can shine in this game, the chatter will follow. If he lines up against Kayvon Thibodeaux (DE), don't take your eyes off of them...
Oregon has some rebuilding underway, and this will be a test for them. On offense, they have the nation's best blindside in Penei Sewell (OT), while CJ Verdell (RB) is a dangerous runner. Bryan Addison (WR) showed some signs of promise, could end up being their WR1. But, my money is on Johnny Johnson III (WR), a very good player who should get the respect he deserves in 2020. The defense will pace this team. Up front, Jordon Scott (NT) ca be one-dimensional, but he's a plus against the run. Their secondary is among the best in the entire nation. Jevon Holland (SAF) is a terrific safety, but his running mate Brady Breeze (SAF) is a dynamo too. They'll be flanked by two reliable, effective players. Thomas Graham (CB) and Deommodore Lenoir (CB) could send their stock soaring this year.
9/5 - Northwestern at Michigan State
Northwestern doesn't have much on offense, but Rashawn Slater (OT) could be one of the best LTs in the conference, if not the country. The watch here will really be on defense, as Paddy Fisher (ILB) and Blake Gallagher (LB) are both productive LBs who don't allow much to get by them.
Michigan State has some things to figure some out across their O-Line, but if everyone is healthy they have three guys that should do some good things for them. Matt Allen (C) is a solid pivot who comes from good bloodlines. Luke Campbell (OG/OT) might be best suited to kick inside, but he can play anywhere. Kevin Jarvis (OG) is a mean, yet very solid. Look for these guys to bring the battle to whomever they face. While the defense isn't deep having lost some talent, Naquan Jones (NT/DT) is expected to be a monster for them up front.
9/5 - Michigan at Washington
Michigan lost some players on offense, their O-Line getting hit the hardest. But, enough pieces remain for them to be competitive. Jalen Mayfield (OT) is a promising player who could end up being a 1st-Rounder. Dylan McCaffrey (QB) has excellent bloodlines, while fans are excited to watch , Nico Collins (WR), Tarik Black (WR) and Ronnie Bell (WR) form what could be one of the nation's best WR corps. Collins has done the most thus far, but the other two are capable as well. Nick Eubanks (TE) is a solid player who'll pitch in as well. On defense, Aidan Hutchinson (DE) and Kwity Paye (DE) form one of the best DE tandems out there. Carlo Kemp (DT) is steady, while Cameron McGrone (ILB) flashed enough last year to get coaches excited about his future.
Washington lost so much on offense, predicting much from this unit would be tough. The defense will have to lead this team, but it has a good stable to leverage. Levi Onwuzurike (DT) will be relied upon to stuff the middle, while Joe Tryon (DE) will be their outside pressure guy. Keith Taylor (CB) is respectable on one side, but Elijah Molden (CB) could be/is special. He simply didn't allow much when QBs went his way last year.