Week 3 Maxwell Award Elite
- In a valiant upset over USC, Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor led the charge with a huge game. On 27 rushing attempts, Taylor collected 153 yards and one touchdown, while adding 60 receiving yards and another score. His efforts earned him the Maxwell Award Player of the Week title among others. Taylor has recorded at least one touchdown in his first three games.
- In a shootout against North Carolina, QB Teddy Bridgewater, with his pinpoint accuracy, pulled through for the win. Bridgewater went 23-of-28 with 279 yards and three touchdowns, improving his completion percentage to a remarkable 81.8%, and more importantly giving the Cards an impressive 3-0 start. Bridgewater was labeled for a breakout year by experts, and seems on pace to become something special as he is just a sophomore.
- RB Jawan Jamison was a workhorse for Rutgers as he bolstered 41 carries for 151 yards and a touchdown in a win against South Florida. Jamison performed a video game-like spin move for a 41-yard touchdown to seal the victory. He now has rushed for 110 yards or more in the first three games of the season.
Week 3 Chuck Bednarik Award Presented by Cracker Barrel Elite
- Connecticut LB Yawin Smallwood is having a breakout sophomore campaign as he displayed against Maryland with 14 tackles, four stops for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble. His dominant play made him our Chuck Bednark Player of the Week presented by Cracker Barrel. Currently in all of the FBS, Smallwood ranks 10th in tackles and 8th in sacks.
- In a victory over Kansas, TCU LB Joel Hasley stepped up his play registering 12 total tackles and two sacks, helping hold the Jayhawks to just two field goals on the day. The sophomore was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week in just his second career start.
- Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor was the offensive X-factor, but on the other side of the ball sophomore S Jordan Richards made a significant impact slowing down Matt Barkley. Richards totaled three tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defended. Richards now has three interceptions on the year, tying him with secondary partner S Ed Reynolds for the team-high.
Exciting Week 4 Matchups To Watch For
- Missouri at No. 7 South Carolina
Both respective dual-threat quarterbacks may be expected back from injury, Missouri’s James Franklin (listed as game-time decision) and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw will look to turn the corner next Saturday in a tough SEC matchup. South Carolina will look to get RB Marcus Lattimore over 20 carries, while James Franklin (if he plays) will look to keep the talented South Carolina defense on their toes. Notably, Gamecocks fast and athletic defensive ends featuring Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor will be happy to give Franklin more than a hard time. If Franklin doesn’t play, freshman Corbin Berkstresser will be forced to step up once again for the Tigers.
- No. 18 Michigan at No. 11 Notre Dame
This game can very well be decided by the rushing game of Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Fitzgerald Toussaint going up against fiery LB Manti Te’o and company. Te’o will constantly be shadowing Robinson while massive DE Stephon Tuitt (5 sacks) will try to keep pressure in the pocket forcing the quarterback off routine. It’ll be important for Toussaint to get going in order to create opportunities for the passing game. Offensively, Notre Dame will look for QB Everett Golson to manage the ball, playing as smart as possible, with Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood controlling the ground game. This will be a well-fought strategic game.
- No. 10 Clemson at No. 4 Florida State
Clemson’s high-powered offense made up of QB Tajh Boyd, RB Andre Elliington, and WRs Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins faces one of the toughest defenses in the country. FSU has huge playmakers on defense; German native DE Bjoern Werner has stepped up his play with the loss of Brandon Jenkins, leading the nation with 6.5 sacks, and in the secondary CB Xavier Rhodes and S Lamarcus Joyner will be very physical looking to slow down the top offense in the ACC.
Despite a 1-2 record, Cal has scored over 30 points each game with their trio of QB Zach Maynard, RB Isi Sofole, and WR Keenan Allen. USC easily counters Cal’s offense with QB Matt Barkley, RB Silas Redd, and WRs Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. With the help of Barkley, Lee and Woods have combined for a super receiver of 49 catches 536 yards and eight touchdowns. USC will look to get up as many points on the board as possible after a rough loss on the road to Stanford.
- No. 15 Kansas State at No. 6 Oklahoma
QB Collin Klein has been nearly flawless leading Kansas State’s dangerously fluid offense through the air and ground. Landry Jones will lead Oklahoma’s offense once again, but since the injury of Ryan Broyles last season, Jones hasn’t been the same slinger. Jones will depend on his new favorite wideout Kenny Stills; they will both need to step up their play as Kansas State’s defense should not be overlooked.
- No. 22 Arizona at No. 3 Oregon
Rich Rodriguez has reinvented the Arizona offense headed by QB Matt Scott (5 yards shy of 1,000 passing yards), and explosive sophomore RB Ka’Deem Carey (5.8 yards per carry). Like Arizona, Oregon has found a new leader in QB Marcus Mariota, and with his success through the air Oregon continues to excel rushing the ball with four players rushing 100 yards or more, notably RB Kenjon Barner and sophomore WR De’Anthony Thomas (17.5 yards per carry).