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Titans Fan Guide: Slowdown Saturday Edition

Another Saturday is here with more intriguing matchups! Which prospects will improve or downgrade their stocks?

JuJu. Do want.
JuJu. Do want.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Texas at Texas Tech NOON Fox Sports 1

- The Longhorns travel to Lubbock with its much beleaguered defense to take on another high powered Red Raiders offense. Texas is coming off a close victory over Baylor last week while Texas Tech is coming off a win over Kansas State. TT QB Patrick Mahomes II will look to unleash the aerial fury against Charlie Strong's defense after being held to only 27 points last week. Texas will rely on the Foreman brothers to keep it close on offense and hope that their defense can hold on. Expect a shootout with the Red Raiders winning.

Texas prospect to watch

1. Tyrone Swoopes 6'4 249 ATH Senior

- Swoopes has finally found his niche in his senior season as the backup QB and "18 wheeler" Wildcat guy. He's had a turbulent career where he was thrown into the fire too early and suffered through ill suited coaching changes. Well built for his role. Great teammate. A bigger Jake Locker as a passer if you will. Projects as a TE or FB at the next level.

2. Paul Boyette Jr, 6'3 317 DT Senior

- The Longhorns' best interior defensive lineman. Malcolm Brown who? He's a big body tackle that can play both a classic DT and 3-4 NT.

3. Malik Jefferson 6'3 238 LB Sophomore

- I rarely if ever shout out underclassmen but Jefferson is the real deal. He's one of the best inside linebackers in the country right now. Instincts and athleticism are off the charts good. He should declare as a junior after next year if form holds.

4. Kent Perkins 6'5 320 OL Senior

- Perkins is the Longhorns' best lineman. A big mauler that projects as a guard at the next level rather than tackle. 2016 has been an interesting year in that he has improved his stock but has picked up little nicks here and there due to getting used to the Baylor style high tempo system.

Texas Tech prospect to watch

1. Patrick Mahomes II 6'3 219 QB Junior

- Mahomes is the latest point guard of the traditionally high powered Red Raiders Air Raid attack. He has an above average arm and can make all the big league throws. Physically he looks the part of an NFL QB but the mental aspects of the game need some work i.e. field reading, pocket awareness, etc. The Red Raider program isn't exactly friendly to the idea that the QBs can successfully transition to a more conservative gameplan in the pros. Mahomes could be taken in the fourth round should he declare but needs to stay and improve his stock.

Pittsburgh at Miami 12:30 PM ACC Network WATCHESPN

- Dan Marino might be a little conflicted in this one as his college takes on the city that he played professionally in. The Panthers are ferocious on defense as expected under defensive mastermind HC Pat Narduzzi (who cut his teeth at Michigan State). Pittsburgh will feature James Conner heavily in order to keep the Canes offense at bay. The Canes need to stop their post FSU slide as they have lost three in a row. Pitt lost a close one against Virginia Tech last Thursday night.

Pittsburgh prospect to watch

1. James Conner 6'2 230 RB Junior

- Connor has one of the more heartwarming stories in all of sports this year as he has battled back from Hodgkins' Lymphoma AND a torn knee suffered in the same year. As for Connor the prospect, he's a bowling ball downfield that possesses a similar build to the Titans' own Derrick Henry. Due to a illness and injury stricken 2015, he's one of the more underrated prospects in the class at his position. Before last year, he was considered to be one of the best backs in the ACC. right alongside Dalvin Cook. A physical runner with good agility.

Miami prospects to watch

1. Brad Kaaya 6'4 210 QB Junior

- Kaaya could make an argument for the title of the nation's best quarterback prospect after a month's worth of games. He has all the intangibles that one look for in a quarterback such as work ethic and leadership. He was consistently one of the underclassmen last year that I harped on a lot. While not having the strongest arm in the class, he always seems to find a way to get it to his playmakers. Football IQ and instincts are very good. He knows when and how to utilize the fastball and the touch passes at the right moment in most cases. If I had to make a comp for him right now, I'd go with a slightly less athletic Marcus Mariota or a bigger arm Colt McCoy (who's carved out a pretty decent living as a backup QB).

