Week 1 of the college football campaign welcomed plenty of surprises and standout performances from the nation’s elite. The Week 2 schedule promises a repeat performance.
Several ascending talents will square off head-to-head. Iron sharpens iron, and we’ve identified three player-versus-player matchups worth monitoring this weekend in college football.
TEXAS WR XAVIER WORTHY VS. ALABAMA CB KOOL-AID MCKINSTRY
The 11th-ranked Texas Longhorns travel to Tuscaloosa to face off with the No. 3-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Their impending showdown is undeniably the matchup to watch in college football Week 2. Several draft-eligible talents will take the field. The face-off between Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy and Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry is especially worth watching.
Worthy was outstanding in Texas’ 37-10 Week 1 dusting aside of Rice. Worthy recorded team-highs in receptions (7) and receiving yards (90) while seeing 10 targets from quarterback Quinn Ewers. The challenge will be significantly greater against Alabama and McKinstry.
McKinstry is a smooth cornerback that’s extremely competitive at the catch point. The Birmingham native is viewed as the favorite to be the first cornerback selected in the 2024 NFL Draft thanks to easy movement skills, physicality, and press-coverage tendencies. McKinstry, who at times allows receivers to stack him vertically, will be tested by Worthy’s long speed.
COLORADO CB TRAVIS HUNTER VS. NEBRASKA WR MARCUS WASHINGTON
Colorado phenom Travis Hunter was outstanding in the Buffaloes’ shocking Week 1 upset over the previously No. 17-ranked TCU Horned Frogs. A two-way talent, Hunter totaled an astounding 129 snaps at cornerback and wide receiver. At cornerback, Hunter amassed three total tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup. Hunter’s interception showcased rare positional instincts and high level football IQ.
Hunter and Deion Sanders’ Buffaloes will attempt to keep that momentum going against a Nebraska program that suffered an extremely disappointing 13-10 defeat to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The challenge for Matt Rhule’s Cornhuskers is larger than it initially seemed. It appears the entire nation underrated Colorado entering the season, and understandably so.
If Nebraska’s offense is to bounce back, they’ll require better performances from quarterback Jeff Sims and wide receiver Marcus Washington. Sims threw for just 114 yards and three interceptions in his Cornhuskers debut. He rarely connected with No. 1 receiver Marcus Washington, who caught just three balls for 31 yards. The matchup versus Hunter couldn’t be worse for Washington.
MIAMI DT LEONARD TAYLOR III VS. TEXAS A&M OG LAYDEN ROBINSON
Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Leonard Taylor III was extremely productive throughout his first two seasons of college football. The local native finished his 2022 sophomore campaign with 24 total tackles while leading his defense in the tackles for loss (10.5) category. Yaylor added 3.0 sacks, one interception, and six quarterback pressures to his defensive totals.
Taylor remains a raw product from a technical perspective, but his explosiveness and power make for a difficult assignment opposite interior blockers. This weekend’s matchup with Texas A&M guard Layden Robinson will be one of the stiffest matchups of Taylor’s career. Robinson possesses terrific strength in core and lower half, and plays with heavy hands in pass protection.
- Sep 29, 2023
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