Saturday is serving up a truly legendary slate of college football with six games featuring a showdown between two ranked teams. Included in these high profile matchups, of course, are NFL Draft prospects looking to put on a show. Here are some names to watch.
Jeremiah Trotter Junior, Linebacker, Clemson v. Florida State (12 PM ET on ABC)
Clemson is hardly looking like the world beater we’re used to, but they are still a talented football team. Jeremiah Trotter Junior is the chief playmaker on that defense, already logging 3.5 TFLs this season. He will need to be on his A-Game against a hot Florida State team. Playing in the middle of that Tiger defense, he will be able to dictate a lot of what the Seminoles are able to do or not able to do on offense.
Khyree Jackson, Cornerback, Oregon v. Colorado ( 3:30 PM ET on ABC)
Khyree Jackson is an early season breakout player. After playing as a reserve at Alabama for two years, Jackson transferred to Oregon and has immediately become a difference maker. Through three games, Jackson has two interceptions and is the best player on that defense. He faces a huge test in Colorado’s explosive offense and Oregon will need his best to limit the Buff’s passing game in what should be a high scoring game.
Cole Bishop, Safety, Utah v. UCLA (3:30 PM ET on FOX)
Cole Bishop has been a force to be reckoned with three games into Utah’s season. The 6’2”, 200 pounder has two sacks, four TFLs, 1 pick and a forced fumble. The Utes deploy Bishop all over the field and his combination of speed, instincts and physicality make life hard for opposing offenses. Utah’s conference showdown with UCLA means facing off with the Bruin’s high powered offense. Cole Bishop will need to be his playmaking self to limit UCLA’s scoring.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cornerback, Alabama v. Ole Miss (3:30 PM ET on CBS)
Alabama is in a lull right now. After being beaten by Texas at home, the Crimson Tide sleep walked through a close win over South Florida last week. The offense looks disjointed and without big play potential, meaning the defense needs to carry the team through the season. That’s right, it is 2012 again in Tuscaloosa. Leading the defense is Kool Aid McKinstry, whose athleticism and size have NFL teams highly interested. McKinstry is having a very good season, but not quite having the big next step many expected him to take. Now Ole Miss is up for Alabama, a team that will test the Tide on both sides of the ball. To keep Alabama in the game, McKinstry will need to play at the high level he is capable of to limit an explosive Rebels offense.
Jack Sawyer, Edge, Ohio State v. Notre Dame (7:30 PM ET on ESPN)
Possibly the biggest showdown of a loaded Saturday slate... Notre Dame and Ohio State face off, both as Top Ten teams, both in very different spots than they were in when they faced off a year ago. In 2022, it was the Buckeyes who had one of the best quarterbacks in College Football in CJ Stroud while Notre Dame relied heavily on their defense and offensive supporting cast. Now? It’s Notre Dame with one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Sam Hartman while Ohio State feels like the strong defensive team. On that defense is pass rusher Jack Sawyer, who has been a terror since the season started. Notre Dame’s pair of stud tackles will do their best to keep Sawyer at bay while he tries to slow Sam Hartman’s Heisman campaign and keep Ohio State in the win column.