#11 Oregon vs. #16 Auburn
- When: Saturday, August 31st at 7:30 p.m. ET
- Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX
- TV: ABC
This right here might be the game of the weekend. Oregon’s top-flight offensive line is up against Auburn’s stout defensive line.
An undefeated season for either of these programs should land them in the College Football Playoff. The loser of this game likely loses out on that opportunity right off the bat. The high stakes will be front and center as they meet up in Jerry’s World.
The Oregon offense is headlined by quarterback Justin Herbert. After passing up the NFL in 2019, Herbert is my top quarterback for 2020 as things currently stand.
He is protected by arguably the best offensive line in the NCAA this year. The Ducks’ front line is as experienced as it gets as four of their five starters are redshirt seniors and each of those four will likely move on to play in the NFL.
Oregon Left guard Shane Lemieux is my top-ranked interior lineman. He is powerful, quick, and cerebral up the gut. Nobody beats him.
Ducks center Jake Hanson is powerful at the point of attack and he doesn’t allow much penetration. Dallas Warmack lines up at right guard for Oregon this season. He is the brother of Chance Warmack, a former first-round pick by the Tennessee Titans. Lastly, Ducks tackle Calvin Throckmorton joins Lemieux on the preseason AP All-American team.
Oregon cornerbacks Deommodore Lenoir and Thomas Graham Jr. both have NFL potential. They will face several tests this season, but they both have an extra year beyond 2019 if they decide they want to return to school.
Troy Dye is the most notable player on the Ducks’ defense this season. The linebacker has 307 career tackles, but he still misses far too many and his lack of size doesn’t help him, either. Dye needs to improve quite a bit this season if he wants to be an early-round draft pick in 2020.
Oregon will not face a tougher task in the trenches than Auburn this season. Tigers defensive tackle Derrick Brown is a first-round pick in waiting. He lines up everywhere for the Auburn defense. He eats up blocks, dominates with power and strength, and moves quickly for his size.
Beside him stands Tigers edge rusher Nick Coe. Coe is a pass rusher that generates power with his long arms and he also brings elite speed off the edge. Coe, like Brown, can line up anywhere on the defensive line or even as a linebacker. The trenches will be fun to watch in this matchup and the Vikings can use pretty much any of these studs in next year’s draft.
The Auburn offense has two phenomenal offensive tackles of their own. Prince Tega Wanogho is a giant on one bookend for the Tigers and at 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, it’s no wonder he has such a strong frame and a powerful body. He is a bit slow as a result, but he can absolutely block in both the run and pass game.
Oh yeah, and he’s an actual Prince of Delta State, Nigeria. A Prince in the land of the legendary Prince? Let’s make it happen.
The Tigers’ other tackle, Jack Driscoll, was a huge transfer win for Auburn in 2018. He should have scouts raving by the time the draft rolls around.