Week two is in the books! Let’s take a look at top performers from last week and the most exciting games for next week.
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Maxwell Award Week 2 Elite
- With Jim Mora taking over along with dual-threat quarterback Brett Hundley, UCLA Maxwell Watch List candidate Johnathan Franklin has thrived on the ground. Last week against a tough, ranked, Nebraska team, Franklin led the Bruins to an upset by compiling 217 yards on 26 carries. He also added 59 receiving yards and 1 touchdown, making him our Maxwell Award Player of the Week. This was Franklin’s second consecutive game rushing over 200 yards.
- Collin Klein earned Big 12 Player of the Week with his dominant play against Miami. The Wildcat completed 9-of-11 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown, but did most of his damage rushing with 71 yards and three touchdowns in the 52-13 victory.
- Sophomore RB Ka’Deem Carey has emerged as the early staple in Rich Rodriguez’s new and improved offense. Against Oklahoma State, Carey ran for his second straight 120-plus-yard game with 126 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He also added four receptions for 28 yards and another score.
- With Case Keenum graduated, David Piland has been titled the new slinger in Houston’s Air Raid offense. Despite a loss against Louisiana Tech, Piland made history by attempting 77 passes without an interception, breaking Case Keenum’s previous record of 76. The quarterback finished with 53 completions for a Robertson Stadium-record 580 yards and four touchdowns.
Chuck Bednarik Award presented by Cracker Barrel Week 2 Elite
- Georgia’s Jarvis Jones kept Mizzou QB James Franklin in check with nine tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, and an interception. The linebacker earned our Chuck Bednarik Award presented by Cracker Barrel Player of the Week honors as he now has 3.5 sacks to rank No. 10 nationally.
- Dion Bailey got a taste of the NFL playing against Syracuse at Metlife Stadium. The USC linebacker made the most of the experience with eight tackles, one tackle for loss and two interceptions. Bailey was able to kill any upset momentum, and helped contribute to the road win.
- Auburn felt Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks’ presence with his six tackles and two interceptions in this important conference game. With those two picks, the senior now has 14 over his career.
Significant Defensive Injuries
- Oregon S John Boyett will have surgeries to repair tears of both patellar tendons, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Boyett and Florida State’s Brandon Jenkins have been the biggest defensive losses so far in this early season.
Exciting Matchups To Watch For
- No. 2 USC vs. No. 21 Stanford
This highly anticipated Pac-12 conference game has some great matchups to track. On defense, Stanford’s linebackers Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov will look to contain USC’s running game led by Silas Redd, who is coming off a 105-yard game. But slowing down Matt Barkley will be Stanford’s main focus, as he already has 10 touchdown passes, eight of which have been caught by Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Look for USC’s Dion Bailey and T.J. McDonald to crowd the box to impede the likes of star running back Stepfan Taylor.
- No. 20 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Michigan State
All eyes will be fixed on Michigan State’s 6-2 and 244 pound RB Le’Veon Bell and Notre Dame’s 6-2 and 255 pound LB Manti Te’o, as the will consistently clash in an intense physical game.
- No. 1 Alabama vs. Arkansas
With a tough upset loss last week, the Razorbacks will give it their all to return the favor to the top-ranked team. Arkansas will look to get RB Knile Davis going quickly, as QB Tyler Wilson is recovering from injury and listed as questionable. Davis will have to get through a tough line and two rugged linebackers in C.J. Mosely and Nico Johnson. Alabama QB A.J. McCarron can expect pressure from defensive ends J.D. Griggs and Chris Smith, who have already totaled five sacks.
Week 2 Maxwell Shootouts
- Cal vs. No. 12 Ohio State
In just two games, OSU QB Braxton Miller has already rushed for over 300 yards along with seven total touchdowns. Cal features star WR Keenan Allen, who can go off at any time with the help of improving QB Zach Maynard.
- North Carolina vs. No. 19 Louisville
Louisville’s sophomore QB Teddy Bridgewater has turned heads with his incredible accuracy, completing 87.1% of his passes, and his ability to make Louisville a national threat. Exciting UNC RB Giovani Bernard should be reunited with game-managing QB Bryn Renner after sitting out against Wake Forest, which will help its offense to become feared once again.
- No. 18 Florida vs. No. 23 Tennessee
Florida RB Mike Gillislee has carried the Florida offense with two consecutive multi-touchdown games, and should see a lot of touches against the Volunteers. For Tennessee, Tyler Bray and Justin Hunter have created one of the most dangerous quarterback-receiver tandems, as Hunter has half of Bray’s six passing touchdowns.