Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 10/23/13
This was a very interesting weekend for some of the bigger names in college fantasy footall. Some of them came to play (Jordan Lynch, Jameis Winston) and had some monster performances, while others (Aaron Murray, Tajh Boyd) may have been eliminated altogether from a chance at some postseason hardware with lackluster displays.Here are the Champs and Chumps from Week 8.Champs:1.     Bronson Hill, RB, Eastern MichiganHill and the rest of his Eastern Michigan teammates should be commended for the way that they performed under the circumstances that took place just a day before the game when they learned that their fellow teammate Demarius Reed was found dead on Friday. When their head and hearts were elsewhere, thinking of their fallen teammate, they still managed to put up one of their best offensive performances of the entire year behind running back Bronson Hill who rushed for 257 yards and a touchdown. The team wanted to honor their fallen teammate and was able to do just that with the effort that they put forward on Saturday.2.     Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern IllinoisDespite being undefeated, NIU is not as good as they were a season ago. The defense has lacked, and the Huskies have had to win a few close games against inferior opponents thus far. One player that remains just as good as last year, though, is quarterback Jordan Lynch. On Saturday against Central Michigan, Lynch set the FBS record for rushing yards for a quarterback in a game with 316 yards and three touchdowns, while adding in 155 yards through the air and another score to cap off his record-breaking day. With Eastern Michigan and UMass next up on the schedule, that has me wondering what is the best three-game stretch that a rusher has had in college football history, because Lynch might be able to challenge that.3.     Michigan OffenseWhile the defense was an absolute disgrace, the offense righted the ship after last week’s pathetic performance against Penn State, as the Wolverines rolled up 751 total yards in the win. The good thing about this for fantasy owners is that Michigan really only has four playmakers on offense, and three of them had HUGE days, so the yardage wasn’t spread out amongst a bunch of players. Gardner had 503 yards passing, 369 of which went Jeremy Gallon’s way, and two passing touchdowns. The junior quarterback also added in 81 yards on the ground with three scores. As previously mentioned, Jeremy Gallon set a school record with 369 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Running back Fitz Toussaint rebounded from his 1.0 YPC performance from last week and had 151 rushing yards and four scores as well.Honorable Mention:1.     Kapri Bibbs, RB, Colorado StateIt looks to be out with the old and in with the new for Colorado State at running back. Former starter Chris Nwoke has had an up and down career, battling with injuries like most running backs do, and now it looks like Bibbs has assumed the starting role for the Rams. The sophomore back had a career-high game against Wyoming in which he rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns. In the last three games, Bibbs’ workload has increased steadily so look for him to be very much involved in the offense for the rest of the year.2.     Taysom Hill, QB, BYUDespite the three interceptions Hill had against Houston, he will still put up huge numbers, including the game-winning touchdown pass with just over a minute left to give BYU the win. Hill was his normal self on Saturday, getting it done both in the air and on the ground as he racked up over 540 total yards and four touchdowns. Hill and Co. will now have a rugged two-game stretch against Boise State and Wisconsin. I may sit Hill if you have him for these two.3.     Johnny Manziel/Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&MThese two just keep getting it done, and when they are on like this, it is so much fun to watch. Unfortunately, both times these two have combined for numbers like this, the Aggies wound up losing the contest. Manziel hit his favorite target 11 times for 287 yards and four touchdowns, while the sophomore quarterback put up 500 yards of total offense and a rushing touchdown to go with those four touchdown tosses. The most concerning part was Manziel getting injured during the fourth quarter of the game and was unable to return. As of now, no news is good news, and this does not look to be a long-term injury.4.     Jameis Winston, QB, Florida StateIn the battle of Heisman contenders on Saturday night, only one would be able to come out on top. Nobody thought it would be this lopsided though. Winston was the same stud that he has been all year long despite playing on the national stage, in a hostile environment, as just a redshirt freshman. On the night, Winston had 444 passing yards and three touchdowns, while also adding a rushing touchdown in the romp over Clemson. As of now, it is going to be a duel the rest of the year with Marcus Mariota for Heisman Trophy as those two now stand alone with Manziel, Boyd and Bridgewater all losing this weekend. This kid is something special.5.     