Even in a slate with a few of the country’s top programs resting, Week 5 of the college football season delivered plenty of exciting games and thrilling performances for fans to enjoy.
We saw quarterback-receiver combinations take flight on Saturday across the country. From Tua Tagovailoa and DeVonta Smith’s historic day to Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb’s creating magic, stars stole the show through the air this weekend.
It also proved to be an excellent week for several defensive players. From a freshman defensive back’s two-interception game to a top pass rusher creating nightmares for the opposing quarterback, Week 5 had it all.
Here are the 12 most jaw-dropping performances from college football Week 5.
Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Oklahoma Sooners
Hurts is doing more for Oklahoma’s offense than Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray did. It’s even scarier for the Sooners’ future opponents that this team isn’t fully synced and ready to unleash its greatest form.
We’re seeing a quarterback with his timing down with one of the nation’s best receiving corps and his offensive line is giving him time to throw. Hurts showed off his deep touch on a 74-yard connection, his ability to throw bombs from multiple platforms and juked defenders into each other. It resulted in 415 passing yards, 70 rushing yards and four total touchdowns in three quarters of dominance.
Sean Clifford, quarterback, Penn State Nittany Lions
Maryland welcome the Nittany Lions to College Park visualizing an upset. Instead, Clifford muted an entire raucous stadium early and never allowed the fans to experience a moment of joy.
The rising sophomore put on a clinic against the Terrapins’ secondary. Clifford completed 26-of-31 passes for 398 yards, three touchdowns and a spectacular 217.2 quarterback rating. Oh, he also added 54 rushing yards and another score as part of Penn State’s 59-0 domination on the road.
Jaret Patterson, running back, Buffalo Bulls
Buffalo suffered another crushing loss on Saturday, but it also might be discovering the future of its offense. After receiving extensive work last week, Patterson is now emerging as the Bulls’ offensive star.
Patterson got things started in the second quarter on a gorgeous 82-yard touchdown run in which he punished defenders. It was the sophomore’s biggest run of the day, though it only accounted for a portion of his 183-yard performance. Buffalo has plenty to work on this season. Fortunately, the running game isn’t a problem.
CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver, Oklahoma Sooners
While fans might not be seeing the routine big stat lines from Lamb, Saturday’s jaw-dropping outing shows he’s still one of the best receivers in the country.
Lamb torched Texas Tech’s defense with his speed on a 71-yard touchdown and broke a tackle on his way to a 65-yard score. The junior sensation finished with 185 receiving yards and three trips to the end zone. Expect more big days to come and his streak of scoring touchdowns to continue against Kansas.
DeVonta Smith, wide receiver, Alabama Crimson Tide
College football fans got used to seeing jaw-dropping performances from Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. Saturday showed everyone that it’s time for Smith to get more recognition.
Smith made the end zone his residence. It began with a 74-yard touchdown, followed by a spectacular tip-toe touchdown and two more scores before the first half ended. Apparently, 221 yards and four scores in two quarters wasn’t enough. Smith hauled in his fifth touchdown of the game in the third quarter and set a school record with 274 receiving yards. Good luck to defenses facing Alabama the rest of the year.
Tanner Morgan, quarterback, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota’s boat is rowing down the river quite nicely this season and a lot of the credit must go to Morgan’s arm. The sophomore took on Purdue’s defense and delivered an astonishing performance.
Morgan got hot early by completing all of his first 10 passes with two touchdowns. His pursuit of a perfect completion percentage ended, but he still finished the first half with 298 passing yards, three touchdowns and 16-of-17 passes completed. He brought the pinpoint accuracy back in the second half and finished with 21-of-22 passes completed for 396 yards, four touchdowns and a 5-0 record.
Cameron Williams, safety, Washington Huskies
It takes going above and beyond in the summer to earn a starting spot as a true freshman. Williams accomplished that feat to open the season and he’s now showing why the coaching staff loves him.
The teenager put his playmaking abilities on display against the Trojans. He intercepted quarterback Matt Fink early to help put the Huskies’ offense in scoring position. He came through again in the clutch with a leaping interception near the goal line to drive the dagger into USC’s chances. Williams received plenty of praise coming into the season and he deserves even more now after his stellar game.
Julian Okwara, defensive end, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
While Virginia hung around with Notre Dame early on Saturday, Okwara showcased why it might only be NFL teams that can stop him. The senior defensive end made a second home in Virginia’s backfield in Week 5. Okwara’s blazing speed, clocked at 21 mph during training, got around the edge with ease. His burst off the line got him past the blocker and that was all he needed. He racked up three sacks, including a strip-sack returned for a touchdown, to help the Fighting Irish survive a weekend scare and get back to winning football.
Omar Bayless, wide receiver, Arkansas State Red Wolves
Bayless used the non-conference portion of Arkansas State’s schedule to show other teams what his conference foes regularly face. He’s once again proving why he’s one of the best small-school players in the country.
Troy had no answer for the 6-foot-3 senior’s size and speed. He opened the game with a 92-yard touchdown that prominently featured both. Bayless kept the big plays rolling and quickly surpassed 200 receiving yards before the fourth quarter.
Kevin Davidson, quarterback, Princeton Tigers
Athletes at Ivy League programs rarely get much attention. That’s how you know it’s a jaw-dropping performance for Princeton’s quarterback to be on the same list as national superstars.
Davidson took Bucknell’s defense is tore it into microscopic pieces. The senior threw four touchdowns in the first half, including three from outside the red zone, then kept pouring it on in the second half with three more touchdowns. Seven touchdowns and a school-record at a program that started 150 years ago – not bad for an Ivy League quarterback.
Chuba Hubbard, running back, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Another week and another 200-plus yard game from Hubbard. After running into some difficulties against the Texas Longhorns, the breakout sophomore took out his revenge on Kansas State.
It took Oklahoma State until late in the first quarter before Hubbard got his third carry. He turned it into a 53-yard gain before finally getting a chance to take over after the weather delay. Hubbard only needed 11 carries to reach 200 rushing yards and finished with an FBS-best 296 rushing yards on 25 carries.
Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama Crimson Tide
We started to think Hurts was distancing himself as the favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Tagovailoa answered his friend’s dominant performance with a seven-touchdown game to remain in the hunt for the sport’s most desired individual trophy.
Tagovailoa needed a single half to rack up 301 passing yards and five total touchdowns. We’re used to seeing him accomplish that feat in three quarters and now he’s topping that stunning achievement. The junior is Alabama’s all-time touchdown leader and is coming off his third consecutive game five touchdown passes. We finally saw him play all four quarters and it led to monster numbers.