In what was supposed to be a “down week” for college football, we saw some incredible games and moments on Saturday. Someone supplanted their name in the Heisman Trophy race while others made their own cases for their respective awards. Here are the top performances from Week 8 action in our College Football Team of the Week.
College Football Team of the Week | Week 8
Week 8 had Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday action to pick from. So who made the cut for the top individual performances of the week?
Statistics matter, but so does strength of the opponent, the time in which the player performed at his best, the individual players he went against, and where he won. For more specifics on the selections, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@CamMellor).
We begin with the offense in our Week 8 Team of the Week.
QB: Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
Touch and zip. Accuracy and awareness. Sam Hartman executed a beautiful game plan for the Demon Deacons against Army. He has his defense to thank as Wake Forest couldn’t stop the Black Knights, forcing Hartman to run his fast-paced RPO game all afternoon.
All told, Hartman threw 5 touchdowns and completed 23 of 29 pass attempts. Most of those attempts saw Hartman hold a long mesh point, read the Army defense perfectly, and toss brilliant deep shots over the top. Hartman had 458 yards, and 4 of his 5 touchdowns were for over 40 yards. He has firmly placed his name in the Heisman race.
RB: Chase Brown, Illinois
A hard-nosed, historic victory certainly wouldn’t have happened for Illinois if not for Chase Brown. He ran the rock 33 times for 223 yards and a touchdown, but his efforts to secure vital first downs in crunch time were even more crucial. The game might have finished earlier had he not been shaken up.
RB: Dedrick Parson, Hawaii
You had to stay up late to check it out, but Dedrick Parson and the Rainbow Warriors put on a show against New Mexico State. With a true freshman quarterback continuing to adjust to major college football, Parson was integral in Hawaii’s success on offense. He ran the ball 25 times for 161 yards, scoring 3 touchdowns on the ground. It wasn’t quite the big-play Hawaii offense we’ve come to know, but it was a tough effort more than worthy of a Team of the Week spot.
WR: Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest
Hauling in 3 of Hartman’s 5 touchdowns, Jaquarii Roberson was unstoppable against Army. He finished the game with 8 catches for 157 yards, routinely flying down the field, past Black Knights defenders en route to our Team of the Week selection. Roberson won all over the field, in front, behind, or beside Army defenders with ease.
WR: Malik Williams, Appalachian State
Back on Wednesday night, Malik Williams did what seemingly no receiver could do on Coastal Carolina for the past two seasons. Williams toppled 200 yards through the air, finding holes in coverage just as easy as he created his own open targets. All told, he finished with 206 receiving yards on 10 catches with a touchdown in the Mountaineers’ upset victory over the Chanticleers.
WR: Dontayvion Wicks, Virginia
When the Hoos are rolling on offense, they’re one of the more entertaining teams in the country. Dontayvion Wicks dominated from all over for Virginia, hauling in 6 receptions for 168 yards and 2 scores against Georgia Tech on Saturday. Wicks can line up anywhere on offense and win all the same.
TE: Derrick Deese Jr., San Jose State
Thursday night fans were treated to a vintage tight end performance from Derrick Deese Jr. When the Spartans needed something through the air, it was Deese’s number that was called upon. Though not on the receiving end of as accurate passes as you’d like, Deese more than made up for Nick Nash’s inaccuracies at times with dramatic, highlight-reel catches. He finished the game with 6 receptions for 106 yards, most of which moved the chains for a first down.
FLEX: Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
The Wildcats shook off their poor first quarter and dominated Texas Tech through the final three frames. It was Deuce Vaughn who scored all of Kansas State’s touchdowns in the outing, 2 on the ground and 1 through the air. As “flex” as they come this season, Vaughn is a dual-threat who can’t be contained at times.
