We’re fast approaching the season’s end with the sport surrounded in drama due to the situation of Michigan’s sign-stealing allegations and the status of head coach Jim Harbaugh. Aside from the allegations, the College Football Playoff discussion is heating up in a hurry with the scope focusing.
There are a multitude of pendulum games set to sway the conversation one way or another heading into Week 11.
We get the day kicked off with a top-10 Big Ten matchup as the aforementioned No. 3 Michigan Wolverines take a trip to Happy Valley to take on No. 10 Penn State. The Wolverines are yet to be truly challenged by a quality opponent in 2023. This will be a fantastic litmus test for them. The Nittany Lions will be looking to bounce back from a poor offensive showing against Ohio State a few weeks ago. The story lines are profound with this one.
No. 18 Utah will be looking to stymie one of the best offenses in the country in No. 5 Washington. The Utes have been forced to play a backup quarterback the entirety of the season with a limited amount of offensive play makers. The Huskies are coming off an emotional, high-scoring win over USC a week ago. It seems unlikely Utah can keep up with Washington in this matchup, but this is why the games are played.
The matchup between No. 13 Tennessee and No. 14 Missouri is serving as the penultimate SEC game-of-the-week. Both of these SEC East foes are battling it out for second place in the powerhouse division. Through nine games, the book is still out on the tenor of both of these squads.
Let’s talk matchups and a game-of-the-week candidate. Let us know who and what you’re watching in the comments section below.
Ole Miss WR Tre Harris vs. Georgia CB Kamari Lassiter
Two of the most physically imposing players on the outside are set to do battle on Saturday night when Ole Miss receiver Tre Harris and Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter meet in Athens. Harris is coming off his best game of the season where he snared multiple one-handed grabs in crunch time to overcome Texas A&M late.
Lassiter has been on draft radars prior to the 2023 season and has only continued his steady play this year. A team looking for a physically imposing corner looking to break bread in run defense will love Lassiter.
Impact plays all on tape from yesterday. pic.twitter.com/T75FFsqETK— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) November 5, 2023
Michigan WR Roman Wilson vs. Penn State CB Kalen King
It’s been a few years since the Wolverines had a difference maker at the wide receiver position. Roman Wilson just might be the best receiver prospect we’ve seen from Michigan since Nico Collins.
King hasn’t had his best season after looking like he could push for first-round pick status playing across from Joey Porter Jr in 2022. King didn’t have a good showing against Ohio State, which surely is going to put a big dent in his draft stock. If King wants to prove he’s a dude, he’ll need to shut down Wilson in this matchup.
Texas WRs AD Mitchell and Xavier Worthy vs. TCU CB Josh Newton
It’s a three pack of wide receiver-corner matchups in Week 11. Texas has two really good ones in Mitchell and Worthy, who are both likely top 100 selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. They offer two different skill sets from one another with Mitchell being a smooth vertical route runner who excels at getting defensive backs off balance and tracking the football. Worthy has legitimate track speed. While not as refined as Mitchell at this stage, his speed makes him a big play waiting to happen.
TCU certainly is not a good team in 2023, but Josh Newton is a good player for the Horned Frogs. Newton is another physically imposing corner with the ball skills to succeed at the next level. This will be a nice test for the JUCO product on Saturday.
AD Mitchell’s route to get into the end zone.— CJ Vogel (@CJVogel_TFB) November 4, 2023
7–0 Texas. pic.twitter.com/mRhrEGD0na
Game of the Week
No. 3 Michigan @ No. 10 Penn State
Given the stakes of the game and the situation at Michigan with Jim Harbaugh not coaching in this game, there’s just too much intrigue to look away. Michigan will be withstanding their first test of the 2023 season along with all of the story lines coming out of Ann Arbor.
The emergence of quarterback J.J. McCarthy for Michigan has been one of the stories of the season as he continues his pursuit of being a first-round NFL Draft selection
The Wolverines are very strong in the trenches on both sides of the ball led by Zak Zinter on the offensive interior.
Penn State has one of the better pass-rush tandems off the edge with Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac getting to the quarterback. If there’s a weakness to Michigan’s offense, it’s at offensive tackle.
The Nittany Lions boast one of the best players in the country in Olu Fashanu at left tackle. He’ll need a stellar performance, but it’s more important that the Nittany Lions’ interior can hold up against a loaded defensive tackle unit for Michigan. This game will be won in the trenches.
How will the Wolverines be effected without Harbaugh? I guess we’ll find out early Saturday afternoon.