Week 11 Matchup PreviewFriday, November 09, 2012
Saturday Noon EST on ABC
Louisville vs Syracuse
Louisville is undefeated, who knew? Although they do not enter the national conversation very often this year due to poor conference play, the Cardinals will be all over television next season when sophomore QB Teddy Bridgewater becomes draft-eligible. The true sophomore is an outstanding prospect, consistently displaying excellent awareness and movement in the pocket. Bridgewater keeps his eyes downfield and even though he doesn’t have tremendous velocity, his placement with touch allows for deep connections. And that is not even mentioning his running ability. Orange DE Brandon Sharpe (#91/6'2/245) will be chasing down Bridgewater all day while SS Shamarko Thomas (#21/5'10/208) needs to make sure not to lose contain in the back half of the field. C Mario Benavides (#55/6’2/302) has improved his game, solely using his leverage rather than attempting to be a strength blocker. He’ll attempt to open holes for junior RBs Jeremy Wright (#28/5’10/200) and RB Dominique Brown (#10/6’2/221). The latter being the more physical runner of the two.
Syracuse has a quarterback of their own, QB Ryan Nassib (#12/6'2/229), that will draw NFL attention. Nassib started the season off well, in total command of the offense while making quick decisions against top competition, but his game has been on the decline at times. Nassib’s play style somewhat resembles Tony Romo’s: a quick release, mobility to buy time, but too many poor decisions that don't go his way. At least he has LT Justin Pugh (#67/6'5/292) back from injury. Pugh, one of the top prospects at his position due to athletic footwork and length, missed the start of the season due to shoulder surgery. LB Preston Brown (#2/6’2/258) has plenty of size and is frequently sent to rush the passer while CB Adrian Bushell (#21/5’10/190) will attempt to make the most of Nassib’s questionable decisions.
TE Nate Ford (#85/6’5/230)
WR Andrell Smith (#14/6’3/210)
LB Daniel Brown (#24/6’1/221)
S Hakeem Smith (#29/6’1/185) junior
T Alex Kupper (#66/6’3/285)
WRMarcus Sales (#5/6'0/185)
WR Alec Lemon (#15/6'2/202)
Saturday 1:00 EST on ESPN3
Kent State vs Miami (OH)
The Redhawks have a second tier quarterback of their own in QB Zac Dysert (#4/6’3/228), a personal favorite. The senior has been forced to work in three different offenses during his collegiate career, this year running a heavy shotgun package with four or five receivers. Comparatively, Dysert worked from under center in 2011 and thrived in it. He may lock on to his first read too often, but Dysert shows the pocket mobility and arm talent to be a second day pick and kill the Senior Bowl. He will always need to be aware of junior OLB Roosevelt Nix (#5/5’11/245), and although the Kent State product lacks height, he makes up for it in athleticism. Dysert’s top target, WR Nick Harwell (#8/6’1/193), has really let him down with drops this season, but Harwell consistently finds soft sports in the defensive secondary.
The Golden Flashes have one of the nation’s top playmakers, although quite unknown, in redshirt junior RB/WR Dri Archer (#1/5’8/175). Archer attacks defenses from multiple alignments, taking handoffs for long gains, separating from secondaries at receiver, and offers plenty of return ability. He is a great weapon for QB Spencer Keith (#3/6’3/221). Up front, the Golden Flashes rely on T Brian Winters (#66/6’6/294) to set the tone. Winters is definitely a mauler with an attitude and Miami (OH) DTs Austin Brown (#90/6’2/274) and Mike Johns (#94/6’3/271) will surely find that out.
TE Steve Marck (#87/6’3/237)
CB D.J. Brown (#6/6’1/181)
C Brad Bednar (#72/6’4/293)
Saturday 3:00 EST on Fox
Oregon State vs Stanford
After going unbeaten to start the season, the Beavers have had a few rocky games. Redshirt sophomore QB Sean Mannion (#4/6’4/220) returned from knee surgery against Washington but threw four interceptions, leading to his benching. Now, junior QB Cody Vaz (#14/6’0/198) will start again and needs to find that special connection Mannion had with WR Markus Wheaton (#2/6’0/178). Cardinal OLB Chase Thomas (#44/6’4/240) will do his best to disrupt off the edge. Thomas doesn’t have a great burst off the corner, but along with aligning from multiple spots, he uses excellent technique to shed from blockers. Stanford has two other pass rushing threats in draftable DE/OLB Trent Murphy (#93/6’6/261) and improving junior DE Ben Gardner (#49/6’4/252). Not only will T Colin Kelly (#64/6’4/295) and junior T Michael Philipp (#77/6’3/308) have to form a pocket, but the Cardinal don’t mind blitzing A gaps. Beavers TE Colby Prince (#82/6’4/260) will surely see one on one matchups with ILB Shayne Skov (#11/6’3/244).
Stanford is making a quarterback change of their own, moving on from redshirt junior QB Josh Nunes (#6/6’4/216) to redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan. The first time starter may want to work away from CB Jordan Poyer (#14/5’11/190), who is one of the top three senior corners in the country. Instead, Hogan should focus on the middle of the field with junior TE Zach Ertz (#86/6’6/250) stretching the defense vertically and junior TE Levine Toilolo (#11/6’7/263) working closer to the box. Both tight ends do see snaps on the edge, so we’ll be watching how Poyer handles that matchup as well. RB Stepfan Taylor (#33/5’11/210) has generated some second-round buzz, but note if his long speed is weaker than most backs that are taken in that area, because his forty time could hold him back.
junior G Josh Andrews (#69/6’2/295)
LB Feti Taumoepeau (#41/6’1/243)
junior CB Rashaad Reynolds (#16/5’10/185)
junior NT Terrence Stephens (#99/6’2/295)
C Sam Schwarzstein (#64/6’3/292)
G Kevin Danser (#76/6’6/298)
Junior CB Terrence Brown (#6/6’1/178)
FB Ryan Hewitt (#85/6’3/238) junior