Give it up for Week 5 of the 2022 college football season. Somehow we’re almost halfway through the college football regular season. It’s a nearly full slate of inter-conference matchups this week, with a few of the Florida-based programs having their games moved to other dates due to destruction and devastation following Hurricane Ian.
This is a loaded group of games that begins in the noon hour with No. 7 Kentucky traveling to Ole Miss for a sneaky good SEC matchup. Ole Miss is looking for their first resume-building victory after a fairly easy schedule to begin the year, while Kentucky looks to prove their validity in the top ten of the AP poll.
You’ll need multiple screens in the 3:30 window with a trio of ranked matchups. Second-ranked Alabama gets their first test since a near-loss to an unimpressive Texas team when they face Arkansas’ high-powered offense in Razorback Stadium. Ninth-ranked Oklahoma State faces off against No. 16 Baylor to nab Big 12 supremacy, while No. 22 Wake Forest travels to No. 23 Florida State for a date in Tallahassee in an attempt to stay alive in the ACC Atlantic. Another epic ACC Atlantic matchup is the nightcap between No. 5 Clemson and No. 10 NC State.
Let’s talk prospects and tab a game of the week. Drop your thoughts and questions in the comments section.
Campbell v. Corum — RB Blake Corum (Michigan) v. LB Jack Campbell (Iowa)
There’s a fair chance this game is going to be a very boring, horrendous affair for the common fan or someone simply flipping through channels on their early Saturday afternoon. But if you’re a real sicko with multiple screens set up for your college football Saturday (and you don’t like points being scored), the performance of Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell against Michigan’s crop of offensive linemen and running back Blake Corum should be right up your alley.
Campbell is built like Buffalo Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at about 6’5” and 250 pounds. He has plenty of steam as a draft prospect, and deservedly so. He’s doesn’t look to be quite the athlete that Edmunds was coming out of Virginia Tech, but Campbell could be a factor against a run-heavy Michigan.
Corum is a low-center-of-gravity player who’s difficult to get hands on. His burst through the line is well above average, and his ability to find space in the open field allows him to break huge gains despite average long speed. Campbell meeting Corum in the A-gap is something to keep a watchful eye out for in the noon slate of games.
Tide transfer takes on Alabama — LB Drew Sanders (Arkansas)
Drew Sanders was a five-star prospect who signed with Alabama coming out of high school and he’s done nothing but prove why that’s the case in 2022—only he’s with a different team now. After limited rotation opportunities with the Crimson Tide in the early years of his career, Sanders decided a switch was needed. Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom has utilized Sanders like the college version of Micah Parsons. Sanders plays MIKE linebacker and plays as a standup rush outside linebacker, where he gets to utilize his athleticism running stunts as a looper. His 6’5”, 230-pound frame with that kind of athleticism is special—and Odom knows it. It should be exciting to watch Sanders matchup against an Alabama team on Saturday with an offensive line that has left some things to be desired in 2022.
An Unsung Quarterback gets a stage — QB Jordan Travis (Florida State)
Whether it be New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson or Pittsburgh Steelers signal caller Kenny Pickett, there always seems to be a riser out of nowhere for the NFL Draft quarterback pool. That’s not to say Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis is bound to be a top-ten pick or even a first rounder. But he needs to be on the radar of NFL scouting departments across the board.
In the past, Travis had been known for his ability to use his legs, dating back to his time at Louisville before transferring to Florida State where a similar narrative was often fairly assumed. Travis never had a supporting cast that was operational in Tallahassee before 2022. He often ran for his life with a brutal offensive line and a receiving corps that failed to separate. But that’s all changed with new transfer portal additions and Travis’s ability to elevate the entire team. Travis has only played beginning to end in one game this year (LSU) and missed an entire half against Louisville due to injury. Still, the fifth-year player has put up 945 passing yards on 10.4 yards per attempt without utilizing his legs in the ground game nearly as much. Travis wants to use his legs to throw, not run in 2022. He has a shot to show out in front of evaluators in a national setting against Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon. An explosive performance could turn some heads.
Game of the Week
No. 10 NC State @ No. 5 Clemson
Saturday, 7:30 PM Eastern
This is must-watch television if you want to witness two of the elite defenses in all of college football.
North Carolina State University is led by quarterback Devin Leary—the veteran signal caller for the Wolfpack and a quarterback to keep an eye on in this game for his performance against NFL-caliber talent. Dylan McMahon is the ‘Pack right guard—a draft prospect on the offensive line.
On defense, NC State may have the best trio of linebackers in the country with Isaiah Moore, Drake Thomas, and Payton Wilson manning that unit. All three are on target to be drafted.
For Clemson, it’s D.J. Uiagalelei, a former touted prospect, at quarterback. He has improved his game from a disastrous sophomore campaign in 2022, but a big test looms. Jordan McFadden starts at left tackle, but is an interior offensive line prospect. Walker Parks is an athletic guard to watch, and Joseph Ngata is a big body with plenty of tools who is looking to put it all together in 2022. Davis Allen at tight end had a bit of a breakout game in terms of receiving against Wake Forest last week. He’ll likely be tasked with doing what he does best in this game—blocking NC State’s front at a high level.
On the defensive end, Clemson may have the best defensive line in college football. Edge rusher Myles Murphy is a first-round caliber player, and his talented running mate, Xavier Thomas, has a questionable designation going into Saturday after suffering an offseason injury. The Tigers also have an elite interior with star third-year player Bryan Bresee leading the attack as an explosive asset with first-round hopes along the defensive line. Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhorhoro are also potential Day Two selections in the 2023 NFL Draft.
We aren’t done with the Tigers’ defense—they may have the best linebacker in the country with Trenton Simpson doing it all at the second level of the defense. He’s an explosive athlete with the ability to play in space and rush the passer. Despite the quality of talent he is, Simpson is often a forgotten man within Clemson’s ridiculous front seven.