Week 1 College Football Preview

Week 1 of College Football is finally here! Hussam Patel gives his top three game previews and games that you need to watch.

Week 1 of the 2022 college football season is finally here. Here are the top three Week 1 college football games you need to watch, and a preview of each.

Arkansas vs. Cincinnati preview

#23 Cincinnati Bearcats v #19 Arkansas Razorbacks. 3:30 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Arkansas -7, o/u: 52

Cincinnati Week 1 College Football Preview

There might be big talent losses in several areas, but the offensive front is loaded with all-stars and veterans, and it should be among the best in the nation at keeping defenses out of the backfield

Coach Luke Fickell’s comments raise some alarms heading into the Razorbacks stadium. He admitted that the Bearcats are not suited to play against a loud SEC home crowd.

Cincinnati lost a talented quarterback in Desmond Ridder, can they replace his production week 1 against the Razorbacks?

The biggest key in winning this top 25 matchup in week 1 for the Bearcats is containing Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson.

Arkansas Week 1 College Football Preview

Razorbacks quarterback K.J. Jefferson was good last year; however can he be special against a good defense in the Cincinnati Bearcats in week 1?

Without a doubt, Jefferson will be the key for the Razorbacks. Furthermore, their running game should help him out. The team led the SEC in rushing.

The passing efficiency should be there against a revamped Cincinnati secondary that lost a slew of NFL talents. With the loss of Treylon Burks to the NFL, coach Pittman wants to see how good receiver Drew Sanders can be. 

Utah vs. Florida preview

#7 Utah Utes v Florida Gators. 7 P.M. EST, ESPN

  • Line: Utah -2.5, o/u: 53.5

Utah Week 1 College Football Preview

Linebacker Devin Lloyd might be gone, but former Gator Mohamoud Diabate is a good one to try helping the cause. 

The defensive front will once again be a killer in the backfield, and the tackles are massive human beings who’ll gum up the works.

Head coach Kyle Whittingham brings a veteran, disciplined team against the Gators in Week 1. The Utes are led by standout QB Cam Rising, who threw for 2,493 yards and 20 touchdowns to five interceptions, along with 74 rushes for 499 yards and six touchdowns.

Florida Week 1 College Football Preview

Gainesville’s own Anthony Richardson, with his superb athleticism and arm, is the face of the team as its quarterback. Richardson’s supporting cast is full of returning players. 

Head coach Billy Napier squares off against a top-10 team in Week 1 as his first game as the Gators coach. Napier brings along a few of the good parts from Ragin’ Cajun days; the offensive line really will be a strength, and the running back situation is about as deep as any in the SEC.

The Gators will have to rely on a good rotation on the defensive front and return top NFL draft prospects in Brenton Cox Jr., Gervon Dextor, and Jason Marshall Jr.

Florida’s run defense has to prove it can be night-and-day better than it was last season, as Patrick Toney is in charge of the defense this season.

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State preview

#5 Notre Dame at #2 Ohio State. 7:30 P.M. EST, ABC

  • Line: Ohio State -16.5, o/u: 58.5

Notre Dame Week 1 College Football Preview

New head coach Marcus Freeman’s biggest test is right out of the gates Week 1 against last year’s college football finalist Ohio State. No pressure, Marcus.

It’s the debut of new quarterback Tyler Buchner. Notre Dame needs to establish a running game that is much more effective than that in order to support Buchner. Furthermore, stud tight end Michael Mayer will be targeted most of the game due to an injury sustained by wide receiver Avery Davis.

Al Golden is the new defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. Will he and his secondary hold up against a talented trio of another batch of Buckeye receivers in Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Emeka Egbuka?

Notre Dame fills the loss of Kyle Hamilton with Northwestern transfer Brandon Joseph, and eyes will be on EDGE rusher Isaiah Foskey who has first round potential in this year’s draft cycle.

Ohio State Week 1 College Football Preview

Ryan Day’s squad returns Heisman hopeful quarterback C.J. Stroud against a top-5 team in Notre Dame in Week 1 of college football. No one boasts Ohio State’s skill position talent, and it may very well be the reason why they are heavily favored.

The Buckeyes feature three of the top 12 players in the Heisman odds with quarterback C.J. Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson, and receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. 

The Buckeyes defense was its major problem last season against top teams in Alabama, Michigan, and Oregon. Ryan Day brought in Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State to shore up the run defense. 

The linebacker play from Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg will come into focus to stop the Fighting Irish ground attack.

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Recapping the Ravens Day 1 of the NFL Draft

Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft is in the books and it was certainly one to remember. A head swiveling day full of trades and rapid picks and the Ravens were in the thick of it. Here is a recap of Baltimore’s picks and trades that you may have missed!

