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College football ’18: Players to watch in Week 8

Week 8

Each week, The Game Haus will highlight five players to watch from college football games featuring Top 25 teams. From established stars to players on the verge of breaking out, we’ll offer some names to remember every week of the college football season.

Here’s a look at five players to watch in Week 8 (All times Eastern):

Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State

Matchup: vs. No. 6 Michigan, Noon Saturday

Breakdown: Lewerke did a serviceable job helping the Spartans win at Michigan last season (throwing a touchdown and rushing for one). But in Week 8, he’s facing a Wolverines defense that ranks second in the nation allowing 238.0 yards per game and has recorded 20 sacks. Lewerke doesn’t need to do too much, just avoid mistakes and Michigan State should have a good chance to continue its recent dominance in this series.

Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati

Week 8
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Matchup: at Temple, Noon, Saturday

Breakdown: Cincinnati is undefeated and ranked, but visits Temple for this Week 8 American Athletic Conference clash as the underdog. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Broughton would like to have something to say about that. The senior is second in the conference with five sacks and tied for third with 11 tackles for loss. The Owls have yielded just eight sacks this season, so Cincinnati’s guys up front will be in for a challenge.

Reggie Gallaspy, RB, N.C. State

Matchup: at No. 3 Clemson, 3:30 p.m., Saturday

Breakdown: The Wolfpack have an NFL-ready quarterback in Ryan Finley, but they’ll likely need a balanced offensive effort to snap a six-game skid to Clemson. That’s where the senior Gallaspy comes in. He’s averaging just 3.6 yards per carry, but his seven rushing touchdowns match a career high and he ran for a season-high 104 yards against Boston College last time out. The task won’t be easy against the Tigers’ talented defensive line, but North Carolina State needs all its parts to be clicking for the upset.

Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

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Matchup: at No. 5 LSU, 7 p.m., Saturday

Breakdown: Sweat likely needs to be at his best if the Bulldogs are to go into LSU and pull off the upset in Week 8. Dating to last season, Sweat has 16 1/2 tackles for loss in nine games. His 7 1/2 sacks this year are among the most in the country. The Tigers have yielded 16 sacks in 2018, half of which came in the last two games.

Gardner Minshew II, QB, Washington State

Matchup: vs. No. 12 Oregon, 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Breakdown: The senior leads the nation with 2,422 yards passing for the top-ranked passing offense in the FBS. Minshew, who began his career at East Carolina, is also completing 68.7 percent of his passes and threw five touchdowns against Oregon State in the Cougars last game. Perhaps more important, he’s thrown just one interception in the last four contests.

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