The upcoming weekend college football slate has some pretty decent games on the schedule.
UCLA vs No. 6 Oklahoma will be entertaining, with Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray picking up where Heisman winner Baker Mayfield left off.
The SEC has the most high-profile clash with No. 3 Georgia vs No. 24 South Carolina, and No. 2 Clemson vs Texas A&M should give as a clear picture of how far away Jimbo Fisher is from building the Aggies program into the juggernaut that he’s being paid $75 million to construct.
But the under-the-radar game that everyone should be paying attention to is the Houston Cougars vs the Arizona Wildcats, which kicks off at noon, eastern standard time, on Saturday.
Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, who rushed for 1,411 yards last season, is one of the best and most electrifying signal callers in the country.
Follow JBP on IG: https://www.instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ ( click show more ) Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottTakade Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ Follow JBP on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JBP_Official Like JBP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Just-Bombs-Productions-255863801590167/ Arizona QB Khalil Tate Sophomore 6’2 215 lbs Check out my backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT48sLMEjRc40Ts-cm70E3w Intro song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nIJRyTTCNM (All rights go to University of Arizona, ESPN, xosdigitalsports, Arizona Athletics, PAC-12 Network, PAC-12 Conference, Universal Music Group, the NCAA & it’s broadcasters.
But the Kevin Sumlin era at Arizona didn’t get off to the greatest start last weekend as the Wildcats lost to BYU, 28-23, with Tate passing for 197 yards and and only rushing eight times for a mere 14 yards.
Tate was the most slept-on individual surprise of the 2017 college football season. USC and other schools had recruited the now 19-year-old junior as an athlete that they intended to switch to wide receiver, but former Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez, an offensive mastermind, was adamant that he would line up under center.
After seeing limited action as a true freshman, Tate emerged as the full-time starter in October of last year and put together a six-game stretch that boggled the mind. Arizona struggled early on with home losses to Houston and Utah ,but then Tate got the start against Colorado.
Over the ensuing six weeks, he averaged 12.9 yards per carry in rushing for 1,243 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also completed 63 percent of his passing attempts for 957 yards while throwing for eight touchdowns. Arizona had found their leader, and the program went on to win won five of their final six games to become bowl eligibile.
New Wildcats coach Kevin Sumlin, who was the head man at Texas A&M during the electrifying Johnny Manziel era, is an offensive genius in his own right.
Pac-12 Networks’ Greg Wolf and Chad Brown share their biggest takeaways from Arizona’s Spring Game on Saturday in Tucson. The defense edged the offense, 55-46, using a unique scoring system.
Sumlin will be returning to Houston, where he coached from 2008-2011, leading the Cougars to three winning seasons in four years and a 12-1 season in his final year before taking the Texas A&M job.
Sumlins been known to bring some first-year success in many of his coaching stops.
In 1998, during his first year as Purdues receivers coach, the Boilermakers won nine games and beat Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl. In 2003 during his first year on Bob Stoops’ coaching staff at Oklahoma, the Sooners won 11 straight and advanced to the BCS title game. In 2008, in his first year as Houston’s coach, the program won its first bowl game in 28 years. And then of course, there was his first year at Texas A&M, when Manziel won the Heisman and the program notched 11 victories, including the beat-down they gave to high and mighty Alabama.
- But Sumlin and his coaching staff will have their hands full in trying to contain the most dominant force in all of college football and the future No. 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft: the Cougars’ 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver.
Follow JBP on IG: https://www.instagram.com/justbombsproductions/ ( click show more ) Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScottTakade Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scotttakade/ Follow JBP on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JBP_Official Like JBP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Just-Bombs-Productions-255863801590167/ Houston DT Ed Oliver Sophomore 6’3 290 lbs Just like Ohio State DE Nick Bosa, Oliver is viewed as a potential 1st overall pick for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Last week, Oliver racked up 13 tackles, with 3.5 of those going for a loss against Rice. In last year’s game against Arizona, he forced a fumble, blocked a kick and had 11 tackles. Tate was still the second string quarterback at that time, so seeing these two on the field at the same time will be a treat.
In a press conference earlier this week, Sumlin was effusive in his praise of Houston’s exceptional defensive menace.
“He’s a great player not a good player, a great player,” Sumlin said. “Oliver is a very, very special athlete and one of the best players in the country. Hes done it against everybody, and as a coaching staff, weve got to put our guys in the best position to be successful.
Expect Oliver to wreak havoc against Arizona’s offensive line, with Tate having to utilize his remarkable running skills to counteract that while running for his life.
And keep your eyes one Houston’s explosive, fast-paced offense as well. Last week, Cougars quarterback DEriq King passed for 320 yards and three touchdowns, while seven running backs carried the ball for an additional 247 yards on the ground.
Last season, Tate was a dual-threat weapon that shocked opposing defenses. Last week, playing behind an inexperienced offensive line, he looked human against BYU. Against Houston and Ed Oliver, he’s going to need to revert back to superhuman form, or else he and Arizona could be in for a world of hurt.