College Football 2022 Week 11: Matches and Players to Watch

College Football 2022 Week 11: Matches and Players to Watch

Hello New York Giants fans!

Happy Saturday and welcome to week 11 of the 2022 college football season. We’re just halfway through the NFL season, but it’s the home stretch of the college season. Not only are rivalry games starting to heat up, but the college football playoff race has been absolutely wild over the past few weeks.

Georgia is back at the top of the AP Top 25 after their 14-point win over former No. 1 Tennessee. But on the contrary, it brought some order to the chaos. The real upset came when 10th-placed LSU passed sixth-placed Alabama. The win effectively made the LSU team spoiler two-game losing streak and eliminated Nick Saban’s team from the hunt for the playoffs. Making things even more eventful, unranked Notre Dame beat fourth-placed Clemson 35-14, likely knocking their out of the playoffs as well.

As of this writing, the top four ranked teams are:

  1. Georgia
  2. ohio state
  3. Michigan
  4. TOS

Will we see more upheaval today? What will the university landscape look like after this evening is over?

(7) LSU at Arkansas

ESPN – noon

We’ve already talked a lot about LSU this year, and their team is definitely worth watching. Brian Kelly seems to have (finally) hit his stride after stumbling out of the gate — which wasn’t a great look considering the buzz videos LSU aired during the offseason.

The Tigers have plenty of future NFL players on their roster and should be well represented in the first two days of the draft.

Instead, I want to take a moment and talk about Arkansas. The Giants showed a willingness to think outside the box in last year’s draft, and the Razorbacks didn’t have a lot of talk compared to the rest of the SEC.

We’ll start up front with the strength of the Arkansas team: the offensive line. Center Ricky Stromberg is likely to be one of the best centers in the upcoming draft and he is certainly among the most experienced linemen to come. Stromberg has started 41 games so far and he has solid size (6-foot-4, 315 pounds), athleticism and football IQ for the position at the NFL level. Right guard Beaux Limmer, a redshirt junior, has started 25 games over the past three seasons. He’s more athletic than Stromberg at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, and Limmer generally plays with good technique and mechanics to minimize the impact of his size at the guard post.

Given how much Wink Martindale likes to use DBs, Giants fans should probably pay attention to S Jalen Catalon as well. Linebackers Drew Sanders and Bumper Pool (who is a definite All-Name Team nominee) are also worth watching.

Nebraska to (3) Michigan

ABC – 3:30 p.m.

The game between ninth-ranked Alabama and 11th-ranked Ole Miss (CBS – 3:30 p.m.) is definitely the biggest game on the schedule, and I don’t blame anyone who prefers to watch this game. However, we haven’t talked much about Michigan yet this season.

Michigan became a buzz last year, powered by an absolutely fierce defense. And while they don’t have talent like Aidan Hutchinson, David Ojabo or Dax Hill this year, they’re probably a more complete team overall.

Starting left tackle Ryan Hayes is expected to return to the lineup after missing last week due to injury. Hayes is expected to be a lift during the draft process thanks to his length (6-foot-7 with long arms) and his track record as a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, and baseball) in high school. Linemate Olusegun Oluwatimi is another smart and highly experienced center who could be of interest to the Giants in the middle rounds.

DT Mazi Smith will almost certainly attract a lot of attention over the next few months. He tops Bruce Feldman’s annual “Freaks List” and has, well, frightening power and agility. He’s recorded with 22 reps at 325 (not a typo), as well as a 33-inch, 9-foot-4 vertical jump. 12 thumb wide jump. His short shuttle times of 4.41 seconds and 6.95 seconds on 3 cones would have been the fastest at the NFL Scouting Combine last year. He did it all at 6-foot-3 and 337 pounds.

The most interesting potential matchup might be between Michigan CB DJ Turner and Nebraska WR Trey Palmer.

Turner isn’t the elite size at 6-foot-185, but he does have certified elite athleticism. It was timed on GPS with a 40-yard dash of 4.28 seconds (top off at 23.07 mph) and a 3-cone drill of 6.29 seconds. Palmer, a transfer from LSU, has the speed to test Turner. Palmer is a high school track star who won state titles in the 100 and 200 meters, and also set a state record in the 200 meters.

(4) TCU at (18) Texas

ABC – 7:30 p.m.

Just like the previous timeslot, I wouldn’t blame anyone who decides to watch the showdown between (6) Oregon and (25) Washington (Fox – 7:30 p.m.).

But I want to take the time to talk about TCU, which no one expected to be able to land a ticket to the college football playoffs. Texas is building a great team and RB Bijan Robinson might be the most exciting runner to come out since Saquon Barkley. This should be a very good test for horned frogs.

TCU’s top draft-eligible players also play in positions of need (or at least interest) for the Giants.

The big question will probably be whether WR Quentin Johnston will play. Johnston struggled with a “lower body” injury and left last week’s game against Texas Tech. He is widely considered TCU’s best player and may have the best upside of any wide receiver in the 2023 draft. Johnston is tall, long, strong, quick and surprisingly nimble for his height. His presence would be huge for TCU’s offense, and he could be a player targeted by the Giants in the draft process to compliment Wan’Dale Robinson.

Center Steve Avila is another tall, powerful, smart, experienced and versatile lineman. The Giants would probably consider him a central prospect, but he also has the ability to line up at guard. The Giants obviously favor versatility in their offensive linemen, and Avila’s ability to fill all three iOL positions would increase his value.

Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson is a very athletic undersized cornerback with experience in man and zone schemes. Despite his height (5-foot-9, 177 pounds), he’s comfortable in the coverage of reporters and doesn’t back down from the biggest receivers. He has plenty of speed and agility to get in – and stay – in tune with receivers throughout their routes, as well as closing the window of coverage. Its size (or lack thereof) will likely cause NFL evaluators to call it the “corner only slot” at the next level.

Fellow CB Noah Daniels has the size, athleticism and physique to stay outside at the NFL level. He’s much closer to the NFL archetype at 6 feet, 195 pounds and would have run a 40-yard dash in the low 4.4. Daniels has the fluidity to stay with receivers in men’s coverage, as well as the quickness to recover when needed.

His big question — and why he might slip into the draft — is about health. Daniels lost his 2019 season to a shoulder injury and all but four games of his 2020 season to a torn ACL. He has starting ability and Daniels could become a steal for the right team.

Other games to watch

  • (9) Alabama at (11) Ole Miss (CBS – 3:30 p.m.)
  • (22) UCF at (17) Tulane (ESPN2 – 3:30 p.m.)
  • (25) Washington at (6) Oregon (Fox – 7 p.m.)
  • (19) Kansas State at Baylor (FS1 – 7 p.m.)
  • (23) Florida State at Syracuse (ACC Network – 8 p.m.)
  • Stanford at (13) Utah (ESPN – 9 p.m.)
  • Arizona at (12) UCLA (Fox – 10 p.m.)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *