Each week certain games catch the eyes of the college football world. Sometimes it's two good teams matching up versus one another, creating natural intrigue. Games, however, often are won and lost by matchups of individual players or position group.
Here are the best player-position matchups for Week 1 in D2 football.
Ja'Quan Gardner, RB — Humboldt State vs. Carson-Newman Defense
Game Time: 1:30 P.M. ET, September 1st
The first matchup to watch for the coming season comes from the first game.
Ja'Quan Gardner (pictured left) is the best running back in the nation after a spectacular sophomore campaign that resulted in over 2,200 yards rushing. In the season finale against eventual champion Northwest Minnesota State, however, Gardner was held to 24 yards on 14 carries, a taste he'd certainly like to replace with something sweeter this time around.
Carson-Newman struggled a bit stopping the run last season, allowing 227 yards per game. They do return defensive end Phalen Booker, who led the team in tackles for loss, but it will take a mammoth effort to slow down Gardner and ultimately offer the Eagles their best chance to win this game.
Photo Courtesy: Lumberjacks Athletics