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Titans Fan Guide: Showdown Saturday 2

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Which teams will rise to the top on a crucial Saturday?

Sheldon Day (91) running towards Nashville in the near future?
Sheldon Day (91) running towards Nashville in the near future?
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville at (11) Florida State NOON ESPN

- The Cardinals have rebounded to 2-3 after a 0-3 start that featured three straight losses to ranked opponents. It appears that they have finally settled on freshman QB Will Jackson after going back and forth for the first two games of the season. While not in predecessor Teddy Bridgewater’s class as a passer, Jackson is a great athlete. Florida State is coming off a hard fought 29-24 win over bitter rival Miami. The scoreline was too close for comfort as the Canes repeatedly stymied the Noles’ offense in the red zone. Can the Noles avoid the emotional letdown after such a close win over its rival and maintain their focus? Can Bobby Petrino lead his Cardinals to pull off the upset on the road?

Louisville prospects to watch

Devonte Fields 6’4 254 DE RS Junior

- Fields is an interesting name that transferred to Louisville after being forced to play at the JUCO level after being dismissed from TCU for a domestic violence issue. He was dominant during his freshman season, putting up 10 sacks en route to Big 12 DPOY honors. However, the off field issues will haunt him if and when he goes pro. Has two years left to play.

Sheldon Rankins 6’1 303 DE/DT Senior

- Lorenzo Mauldin who? Rankins was the leading tackler and sacker for the Cardinals last year. He’s a versatile lineman that can play both inside and outside. Better suited for tackle given his ability to occupy multiple blockers and limited athleticism. Has the potential to be Jurrell Casey 2.0 given their similar dimensions and production.

Florida State prospects to watch

Everett Golson 6’0 200 QB RS Senior

- Golson is a graduate transfer from Notre Dame who elected to leave South Bend after allegedly falling out with HC Brian Kelly. He has a propensity to turn the ball over at alarming rates, which hasn’t shown itself thus far in Tallahassee. Golson is very scattershot but has enough arm strength to make all the big league throws. Pocket presence is not ideal. Mental toughness is unquestioned. He’s very position specific in that he doesn’t have the ideal measureables to change positions in the pros.

Jalen Ramsey 6’1 204 DB Junior

- Ramsey is arguably the Seminoles’ best player. Athletic ability, instincts, and ball skills are very good. Versatile defender as he’s played safety, corner, and some linebacker. Had a monster 2014 season as a sophomore, winning several games by himself (see Louisville and Miami games in particular). He will play 2015 as a boundary corner exclusively after the pro departure of several teammates at that position. Barring a dip in form and/or injury, Ramsey is likely a top ten pick next year should he take that route. Funny note: Ramsey is also one of kick returners but he has to change his jersey on the sideline before every kick due to the NCAA rule that no two players on the same unit can have the same number. WR Kermit Whitfield also wears #8 so Ramsey has to switch to #17.  He asked permission from former Noles legend Charlie Ward to wear his retired #17.

Terrance Smith 6’4 224 OLB RS Senior

- Smith was the heir apparent to current Jaguar linebacker Telvin Smith. Speed is the name of his game and he brings not much else to the table. Smith is one of two linebackers on the roster currently healthy and active after multiple injuries and transfers. He needs a good 2015 campaign to get drafted late.

Chris Casher DE 6’4 250 RS Junior

- Casher is an above average athlete with very little that could translate to outside linebacker. It was an embarrassing sight when he was ordered to drop back into coverage by DC Charles Kelly (who’s proven to be in over his head but that’s another story for another time). A four star recruit from Alabama. Has some pass rush moves but needs further development.

Roberto Aguayo K RS Junior 6’1 203

- Aguayo is the best kicker in all of college football, no questions asked. Possesses a strong leg and is one of the most accurate kickers in history. He has made four of five kicks from 50 yards and beyond in his career. Hasn’t missed an extra point attempt (150+ tries) so far in his illustrious career. 2013 Lou Groza award winner and runner up for the 2014 award. He actually contemplated declaring for the 2015 draft before deciding to return to school. Could’ve been drafted within the first 3 or 4 rounds had he done so. He has the draft option again this year. Would be the second kicker in school history to declare early should he choose that. (Sebastian Janikowski is the first and only kicker in NCAA history to do so). ted athleticism. Has the potential to be Jurrell Casey 2.0 given their similar dimensions and production.

