Now that we’re all bursting with stuffing and turkey, it’s time to partake in Thanksgiving’s other well-known tradition: watching football. While Friday had its fair share of exciting games, Saturday brings a heaping helping of match-ups and prospects for us to take the time to dig in and enjoy. Up first is No. 4 Michigan traveling to No. 10 Ohio State in a game chock-full of defensive talent. During the same time, No. 12 Syracuse will try to bounce back against No. 20 Boston College. Then in the afternoon, we’ll get treated to the Iron Bowl, with Auburn seeking to upset No. 1 Alabama.
As always, let’s talk about the games, leave questions on prospects, and enjoy the weekend!
Editor’s Note: On Saturday morning, GIFs.com, which hosts our prospects GIFs, was down due to a network error. If you’re viewing broken images in this article, they should be resolved at some point Saturday so I left them in. - MRW
Keep your eyes on
ER Chase Winovich (Michigan)
It remains to be seen where Winovich will be able to line up in the NFL; perhaps a move to SAM linebacker will be in his future. Against Ohio State, though, his job will be to scream off the edge and sack Dwayne Haskins as much as possible. His active hands and effective slap move will help him there, but also look for him to pull off some exotic blitzes. Michigan loves to line him up slightly off the line of scrimmage and have him loop around on a delayed blitz.
Other prospects to watch
TE Josh Oliver (San Jose State)
San Jose has only won a single game this season, but at least Oliver is one of the more prolific tight ends in college football. The John Mackey Award-nominee is what scouts call “body beautiful”—he seems to love the weight room. As you would expect, his athleticism is above-average but he also flashes some decent blocking ability. Fresno State brings the 17th-ranked defense to town, so this will be a big test for the senior.
LG Wes Martin (Indiana)
Indiana gave Michigan a scare last week by being able to face down the Wolverine’s tough defensive line and punch them in the mouth early. Martin had a big role in that performance. His strength was particularly noticeable: there were several snaps where he was using one arm to hold off defensive linemen while keeping his head on a swivel. Purdue doesn’t have nearly the same defensive talent that Michigan can bring to the field, so Martin should likely dominate.
DT Renell Wren (Arizona State)
Wren sports a DeForest Buckner-like body and the strength to match. He’s adept at using his 6’6” frame and long arms to keep control of guards and to tackle ball carriers whenever they come in range. Also like Buckner, he’s able to line up almost anywhere along the defensive line. His work against the run will be important this week against Arizona, who brings an explosive running back in J.J. Taylor as well as quarterback Khalil Tate, who’s also a threat to scramble and run for first downs.
S Darnell Savage Jr. (Maryland)
In today’s modern NFL, scouts want safeties that have three things: ball skills, intelligence and versatility. Savage brings all three to the table. While the former corner is a bit undersized and not a great run defender, the multiple ways he can be used to defend the pass have proven valuable. The senior can blitz, can cover the slot and can adequately play center field. Look for Savage to add to his interception total this week against a banged-up Trace McSorley and the Penn State Nittany Lions.
RB Matt Colburn II (Wake Forest)
The Demon Deacons have been a tough out for teams this year thanks in large part to solid quarterbacking and a dependable run game with Colburn. It’s a bit unclear how athletic or shifty Colburn is, but he runs with heart and loves to bring contact and fall forward. Wake Forest’s goal against Duke this Saturday should be to sustain long drives and keep quarterback Daniel Jones off the field, Colburn is the perfect back for that strategy.
Game of the Week
No. 4 Michigan at No. 10 Ohio State
12:00 PM, EST
The Wolverines battling the Buckeyes is worth getting excited about—not just as a fan of college football, but also as a fan of the NFL Draft. Both teams bring a myriad of defensive prospects to the table. Front seven Michigan defenders like Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary and Devin Bush are a treat to watch, while Ohio State brings pass rushing defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones along with cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield. The difference in the game might come at quarterback, where Buckeye signal-caller Dwayne Haskins still needs to prove that he can play well under pressure.