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College football games, players to watch: Quarterbacks on the menu

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Games and players to watch this week in college football

NCAA Football: Portland State at Oregon Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday everyone, and welcome to Week 4 of the college football season!

Is it hard to believe that, somehow, we’re roughly a quarter of the way through college’s regular season? As we’re starting to get into the meat of the college schedule, we have a good slate of games today including some teams we have yet to talk about. The New York Giants haven’t had anything like the start to their season they would have liked, and have many questioning the decision to draft Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback. This week we have several matchups involving quarterbacks in whom the Giants could be interested if they want to bring in competition for Kyle Lauletta. That, as well as plenty of high-profile prospects in games that could be good scouting tape.

So, what are we waiting for?

Let’s get to the games!

(2) Georgia at Missouri

ESPN - Noon

This game is going to boast a bevy of future NFL players, but the top prospect is the one who won’t be on draft boards come the spring of 2019. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is one of the top quarterback prospects in the country with NFL size, arm strength, accuracy, and football IQ. Perhaps most importantly, he has been in big situations since his little league team fell just short of representing the Unite States in the Little League World Series.

Missouri has a quarterback of their own who is drawing scouts’ more immediate attention. Drew Lock has every measurable trait that gets scouts excited, and is in the conversation to be a top-10 pick in April. With his size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), quick-twitch athleticism, and plus arm strength, he has drawn comparisons to Josh Allen and Carson Wentz. But, like Allen, Lock struggles with accuracy and consistency in the passing game. That is concerning, but scouts will invariably be drawn to his physical abilities, and there will be plenty of coaches who will be convinced that they can fix the consistency issues in his game.

Players to watch

Georgia

  • Jake Fromm (QB)
  • Deandre Baker (CB)
  • Terry Godwin (WR)
  • J.R. Reed (S)
  • D’Andre Walker (DE)

Missouri

  • Drew Lock (QB)

(3) Clemson at Georgia Tech

ABC - 3:30 p.m.

We haven’t talked about Clemson much this year, but they once again figure to be heavy-hitters in the College Football Playoff picture. Powered by one of the most talented defensive fronts in all of college football, Clemson is fun to watch and should be in every game they play. The Clemson roster is replete with not just future NFL players, but players who figure to be highly drafted.

Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins in particular could have declared for the draft following the 2017 season and would have been drafted on the first day, but opted to return to school and keep the talented defensive line together for another run at a championship.

The Tigers should beat Georgia Tech, but they very well could have their hands full with the Yellow Jacket’s triple-option offense. The triple option is rare to see outside of games involving the military academies, but it has proven to be an excellent way for GT to maximize its limited talent pool.

Players to watch

Clemson

  • Clelinn Ferrell (DE)
  • Christian Wilkins (DT)
  • Dexter Lawrence (DT)
  • Albert Huggins (DT)
  • Trayvon Mullen (CB)
  • Isaiah Simmons (S)
  • Mitch Hyatt (OT)

Georgia Tech

  • Parker Braun (OG)

(7) Stanford at (20) Oregon

ABC - 8 p.m.

It is somewhat rare for those of us on the east coast to see these two west coast teams playing this early in the day, especially against each other. This should be an exciting game, pitting one of the top quarterback prospects against the nation’s best scoring defense.

Oregon’s Justin Herbert is that quarterback, and like Lock possesses intriguing measurables. At 6-6, 230 pounds (school measurements), he is a big, strong quarterback with the arm to fire the ball down the field or into tight windows, or throw down the field with touch. He also has the athleticism to make a defense regret giving him space as a runner.

Stanford fields one of the best defenses in the nation, but they don’t have many highly regarded prospects in this year’s draft. Stanford’s top prospect will likely be running back Bryce Love, who returns from a knee injury this week. Love could have declared for last year’s draft, and would have been highly drafted coming off an impressive 223-carry effort that saw him score 19 touchdowns and average 8.1 yards per carry. Instead he returned to school, but has yet to match the offensive production from his sophomore and junior seasons. He’ll hope to get his season on track this season against Oregon.

Players to watch

Stanford

  • Bryce Love (RB)
  • Nate Herbig (OL)
  • Devery Hamilton (OT)
  • Jesse Burkett (OC)
  • J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR)
  • Kaden Smith (TE)
  • Alijah Holder (CB)

Oregon

  • Justin Herbert (QB)
  • Jalen Jelks (EDGE)