Week 8 Maxwell Award Elite
Against a West Virginia team who was out for revenge, Kansas State QB Collin Klein hushed the Mountaineers with one of his best games of his career. Klein, our Maxwell Award Player of the Week, was nearly perfect completing 19 out of his 21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground Klein rushed for 41 yards and four touchdowns clinching the seventh win for the Wildcats. Klein almost seems invincible with 24 total touchdowns on the year (14 rushing), and six multi-touchdown games this season.
In a comeback victory against Northwestern, Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez led the way with 342 yards and three passing touchdowns along with 65 yards and a rushing touchdown. Martinez has finally lived up to his potential and is loudly becoming one of the exciting players in college football. Martinez has a streak of five multi-touchdown games, and is on pace for a career season.
USC WR Robert Woods took full advantage of Matt Barkley’s record day against Colorado with eight receptions for 132 yards, four touchdowns, and two records for himself. Woods set a school record for touchdown catches in a game, and is now first on the USC career receptions list after passing Dwayne Jarrett with his 217thcatch. Through seven games Woods is almost halfway to 1,000 yards with 492 and has nine receiving touchdowns.
Week 8 Chuck Bednarik Award Elite presented by Cracker Barrel
LSU LB Kevin Minter was able to shutdown Texas A&M and their superstar QB Johnny Manziel with 12 tackles, one sack, two quarterback hurries, and an interception while playing every single defensive snap (94). Manziel who has scored in all previous six games, and averaged 113 rushing yards per game was held to 27 rushing yards and zero touchdowns; Minter’s performance earned him the Chuck Bednarik Player of the Week Award presented by Cracker Barrel. The LB now has totaled 75 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception, and one forced fumble.
In a commanding victory over Cal, Stanford LB Chase Thomas helped shutdown a high-scoring Cal offense to just three points with seven tackles, a staggering four tackles for loss, one sack, and one forced fumble. Thomas was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week as he is on his way for another big year.
West Virginia QB Geno Smith came into the game with 259 passing attempts without an interception, but Kansas State LB Arthur Brown got the best of him along with the rest of the WVU offense with eight tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception. Brown’s performance earned him Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Week 9 Matchups to keep an eye on
No. 2 Florida vs. No. 12 Georgia
Last week Georgia QB Aaron Murray threw for 427 yards and four touchdowns with the help of a big game from WR Tavarres King against Kentucky. Murray now has a tougher matchup against the 19th ranked pass defense and 9th ranked rush defense led by CB Matt Elam, CB Jaylen Watkins, and DT Shariff Floyd. On the other side of the ball Florida has been extremely efficient with QB Jeff Driskel, who is coming off a four-score performance, and RB Mike Gillislee who is averaging nearly five yards per carry. The methodical duo will have to face one of the most feared linebackers in the nation, LB Jarvis Jones who has 5.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in just five games.
No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
Coming into the season Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o wasn’t known as a significant coverage threat with zero career interceptions, now he has four on the season along with 69 total tackles (9.86 per game). Te’o and DE Stephon Tuitt will look to keep Oklahoma QB Landry Jones in check as he is coming off back-to-back 300-yard games with at least two touchdowns in each. Te’o will also see a lot of Oklahoma RB Damien Williams who is searching for his fourth 100-yard game.
No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 13 Mississippi State
Alabama has been unchallenged by every team this season proving their defensive excellence with 8.3 points against (first in the nation). But this week Alabama will face a team, who like themselves, rarely makes mistakes and capitalizes off of turnovers. Mississippi State QB Tyler Russell has been a quiet hero with 15 passing touchdowns, six multi-touchdown games, and just one interception. Russell will face the best defense in the nation comprised of CB Demarcus Milliner, nation leader in passes defended, fierce LB C.J. Mosley, and tough corner Robert Lester. On the other side Alabama QB AJ McCarron who has yet to throw in an interception this season in his 154 passing attempts, will face arguably the best secondary in the country led by CB Johnthan Banks and S Darius Slay who have combined for eight interceptions (four each).
Week 9 Maxwell Shootouts
No. 16 Louisville vs. Cincinnati
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater has a streak of six consecutive games with at least one passing touchdown proving he is one of the main reasons why the Cardinals are still undefeated. He is extremely accurate with a 73.4 completion percentage and rarely makes mistakes with the help of RB Senorise Perry who opens up the passing game with his ten rushing touchdowns on the season. Cincinnati as some of their own firepower, QB Munchie Legaux has scored at least two touchdowns in every game so far. Cinci is coming off a rough loss to Toledo knocking them out of the top 25, so look for them to come out gunning.
No. 15 Texas Tech vs. No. 4 Kansas State
If we know anything it’s that both teams have proved they can whip West Virginia, and that they both have top-tier quarterbacks. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege surpassed Geno Smith with 28 passing touchdowns as the nation’s leader; in his past two games against WVU and TCU he has 817 yards and 13 touchdowns. Kansas State QB Collin Klein has continuously proved he can do it all, and although Texas Tech has proved they can stop the pass, Klein can still do it on the ground as he has at least one rushing touchdown in his last six games (14 in total).
No. 22 Michigan vs. Nebraska
Both quarterbacks in this matchup draw a lot of hype, but for the first time fans might be more excited to watch Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez who has led the Cornhuskers to two comeback victories this season. Nebraska will look to make a statement that they’re top 25 worthy, and Martinez will lead the way whether it’s through the air, ground, or both. Meanwhile Michigan is coming off a huge win against Michigan State and QB Denard Robinson will look to quiet critics by breaking the 1,000-yard mark rushing once again (he has 900 on the season). Robinson can go off at anytime and the last thing Nebraska wants is to end up like Purdue two weeks ago.