CFB Week 13: Player Matchup Preview
Week 13 will have a different feel to it. The runners and riders for the College Football Playoffs have narrowed. While the Penn State vs Ohio State game could have implications, elsewhere there may be less at stake. However, there remains a host of great matchups for draft junkies to delve into, here are just five.
Jeffrey Okudah vs KJ Hamler
KJ Hamler will be a game time decision for Saturday’s tilt against Ohio State. If he is recovered from the potential concussion he suffered then the Buckeyes will have to make provision for the explosive playmaker. It’s difficult to see Sean Clifford and co challenge this elite Ohio State defense but a couple of pieces of magic from Hamler and you never know what could happen.
Injury won’t be the only hurdle for Hamler to clear. He will face off against one of the best cornerbacks in the country. Okudah is a smooth, long cornerback who has the instincts to be a ball hawk at the next level. Continuing Ohio State’s tradition of talented secondary players. Hamler will be a great test of Okudah’s coverage of a true speedster. The Buckeye corner has a history in track at High School so has plenty of athleticism to call on.
Samuel Cosmi vs Blake Lynch
Texas’ season is ending in a whimper after plenty of pre-season confidence. To compound things in-state rivals Baylor are enjoying a much needed renaissance under head coach Matt Rhule. The two meet on Saturday.
Samuel Cosmi, the physical left tackle has been a bright spot for the Longhorns offense. The redshirt sophomore has received plenty of plaudits for his no-nonsense style. He may decide to return to college in what is set to be a solid tackle class but if he did declare, he could be an early day 2 selection.
Baylor’s pass rush won’t be a physical test for Cosmi and crew but they possess excellent speed. Despite the disappointing result linebacker Blake Lynch impressed last week vs Oklahoma, landing 1.5 sacks. Lynch started his Baylor career at wide receiver before shifting to safety and now edge rusher. He will offer a unique test for Cosmi and give us an insight into his ability to shift out and seal the edge against such a dynamic defense.
Justin Madubuike vs Solomon Kindley
The deeper you get into a college football season the easier it gets to ignore talented players. Teams become less relevant and therefore their stars can get overlooked. That is somewhat true of Justin Madubuike. Don’t sleep on the Aggies defensive tackle, who possesses impressive burst off the line of scrimmage. His 9.5 tackles for loss highlights his ability to fly into the backfield.
Looking to stifle Madubuike will be one of Georgia’s hefty offensive lineman Solomon Kindley. The Bulldogs line is the bulkiest in school history but their effectiveness has been a bone of contention. Andrew Thomas is a stud at left tackle but there is a feeling that the unit isn’t performing to its potential in the run game. Kindley gets plenty of praise as well and will need to be on form as injury worries to others along the line mean the Aggies could pressure Jake Fromm from the off.
Antonio Gandy-Golden vs Nick Grant
Virginia may be 17 point favourites against Liberty but there is one big reason to keep an eye on this one. His name is Antonio Gandy-Golden. The receiver is currently second in the nation for receiving yards with 1,244. Gandy-Golden has a penchant for the spectacular. His size gives him a huge catch radius and he is comfortable high-pointing the ball over opposition defenders. Throw in the odd one-handed catch and you see why the Flames wideout is one of the buzzier names in draft circles. Speed will be the major drawback for AGG but a good showing versus Virginia will help to persuade scouts he can operate at the top level.
The Cavaliers suffered a major blow earlier in the year when defensive leader and 2020 NFL Draft prospect Bryce Hall was lost to a season-ending ankle injury. Now on a four match winning streak it appears the Cavs have found an adequate replacement in redshirt junior Nick Grant. Grant’s highlight of the season was an 85 yard pick six versus William and Mary. He will be well aware of the hype surrounding Gandy-Golden and needs to embrace the opportunity to highlight his coverage ability against a major talent. It looks set to be a great battle.
Reggie Corbin vs Ray Lima
Lovie Smith has finally got Illinois headed in the right direction. The offense has a more balanced look this year with QB Brandon Peters taking some pressure off senior running back Reggie Corbin. Corbin remains a danger averaging 5.2 yards per carry despite only exceeding 100 yards in a game twice, early in the year. Corbin is powerful but has a knack for finding a hole and taking it to the house.
Important to plugging any gaps up front will be Iowa State nose tackle Ray Lima. At 6’3, 305lbs it stands to reason that Lima is difficult to move off his spot. He doesn’t possess the twitch to explode into the backfield and doesn’t rack up sacks but it doesn’t mean he isn’t invaluable to the Cyclones defense. If Corbin is to be corralled then Lima will be important in ensuring he doesn’t get loose in the second level.
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