Alabama –vs- Missouri
Alabama Senior C Barrett Jones (6044, 300 & 5.41) –vs-
Missouri Senior DT Sheldon Richardson (6027, 290 & 4.95 E)
After starting 35 straight games at guard or tackle entering the 2012 season, Jones took over at center for the Tide this season and has done an excellent job. However, against Missouri he faces his biggest test yet as defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been a dominating inside force in his first season as a full-time starter. This match-up is unique in that one player’s strengths are the other’s weaknesses. Jones is a smart and technically sound blocker who excels by setting up to block quickly, getting hands on defensive tackle first and staying over feet to maintain block. He is not however a top level athlete and can be defeated by quick pass rush moves. Richardson has been able to dominate this season because of his rare explosiveness off the ball, which enables him to shoot gaps to get backfield penetration. He has consistently been able to get into gap before blocker can get set and he has the strength to drive through contact to get into backfield to blow up the play before it begins. Additionally, Richardson has the feet and agility to change directions fast and combined with his strength will make him a challenge for Jones to block one on one. Not only will this match-up have a huge barring on the outcome of the game, but it will also affect each player’s draft status because scouts get to evaluate them against an NFL caliber opponent.
Illinois –vs- Michigan
Illinois Junior DE Michael Buchanan (6060 E, 250 E & 4.75 E) –vs-
Michigan Junior OT T. Lewan (6080 E, 309 E & 5.15 E)