UVA's Ras-I Dowling is being seen as a sure first round pick as one of the top corner backs in the country.
With 'SC's offense showing some potency last week against an average Hawaii defense, the one match up to watch this week will be USC's Ronald Johnson squaring off against Virginia's Dowling...
The Trojans' best receiver says he welcomes the challenge of being matched up against one of the best cover men in college football. Dowling is widely viewed as a first-round NFL draft pick. He elected to return to Virginia for his senior season.
Virginia coach said Dowling will travel with the team to Los Angeles but might be a game-time decision. He missed the opener against Richmond because of a hamstring injury.
These are are the sort of match ups that make this sport great!
These guys won't back down and want the chance to prove who is better. The film of this match up will surely be sought out by scouts as these players are evaluated for the NFL.
Here is a quick profile on Dowling...
"He’s a guy they say is a potential first-round draft pick," Kiffin said. "I would think this would be a game he’d be excited about, especially to match up with Ronald (Johnson). I would anticipate he would play."
Dowling, who was unavailable for comment, has not spoken with the Virginia-based media since before the start of the season. London has already confirmed Dowling will travel with the team to Los Angeles and suit up for the game, but he won’t go beyond that.
This kind of reminds me of Revis against Ocho Cinco...
Like I said above.
A Johnson-Dowling matchup could be among the most intriguing individual matchups of this USC season, not to mention good film for NFL talent evaluators. Johnson has already said he’s excited for the chance to show his skills against Dowling.
"If I ever get a challenging corner, I’m ready to challenge him and take it home," Johnson told ESPNLA.com this week.
Virginia is better than when we faced them two years ago but I don't how much better. It is clear their pass defense is jewel of the team.
I don't think there is any question that Dowling will play. Guys like this chomp at the bit to play in these games and face this type of top talent.
Speaking of generating a little buzz...
His most electric play was an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter though. After neglecting to signal for a fair catch, Johnson caught the punt in close quarters, broke away from a pair of defenders and burst up the right sideline for the score.
Johnson's four-touchdown performance has people buzzing, most importantly the sportswriters who vote for the coveted Heisman Trophy award.
In the spring, Johnson said he hoped to compete for the Heisman, but his ambition was written off as an overly lofty goal given the nature of the prestigious award.
In the 75-year history of the Heisman Trophy, only 19 receivers have been in the top 10 of the award’s voting. Of those, just six received 10 percent or more of the votes. Only three wide receivers have actually lifted the bronze statue in celebration -- and that’s being generous considering Michigan’s Charles Woodson was primarily a defensive back.
Lets take it easy here...
It is early yet for ANY legitimate talk about the Heisman.
I don't care who the player is or what team he is on...
RoJo and 'SC as a whole can't get too confident here. There is plenty to improve upon after last weeks game. The Offense needs to push and support the defense while the defense needs to pull their share of the load, the team just needs to do their thing and not get ahead of themselves.
The RoJo/Dowling match up will be fun to watch but it is a small part in a much bigger picture.