Every week during the college football season, NFL clubs deploy scouts to campuses all over the country to make in-person evaluations on draft prospects. Naturally, the bigger games featuring more top prospects tend to draw larger contingents of scouts. Each week, College Football 24/7 brings you a look at the teams credentialed to attend three of the biggest games in college football.
Note: Teams listed to attend are credentialed for the games as of this writing. Lists are subject to change and do not account for NFL-team reps who might be seated outside of the press box.
USC at UCLA
10 clubs attending:Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins.
Details: Saturday, Nov. 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Three top players:USC (WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, CB Adoree' Jackson, LT Chad Wheeler); UCLA (OT Conor McDermott, CB Fabian Moreau, DE Takkarist McKinley).
*Matchup to watch: *USC LT Chad Wheeler vs. UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley. Trojans QB Sam Darnold has led USC's resurgence this season, but it will take a strong effort from Wheeler to keep him upright. And keeping McKinley out of the backfield on running plays will be just as challenging. McKinley's 18 tackles for loss rank No. 1 in the FBS, and his 10 sacks are tied for sixth. Wheeler will counter with a long frame, a quick first step, and polished technique in pass protection.
Florida at LSU
5 clubs attending:Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Details: Saturday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m. ET (SECN)
Three top players:Florida (CB Teez Tabor, CB Quincy Wilson; WR Antonio Callaway); LSU (RB Leonard Fournette, S Jamal Adams, CB Tre'Davious White).
Matchup to watch:Florida WR Antonio Callaway vs. LSU CB Tre'Davious White. With Gators LB Jarrad Davis out with an injury, the must-see Davis-Fournette matchup we would've loved to see gives way to Callaway-White. The only playmaker Florida has on offense that strikes any fear in a defense is Callaway (35 catches, 533 yards). White is LSU's top cover man and an experienced senior who is capable of nullifying Callaway, particularly given UF's troubles at the quarterback position. White, with his quickness in LSU's aggressive man-to-man defense, will likely be all over Callaway on the shorter throws. UF and Callaway will need to test White deep to win this battle.
Louisville at Houston
11 clubs attending:Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.
Details:Houston 36, Louisville 10 (Thursday)
Three top players:Louisville (QB Lamar Jackson, DE Devonte Fields, S Josh Harvey-Clemons); Houston (QB Greg Ward, DT Ed Oliver, CB Howard Wilson).
Matchup to watch: Louisville QB Lamar Jackson vs. Houston LB Steven Taylor. Of course, this college football season has taught us that there is no stopping Jackson, not by entire defenses and certainly not by any one defender. That said, Taylor's role in limiting Jackson will be as big as any Cougars defensive starter. Taylor is an effective blitzer from the inside linebacker position (six sacks) and will no doubt be looked upon to apply some pressure in passing situations. At 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, he's on the small side for an inside linebacker, but against Jackson, his quickness and speed will serve him much better than size. One thing working in Taylor's favor is playing behind a dominant nose guard in freshman Ed Oliver, who can make things easier on Taylor by occupying double teams and freeing Taylor's path to the ball on some of Jackson's designed runs.