Players to Watch – Oct. 3rd Edition

With another great weekend of games - these are the guys to keep an eye on.

Teams, Time (Central Time), TV Network

South Carolina @ 3 Florida, 11:00 AM, ESPN
South Carolina
#1 Jaycee Horn, Junior, CB
#24 Israel Mukuamu, Junior, CB
#3 Jordan Burch, Freshman, DE

In this matchup I want to see what the big, physical corners from SC can do against TE Kyle Pitts and WR Kadarius Toney. Horn and Mukamu both have the size to match up with Pitts but the speed of Toney is going to make things interesting as freshman Jordan Burch tries to pressure Kyle Trask. 

#11 Kyle Trask, Senior, QB
#84 Kyle  Pitts, Junior, TE
#1 Kadarius Toney, Senior, WR
#51 Ventrell Miller, Junior, LB

The Florida offense exploded against Ole Miss but SC should be able to play the Gators closer. If Florida can come anywhere near the production they had last week then we will be talking about Florida as a true contender in the SEC and CFB Playoff. 

Missouri @ 21 Tennessee, 11:00 AM, SEC
#8 Connor Bazelak, RS Freshman, QB
#3 Shawn Robinson, RS Junior, QB
#3 Martez Manuel, Sophomore, S

Who will Mizzou go with at QB? My guess is that we will see both quarterbacks again but I expect Bazelak to see the bulk of the reps against the Jeremy Pruitt led defense. On defense Martez Manuel is looking to build off a big game last week and become a force in the Missouri secondary. 

#13 Deandre Johnson, Senior, EDGE
#11 Henry To’o To’o, Sophomore, LB

Anyone watching this game should take note of the Tennessee offensive line. All five players have NFL potential – especially Trey Smith. But the Vols defense also played well against South Carolina and had standout stars looking to build off Week 1. 

13 Texas A&M @ 2 Alabama, 2:30, CBS
Texas A&M
#11 Kellen Mond, Senior, QB
#85 Jalen Wydermyer, Sophomore, TE
#5 Leon O’Neal, Junior, S

The A&M offense is going to have their hands full against the Alabama defense, like usual. But I’m keeping my eyes on Kellen Moore and how he handles the constant pressure and talented secondary. Mond is a potential candidate to be QB4 in the 2021 draft and we will know a lot more about him after Alabama. 

#10 Mac Jones, RS Junior, QB
#8 John Metchie, Sophomore, WR
#13 Malachi Moore, Freshman, S

‘Bama is loaded again with veteran talent but I’m intrigued by their young players and what they can do against a top ranked SEC team. In addition to the young guys, Mac Jones will get his chance to prove he is more than just a game manager against safety Leon O’Neal. 

12 North Carolina @ Boston College, 2:30 PM, ABC
North Carolina
#7 Sam Howell, Sophomore, QB
#12 Tomon Fox, Senior, LB
#29 Duck Storm, Sophomore, CB

It feels like it’s been forever since North Carolina played and I can’t wait to see Sam Howell go off this weekend. On defense the Tar Heels looked solid against Syracuse but will have to deal with some bullies on the BC offensive line. Look for Tomon Fox to shine as BC is focused on Chazz Surratt. 

Boston College
#72 Alec Lindstrom, Junior, C
#64 Ben Petrula, Senior, G
#80 Hunter Long, Junior, TE

BC doesn’t have the fire power that UNC does but they do have one of the best offensive lines in the ACC and need to prove they can put up points after struggles against Duke and Texas State. TE Hunter Long should be the top target on the BC offense and emerge as one of the top TE prospects in the 2021 draft. 

25 Memphis @ SMU, 2:30 PM, ESPN 2
#3 Brady White, Senior, QB
#2 Rodrigues Clark, Sophomore, RB
#10 Damonte Coxie, Senior, WR
#5 Sean Dykes, Senior, TE

Memphis hasn’t played a game since September 5th but has a great offense that can keep pace with SMU. Clark stepped up in Week 1 and rushed for 105 yards in place of All-Conference RB Kenny Gainwell and will need to do it again against SMU. Senior Sean Dykes also pulled in 10 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns and is establishing himself as a Brady White favorite. 

#26 Ulysses Bentley, Freshman, RB
#8 Reggie Robinson, Senior, WR
#23 Brandon Stephens, Senior, CB

The ageless Shane Buechele leads SMU but it has been freshman Ulyssess Bentley that has taken over this season. Bentley is averaging 10.6 yards per carry on 36 carries and will need another big day against the American Conference foes. CB Brandon Stephens will also play a vital role as he will be tasked with slowing down Dykes or Coxie in the Memphis offense. 

7 Auburn @ 4 Georgia, 6:30 PM, ESPN
#1 Anthony Schwartz, Junior, WR
#18 Seth Williams, Junior, WR
#23 Roger McCreary, Junior, CB

Auburn has a very fast offense and will need all the speed to find success against the Georgia defense. The best matchup comes from the Auburn receivers against the Georgia corners. Schwartz is legitimately one of the fastest people on earth and Williams had a great first game of the season and will look to build off that momentum. The talented receivers will have their work cutout on Saturday against the Georgia secondary. 

#18 JT Daniels, Sophomore, QB
#4 Nolan Smith, Sophomore, LB
#27 Eric Stokes, Junior, CB

As I mentioned early, Georgia has a top secondary unit in the nation. The Dawgs will be tested by early and often – which is why Eric Stokes has to come through big and take away Seth Williams or Anthony Schwartz. Not exactly an easy task but he will get help from Richard LeCounte, DJ Daniels and Tyson Campbell as well. The biggest storyline from this game may be who plays QB for Georgia. Last week we saw freshman D’Wan Mathis get the start but struggled and was replaced by Stetson Bennett – who played well. But it seems like transfer QB JT Daniels is cleared to play now and that could be huge for Georgia and the rest of the nation. If Georgia can get consistency at QB they are a favorite in the SEC with their run game and strong defense. 

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