It feels like the season just started yet here we are at week 13, the last of the regular season. It may be the last week but it is rivalry week, giving us some of the games we look forward to all season long. Unfortunately there were some good ones yesterday but the some of the best were saved for today. Teams have a chance to get a year of bragging rights but more importantly there are championship games on the line and the possibly the last opportunity to extend the season for one more game for many teams, also meaning it could be the last game for several NFL prospects.
Week 12 Top Performers
Offense: WR Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
There hasn’t been much talk about players outside the power five conferences but what Andy Isabella did against one of them last week was incredible. Going against the Georgia Bulldogs, nobody expected a game but Isabella did everything in his power to change that, reeling in 15 catches for 219 yards for two touchdowns in the 66-27 loss. Playing at Massachusetts he doesn’t get too much exposure against top tier competition but with this performance it will be hard to use that argument against him as he proved he can do it, against a top SEC team nonetheless. The 5’10 receiver will be an interesting player to keep an eye on leading up to the draft, especially if he goes to Mobile for the Senior Bowl in January.
Defense: S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
The senior safety is one of the other guys in the Bulldog defense playing behind Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat, but he had the best week 12 of the three. In the win against Arkansas he had 12 total tackles including 1.5 sacks another two tackles for loss and both a forced fumble and recovery. This was the best game for the Senior Bowl invitee who looks to become one of the first safeties taken in the upcoming draft. One of the big takeaways from his junior season was that he missed a lot of tackles but seeing him have 12 in the game is a big positive for him. If he can round out his tackling skills to go along with his great athleticism and instincts, there is no reason as to why he isn’t one of the top players at his position.
Week 13 Players to Watch
LT Martez Ivey and RT Jawaan Taylor, Florida (vs. Florida State, 12:00pm on ABC)
There are two players two watch on this offensive line all in part to their opposition. Florida State’s edge rusher Brian Burns has had a tremendous season racking up 10 sacks this season. He will be the best talent either of these two have gone against all season long. Burns has a ton of speed off the edge with a variety of pass rushing moves, making this a great opportunity for Ivey and Taylor to show how they match up against a potential future first round pick. Martez Ivey is the bigger name as he was a highly rated recruit but it’s Jawaan Taylor who seems to be getting more talk for the next level. They have both had legitimate trouble against speed on the outside, making this particular matchup a very important ne for both Gator linemen.
EDGE Christian Miller, Alabama (vs. Auburn, 3:30pm on CBS)
All across Alabama’s defense there are potential first round selections but one player who doesn’t get enough recognition is Christian Miller. Injuries have derailed Miller’s collegiate career for the most part but in his redshirt senior season he has shown up recording seven sacks. He has great burst off the edge who can win with speed and good length at 6’4. A question that could potentially pop up is how much of his production was actually him. Playing alongside Quinnen Williams, Isaiah Buggs and Raekwon Davis, you can only wonder if Miller is just benefitting from a great situation. These last few games will be great for NFL teams to see as much tape on him as possible as he has already missed so many.
Week 13 Games to Watch
#4 Michigan at #10 Ohio State (12:00pm on FOX)
The best rivalry in college sports helps finish off the end of the 2018 regular season. There is so much on the line for both teams as a loss will ultimately kick them out of all contention for the college football playoffs. Since starting the cheat sheet, both teams have been talked about at great length but Michigan’s defense, particularly their defensive line will be the talk of the game later today. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins has had his troubles against pressure and Michigan sure will bring a lot of it. Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary will look to be trouble all game long and there is no reason to think they won’t succeed in doing so.
The Ohio State team has been struggling in the second half of the season, barely beating Maryland in overtime last week. Expect to see them try to run the ball early and often and it’s almost a guarantee they rely on the short passing game. Whether it’s running back JK Dobbins, or wide receivers KJ Hill and Parris Campbell, there will be several chances for them to make plays from around or behind the line of scrimmage. It will be up to the guys in the back seven like Devin Bush, Lavert Hill and David Long not to give up those big plays after the catch.
#7 LSU at #22 Texas A&M (7:00pm on SEC Network)
LSU is currently on the outside looking in of the college football playoffs and really needs a lot of help if they have any chance at all. The only thing they can do is focus on themselves and defeat the Aggies in one of the best home fields in all of college football. There will be some big matchups within the game that are very intriguing for players with NFL aspirations.
On the Aggies offense they have two players in running back Trayveon Williams and tight end Jace Sternberger, both of whom have been talked about in the past. Both have had outstanding seasons to date and this will be one of the tougher matchups for each. LSU safety Grant Delpit will play a pivotal role but it is their linebacker Devin White who will be the key player in stopping both players as he will be asked to fill gaps and run sideline to sideline in the running as well as likely having to cover both players at times in the passing game. White should be a first round player regardless of how the game goes but for the other two, this could be a huge boost for their resume.
Top 5 Cornerbacks
Greedy Williams, LSU
Byron Murphy, Washington
Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
DeAndre Baker, Georgia
Bryce Hall, Virginia