Another set of interesting #Pac12AfterDark games this week? Oh and the Ducks are playing too. Go Buffaloes!
#5 USC at Cal 3:30 PM ABC
- The surprisingly undefeated Bears host the Trojans who haven't been living up to their hype. Cal HC and Ducks friend Justin Wilcox has the program rolling thus far into his debut season. The Bears are coming off a great victory over an Ole Miss program that's ready to put up the #SurrenderCobras on the 2017 season. The Trojans are coming off an almost remake of that classic game against Texas from all those years ago. First time since the Aaron Rodgers / Marshawn Lynch regime that both teams are undefeated before facing each other. Can USC stop looking like a disappointment and live up to the hype? Will the Bears pull off the upset?
USC prospects to watch
1. Sam Darnold 6'4 225 QB Junior
- The latest "golden arm" prospect out of the Trojan factory. He has been having a less than start to the 2017 season.. Darnold has shown flashes of why he is considered to be to the top pick in the 2018 draft but not nearly enough for my liking. Physical tools are there but needs to get back to 2016 fundamentals.
2. Cameron Smith 6'2 245 LB Junior
- Smith is a fast twitch linebacker with a great football IQ. Very athletic and fits the mold for modern day linebackers. One of the best LBs in the country. Tackling machine and fundamentally sound. Can play both inside and outside with very little drop off in play.. Lateral agility and burst is undeniable..
3. Iman Marshall 6'0 200 CB Junior
- Very solid in fundamentals. A great athlete that can keep up with the faster receivers in the nation. Ball skills are on point. CB1 potential and then some. Has been a standout ever since he stepped foot on campus. Marshall is the second ranked corner on my board after Alabama's Minkah Fitzpatrick. He's that good.
4. Porter Gustin 6'5 260 DE/LB Junior
- Gustin might be the best edge rusher in the Pac-12 if not the entire country. He's a freak athlete with great measureables. Flashed a lot of talent and potential during the first two years of his career. A defensive end by trade but has enough athleticism to pass for a good outside linebacker in certain situations. Has been having a monstrous 2017 campaign.
Cal prospect to watch
1. Tre Watson 5'9 190 RB Senior
- Watson served as a partner in crime to Tennessee Titan Khalfani Muhammad and will finally get his shot as the main guy in 2017. Like Muhammad before him, Watson is an undersized running back at only 5'9 190 and a terrific athlete. He has prior experience as a return man and is a good receiver out of the backfield. He projects as an UDFA right now but can improve with a great year as the lead back. NFL teams will question his size, however.
#24 Oregon at Arizona State 10 PM Pac-12 Network
- The undefeated and #DoneSomething Ducks travel to sunny Tempe and take on the Sun Devils. This game is Oregon's conference opener after a relatively easy nonconference schedule. The Ducks are coming off a demolition of Josh Allen's draft stock while ASU lost in a shootout with Texas Tech. Can the Ducks keep the spiral of Todd Graham's inevitable career doom going? Can ASU reverse course and rally to save themselves?
Oregon prospect to watch
1. Royce Freeman 5'11 231 RB Senior
- Another game, another Royce Freeman sighting. Strength is a major plus. Lateral agility and footwork are pluses. Has been dominant in 2017. He's close to getting early draft consideration.
Arizona State prospect to watch
1. Kalen Ballage 6'2 227 RB Senior
- Ballage has certainly been around for awhile, hasn't he? He's a big physical bruiser type of back. It can be argued that he is one of the best athletes in the Sun Devil program. An underrated prospect that is one of the best backs in the conference. Above average in the passing game.
UCLA at Stanford 10:30 PM ESPN
- The 2017 Pac-12 disappointment bowl tour stops by in Palo Alto to take in the stunning visuals. UCLA (and UnChosen Rosen) have been abject failures thus far and has made Jim Mora's seat quite toasty. Stanford isn't the Stanford that we know and not love. The Bruins are coming off an upset loss to Memphis while Stanford was "upset" by San Diego State. Which team will show up and play 60 minutes? Will #Pac12AfterDark come into play?
UCLA prospect to watch
1. Josh Rosen 6'4 220 QB Junior
- Rosen has all the physical tools in the world to be a great QB but he has yet to put together a full season of consistent tape. There are also injury questions with him as he missed virtually all of 2016. Has had a terrible 2017 campaign thus far. Looks lost as a prospect and demeanor is that of Jay Cutler when things go south. Like Cutler, throws terrible picks at the worst times. He's a borderline fourth round prospect to me.
Stanford prospects to watch
Stanford prospects to watch
1. Bryce Love 5'10 180 RB Junior
- Love has tailed off somewhat after a pretty good showing in the opener. Has faced a ton of stacked boxes due to Stanford's horrid QB play. A great athlete with plus lateral agility and instincts.
2. Quenton Meeks 6'2 195 CB Junior
- A big physical corner prospect with great speed. A lot of folks have started the Richard Sherman comps already but I see a bit of Xavier Rhodes in his game. Should be an early round prospect due to measureables. Can be a potential CB1 alpha type.
Bonus games to watch
#16 TCU at #6 Oklahoma State 3:30 PM ESPN
- Horned Frogs vs the Mullet. Two high powered offenses. What's not to love?
UCF at Maryland 3 PM Fox Sports 1
- Scott Frost aka the newly named Nebraska head coach against the Turtles. Crabs against Crab Cakes.