Many teams are hitting the halfway mark of their schedule in Week 6 of the college football season. This week presents some of the more odd ranked matchups you’ll see between some teams that have very rarely showed their face in the AP Top 25 the past several years. Eighth-ranked Tennessee gets it started against No. 25 LSU. The story of this game is the Volunteers’ offense against the Tigers’ defense, which features a bunch of NFL talent for both squads.
Seventeenth-ranked TCU is taking on—wait for it—No. 19-ranked Kansas. Kansas hasn’t been ranked for 13 years, and it’s also been nearly 13 years since you’ve been able to stomach sitting through the entirety of a Kansas game. This is a legitimately enticing matchup that could have a lot of points scored with two explosive offenses.
Eleventh-ranked Utah travels to the Rose Bowl to take on No. 18 UCLA. The Bruins have had their share of struggles in recent years, but the ascent of senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson has pushed UCLA into the realm of a high-quality offense in 2022.
Here are this week’s prospects to keep an eye on as we head into the weekend. Please drop your thoughts and questions in the comments section.
CB Clark Phillips III (Utah) looking to build on his stellar play
Utah defensive back Clark Phillips III has put his stamp on college football in recent weeks after a relatively quiet first couple weeks of play. If you hadn’t heard of Phillips as a novice college football fan, you probably did after his performance against Oregon State last week. With three interceptions (one a pick-six), Phillips is firmly back on the 2023 NFL Draft “must-see television” list. He has four picks in five games this season, and will be looking to add to his total against Thompson-Robinson—who has thrown one pick this season compared to 11 touchdowns. Phillips, a recorded 5’10” short king, may have to match up with 6’5” UCLA wide receiver Jake Bobo. How he responds and plays above his physical stature will be important in this game.
Yes — We are actually talking about Kansas
Kansas is good again, and it feels weird because many folks probably forgot Kansas had a football team except for when they somehow beat Texas or someone else they have no business competing with on Saturdays. The Jayhawks are actually fun now, and they’re good.
Quarterback Jalon Daniels has a legitimate argument to make as the most fun player in college football. His worst game of the season came against Iowa State last week, where he only threw the ball 14 times and had very little success on the ground as a runner. Look for the Jayhawks to get him more involved this week when they play TCU, in a game where points are certainly going to be necessary to compete. The Jayhawks haven’t beaten a legitimately good team yet, but they’re a legitimate squad for the first time in a long time, with a very fun player to boot. It’s hard to say how legitimate Daniels is as an NFL prospect at this point. Regardless, he’s really fun to watch, with plenty more opportunity to put throws like this on tape.
OT Blake Freeland (BYU) vs. EDGE Isaiah Foskey (Notre Dame)
This will be a matchup featuring some good old-fashioned trench warfare between two of the best at their respective positions in the country. Edge rusher Isaiah Foskey has been touted as a first-round pick by many outlets in the preseason, and he has plenty of hype off his name alone despite a lackluster start for the Irish as a whole. The 6’5”, 265-lb fourth-year junior is an explosive end with all of the tools to work with against an offense.
Offensive tackle Blake Freeland is a bit of an unknown to the common college football fan, but the fourth-year junior is a giant (6’8”, 305 lbs) at the left tackle spot for the Cougars. Freeland has impressive movement ability for his size, and has one of the best pass-protecting profiles in the country. The primetime matchup is going to be one you don’t want to miss Saturday night.
BYU LT Blake Freeland learned OL at Provo, start RT as freshman. Former TE/DE maintained athleticism, moving out of his stance quickly despite being 6'8". Active zone-run blocker (gets inside 2T, creates lane), adept at using length and lateral movement in pass pro. #SnapScout23 pic.twitter.com/kGWSiInb6x— Chad Reuter (@chad_reuter) July 6, 2022
Game of the Week
No. 17 TCU @ No. 19 Kansas
Saturday, 12:00 PM Eastern
Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
We certainly were not going to exclude Kansas in their first game of the week in the history of...well, ever. We’ve already gloated some about Kansas, but TCU has some dudes of their own.
On the offensive end, wide receiver Quentin Johnston garnered a ton of hype going into 2022. That hasn’t materialized yet, but he’s still a big, athletic freak on the outside—which the Jayhawks will have to deal with this week. Fellow wideouts Taye Barber and Derius Davis are key components of the offense, as well, with the latter having legitimate track speed as a gadget player. Center Steve Avila is a senior prospect for the Horned Frogs worth keeping an eye on.
The defensive side of the ball boasts a couple of prospects for the Frogs as well. Linebacker Dee Winters is undersized, but he’s a high-quality athlete who will be a Will or an overhang defender at the next level—with the effort level and ability to blitz as a sub-package weapon. Cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson has been on the NFL Draft radar for multiple years, and continues to put quality play on film. Mark Perry is a draftable safety.
Safety Kenny Logan Jr. boasts a ton of production for the Jayhawks over the course of his career, and continues to do so in 2022.