(7) Michigan at (12) Michigan 3:30 PM ESPN

- This could be the game of the day as it features the resurgent Wolverines and a typically dominant Spartans team. Jim Harbaugh has worked wonders in Ann Arbor, reviving a dormant Michigan program down on the ropes. They are led by a defense on a historic run, shutting out its previous three opponents. Michigan State has been playing up to its usual standards of suffocating defense. Who will win the battle of Michigan? Which defense will be better?

USC at (14) Notre Dame 7:30 PM NBC

- USC has been going through a rough stretch this week, having to fire its coach, Steve Sarkesian for alcohol related issues. They suffered a horrific loss last Thursday to Washington, 17-12 in which QB Cody Kessler was abysmal throwing for four picks. Reportedly, Sarkesian showed up to meetings on Sunday drunk and was immediately sent home by AD Pat Haden. He was then relieved of his coaching duties after being placed on leave. As you may remember, this isn’t his first run in with alcohol. It is my hope that he receives the treatment that he needs to combat this disease. Notre Dame is coming off a much needed win over Navy. They have suffered through a mind numbing amount of season ending injuries this year to key starters. Can the Trojans call upon the ghosts of years gone by? Can the Irish keep it going against a bitter rival? Coincidentally, this is the ten year anniversary of the “Bush Push” that sealed the win for USC over ND.

USC prospects to watch

Cody Kessler 6’1 215 QB RS Senior

- Kessler is the presumptive favorite for the 2015 Heisman as of this writing. He’s limited athletically as a prospect but is more of a game manager type. Pocket awareness is above average as well as footwork. Arm strength is a concern as he lacks it to make the big league throws to the outside. In the running for best QB in the country.

Max Tuerk 6’6 285 OL Senior

- Tuerk makes observers harken back to the glory days of former Trojan linemen standouts. He’s been used at every lineman position but his best is at center and left tackle. Long arms and great hand usage. Base and footwork are very good. Intelligence is good as well. INJURED

Su’a Cravens 6’1 225 OLB Junior

- Cravens could be the best defender in the Pac-12. Position versatile as he originally started out at safety before converting to linebacker last year. Athleticism is very good as the hips are fluid and footwork is impressive. Instincts are great as well. Finds the hole in the offensive scheme and attacks it. Pass defense is underrated as he shows an uncanny ability to always find the ball.

Notre Dame prospects to watch

Ronnie Stanley 6’5 315 OT RS Junior

- Stanley could’ve been the first tackle off the board in the 2015 draft had he declared for early entry. He’s the best tackle in the country by far.

Nick Martin 6’3 320 G/C Senior

- Martin is the younger brother of current Cowboys lineman Zack. Nick might end up being a better pro prospect. Can play both guard and center but will likely end up as a guard at the next level.

KeiVarae Russell 5’11 190 CB Senior

- Russell is doing the Everett Golson aka returning from a year long academic misconduct suspension. He has the potential to be the best corner in the country. Revis Island like potential.

Sheldon Day 6’2 285 DT Senior

- Day is this year’s Grady Jarrett in that he can play all of the line positions without losing a step. A still raw prospect that has yet to fully utilize all of his talents. He flashed particularly well against Florida State last year.

Jaylon Smith 6’2 235 OLB Junior

- A tackling machine that could be considered as the best outside linebacker in the nation. The defensive general for the Irish. A smaller Von Miller if you will.

Penn State at (1) Ohio State 8 PM ABC

- The Buckeyes will look to keep their undefeated run going against Penn State. Last week, OSU finally showed signs of consistent life on offense for the first time this year. Has Urban Meyer unveiled the 2008-09 Florida offense that made him a national champion? QB Cardale Jones is in the Chris Leak role while JT Barrett is the bulldozing Tim Tebow. Penn State has continued to allow their star QB Christian Hackenberg to get repeatedly pummeled, giving up four sacks last week. Ohio State’s talented front four will be licking their chops against a very poor Lions OL. OSU has shown signs of being bored with their competition ala 2014 Florida State but they will show up in this one.

