1 – Alabama QB Jalen Milroe (vs. #14 LSU)
Stats: 15/23 – 219 yards | 20 carries – 155 yards – 4 touchdowns
No starting quarterback amongst national title contenders has had as up and down a year as Tide quarterback Jalen Milroe, but he brought his best stuff on Saturday night in a huge 42-28 victory over rival LSU. He wasn’t great through the air, even missing a wide open Isaiah Bond for a touchdown by rocketing the pass into the sideline, but made up for it a play later by scrambling up and the middle and turning on the jets to blow past the whole Tigers defense for the score. Milroe added three more scores on the ground and answered the bell every time the Tigers took the lead.
Milroe still shows question marks in the passing game, but his dynamic scrambling ability makes him the best threat at the position for the Tide offense. Alabama travels to Kentucky next week to face a tough Wildcats squad.
2 – Washington RB Dillon Johnson (vs. #20 USC)
Stats: 26 carries – 256 yards – 4 touchdowns | 2 receptions – 11 yards
If you missed the Huskies 52-42 shootout victory over the Trojans on Saturday night, you’d be sure to think they did it all on the shoulders of quarterback Michael Penix Jr. You’d be wrong though, as Brian Grubbs offense opted to run Dillon Johnson to victory as the Mississippi State transfer averaged almost a first down per carry and scored four times. The infamous Alex Grinch defense had no answers for his ability, either, as Johnson totaled the vast majority of those yards BEFORE contact.
The Huskies offense has been down the past few weeks, but as predicted, this was a get right game for them and the fact that they didn’t have to rely so heavily on Penix and the passing game was a huge win for showing how dominate this offense can be on a week to week basis. The Huskies host a frisky Utah team next Saturday in their quest to make the playoffs.
3 – Clemson RB Phil Mafah (vs. #15 Notre Dame)
Stats: 36 carries – 186 yards – 2 touchdowns
No Will Shipley, no problem. The Tigers rode the solo ‘thunder’ back and a tough defensive performance (more on that in a minute) to a big 31-23 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, an emotional one that saw Dabo Swinney become the winningest coach in Clemson history. Mafah carried the ball 36 times, the second most of any running back in FBS this season and more than double his previous career high, and racked up a whopping 186 yards on a great Irish defense.
This was a much needed win for a Clemson team that seemed to be spiraling, but the ship was righted all thanks to mid-week caller/Clemson plant Tyler from Spartanburg that seemed to jolt Dabo and this team and woke them up for a huge win. They’ll host Georgia Tech next Saturday at noon before a big matchup with North Carolina the week after.
4 – Clemson LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr (vs. #15 Notre Dame)
Stats: 11 tackles – 2 sacks – 1 interception – 1 touchdown
Double dipping into the Clemson victory with a shoutout to linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr, who played one of the best games from the linebacker position all season in the Tigers win. He racked up double digit tackles, sacked Sam Hartman twice, and added a pick-six midway through the second quarter that put Clemson up 24-6 and adding the comforting cushion that the Irish couldn’t quite fight all the way back from.
5 – James Madison QB Jordan McCloud (vs. Georgia State)
Stats: 28/36 – 307 yards – 4 touchdowns – 1 interception | 13 carries – 104 yards – 2 touchdowns
The Dukes moved to 9-0 on the season with a dominating 42-14 win over Georgia State on the road Saturday and did it behind the arms and legs of quarterback Jordan McCloud. The two-time transfer has finally found his groove this season in the James Madison offense, where he’s sitting in the top 25 amongst FBS quarterbacks in QBR. The Dukes quest for an undefeated season will continue next week against a bad UConn team next Saturday afternoon.