As the calendar turns to October, the race to the College Football Playoff is still a wide open race. This week, there are three games featuring top-25 teams facing each other in conference play. One is a top-10 matchup, while another is a pivotal top-five game in the ACC.
With games that may carry huge implications in a couple of months, here are some players Eagles fans should watch for later this afternoon.
1. Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
This week’s opponent: @ South Alabama — 8 p.m. (ESPNEWS)
Here come the players from small schools you may have not heard of. Pumphrey is one of the nation’s best runners, rushing for 599 yards after only three games, including 281 yards and three touchdowns against California three weeks ago. The senior is also fifth in the nation in touchdowns scored with seven. At 5-9, 180, he’s a little undersized than backs such as Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey, but if he bulks up before the NFL Draft, he could be a good choice in a deep running back class.
2. Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
This week’s opponent: vs. No. 3 Louisville — 8 p.m. (ABC)
Williams is one of Deshaun Watson‘s top weapons at wide receiver. The redshirt junior has slowly come back from a broken neck that ended his season early last year, grabbing his first touchdown of the season last week against Georgia Tech. Expect to see a lot more of Williams, along with Artavis Scott and Ray-Ray McCloud Saturday night in Death Valley against Louisville.
3. Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
This week’s opponent: vs. Missouri — 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
White is one of the more established corners eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s following in the footsteps of guys such as Patrick Peterson, Eric Reid, Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu, and current Eagle Jalen Mills. He’s made an impact from the time he stepped foot at LSU. He wears the No. 18 jersey, which is given to the player considered to best exemplify what it means to be a Tiger on and off the field. He has the size to cover some of the best receivers, but needs to improve on his strength and tackling skills.
Game Of The Week: No. 3 Louisville @ No. 5 Clemson — 8 p.m. (ABC)
This matchup puts two of the best quarterbacks in the nation face-to-face with each other in Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Deshaun Watson of Clemson. Jackson and the Cardinals dismantled a Florida State team at home a few weeks ago that was a favorite to reach the College Football Playoff. Can Jackson and the Cardinals have a similar performance in front of the crowd in Death Valley?
Honorable Mentions: No. 22 Texas @ Oklahoma State (Noon, ABC), No. 8 Wisconsin @ No. 4 Michigan (3:30 p.m., ABC), No. 11 Tennessee @ No. 25 Georgia (3:30 p.m., CBS), Oklahoma @ No. 21 TCU (5 p.m., FOX)
Here are the players we’ve previously highlighted:
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
Travis Rudolph, WR, Florida State
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
Desmond King, CB, Iowa
Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee