Week one of the college football season has come to an end. Football may be a team sport but it is hard not to recognize great individual performances. These players may not have been at the top of the stat sheet but their efforts in week one were superb and helped their teams win.
Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill had to replace a Heisman Trophy winner and college football’s biggest name in Johnny Manziel. His first start was on the road against (9) South Carolina. Hill threw for 511 yards and four touchdowns breaking Manziel’s school record for passing yards in a single game. His performance helped end the nation’s longest home winning streak and helped the Aggies beat the Gamecocks 52-28.
Even though it is only week one it seems that UGA running back Todd Gurley has emerged as the player to beat for the Heisman Trophy. Gurley ran all over (16) Clemson with 198 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. But he wasn’t only effective out of the backfield, he can do it all. Gurley took a second quarter kickoff 100 yards all the way back to keep his Dawgs in the game against a feisty Clemson. His efforts were rewarded with the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week award. After a injury-ridden season in 2013, Gurley looks healthy and ready to dominate the SEC.
True freshman Marlon Mack shined in his first career game as a college athlete. The USF running back ran for 275 yards and four scores, giving his team the offensive punch it needed to get the W. Even though his performance was against an FCS team, Western Carolina, the Bulls narrowly escaped with a 36-31 win. His three second-half touchdowns helped carry his team to victory.
A linebacker for UCLA scored a touchdown, had 17 tackles, forced a fumble, but it wasn’t Myles Jack. In a closer game than many expected, Eric Hendricks was able to create two scores for the Bruins. He caught a tipped pass and ran it back for a score, also forced the fumble that was returned 75 yards for a touchdown by teammate Randall Goforth. Hendricks’ performance earned him Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Tune in next Monday for the top performances from Week Two!
*Section Photo credit to Grant Halverson, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to AJ Reynolds, Athens Banner-Herald