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Titans Fan Guide: Slowdown Saturday

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A Saturday with not a lot of good matchups but a lot of conference title implications nonetheless

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

(6) Clemson at Miami NOON ABC

- Clemson looks to keep it rolling against a depleted and demoralized Hurricanes squad coming off yet another loss to rival Florida State. Can the Canes avoid the haunting memories of the 2014 collapse after a bitter defeat to the Noles in 2015? This game will go a long way in determining the ACC Coastal division winner as Clemson is preparing for its ACC Atlantic showdown with FSU in Death Valley on November 7. It will be interesting to see what kind of banner regarding Miami HC Al Golden is flown over Sun Life Stadium.

Clemson prospects to watch

Mackensie Alexander 5’11 185 CB RS Sophomore

- Alexander is the second best corner in the conference. He boldly claimed that he was the best corner in the ACC and he just might have the skills to back it up. Fundamentally sound and is very coachable. Athleticism is above average as well. However, Alexander is old for a RS Sophomore at 22 years old.

Mike Williams 6’3 205 WR Junior

- The heir apparent to Sammy Watkins has a starting job to call his own after a standout sophomore campaign. Williams is essentially Martavis Bryant 2.0 as his route running skills haven’t fully developed yet and is known as a deep threat only. He could be the nation’s top receiver by the end of 2015. Has very good body control and ball skills. Had a major health scare (was carted off) in the first game due to a collision with the goalpost but should be ready to go tonight.

Jayron Kearse 6’4 205 S Junior

- Kearse is one of the top safeties in the ACC, if not the entire country. Athleticism is off the charts good but he needs to work on fundamentals. Very inexperienced with only 17 career starts. Needs an NFL strength and conditioning program desperately as frame cannot hold up for 16+ games as presently constituted. NFL bloodlines are impressive as any prospect in this year’s class. He’s a cousin of former Miami Hurricane DB Phillip Buchanon (who had a good career with the storied early 2000s Canes teams). The last name should be very familiar to Titans fans as he’s the nephew of former Titans standout pass rusher Jevon Kearse.

Miami prospects to watch

Stacy Coley 6’1 187 WR Junior

- Phillip Dorsett who? Coley could end up being a better receiver than Dorsett in their Miami careers. He was a highly touted recruit that signed with the Canes despite their uncertain QB situation and NCAA allegations at the time. Needs to improve his consistency in route running and hands. Needs to quit looking for the home run play and takes what the defense gives him. Experienced at both punt and kick returns. Needs to add more muscle to his frame as currently built, he won’t hold up for the rigors of an NFL schedule.

Deon Bush 6’1 205 S Senior

- Bush is a Canes lifer in that he stuck around even with all the negativity surrounding the program. On the field, he could end up challenging for the best safety in the class when it’s all said and done. Miami’s best defender and it isn’t close. Been used in a variety of situations. Needs to hit the weight room along with Coley. Fundamentally sound tackler and is very consistent in pass defense.

(9) Florida State at Georgia Tech 7 PM ESPN2

- The rematch between these two ACC championship game representatives from last year is here. Florida State travels to the big city of Atlanta after summarily dispatching Louisville last week in what could have been a letdown game. Georgia Tech has sputtered along with its vaunted option attack looking weakened after being anointed as a favorite to win the ACC. Can the Noles avoid another trap game before the Clemson match that looms in the distance? Will the Yellow Jackets rev up their option offense against a youthful Noles D suffering from youth and injuries?

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. Projected to miss the game due to injury

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).

Georgia Tech prospect to watch

Jamal Golden 5’11 193 S RS Senior

- Golden is one of the best safeties in the ACC. His measureables aren’t the greatest in the world but makes up for it with tremendous instincts and closing speed. Golden is fundamentally sound in all aspects of the defense. Experienced as a kick returner. Has an injury history as he was redshirted in 2013 for one.

(3) Utah at USC 7:30 PM Fox

- The undefeated Utes roll into Hollywood to take on a reeling Trojans team that is in a desperate need of a season saving victory. Utah struggled a bit with Arizona State last week, ultimately needing a monster comeback to win 34-18. USC lost a shootout with rival Notre Dame 41-31 in which embattled AD Pat Haden was forced to seek medical treatment before the game. Can the Utes keep it going in their march to Santa Clara or will the Trojans muddy the Pac-12 waters by pulling the upset?

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.

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.

Washington at (10) Stanford 10:30 PM ESPN

- The Huskies have very little time to ruminate over their best chance in years to end Oregon’s dominance over them. They travel to The Farm to take on a red hot Cardinal squad looking to make it a race in the Pac-12 North. Stanford has reeled off five straight victories after a baffling loss to Northwestern in the opener. Can the Huskies slow down the Cardinal machine? Will Stanford make it six in a row?

Bonus game to watch

Indiana at (7) Michigan State 3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2