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College football preview: Syracuse defensive prospects get big test versus Pitt

Plus more draft prospects to watch.

Syracuse v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Week three of college football doesn’t exactly have an illustrious slate, but it’s not without intrigue! With a reduced schedule, at the moment, only a few big programs have kicked off their seasons. Thus, we only have a few top draft prospects to watch. This weekend, Syracuse’s match up with Pitt should generate some interest. Especially when the Orange defense is on the field.

Safety Andre Cisco is one of the top defensive backs in the country and he’s joined in the secondary by the talented Ifeatu Melifonwu.

Cisco is a rangy ballhawk who has picked off 13 passes since he got to Syracuse, including an interception in a loss last week. Melifonwu is an extremely talented cornerback with immense size and athletic skill. They will have an interesting test ahead of them against Pittsburgh’s offense (12 PM ET on ACCN).

Sure, the Panthers were playing Austin Peay last week, but they put them away convincingly to the tune of 55-0. Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett completed 70% of his passes last week and threw a touchdown. Pickett figures to have a big senior season and is surrounded by quick, playmaking receivers all over his offense.

If Syracuse wants a shot at the upset, they will need Ifeatu Melifonwu and Cisco to not only be dependable, but also make a few big plays against the Panther offense. It will be the defensive backs’ first big shot at a high profile performance as they’re playing to boost their draft stock.

Who else to keep an eye on...

  • Notre Dame’s offensive line: The Irish returned a handful of extremely talented blockers for this season. Aaron Banks, Tommy Kraemer, Liam Eichenberg and Robert Hainsey are all NFL caliber prospects who will have a good match up today against a 1-0 USF team (2:30 PM on USA).
  • Dez Fitzpatrick, Wide Receiver, Louisville: Dez Fitzpatrick has a shot to live up to the hype this season after kicking the year off with a four catch, 110 yard performance where he scored a touchdown. The talented 6’2” receiver plateaued in college after scoring nine touchdowns his freshman year, but could be poised to put it all together in his senior season. Fitzpatrick will be Louisville’s top target against Miami tonight (7:30 PM ET on ABC) and it will be his first big test of the season.

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