Penn State prospect to watch

1. Christian Hackenberg 6’4 220 QB Junior

- He was a much heralded five star recruit once upon a time with a promising freshman season. Hackenberg has morphed into a carbon copy of Jay Cutler in all facets such as behavior and arm talent. He has turned into a whiny and petulant little child every time a negative play happens. Also like Cutler, possesses a prodigious arm and very little pocket awareness. Combine that with the skittishness of Blaine Gabbert, he would be lucky to get drafted within the first three rounds. The OL being a total sieve has not helped him at all. James Franklin has ruined him completely.

Ohio State prospects to watch

1. Joey Bosa 6'5 275 DE Junior

- He could be the country's best defensive end prospect. A favorite to win all of the major lineman awards in 2015. Clowney 2.0?

2. Ezekiel Elliott 6'0 225 RB Junior

- Elliott was last seen trampling through both Alabama and Oregon during the playoffs, which he ran for over 200 yards in each contest. Maurice Clarett with better athleticism and less off field baggage. Has elite vision and instincts. Rarely ever takes a loss. Unfortunately we won't be able to see the throwback cutoff jersey as the NCAA has banned those.

3. Darron Lee 6'1 235 OLB RS Sophomore

- Lee is the steady defensive general for the Buckeyes. Has the potential to be a lighter and faster Aldon Smith/Luke Kuechly combo.

4. Adolphus Washington 6'4 290 DT Senior

- Washington has been a force in the middle for the Buckeyes. Really came on last year after two middling years prior. Could be Nick Fairley good if he maintains his junior form.

5. Taylor Decker 6'7 317 OT Senior

- Decker compares favorably to another Taylor in the Titans own Taylor Lewan (I know this is sacrilege in Ann Arbor). The best tackle prospect in the class without question.

6. Cardale Jones 6'5 250 QB RS Junior

- The darling of the Buckeyes' playoff title run came back to school after seriously considering declaring for the draft. Should he start in 2015, he's a much more athletic Byron Leftwich (who has had a pretty decent NFL career all things considered). Can he take the next step in read progression?

7. Vonn Bell 5'11 205 FS Junior

- The former 5 star recruit nearly picked the Volunteers to follow in Eric Berry's footsteps but chose the Buckeyes instead. He's an above average athlete with NFL quality instincts and vision. A hard hitter with good tackling form.

Arizona State at (4) Utah 10 PM ESPN

- Can the Utes keep their hot streak alive against a pesky Sun Devils squad? Utah is coming off a close 30-24 win in which they intercepted Jared Goff five times last week. RB Devontae Booker was huge for them. ASU hasn’t been its usual high powered offense self this year. Last week, they defeated a still rebuilding but interesting Colorado team 48-23. Will the inclement weather play a role in a possible #Pac12AfterDark special? We are due for a #Pac12AfterDark game after not getting any so far this year.

Arizona State prospect to watch

D.J. Foster 5’10 195 WR Senior

- Foster has made the switch to receiver to better enhance his pro prospects after being a running back for his previous three years. He’s one of the best players in the country, regardless of offensive position. With former Sun Devils Jaelen Strong and Marion Grice in the NFL, Foster is the top returning weapon. A great athlete and receiver out of the backfield with underrated strength

Utah prospects to watch

Travis Wilson 6’7 233 Senior QB

- Wilson is pretty much Mike Glennon 2.0 with the injury history. He’s missed a lot of the past two years with various injuries like a broken finger, concussion, and is currently dealing with a shoulder issue. Very inconsistent game and could be a one year hit like Mark Sanchez. Doesn’t have a lot of arm strength and has happy feet in the pocket trying to compensate for the lack of arm talent. Athleticism isn’t the greatest either.

Devontae Booker RB 5’11 212 Redshirt Senior

- Booker was one of the best backs in the country last year and will look for a repeat performance. He’s a bigger back in today’s world and knows how to use his strength to get up field in a hurry. Instincts are very good. Knows what he is as a back and doesn’t dance around looking for a hole. A good receiver out of the backfield.