CFB: Week 1 Player Matchups
Who’s ready for a full slate of college football? Week 1 cannot arrive soon enough and while there may not be a ton of heavyweight bouts, we pick out three intriguing player matchups for the weekend.
Spencer Rattler v Drake Maye
This is a battle between two quarterbacks at different ends of the spectrum. Drake Maye is embarking on a season where he wants to confirm his status as a top 5 draft pick. For Rattler, he wants to end his redemption arc by proving he also has value to an NFL team.
At one time, Rattler was widely regarded as a top prospect, only for his Oklahoma career to derail, resulting in being benched for none other than Caleb Williams. Under Shane Beamer, Rattler has harnessed his impetuous nature while retaining the playmaking ability that made him special.
On the other side, Maye has a powerful arm and statuesque figure. While he may not be as exciting as Williams, he has the tools NFL GMs covet. This game is widely considered a toss-up, meaning the quarterback battle could be the difference.
Fentrell Cypress II v Malik Nabers
LSU vs Florida State is the highlight of this weekend’s college football slate. There will be matchups galore as future draft picks line up on either side. One of these examples is Seminoles cornerback Fentrell Cypress and LSU receiver Nabers.
Nabers really ratcheted up his production late last season with a couple of 100+ receiving-yard performances. He hopes to lead the Tigers receiving group again, and his relationship with QB Jayden Daniels will be vital to their championship hopes.
Hoping to shut him down his Virginia transfer Cypress. He is one of a raft of transfers FSU brought in to help them win the ACC. He had a standout year in 2022, with nine pass breakups and a coverage grade of 87.6. Now in his fifth year, his experience will be vital to this secondary group.
George Holani v Edefuan Ulofoshio
George Holani was healthy in 2022 and returned to being a 1000-yard rusher. Several injuries had slowed his progress since breaking onto the scene as a freshman in 2019, but he was a major factor in Boise State winning the Mountain West with a 10-4 record.
The Broncos will face a high-octane offense in Washington and Holani and co. will have to keep pace with them if they stand a chance of causing an upset. Looking to slow him down is another player whose career has been dogged by injury.
I am particularly high on Edefuan Ulofoshio. Going into 2022, he was considered a top linebacker prospect, and the tape showed a physical defender who could also move smoothly sideline-to-sideline. Hopefully, he will show no lingering effects from his knee injury and can build on his promise.
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
PREVIOUSLY THE FOUNDER OF NFL DRAFT UK, SIMON HAS BEEN COVERING COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND THE NFL DRAFT SINCE 2009. BASED IN MANCHESTER, SIMON IS ALSO CO-CREATOR & WEEKLY GUEST OF THE COLLAPSING POCKET PODCAST.