College Football: 4 players to watch during Friday Night Lights

College Football: 4 players to watch during Friday Night Lights

It’s Friday, which can only mean one thing: Friday Night Lights! The working week is done (for most) and it’s time to kick back with some College Football.

There are 3 games for your viewing pleasure tonight, and they promise to be highly entertaining.

First up is a matchup between two teams that have been a pleasant surprise. Both North Carolina and Wake Forest come in to the game undefeated. Someone’s 0 has got to go. Under Mack Brown, UNC have won two tight games against South Carolina and Miami. With QB sensation Jamie Newman leading the team, Wake Forest upset Purdue in week 1. The Demon Deacons routed Rice 41-21 in week 2.

That game kicks off at 23:00, and is followed by Kansas @ Boston College at 00:30. With the return of Les Miles to football, Kansas have been in the spotlight. They were nearly upset in week 1 by the Indiana State Sycamores then taken down by Coastal Carolina in one of the upsets of week 2. They need a performance tonight but it will be tough against a strong Boston College team. The Eagles have opened up 2-0, with an easy win over Richmond last week, and an impressive win over Virginia Tech in week 1.

The final game of the night should be an offensive explosion. Mike Leach’s Washington State air raid offence travels to Houston, to take on one of the worst defensive units in the nation. The Cougars aren’t short of offensive weaponry, with QB D’Eriq King hoping to build on a better week 2 performance.

4 players to watch in College Football tonight…

Sam Howell Jr – QB – University of North Carolina

Photo Credit: 24/7 Sports

The 4* freshman out of Sun Valley has reinvigorated UNC. He was rated as the no. 3 Pro-Style quarterback by 24/7 and you can see why. Howell has led the Tar Heels with game winning drives in his first two games. Against South Carolina he found Beau Corrales for a 17 yard touchdown to give UNC a 24-20 win. Then then next week he hit Dazz Newsome in the end zone for the win over Miami with just 1:01 left on the clock.

He combines arm strength with mobility to provide an all round threat. His awareness inside the pocket allows him to make good decisions, as evidenced by 0 turnovers in two games. Howell’s awareness and mobility outside of the pocket enables him to extend plays.

Wake Forest is a great matchup to enhance his reputation. The Demon Deacons have given up over 300 average yards per game so far.

Scotty Washington – WR – Wake Forest

Photo Credit: Wake Forest Athletics

At 6’5 and 225lbs, Scotty Washington is the ideal size for an NFL wide receiver. Before he starts dreaming that far ahead, Washington has some playmaking to do at the College level. He is coming off of shoulder surgery in the off season, but don’t expect that to slow him down.

It certainly didn’t slow him down in week 2. Washington racked up 158 yards and two touchdowns as Wake Forest proved too much for Rice.

Whilst all eyes are on Sage Surratt as a receiving threat, Washington gives Jamie Newman a reliable target. Their relationship is critical to Washington’s success. In just two games with Newman as the starter, Washington has almost as many receiving yards as he had in 8 games last season.

Zay Flowers – WR – Boston College

Photo Credit: 24/7 Sports

Boston College have a stack of talent on offence. Running back A.J. Dillon is the obvious standout star. However, freshman Zay Flowers sits just behind Dillon in yards from scrimmage for the Eagles after two games. He is set to be a star on this team for the next 3 years.

The 3* recruit opened the season with 2 receptions for 91 yards, and a touchdown, in the win over Virginia Tech.

He showcased his versatility in week 2 against the Richmond. Although he didn’t snag any catches, he flashed in the ground game. He had 3 rushes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

The touchdown highlighted the speed that makes him a difference maker. He took a jet sweep 46 yards to the house for the opening score of the game.

“He’s a spark plug” A.J. Dillon said of Flowers to ESPN, “He’s fast.”

Jahad Woods – Linebacker – Washington State

Photo Credit: wsucougars.com

It may seem ridiculous to single out a defensive player for a team that is so offensively spectacular. However, Wazzu have one of the meaner defences on show on Friday night. They’ve allowed an average of just 12 points and 336 yards.

Jahad Woods is the star on that defense. He was voted to the All Pac-12 pre-season team. He excels in run stopping and this is reflected in Washington State’s run defense averages.

Woods’ role will be even more important this week than usual. The linebacker group have several injuries to starters. Woods will need to bring his best game to lead the unit. That will mean a return to his sophomore form which saw him rack up 82 tackles, 11 for loss, 4 forced fumbles and 1 interception.

He’s already made a good start, with 10 tackles and 1 forced fumble in last week’s win over North Colorado.

Feature Image Credit: USA TODAY Sports

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