CFB 24/7  


Bucky's Best: Top CFB matchups to watch in Week 5


In his weekly Bucky's Best series, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks identifies the must-see matchups of the weekend in college football.

Best matchup in the trenches

Arkansas DE Trey Flowers vs. Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi

Flowers intrigues NFL scouts with his prototypical size and length, but evaluators are still waiting on the 6-foot-4, 268-pound edge rusher to take over the game from his defensive end spot. Although he has shown disruptive potential at times, he has never put together a solid effort against a blue-chip talent to convince scouts that he can be a difference-maker at the next level. Thus, he needs to put a dominant performance on tape against Ogbuehi to convince evaluators that his impact numbers (13 career sacks and 36 tackles for loss) can translate to the next level.

» Predictions for top 10 games of Week 5

Ogbuehi is a standout offensive tackle with the athleticism and length to snuff out defensive ends off the edge. He has quickly settled into the left tackle spot, exhibiting the technical skills to be a franchise player at the position. Against Flowers, Ogbuehi can solidify his case to be considered the No. 1 offensive tackle available in the 2015 draft by dominating the Arkansas standout in a marquee SEC showdown.

Best WR-CB matchup

Stanford WR Ty Montgomery vs. Washington CB Marcus Peters

Montgomery is quickly becoming one of the premier playmakers in the 2015 class. The 6-2, 215-pound senior has scored four touchdowns (2 receiving, 1 rushing and 1 punt return) while displaying exceptional skills as a multi-purpose threat. From his blazing speed as a vertical route runner to his electric running skills on "catch-and-run" plays, Montgomery is a threat to take it the distance whenever he touches the ball in the open field.

» Nine things you need to know about Week 5 in CFB

Against Washington, Montgomery will face one of the top cover corners in college football when he aligns opposite Peters. The 6-0, 190-pound junior is a natural ballhawk with outstanding cover skills. He is a rare breed capable of locking down receivers in press coverage or shadowing pass catchers using "off" technique. With 10 career interceptions in three seasons, the Huskies are counting on their eraser to keep Montgomery from making an impact in the Cardinal passing game.

Best under-the-radar matchup

Cincinnati QB Gunner Kiel vs. Ohio State defense

Kiel, a former five-star recruit, has lived up to the hype since stepping onto the field for the Bearcats. He has connected on 65.8 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Most impressively, Kiel has shown surprising poise, confidence and awareness in the pocket despite his inexperience at the position. Against a Buckeyes defense loaded with NFL-caliber athletes, Kiel will be challenged to fit pinpoint throws into tight windows. If the Bearcats' star can make enough big-time throws to keep his offense on schedule, Cincinnati could pull off a surprising win on the road.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer has always believed in building his squads around an aggressive defense that harasses quarterbacks in the pocket. Led by defensive end Joey Bosa and linebacker Raekwon McMillan, the Buckeyes have notched eight sacks and are steadily improving against the pass. If Meyer can get his front seven to disrupt Kiel's rhythm in the pocket, the Buckeyes' superior talent should overwhelm the Bearcats by game's end.

Most intriguing matchup

Oregon State QB Sean Mannion vs. USC safety Su'a Cravens

The most pro-ready quarterback in college football has flown under the radar for most of the season, but a breakout performance against the Trojans could raise his profile in the NFL scouting community. Mannion enters the game ranked third on the Pac-12's all-time passing list (he currently sits behind Matt Barkley and Carson Palmer with 11,339 yards). He has a polished game and outstanding arm talent. Although he isn't the athletic playmaker that some scouts covet, he's a pinpoint passer adept at picking apart undisciplined defenses.

» Brooks: UCLA's Hundley puts some key questions to rest at ASU

Cravens is the wild card of the Trojans' defense as a hybrid player in the back end. He will play safety, linebacker and nickel corner in selected packages to give the Trojans a dominant presence on the second level. Against the Beavers, Cravens is expected to spend some time at SAM (strong-side linebacker) to disrupt Mannion's rhythm as a passer. Whether it's on blitzes or in coverage, Cravens' play could determine whether the Trojans get back on track with a win against the Beavers.

Best coaching matchup

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier vs. Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel

Brooks: Key matchups to watch
What are the most intriguing Week 4 battles in games across the NFL? Bucky Brooks provides his scouting eye. READ

The Ol' Ball Coach has quickly turned around the Gamecocks' fortunes after a disappointing season-opening loss to Texas A&M. Spurrier has increasingly leaned on a powerful running game and a steadily improving defense to get the Gamecocks back on track. Against a Missouri squad that creates problems with its high-octane offense, the wily head coach might have to shed his gambling ways to rely on a conservative approach designed to keep the ball away from the Tigers.

Pinkel had the Tigers primed to make a run in the SEC East until a hiccup against Indiana last week disrupted the team's momentum. Thus, the energetic head coach must rebuild his young players' confidence while crafting a game plan to knock off a surging heavyweight in a very competitive SEC battle. With a talented quarterback (Maty Mauk) capable of making big plays in the passing game while utilizing a frenetic pace and a dynamic spread offensive scheme, Pinkel can put the pressure on the Gamecocks with his tempo and tactics. Given South Carolina's struggles in the season opener against the Aggies, Pinkel's approach could yield a positive result for the Tigers on Saturday.

Bucky's Beast

Baylor QB Bryce Petty

The Bears routinely produce offensive fireworks with Petty under center, and the unit could light up the scoreboard against Iowa State with a couple of key pass-catchers (Antwan Goodley and Corey Coleman) set to return to the lineup. Petty has certainly made due with unheralded playmakers like KD Cannon, Jay Lee and Lynx Hawthorne making plays, but a fully loaded lineup could help the Heisman hopeful put up ridiculous numbers against an overmatched Cyclones squad.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.



The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop