CFB: Player Matchups to watch in Week 10
Week 10 will bring us some exciting divisional games in College Football. That includes Georgia looking to continue their rumble to a 3-peat, against a frisky Missouri. Old foes LSU and Alabama locking horns and a Pac-12 showdown with two Heisman candidates.
Here’s our player matchups to watch in the games.
Kool-Aid McKinstry vs Malik Nabers
Both fresh off a bye week, Alabama and LSU will meet on Saturday. While neither looks likely to hoist a National Championship, they are still gunning for an SEC conference title game berth. As with every season, both sides are stacked with future NFL talent, and there will be premier matchups all over the field. For me, watching a potential first-round corner lining up opposite a potential Day 1 receiver takes star billing.
Malik Nabers will look to break the 1,000 receiving yard threshold this weekend. He currently has 981. The fact he moves around the formation means we will only see him take on McKinstry in patches rather than a continual one-on-one.
For those looking to evaluate McKinstry, he will have his hands full with whoever he lines up against. Across from Nabers is Brian Thomas Jr. He has already proven himself a legitimate deep threat and favourite of QB Jaden Daniels.
If Alabama is to keep its slim playoff chances intact, then slowing down this stacked LSU offense is paramount.
Michael Penix Jr. vs Caleb Williams
Here we are again, another high-profile Pac-12 matchup between two Heisman hopefuls. While the buzz has eased on Penix and Williams regarding that award, they remain two of the most talented signal callers in the country.
Penix Jr had a rough outing against Arizona State, throwing two picks and averaging under 7 yards per completion. Saturday again proved tricky as the Huskies made hard work of Stanford. That said, they remain unbeaten and ideally need to remain so heading into the championship game.
Penix will be bullish about his chances, considering the USC defense has been one of the long-standing punchlines of the season so far. Going against him will be Caleb Williams, so even though Penix will likely have a strong outing, this could turn into an end-to-end offensive battle.
Williams had his blip against Notre Dame, throwing three picks. Still, his off-script ability was back on show against California, as he led the Trojans back to a scintillating 50-49 victory over California. The Huskies are favourites for this one, but if Williams pulls out a trademark performance, there may be life in USC yet.
Daijun Edwards vs Ty'Ron Hopper
Georgia finally look to be clicking into Championship form. A dominant victory over Florida that included a strong showing offensively, made the College Football world sit up. Even without Brock Bowers, Carson Beck and co. dominated throughout.
That included a running game led by fourth-year running back Daijun Edwards. Edwards had run for 146 rushing yards against Vanderbilt the previous week and tallied 96 yards and two touchdowns against the Gators. That included five runs over 10+ yards at an average clip of 6.4 yards per attempt. In a weak running back class, Edwards could really improve his stock over the next few weeks.
Missouri has been a frisky team in the SEC so far, but taking down Georgia seems a difficult task. If they were to do so, it would take a huge performance from the Tigers’ defense. Leading the unit this year has been Ty’ron Hopper. He has contributed 43 tackles, including five for loss. The former Florida linebacker has been a success since transferring to Mizzou two seasons ago. Slowing down the Bulldogs offense would be a feather in his draft cap.
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com