On to part 2 after a great night of Thursday night football across the NCAA. UCF and Boise State didn’t disappoint with an end to end match up between two aspiring QBs. CJ Stroud took the field for the first time as the QB of THE Ohio State Buckeyes in a win over Minnesota, who sadly lost Mo Ibrahim to what appeared to be a season ending achilles injury.
On Saturday night we have another excellent slate of games. More football kicking off from 17:00 UK time on Saturday afternoon…
Penn State (19) @ Wisconsin (12) – Saturday Afternoon 17:00 UK Time (12:00 EST)
We will be watching with keen eyes on Saturday afternoon to see how far redshirt sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz has come since last season. In 2020, he threw 9 TDs and 5 picks, as the Badgers adjusted to life after standout running back Jonathan Taylor. It means they had to find a new way to score points last season, which they struggled with at times. Chez Mellusi transferred in from Clemson, after struggling for consistent playing time with the Tigers. Looking like the starter in Wisconsin now, he gets a chance to showcase what they were missing out on over the last couple of seasons.
Penn State on the other hand, have the experience in Sean Clifford, who had a great year in 2019. Yet in 2020 things were not quite as rosey. He’ll be looking to correct that again in 2020. His primary target, senior Jahan Dotson, is a name to get familiar with. Dotson had a breakout year in 2020, including an extremely productive night against Ohio State. Not bad for a game against one of the greatest teams in the nation. He contributed 3 touchdowns and 144 yards, and it graded as his best game of the season. This year, with one more season of eligibility, Dotson will look to put scouts on notice, connecting with Clifford throughout the season.
Both teams are thought to have strong defences, and there’ll be a lot of highly thought of talent on the field for both outfits come Saturday afternoon.
Undrafted’s Penn State Talent To Watch – Jaquan Brisker – Safety
Jaquan Brisker is one of the best safeties in the nation. He’s converting over to free safety from the strong side, and we have him ranked as our number 2 safety in the nation.
Undrafted’s Wisconsin Talent To Watch – Jake Ferguson TE
Ferguson could be one of the most productive tight ends in college football this year. He could be a primary target for Graham Mertz.
Wisconsin are currently 5.5 point favourites. I’m not yet convinces. I kind of like Penn State and the 5.5 points. I think the Penn State defence could surprise a few people, and their weapons are superior to me.
Alabama (1) vs Miami (14) – Saturday Evening 20:30 UK Time (15:30 EST)
‘Bama come into the season the current title holders, but will be facing the season with a new signal caller following Mac Jones departure. Young talent Bryce Young was the number 1 QB in the country when he committed to play for the Tide, and only the 2nd player country wide across all positions, according to 24/7 sports. College football fans await his debut with baited breath against an aggressive Miami defence, after reports emerged that he looked a little shaky in the spring game at Alabama. Receiver John Metchie III gets his chance to be the number one target in Tuscaloosa after a strong 2020. Metchie features on our top 10 receivers list with a real shot to make a major impact this year. Alabama is loaded with talent again this season, so it’s going to be all eyes on the young QB.
Miami on the other hand enter the season with more hype than they’ve had in previous years. Manny Diaz seems to have settled into the head coaching role, and a lot of that hype is based on the quarterback D’Eriq King. King will be featuring in his 6th college football season, after leaving Houston during his fourth season and transferring to Miami. He threw 23 TDs in 2020 and only 5 picks, and can make things happen on his feet too. The Hurricanes are hoping his experience will lead them to a victory over Alabama week 1.
Defensively the Canes lost their two most impressive talents from the 2020 season in Jaelen Phillips and Quincy Roche. Both moved on to the NFL, and paved the way for exciting freshman Jahfari Harvey. The 6’4″ edge rusher has won a starting role in camp, and will start the game on Saturday night. My only concern is how well the secondary will hold together, if the pass rush is less productive than it was last year. Alabama will be a baptism of fire for a well respected Canes outfit, and will give us a lot of information on what to expect from them as the season unfolds.
Undrafted’s Alabama Talent To Watch – Jordan Battle – Safety
There’s a lot of talent on this roster, but Jordan Battle is great. A hard nosed safety with an eye for the ball, Battle can do it all. He’s one of the next in a line of great products out of Alabama.
Undrafted’s Miami Talent To Watch – Cam’Ron Harris RB
Junior running back Cam’Ron Harris will again split carries with D’Eriq King, as the two of them went for over 600 yards a piece last season. Harris had 10 TDs in 2020 and is one to watch on the Hurricanes offence. Keep your eyes on Jahfari Harvey too in the pass rush.
Bama are 18.5 point favourites heading into the game. Miami could surprise a few people early on, but can they be consistent for 60 minutes? The secondary worries me and if Bryce Young can get himself settled early, Alabama might pick Miami apart. Expect lots of points and a very fun game!
Georgia (5) vs Clemson (3)- Saturday Night 00:30 UK Time (19:30 EST)
This is the game of the day and the one that everybody is talking about. It’s JT Daniels and the Georgia Bulldogs, and DJ Uigalelei and the Clemson Tigers. Both sides ranked in the top 5, it’s going to be a disappointing start to the season for one of these teams. JT Daniels got his feet wet in Georgia uniform last season, and after various QBs taking snaps for the Bulldogs, it seems to be his team now. The Bulldogs have a great defence, and the addition of safety Tykee Smith is huge. Smith was the best player on West Virginia defence for the last couple of seasons before transferring to Georgia to follow his defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae.
Also look out for George Pickens on the Georgia side of the ball. The talented receiver is celebrated by Georgia fans and has shown his ability at times. Some consistency at quarterback should help him show out this season.
Clemson on the other hand, turn to DJ Uigalelei to pick up the offence in the wake of Trevor Lawrence. DJ has developed nicely and fans have high hopes for him this year. Wide receiver Justyn Ross returns for the Tigers after missing the whole 2020 season following back surgery. Ross was a standout talent and one of Trevor Lawrence’s favourite targets in both 2018 and 2019.
Undrafted’s Georgia Talent To Watch – Tykee Smith – Safety
It’s touch and go whether Smith is yet healthy to play, but rumours are stating he will. I personally feel like Tykee is the best safety in the nation, and in the best position to be a top draft pick in April.
Undrafted’s Clemson Talent To Watch – Myles Murphy – Edge
Myles Murphy might just have been the best player on the defence for the Clemson Tigers last season, and he was a freshman. He has every chance to be a household name throughout this year. Watch him closely.
Clemson are 3 point favourites in a game that has an early chance to be one of the seasons best. This is a game i’ll be avoiding all bets on and simply kicking back and enjoying.
College Football Week 1 Preview – Part 2 College Football Week 1 Preview – Part 2 College Football Week 1 Preview – Part 2 College Football Week 1 Preview – Part 2 College Football Week 1 Preview – Part 2