The spotlight is on Keller Chryst as he gets the nod this weekend of Ryan Burns to make his first start of the season. It is up to him to prove that it is not too little too late, but a trend in the right direction. The biggest challenge facing Chryst is in the pair of corners that Arizona has in Jace Whittaker and Dane Cruikshank, who have combined for 16 of Arizona’s 32 passes defended this season. Christ can run and that will be important in this game, but more important will be his ability to hold in the pocket and let plays develop and not stare down receivers.
Quenton Meeks vs. any wide receiver he faces will be big, especially when the receivers are averaging 17.5 yards a catch, 17 yards a catch and 13 yards a catch at the top three spots. This offense lives on big plays and Meeks shutting down one side of the field while Alijah Holder sits out will be critical. Meeks is a top 10 corner who is physical, reads extremely well and is a ball hawk. Stanford needs him to have a big night.
The biggest matchup, however, is David Shaw vs. Rich Rodriguez. The coaches need to call near perfect games as both offenses are in a lot of flux and both are playing with front sevens that are not what they have been in the past. Now it is a coaching battle to out scheme the problems and injuries to find a win both programs are in desperate need of.
The Rest of College
Utah has amassed 22 sacks on the season, tied for 19th in the country. Now Jake Browning rolls into enemy territory and has to stay upright to keep striking at the Utah defense. A task easier said than done, but he has had a solid running game thus far and hopefully can rely on it this week to help him combat this line.
Dalvin Cook is going up against a mean defensive line as Clemson only lets up 3.3 yards an attempt on the season. If FSU is going to upset the Tigers, they need to establish the run early because this offense is not the same without it. The offense needs the running game to be consistent to find success. Cook needs to continue his dominant roll and show up for the Seminoles.
On the other side, Derwin James remains out for FSU, who has had trouble in the secondary since his injury. Now Mike Williams, Deon Cain, Artavis Scott and Jordan Leggett need to take advantage of this and put up yards on this secondary. Chunk plays will open up he running game as well as helping the momentum of this team that relies on big plays to fuel them.
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