Talking about Sam Darnold and Luke Falk from Friday night sounds ideal. However, there’s a lot more to week 5 than just a quarterback duel. Darnold is considered by many as the top quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft and Falk has some serious upside. With that being said, let’s jump into some of the match-ups that will display some of the premier talent for the 2018 NFL Draft!
Georgia (#7) @ Tennessee
This game will be a running back matchup for everyone. The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked 7th in the country but they always seem to slip-up. Will this be the game? The Tennessee Volunteers bring in John Kelly who is quietly turning heads across scouting departments. Through four games on the season, Kelly has 450 yards on 81 carries and six touchdowns. That’s an average of 112.5 rushing yards per game but Georgia is no slouch at stopping the run.
The Bulldogs have the 18th ranked rush defense and are only allowing 97.5 yards per game. Kelly will have to be at his best if he wants to have the same impact he’s had for the Vol’s through four games. Offensively, the Bulldogs have potentially the best running back duo in the country. Between Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, the Bulldogs should move the ball effectively on the ground. Mainly because the Volunteers are ranked 117th in the country in rushing defense. It’s incredible that an SEC defense is allowing 242.3 rushing yards per game but they are. Chubb and Michel should feast on every opportunity in this game.
Sony Michel will be nursing an ankle injury but has 192 yards on 36 carries this year. He should be the change of pace back the Bulldogs are looking for. Meanwhile, Nick Chubb will set the tone. Let’s not forget that two years ago, Chubb had a gruesome knee injury against Tennessee. Will he seek revenge?
Chubb, is already on pace for 1,000 rushing yards and it’s due to his 371 yards on 59 carries this year. Yes, that’s correct. 6.3 yards per carry and well over 100 yards per game. He should have no issues going over that in this game. Expect a running back fiasco at 3:30pm EST between Georgia and Tennessee.
Coming Out Party?
Will this be the week that Kalen Ballage finally steps up and looks elite? I was incredibly high on Ballage going into the year but man, what a disappointment thus far. He only has 226 yards on 61 carries this year. That’s only 56.5 yards per game and he’s easily a back that can get close to 100 yards per game, if not more. Clearly, the Sun Devils aren’t utilizing their top offensive weapon properly or he’s off to a down year. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he should no longer be featured in a wildcat formation. Line him up behind the quarterback and let him do work.
Arizona State plays at Stanford and there should be no reason to why Ballage can’t have a coming out party. The Stanford Cardinal are far from what they used to be. With two losses in the record column, they’re clearly beatable. One of the biggest reasons to why they have those losses are because of Sam Darnold and Rashaad Penny. We all know who the quarterback for USC is, but what about Penny? He’s a thick-framed running back out of San Diego State and ran all over Stanford, two weeks ago. The senior running back had 175 yards on 32 carries for a touchdown against the Cardinal.
How can Ballage not run all over Stanford? They are ranked 94th in the country in stopping the run and are allowing 183.5 yards per game. You’d have to say that this should be the first 100 yard game for Ballage during the 2017 season but there’s only one way to find out. By tuning into the Pac-12 network at 4pm EST and seeing what unfolds between Arizona State and Stanford.