To start off the weak we see a battle of between a team exceeding expectations and a team falling far below them. Texas heads to Columbus to take on The Ohio State. To end the Night we will see the two new teams in the Big 10, Nebraska and USC face off.
Texas At Ohio State
Texas has rolled out of the gates a lot slower than we are used to seeing from the Longhorns. Despite the cold start and the tough opponent there’s still a lot of reason to feel good about this Texas offense. Walker Mills is currently third in total offensive yards and has seven touchdowns on the year. Scooby Lewis and Ray Conley both only have one touchdown so far but both could go off at any moment. Defensively Texas has always been anchored by Jimbo Smithers and that’s still the case this year. The Senior Safety has 25 tackles on the year and 6 of those are for a loss. Linebacker Howard Cook has also played well with a team high 28 Tackles. Corner Terrence Top and safety Zachary White each have two pass deflections on the season.
Ohio State is led by Frost Carlson. The star at tailback is one of the best in the league and his counterpart, Xavier Garcia-Allen is an elite dual-threat quarterback. The combination of the 2 gives this team one of the most dangerous offenses in the league. Add in receivers Cosmo Woods and Bill Simmons and this offense is outright scary. The Sharks are the heart and soul of this team. Hard-hitting safety Kevin Brackett, alongside corners Juan Cantu and Tom Pence, make this secondary one of the best in the league. They are all very adept in pass coverage and coming down to stop the run. Throw in a Defensive player of the year candidate from a year ago in linebacker Martavis Marriott and this defensive unit is truly one of the best in the league.
Ohio State is looking to avoid their first loss while Texas needs to pick up their first win. Texas is going to have problems throwing or running against the Ohio State defense. If Ohio State can make big plays when they need it and hold this Texas offense to a manageable number this game is theirs to lose.
Texas 20, Ohio State 28
USC aT Nebraska
Dual-threat quarterback Kingston Fox is the catalyst for this USC offense. Tight end Monte Jones is a big target for Fox and has more speed than is expected from the big man. He’s going to have safety Stokely Ferdinand on him for a lot of the night and how that matchup goes will go a long way to deciding who walks out victorious. Receiver Mason Winters has become the deep threat for this team and has done an excellent jobs. Defenses have to make sure he stays in front of them. Cain Robinson is adept at moving the chains and is starting to make a name for himself at tailback. On defense the Trojans strength is their secondary. Safety Aiden Berry and corners Johnathon Greene and Marcellus Burney make this unit tough to throw against. When it comes to running the ball you have to worry about linebacker Xavier Halle. Joined by Benjamin Kaye and Maine Patterson, a lot of teams have struggled with this linebacking unit.
Nebraska currently has the third best passing offense coming into this game. Veteran signal-caller James Kovach have used receiver Blaze Gunner and tight end Hector Garcia to light up opposing defenses. Halfback Dowdy Dowell has averaged 111 yards per game on the ground and has given the Nebraska team another facet to their offense. On defense, book ends Jabril Jackson and Marlon Davis have done great jobs getting to the opposing quarterback. Nebraska is currently third in sacks with 11 on the season. Linebacker Mika Raikkonen has been standout to start the season. He’s keeping opposing tailbacks in check and patrolling the line of scrimmage every snap. With Stokely Ferdinand at safety, this defense is a very formidable unit.
Both of these teams feature very balanced and versatile offenses but I think the winner will come down to who’s defense makes the biggest plays. If Nebraska can use their defensive ends to get to Fox and Raikkonen can help stop their run game then the Cornhuskers can start conference play undefeated.
USC 31, Nebraska 41