CO-FLEX: Garrett Shrader, Syracuse
Needing another spot on the Team of the Week for Garrett Shrader, we debut our first-ever Co-Flex Offensive Player of the Week for the Syracuse QB. After longtime Syracuse QB Tommy DeVito announced his intentions to enter the transfer portal this week, Shrader no longer had to look over his shoulder. He dominated in the Orange’s comeback victory over Virginia Tech. Once the flurry of points were scored and the dust settled, Shrader accumulated 410 total yards of offense and 5 touchdowns.
Shrader completed just 16 of 34 passes but had 236 yards and 2 scores through the air. He also ran the ball 22 times for 174 yards with 3 more touchdowns in the dramatic victory.
LT: Zach Tom, Wake Forest
The Wake Forest offense was firing on all cylinders against Army, and their long-tenured, multi-talented offensive lineman was no different. The converted center has continued to blossom in his second season at left tackle, planting defenders in the ground in the run game and providing clean pockets for Hartman in the passing game.
LG: Clark Barrington, BYU
BYU is undefeated in Pac-12 play this season, knocking off their fourth conference foe in as many tries. BYU now holds victories over Arizona, Utah, Arizona State, and Washington State. Their offense was certainly humming at times, fueled by their line. Clark Barrington was in terrific form both in pass protection and on the ground as the Cougars averaged nearly 5.0 yards per carry on 48 attempts.
C: Doug Kramer, Illinois
Illinois’ rushing attack dominated Penn State on Saturday, despite needing to go to nine overtimes to decide a victor. Doug Kramer was a mauler in the middle, finding his way to the second level all the same. He was terrific in all facets and was an easy choice for a Team of the Week selection.
RG: O’Cyrus Torrence, Louisiana
The right side of the Ragin’ Cajuns’ offensive line finds their way on the Team of the Week after paving the way for the majority of Louisiana’s rushing attack. As a team, they ran for 424 yards and 4 scores, including a historic 99-yard touchdown run. Most of those yards came thanks to O’Cyrus Torrence for clearing multiple holes along the right side.
RT: Max Mitchell, Louisiana
If it wasn’t Torrence clearing lanes, it was Max Mitchell paving his own gaps for the Cajuns’ rushing attack to get through. They ran for 424 total yards on 53 carries, a whopping average of 8.6 yards per attempt. The running backs did a lot on their own, but when they ran to the right, they weren’t getting contacted by defenders until well past the line of scrimmage.
Kicker: Kanon Woodill, Northern Illinois
The Huskies reached bowl eligibility thanks to a furious come-from-behind effort against Central Michigan. Kicking the game-winner with under a minute remaining, Kanon Woodill’s 26-yard field goal was perfectly executed, unlike CMU’s attempt at a game-winner. Woodill was perfect on his kicks on Saturday, hitting all 3 field goals and both of his 2 extra-point attempts.
QB: Brennan Armstrong, Virginia | Chandler Rogers, UL-Monroe
RB: Chris Smith, Louisiana
RB: Tyler Allgeier, BYU
WR: Drake London, USC
WR: Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
WR: Romeo Doubs, Nevada
TE: Cole Turner, Nevada
FLEX: Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
LT: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State
LG: J.J. Lippe, Northern Illinois
C: Brayden Patton, Northern Illinois
RG: Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
RT: Mason Kolinchak, Army
Kicker: Connor Coles, Utah State
Honorable Mention Offense
QB: Chase Brice, Appalachian State | Bryce Young, Alabama
RB: Lew Nichols III, Central Michigan | Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
RB: Jaren Mangham, USF | Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama
WR: Charleston Rambo, Miami (FL) | Jerreth Sterns, Western Kentucky
WR: Zakhari Franklin, UTSA | Corey Sutton, Appalachian State
WR: John Metchie III, Alabama | Jameson Williams, Alabama
TE: Gerrit Prince, UAB
FLEX: Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois | CJ Daniels, Liberty
LT: Sean Rhyan, UCLA
LG: Navaughn Donaldson, Miami (FL)
C: Nick Ford, Utah
RG: William Dunkle, San Diego State
RT: Robert Scott Jr., Florida State
Kicker: Matt Araiza, San Diego State