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2016 NFL Draft scouting: Week 2 college football viewing guide

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The second week of the college football regular season is today, and there are plenty of players worth keeping an eye on with 2016 NFL Draft implications.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Now into week two, the NCAA schedules are starting to phase out the creampuff games and put in the even matchups. Still, you'll find that most of the Top 25 teams are still playing weaker squads (I'm sorry to any Lamar alumni; I did not know that was a college football team), so this could be a good weak to watch a less-heralded conference matchup.

Sep 8 - Sep 14 Time (ET) Matchup Venue TV
Sat, Sep 12 11:30 AM South Florida Bulls @ (11) Florida State Seminoles Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium ESPN and WatchESPN
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 12:00 PM Jacksonville State Gamecocks @ (6) Auburn Tigers Jordan-Hare Stadium SEC Network and WatchESPN
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 12:00 PM Houston Cougars @ Louisville Cardinals Papa John's Cardinal Stadium ESPN3
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 12:00 PM Kansas State Wildcats @ UTSA Roadrunners Alamodome Fox Sports 1
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 12:00 PM Miami (OH) RedHawks @ Wisconsin Badgers Camp Randall Stadium ESPNU and WatchESPN
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 12:30 PM Appalachian State Mountaineers @ (12) Clemson Tigers Memorial Stadium ESPN3
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 3:30 PM (10) Georgia Bulldogs @ Vanderbilt Commodores Vanderbilt Stadium CBS
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 3:30 PM Fresno State Bulldogs @ (17) Ole Miss Rebels Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field ESPN2
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 3:30 PM Tulane Green Wave @ (15) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field ESPN3
(0-1) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 3:30 PM (9) Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Virginia Cavaliers David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium ABC and WatchESPN
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 3:30 PM Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks @ (3) TCU Horned Frogs Amon G. Carter Stadium Fox Sports 1
(0-1) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 3:30 PM Hawaii Rainbow Warriors @ (1) Ohio State Buckeyes Ohio Stadium Big Ten Network
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 4:00 PM Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders @ (2) Alabama Crimson Tide Bryant-Denny Stadium SEC Network and WatchESPN
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 4:00 PM Toledo Rockets @ (18) Arkansas Razorbacks War Memorial Stadium SEC Network and WatchESPN
(0-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 6:00 PM (19) Oklahoma Sooners @ (23) Tennessee Volunteers Neyland Stadium ESPN and WatchESPN
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 7:00 PM (21) Missouri Tigers @ Arkansas State Red Wolves Centennial Bank Stadium ESPN3
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 7:00 PM Ball State Cardinals @ (16) Texas A&M Aggies Kyle Field ESPNU and WatchESPN
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 7:00 PM (22) Arizona Wildcats @ Nevada Wolf Pack Clarence Mackay Stadium CBS Sports
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 7:00 PM Memphis Tigers @ Kansas Jayhawks Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium ESPN3
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 7:00 PM Marshall Thundering Herd @ Ohio Bobcats Peden Stadium ESPN3
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 7:30 PM Lamar Cardinals @ (4) Baylor Bears McLane Stadium Fox Sports Network
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 8:00 PM (7) Oregon Ducks @ (5) Michigan State Spartans Spartan Stadium ABC and WatchESPN
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 8:00 PM Idaho Vandals @ (8) USC Trojans Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum PAC-12 Network
(0-1) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 9:15 PM (14) LSU Tigers @ (25) Mississippi State Bulldogs Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field ESPN and WatchESPN
(0-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 10:15 PM (20) Boise State Broncos @ BYU Cougars LaVell Edwards Stadium ESPN2
(1-0) (1-0)
Sat, Sep 12 10:30 PM UCF Knights @ Stanford Cardinal Stanford Stadium Fox Sports 1
(0-1) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 10:30 PM (13) UCLA Bruins @ UNLV Rebels Sam Boyd Stadium CBS Sports
(1-0) (0-1)
Sat, Sep 12 11:00 PM Cal Poly Mustangs @ Arizona State Sun Devils Sun Devil Stadium, Frank Kush Field PAC-12 Network
(1-0) (0-1)


Game of the week

(7) Oregon at (5) Michigan State
8:00 p.m. ET, ABC and WatchESPN

In the rematch of the hyped early-season meeting from last year, some players are the same and some have moved on. Michigan State's core is another year older and more experienced. Connor Cook heads the offense, and the quarterback is looking for a strong season to solidify a first-round grade in scouting circles. Redshirt junior Jack Conklin holds down the left tackle position, and he has another draftable teammate at center in Jack Allen. Edge rusher Shilique Calhoun has led the Spartans in sacks for the last two seasons, but a lukewarm draft grade caused him to return for his final season of eligibility. Michigan State has had a strong secondary in recent years, so keep an eye on safety R.J. Williamson and cornerback Demetrious Cox.

Oregon is reloading a year after having five starters drafted (quarterback Marcus Mariota, defensive end Arik Armstead, left tackle Jake Fisher, center Hroniss Grasu, and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu). And yet, every replacement looks like he might have a chance in the NFL. Vernon Adams is the new quarterback, and the transfer from Eastern Washington put up video game numbers in FCS. He managed to be named the starter after barely practicing in the spring due to academic transfer rules, and putting him in charge of Oregon's high-powered offense seems like it should be illegal. That said, the dual-threat quarterback is lacking in height and passing refinement, so his best course is to latch onto a team as a late-round pick, in all likelihood. Tyler Johnstone is back at left tackle after recovering from injuries. When healthy, he was good enough to push Fisher (a second-round pick) to right tackle, so scouts are watching closely. They even have an experienced center replacing Grasu, in Notre Dame graduate transfer Matt Hegarty. DeForest Buckner is the 6'7", 290-pound freak athlete replacing freak athlete Armstead. He moves and uses his length well, but his pass rushing is still unrefined. The Ducks also have two skill players worth noting in receiver Bralon Addison and receiver/running back Byron Marshall.

Five guys I'm paying attention to this week


1. Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

He's 6'5" and 310 pounds of athleticism at the defensive tackle position. He'll be facing an experienced LSU offensive line.

2. Gunner Kiel, QB, Cincinnati

This week, Kiel plays a Temple defense that shut down Christian Hackenberg and sacked him 10 times. Will Kiel be able to pick them apart?

3. Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota

Murray had eight tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception against TCU last week. This week, he faces a great receiver in Rashard Higgins. I want to see who wins the one-on-one matchups.

4. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State

Prescott is one of the senior quarterbacks upon whom I'm keeping a close eye this year. He's challenging LSU this week, which should be a good early-season litmus test.

5. Noah Spence, ER, Eastern Kentucky

Spence was formerly a hot prospect at Ohio State before a number of drug suspensions cut him from the team. Playing NC State this week, Spence has a good chance to show he has at least maintained talent on the field, chasing down Jacoby Brissett.

Discussion topic for the week

How much do you watch college football each week? Do you watch it more than the NFL? Is it something you watch live, or do you try to watch the highlights or DVR things for later?