We will be reviewing the risers, fallers, a premier conference performer, and we will shine a spotlight on the top freshmen every week. These weekly recaps will keep you informed on the “hot” college players around the country and will make studying for your future rookie draft effortless.
Premier Conference Performer
De’Veon Smith, RB Michigan (Junior)
23 carries, 126 yards, three touchdowns vs. Oregon State
Smith was a major contributor to Michigan beating Oregon State. His bruising running style was too much for Oregon State’s defense. He’s a hardnosed runner who has the quickness to get through the hole. He is a player to monitor this season.
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Ezekiel Elliott, RB Ohio State (Junior)
27 carries, 101 yards, three touchdowns vs. Hawaii
Elliott was able to rush for three short yardage touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the eleventh time in his career. He now has 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the year.
C.J. Beathard, QB Iowa (Junior)
15/25 passing, 215 passing yards and three touchdowns vs. Iowa State
He completed 60 percent of his passes and threw the game winning touchdown with 2:14 left in the game. He demonstrated great poise in the pocket while leading the Hawkeyes to a 31-17 victory over Iowa State.
Drew Wolitarsky, WR Minnesota (Junior)
Nine catches, 114 yards, one touchdown vs Colorado State
This is the first time in his career that he was able to surpass 100-yards receiving. He’s a player to monitor this season. He has the proto-typical size for a wide receiver at 6-3 and 217 pounds. He’s a good route runner, but he doesn’t have the speed to burn defenses.
Christian Hackenberg, QB Penn State (Junior)
14/27 passing, 128 passing yards and one touchdown vs. Buffalo
Hackenberg didn’t have a horrific game last like week, but he’s not living up to expectations, either. He wasn’t going through his progressions correctly and he was unable to take advantage of wide open receivers. He only completed 51.85 percent of his passes and he hasn’t been able to take advantage of playing a lower level of competition (Buffalo and Temple).
Akeel Lynch, RB Penn State (Junior)
19 carries, 46 yards vs. Buffalo
Lynch was out performed by freshman running back Saquon Barkley. He didn’t look very good against Buffalo, and the odds are very good that Barkley is going to cut into his workload going forward.
Cory Clement, RB Wisconsin (Junior)
Did Not Play vs. Miami (OH)
Clement didn’t play due to suffering a groin injury while preparing for Alabama last week. The injury doesn’t help his stock, but the season is still young and he has plenty of time to overcome his lackluster start to the season.
Saquon Barkley, RB Penn State
12 carries, 115 yards, one touchdown vs. Buffalo
He displayed his athleticism in the fourth quarter when he jumped over a defender on his way to rushing for a 17-yard gain. He demonstrated decisiveness and burst while running the football. Barkley is the most assertive running back in Penn State’s backfield. He’s the first freshman to surpass 100-yards rushing in a game since Silas Redd in 2010.He took the honor of Big Ten freshman of the week with his performance.
Madre Landon, RB Michigan State
18 carries, 103 yards vs. Oregon
In the first quarter he ran through the defense for a 62-yard gain showing great burst and explosiveness. He’s 6-1 and 216 pounds and he has the short area quickness get to the second level of the defense in a hurry.
Premier Conference Performer
Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State (Sophomore)
30 carries, 266 yards, three touchdowns vs. South Florida
He never looked back after rushing for a 74-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He destroyed South Florida’s defense by breaking away for multiple long runs, which led to him rushing for 8.9 yards per carry. He has the speed to rush for a long touchdown any time he touches the ball.
Joseph Yearby, RB Miami (Sophomore)
18 carries, 146 yards, one touchdown, three receptions, 97 yards, one touchdown vs. Florida Atlantic
Yearby had a big game, he accounted for 243 total yards and two touchdowns to help Miami beat Florida Atlantic 44-20. He outran and fought through multiple defenders for a 34-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. He’s a quick back who can run with power.
Canaan Severin, WR Virginia (Senior)
11 catches, 153 yards vs. Notre Dame
Virginia would have been blown out by Notre Dame if it wasn’t for him making a couple of clutch catches last weekend. Quarterback Matt Johns used him as his security blanket and targeted him often. Severin has really good hands and he can make tough catches in traffic.
Matthew Dayes, RB North Carolina State (Junior)
24 carries, 116 yards, three touchdowns, one catch, negative four yards vs. Eastern Kentucky
Dayes rushed for 242 yards and five touchdowns during his first two games of the season. He is a small quick back who can take it to the house on any given play. He’s a player to monitor to see how he handles a higher level of competition when conference play starts.
Elijah Hood, RB North Carolina (Sophomore)
16 carries, 56 yards, two touchdowns Vs North Carolina A&T
His performance was lack luster. Most of his rushing attempts were swallowed up by the defense and he had difficulty breaking out for any substantial gains. He scored on two short yardage touchdowns but he wasn’t able to get anything going.
Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville (Freshman)
17/27 passing , 168 passing yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 12 carries, 16 yards, one touchdown, one fumble vs. Houston
He turned the ball over three times and made some critical errors that cost Louisville the game. He had to be relieved by quarterback Kyle Bolin in the fourth quarter. He was trying to do too much and it caused him to make some bad decisions.
Shaquille Powell, RB Duke (Senior)
16 carries, 71 yards, three receptions, 21 yards vs. North Carolina Central
He wasn’t efficient running the ball last week. This is daunting due to the weak competition that he was up against. These are the games where skilled players should be padding their stats, and his inability to take advantage of playing lower level competition is a concern.
Qadree Ollison, RB Pittsburgh
21 carries, 81 yards, one touchdown vs. Akron
With James Connor out for the season, freshman running back Qadree Ollison led the team in carries. He’s going to get the bulk of the workload this season, and he will get the opportunity to prove himself early in his college career.
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