Which games should you be watching this week? Where are the best match ups? Â Who should you be watching in this random game? We have you covered. Here is a breakdown of the college football action for week 1 including times and channels so you know what to watch, what to DVR and what to be excited for this week in college football.
Players in Action Worth Watching
Boston College WR Alex Amidon vs. Wake Forest, 8pm ESPN2 – Amidon is undersized but a good route runner who is leaves everything out on the field. He just seems to understand how to get open and put himself in position to make plays. He has trouble blocking but he tries and needs to be consistent catching the football.
Wake Forest WR Michael Campanaro vs. Boston College, 8pm ESPN2 – Campanaro is arguably one of the top pure slot receivers in college football. He is quick and shifty and able to create space to catch passes over the middle.
Central Florida QB Blake Bortles and RB Duke Johnson vs. Florida International, 8pm CBS Sports Network – Coming off of a thorough throttling of the University of Akron, Bortles and Johnson look to continue their strong play against the Golden Panthers. Both are underclassmen looking to make names for themselves with a good amount of potential going forward.
Florida at Miami, 12pm ESPN
Key Matchup: Miami OT Seantrel Henderson vs. Florida DL Dominique Easley
Henderson is as talented as any tackle in the country but he is also incredibly inconsistent. His upside is virtually unlimited but what he is going to do one play to the next is unpredictable.
Easley is incredibly athletic and has shown a ton of potential, but he has had a bad habit of playing too high and giving away his leverage. In the bowl game against Louisville, he appeared to make a huge step forward and started playing much lower, resulting in a standout performance. He will need to continue in that vein to have success against the Hurricane offensive line, wherever they put him.
Other Players to Watch
QB Stephen Morris, Miami – Morris looks the part, has a strong arm and really flashes a tremendous amount of ability, but his accuracy was inconsistent last year. If he can improve upon this season, he could make a significant move up draft boards and he is the type of player who could lead the Canes to a sizable upset.
CB Marcus Roberson, Florida – While much of the hype is focused on his freakishly athletic teammate, Loucheiz Purifoy, Roberson was the far more technically proficient corner and looks like he might be ready to take a huge step forward this year.
CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida – Out of this world athleticism with a great build, Purifoy has untold potential but it still has not seemed as though he has found a true position. He has played wide receiver, corner, and safety.
DB Jaylen Watkins, Florida – The lone senior of the defensive backfield, Watkins is not quite as talented in terms of upside as the two junior corners, but he has ability in his own right.
OLB Ronnie Powell, Florida – Powell missed all of last year due to injury, so for some, out of sight, out of mind. Nevertheless, Powell is a terrific player with great measurables to go to the next level as an outside rusher. How he comes back from injury might determine if he decides to stay another season or declare for the draft.
LB Denzel Perryman, Miami – A junior with impressive physical ability for the linebacker position from a school that has an outstanding tradition at the position.
OT Malcome Bunche, Miami – While it is easy to want to watch Henderson, Bunche is no slouch on the other side and has shown a good amount of ability in addition to having terrific size for the position.
WR Trey Burton, Florida – Burton has played quarterback in his time at Florida before they ultimately went with Jeff Driskel. Burton was a dual threat passer and is athletic enough where Florida just has to find ways to put him on the field. Raw as a receiver but there is certainly potential.
South Carolina at Georgia, 4:30pm ESPN
Key Matchup: South Carolina DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Chaz Sutton vs. Georgia QB Aaron Murray
All three of these players had disappointing games in the eyes of many critics and will all be on the field at the same time. Clowney did not have a bad game by any stretch against North Carolina and caused them to completely alter their game plan, but his legend has gotten so absurdly huge, many were not wowed by the performance and there were concerns about his stamina. Sutton was a virtual non-factor.
Murray has to find the fortitude to bounce back after a bad loss to Clemson and find a way to face the pressure of these talented defensive ends and find a way to lead the Bulldogs to a win or Mark Richt’s seat will be absurdly hot (fairly or not) and many will call Georgia’s season finished at 0-2.
Other Players to Watch
TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia – In addition to the fact he will likely be asked to chip on Clowney, Lynch is a talented blocker and effective receiving threat as a balanced tight end. If he can have a big game, it will make a big impact on Georgia’s impact to win this game.
