Week 2 of college football didn’t feature a ton of enticing matchups on the surface, but we witnessed some thrilling games. Oregon pulled off a stunner, Iowa dominated the Cy-Hawk, and Texas A&M nearly fell. We saw some great individual performances in those games, so let’s take a look at the Week 2 players of the week.
Best performances during college football Week 2 | Offense
Let’s start with the offensive players for Week 2 of the college football season.
QB Seth Henigan, Memphis
If you’re not familiar with the name, you’re not alone. Henigan has seemingly come out of nowhere this season thanks to an injury to Grant Gunnell and hasn’t looked back. The freshman built on a solid Week 1 performance with a big Week 2, throwing for 417 yards and 5 touchdowns. His performance also opened up the rushing attack for the Tigers as well (they averaged 7.1 yards per carry).
Thanks to Henigan, questions about the Memphis offense seemingly have been answered, but there’s still plenty of season left. If he is the answer at quarterback, the Tigers will contend for the AAC title. So far, it looks promising.
RB Jerome Ford, Cincinnati
Any questions about the production in the absence of Gerrid Doaks have been answered. Ford has now started his 2021 season with two 100-yard games along with 4 touchdowns to pace the offense. Cincinnati struggled early against Murray State, but they turned to their new star running back to get them settled.
RB CJ Verdell, Oregon
In the biggest game of the weekend, the Oregon Ducks pulled off a stunner in Columbus, thanks largely to CJ Verdell. Oregon’s back ran 20 times for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns while adding 3 catches for 34 yards and another score.
Oregon had the perfect game plan in place offensively, and it made life easy for Verdell. Wide running lanes and a confused Buckeyes defense led to a couple of scores and opened up the scoring for the Ducks. Mario Cristobal needed his team to take a step this year, and it appears that they have done exactly that.
WR Calvin Austin III, Memphis
Running back Brandon Thomas ran for 191 yards, while Sean Dykes caught 9 passes for 143 yards — both had 2 touchdowns. So it would take a special performance to beat them, but that’s exactly what Austin did.
The lightning-fast Memphis wide receiver caught 6 passes for 239 yards (39.8 ypc) and 3 touchdowns. It appears that Austin and Henigan have found great chemistry, and the offensive staff is finding ways to get the ball into the hands of their star playmaker as much as possible.
Best performances during college football Week 2 | Defense
Which players on defense had the best performances in Week 2?
LB Cameron Goode, Cal
With Kuony Deng going down with a lower-body injury, Goode needed to step up for the Golden Bears. While it wasn’t enough to pull out a win against TCU, Goode put on a show. Cal’s linebacker did a little bit of everything for the defense, recording 5 tackles, 3 of them for loss, and 2 sacks.
Justin Wilcox’s team continues to play stingy defense but finds themselves sitting at 0-2. For the time being, he knows his defense will keep them in games, and his linebacker will be the one leading the way.
S Matt Hankins, Iowa
Week 2 of college football was a big one for the Cy-Hawk participants, but one side appeared more prepared. Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy had a long day for many reasons, but Hankins was high on that list. Iowa’s entire defense pressured Purdy all day, and Hankins was the beneficiary of a couple of gifts. Cornerback Riley Moss was the hero last week, picking off 2 passes, and his teammate took the baton.
Iowa made a statement with a 27-17 win over the Cyclones, and their secondary continues their push to being recognized as one of the best in the country. If they keep picking off passes at this rate, it will be tough to debate.
LB Nate Landman, Colorado
This game was a perfect example of underrated college football games in Week 2. Colorado came up short in its upset bid over Texas A&M, but it wasn’t for lack of defense.
Landman will get plenty of Aggies players in trouble during their film session due to his play this weekend, but he wishes the Buffs could have pulled out a win. Still, his individual performance needs to be commended.
Landman recorded 10 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 passes defensed, but it was his leadership that stood out most. His film study shows up on a weekly basis for Colorado, and he tends to know what the opposing offense is doing before anyone else. He showed great communication to his teammates, which played a huge role in stifling Texas A&M’s offense this weekend.
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