2. Stacy Coley 6'1 195 WR Junior

- Coley could end up being a better receiver than Phillip Dorsett in their Miami careers. 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.

3. Chad Thomas 6'6 265 DE Junior

- Thomas has more than lived up to his five star billing from high school during his Canes career. He has been Miami's best defensive lineman the past couple of years. Remember Anthony Chickillo? Thomas is miles better than he is right now in terms of their college careers. A speed rush specialist that will likely need to add or lose weight depending on what his NFL team asks him to do.

Oregon at USC 7 PM ESPN

- Two much ballyhooed preseason favorites that have struggled are tangling in this one. The Ducks may have finally figured out their QB situation as freshman QB Justin Herbert has looked impressive over the past couple of games. USC seems to have solved their QB issues by starting RS Freshman Sam Darnold. Oregon is coming off a win over Arizona State while the Trojans won convincingly over rival Cal. Can these two offenses go score for score or can any defense show up? Expect a close USC win in Los Angeles.

Oregon prospects to watch

1. Royce Freeman 5'11 230 RB Junior

- The country's most underrated running back. One of the better all around type of backs in this class. Doesn't possess that breakaway gear like some others but will try to outmuscle the defender in most cases. Suffered what looked to be a nasty leg injury against Nebraska. Hasn't been as effective as in years past due to a struggling Ducks offense and has somewhat been usurped by RB Tony Brooks-James as the primary back.

2. Darren Carrington Jr 6'2 215 WR RS Junior

- Carrington is a big body speed demon receiver for the tame Ducks offense. He has above average speed and athleticism. Can go up and get it with the best in the country. An "athlete" playing receiver more than anything similar to that of former Titan receiver DGB. He has the NFL bloodlines as father Darren Senior played safety for a number of years for San Diego. The team interviews will be key for him as he missed significant time due to a drug related suspension while in Eugene. Good thing is that he has stayed clean since his suspension. Josh Gordon 2.0 without nearly as many off field questions.

USC prospects to watch

1. JuJu Smith-Schuster 6'2 220 WR Junior

- JuJu burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2014, taking much of the hype away from current Eagles WR Nelson Agholor and Jaguars WR Marqise Lee. Now he's a wise old veteran junior, ready to go pro like the Trojan receivers before him. He has a bigger frame than some wideouts of this generation, coming in at 6'2 220 yet has the athleticism of someone smaller. Considered to be the top receiver prospect in the country.

2. Adoree' Jackson 5'11 185 CB/WR Junior

- Jackson is probably the nation's most dynamic athlete, playing both receiver and corner in addition to return duties. He also runs track for the Trojans in the spring. Jackson is a speed merchant with a decent amount of cornerback skills to make it in the pros if the receiver thing doesn't work out. Special teams ace with several return touchdowns. He's lived up to his lofty billing as a top recruit and then some. Expect him to go pro after 2016.

3. Zach Banner 6'9 360 OT RS Senior

- Banner is a mammoth 6'9 360 and is a true road grader type of tackle. He is a little raw in terms of technique and fundamentals due to a lack of playing time but has a lot of potential. Could rise up the boards this year.

#10 Nebraska at #6 Ohio State 8 PM ABC

- These two programs have each suffered heartbreaking losses in recent weeks as Nebraska was upset by Wisconsin last week and OSU was memorably upset by Penn State on a blocked kick. The Buckeyes are coming off a ho hum 24-20 win over Northwestern in which NW hung around for awhile. Can the Huskers rebound in Columbus after a devastating defeat to Wisky last week in primetime? Ohio State might be the best one loss team in the country but the youthfulness may have caught up with them. The poisonous figs win a close one again and send Mike Riley home sad.

