1 – Maryland QB Taulia Tagovailoa (vs. Charlotte)
Maryland came into 2022 with high expectations for their offense with the former Alabama transfer having gained a year of experience and a receiving core of weapons like Rakim Jarrett, incoming Florida transfer Jacob Copeland, and Dontay Demus Jr returning from injury. After a slow start against Buffalo in Week 1, the Tagovailoa came out hot on the road against an albeit bad Charlotte team. Completing 27/31 passes for 391 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a QB rating of a whopping 229.2, Tagovailoa will look to carry this performance into a potential shootout against SMU next Saturday.
2 – Air Force RB Brad Roberts (vs. Colorado)
Brad Roberts is the best running back you’ve never heard of, probably. The standout back in the Air Force offense had almost 300 carries and over 1,300 yards last season and is the driving force for what the Falcons do best. On Saturday, Roberts torched the Buffalo defense for 174 yards on 24 carries and accumulated 3 touchdowns in the 41-10 victory. Air Force is a group of five school to watch out for, and with Houston losing this weekend, the Falcons could be a contender to earn a New York 6 bid if they can run the table in the Mountain West.
3 – USC WR Jordan Addison (vs. Stanford)
It was only a matter of time before Jordan Addison earned a star this season, and he’ll get it in his second game as a Trojan. Caleb Williams connected with the reigning Biletnikoff winner 7 times for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns on Saturday night against the Cardinal. The USC offense has clicked from the get-go and is just as exciting, if not more, than any of Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma offenses and is clearly positioning itself early as a viable threat to make the Playoffs.
4 – Middle Tennessee Defense (vs. Colorado State)
A week after getting mauled by James Madison, Middle Tennessee got an upset victory on the road over a Colorado State team that many expected to be trending upwards. The Blue Raider defense suffocated the Rams and QB Clay Millen, sacking him 9 times with 13 total tackles for loss. Defensive end Quindarius Dunnigan accounted for 2.5 of those sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, and safety Tra Fluellen added a pick-six. Rams QB Clay Millen ended the game with a 16.7 QBR and (though I hate sacks count here) the Rams ended with -10 yards rushing on 34 attempts.
5 – Appalachian State Defense (vs. Texas A&M)
Appalachian State logged another Top 10 upset, this time on the road at Kyle Field against the Texas A&M Aggies, and it was in large part because of the defense. The Mountaineers made things miserable for A&M, allowing them past the 50 yard line only a few times all afternoon. The Aggies managed just 9 first downs and 186 yards, including less than 100 yards passing by Haynes King on 20 attempts. App State also logged 2 turnovers, and allowed the Aggies offense just 18 minutes of possession and 1 lonely touchdown (Devon Achane logged a kickoff return touchdown for their only other score. Coming off a miserable showing against North Carolina at home a week ago, this performance by the Mountaineers was one of the best we’ll see all season.
Oh, and the Mountaineers also stole next weeks College Gameday from Texas A&M as the icing on top.