With a massive upset as well as two close calls, it’ll be difficult to match what happened in college football during Week 8. However, the upcoming slate of games still boasts a trio of showdowns between Top 20 teams. First up on the docket is No. 3 Ohio State hosting No. 13 Wisconsin. The Badgers will be looking to keep the high-flying offense of the Buckeyes off the field. Then, No. 2 LSU will host No. 9 Auburn to determine which SEC West team gets to battle Alabama in the SEC Championship. Finally, No. 9 Notre Dame heads to No. 19 Michigan in what should be their last challenging match-up of the season.
So, let’s talk about the games, leave questions on prospects, and enjoy the weekend!
Keep your eyes on
RB Zack Moss (Utah)
Moss is Utah’s bell-cow back and soon-to-be anointed all-time leading rusher. A bigger back with speed to spare, the only thing that has slowed him down is nagging injuries. Cal presents his biggest test of the season, though, as their defense sports players like defensive tackle Luc Bequette and, especially, linebacker Evan Weaver. Weaver will look to attack the backfield and harass Moss before he can even get to the line of scrimmage. It’ll prove tough bringing down the 222-lb back.
Other prospects to watch
WR Jalen Reagor (TCU)
Where in the world is Jalen Reagor? The junior deep threat hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire with his 23 catches for 271 yards. To his credit, he has turned it on recently with fine outings against Iowa State and Kansas State where he was able to show off some highlight-reel catches. Let’s see if he can continue that trend against the Texas Longhorns’ secondary, which been hurt and just gave up 310 passing yards against Kansas, of all teams.
DE Chase Young (Ohio State)
The consensus all-world first-round-lock of the 2020 draft has already amassed 9.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss on the season. Pretty much the only nit you could possibly pick about his performance thus far is that he hasn’t really been challenged by an offensive tackle at his level. Wisconsin is one of the few teams that can offer Young a deserving opponent, with left tackle Cole Van Lanen and right tackle Logan Bruss. After losing to Illinois they’ll be mad and have Young in their sights.
LB Khaleke Hudson (Michigan)
Hudson plays a similar role—as the ‘Viper’—in the Michigan defense as former Wolverine Jabrill Peppers. Therefore, his first step will be proving that he’s not a player without a position—he’s just versatile. He’ll need to pick up his play, though, as he has yet to record a sack and only has one tackle for a loss on the season. Now, Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet is coming into town. The 6’5” tight end will serve as quite a challenge for Hudson to cover down the field, as the senior defender is only 6’0” tall.
OG Steven Gonzalez (Penn State)
Looking like a late- to mid-round selection coming into the season, Gonzalez has been on fire recently, including last week’s game against Michigan, despite being called for holding in the third quarter. Michigan State defensive tackle Raequan Williams can be immovable at times and generally takes no prisoners, so it’ll be important for the 341-lb senior to hold his ground.
Game of the Week
No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU
3:30 PM, EST
A clash of SEC teams each sporting a superabundance of prospects scattered throughout their rosters. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has picked up his play this season, which has elevated his draft stock in turn. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson is benefiting the most from Burrow’s rise. LSU is still all about the defense, though, with an elite secondary headlined by safety Grant Delpit and cornerback with Kristian Fulton. Auburn’s strength is along the defensive and offensive lines. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown is perhaps the best at his position in the country, while Marlon Davidson and Nick Coe look like middle-round selections as edge rushers. Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. is a powerful, raw offensive tackle for the Auburn Tigers and his play this season has yet to be recognized.