1 – Georgia Tech QB Haynes King (vs. #17 North Carolina)
Stats: 23/30 – 287 yards – 4 touchdowns – 1 interception | 8 carries – 90 yards
The Yellow Jackets pulled off yet another upset of a top 25 team on Saturday night against the North Carolina Tar Heels, and did it behind the arms and legs of quarterback Haynes King. The Texas A&M transfer had his most impressive performance of the season with 4 touchdowns, including the go-ahead pass to tight end Brett Seither on a scramble with less than 5 minutes to play that put the Bees up 46-42.
The Yellow Jackets have been an enigma this season, with wins over Miami and North Carolina and a loss to Bowling Green. They’ll travel to Charlottesville to play Virginia next Saturday on the CW.
2 – Liberty QB Kaidon Salter (vs. Western Kentucky)
Stats: 10/15 – 169 yards – 3 touchdowns | 13 carries – 117 yards – 1 touchdown
Liberty moved to 8-0 on the season by beating Western Kentucky during mid-week CUSAnity and will likely finally move into the top 25 this week, and its been the efficient play of Kaidon Salter that has led them there. In the win over the Hilltoppers, he was yet again impressive through the air and on the ground and has proven to be a perfect player for the position in Jamey Chadwell’s unique offense.
With just 4 games left, and all against sub-.500 teams, the Flames have a real chance to go 12-0 in Chadwell’s first season as coach and will likely be on top of Conference USA for as long as he sticks around. Their schedule will make it tough to get the New Years Six bid unless Air Force and Tulane both find losses, though. Next week, they take on Louisiana Tech at home.
3 – James Madison WR Reggie Brown (vs. Old Dominion)
Stats: 9 receptions – 142 yards – 2 touchdowns
Like Liberty, James Madison moved to 8-0 on the season with a close 30-27 win over Old Dominion on Saturday. The Dukes leading receiver Reggie Brown showed up big to help get James Madison to their 11th consecutive win, and with any justice they’d be in the driver seat for the New Years Six bid, but unfortunately the NCAA is anything but just.
The Dukes will travel to Atlanta to face a tough Georgia State squad next Saturday and will look to continue their quest for an undefeated season.
4 – Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (vs. Wisconsin)
Stats: 6 receptions – 123 yards – 2 touchdowns
Marvin Harrison Jr, welcome back to the Five Stars! After an explosive performance that led to the Buckeyes win over Penn State last weekend, he did the same against Wisconsin on Saturday night in another tough defensive matchup.
The hype for Harrison is real, and it feels almost certain at this point he’ll be a top five pick in this years NFL Draft. We’ll have to temper the hype on the Heisman candidacy because I don’t think he’ll have the overall numbers, but an invite to New York could be on the table should the Buckeyes win out and go undefeated.
The Buckeyes travel to play Rutgers next Saturday in a matchup that should provide a nice stat line padding for Harrison.
5 – Louisiana LB Cam Whitfield (vs. South Alabama)
Stats: 7 tackles – 3.5 sacks – 3 forced fumbles
The Ragin’ Cajuns pulled off a big 33-20 road win on Saturday night against South Alabama, and the star of the game was pass rusher Whitfield who sacked Jaguars quarterback Carter Bradley three and a half times and forced a fumble on three of them. The first fumble led to a Cajuns touchdown, the second came right before the half, and the third led to a scoop and score that put the Cajuns up 26-14 and ended a rally from the Jags.
Whitfield is up to seven sacks on the season now and the Cajuns will travel to Arkansas State next Saturday to play a feisty Red Wolves team.