The sad reality is that we are almost a quarter of the way through the College Football Season. It is a sad reality, but we must face it with smiles and embrace, obviously. There are more and more intriguing inter-conference match ups and thus, the games will be more exciting and contested. However, the most exciting game this week, with lots of NFL draft implications no doubt, is Georgia v. Ole Miss (12 PM on ESPN). This SEC heavy weight match will face talented players on both sides of the ball that will test each other and push their names in the NFL draft conversation.
- Nick Chubb, Running Back: Obviously the 5-10, 230 pound running back is a staple in the fabric of College Football. Chubb has looked remarkably good considering he is coming back from injury. However, despite an impressive debut against UNC, Chubb's numbers have regressed each week while he still shoulders a serious work load. He may still need some time to get in shape and now that Sony Michel is back from injury, it will give Georgia some opportunity to spell Chubb.
- Isaiah McKenzie, Wide Receiver: Isaiah McKenzie is enjoying a break out season in his third year as a Bulldog. The 5-8, 175 pounder has mostly been an asset on special teams for Georgia, but is just now making a major impact in the passing game. McKenzie has incredible speed and versatility that allows him to line up everywhere, including the backfield. It will be fun to see him put pressure on a talented Ole Miss defense.
- Greg Pyke, Guard: A big part of Georgia's running game in the last few years has been their 6-6, 320 pound athletic lineman, Greg Pyke. Pyke is a strong, mean interior player who uses his size and strength to body defenders. He has had difficulties in the past with his technique, but his pad level looks more consistent this season and he is not letting defenders get into his pads as much. Pyke has a tremulously high ceiling, so it will be telling how he does against a talented Ole Miss team.
- Dominik Sanders, Safety: Dominik Sanders was one of the most productive ball hawks in the country last year and has a strong start to his junior year, already collecting a pick. Sanders does not have imposing size, but he is aggressive over the top and plays with very good instincts. Ole Miss loves to bank on big plays down the field and Sanders will play a part in preventing that while also capitalizing off the inevitable Chad Kelly mistakes.
- Quincy Mauger, Cornerback: Another playmaker in the Goergia secondary is their six foot cornerback, Quincy Mauger. Mauger has good size, plays with great physicality and can make plays with the ball in the air. He likely will be matched up on Ole Miss' top receiver and it will be a massive battle of the size of Damore'ea Stringfellow and Mauger's prowess at the position.
- Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR: After transferring from Washington after his freshman year, Damore'ea Stringfellow had to sit for a year and then play as the second fiddle to Laquon Treadwell the following year. This season, Stringfellow is the number one wide receiver on the team and his big frame is a massive asset for Chad Kelly. Stringfellow has strong hands, good ball skills and athleticism to make plays after the catch. It will be fascinating to see him grow as the primary target at Ole Miss.
- Evan Engram, TE: While Engram is listed as a tight end, I suspect the 6-3, 225 pounder will make a transition to wide receiver in the NFL. Engram has tremendous athletic ability, sure hands and is a savvy route runner. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite players in the country and he will be playing in the teeth of the Georgia defense. His dependability in the middle of the field will be imperative to moving the ball against the Bulldogs.
- Chad Kelly, QB: Chad Kelly is already one of the most polarizing players in the country. His skill set as a QB is mouth watering and his gun slinger mentality (maybe not the best choice of words) makes him seem even better. However, Kelly remains incredibly mistake prone and his accuracy is wildly inconsistent. Regardless, his arm strength, athletic ability and aggressive give him a chance to win every game at the college level. Hopefully, for the Rebels, he can keep his head on straight against Georgia instead of collapsing into mistakes like he has done the last three weeks.
- Marquis Haynes, DE: Marquis Haynes is a unique player. Despite his unimposing size at 6-2 and 215 pounds, Haynes has managed to be a handful rushing off the edge. He has great quickness due to his diminutive frame, which allows him to overwhelm offensive linemen. His quickness and motor have allowed him to produce against college players, but will that reign of terror continue against bigger, stronger offensive linemen? This will be a good game to find out!
Who else to watch...
- Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State: The Spartan's 6-6 defensive lineman was on the watch list last week, but he is back for good reason. McDowell is one of the best defenders in the country and will be going up against a very good Wisconsin offensive line (12 PM on BTN). Can McDowell disrupt enough against the Badgers to keep their running game at bay?
- Marcus Williams, Safety, Utah: One of the best safeties in the country is Utah's Marcus Williams. The ball hawk will have a major task this week in holding down the secondary against a USC offense that has the potential to explode at any time, though has not reached its potential because of quarterback play. Marcus Williams will be key in making sure the Trojans continue their streak of offensive ineptitude.
- Eddie Vanderdoes, DL, UCLA: Vanderdoes is one of the best defensive linemen in the country this year and has a huge test against a Stanford team that will run the ball early and often. If UCLA wants to have a chance, Vanderdoes must defend the run consistently all night, because one lapse could mean a long Christian McCaffrey Run.