Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 9/19/13
Maxwell Award: What we noticed Alabama QB AJ McCarron was the veteran playmaker he needed to be and more in its road victory over Texas A&M. The senior connected on 69% of his passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns, with zero interceptions.  The SEC Offensive Player of the Week will face Colorado State this weekend before playing Ole Miss at home. Against Tennessee, Oregon had yet another dominating win with the help of dual-threat QB Marcus Mariota. The sophomore amassed 456 passing yards and five total touchdowns. Through three games, he has 11 total touchdowns. Despite the tough loss, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel was still able to dissect one of the most talented defenses in the nation. Manziel totaled 561 yards and five touchdowns, and more than half of his 463 passing yards went to WR Mike Evans, who recorded 279 yards and a touchdown. Although there was a peculiar ending, two running backs were able to display their skills in the Wisconsin-Arizona State game. Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon rushed for over 100 yards for the third consecutive game, gaining 193 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. On the other side, ASU RB Marion Grice tallied 134 total yards and four rushing touchdowns to help give the Sun Devils the final edge. Chuck Bednarik Award: What we noticed In a valiant comeback win over Nebraska, UCLA OLB Anthony Barr contributed with a career-high 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles. Barr was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and will now face 0-3 New Mexico State this weekend. After a quiet game against Boise State, Washington DE Josh Shirley disrupted the Illinois offense with seven tackles, three sacks, and one QB hurry. In the previous two seasons, Shirley has recorded 6.5 and 8.5 sacks for the Huskies. In Arkansas’ demanding win over Southern Miss, DE Chris Smith had a big game with five tackles, four QB hurries, and three sacks. Smith now has 4.5 sacks heading into Saturday’s game at Rutgers. Maxwell Award: Matchups to watch this week Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State) vs. Boise State In his career as a starter, Carr is 0-2 against Boise State, with just one touchdown and two interceptions. If Carr wants to prove he is the best QB in the Mountain West he has to finally overcome the Broncos. Marion Grice (RB, Arizona State) vs. Stanford In just his first two games, Grice has managed to find the end zone six times. Stanford boasts the best defense in the Pac-12, and if Grice can get the best of the Cardinal, his stock will dramatically shoot up. Paul James (RB, Rutgers) vs. Alex Collins (RB, Arkansas) James leads the nation in rushing yards with 493, and the true freshman Collins isn’t too far behind with 418. There will be a lot of ground-and-pound in this game, as both teams want to feed these guys the ball. Chuck Bednarik Award: Matchups to watch this week North Carolina vs. Jeremiah Attaochu (DE, Georgia Tech) UNC QB Bryn Renner has been sacked five times through two games and will have to watch out for the athletic Attaochu coming off the edge. The end has been very quiet in wins against Elon and Duke, but no need to panic; last year, he started the season with a half-sack through four games, yet finished with 10. Chris Davis (CB, Auburn) vs. LSU Davis is listed as questionable after suffering a foot injury and his participation is essential if Auburn is going to upset in Baton Rouge. LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. has been on a tear, and Davis is the best option to contain him. In his first two games, Davis registered 13 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and five passes broken up. Shilique Calhoun (DE, Michigan State) vs. Stephon Tuitt (DE, Notre Dame) and Louis Nix III (DT) This game is shaping up to be a great defensive matchup, with major talent starting on the defensive line. Calhoun has been one of the hottest defensive players this season with three tackles for loss, two sacks, eight quarterback hurries, three fumble recoveries, and an interception. Superstars Tuitt and Nix have been quiet so far, but they’ll look to make some noise against an undefeated team that’s only let up two sacks thus far. -Schotz
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