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College Football Schedule Week 5: Ole Miss at Alabama among top games to watch

With multiple must-watch matchups amongst the games, which one should you be anticipating on the Week 5 college football schedule?

Have you recovered from a breathtakingly spectacular weekend of college football games? Ready to do it all again in Week 5, but wondering which games you should watch? The correct answer is obviously “all of them,” but unless you own a wall of televisions, you’re going to have to narrow down your college football schedule. We’re here to help you with what is possibly the hardest decision that you’ll face this week.

College football games to watch in Week 5

College football Week 5 opens up with an All-ACC clash between Virginia and Miami (FL) on Thursday night. An all-undefeated Big Ten clash between Iowa and Maryland headlines Friday’s trio of college football games before a scintillating Saturday slate culminates with high-flying Fresno State traveling to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors.

College football games, Week 5 “Main Event”: Ole Miss at Alabama

Ignore the fact that the Crimson Tide have beaten the Rebels each of the last five seasons. Ignore the fact that this game hasn’t been a one-score game since Alabama’s 48-43 win in 2016. This All-SEC, all-undefeated clash is comfortably the best of Week 5’s college football games, and to use a perennially over-used phrase — it’s not even close.

While recent games between the two haven’t been competitive, last year’s shootout in Oxford showed that Lane Kiffin’s offense can go toe to toe with the best in the business. Matt Corral and Bryce Young will dual it out, with the early Heisman Trophy front-runners leading two of the nation’s top-15 passing offenses.

Although Alabama’s defense has historically been better, the Rebels’ improvement from last season should ensure that Ole Miss plays the Crimson Tide close. Their passing defense — which finished 125th last season — currently ranks 54th. Meanwhile, the Ole Miss offense is better positioned to capitalize on the sort of defensive breakdown that Alabama suffered against Florida. Don’t rule out an upset in the must-watch college football game of Week 5.

2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Ole Miss at Alabama

As you’d expect from a team that had six first-round NFL Draft selections in April, Alabama’s roster is once again packed with pro potential. While they won’t match that level of success in the 2022 NFL Draft cycle, they have multiple potential early-round prospects.

Gargantuan offensive tackle Evan Neal is clearly the cream of the Crimson Tide crop. The 6’7″, 360-pound lineman has transitioned seamlessly to left tackle so far this season. Neal is an absolute monster who has the strength to dispose of pass rushers in protection, the mentality of a mauler in the ground game, and dangerously deceptive athleticism for a man of his dimensions.

Although Ole Miss has some standout prospects on both sides of the ball, if you think the NFL is looking at anyone more closely than Corral in this Week 5 college football game, you’re wrong. Corral is riding the hot hand after a smoking start to the season. The Ole Miss QB continues to wow with his arm talent and mobility while improving on the negative elements of his summer scouting report.

The competition for QB1 is wide open, and the crown is Corral’s for the taking.

Other notable NFL Draft prospects

Ole Miss

  • Ben Brown, OG
  • Nick Broeker, OT
  • Jerrion Ealy, RB
  • Sam Williams, DE
  • Lakia Henry, LB
  • Keidron Smith, CB
  • Jonathan Hayes, S

Alabama 

  • Christian Harris, LB
  • Jordan Battle, S
  • John Metchie III, WR
  • Jahleel Billingsley, TE
  • Josh Jobe, CB
  • Emil Ekiyor, OG
  • Phidarian Mathis, DT
  • D.J. Dale, DT
  • Brian Robinson Jr., RB
  • Henry To’o To’o, LB

Arkansas at Georgia

Woo Pig Sooey, there’s a new hot team in the SEC! Arkansas hasn’t been 4-0 since 2003, hasn’t been ranked as high as eighth in the AP Poll since 2004, and last week beat a talented Texas A&M team for this first time in nine contests.

Sam Pittman has the Razorbacks balling, but now the unstoppable force meets the immovable object in the Georgia Bulldogs. Kirby Smart’s team has allowed fewer than 10 points in all but one game and has the top-ranked scoring defense in the nation. Although it was only against a poor Vanderbilt team, Georgia’s offense came alive last week.

There’s consternation from both sets of fans that this, one of the best college football games in Week 5, is a noon kickoff. While I agree it deserves the primetime treatment, having a genuinely elite clash to open the day is a joy to behold.

