Texas vs. Nebraska 12PM EST/ABC
A terrific cross-division contest in the Big
12. Almost a dozen draft eligible players who will take the field hold first
day grades. Nebraska has the top offense in the conference
while the Longhorn defense is number one in the league.
The Cornhusker pass rushing tandem of Adam Carriker
and Jay Moore have been disappointing this season. Carriker has just a
single sack while Moore has added three. Earlier in the year
against USC both players were handled by top rated Trojan tackle Sam Baker. This week they face-off against another edge blocker in
a big wide-bodied lineman who will play either right tackle or guard at the
Blalock's star has been on the rise and he's
moving up boards. Carriker, at first considered a potential top 32 selection, has
fallen deep into the second frame. He needs a big game against the Longhorn
tackle to stem his sinking grade.
Wisconsin vs. Purdue 12 PM EST/ESPN
Another game which offers a tremendous battle
on the line of scrimmage.
After sustaining a knee injury in a bowl game
last January when he sparingly played defensive end, Wisconsin left tackle Joe Thomas
has mended nicely. NFL scouts love Thomas as one source we spoke with
earlier this week compared his pass blocking skills to those of Jonathan Ogden.
Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer, a prospect we
highlighted as a riser in last Monday's review, is making a huge charge up draft
boards. Coming into the season with a late round grade, Spencer leads the
Big Ten in tackles for loss and sacks.
This will be Spencer's toughest test of the
season, though it does not get much easier for him next week against Penn
State's Levi Brown. Already solidifying himself as a first day pick, good
results could help Spencer state his case to be a top sixty selection.
Should Thomas shut out Spencer it will further the
belief of many scouts that he stands as one of the top five senior prospects
available in next April's draft.
Alabama vs. Tennessee 3:30 PM EST/CBS
If its' the third Saturday in October that
means it is time for Alabama and Tennessee to face off.
Tide receiver D.J. Hall has turned into a
lethal weapon this season. Hall is averaging 100-yards
receiving in the six games as well as 20.8-yards per reception. Add in his
five touchdown catches and defenders have had trouble containing Hall in '06.
The Volunteers will try and counter with
Jonathan Wade, a physically gifted cornerback with first day abilities.
Unfortunately for Wade inconsistency and a lack of pure ball skills/instincts
have plagued him.
Wade will have his hands full with Hall but if
he keeps the Tides game breaking wide out in check it will ease some of the
concerns scouts have about his game.
Rutgers vs. Pittsburgh 5:45 PM EST/ESPN2
The 19th ranked Rutgers Scarlett Knights have
been one of the feel good stories of the year. The schedule quickly turns tough as they take on Pittsburgh who sits in a three way tie with
Rutgers atop the conference standings.
Rutgers offers one of the nations top
offenses. Averaging 31-points and more than 330-yards per game the team
possesses two top rated skill players in multi-purpose fullback Brian Leonard, a top 60
selection, and tight end Clark Harris, a potential first day choice.
The Pittsburgh defense is manned by a first and second
round choice as well as a late round sleeper.
H.B. Blades leads the conference in tackles and
the Panther linebacker is constantly around the action. The knock on Blades are his
skills in coverage, something we disagree with. Blades will have the
opportunity to deflect that criticism against the outstanding pass catching ball
carriers on the Rutgers offense as well as the sure handed Harris. Blades
is a top sixty choice with the ability to move into the draft's initial 45
The other Pitt linebacker, Clint Session, was not given a draftable grade entering the year. But the senior has
dismissed the notion he does not have the ability to play on an NFL level.
Right up there with Blades as on of the league's top tacklers, Session is
developing a complete game and has moved into the late rounds of the draft.
Finally cornerback Darell Revis is
turning into the nations best at his position. Expected to enter April's
draft, Revis sits as a top-twenty pick.
UTEP vs Houston 7PM EST
A terrific battle between two of the best
passers in the conference, both of whom are NFL prospects.
Kevin Kolb has done nothing to disappoint NFL
scouts this year. As mentioned during our review last week, the Cougar
signal caller is on pace to finish the season with 3500-passing yards and has
completed 68% of his
throws with 17 touchdowns and just one interception thus far in '06. He leads the league's
top ranked offense and has been very efficient all season.
UTEP and their signal caller Jordan Palmer sit
right underneath Houston and Kolb as the league's passing leaders.
Completing almost 71% of his throws, Carson's
little brother is
averaging 278-yards passing per game. And while his 14 touchdown tosses
are impressive his nine interceptions are a bit troubling.
Kolb is a fringe first day pick while Palmer more of
a late round choice. There should be a lot of offense and plenty of
scoring in this affair.