Erik Ainge, already getting plenty of looks by NFL scouts, had another strong game totaling 268-yards passing while connecting on a pair of touchdown tosses. Unlikely to enter April's draft, Ainge is setting himself up to be one of the highest rated passers for the 2008 event.
On the line of scrimmage Arron Sears more then held his own against Georgia's outstanding pass rushing tandem of Charles Johnson and Quentin Moses. Sears performance yesterday will likely give him serious first round consideration, something we feel he deserves.
On the flip-side red flags must start to be raised on Moses. The vaunted pass rusher who was rated by several scouting services as the top senior prospect in the nation, recorded just two tackles and assisted on one tackle for loss. Moses has a single sack to his credit this season.
Sidney Rice is another that has question marks surrounding him. After a slow start to the season Rice really picked it up during the Gamecocks third and fourth games, albeit against inferior competition. Rice again was quiet the past two games when he faced SEC opponents.
The red-shirt sophomore was considered a first round pick entering the season and has totaled 26 receptions in six games. Against the four SEC teams South Carolina has faced off against Rice has accounted for just ten catches.
In the Red River Rivalry the Texas Longhorns were able to slow down and contain the Oklahoma running attack. Frank Okam was dominant in the middle of the line, holding the Sooners and Adrian Peterson to their lowest rushing yardage production of the season.
USC junior Sam Baker continues to look dominant at left tackle. Baker plays with a nasty streak and has really improved his run blocking over the past year. If Baker enters the draft as expected he will challenge Joe Thomas of Wisconsin as the first tackle to be selected in round one.
Another Trojan junior is getting a lot of notice from NFL scouts. Keith Rivers has been explosive at weak-side linebacker, making plays sideline-to-sideline. His skills in coverage are outstanding and Rivers is also a disruptive force on the blitz. Were the draft held today and Rivers declared eligible for the event, he'd be the first Trojan defender selected.
But the fact is Jackson has been non-existent this season. He has no sacks to his credit and rarely got a sniff of Isaiah Stanback on Saturday. Jackson's inactivity has been a topic of conversation with those around the USC program.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis continues to impress NFL scouts and is moving into the draft's top twenty selections. Revis was the best player on the field during Pittsburgh's defeat over conference foe Syracuse last Saturday. Blanketing Syracuse receivers all day, Revis was also a force in run defense, cutting off the corners and not being shy about throwing his body around the field.
In that same game Panther linebacker HB Blades was also impressive, making several big plays in the middle of the field. Forceful against the run all day, Blades offers the versatility to be used at inside/middle linebacker or on the outside.