1 – LSU QB Jayden Daniels (vs. Ole Miss)
Brian Kelly grabbed his first huge win as head coach of the LSU Tigers with the 45-20 victory over 7th ranked Ole Miss in Death Valley on Saturday, and it was largely on the arm and legs of much maligned transfer quarterback Jayden Daniels.
After going down 17-3 early in the second quarter, the Tigers turned it on and routed the Rebels 42-3 the rest of the game. Daniels passed for 248 yards, ran for another 121 yards and accounted for 5 Tiger touchdowns. Of Daniels 21 completions, he found 8 different targets and left the Rebels defense in confusion. A lot has been made about Daniels desire to run often, and OC Mike Denbrock has done a solid job of tailoring the offense over the course of the season to best utilize his skill set. LSU gets a bye next week before Alabama comes to town for a Top 25 matchup.
2 – Oregon QB Bo Nix (vs. UCLA)
Bo Nix is having fun. He might be a Heisman contender. The incredible Bo Nix tweet has seemingly come true in 2022, and all it took was moving across the country, away from a program in Auburn that he seemed destined to play and succeed. On Saturday, Nix completed 22-of-28 pass attempts for 283 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 45-30 blowout of the 9th ranked Bruins.
Much was made about how the Ducks opened the season, a blasting at the hands of the defending Champion Georgia Bulldogs, but they quickly put it in the rearview and have rolled off 6 consecutive victories, 5 of which haven’t really been close. Nix completion percentage on the season is 71.5%, 10.5% higher than his career high of 61% last season. He’s already surpassed his career high passing touchdown mark with 17, and has only thrown 3 interceptions (2 of which came against Georgia). Nix has had a remarkable season thus far, living up to the potential he was once hyped with coming out of high school.
Nix and the Ducks head to California for a matchup with the Bears next week.
3 – Clemson RB’s Will Shipley & Phil Mafah (vs. Syracuse)
Clemson snuck by the Orange yet again on Saturday, all thanks to the running game and a few defensive stops. After weeks of looking like he righted the ship, DJ Uiagalelei struggled and made a few costly turnovers leading coach Dabo Swinney to pull his starter again. Backup Cade Klubnik came in and wasn’t very effective either. So, the Tigers relied heavily on the ground game of Shipley and Mafah. The Clemson duo ran the ball 45 times for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns and kept Clemsons playoff hopes alive.
Clemson is off next week and will head to Notre Dame for a primetime matchup the week after.
4 – Marshall DL Owen Porter (vs. James Madison)
The Thundering Herd have had an up and down season. After a Week 2 upset of Notre Dame, it looked like they were gonna be a Sun Belt contender. A week later, they lost to a bad Bowling Green team and followed it up with losses to Troy and Louisiana. On Saturday, the Herd pulled another upset by beating a James Madison team that has looked like the class of the conference for the early portion of the season.
Defensive lineman Owen Porter sacked the Dukes backup quarterback Billy Atkins 3 and a half times, registered 4.5 tackles for loss, a pass defended, 4 QB hurries, and a forced fumble. Oh, and he lead the team with 9 total tackles. All in all, the Herd picked up 7 sacks and 11 tackles for loss along with 4 interceptions as they disrupted the James Madison offense from whistle to whistle.
Marshall faces off against premier Sun Belt competitors Coastal Carolina next weekend.
5 – Wisconsin DB John Torchio (vs. Purdue)
The Badgers have looked much better since Jim Leonhard took over as the interim head coach, and ironically enough the star of the week for them was safety John Torchio. Torchio picked off Boilermaker quarterback Aidan O’Connell twice, including a 31 yard return for a touchdown to put the Badgers up 14-0 early in the contest. Torchio added in 10 total tackles to lead the team as well.
Wisconsin will get a bye week before facing a Maryland squad with a solid offense.