Each week, I’ll be highlighting five star performances across the weekend of college football.
1 – Northwestern Ground Game
Northwestern got an upset victory against Nebraska over the pond in Ireland in Week 0, and it was in large part due to the Wildcats rushing attack. Quarterback Ryan Hilinski performed far better than most expected, but the offensive line (highlighted by Draft darling Peter Skoronski) and the rushing duo of Evan Hull and Cam Porter combined for over 200 yards on the ground, bullying the Cornhuskers all over the field as the game went along. Is even year Northwestern about to toss their name in the ring for the Big Ten West?
2 – Illinois RB Chase Brown
Not to be outdone when it comes to Big Ten ground attacks, Illinois stud running back Chase Brown made a statement in week zero against the Wyoming Cowboys by rattling off 151 yards on just 19 carries (7.9 YPC) and racking up three total touchdowns in the Illini’s dominate 38-6 victory. Brown is one of the best running backs in the Big Ten, and will be a huge key to the Illini quest to go bowling in 2022.
3 – Vanderbilt QB Mike Wright
The last time Vanderbilt scored 63 points in a football game, Richard Nixon was President. The Commodores blew the doors off Hawaii in Week 0 and it was largely because of the play of quarterback Mike Wright. The dual threat quarterback passed for 146 yards, scored two touchdowns through the air, accounted for two more on the ground (including the above 87 yard run) and ran for an additional 163 yards. Hawaii is obviously very undermanned this season, but Vanderbilt may have the most exciting quarterback they’ve had in recent memory with Wright.
4 – Utah State QB Logan Bonner
Utah State was on the ropes for a little while against UConn, but once Bonner got heated up the Aggies managed to pull away enough to secure the win in their opening game. Bonner went 20/29 for 281 yards and accounted for three touchdowns through the air. The veteran quarterback proved yet again that with him in the lineup, the Aggies should still be considered one of the favorites in the Mountain West.
5 – UConn RB Nathan Carter
It was in a losing effort for the Huskies, but the play of running back Nathan Carter deserves some recognition. Carter rushed for 190 yards on 20 carries (9.5 YPC!) for UConn against Utah State, including the speedy breakaway above. Carter accounted for more than half of the Huskies total yards on the day and kept them in it while the passing game sputtered often.