Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack wasn't exactly an unknown entering the 2013 season, having earned first-team All-MAC and All-America honorable mention recognition the last two seasons. But after a dominant performance in the Bulls' loss at Ohio State, Mack is the toast of college football and NFL evaluators alike.
Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said Mack "manhandled some guys" while posting nine tackles, 2.5 sacks -- most in the FBS on opening weekend -- and returning an interception 45 yards for a touchdown. Mack also had a sack and forced fumble overturned by penalty.
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"His stock in the draft just went up a little bit after playing against us," Meyer told reporters on Monday. Mack "is a fantastic football player. I mean, he could play anywhere at any school in America."
"He's definitely different," Briles said on the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday. "He's a guy that you certainly have to account for from an offensive standpoint. He's very dynamic. I've seen where he's been rated as the No. 2 linebacker in America this year so he sticks out. As soon as you put the film on -- we started watching yesterday -- it takes about one play to figure out who their guy is. I mean, he's it. He's good. He's earned his reputation and plays extremely well."
The Bears host Buffalo in front of a national television audience on Saturday, when Mack should have plenty of opportunities to show off his playmaking abilities against the Baylor spread offense and star running back Lache Seastrunk.