Pac-12 North QuarterbacksSince there is a limited amount of space in the Champs/Chumps article, I figured I would include all of the big performances from this offensive-minded conference. Sean Mannion had yet another 400-yard passing day against Cal. Marcus Mariota finally turned the ball over for the first time all year, but still had nearly 400 yards of total offense on the night. And possibly the biggest effort was in a losing effort by Connor Halliday as he threw for 557 yards and four touchdowns in the loss to Oregon. Although, it does help to put up those numbers when you throw the ball 89 times!!! Nonetheless, a big week for Pac-12 North quarterbacks.This Won’t Last:1.     Brendan Kay, QB, CincinnatiKay is starting to find his groove that he found towards the end of last season, but I am still not a believer he will keep this up consistently. Against UConn, Kay threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns and Cincinnati blew out the Huskies. The reason I am not a believer? This was against two of the worst teams in all of college football – Connecticut and Temple. Cincy will take on a tough Memphis defense next week, then finishes up their schedule with three of the better teams in the conference in Houston, Rutgers and Louisville.2.     Kareem Hunt, RB, ToledoThis is why team’s load up at running back during the recruitment period – you can never have enough of them. Starting running back David Fluellen was off to a career day before his outing was cut short early in the fourth quarter due to injury. Freshman running back Kareem Hunt, who had only 12 career carries prior to this game, came up huge for the Rockets with 127 yards rushing and two touchdowns to seal the win over Navy. Hunt may be getting more carries going forward as the injury to Fluellen did not look promising, but Navy has an awful defense. Teams in the MAC will provide a stiffer challenge to the young back.3.     Michael Adkins II, RB, ColoradoColorado fans got a glimpse of the future on Saturday with a freshmen starting at both running back and quarterback against Charleston Southern. Sefo Luifao is the future of the program according to some, and he had a solid day, but the story was running back Michael Adkins II. The freshman set a school record with four rushing touchdowns to go along with 137 yards on the ground, easily his best performance of the year. Adkins has been getting more and more carries as the year goes along, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he overtakes Christian Powell as the starting running back. That being said, he won’t be facing anymore Charleston Southern’s in the rugged Pac-12.Chumps:1.     Aaron Murray, QB, GeorgiaThis shouldn’t help Murray’s reputation in the eyes of his many, many, many critics. Usually it’s the big games that hurt Murray, but this time it was Vanderbilt that got the best of Georgia in a game that firmly eliminated the Bulldogs of any chance of reaching a championship game in 2013. It seems as if the injuries have finally caught up to the Georgia offense as the weapons are very limited right now with the majority of their playmakers out with season-ending injuries. WR Michael Bennett, and RB Todd Gurley could be back in the coming weeks, but it will all be for naught as Georgia is on its way to a lower-level New Year’s Day game, something Bulldog fans don’t really want to see. Murray did have two rushing touchdowns in the game, but threw for a season-low 114 yards and did not have a single passing touchdown.2.     Terrance Broadway, QB, Louisiana-LafayetteUsually with these early mid-week games, big fireworks are expected, but maybe we just save that for the MAC. The Ragin’ Cajuns got a big win against Western Kentucky, but did it mainly with defense and the ground game. Broadway only needed to throw the ball 12 times during the entire game, as ULL relied mainly on the legs of running back Alonzo Harris who rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Broadway has not been as spectacular as many expected him to be this season, but has been consistent as he had a touchdown pass in every game this season.3.     Stephen Morris, QB, MiamiIt was a bad day for Morris to have his worst performance possibly of his entire career. There were scouts all around the stadium apparently, most of which there to see Morris sling the ball around the yard. Unfortunately for him, he mostly slung it to North Carolina defenders as he had four interceptions and zero touchdowns in the win over the Tar Heels. If you ask him, I am sure he would take the win, but turning the ball over is not good for his draft status or for his fantasy owners. Morris gets a week to right the ship as Miami will take on Wake Forest this week, but he better improve for the following two weeks which include Florida State and Virginia Tech. Both teams take the ball away from offenses with ease. Honorable Mention:1.     