Published October 12, 2012 - 12:00pm
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Pick Six: 6 players to watch Saturday
When week seven ends tomorrow night, more than 50 percent of the season will be in the books. Think about that for a minute. It’s going to be over before you know it.
Here are six players from the SEC to keep an eye on:
1. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee (JR): Bray is currently second in passing yards (1,582) behind Tyler Wilson but has thrown for the most touchdowns (14). However, Tyler Bray has turned the ball over six times – five INTs and one fumble – in two conference losses against Florida and Georgia. Mississippi State has lived off of turnovers this season at +11, and they have two very good future NFL corners in Darius Slay and Johnthan Banks. We can figure these two teams match up rather evenly, and Bray’s ability to protect the football with the game on the line will be key.
2. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (SO): LSU’s offensive line has been shuffled around since the start of the season due to Chris Faulk’s injury, and opponent’s defenses are getting to Zach Mettenberger. There is no better pass rusher in the country than Jadeveon Clowney, and he should be a force for the Gamecocks tomorrow night. Clowney will draw numerous double teams, leaving Devin Taylor and Chaz Sutton a better chance to get to the quarterback, too.
3. Johnthan Banks, DB, Miss State (SR): If you like NFL matchups, tune into Tennessee’s wide receivers against the Bulldogs’ secondary. Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson are future NFL receivers, and Johnthan Banks and Darius Slay are likely future NFL corners. However, Banks is the leader of the secondary, and MSU feels very confident leaving him one-on-one against anyone in the country. Hunter and Patterson are both tall receivers, and Banks matches up well at 6-1.
4. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU (JR): LSU has allowed 15 total sacks. Part of that is due to the shuffling of the offensive line, and part of that is due to Mett holding onto the ball way too long. Offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa started out the Florida game by making short quick passes that looked to get Mett comfortable early. However, the offense went away from those types of calls in the second half. Mett is going to have to prove he can get the ball downfield to his receivers, as LSU is 12th in the SEC in passing averaging 195.7 yards per game. Mett will be key to the LSU offense having success against South Carolina’s defense. If teams are going to attack the Carolina defense, it has to be done through the air in the secondary.
5. Jeff Driskel, QB, Florida (SO): The biggest asset Driskel brings to the table, besides not turning the football over, is his ability to run outside the pocket. He’s the second leading rusher on the team with 46 carries for 149 yards and one touchdown. However, Florida will need a better downfield passing presence against South Carolina and Georgia. Now is the time to get Driskel more comfortable stretching the defense against Vanderbilt. He only attempted 12 passes against LSU, and I look for around 20 against the Commodores.
6. Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M (JR): Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M could turn into a track meet, and therefore, it will be key that Damontre Moore has a big game getting to the quarterback. Tech’s QB Colby Cameron has thrown for over 1,400 yards, 13 touchdowns and no interceptions. The Aggies’ pass rush will be key, led by Moore, to disrupt the quarterback and the running game. I like Texas A&M’s defense to be the difference.