Photo Credit: Todd Karpovich

Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone and it mirrored the craziness of the NFL off-season that preceded it. Picks were flying off the board in record time and a myriad of trades involving picks and players occurred. The Ravens were in on their fair share of craziness, trading off a high profile player and adding elite talent to a team hoping for a Super Bowl run. Below is a recap of the NFL Draft action for the Baltimore Ravens.

Ravens Land Kyle Hamilton 14th Overall

Photo Credit: David Becker/Getty Images

The Ravens have formed their identity around letting great players fall to them in the draft regardless of position. 2022 proved no different as Kyle Hamilton fell to Baltimore. Once seen as a lock to go in the top 5, Hamilton dropped to 14 and the Ravens did not hesitate to select the star safety out of Notre Dame. Though his stock has dipped in recent weeks, Hamilton may be the most talented overall player in the draft.

Hamilton has tremendous size for the position, good range, and top tier instincts that allows him to read the game better than any other defender in this draft. The former Golden Domer can line up in the slot, as a hybrid linebacker in the box or as a single high safety and that kind of versatility is something the Ravens covet.

Though safety did not top Baltimore’s list of needs, Hamilton’s talent was just too enticing to pass up. Pairing him with Marcus Williams gives the Ravens one of the top young safety tandems in the NFL. A year after finishing 32nd against the pass, the Ravens have now beefed up the secondary in a massive way by adding a true all around play-maker.

Hollywood Shipped to Arizona for the 23rd Overall Pick

Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

In a surprising bit a news, the Ravens sent receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, along with the 100th pick in the draft, to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23d overall selection. While the writing had been on the wall for some time, the departure of Hollywood Brown was a shock to many fan. Brown had scrubbed the Ravens from his social media accounts and was noticeably absent from Lamar Jackson’s workouts with the team’s wide receivers. Unhappy with the run-first scheme the Ravens employ, Brown now heads out west to the Cardinals.

The move reunites Brown with his collegiate quarterback Kyler Murray. The Cardinals were in search of a receiver to compliment DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore. Hollywood is the perfect receiver to put into that fold with his speed a big play ability. His connection with Murray at Oklahoma was electrifying and a major reason the Ravens made Brown the 25th pick in the 2019 draft.

For the Ravens, getting a first round pick for Hollywood was the best case scenario. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said that Brown had requested a trade at the end of the regular season and the team had been quietly shopping him for some time. Despite an up and down career and an expiring contract for a player that will demand upwards of $20 million per year, the Ravens still managed to fetch a first round pick. While it is sad to see Hollywood go, in the end, this was the right move for all parties.

Ravens Select Tyler Linderbuam 25th Overall

Photo Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Armed with an extra first round pick, the Ravens sought to fill even more holes on their roster. After trading down to 25 with the Buffalo Bills (and acquiring the 130th overall selection in the process), the Ravens selected the consensus top center in the draft in Tyler Linderbaum. While much has been made about Linderbuam’s less than ideal length and scheme fit, there is simply no denying the overall talent of the Iowa product.

While he is on the shorter side at 6’2 and his arms are shorter than one might like, Linderbaum has everything else a team could look for in a starting center. A three year starter at Iowa, Linderbaum has a tough, in-your-face mentality and doesn’t get bullied easily. Well adept at using technique and leverage, Linderbuam is an elite athlete who many regard as the best center prospect to come out in close to a decade.

Linderbaum’s arrival fills a gaping hole in the middle of Baltimore’s offensive line. With Bradley Bozeman now in Charlotte, it was clear the Ravens needed an upgrade at center. The Ravens expressed confidence in their in house options but that was clearly just a smokescreen. Center has been a position of skepticism in Baltimore over the last few years, and for good reason. Linderbaum should anchor that spot for the next decade. In terms of pure talent, most consider Linderbaum top-10. It is that talent combined with need that made him an easy selection for the Ravens.

USC at Notre Dame Prospects Stock Watch

Which players from the Trojans and Fighting Irish should get hard looks at?

Saturday evening I was able to attend one of the most historic rivalries in college football, USC and Notre Dame. Both teams have plenty of NFL Draft prospects to examine. Southern California has been down for the past several years, firing their head coach earlier this season exemplifies that.

Notre Dame has been on the other end of the spectrum for “blue blood” CFB programs. They’ve made it to two College Football Playoffs in the past three seasons. Although it looks like they will be out of this upcoming playoff, they still boast a (6-1) record, with their one loss coming at the hands of #2 Cincinnati.

Even with these two programs seemingly on different spectrums, this rivalry proves to always show a good game. So without further ado, here are my game notes for some of the top 2022 NFL Draft prospects from USC at Notre Dame.

USC at Notre Dame Prospects

Stock Up

Drake London, Wide Receiver, USC

Drake London was an absolute menace for USC against Notre Dame. London was used mainly as USC’s “X” receiver, but spent time in the slot as well. As USC’s alpha wide receiver, London accumulated 15 catches and 171 yards receiving. That’s good for 56% of USC’s receptions and 57% of USC’s passing yards, in this game!

