Week 9 College Football Scouting Guide

Game of the Week


#2 Penn State Nittany Lions at #6 Ohio State Buckeyes 2:30 CST on Fox


When Penn State has the ball

Whenever you talk about Penn State the focus will always go to Saquan Barkley (#1 RB) and it will be up to the Buckeye front seven to slow him down. Ohio State’s front seven is loaded with talented defensive lineman that will make it very difficult for the Nittany Lion offensive line. Whether it’s DT’s Dre’Mont Jones (#4 DL) and Tracy Sprinkle or it’s the DE’s Sam Hubbard, Jayln Homes (#12 Edge) or Tyquan Lewis the group will look to penetrate and get to Barkley making him have to stop and change direction hopefully into another defender.

When Barkley is able to get to the second level or go out on passing routes he’ll face off against a linebacking core that has its own top level talent. Barkley is likely to see both MLB Chris Worley (#5 LB) and WLB Jerome Baker (#6 LB) throughout the game. Baker looks and plays a lot like a safety down in the box so he should get most of the reps against Barkley showing off whether he can stick with him in the passing game.

While Barkley is the main focus the Nittany Lions they have just as good of a passing attack which should prevent the Buckeye defense from loading up the box to stop Barkley. Penn State is often in three WRs sets with DaeSean Hamilton, DeAndre Thompkins and Juwan Johnson along with TE Mike Geiscki (#7 TE) to spread defenses out and attack them over all areas of the field. Ohio State has talent in their secondary but will need those young players to step up. The combination of Denzel Ward (#10 CB), Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield at corner while they’ll need SS Damon Webb to step up to help with Geiscki. If Ohio State is able to cover these players with their secondary it may allow them to commit both of their linebackers to stopping Barkley.


When Ohio State has the ball

The basis of the Buckeye’s offense is their run game behind a strong offensive line featuring C Billy Price (#2 C) and LT Jamarco Jones (#6 OT). The strength of the Penn State defensive line lies in their tackles Curtis Cothran and Parker Cothren who will be matched up against Price a regular basis. Price displays quick feet and good leverage that allows him to seal off and even move defenders in the pocket.

Over the past two games the Ohio State passing attack has improved, but they need it to continue if they want to prevent the box from being loaded up and Penn State to go all out to stop the run game. Not only do the Buckeyes need JT Barrett to be on target, but they need big plays out of WR Paris Campbell, Austin Mack and Johnnie Dixon and TE Marcus Baugh. Penn State doesn’t have a lock down secondary but there is plenty of talent with S Marcus Allen (#12 S) and CB Grant Haley.


Top Individual Match Ups


Miami WR Braxton Barrios vs North Carolina CB MJ Stewart

11:00 CST on ESPN2: A big part of the Hurricanes success this year has been the development of receiver Braxton Barrios (#20 WR) and his ability to give QB Malik Rosier a consistent weapon. Barrios is going to remind you of your typical slot receiver being he’s 5’9 and incredibly quick. And while Barrios will work short to intermediate routes he does most of his work downfield. Against the Tar Heels Barrios will likely see plenty of MJ Stewart who plays primarily as the inside nickel cornerback. Stewart uses his short area burst to stick with WRs and has the size to bang and deal make plays at the catch point. This match up should allow us to see how Stewart does working down field and if he has the long speed needed.


Virginia DE Andrew Brown vs Pittsburgh Offensive Line

11:30 CST on ACCN: While Andrew Brown (#17 DL) may not be a household name right now, you’re sure going to hear a lot more about him come Draft Season. Brown is listed as an end in the Cavaliers 3-4 but he is often moved around the front playing both out on the edge and inside shading the guards. Because Brown moves around so much he’ll be facing off against several of the talented Pittsburgh offensive lineman. When Brown lines up on the edge he’ll face off against LT Brian O’Neill and RT Jaryd Jones-Smith. O’Neill is only a junior but is gaining a lot of buzz due to his movement skills. Inside Brown will face off against LG Alex Officer who understands how to use his size to seal off and hold defenders at bay. Brown has a chance to really shoot up draft boards with his versatility and performing well against a good offensive line could really help him.


Notre Dame Offensive Line vs NC State Defensive Line

2:30 CST on NBC: A true heavyweight battle as we see the #8 OT Mike McGlinchey and #1 G Quenton Nelson face off against the #6 DE Bradley Chubb, #10 DE Kentavius Street, #16 DT BJ Hill and DT Justin Jones. At defensive end the combination of Chubb and Street give the Wolfpack to different types of ends to attack McGlincey. Chubb will play the on the short side of the field using his burst and agility off the edge that will test McGlinchey’s lateral agility. On wide side Street is more of a power pass rusher who uses quickness off the line and his power that will test McGlinchey’s anchor and the ability to maintain blocks. Inside at guard Nelson also faces two different types of tackles where Jones is your typical 3 technique penetrator really trying to get upfield while Hill is more of your plugger. Nelson is considered one of the best lineman in this class with a unique blend of size, speed and power. This may be the best completion Nelson will see during the regular season.


UCLA C Scott Quessenberry vs Washington DT Vita Vea

2:30 CST on ABC/ESPN2: While most people may be drawing their attention to how Josh Rosen will do against a good Washington defense the best match up might be right in front of him as his center Scott Quessenberry (#3 C) faces off against NT Vita Vea (#2 DL). At 6’5 335lbs Vea is a massive man, but he’s much more than a space eater showing lateral agility and short area burst to penetrate through the line and wreck opponent’s backfields. At 6’3 295lb Quessenberry is outsized but that is not what his game is built on. Quenssenberry utilizes athletic ability to put himself into position and then gains leverage to occupy and seal off blockers. Facing off against the strong and quick Vea will really test Queseenberry physically but if he’s able to keep him at bay and allow Rosen time to throw it could do wonders to help him get drafted in the first half of the 2018 NFL Draft.

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