It’s finally that time of year again, as college football fully returns this weekend. These early slate of games already promises to be more exciting than usual, with four individual games between ranked teams—including this week’s Game of the Week matchup highlighted below—Week 1 of college football will be all about separating the wheat from the chaff.
As I always like to say: Let’s talk about the games, leave questions on prospects, and enjoy the weekend!
Keep your eyes on:
Cam’Ron Harris RB (Miami)
With a power-packed frame, you’d think Harris should be a good fit in a downhill, ground-and-pound offense. However, that body type belies the senior tailback’s overall talent. Harris sports the speed and lateral agility of a runner 20 lbs lighter. He’ll need every ounce of that skill and talent, as Miami faces off against a stacked Alabama team to start the season. How Harris fares against the Tide’s linebackers in the hole may be one of the larger factors in the game.
Other players to watch:
Arnold Ebiketie DE (Penn State)
Penn State picked up a solid transfer in Ebiketie, who moved over from Temple. In addition, the Nittany Lions just lost their primary pass rusher Adisa Isaac to a season-ending injury. This puts ton of pressure on Ebiketie to perform. The redshirt senior is coming off a season at Temple where he led his team in both sacks and tackles-for-loss (TFLs). Ebiketie moves extremely well for his size, and looks like he has the ability to really threaten tackles outside shoulder. Wisconsin’s offensive line will be quite a step up in competition, however.
Marcelino Ball S (Indiana)
Iowa running back Tyler Goodson is perhaps the most well-rounded player in the Big Ten, and it will be Ball’s job to come downhill and short-circuit the Hawkeyes’ running game. With very good size, and an aggressive mentality on the field, some project Ball as more of an outside linebacker rather than a safety. As with last year, the Hoosier coaches should trust him to wrack up tackles and make all kinds of plays around the line of scrimmage against Iowa.
Levi Lewis QB (Louisiana)
A quarterback who could emerge this season, Lewis is a smaller quarterback at only 5’9” but he moves well in the pocket and comes with a baseball background, earning Kyler Murray comparisons in the process. Perhaps his biggest test in the season comes early, as the Ragin’ Cajuns play No. 21 Texas. The Longhorns’ defense is decently talented, and certainly represents a step up from typical Sun Belt units.
Greg Dulcich TE (UCLA)
The Bruins will no doubt struggle this week against what promises to be a stifling LSU defense, but one player they should be able to rely on would be their tight end Dulcich. Not the biggest target at 6’4”, Dulcich nonetheless brings toughness in the passing game and in his blocking. He also flashes strong hands and on top of everything moves extremely well in the open field. We’ll see if he is able to stand out positively in what promises to be UCLA’s toughest game of the year.
Game of the Week
No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia
Saturday, 7:30 P.M. EST
In what promises to be an early preview of two college football playoff teams, both offenses sport dynamic signal callers. For Clemson, that means moving on from Trevor Lawrence with D.J. Uiagalelei, and for Georgia that means relying on second-year starter JT Daniels.
Both teams are all about defense, however, with Clemson bringing along perhaps the most dominant defensive line in the country thanks to linemen Myles Murphy, Bryan Bresee, Tyler Davis and Xavier Thomas. For Georgia, it’s their secondary that includes corners Kelee Ringo and Derion Kendrick. They both have plenty of on-paper talent, but there are questions whether it will all come together for them after a lack of playing time last year.