Notre Dame at Michigan, 8pm ESPN
Key Matchup: Notre Dame DE Stephon Tuitt and OLB Prince Shembo vs. Michigan OT Taylor Lewan
Tuitt is most often lined up as a left end so he may not see a ton of Lewan but he will play on the right at times as well. The biggest issue hurting Tuitt is his leverage and pad level. He plays far too high too often which really short circuits his incredible physical ability. When Tuitt is not over there, Shembo is the guy who will likely see the most of Lewan. Shembo looked more suited to be a 4-3 strong side linebacker than a 3-4 outside linebacker last year as his pass rushing ability was relatively average. If he wants to change minds, this is the week to do it.
Lewan has all of the ability to be a terrific left tackle but needs to do it consistently. He will have a good outing against Clowney and then play down to other opponents and get beat up by some marginal opponents. Lewan needs to be a dominant tackle from start to finish.
Other Players to Watch
DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame – Nix is the best player on the Irish defense consistently. While he might not have quite as much potential as Tuitt, he plays at a far higher level over the course of the game. Nix could play as a 3-4 nose tackle but his ability to rush the passer might make him more suited to play a 4-3 nose guard.
CB Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame – While he is relatively average in terms of his physical skills, Jackson is a talented corner and really takes advantage of the pressure the front seven creates. The question for Jackson is how would he fare when that pressure is not there consistently.
QB Devin Gardner, Michigan – From a physical standpoint, Gardner has a ton of potential going forward as a dual threat quarterback. He flashes a ton of ability but still has a lot of work and grooming to do. He needs to avoid the mistakes he had in week 1 if Michigan plans to win this game.
OT Zach Martin, Notre Dame – A fifth year senior, Martin is still slightly undersized for the position but he fights like hell from start to finish, especially in the running game. He is effective with his ability to generate momentum quickly and use it to move opponents off of the line.
OG Chris Watt, Notre Dame – Notre Dame has become a team that has been known for ZBS style linemen for the NFL, but Watt is actually bigger than the Irish have been accustomed.
Other Players in Action Worth Watching
South Florida DE Aaron Lynch vs. Michigan State, 12pm ESPNU – Lynch transferred from Notre Dame, which begs the question what that defensive line would look like with Lynch, Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix. Lynch has terrific ability as a pass rusher with prototypical measurables. If he declares for the draft this year, he could go very, very high.
Illinois OLB Jonathan Brown vs. Cincinnati, 12pm ESPN2 – Brown is one of the lone bright spots on an Illinois team that is struggling to matter in the Big Ten. While his best fit is probably going to be as a weak side linebacker, Brown is not afraid to mix it up and put opponents on the ground.
Oregon DE Taylor Hart vs. Virginia OT Morgan Moses, 3:30pm ABC/ESPN2 – After a relatively unheralded but big Cavalier win over BYU, they look to build upon it against Oregon. While the Ducks are a huge favorite, the intriguing matchup could be big on big as Hart and Moses are both titans along the lines. It remains to be seen how often these two will go against each other, but if they do, it should be good.
Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack vs. Baylor OG Cyril Richardson, 3:30pm – Mack had an outstanding game against Ohio State and looks to continue his press tour by taking on Baylor. Against the Buckeyes, Mack went up against four different members of the offensive line. While he will probably not see much of Richardson, when he does, it should be a good matchup for both sides.
BYU WR Cody Hoffman vs. Texas CBs Carrington Byndum and Quandre Diggs, 7pm ESPN2 – After a disappointing loss to Virginia, BYU looks to bounce back in Provo against the Longhorns. Hoffman is a huge wide receiver who some hit with the label with ‘possession’ against two sleek, fast but still developing Texas corners.
San Jose State QB David Fales and WR Noel Grigsby vs. Stanford, 11pm PAC-12 Network – Fales had a pretty un-Fales like performance against Sacramento State last week. This is the biggest matchup in terms of playing against a top defense in the country. If Fales can play like he did last year, they are a threat to upset which they almost pulled off last year. If Fales continues to struggle, the question will be asked how much he misses his former head coach Mike McIntyre, now at Colorado. Grigsby plays much bigger than he is, has incredibly reliable hands, and knows how to get open. He will need to have a big game if the Spartans are going to win.