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 9 (All times Eastern):
Tyler Huntley, QB. No. 23 Utah
Matchup: at UCLA, 10:30 p.m., Friday
Breakdown: The Utes have averaged 41 points during their three-game winning streak, and Huntley is a big reason why. Reportedly in danger of losing his starting job earlier in the season, the junior has thrown seven of his 11 touchdown passes over the last three contests, and been picked off just once – and only three times in 2018. Huntley, who also has rushed for a score in each of the last two games, faces a decent Week 9 challenge on the road against a UCLA squad that’s playing with confidence after winning its first two games of the season.
Mike Hampton, CB, No. 21 South Florida
Matchup: at Houston, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: Undefeated South Florida faces a huge challenge against quarterback D’Eriq King and the Houston offense. King is among the best in the country, with 23 touchdown passes, and the Cougars have scored at least 41 points in each game this season. Hampton has two interceptions, and ranks among the national leaders with 12 total passes defended and 10 break-ups. He and the rest of the Bulls’ secondary will need to be at their best.
Evan McPherson, K, No. 9 Florida
Matchup: vs. No. 7 Georgia, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: It’s rare to see a kicker on this list, let alone one that fans of college football probably don’t even know. Bespectacled Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is one of the better ones in the nation, but McPherson ranks among the FBS leaders while connecting on 11 of 12 field-goal attempts. With the stakes higher than they’ve been in a while for this rivalry, special teams could play a big part. The Florida freshman is 8 for 8 on field goals during its five-game winning streak.
Paulson Adebo, CB, No. 24 Stanford
Matchup: vs. No. 14 Washington State, 7 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: The Cardinals are back in the Top 25, but a Week 9 visit from aerial-blessed Washington State will truly test their mettle. The Cougars’ 400.7 passing yards per game lead the nation, but Stanford has yielded just seven touchdowns through the air – four in one game at Notre Dame. The sophomore Adebo ranks near the top nationally, with 16 passes defended and 15 breakups. He’s played above his class status, and that must continue this weekend.
Kellen Mond, QB, No. 16 Texas A&M
Matchup: at Mississippi State, 7 p.m., Saturday
Breakdown: Mond is not flashy, and doesn’t put up gaudy numbers that excite fans, but he’s blossomed into a leader and is more than serviceable under center for the surging Aggies. He threw for 353 yards two weeks ago against South Carolina, and has thrown three touchdowns with one interception in the last two games. Beating Mississippi State on the road will be a chore, but Mond might have the confidence to get the job done.