CFB: Player Matchups to watch in Week 7

We are pretty much halfway through the College Football season and beginning to separate the contenders from the pretenders. Week 7 brings us another host of exciting games and, with it, some excellent player matchups. Here is our pick of the bunch for the weekend’s games.

Laiatu Latu v Joshua Gray

Embed from Getty Images

Few players have enhanced their draft stock more than UCLA pass rusher Laiatu Latu. His production has never been a question mark. The only thing holding him back will be how NFL teams view his injury history. A neck injury sustained at Washington forced him to quit football only to return for the Bruins.

So far this year, he has racked up 28 pressures, including five sacks. He will be looking to get home plenty against the Beavers and slow down DJ Uiagalelei, who is having a comeback year himself. Looking to give him time in the pocket will be left tackle Joshua Gray.

Gray has been a steady presence in his fifth year with Oregon State. His performances have been up-and-down while only conceding one sack on the year. He has a pass-blocking grade of 55.3 from PFF, suggesting that Latu should find some degree of success if the two go one-on-one.

JC Latham v Trajan Jeffcoat

Embed from Getty Images

If you’ve watched Alabama at all this year then you will be well aware of the issues on the offensive line. Jalen Milroe hasn’t been an elite signal caller by any means but his job has been made hard by a leaky group in front of him.

Most of the trouble has been away from right tackle JC Latham, who has continued his high standard of play, conceding only one sack and two QB hits. Latham displays a good anchor and is generally difficult to displace. You can feel confident about him being a first-round pick come April.

Getting some wins against a player of Latham’s calibre would do wonders for any draft prospect, and that is what Trajan Jeffcoat is hoping for. After four years and 13 sacks with Missouri, Jeffcoat transferred to Arkansas. He has three sacks in 2023 and, despite his tweener build (6’4, 281lbs), takes most of his snaps off the edge. Watch out for his sneaky spin move.

Ray Davis v Chad Bailey

Embed from Getty Images

Ray Davis gave the best possible advertisement of what he could do against Florida in Week 5. He ran for 280 yards and three touchdowns, averaging over 10 yards per attempt. The Kentucky offense has leant on Davis all season, and it is easy to see why. 

While not the biggest, Davis has a stocky build and hits holes with great pace. He has a wicked change of direction and has recorded a top speed of 21.5mph this year. If Kentucky are to beat Missouri, expect Davis to feature heavily.

For the Tigers, linebacker Chad Bailey will be expected to close down any space available to Davis at the second level. Bailey suffered an injury early in the year and has some off-field transgressions that may affect his draft stock, but on the field, he is one of Missouri’s more accomplished players.

Bailey has recorded 11 tackles in four games, including 4 defensive stops and is without a missed tackle in 2023. It will be interesting if he can withstand the physical test of Davis, considering he is on the lighter side (234lbs) for a linebacker. Will he still have 0 missed tackles once the Wildcats have run against him? We’ll see.

Mock Draft

Rory-Joe Daniels

Cfb contributor

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