Watch NFLPA Collegiate Bowl director of college scouting Dane Vandernat discuss some of the marquee matchups for college football in Week eight, along with some prospects that the NFLPA Bowl will be keeping tabs on, as he joined Lorenz Leinweber during ‘The State of Football’ show on Sports Illustrated.
Below are some of the highly contested games that NFL scouts will be sure to pay close attention to this weekend:
Featured Game: SMU at #21 Tulane, Thursday, October 21st, 7:30 pm
SMU comes into this Thursday night showdown with one of the best offenses in the country. Wide receiver Reggie Roberson and tight end Grant Calcaterra have helped them put up 40.7 points per game. Tulane will rely on star-wideout Duece Watts to put up points on their own as they start a tough two-week stretch, with Cincinnati next on their schedule.
Featured Game: Illinois at #7 Penn State, Saturday, October 23rd, 12:00 pm
Illini left tackle Vederian Lowe faces one of the biggest tests of his career, going up against a loaded Penn State defense. The veteran offensive lineman possesses the size and length desired by NFL teams and can boost his draft stock if he can hold up against the likes of Arnold Ebiketie. Linebackers Brandon Smith and Jesse Luketa lead a Nittany Lions defense that has only given up 13.8 points per game.
Featured Game: #8 Oklahoma State at Iowa State, Saturday, October 23rd, 3:30 pm
Jaylen Warren, who has established himself as one of the best runners in the nation this season, will have his work cut out for him against a gritty Cyclones defense that features linebacker Mike Rose and safety Greg Eisworth. If Iowa State can shut down the run game and get the ball to tight ends Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen early and often they could well hand Oklahoma State their first loss of the season.
Featured Game: Tennessee at #4 Alabama, Saturday, October 23rd, 7:00 pm
Nick Saban and company are back in the top four like they never left but they should not underestimate a good Tennessee team. Cornerback Alontae Taylor possesses outstanding play recognition and mental alertness which he will put to good use trying to stop Alabama’s passing attack. Perhaps the Tide will have to rely even more on Brian Robinson to win the game on the ground.
*For more insight on the 2022 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl process, including players who have caught our attention, be sure to tune in to ‘The State of Football’ every Thursday at 9:00 am eastern time, as executive director Dane Vandernat joins Ric Serritella on Sports Illustrated!