CFB Week 2: Player Matchup Preview
We finally got here. It is Week 2 of the college football season and the big hitters have arrived. Nobody knows how long we will have football at this level so this piece could be short lived. There will be week-to-week changes and late omissions from teams but we will seek to give you some head-to-head matchups between NFL Draft prospects to tune in to.
Carlos Basham Jr vs Jackson Carman
Jackson Carman is the sole returning member of Clemson’s offensive line from 2019. Such inexperience is always a concern. Even more so when you consider the unit is tasked with protecting college football’s most valuable asset – Trevor Lawrence. The good news is Carman was solid even when faced with the challenge of Chase Young in the CFB playoff semi-final. Currently behind the likes of Penei Sewell and Sam Cosmi in pre-season rankings, the former five star recruit Carman will be under the national spotlight with all eyes on Lawrence.
His first test will be a good evaluation point. Wake Forest are unlikely to pose too many questions for Clemson (if the Tigers are at full strength), however they will need a plan to deal with edge rusher Carlos Basham. With ten sacks and 18 tackles for loss last year, the long pass rusher will be looking to further add to his draft hype against the ACC Champions. Despite not being overly explosive, Basham is a high motor player who will get effort sacks if the play stays in the backfield too long. Keep your eyes peeled for a decent spin move as well.
Dy'Jonn Turner vs Brevin Jordan
Dy’Jonn Turner will have the jump on the Miami offense in that he has already played one match this year. Turner flashed on film when his UAB Blazers took on Central Arkansas under the bright lights of ESPN’s Thursday Night Football. Being slightly undersized for a cornerback, Turner projects as an NFL slot. Having taken the majority of his college snaps at the nickelback or STAR role in the UAB defense it would be no surprise to see him tasked with trying to reign in the Hurricanes biggest offensive target, Brevin Jordan.
Having missed games at the back end of last year due to an ankle issue, Jordan’s production could soar with a full year of good health. With transfer QB D’Eriq King at the helm, I expect Jordan to become an all round receiving threat. With good size and blocking ability, he is exactly the type of tight end the NFL loves. Jordan should add to his six career touchdowns as a redzone target in Rhett Lashlee’s offense. Having played the majority of his 2019 snaps inline, he will see more action on the outside, making it likely that Turner could be used to try and neutralise the danger.
Chris Rumph II vs Liam Eichenberg
Notre Dame’s temporary alignment into the ACC fold for 2020 will give offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg the opportunity to stake his claim on an early round berth. The Fighting Irish are known for their ferocious trench play with alumni including current NFL starters Quenton Nelson, Mike McGlinchey, Zack Martin and Ronnie Stanley. Eichenberg will face some of the best pass rushers in college football this year and he will take confidence from a strong end to 2019. Despite some iffy patches and penalty giveaways early in the year, he appears to be trending in the right direction now.
Looking to ask questions of Eichenberg for Duke will be edge rusher Chris Rumph. Rumph ranked as PFF’s third rated edge defender in 2019. He is used across the Blue Devils formation. You are just as likely to seem him lined up out wide or stood up in the A gap. His thin frame means he is unlikely to drive Eichenberg off his spot, the real interest will be how the Notre Dame tackle deals with Rumph’s speed around the corner.
Andre Cisco vs Dazz Newsome
With 12 career interceptions in 23 games, Andre Cisco can be considered to be somewhat of a ball hawk in the Syracuse secondary. It is an impressive crew with the likes of Ifeatu Melifonwu and Trill Williams at cornerback. However, in their opening tilt against North Carolina their corner duo is likely to need plenty of help against the Tar Heels impressive sophomore Quarterback Sam Howell. Cisco, a rangy safety who locates the ball with ease will be pivotal in trying to slow down his connection with favourite target Dazz Newsome.
Newsome thrives as a deep target. As noted by PFF, Newsome was responsible for the most 20+ yard receptions from the slot of any receiver in the FBS with 13. His speed and reliable hands made him Howell’s number one guy with 72 receptions in 2019. Due to Newsome’s time spent in the slot, Cisco could be asked to come and provide man coverage or be used as protection over the top to double Newsome. Either way, taking away Newsome will be an important part of Cuse’s defensive strategy.
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