There were some exciting Head 2 Head matchups this past weekend that featured some of the top prospects in the nation against each other. Here are the results of the matchups I previewed for Week 9:
#17 USC at California
Game Result: USC 24 | California 17
The Matchup: A great back-and-forth matchup between two Pac-10 teams ended in a victory for the Trojans. But the Head 2 Head matchup between Justin Forsett and Sedrick Ellis was won by the Golden Bear. Forsett has been a dynamic threat for Cal this season, and he continued his elusive play against a stingy USC defense rushing for 164 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown. Forsett also hauled in two receptions for 45 yards. The Trojans defense allowed just 90 yards on the ground a game entering Saturday night's game, but Forsett and Cal found a weakness. That weakness wasn't star defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis. Ellis finished the game with six tackles, four of which were made while tackling Forsett. Despite allowing Forsett to obtain 164 yards on the ground, the Trojans still managed to capture the win.
Arkansas at #24 Tennessee
Game Result: Tennessee 34 | Arkansas 13
Arkansas, RB - Felix Jones (Jr.) vs. Tennessee, DT - Demonte' Bolden (Jr.)
The Matchup: The matchup between Felix Jones and Demonte' Bolden appeared to be an intriguing battle leading up to Saturday's showdown, but in the end it was a bust. Jones entered this weekend averaging 9.3 yards per carry, but he didn't have an impact on offense in this game due to an injury. He suffered a deep thigh bruise towards the end of the first half causing him to miss the rest of the game, finishing with just three yards on three carries. Prior to Arkansas' first offensive possession, Jones returned a punt for a 48-yard gain that set up the Razorbacks first score of the day, a 31-yard Alex Tejada field goal. Tennessee DT Demonte' Bolden started the game, but didn't have a statistical impact in this game and didn't finish with a tackle.
#19 Virginia at Miami (FL)
Game Result: Virginia 48 | Miami 0
The Matchup: It's obvious by the score that this was a lopsided matchup between Virginia and Miami, as the Cavaliers dominated the action. Virginia's top receiving threat tight end, Tom Santi, had a good game as he caught four passes for 48 yards. Santi also did a nice job staying in pass protection. The Cavaliers' offensive line allowed just two sacks against an athletic Hurricanes defense. Speaking of that defense, linebacker Tavares Gooden did a decent job in coverage and finished with eight tackles. This was a team loss for the Hurricanes, not solely the fault of the defense.
#25 Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Game Result: Kentucky 27 | Vanderbilt 20
The Matchup: This was a closer contest than expected, but the Wildcats pulled out a victory against a talented Vanderbilt squad. Vanderbilt's star receiver Earl Bennett had another consistent game as he hauled in eight receptions for 69 yards. Bennett didn't manage a touchdown against the Kentucky defense, but his presence drew plenty of attention. Hard-hitting Wildcats linebacker Wesley Woodyard didn't have an opportunity to make a play against Bennett, but he finished with nine tackles and a forced fumble.
Michigan State at Purdue
Game Result: Michigan State 48 | Purdue 31
The Matchup: This was a close battle entering the fourth quarter as
Michigan State had a 31-24 lead over Purdue, but the Spartans pulled away from
the Boilermakers in the final frame to get the win. MSU's star tight end Kellen
Davis finished with four receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. Davis has now
scored a touchdown in back-to-back games after a five-game scoreless streak
prior to last week's game against Michigan. Purdue's Stanford Keglar didn't have
one of his better games, as he only managed three tackles.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.