Another Saturday, another great week of college football! This week, we're highlighting a battle of undefeated Big Ten opponents, a battle between two offensive line universities, and a couple of under the radar small school players. If you have some time, take a read and chat about today's games with us!
Game of the week
(1) Ohio State at Indiana
3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2 and WatchESPN
It comes unexpectedly, but the Hoosiers football team is playing historically well this season. They're off to an undefeated start and have the nation's leading rusher. Now they run into an extremely talented Ohio State team, and it's time to see how they can hold up. The strength of Indiana's roster is on their offense. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld, brother of NFL tight end Zach Sudfeld, missed games last year with injury, but is off to a hot start this year. He's throwing at over 9 yards per attempt. The top running back is UAB transfer Jordan Howard, a great bruising back. They have a good line supporting them, including 6'7" left tackle Jason Spriggs and right guard Dan Feeney, who led the team with 80 knockdowns last season. The offense is going to need to be strong, because Ohio State's defense is supremely talented. Joey Bosa is the latest edge rusher with size, strength, and speed, and was probably ready for the NFL last season. Adolphus Washington, playing at defensive tackle, has a sack and an interception this year. Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell are one of the nation's top safety tandems.
If the Buckeyes' defense is loaded, their offense is at another level of potential. Quarterback Cardale Jones has all kinds of athletic talent, but severely needs to spend some time on an NFL bench before he's ready to quarterback a team. Michael Thomas and converted quarterback Braxton Miller make for a very exciting pair of receiving prospects. Ezekiel Elliott has the potential to be a bell cow running back. Taylor Decker at left tackle and Jacoby Boren at center are both draftable prospects, as is tight end Nick Vannett. Indiana doesn't boast of anyone particularly exciting on their defense, so this is a good chance to see the individual pieces of Ohio State's offense without needing additional context.
Five guys I'm paying attention to this week
1. Austin Blythe, OC, Iowa
It's the lineman bowl today at noon! Iowa and Wisconsin, two schools with a reputation for quality offensive linemen, square off against each other. Besides Blythe, Iowa has right guard Jordan Walsh. Wisconsin has center Dan Voltz and left tackle Tyler Marz.
2. Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa
The 6'4" 220 pound Garrett had a monster game against Oklahoma. He looked well-prepared to deal with press coverage and showed a rare understanding of how to physically get in position for catches, although his route running needed work. I want to see him in another game, and against Houston's experienced corners is a good opportunity.
3. Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Now recovered from a high ankle sprain suffered in the season opener, Wentz is back on track, with a sterling 9:0 TD:INT ratio this season. If you have the chance to watch him play against FCS powerhouse South Dakota State, I encourage it - you'll like what you see.
4. Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
The Razorbacks are having a rough season, but you can't blame it all on Collins, who has rushed for over 150 yards at 6 yards per carry in each of his last two games. When I watched him in the preseason I saw signs of Marshawn Lynch, and now that he's hitting the SEC teams on his schedule I want to check in again.
5. Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson
Following a reader suggestion, I sought some film on Kearse but was only able to find a game against Appalachian State from last season. That tape answered some questions but left many more hanging. Notre Dame is a strong team this season, and Kearse should have a good challenge ahead of him against receiver Will Fuller, Chris Brown, and running back Jay Prosise.
Discussion topic for the week
Confession time: Who was your biggest "miss" as a draft evaluator? A guy you thought was a sure thing who totally busted, or a guy you thought had no chance in the NFL who was a star nonetheless? For me, it was just about the entire 2013 first round, all of whom I felt very positive about, and just about all of whom have failed to impress in the NFL. On the bright side, I did call out Dion Jordan as a very questionable prospect, and just like his other nearby prospects, he failed to make an impact in the NFL.