Commentary

Todd must carry Auburn; Ole Miss' QB controversy

Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench examines Week 6 story lines, including Auburn's WRs versus Vandy's secondary, what Nebraska must do versus Missouri and the Ole Miss QB controversy.

Originally Published: October 3, 2008
By Steve Muench | Scouts Inc.
Here's a quick look at some of the biggest story lines Scouts Inc. is watching in Week 6:

[+] EnlargeChris Todd
Doug Benc/Getty ImagesChris Todd should be able to throw on Vanderbilt's porous pass defense.
• No. 13 Auburn travels to No. 19 Vanderbilt to take on the undefeated Commodores, and something has to give when the Tigers' offense takes the field. Auburn has scored just three offensive touchdowns in its three SEC contests, while Vanderbilt's defense is giving up an average of 364.2 yards per game, ranking it dead last in the SEC. The Commodores should load up against the run in an effort to take away Auburn's strength offensively and force inconsistent QB Chris Todd to move the ball with his arm. But there's reason to be optimistic about Todd rising to the challenge. The Commodores' pass defense also ranks last in the SEC (240.0 ypg) and they don't have the depth at corner to match up with Tigers WRs Robert Dunn, Rodgeriqus Smith, Montez Billings and Tommy Trott.

• No. 9 USC will try to rebound from its astonishing loss to Oregon State on Sept. 25 when it squares off against No. 23 Oregon. The Trojans' inconsistent blocking resulted in USC rushing for just 86 yards on 22 carries in the loss to the Beavers. If the ground game is to improve, USC's front five has to do a better job of creating seams for the backs. However, that's a tall order going up against Oregon's front four. Though DTs Ra'Shon Harris and Cole Linehan are both-first year starters, they have played well and are big enough to help clog up the middle. On the edges, DEs Nick Reed and Will Tukuafu have combined for 18 tackles for loss, excel at getting upfield and can string plays out.


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Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.