Time to get my eyes on the prize - the young studs that annually replenish the NFL with talent... and holdouts. There are some great games this weekend and some not so good ones. I'll throw in a quick recap of last night's action too with enough links to make your eyes water.
While I'm on the subject of blurry vision, LeGarette Blount may have seen his team embarassed in Boise and may have seen his draft stock plummet in a single night, but his stock as a boxer may have risen high. Especially if he continues to go after guys while they're not watching. Check out the evidence after the ad:
I think the Raiders may have found an option for their backfield.
Prizes after the fold.
NOTE: Rankings are taken from the AP poll. All times are central time zone.
- North Texas @ Ball St., 20-10: This was a huge win for the Mean Green. To go into Muncie after posting a 1-11 season with so many games against the basement of college football, the Sun Belt conference, against a Ball St. team that went 12-0 last season (even if they lost QB Nate Davis and OT Robert Brewster to the NFL) and win is the kind of turnaround the Rams could enjoy with a win at Seattle in week 1. UNT QB Riley Dodge, who spurned Texas to play at UNT for his dad, head coach Todd Dodge, looked like, well, a respectable college QB in the first game of his redshirt freshman campaign; senior RB Cam Montgomery looked studly, racking up 149 yards on just 17 carries. Dodge's and Montgomery's play took the spotlight away from the one legitimate draft prospect going into the game, Ball St. senior RB MiQuale Lewis, who finished with just over 100 yards on 15 carries and a TD.
- South Carolina @ North Carolina St., 7-3: I'm so glad I didn't watch this one. I've got two prospects from these two teams on my radar: Senior SC OLB Eric Norwood (who racked up 2 sacks last night) and NC St.'s senior DE Willie Young. Might have been nice to evaluate these two defenders, but not against offenses as weak as this.
- GAME OF THE NIGHT: #14 Boise St. vs. #16 Oregon, 19-8: The story from this game will be the Blount fallout, but Boise St.'s defense was absolutely dominant. The Broncos allowed just 31 rushing yard to one of the most respected ground games in the country. Blount was in the top tier of RB prospects in what looks like a VERY weak draft for RBs. With him out of the mix for a while, I'll be watching two other Oregon seniors: CB Walter Thurmond (who I mentioned on this week's Turf Show Radio), and TE Ed Dickson. On to Saturday's action...
I've got four games I'll be checking in on throughout the day:
- #9t Oklahoma St. vs. #13 Georgia (2:30PM, ABC): Oklahoma St. hopes the opening of the recently renovated Boone Pickens Stadium doesn't end up being a sad day in the record books. The Cowboys are ranked higher than they ever have been in the preseason rankings, and this game has gotten as much hype as an opener possibly can. Few teams can boast an offensive quartet as talented as OSU's: QB Zac Robinson, RB Kendall Hunter, WR/RET Dez Bryant and OT Russell Okung. They could all come out in the draft and go in the 1st round. Scary thought, though I don't think Robinson will go until the middle of the draft. Georgia boasts one of the best DT tandems in the country in Geno Atkins and Jeff Owens. Of course, the NFL Draft will be the last thing on nearly everyone's mind on Saturday. OSU is trying to kickstart a run to the Big 12 Championship while Georgia is trying to open the post-StaffordMoreno era with a big non-conference win in Stillwater. For the Bulldogs, Senior QB Joe Cox will try to go to standout soph WR A.J. Green as much as possible, since their running back committee is one member short given the hamstring injury to Caleb King. Oklahoma St. will lean on the talents they boast on offense to make the crowd a factor early.
Kdiction: OSU 27, Georgia 10
- #3 Oklahoma vs. #20 BYU (6:00PM, ESPN - neutral site): Oklahoma comes to Dallas for a huge opener, just not the biggest game of the college football season, to play Brigham Young in Jerry Jones' wet dream-turned-temple. Oklahoma will be without the best TE in college football, Jermaine Gresham, who will miss several games with a knee injury. Still, with Sam Bradford at the helm making the most of OT Trent Williams' blocking, and the tandem of DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown (the one who beats defenses, not women), BYU will have its hands full. The Cougars have a TE prospect for the NFL themselves in Dennis Pitta, so there's still some talent at the position for the draftniks in this one. From a Rams perspective, one guy I'll be watching is DT DeMarcus Granger; Granger could be a solid mid-round pick for the Rams who I hope are thinking of DTs they can bring on to replace a certain permanently injured lineman whose name I don't feel like typing.
Kdiction: Oklahoma 42, BYU 13
- #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech (7:00PM, ABC - neutral site): The lowest average ranking of the two teams of any game this weekend, just having this battle scheduled is a joy for college football fans. This is the kind of non-conference game I wish we had more of every season. They'll both head to Atlanta to open their seasons in the Georgia Dome in front of what will be a rabid crowd. I mentioned CB Javier Arenas on TSR (as well as my mancrush, WR Julio Jones), but keep an eye on DT Terrence Cody as well. If Spags has an inkling of moving to a 3-4, Cody is the mountain of a man (hovering around 400 lbs.) you want at NT. Tech will be without their sophomore rushing star Darren Evans all season, so they're going to need to prove they can still move the ball against the one of the better defenses in the country. I'll be interested in CB Stephan Virgil who also handles some return duties.
Kdiction: Alabama 24, Va. Tech 14
- #11 LSU @ Washington (9:30PM, ESPN): I've got this one on here not so much for Washington who might have a couple guys find their way to the NFL as undrafted pickups (except for a certain junior), but for LSU who is loaded with talent. The top two prospects from the Tigers are easily identifiable: WR Brandon LaFell and OT Ciron Black. Both could end up as first round picks. LSU is coming off an incredibly disappointing season, so I'm sure they want to get things moving in the right direction this year. Now for that mystery junior I referenced -- Washington QB Jake Locker. Locker has everything you want in a QB prospect... except talented targets. After a stellar freshman effort, Locker injured his thumb last year, so it will be interesting to see how he begins the 2009 season. Locker's also a highly-touted baseball prospect, so he might not end up in the NFL. Nevertheless, his talent demands scrutiny this season and in this game to see if he can make diamonds out of dirt.
Kdiction: LSU 38, Washington 18
So what are you interested in yakking for tomorrow? Is it certain games? Matchups in those games? And are you interested in specific prospects or positions? Holler.