USC at Cal 3 PM Fox
- Cal plays host to the inconsistently consistent Trojans squad that is coming off an "upset" win over Utah last week. USC, even with all their problems over the years, have maintained a win streak over the Bears since 2003. Interim head coach Clay Helton will continue his audition for a more permanent stay in Los Angeles. Cal QB Jared Goff is looking for a rebound game after playing poorly against Utah and UCLA in consecutive weeks. A Cal win keeps their hopes alive in the ever increasingly topsy-turvy Pac-12. USC is all about done in regards to the conference title race but is playing for pride at this point. Which former Heisman contender QB will show up?
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.
Cal prospect to watch
Jared Goff 6’4 210 Junior QB
- Goff is the top draft eligible quarterback in this year’s class. His direct comparison could be the Titans’ very own Marcus Mariota. Goff possesses just enough arm strength to make all the big league throws. Intelligence and system versatility are also a plus. A traditional pocket passer developed in the Texas Tech style Air Raid offense (Sonny Dykes is a Mike Leach disciple). However, Goff has some questions as well, namely can he hold up for the entire season given his frame. Another negative is the system he’s currently in doesn’t bode well for his future given the lack of success from former Air Raid QBs. Is it pure talent or the high tempo spread system making him look good?
#3 Clemson at NC State 3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2
- The Tigers are traveling to Raleigh to take on a game Wolfpack team looking to make noise in the ACC race. Clemson is coming off a 58-0 demolition of Miami, which led the Hurricanes to fire their coach afterwards. They will have to avoid the trap game as the annual showdown with Florida State looms next week. NC State has compiled a 5-2 record with both losses coming in conference play. The Wolfpack put away a hapless Wake Forest team 35-17 last week. Can the Tigers keep the machine rolling and avoid looking ahead to next week?
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.
NC State prospect to watch
Jacoby Brissett 6'4 240 QB Senior
- Think Cam Newton but a much more refined passer with Big Ben's athleticism and you get Brissett. He transferred in from Florida a couple of years ago after losing the competition there.
Miami at #22 Duke 7 PM ESPNU
- We live in a world where Duke has become better than Miami in football. The Canes have copied their NFL counterparts and named their TE coach the interim HC. Former head coach Al Golden was finally put out of his misery after the aforementioned defeat to Clemson. Duke has a chance to grab ahold of the ACC Coastal lead as Pittsburgh lost to North Carolina on Thursday night. Can Miami stop the now annual slide post FSU loss to just one game? Will Duke keep it rolling all the way to Charlotte?
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 Notre Dame at #21 Temple 8 PM ABC
- There’s something cooking in the city of brotherly love and it isn’t Chip Kelly’s hot seat. Temple is having a dream season as they are undefeated and could have more wins than the hoops team. Notre Dame took a week off to bask in the glory of beating longtime rival USC two weeks ago. Can the Owls keep the magic going or will the dream turn into a nightmare at the hands of the Irish? Notre Dame is keeping afloat at 6-1 despite losing a litany of key players to season ending injuries. College GameDay location this week.
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.
Bonus Games to watch
Tulane at #16 Memphis 7 PM CBS Sports Network
- Memphis QB Paxton Lynch is rising up the boards really fast and could be in play for second QB taken in the 2016 draft.
#15 Michigan at Minnesota 7 PM ESPN
- Best wishes to former Gophers HC Jerry Kill as he embarks on a new chapter in his life after retiring because of medical reasons. He’s had numerous incidents with seizures on and off the sideline through the years. It’s a shame to lose such an outstanding guy but this is the best move for him long term health wise.