Let's #DoSomething and watch one important game while waiting for nonconference #Pac12AfterDark to kick off!
Nebraska at Oregon 4:30 PM FOX
- The Ducks get to host the Huskers and an old friend in Mike Riley. Oregon did not #DoSomething (play defense) last year in Lincoln and lost as a result in a heartbreaker. Nebraska is coming off a win over coaching hotbed Arkansas State. The Ducks had a rather beneficial tune up victory over hapless Southern Utah. After an abysmal showing last year, the Oregon defense seems improved, shutting out SUU in the second half. Yeah, the detractors will say it's a no name barely existing FCS team but to have full engagement throughout is a positive step. Oregon's offense last week had fans harkening back to the glorious Chip years (which seems lifetimes ago but it wasn't THAT long ago). Can the Ducks continue the momentum rolling against a much tougher opponent? Will the Huskers repeat last year's performance? Also, my thoughts and prayers go out to the state of Oregon suffering the effects from a devastating fire caused by a group of ignorant and foolhardy teenagers.
Nebraska prospect to watch
1. De'Mornay Pierson-El 5'9 195 WR Senior
- It seems like he's been in Lincoln for about 10 years but finally is a senior. All jokes aside, he is the most accomplished receiver for the Huskers. Talent is not a question but the injury history is. He hasn't fully recovered from a 2015 knee issue and missed some time last year. A versatile athlete that can also return kicks. Above average route runner. NFL teams will also question his size at the next level.
Oregon prospects to watch
1. Royce Freeman 5'11 231 RB Senior
- He did Royce Freeman things against SUU and looks to be back to being Rolls-Royce. Strength is a major plus. Lateral agility and footwork are pluses. Back on the radar for scouts like he never left. Still has those elite vision and instinct skills even after rough year last season. Stock is definitely trending up.
2. Arrion Springs 5'11 205 CB Senior
- Let's just say that Springs did not get off to the best of starts in 2017, flashing the inconsistencies of 2016. Needs a positive game in the worst way possible. I still have the hope that the coaching staff will get the best out of him as the season is still young.
3. Tyrell Crosby 6'5 310 OT Senior
- Played like one of the best tackle prospects in the country last week. Bit of a revenge game for him as he was injured versus the Huskers last year.
#14 Stanford at #6 USC 8:30 PM FOX
- The Cardinal took a week off to recuperate after traveling to Australia to beat Rice in a convincing 62-7 fashion. USC had a fight on their hands with the Broncos of Western Michigan, who aren't rowing the boat anymore. Nor Cal vs. So Cal. Stanford has dominated the series as of late, winning the past 8 of 11 contests between these two programs. The Cardinal have won three straight in the series. Fun fact: it is the ten year anniversary of that upset Cardinal win over the heavily favored Trojans squad. One could say that it was the final nail in the coffin for those great USC teams in the early to mid 2000s. I'm sure an individual residing in the Midwest that loves wearing khakis more than coaching football will likely have more than a fleeting interest in this game. If only to needle a former coaching rival that allegedly unwittingly brought down those dynastic Trojans.
Stanford prospects to watch
1. Bryce Love 5'10 180 RB Junior
- Love had a dominant game two weeks ago in Aussie. Flashing all the tools required of a running back ready to make Stanford fans forget about Christian McCaffery.. A former four star recruit that patiently waited for his turn. A great athlete with plus lateral agility and instincts.
2. Quenton Meeks 6'2 195 CB Junior
- NFL scouts will be salivating to be able to watch Meeks in person. 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.
USC prospects to watch
1. Sam Darnold 6'4 225 QB Junior
- The latest "golden arm" prospect out of the Trojan factory. He had a less than impressive season debut last week against Western Michigan. Has all the physical tools to make it in the league. Really blew up on the national spotlight in 2016 after leading USC to an impressive finish. It is undecided whether or not if he will go pro early at this juncture. It is my opinion that he needs to return as the track record for NFL QBs with less than two years starting experience is well, not good.
2. Cameron Smith 6'2 245 LB Junior
- Smith is a grizzled college football veteran after having a sensational start to his career as a freshman. 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. Injury history is muddled after suffering a knee problem in freshman season. Lateral agility and burst is undeniable. Should be a first round pick if he declares early. Compares to Carolina Panthers standout Luke Keuchly.
3. Iman Marshall 6'0 200 CB Junior
- If you look closely, "Biggie" was the better cornerback prospect than current Tennessee Titan Adoree Jackson and Jackson was a first round pick. 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.
Bonus games to watch
Minnesota at Oregon State 10:00 PM Fox Sports 1
- Rowing the Boat...on 10,000 lakes against the very creature that loves to prevent that sort of thing.
Utah at BYU 10:15 PM ESPN2
- The Holy War. 2017 version. Our friend RavenousUte will be staying up to watch this game one would assume. Lots of #Pac12AfterDark potential on this one if BYU can find an offense that can cross the 50 yard line. Utah DL Lowell Lotuleilei is the prospect to watch in this one.
Boise State at #20 Washington State 10:30 PM ESPN
- Over/Under on pass attempts has been set at 200 combined. Can the blue turfers stop standout Cougars QB Luke Falk enough to win? Wazzu is due for an early Coug'd it game after avoiding it to start the season.
Houston at Arizona 10:30 PM ESPNU
- Houston DT Ed Oliver is one to watch. He good. Only sophomore but is good enough for the pros right now. Rich Rod in a tight contest with Arizona State's Todd Graham for the dishonor of being the first coach to get fired in the state of Arizona. Good times.
San Diego State at Arizona State 11 PM PAC12 Network
- SDSU travels to sunny Tempe to compare notes and possibly commiserate with their Sun Devil brethren on having less than ideal stadium situations. The only problem, will anyone watch it since Pac12 Network is uh, not readily available to everyone?