There are five games on this week’s schedule: Clemson at Florida State, Arizona at Oregon, Oregon State at UCLA, LSU at Auburn and Vanderbilt at Georgia. I’m most looking forward to seeing Clemson’s offensive talent (DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Ellington) versus the Florida State defense (Bjoern Werner, deep secondary). I think overall the Seminoles are a little overrated and their defense is going to need to keep them in this one. I’m not sold on E.J. Manuel as a passer and they’re going to need to rely on the defense to keep things tight. Last year Clemson out-gunned a lot of teams and Manuel isn’t the type of player who can win a shoot-out. Bjoern Werner is going to need to keep a lid on Tajh Boyd and the Tigers passing game – and keeping him blocked could be Clemson’s greatest test. Werner has 6.5 sacks in three games.
To be more specific on Manuel, I’ve never been impressed with his tape. He looks the part physically, but he never developed into a polished college passer. He had a lot of hype when he joined the college ranks (same years as Landry Jones) but he still looks like more of an athlete than a quarterback. Against Wake Forest last week he was barely tested – but there were still some concerning moments. At one point he threw blind from his own red zone -almost giving away a pick six. He has no restrictions from a physical standpoint, but on a technical level he’ll struggle to make the middle rounds.
The Seahawks also have some interest in the game, according to Chris Steuber:
— Chris Steuber (@ChrisSteuber) September 21, 2012
In the other games I’m interested to see how defensive end Dion Jordan is progressing at Oregon. It’s also my first opportunity to look at Arizona’s senior quarterback Matt Scott – he’s had a productive start after replacing Nick Foles. UCLA has also had a good start this year and Jonathan Franklin will be hoping to keep up his mass production against Oregon State. The Beavers kept Montee Ball in check when they played Wisconsin, so this’ll be Franklin’s toughest test so far. After three games he’s averaging over eight yards per carry with 541 total yards and I’m interested to see if the first round hype is justified.
This will be my second look at LSU’s top defensive talent – they didn’t really need to get out of second gear against Washington and I doubt Auburn will provide much more of a test. Even so, it’s another loaded class with plenty of 2013 talent. Vanderbilt at Georgia will be an interesting one – Georgia have flashed the potential to be BCS title contenders this year, but there’s also a lot of average tape so far. They need to be convincing against Vandy and I’ll be mainly focusing on Jonathan Jenkins, Jarvis Jones and Aaron Murray – plus we could get a first look at Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree in this game.
Expect a review after Saturday’s games. In the meantime, take a look at the Jonathan Hankins (DT, Ohio State) tape that we posted on the blog today. His display vs California is the best performance I’ve seen from him so far.