Muench's Trenches: Five great matchups
September, 27, 2013
By Steve Muench | ESPN Insider
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Maryland play Connecticut and got a look at an interesting prospect in Terrapin OLB Marcus Whitfield. He got to the quarterback three times that night. And while Whitfield has the ability to play at the next level, I’ve seen enough of the Huskies to know they have problems protecting the edge. Whitfield's not quite as dangerous coming off the edge as the production suggests.
The point is: Not all game tapes carry equal weight, and level of competition needs to be taken into account when evaluating players. For example, the first thing I did to update our report on Michigan OT Taylor Lewan in the preseason was throw on the South Carolina tape to see how he fared against DE Jadeveon Clowney. It’s important to see how Lewan fared against the best player he faced that year.
Here are five individual matchups in the trenches to keep an eye on this weekend. The offensive lineman has more to gain in certain matchups. It’s also important to keep in mind that defenders frequently move around the front, but even though these players won’t butt heads on every snap, it will be productive to watch when they do.