London displayed incredible yards after the catch ability all night, highlighting his incredible “wiggle” for his size (listed at 6’5” — 210 lbs.).

Cam Hart, Cornerback, Notre Dame

Cam Hart has been someone on my radar since his incredible game against Wisconsin at Soldier Field about a month ago. He continued to show great technique and awareness all night last night. Hart completely locked down his side of the defense.

In his two reps against Drake London he recorded a pass breakup on one and was in his hip pocket the entire route on the other, forcing Slovis to throw the ball away on a roll-out. It is still too early to tell how high Hart can go in this upcoming draft, but he is a name draft fans should be aware of before testing in Indianapolis this spring.

Drake Jackson, Edge Rusher, USC

Drake Jackson was held in-check for most of the night against Notre Dame. Tommy Rees (Notre Dame’s Offensive Coordinator) chose to run away from Drake Jackson’s side of the field often. This is proving smart as Kyren Williams tallied 25 rushes for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.

However, Jackson still continued to show why he’s a first-round talent while recording a sack using incredible bend and speed. I would still love to see Jackson add a counter move to his game, a few times Notre Dame’s tackle’s would “catch” Jackson and let him run around the pocket while ushering him away from Jack Coan or Tyler Buchner.

Stock Down

Kyle Hamilton, Safety, Notre Dame

This has absolutely nothing to do with what Kyle Hamilton did on the field, but has everything to do with him getting injured early in the second quarter of the game. Hopefully, it is not a season ending injury and he’s able to come back and prove to NFL scouts and teams that he’s 100% and ready to dominate the NFL.

The prognosis seems very encouraging here, I expect this will be the last time we see Kyle Hamilton on anyone’s “Stock Down” lists. Hamilton is a Top-5 talent in the draft when healthy.

Kedon Slovis, Quarterback, USC

Kedon Slovis had one of the best true-freshman seasons in recent memory, battling with Joe Burrow for the title of most accurate quarterback in college football. Slovis then had a rough sophomore season, which some attributed to a shoulder injury that was bothering him all season.

Now in his junior year, Slovis had to prove he’s a legitimate option for NFL teams as their franchise-altering quarterback. Slovis has failed to prove that this season and it continued Saturday evening.

Kedon Slovis has a few good playmakers at his disposal, including star receiver Drake London, but he continues to struggle to get the ball out on-time and in rhythm. This also could be a coaching knock, but USC’s offense against Notre Dame was basically all Drake London (as shown above by his receiving stats and percentages).

Slovis also had to deal with USC starting two freshman tackles, but if he wants to be a round one quarterback in the NFL draft, he needs to be able to play through that and make his team around him better.

Slovis has talent, he also has hustle. At the start of the second quarter Kedon Slovis had a batted pass that resulted in an interception. Notre Dame’s Bo Bauer had a free 88-yard pick-six, but Slovis busted his tail and tackled him just short.

Notre Dame’s Offense would fail to score. Slovis saved USC four points because of that tackle, that means something to me. Slovis may not be a round one quarterback, but I believe he has a spot in the NFL still.


Make sure to keep a look-out for more articles about the NFL Draft and every other sport at atbnetwork.com. Any questions or writing inquiries please DM me, @ryfootballscout on Twitter!

Check Out My Other 2022 NFL Draft Content here:

2022 Quarter-Season Mock Draft

Tyler Linderbaum Summer Scouting Report

Jarrett Patterson Summer Scouting Report

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Summer Scouting: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame

There aren’t many players who can draw comparisons to Derwin James of the Los Angeles Chargers, but Kyle Hamilton is one of those guys. In his sophomore season, Hamilton flashed his versatility and ability to play all over the back half of the field for the Fighting Irish; whether it be the deep safety position or in the nickel covering the slot, Hamilton was able to find success in any role Notre Dame put him in. Standing 6-foot-4 and 219 pounds, you’d think he was built in a lab, especially with the athleticism he possesses. Again, not many players can draw the Derwin James comparison, but Hamilton has the skillset to bring a similar impact to the NFL that James does.

Pros:

  • Takes read-step, attacks downhill v. the run.
  • Frame
  • Plays w/ a good bend in his lower half, solid balance.
  • Smooth transitions, click-n-close looks easy.
  • Athlete, phenomenal range as a deep safety.
  • Vision as a depth defender.
  • Makes several plays at/around the LOS from deep.
  • Trustworthy tackler.
  • Not afraid to lay the wood.
  • Motor is always running.
  • Purpose behind everything he does.
  • Backpedal.
  • Versatile, true chess piece who can play all over.

Cons:

  • Has a tendency to approach his tackles high, around the ball carriers shoulders.
  • Can be indecisive at times.
  • Overestimates his athletic ability and can cut his tackle angles short.

2021 Season Statistics:

51 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles, 63 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 4 pass deflections

Preliminary Grade:

8.38 – Top-10 Grade