No.3 South Carolina @ No.9 LSU
Running Back, Marcus Lattimore is the player I’m most interested in watching for South Carolina. Lattimore tore his ACL last season, and is still trying to return to his pre-injury form. It appears that Lattimore is getting stronger as he has rushed for 229 yards and 3 TD’s the last 2 games. I can’t wait to watch him against LSU’s dominant defense.
Devin Taylor is another player for South Carolina that needs to have a big game. Last year, Taylor had a production ratio of of 1.11 but this year that number has dropped to 0.91. (Production Ratio = (TFL+Sacks)/Games). Taylor has 4 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks this year, but 3.5 of his tackles for loss and all of his sacks came against UAB and Kentucky, the two worst teams on South Carolina’s schedule. I’d like to see more production out of Taylor against higher quality opponents. Jadeveon Clowney is another defensive star to watch for South Carolina but he’s only a Sophomore.
LSU appears to be slightly down this year but they are still loaded with NFL talent. On the offensive line, No. 72 Alex Hurst is the player to watch. Hurst has been the lesser known lineman for LSU due to Chris Faulk but with Faulk out the rest of the season with an injury, Hurst needs to step up. Last week he made his first career start at LT but it wasn’t a great performance for him. Hurst has great size, but he needs to show better quickness if he wants to improve his draft stock. UPDATE: There are reports that Hurst is dealing with personal issues and could miss tonight’s game against South Carolina. There have also been rumors that he quit the team but head coach Les Miles has not confirmed anything.
On the defensive side of the ball is where you find all of LSU’s studs. D-Ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery look to be 1st Round draft picks. Montgomery has a production ration of 1.41 through six games this year. He has 6.5 TFL and 2 sacks. Mingo’s stats are down this year but don’t let that fool you. He’s an extremely gifted player and will most likely be a Top 10 draft pick. Another player on the defensive line that looks to be a 2nd or 3rd Round draft pick is DT, Bennie Logan. Logan is a solid 4-3 Defensive Tackle. He has 3.5 tackles for loss this season.
Inside LB Kevin Minter is a player who is on the rise for LSU after his dominating performance last week against Florida. Minter has 8.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks this season. He’s only a Junior but if he keeps performing like he did last week, you will start seeing his name move up on most people’s draft boards.
Eric Reid is the last player I’ll feature today. He’s the best safety in the 2014 class and could be the first safety selected in the 2013 draft if he declares early. Reid has a ideal size for a safety and he has good speed. He’s definitely a game changer in the defensive backfield.