Week 6 of college football marks rivalry week, and with that comes several key match-ups involving teams on the rise. No. 5 LSU travels to take on the Florida Gators, who began the season unranked but are now 22. No. 7 Oklahoma looks to stay unbeaten against newly competitive Texas. Then tonight, Virginia Tech will attempt to upset No. 6 Notre Dame.
As always, let’s talk about the games, leave questions on prospects, and enjoy the weekend!
Keep your eyes on
RT Yosuah Nijman (Virginia Tech)
Virginia Tech prospects have been known for their overwhelming athletic tools in recent years (See: Tremaine Edmunds) and Nijman is no different. His kick slide is fast enough to deal with most pass rushers, but he does tend to drop his head into his opponent, sacrificing leverage. Notre Dame has arguably the fiercest pass rush in the nation, and also likes to bring additional pressure. Nijman will need to prove that he’s learned much since being beat several times by Old Dominion pass rusher Oshane Ximines earlier in the year.
Other prospects to watch
LB David Long (West Virginia)
Long is an undersized but ultra-productive SAM linebacker for the Mountaineers. He leads his team with 43 tackles (nine for a loss) to go with two sacks and a forced fumble. This week, the junior will be facing down the best running back in the Big-12, Kansas’ freshman phenom Pooka Williams. Williams is known for his speed, so scouts will want to see if Long has the athleticism or anticipatory skills to keep up.
WR Kelvin Harmon (NC State)
NC State’s leading receiver, Kelvin Harmon is one of the more underrated wide receiver prospects in the nation. More well-rounded than truly dynamic, Harmon sports decent size at 6’3”, good-enough speed, and very solid hands. The junior wideout often plays the role of quarterback Ryan Finley’s safety valve. His work this Saturday against a highly regarded Boston College secondary will be must-watch TV.
ER Jachai Polite (Florida)
Another undersized defender, Polite has had a coming-out party this year. With six tackles-for-loss and four sacks, he’s already eclipsed his totals from 2017. Ultra-quick and fluid, Polite’s relentlessness to finish plays is probably his best quality. LSU has been shuffling their offensive line around recently due to injuries, which could provide a chance for Polite to shine on Saturday.
S Andrew Wingard (Wyoming)
Wingard excels against the run and using his long arms to bring down ball carriers. However, he doesn’t appear to be the most instinctual or fluid when defending the pass on the back-end of the defense. This week’s game against Hawaii, who is among the most unique and prolific passing offenses in the league, should provide a chance for Wingard to prove those assumptions incorrect.
DT Raekwon Davis (Alabama)
Anyone who’s watched Alabama this year knows that both of their interior defensive linemen, Davis and Isaiah Buggs, are likely to be high draft picks. So far though, Buggs has been the more productive of the two. Davis has yet to record a sack and only has one tackle-for-loss. This week, against an Arkansas team that features talented guard Hjalte Froholdt, Davis needs to prove that he deserves the first-round hype he garnered early in the off-season.
RB Jacques Patrick (Florida State)
Now is the time for Patrick to build off of last season’s successes. Draft analysts spent the off-season singing his praises, but at this point in the college football season he has become one of the more disappointing prospects in the nation. Through five games this season, he only has 136 rushing yards. Last year, Patrick hit holes decisively and was a load to bring down. He’ll need to bring those attributes in equal measure this Saturday against Miami’s strong defensive front. If he doesn’t, his stock will continue to plummet.
Game of the Week
No. 19 Texas vs No. 7 Oklahoma
Saturday, 12:00 p.m. EST
This particular rivalry has been a mismatch in favor of the Sooners in recent years, but this year could be different. Texas’s defense is their strength, yet the offense has most of their NFL prospects—with wide receivers Lil’Jordan Humphrey and big Collin Johnson among the best at their position in the nation. Offensive tackle Calvin Anderson has also played a large part in the Longhorns’ improved offense. Meanwhile, Oklahoma brings along its own offensive stars, in the form of speedy wideout Marquise Brown, offensive tackle Bobby Evans and guards Ben Powers and Dru Samia. Fireworks are always expected when these two teams collide.