1 – Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs (vs. Arkansas)
Heisman winning quarterback Bryce Young went down early in this major matchup against fellow ranked SEC opponent Arkansas, and Gibbs and the Tide rushing attack were tasked with keeping things on track and coming out with a win on the road. The Razorbacks clawed back into the game after the injury, getting within 5 points in the third quarter, before the Tide rushing attack blew the doors off them in the fourth. Gibbs pulled off touchdown runs of 72 and 76 yards in the fourth quarter to seal the Tide victory. Gibbs finished his day with 226 total yards on 20 touches and 2 touchdowns.
2 – East Carolina QB-WR tandem Holton Ahlers & C.J. Johnson (vs. South Florida)
The Pirates came out against a fledgling Bulls team and offensively kicked their teeth in on Saturday in the 48-28 victory. Quarterback Holton Ahlers completed 31 of his 41 pass attempts for 465 yards and 6 touchdowns while his main target C.J. Johnson accounted for 7 catches, 197 yards and 4 of those touchdowns. The explosive pairing will look to continue rolling in a big AAC matchup against a stingy Tulane defense.
3 – Cincinnati Bearcats Defense (vs. Tulsa)
The Bearcats defense looked dominate for most of the day against the Golden Hurricanes, wreaking havoc in in all levels. Cincinnati accounted for 11(!) sacks and 15 tackles for loss, hurried the quarterback 4 more times, and grabbed two interceptions including a pick-six by linebacker Deshawn Pace to open the scoring. The Bearcats get the South Florida Bulls next week in a game that the defense should be able to dominate as Cincinnati looks to cap its AAC tenure with another Championship.
4 – Kansas State Defenders Khalid Duke & Felix Anudike-Uzomah (vs. Texas Tech)
Is the state of Kansas having a moment? A combined record of 9-1 from the FBS Kansas programs through 5 weeks, and neither appear to be slowing down. Felix Anudike-Uzomah is a draft darling after a huge 2021 season, and he showed out in the Wildcats 37-28 win over the Red Raiders. However, he wasn’t alone as linebacker Khalid Duke equalled him as they each accounted for 3 sacks of Red Raider quarterback Donovan Smith. With hard nose defense and an explosive rushing attack between Adrian Martinez and Deuce Vaughn, the Wildcats are a real contender in the Wild West that is the Big 12 this season.
5 – Utah Cornerback Clark Phillips III (vs. Oregon State)
Phillips was a notable commit for the Utes a few years back after spurning Ohio State, a decision that doesn’t exactly happen…ever, and he’s been a stud on the backend of the defense ever since. On Saturday night, in the Utes 42-16 blowout of the Beavers, Phillips racked up 3 interceptions including a 38 yard pick-six in the first quarter. Phillips now has 4 on the season, and pumps his career total to 7 for the stout Ute defense. A tough matchup against undefeated UCLA next week should provide another good challenge for the talented corner and a Utah team with repeat Pac 12 Championship aspirations.