Typically, the Red River Showdown between Texas and Oklahoma is an exciting affair between two of college football’s more bitter rivals and successful programs. Unfortunately, 2020 hasn’t been typical in any way, so this year the game has lost a lot of its intrigue. Oklahoma has lost two games to unranked teams and Texas was recently upset by TCU. Regardless, the game promises to be a high-scoring affair with plenty of NFL prospects to judge.
So let’s talk about the games, leave questions on prospects, and enjoy the weekend!
Keep your eyes on
Trey Smith OG (Tennessee)
Smith is a guard who made the transition from tackle, but looking at his massive 6’6”, 325-lb frame you would never guess. As you might expect, the senior is a dominant force at the point of attack but also isn’t unaccustomed to moving and blocking linebackers at the second level. Although he’s had a strong start to the season, this week he’s facing the equally enormous nose tackle for Georgia, Jordan Davis. It promises to be a mammoth battle in the trenches.
Other prospects to watch
Andre Cisco S (Syracuse)
Syracuse looks like they’re in line for a disappointing/mediocre season, but one of the bright spots on the team the past couple years has been the play of their free safety. He’s the ultimate ballhawk at the position, coming down with 13 interceptions in his two-plus years with the Orange. This week, he’ll need to bring his best tackling effort, as he should be facing off against one of the best tight ends in the nation, Duke’s Noah Gray. The tight end leads his team in receiving yards, so hopefully Cisco will be healthy enough to face him down after sustaining an injury two weeks ago.
Rashad Weaver EDGE (Pittsburgh)
The entire Pitt defensive line could see themselves drafted by the NFL, but maybe the most impressive player has been Weaver, who’s had two multi-sack games to begin the season to go with 14 total tackles. Although he’s been up against strong competition, such as Louisville tackle Adonis Boone, this Saturday he should square off against Boston College’s Tyler Vrabel. The young right tackle is known for his punch in the run game, so we’ll see how Weaver is able to hold the edge in this game.
D’Eriq King QB (Miami)
Miami has been one of the surprises of college football this season, and that’s largely thanks to the Houston transfer. Despite being a shorter quarterback, he’s been equal parts electric and safe with the ball in his hands, as he has 893 total yards (passing and rushing) and has yet to throw an interception. At this point, he’s competing for a Heisman. Standing in his way this week is the number-one ranked team in the country, Clemson. The Tigers’ defense hasn’t given up more than 23 points and they feature a high-powered offense. This will be a huge test for the senior signal-caller.
T.J. Vasher WR (Texas Tech)
The designated possession and red-zone receiver for his team, Vasher is an expert in making the difficult, acrobatic catches necessary in the latter part of the field. As usual with these types of players, he needs to prove this season that his speed is good enough to earn separation on its own. He’ll have a chance to prove that this week against a pretty good, physical Iowa State secondary that has a few playmakers at key positions, including their safeties. If Vasher manages a 2020 breakout game, he’ll put himself firmly on the national radar again.
Dylan Moses LB (Alabama)
Now a senior and fully healthy after his devastating injury last year, Moses has had two solid but unspectacular games against SEC opponents, which really belies his overall talent. This time, he’ll be dealing with the Ole Miss offense, which has all kinds of passing threats and a solid running game to boot. Moses needs to prove that he’s fully recovered from his knee injury and that it hasn’t sapped him of any speed.
Game of the Week
Sure, the Big-12 isn’t necessarily as elite as it once was, but the two best teams in the conference are still worth watching this week.
As always, Oklahoma is an offense-heavy team, with a smattering of defensive prospects. It’s a dangerous offense thanks to skill players like running back Kennedy Brooks and wideout Charleston Rambo, but also offensive linemen like Creed Humphrey and Marquis Hayes. The defense relies on superior athletes like linebacker Caleb Kelly and defensive lineman Ronnie Perkins.
The Longhorns’ prospects are more clustered on the defensive side, although offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi might be the second-best at his position in college football. Safety Caden Sterns will be monitoring the middle of the field, while linebacker Joseph Ossai will likely be looking to chase down and pop the Sooners’ running backs. Ossai especially has seen his draft stock rise through the first three games of 2020.