CFB Week 5: Player Matchup Preview
Well how about that? It may have taken until Week 4 but College Football burst to life with the entrance of the SEC last week. We had it all, upsets, comebacks and tons of highlights. With plenty of stellar matchups in Week 5, expect similar thrills and spills.
Sam Ehlinger vs Ar'Darius Washington
Sam Ehlinger once again bailed Texas out last week. The Longhorns defense left plenty to be desired against Texas Tech but their undisputed leader pulled them out of a hole. Ehlinger sits outside the top tier of QBs for the 2021 draft but has a chance to close the gap. It’s always somewhat of a rollercoaster with Ehlinger. His gunslinger mentality can get him in trouble but as with all top playmakers, he has the ability to compartmentalize the errors and continue to push the envelope.
Coming up against TCU’s secondary will pose some serious questions for Ehlinger. One player he will need to keep his eyes peeled for is safety Ar’Darius Washington. Washington’s small frame will limit his appeal to some NFL teams, however, once you see him in action you can rest assured. Washington will likely move around the formation and can play comfortably as a two-deep safety, single high and in perhaps his best position- slot corner. If Texas’s defense continues to be porous, a big play or two from Washington could make it difficult to come back. Even for Ehlinger.
Seth Williams vs Eric Stokes
Bo Nix suffered the usual bumps in the road for a freshman Quarterback. His first season showed his undeniable talent mixed with the growing pains of going straight from High School Football to SEC competition. His first outing for 2020 was more assured and a big part of that was receiver Seth Williams. The 6’3 junior made an array of grabs against Kentucky and ended the day with six receptions, 112 yards and a touchdown. Taking on Georgia will give Williams the chance to shine in arguably the biggest game of the weekend.
There is an array of talent in the Georgia secondary. Tyson Campbell was a five star recruit, DJ Daniel was the no.1 ranked JUCO cornerback in the country but arguably their strongest pass defender is Eric Stokes. So far in his career, Stokes has been dependable rather than flashy. In the Bulldogs return to action he sought to address that. Returning an interception for a 30 yard touchdown in the season opener against Arkansas. Stokes will have his hands full vs Williams in what threatens to be a fascinating battle of top prospects.
Rakeem Boyd vs Errol Thompson
Rakeem Boyd is one of the few stars of Last Chance U that have gone on to be top tier college players. Boyd starred for Independence during the Netflix series, averaging over 120 yards per game. He has carried that success into Power 5 play for the Razorbacks. Over the last two seasons he has led Arkansas in rushing yards. It was a quiet week 1 for Boyd against Georgia with only 21 yards on the ground. Boyd is a physically built back with a direct style, hitting the gap in the middle of the line but with the speed to break long plays.
Seeking to snuff out his threat will be Mississippi State middle linebacker Errol Thompson. Thompson jumps out on the Bulldogs tape. He acts as the heartbeat for the defense and despite appearing a thumper, has good range. That should stand him in good stead and give him a chance at the next level. With ten tackles and a sack versus LSU, he will be a large part of State trying to go 2-0.
Eyioma Uwazurike vs Creed Humphrey
Despite all the high profile matchups we get on a week-to-week basis, it is also worth keeping an eye on prospects who could develop NFL potential. One such guy is Eyioma Uwazurike at Iowa State. Having played in Iowa State’s 3 man defensive front Uwazurike could play in a 3-4 front or as an interior defender in an even front. Having only accounted for 1.5 sacks in 2019 the biggest question mark will be consistency. Uwazurike fits the mould of an NFL defender but needs to convert his effort and pressure into stats.
Iowa State caused a major upset when they beat Oklahoma in 2017. They nearly repeated the trick in 2019, coming within a two point conversion of turning over the Sooners. The Cyclones will fancy their chances again after the Sooners shock loss to Kansas State. Oklahoma will need to provide better protection for their freshman QB Spencer Rattler. Creed Humphrey could have declared last year but returned for his redshirt junior season. The center has become a de-facto leader on offense and will be important in keeping Uwazurike at bay.
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