Nebraska prospect to watch

1. Jordan Westerkamp 5'11 200 WR RS Senior

- Westerkamp is Nebraska’s top returning receiver.. Due to his size limitations, he will be limited to the slot in the NFL unless he shows some improvement on the outside.

Ohio State prospects to watch

1. Raekwon McMillan 6'2 240 LB Junior

- The Buckeyes defensive field general. He has more than lived up to his five star billing. Instincts and athleticism are very good. He's a good enough athlete to play anywhere on the front seven. Could be a great outside linebacker in the NFL. I've been keeping an eye on this guy since his freshman year.

2.Sam Hubbard 6'4 265 DE/OLB RS Sophomore

- Joey Bosa who? Hubbard burst onto the scene with some great performances as Bosa's backup during the past couple of years.

3. J.T Barrett 6'1 225 6'1 225 QB RS Junior

- Barrett is finally the unquestioned standalone starter in Columbus after seeing Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller off to the pros. The Texas native is a bit on the smaller side frame wise but has enough physicality to make it work. Only injury concern is the terrible leg injury during the Buckeyes' title run that gave way to #CrashforCardale mania. I compare his game to that of a bigger and more refined Tyrod Taylor.

4. Mike Weber Jr 5'10 212 RB RS Freshman

- Weber is hailed as the next in line of great running backs to come out of Ohio State. He has delivered the goods so far in his debut season. A 4 star recruit from Michigan and national HS powerhouse Cass Tech that crossed the border into Columbus. Compares favorably to that of former Buckeye Carlos Hyde.

#5 Washington at Cal 10:30 PM ESPN

- A should be #4 ranked (thanks Texas A&M) Huskies travel to Berkeley in what has potential to be a #Pac12AfterDark special. Washington is coming off an entertaining 31-24 victory over Utah last week while Cal was soundly beaten by USC. The Huskies have multiple NFL prospects after years of solid recruiting at every level of the defense. Cal, on the other hand, not so much. Funny schedule note: Cal has to do the Washington double back to back with Wazzu coming up next week. Can the visitors from Seattle keep on dominating the Pac-12 North with yet another Cali school in their sights? Will the Bears be Golden and pull off the upset?

Washington prospects to watch

1. Azeem Victor 6'3 239 LB Junior

- Victor is a physical force of nature in the vein of James Harrison. Mainly deployed as an outside pass rusher but has improved his pass coverage skills considerably. Instincts are still a work in progress but is a willing tackler. Athleticism is above average. Hand usage is average. Underrated starter for the Huskies.

2. Budda Baker 5'10 178 S Junior

- The Huskies' best defensive prospect this year. Baker can play both corner and safety. He is on the smaller size for a safety. Pass coverage is a plus asset. Possesses an center fielder mindset and will get to most balls thrown his way. Agility is excellent and can turn his hips on a dime. Versatile and athletic enough to play both ways on offense and defense. The frame is a big question mark, however.

3. Elijah Qualls 6'2 293 DL Senior

- The heir apparent to current Cleveland Brown defensive tackle Danny Shelton is a good player in his own right. Possesses a high motor and will not quit on a play until the echo of the whistle. The anchor of the defensive line and by in part, the defense. Needs to learn how to control his weight as it tends to fluctuate on the high side. A physical dominant force when he needs to be.

Cal prospect to watch

1. Davis Webb 6'5 232 QB Senior

- Webb selected Cal as his graduate transfer location after leaving Texas Tech with a degree. At TT, he lost the job to incumbent Patrick Mahomes so Webb transferred in search of more playing time. Has prototypical NFL QB size and enough arm talent to make all the throws. The system fits will be a challenge for him as Cal and Texas Tech both operate under the Air Raid umbrella so he may need to sit a year to fully digest a pro style system.

Bonus games to watch

#18 Oklahoma State at Kansas State 3:30 PM ABC/ESPN2

TCU at #17 Baylor 3:30 PM FOX