In what was hyped very early on as being the game of the season, the LSU-Alabama game did not disappoint in college football’s week 11. After accumulating a 20-point halftime lead the Tigers were able to hold on and secure the win over Alabama in their own stadium. The match-up was superb from a scouting perspective because both teams’ star prospects played well. As titanic as that game was, it wasn’t the only competitive in-conference battle. The Minnesota and Penn State contest had a bit of drama as well, with Minnesota riding a pair of elite receivers to the massive home upset. Below are the prospects who stood out on a primo week of college football.
QB Joe Burrow (LSU)
Alabama came into the game ranked among the best in team defense, especially against the pass—the team has multiple first- and second-day draft picks in the secondary—Joe Burrow lit them up all the same. It took until the second quarter for the senior to throw an incomplete pass, and that was simply a throw-away. His game stats of 393 passing yards and three touchdowns only tell some of the story; it was his poise and cool decision making under pressure that were his best assets. This will be the tape that scouts and general managers point to when they draft the LSU quarterback in the top-five of the 2020 draft.
LB Davion Taylor (Colorado)
The senior linebacker showed why he earned a Senior Bowl invite during Saturday’s game: He continues to look comfortable out in space and in dropping back against the pass. Against Stanford, he was the Buffaloes’ leading tackler with eight, including two tackles-for-loss, and a pass defensed. No tackle was more important than his third-down stop on a short pass to Connor Wedington. Taylor backpedaled a bit, lost his shoe, and still managed to tackle the wide receiver short of the sticks. The former defensive back continues to look comfortable in his transition to linebacker.
EDGE Terrell Lewis (Alabama)
The junior pass rusher didn’t accumulate any traditional pass rushing stats during the game, but Lewis was virtually unblockable at times against LSU, proving that he’s one of the more pure pass rushers in the upcoming draft. Right from the first snap of the game, he was attacking LSU right tackle Austin Deculus with everything in his toolbox: speed rush, dip and bend, inside counter, spin move. He would have had more impact plays, had Burrow not been so adept at stepping up in the pocket or deciding to abandon the pocket all-together. Finally, he was johnny-on-the-spot on a fumble recovery that turned the game towards Alabama.
OG/OC Connor Olson (Minnesota)
Penn State has an elite defensive line, which made it a bit weird to see an unheralded interior junior offensive lineman from Minnesota handle them so well. Thanks to fantastic pass protection up front, Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan was able to attack the Penn State cornerbacks with a variety of downfield throws. Olson was also asked by his coaching staff to switch between guard and center during the game: something that is not easy to do for linemen by any stretch.
RB Salvon Ahmed (Washington)
It was a career day for Ahmed, as he ran for a career-high 174 yards and two touchdowns against a primed and motivated Oregon State team. The junior tailback has a great sense for the inside and outside zone scheme that the huskies like to run and, unlike his predecessor Myles Gaskins, he knows how to shove off blocks and isn’t afraid of contact, despite only being listed at 196 lbs. He looks like a very solid fit for any NFL team that runs the West Coast offense.
DB Douglas Coleman III (Texas Tech)
The NCAA leader in interceptions came down with another one against West Virginia, bringing his total to eight on the year. The 6’1” 200-lb defensive back is a versatile chess piece in the Red Raiders secondary. He has the size and speed to play both safety positions but the team isn’t afraid to put him in as a corner. Against West Virginia, the senior found himself in the lucky position of having a tipped pass almost fall into his lap. You know what they say: Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.