1 – Charlotte QB Chris Reynolds (vs. Georgia State)
At times, Charlotte has looked surprisingly like one of the worst teams in FBS early in this season. The defense has been awful (they’ve given up 41 points or more in all four contests) and starting QB Chris Reynolds has been out since getting injured in the Week 0 opener against FAU. Needing a victory, Reynolds returned to the lineup and torched the Panthers defense for 401 yards and 5 touchdowns, including the game winner with 17 seconds left to lead the 49ers to an upset road win.
2 – UAB RB DeWayne McBride (vs. Georgia Southern)
If you’ve never heard of DeWayne McBride, educated yourself. McBride averaged close to 7 yards per carry in 2021 on more than 200 carries and came into 2022 looking just as good as he ever did. On Saturday, against a Georgia Southern squad fresh off a win at Nebraska, McBride racked up 28 carries for 223 yards and 4 touchdowns en route to a Blazers 35-21 win. With a fairly tame Conference USA schedule upcoming, McBride will get plenty of looks and likely continue to build off his early season success while the Blazers place themselves at the top of the conference.
3 – Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk (vs. Michigan State)
After a disappointing season under Jimmy Lake, vibes in Seattle were down significantly. In comes Kalen DeBoer from Fresno, and the Huskies offense has exploded from the jump in 2022. Facing a Spartans team ranked 11th, Washington went up big early with a 22-0 first half lead and never looked back. Polk, a former Texas Tech transfer, grabbed 6 receptions for 153 yards and scoring a touchdown in each of the first three quarters. Michael Penix (who could have easily gotten a star this week as well) and his receiving core have been a revelation in this new system and the Huskies are officially getting slapped with the entertaining label.
4 – Washington State LB Daiyan Henley (vs. Colorado State)
A week after we featured the Middle Tennessee defense after a matchup with Colorado State, we are back to give some stars for a performance against the Rams. Henley, a 6th year senior who transferred from Nevada, led the Cougars defense with 13 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles in the 38-7 win on Saturday. Henley is up to 4 sacks and 25 tackles on the season as a leader for a Washington State squad that is quietly sitting at 3-0 to open the season and has a big test with Oregon coming to Pullman this upcoming weekend.
5 – Mississippi Defense (vs. Georgia Tech)
The Rebel defense hasn’t exactly been a strong point during the past decade, but on Saturday, they dominated Georgia Tech offense in a 42-0 shutout performance. The defense as a whole sacked quarterback Jeff Sims 7 times, accumulated 12 tackles for loss, allowed just 161 passing yards and held the Yellowjackets rushing game to 1.6 yards per carry on 34 attempts (again, I hate sacks count here but oh well). The Rebs defense will get one more out of conference matchup with Tulsa next weekend before they open SEC play with a tougher task in Kentucky in October.