Clint Chelf/J.W. Walsh, QB, Oklahoma StateThe quarterback battle is back on apparently in Stillwater, and head coach Mike Gundy plans to keep us all waiting to see who will play this upcoming week when the Cowboys travel to Iowa State. While 5-1, the Oklahoma State offense is at nowhere near the level that is have been in past years, and much of it has to do with the play of the quarterback, though much could be attributed to a poor offensive line as well. Walsh became the starter in Week 2 after Chelf was unimpressive in the opening game, but the door seems to be wide open right now for Chelf to come back and seize the opportunity. The two combined for zero touchdowns, three interceptions and less than 300 yards passing in the win over TCU.2.     Jerome Smith, RB, SyracuseSmith has been practically the only good thing about this Syracuse offense all season, and when he doesn’t get rolling, you can see the results as the Orange were shutout in the loss to Georgia Tech. Prior to this performance, Smith had rushed for 100 yards in two straight weeks, and had a rushing touchdown in every game this season, but that ended Saturday as Smith only had 11 carries for 43 yards on the day. That being said, Syracuse has no choice but to hand the rock to Smith as they don’t have a capable quarterback to lead the offense. Keep Smith in your lineup for the time being.3.     Terry Baggett, RB, ArmyOne week after putting up the best rushing performance all season long, Baggett had his second-lowest rushing output of the year as he only gained 24 yards on seven carries in the loss to then-winless Temple. Army was never able to get in a rhythm offensively due in part to some bad turnovers and losing their starting QB during the second quarter. While Baggett has had a couple big games, his carries are inconsistent as Army likes to get a lot of runners involved. When the matchup is right, and you need a running back is when you should play Baggett going forward.4.     Alex Neutz, WR, BuffaloThe passing game was not needed for Buffalo as the improved to 5-2 on the year as they blew out a bad UMass squad. The game was all about Branden Oliver who rushed 43 times for 210 yards and a touchdown. The lone passing touchdown of the game went to the WR opposite Neutz in Fred Lee. Neutz, the leading receiver for Buffalo, finished the game with only two catches for 26 yards. When Buffalo is in tighter games, that is when the ball will be forced into Neutz’ hands.5.     Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana TechI guess Sonny Dykes really is that good of an offensive coach…or Skip Holtz is just that bad. I think I will go with the latter. One week after putting up 200 yards on the ground, Dixon had only 25 yards on 12 carries in the loss to North Texas who is not known for their stifling rush defense. One year after putting up a record 27 rushing touchdowns as a freshman, Dixon only has three touchdowns thus far into his sophomore season, and has been very inconsistent through the first seven games. It really depends on the matchup now if you will put Dixon in your lineup, as he looks to be far too risky to play on a consistent basis.This Won’t Last:1.     Brett Hundley, QB, UCLAWhile the Pac-12 North QB’s had fantastic games for the most part, it wasn’t the case for the QB’s in the South. Hundley needed a big performance but came up short as the Stanford D was back to its normal self, knocking the Bruins from the ranks of the unbeaten’s. Coming into the game, UCLA had been averaging just over 45 points per game, but were held to just 10 and had over 150 more total yards in the game. Hundley had his worst game of the year as well, not topping 200 yards passing for the first time all season and had two crucial INT’s that killed drives. It doesn’t get any easier this week either as Oregon will be hosting the Bruins in a game that could be a sneak preview of the conference championship game.2.     Bishop Sankey, RB, WashingtonWho knew that Arizona State had such a good run defense? We knew they had one of the best defensive tackles in college football in Will Sutton, but they held one of the best running backs in the game to a 1.7 YPC average. Sankey did score a touchdown in the game, but only had 22 yards on the ground, by far his lowest yardage total of the year. As a team, Washington had negative yardage on the ground in a game that looked a lot like last year’s team. The wear and tear of the Pac-12 looks to be catching up with the Huskies.3.     Tajh Boyd, QB, ClemsonUnfortunately for Boyd, he can kiss goodbye to any hopes of a Heisman Trophy, and maybe a chance at a National Championship as well, as the Seminoles really took it to Clemson on Saturday night in the surprising blowout. Boyd did what he couldn’t do against this stingy Florida State defense which was turn the football over, but he did just that, and it cost them big time. Boyd looked like the freshman while the actual freshman, Jameis Winston, shined in the spotlight and probably overtook Boyd for good in many postseason award races. Boyd finished the night with 156 yards passing and a single touchdown.
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