2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Arkansas at Georgia

In addition to on-field success, Arkansas is an ascending force as a developer of NFL talent. The Razorbacks have two prospects with first-round potential in Jalen Catalon and Treylon Burks. Meanwhile, Ricky Stromberg is a contender for best of the rest behind Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum in the 2022 NFL Draft center class.

Burks showed exactly why he’s considered a top-50 talent in the win over Texas A&M. An athletic mismatch with hands that are so big they require custom-made gloves, the versatile playmaker tallied 167 receiving yards and a touchdown with an array of eye-popping catches. At 6’3″ and 225 pounds, Burks is physical, athletic, and a nightmare for opposing defenses.

If there is a player that has elevated their 2022 NFL Draft stock more than Jordan Davis through the early college football games, I need you to show me. Davis has been unstoppable, combining strength, size, and rare explosion to be a threat against the run and the pass. Davis probably won’t need to eat before this game because he’ll devour Arkansas double teams for breakfast.

Other notable NFL Draft prospects

Arkansas

  • Myron Cunningham, OT
  • Tre Williams, DE
  • Bumper Bool, LB
  • Joe Foucha, S

Georgia

  • Tykee Smith, S
  • Adam Anderson, OLB
  • Nakobe Dean, LB
  • Nolan Smith, OLB
  • JT Daniels, QB
  • Derion Kendrick, CB
  • Lewis Cine, S
  • Warren McClendon, OT
  • Jamaree Salyer, OT
  • Travon Walker, DT
  • Jake Camarda, P

Cincinnati at Notre Dame

While there are multiple Week 5 college football games with potential playoff implications, this game has been circled by Cincinnati Bearcats fans for months. After beating Indiana in Week 3, their clash with Notre Dame will make or break Cincinnati’s bid for the playoff.

The Group of Five team is vying to break through the walls of elitism that have been wrapped around the college football National Championship. A win over arguably the most elite brand name in the sport would bolster Cincinnati’s résumé unlike any previous victory. Sorry UCF fans, but you know that it’s true.

Cincinnati has had to wait over 100 years for revenge after the Fighting Irish gave them a beating they’d never forget in the 1900 season. With question marks about their offense coming into the game, it’s unlikely Notre Dame will cruise to another 58-0 victory. However, their defense stepped up last time against Wisconsin, ensuring a close-fought game against a Cincinnati team with a top-10 scoring offense.

2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Cincinnati at Notre Dame

That Cincinnati offense is led by one of the most intriguing quarterback prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft. Although he struggled early against Indiana, Desmond Ridder has elevated his draft stock so far this season. The Cincinnati signal-caller has exceptional arm strength, and his ability to create magic with his mobility is only topped by Malik Willis in this class.

Although the Notre Dame defense has had some issues giving up big plays so far this year, they will provide the biggest test of Ridder’s statement season so far.

Anytime you have to contend with a safety of the caliber of Kyle Hamilton, you’re in for a difficult night. The Notre Dame defensive playmaker is the No. 1 player on Pro Football Network’s 2022 NFL Draft Big Board. Hamilton boasts insane size for the safety position, ridiculous athleticism, range, and is as physical as they come.

Other notable NFL Draft prospects

Cincinnati

  • Myjai Sanders, DE
  • Ahmad Gardner, CB
  • Josh Whyle, TE
  • Malik Vann, DE
  • Coby Bryant, CB
  • Arquon Bush, CB

Notre Dame

  • Kyren Williams, RB
  • Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DT
  • Jarrett Patterson, OC
  • Cain Madden, OG
  • Drew White, LB
  • Kurt Hinish, DT
  • Isaiah Foskey, DE

Boston College at Clemson

If you want a matchup that encapsulates the unpredictable insanity of the 2021 college football season, this is one of the games you should choose. Before the season, you would have accepted that these two ACC teams would be 4-0 and the other 2-2. But you probably wouldn’t have guessed that perennial National Championship contender Clemson isn’t the unbeaten squad.

These are unprecedented times in the Dabo Swinney era. Without Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, the Tigers have been perilously pedestrian on offense. Yet, it’s the departure of offensive lineman Jackson Carman that — incredibly — has forced the wheels off the Clemson wagon. While their defensive line has been dominant, the offensive line has been dire.

