Head 2 Head Analysis: Week 6

CB Malcolm Jenkins (Gregory Shamus/Getty)

How did last weekend's top matchups of 2008 draft-eligible prospects turn out? Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber fills you in.

#10 Oklahoma at #19 Texas

Game Result: Oklahoma 28 | Texas 21

The Prospects: Oklahoma, FS - Reggie Smith (Jr.) vs. Texas, WR - Limas Sweed (Sr.)

The Matchup: Limas Sweed has been hampered by injuries this season and hasn't had the kind of year many expected. He didn't have a major impact in this game and only caught two passes for 25 yards. Sweed is a deep threat who's dangerous in the red zone, but he hasn't had many opportunities so far. Oklahoma's Reggie Smith is an outstanding defender who played a huge role in the Sooners' victory over the Longhorns, playing well in coverage and making a crucial interception late in the game that stopped any momentum Texas was building. In addition to the interception, Smith recorded six tackles.

In-Game Analysis: Trailing 28-21 in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns had excellent field position with the ball on the Oklahoma 44-yard line. On 1st-and-10, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was trying to get the ball to running back Jamaal Charles, but the ball went through his hands and into the hands of Sooners safety Reggie Smith at the 28-yard line. Smith then ran the ball back 33-yards. On the return, the Sooners committed an illegal block, costing them 15-yards.  That backed up their offense to their own 46-yard line, a major mistake as the Longhorns had great field position and were threatening to put points on the board.

Keep An Eye On...
Oklahoma, WR - Juaquin Iglesias (Jr.):
Iglesias has been phenomenal this season. He's emerging as a game-breaker alongside of Malcolm Kelly. Last season, Iglesias caught 41 passes for 514 yards and two touchdowns. Through six games this year, including his six catches for 99 yards against the Longhorns, Iglesias has 35 receptions for 558 yards and three touchdowns.


Arizona at Oregon State

Game Result: Arizona 16 | Oregon State 31

The Prospects: Arizona, CB - Antoine Cason (Sr.) vs. Oregon State, WR - Sammie Stroughter (Jr.)

The Matchup: Oregon State's star receiver Sammie Stroughter didn't play in this game due to injury, but Arizona's Antoine Cason had a great game. Cason played very well in coverage and limited the opposition's chances to make plays. The only touchdown reception the Wildcats defense surrendered was a six-yard swing pass to Beavers running back Yvenson Bernard. Cason finished with six tackles and an interception that he ran back for a 60-yard touchdown.

In-Game Analysis: The Beavers were in control of the game heading into halftime, leading 31-3. But Cason stepped up for Arizona and narrowed the lead before the end of the first half. With less than a minute remaining on the clock, Cason stepped in front of a Sean Canfield pass and took it to the house for a 60-yard touchdown. That touchdown gave the Wildcats momentum, as they were trailing 31-10 at halftime, but it wasn't enough to pull out a win, and they ultimately lost 31-16.


Kansas at #24 Kansas State

Game Result: Kansas 30 | Kansas State 24

The Prospects: Kansas, CB - Aqib Talib (Jr.) vs. Kansas State, WR - Jordy Nelson (Sr.)

The Matchup: Jordy Nelson continues to show that he's the most underrated wide receiver in the nation after a stellar performance against the Kansas Jayhawks. Nelson had 10 receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown while running smooth routes and flashing excellent hands despite going up against one of the better young corners in the country, Aqib Talib. Nelson's touchdown reception was a beauty as he beat Talib on a go-route, which resulted in a 68-yard score for Kansas State. After the long touchdown reception by Nelson, Talib played well in this contest and allowed just nine receptions for 69 yards the rest of the game. He looked fluid in coverage and displayed a good burst to the ball. Talib finished with five tackles and an interception and even got involved on offense and pulled in a touchdown pass from five-yards out. This was a great matchup between two of the best players at their respective positions.

In-Game Analysis: With 8:48 remaining in the opening quarter, Talib and Nelson were locked on the far sideline. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman dropped back, Nelson got a quick release off the line and obtained separation from Talib instantly. Freeman recognized that Nelson beat Talib off the line and lofted a perfect pass that went for a 68-yard touchdown and gave the Wildcats the early 7-0 lead.

