Five Games to Watch: Week #8
By: Eric McGuire
Saturday, October 18th 2014.
#14 Kansas St Wildcats (4-1) @ #11 Oklahoma Sooners (5-1)
12 pm ESPN
Kansas State Wildcats come into this game undefeated at 2-0 in the Big 12 with wins over Iowa State and Texas Tech. Their only loss came at home on a Thursday night versus #5 Auburn Tigers. This game will further who is still alive in the Big 12. Oklahoma is coming off a close victory in the Red River Showdown versus Texas. The Sooners only loss came at TCU the week before and they sit at 2-1 in the conference.
C BJ Finney Kansas State Wildcats
Finney is the leader of an offensive line that blocks for the 16th ranked scoring offense in the nation at just over 40 points a game. Finney has gone from a walk-on to a team captain and has not missed a start in 39 games played. He is a 6’4”, 303 pound senior and has turned into a really good prospect for the NFL.
“ Finney is a mauler. A strong center, with plenty of power at the point of attack. He is limited athletically, but he has the power to block anybody.” – Bret LaGasse
DE Charles Tapper Oklahoma Sooners
Tapper is a strong DE, who has compiled 18 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 2 passes defended. He is a Baltimore, Maryland native and has been a starter the last two season for the Sooners. Tapper is 6’4” and 281 pounds and could play DE in a 3-4 or a 4-3.
“ Tapper has a high motor and is quite versatile. He lines up inside, outside and even stands up in some sets. Tapper is a very nimble guy for his size” – Bret LaGasse
Saturday, October 18th, 2014
#21 Texas A&M Aggies (5-2) @ #7 Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1)
3:30 pm CBS
The last two season this has been a great game and this year should be no difference, but with a little bit less flash. The Aggies come in with back to back losses to Mississippi State and Mississippi and now sits 2-2 in the SEC. Kenny Hill has been a bright spot, but the defense has not held up their side of the ball. Alabama barely beat Arkansas 14-13 after losing to Mississippi on the road. This game could eliminate the loser from playoff potential.
C Mike Matthews Texas A&M Aggies
Matthews is the youngest son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Jake Matthews. Matthews is the anchor for the 6th ranked offense in the nation and the 3rd ranked passing offense. Matthews has the size and pedigree to be a center or guard at the next level.
“ The bloodline is there. He plays just like a Matthews would. Big, strong, with a nasty streak. Matthews is the signal caller for the Oline. He is very good in pass and run blocking.” – Bret LaGasse
WR Amari Cooper Alabama Crimson Tide
Cooper is one of the highest ranked wide receiver in the nation and is a highly touted prospect for the NFL. Cooper has 54 catches for 768 yards and 5 touchdowns. Cooper is also a great blocker for the Alabama run game. Cooper is 6’1” 210 pounds and is only a Junior.
“ Playmaker. Cooper makes plays with the ball in his hands. He can take a slant or a crossing route the distance. Cooper is constantly looking to get north and south. He has been a very bright spot for Alabama.” – Bret LaGasse
Saturday, October 18th, 2014
#15 Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1) @ #12 TCU Horned Frogs (4-1)
4:00 PM FOXSP1
Oklahoma State has only one loss on the season, coming in their first game against the defending champion Florida State Seminoles. In that game they had a chance to seize the game and ended up losing a close one. In the 5 games since they have won pretty easily in each with 3 victories coming in conference games. TCU came off a huge victory against Oklahoma and lost an absolute shootout to the Baylor Bears 61-58. TCU is still a very good team and will look to get back in the win column this week at home versus the Cowboys.
RB Desmond Roland Oklahoma State Cowboys
Roland is a big running back that can also run well. Roland has 391 yards and 7 touchdowns on the season. In a pass heavy offense, he is also relied upon to pass protect quite regularly. Roland is a decent prospect and should get plenty of looks come draft time.
“ Roland has been consistently good for OK St since week 3. He has rushed for 80+ yards and 1 touchdown in every game. Roland is a very consistent player in the OK State backfield.” -Bret LaGasse
CB Kevin White TCU Horned Frogs
White is a very versatile corner in the TCU five defensive back defense. White has 1 interception, 19 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 4 passes defended. White has been a high volume player since taking the field in 2011 for the Horned Frogs. He is a smaller corner, but has the speed to make up for it.
“ Kevin White is small cornerback that has a good burst and play making ability. He does a great job closing on the ball and making plays. “ – Bret LaGasse
Saturday, October 18th, 2014
#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0) @ #2 Florida State Seminoles (6-0)
8 pm ABC
Notre Dame is coming off a hard fought game against North Carolina and will play their first true road game of the season. They have played two games at neutral sites. Notre Dame is looking to knock off the defending champs and make a huge statement for their playoff chances. Florida State has not played a fairly difficult schedule. Two teams were ranked at the time of the game, Oklahoma State and Clemson. This is a huge game for both teams. Notre Dame and Florida State are both looking for landmark victories and to avoid a huge loss.
TE Ben Koyack Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Koyack is a big tight end at 6’5” 254 pounds and is not only a receiving threat but can block very adequately. Koyack has been a great blocker this season for a team that averages 163.8 rushing yards per game. Koyack has 16 catches for 150 yards and 1 touchdown.
“ Koyak may not be the most productive receiving TE, but he is a very solid blocker. Koyack has good size and has been key to helping Golson make plays.” -Bret LaGasse
DE Mario Edwards Florida St Seminoles.
Edwards is a defensive leader on the returning champions, who lost many player on that particular side of the ball. Edwards, this season, has compiled 16 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass defended and 1 fumble forced. Edwards is a big bodied defensive end for the Seminoles who rank 30th overall in defense.
“ Mario Edwards is a strong defensive lineman that has solid athleticism. Edwards has been consistently good for a team that has not been as good as they were last season.” -Bret LaGasse
Saturday, October 18th, 2014
#23 Stanford Cardinal (4-2) @ #17 Arizona State Sun Devils (4-1)
10:30 pm ESPN
Between the SEC and the PAC 12, we have almost half of the top 25 teams in the nation. When it comes to conference play, every game is a big game. This week the Stanford Cardinal travels to Tucson to take on Arizona St. With two losses already, to USC and Notre Dame, the Cardinal is in a must win situation for the rest of the season if they want a high level bowl or a shot at the top 4 playoff bracket. Arizona St is coming off a Hail Mary victory against USC and will look to continue their success with QB Mike Bercovici and his heroics. Stanford comes in with their 1st ranked defense and hopes to bounce back in the PAC 12.
NT David Parry Stanford Cardinal
A little undersized at 3-4 nose tackle, Parry makes the most of his best attributes, his speed. Parry has tallied 16 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 5 quarterback hurries. Parry is “only” 6’2” 300 pounds, which is not a prototypical size for a 3-4 nose tackle. Parry makes up for that in his technique and speed.
“ He isn’t prototypical size for a 3-4 NT, but Parry is strong at the point of attack and beats double teams consistently. A key part of Stanford’s #1 defense.” -Bret LaGasse
RB DJ Foster Arizona State Sun Devils
Foster is a dual threat running back, he can get the job done on the ground and on the receiving end. Foster has 553 yards on the ground with 5 touchdowns to go with 21 catches for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Foster is a key in the Sun Devil offense, when he contributes they play well, when he is shut down the team seems to struggle. Foster will have a chance at the next level and could contribute as a backup running back.
“ Arizona State may be known as a passing team, but Foster gives them a good balance. He gives them a back with size, athleticism, and receiving ability. Foster seems to make plays whether its catching the ball or running it. -Bret LaGasse