Each weekend, we’ll tell you where and when to watch the top college QBs expected to be available for the 2018 NFL Draft, the year when the Bills will FINALLY find that replacement for Jim Kelly (maybe). Listed in order of when they play.
Mason Rudolph, (11)Oklahoma State at South Alabama Friday 8pm ESPN2
Rudolph gets his second mid-major in a row to start the season, facing the Jaguars from the Sun Belt conference.
He was darn near perfect last week, going 20 of 24 with 303 yards and three long TDs. Anything less will be viewed as a disappointment.
Despite the Darnold and double Josh hype all year, Rudolph has quite a few analysts who think he might be the best QB of the 2018 group. It might put him in a bit of a no win situation Friday night.
Lamar Jackson, (17)Louisville at North Carolina Saturday Noon
Jackson looked very good helping Louisville narrowly get past Purdue last week while North Carolina looked very not good without Mitchell Trubisky losing at home to Cal.
The Tar Heels have gotten a taste of national relevance recently and won’t give that up easily with an 0-2 start. That said, nearly their entire offense is new this year and their defense was never much to look at.
It’s a road conference game against a team that isn’t a doormat, so Jackson’s play can’t be totally dismissed like Rudolph’s game could be. Still, another video game type stat line is the likely outcome Saturday.
Josh Allen, Wyoming vs. Gardner-Webb Saturday 4pm No TV
Allen needs a bounce back game like no one else in this group and, well… hello, Gardner-Webb!
An FCS team coming off a 4-7 season and a 45-3 drubbing from North Carolina A&T to start this year is, hopefully, just what the doctor ordered.
Sticking Gardner-Webb between Iowa and Oregon is a nausea inducing schedule roller coaster ride, but it should be a soft landing spot for Allen after a rough season debut.
Josh Rosen, UCLA vs. Hawaii Saturday 5pm Pac 12 Network
Sorta like Rudolph, Rosen likely can’t come near to his performance last week. At least, the second half of it.
Hawaii is one of the few teams with two games under their belts already, both wins (UMass and Western Carolina). The Rainbow Warriors went to their first bowl in six seasons last year, but aren’t expected to be much defensively under coordinator Legi Suiaunoa. He’s the 5th differenct Hawaii DC in as many seasons.
There’s every reason to expect a comedown from the high of a 34 point comeback for UCLA, in general, and Rosen, in particular. I think NFL scouts will be interested to see how that gets handled.
Sam Darnold, (6)USC vs. (14)Stanford Saturday 8pm Fox
It’s one of the top three games of the weekend and maybe the toughest test Darnold will see all season.
Stanford had a week off after opening the season in Australia with a 62-7 thrashing of Rice. The Cardinal defense is very good and the back seven is flush with NFL talent.
Darnold looked more ordinary than expected against Western Michigan last week. A big game here will push him right back to the top of many draft rankings.