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That may have been the most competitive, nail biting, chaotic week in the history of this great sport. God bless college football.
Honorable Mention – Defeated no more
You did it boys, you did it.
5. Matt Corral – QB; Ole Miss
Underwhelming. It is a term that can best be described as the failure to make a positive impact on a certain situation. And as Matt Corral exited Bryant-Denny stadium last Saturday night, fresh of the helms of a 42-21 defeat, many were eager to state that the So Cal slinger may not be ready for the bright lights.
One of my favorite sayings in life is true character can be measured by not how hard you fall, but how you get up. And after getting knocked on the canvas by a couple of Crimson Bullies, Corral could of easily stayed down and let his lackluster performance linger to the following week. The best QB in the country however, had other plans.
And in a game that featured 1,287 total yards and 103 combined points, Corral became once again, the center of the CFB world, throwing for 287 yards, to go along with 94 yards on the ground and 4 combined scores. And mind you, this was all done against a team where last year, Corral threw for 6 INTs in a losing effort. So yes, I think it is safe to say that the So-Cal Slinger picked himself up off the canvas.
4. Frank Harris – QB; UTSA
#Ranktheroadrunners…… I have said it before, and I will say it again. The UTSA Roadrunners are one of, if not the most exciting cinderella stories in all of CFB. Last year, we were introduced to the darlings of Coastal Carolina and the hard hitting Moromons of BYU. Fast forward a calendar year and it is time to say hello to a team located in San Antonio who is 6-0 for the first time in program history.
Coming into Saturdays affair with Western Kentucky, many thought that the Roadrunners were about to finally meet their match. The Hilltoppers were said to have one the nations fastest scoring offenses and had a QB in Bailey Zappe who was born with a rocket for an arm. And while Zappe had a career day, throwing for 523 yards to go along with 5 throwing scores, it was the play of the Roadrunners senior QB, Frank Harris that made the morning papers.
Frank Harris is not a name you are going to hear about very often. The senior from Schertz Texas didn’t have many scholarship offers coming out of high school and came into Saturday’s matchup with a QBR of just 65.3. Having said that, if you were to watch Harris play on Saturday afternoon, you might have thought you were watching the next Patrick Mahomes.
In route to a 52-46 victory, the 6 foot senior had a stat line to remember, throwing for 349 yards to go along with 6 TD passes and 51 rushing yards. Remember the name, remember this team.
3. Jalen Nailor – WR; Michigan State
If you were to pick a surprise team thus far 6 games into the CFB season there is a good chance you lean towards Michigan State. The Spartans, who are led by second year HC Mel Tucker, have taken the CFB world by storm, winning their first 6 games of the year in convincing fashion and have all of a sudden asserted themselves in the CFP discussion. It’s not anarchy, it’s college football.
And as the Spartans made their way to Piscataway NJ on Saturday afternoon, where they would be matched up against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, it almost seemed as if the game was over before it even started. And the reason I’m saying this, is because coach Schiano must have only started 10 men on defense for the first half of the game.
4 receptions, 208 yards, 3 TDs. These were the FIRST HALF statistics for Spartan Junior WR, Jalen Nailor. Nailor, who is one of the most explosive playmakers in the Big Ten, could not be stopped during the first two quarters of Saturdays contest against Rutgers, scoring 3 TDs of 60+ yards, as well as breaking the stadium record in receiving yards….all in the first half. There is good, there is dominant, and then there is what we saw out of Jalen Nailor on Saturday afternoon. Have a day young man!
2. Zach Calzada – QB; Texas A&M
Zach Calzada may be just 20 years old, but I am almost willing to guarantee that after Saturday nights heroic performance, the Sophomore QB will never have to buy a beer in College Station again.
To fully understand just how Herculean Calzada’s efforts were on Saturday night, we are going to have to take things back to week 2, when the Aggies made their way to Denver to face the Buffaloes of Colorado.
It was not a pretty scene. Aggies starting QB Haynes King was being taken off the field, where it would be later learned that the highly touted freshman had fractured his leg. It was time for Zach Calzada to step up and shine.
And shine he did….against New Mexico. But the same could not be said with a poor start against Arkansas and an embarrassing home loss vs Mississippi State. The Aggies were 0-2 in the SEC and people were calling for Calzada to be run out of town faster than Usain Bolt.
So how…..with everything that is all and good in this world did Zach Calzada manage to lead his team to victory on Saturday night against the #1 team in the country? I honestly couldn’t tell you.
What I can tell you is this. What I saw out of the Sophomore from Georgia was one of the grittiest, most courageous performances of all time. See, what people don’t understand is this. To beat a team like Alabama, you can’t just be good. Heck, you can’t even settle for being great. No..to defeat the kings of college football, you have to be perfect.
Zach Calzada’s Final Line: 21-31, 285 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
1. Caleb Williams – QB; Oklahoma
The score read 35-17. Sooners starting QB, Spencer Rattler, had just turned the ball over for the second time, which was immediately followed by a Longhorn TD. Lincoln Riley needed to make a change. Calling into his bullpen, the 5th year HC tapped his True Freshman Caleb Williams to answer the bell. Was it an act of desperation? Perhaps. But it was a move that turned out to be one of the signature decisions of Rileys career.
When Caleb Williams entered the game as the new starting QB for the Oklahoma Sooners, one can only imagine what was racing through the young mans head. The 5 star recruit from Washington DC was entering one of our sports greatest rivalries, with his team trailing by 18 points. This wasn’t just a hill to climb, it was a damn near mountain.
It is worth mentioning that when Williams came into the game to replace Rattler as QB1, it was not the true freshman’s first time stepping on the field. To begin the second quarter, Williams was called upon on a 4th and 1 to execute a power run of sorts. What ended up happening however, was a lapse in defensive coverage, resulting in a 66 yard, TD run. Welcome to your first Red-River showdown, kid.
Now, I could sit here all day and tell you how special and memorable the second half was during Saturdays RRS. I could tell you all about how some how, someway, the Sooners managed to outscore the Longhorns 35-10 in the second half resulting in a 55-48 win. But instead, I want you all to take with you this. What Caleb Williams did on Saturday, throwing for 212, rushing for 88 and scoring 3, all in part towards leading his men to a 18 point second half comeback, is one of the most incredible, almost impossible things I have ever seen on a CFB field. A star was born on Saturday afternoon and we were all witness to it.