Keep An Eye On...
Kansas State, DE - Ian Campbell (Jr.):
After a sophomore season where Campbell recorded 11.5 sacks, he distinguished himself as one of the premier pass rushers in the country. Campbell got off to a slow start this season and only managed 1.5 sacks coming into the game against Kansas, but played well against the Jayhawks. He collected five tackles and a sack in the loss.


#4 Ohio State at #23 Purdue

Game Result: Ohio State 23 | Purdue 7

The Prospects: Ohio State, CB - Malcolm Jenkins (Jr.) vs. Purdue, WR - Dorien Bryant (Sr.)

The Matchup: Malcolm Jenkins was outstanding against Purdue on Saturday night. He was all over the field, playing physical, and showing good discipline in coverage. He had nine tackles, one for a loss, and held Dorien Bryant to just two receptions for negative 4 yards. Bryant, who leads the Boilermakers in receiving, had a miserable game. Jenkins had a lot to do with Bryant's struggles, and he proved that he's one of the elite defensive backs in the country.

In-Game Analysis: Ohio State completely dominated this game from the beginning. Purdue's offense has been outstanding this season averaging 45 points and 496 yards per game, but the Buckeyes shut them down. Not only did Bryant have a game to forget, but the entire offense did as well. Purdue only managed 272 yards of total offense and their lone score came with 10 seconds remaining in the game. It's back to the drawing board for Purdue.

Keep An Eye On...
Purdue, TE - Dustin Keller (Sr.):
A player who's developed his game more than any other tight end in college football, Dustin Keller has come from obscurity to emerge as a complete player. Keller has always been a good blocker, but his game as a receiver wasn't productive. Last season, he more than tripled his receptions (56) and yardage (771) from the previous season and became a receiving threat for the Boilermakers offense. He's continued that production this season (27 receptions for 420 yards and five touchdowns) and had a tremendous game against the Buckeyes, hauling in seven receptions for 101 yards.


#15 Virginia Tech at #22 Clemson

Game Result: Virginia Tech 41 | Clemson 23

The Prospects: Virginia Tech, RB - Branden Ore (Jr.) vs. Clemson, FS - Chris Clemons (Jr.)

The Matchup: This was another tough game for Branden Ore, who had a tremendous season last year rushing for 1,137 yards and 16 touchdowns, but has been disappointing this year. He's received the majority of the carries for the Hokies, but hasn't delivered the same kind of production from a year ago. Facing a tough Clemson defense, Ore only managed 35 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. That's an average of 1.5 yards per carry. He was a non-threat in the passing game as well. He caught just one pass for minus-three yards. Ore has to find a way to recapture his production from last season. The Clemson defense played well, but it was their special teams that cost them the game. Chris Clemons had a nice game and collected four tackles in the loss. He displayed good awareness and played well in coverage.

Keep An Eye On...
Aaron Kelly, WR - Clemson (Jr.):
Kelly, who's 6 foot 5 and 180 pounds, has been spectacular so far for the Tigers. He showed a lot of promise last season for Clemson after he finished with 30 receptions for 355 yards and three touchdowns. This season he's in the midst of a breakout year. Against Virginia Tech, he had a career day, hauling in 11 receptions for 174 yards and a touchdown.


2009 DRAFT ELIGIBLE SNEAK PEEK

#9 Florida at #1 LSU

Game Result: LSU 28 | Florida 24

The Prospects: Florida, WR - Percy Harvin (So.) vs. LSU, FS - Danny McCray (So.)

The Matchup: This was a great battle between two top-ten teams, but Percy Harvin and Danny McCray didn't shine too brightly in this meeting. Harvin, who's known for his versatility and knack for making the impossible possible, finished with four receptions for 58 yards and no touchdowns. He also contributed in the running game, but only had three carries for 11 yards. McCray, a physical safety who plays well in coverage, just managed two tackles in the win.

Keep An Eye On...
LSU, FB - Jacob Hester (Sr.):
Hester is a tremendously tough player who plays every down with a lot of intensity. He's not the most gifted player on the field, but he's a consistent performer who produces week in and week out. Against the Gators, Hester was outstanding and scored the game-winning touchdown for the Tigers. He had 23 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown and performed very well on special teams.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his NFL draft analysis on the web and on the radio since 1999.

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