After a loaded first weekend of college football, week two doesn't pack quite the same punch. Hope is not lost though at the Virginia Tech Hokies visit the seventeenth ranked Tennessee Volunteers. The Volunteers were highly ranked going into the season, but expectations were tempered after a near let down against Appalachian State. Regardless of a poor showing, Tennessee has a talented football team with a lot of NFL talent. However, their week two matchup's roster would make Appalachian State blush as the Vols take on a Hokies team with a new look coach and a host of NFL caliber talent. In a game that is bound to be contested, look out for these players and how they fare...
- Isaiah Ford, Wide Receiver, Virginia Tech: Isaiah Ford is one of Virginia Tech's most prolific receivers in Virginia Tech's history. The 6-2, 190 pound receiver has dependable hands, good athletic ability and toughness. After scoring 11 touchdowns last season, Ford is off to a hot start as he had 11 catches and a touchdown last week. He will face a stark test against Cam Sutton, Tennessee's gifted cornerback. Ford and Sutton both have good size and play strong, which sets up for a very physical match Saturday night.
- Jalen Reeves Maybin, Linebacker, Tennessee: Maybe the Volunteer's best pro prospect, Reeves Maybin overcomes relatively diminutive size (6-1, 220), with speed, instincts and ability to play physical football. His flying around the field makes the middle of the field a dangerous place for pass catchers and running backs, which is why Bucky Hodges, the Hokies' 6-7 tight end, will have his work cut out for him. Hodges is one of the most gifted tight ends in the country, as he has great movement skills to pair with dominating size. Hodges had two touchdowns last week on only three catches and will be looking to follow up with an even bigger game. Hodges going over the middle of the field with players like Reeves Maybin lurking, and a smaller player like Reeves Maybin trying to cover up such a match up nightmare. Should be an incredible matchup.
- Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee: Barnett has been one of the most productive defenders in the country over the last few seasons. The 6-3, 265 pound defender is very physical with a high motor. He is not the best athlete, but his size, strength and tenacity allows him to be productive at the college level. Barnett has the ability to take over a game and it will be interesting to see how he looks against Justin Fuente's new look defense.
- Josh Dobbs, Quarterback, Tennesse: Joshua Dobbs has been at the head of the Volunteers offense for the last two years. He is not a physically imposing passer, but he is smart and mobile enough to put the Volunteers in a position to win. However, he is going into the teeth of a very gifted Virginia Tech defense that features athletic pass rusher, Ken Ekanem and physical corner, Brandon Facyson. Facyson has great size and physicality at the line and Ekanem, while smaller, is incredibly quick off the line. Virginia Tech consistently has the best defenses in the country, but Dobbs is one of college football's smartest quarterbacks.
Tennessee is ranked, and very talented, but Virginia Tech is no slouch either. Guys like Hodges, Ford, Facyson and Ekanem will give the ranked SEC thing everything they can handle and these NFL prospects will likely get their biggest test of the season.
I would not be shocked if Virginia Tech pulls off the upset.