The same can’t be said of Boston College. Boasting one of the best offensive lines in the nation, the Eagles are 4-0 for the first time since the 2007 season. That year, they beat Clemson in Memorial Stadium, went 11-3, and finished ranked 10th in the AP Poll. While that might be a stretch this season — Jeff Hafley’s team is criminally unranked right now — don’t rule out a surprise win on Saturday night.

2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Boston College at Clemson

The Eagles will be without quarterback Phil Jurkovec who is unlikely to play again this season after surgery for a hand injury. The former Notre Dame passer is a highly rated QB prospect in this class, although it remains to be seen if he declares. Boston College also has potential top-100 selections across the offensive line.

Despite this, their most exciting prospect is wide receiver Zay Flowers. The dynamic pass catcher has averaged 15 yards per catch through his three seasons while tallying over 1,500 career yards. Flowers possesses game-changing speed, insane lateral agility, and — despite his diminutive frame — can mix it up in contested-catch situations.

Flowers will face off against Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. in one of the tastiest NFL Draft matchups of any Week 5 college football games. Booth is establishing himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class this fall. Fast, fluid, and full of energy, the Clemson corner has incredible ball skills and can be a destructive force against the run.

Other notable NFL Draft prospects

Boston College

  • Zion Johnson, OG
  • Tyler Vrabel, OT
  • Ben Petrula, OT
  • Alec Lindstrom, OC
  • Trae Barry, TE
  • Josh DeBerry, CB
  • Isaiah Graham-Mobley, LB
  • Brandon Sebastian, CB

Clemson

  • Tyler Davis, DT
  • Justyn Ross, WR
  • Xavier Thomas, DE
  • Nick Skalski, LB
  • Nolan Turner, S
  • Braden Galloway, TE
  • Sheridan Jones, CB
  • Joseph Ngata, WR

Arizona State at UCLA

This week’s Pac 12 Ater Dark action pits two of the conference’s best teams against each other as Arizona State travels to the Rose Bowl to take on UCLA. Both teams are 3-1, and the Bruins are one of only two Pac 12 teams ranked in the AP Top 25.

UCLA holds a 22-14-1 advantage in this intra-conference college football game and has won the last two matchups. However, their last 10 games have been evenly split ,and it should be a close-fought matchup to entertain you into Sunday morning. Just two of those games have been decided by more than 1 touchdown.

Although it’s early in the season, the winner of this game will be the favorite to win the Pac 12 South and reach the conference championship game.

2022 NFL Draft prospects to watch in Arizona State at UCLA

Any NFL team with a need at the quarterback position should take a trip to Los Angeles for this Week 5 college football game. Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels and UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson are intriguing 2022 NFL Draft prospects who could propel themselves into the heart of the quarterback conversation.

While UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet has earned plenty of attention from his early season performances, Thompson-Robinson has quietly put together an impressive campaign. His 10.3 yards per attempt are tied for fourth in the nation, while he has thrown 9 touchdowns against just 1 interception. DTR continues to demonstrate the ability to make NFL-caliber throws. Furthermore, he has the mobility to be a dual-threat at the next level.

After a slow start to the season, Daniels comes into the game off the back of consecutive 200+ passing yard games. Moreover, he completed over 70% of his passes in those two contests. While Daniels has to be more consistent with timing and accuracy as a passer, he continues to be one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks. He’s averaging 6.9 yards per carry on the ground with 2 touchdowns so far this season.

Other notable NFL Draft prospects

Arizona State

  • Merlin Robertson, LB
  • Chase Lucas, CB
  • Jack Jones, CB
  • Dohnovan West, OC
  • D.J. Davidson, DT
  • Rachaad White, RB

UCLA

  • Sean Rhyan, OT
  • Paul Grattan, OG
  • Quentin Lake, S
  • Greg Dulcich, TE
  • Kyle Philips, WR
  • Zach Charbonnet, RB
  • Qwuantrezz Knight, CB

Honorable mention for Week 5 college football games to watch

  • Iowa at Maryland
  • Texas at TCU
  • Louisville at Wake Forest
  • Ohio State at Rutgers
  • Nevada at Boise State
  • Florida at Kentucky
  • Baylor at Oklahoma State
  • Liberty at UAB
  • Western Kentucky at Michigan State
  • Auburn at LSU

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and College Football Analyst for Pro Football Network. Check out the rest of his work here, and you can find him on Twitter @ojhodgkinson.

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