Even in a slate with some of the country’s top teams resting, Week 10 of the college football season delivered plenty for fans to enjoy.
A weekend without some of college football’s household names offered everyone a chance to see some jaw-dropping performances from unheralded players. We saw athletes on both sides of the ball shine with highlight plays and stat lines that left everyone amazed.
Here are the 15 most jaw-dropping performances from Week 10 of the college football season.
Darius Stills, defensive lineman, West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia entered its matchup against No. 12 Baylor as a heavy underdog. No one expected this defense to stop Baylor, but Stills almost single-handedly pulled it off. He even made everyone know his thoughts about Baylor’s offense before the game.
It’s a particular level of confidence to call out your opponent on national television. Stills backed up the talk by tearing through Baylor’s “soft” offensive line with 10 tackles and three sacks. The junior routinely disrupted the Bears’ passing attack, limited it to 3.1 yards per carry as West Virginia nearly achieved the upset.
Stephen Calvert, quarterback, Liberty Flames
A week after Calvert threw up a dud against Rutgers, he came in determined to turn things around. We’ve seen some impressive performances by the senior this season, but this blew them all out of the water. Calvert threw four touchdown passes with an unfathomable 441 passing yards at halftime against UMass. He could’ve gone for a record, but Liberty pulled its starters early in the second half and Calvert finished with 474 passing yards and a 270.4 quarterback rating.
AJ Dillon and David Bailey, running backs, Boston College Eagles
Syracuse knew Boston College’s offensive style. The Eagles entered ranked 102nd in passing yards per game (199.1) with the 10th most rushing yards per game (255.6) in the country. Despite plenty of preparation, Syracuse couldn’t stop the Eagles’ running game for even a second.
Dillon made every single defender feel pain. The junior racked up 146 rushing yards by halftime and finished with 242 yards and three scores. Meanwhile, sophomore running back David Bailey tacked on 172 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. A 414-yard rushing performance by two running mates — simply incredible.
Jamie Newman, quarterback, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
It’s time for the country to notice Newman. Wake Forest’s star quarterback entered Week 10 with 20 total touchdowns and 1,772 passing yards while leading a program on the rise. He demonstrated his gifts in a blowout win on Saturday.
Newman, playing through a shoulder injury, attacked North Carolina State’s defense with his legs to open the game on a 20-yard touchdown. He then attacked through the air with two touchdown passes before the first quarter ended. Newman’s outstanding dual-threat ability accounted for 287 passing yards, 30 rushing yards and five total touchdowns in three quarters of action. As long as he’s healthy, Wake Forest will keep racking up points and victories.
Isaiah Spiller, running back, Texas A&M Aggies
It’s not often a true freshman emerges as a featured player in Jimbo Fisher’s program. So, Spiller’s heavy involvement in Texas A&M’s offense speaks to the talent and readiness the teenage running back showed Fisher.
Spiller came in with three games of 100-plus scrimmage yards. It’s an impressive accomplishment, but it’s small potatoes compared to his 224-yard, three-touchdown performance Saturday. The freshman kicked things off with a 60-yard touchdown run and added a 50-yard score in the second quarter. It’s only the beginning of what can become a sensational career for Spiller.
Kylin Hill, running back, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Just put the football in Hill’s hands and watch him go. That’s what the Bulldogs did Saturday and he carried them to a resounding victory over Arkansas. Hill cut through this defense like a razor cuts through floss. He eclipsed 190 rushing yards before halftime with three touchdowns, and the Bulldogs kept feeding him. Hill finished the win with 234 yards on 21 carries to reach his first 1,000-yard season.
Travis Etienne, running back, Clemson Tigers
It wasn’t long ago that Etienne briefly fell off the national radar with 257 rushing yards combined in a four-game span. Now that feels like a distant memory, especially after his record-breaking day against Wofford.
The junior put his speed on display with a two-play, 81-yard drive early. Etienne’s incredible 86-yard touchdown, giving him Clemson’s all-time rushing touchdown mark, also showcased his greatness. He blew past 200 yards on eight carries and became the first ACC player to rush for 200 yards in a half in 15 years. Now with 640 rushing yards in his last four games, he’s back to peak form.
Gregory Rousseau, defensive end, Miami Hurricanes
Greatness is brewing in Florida. In a program that has produced incredible defensive talent, Rousseau is emerging as the next star in Miami. After being unleashed from his reserve role from the first five games, he’s wreaking havoc in opposing backfields.
Rousseau took the field against Florida State with eight sacks on the year. He seemed determined to nearly match that on Saturday. Miami’s freshman sensation recorded four sacks and five tackles for loss against the Seminoles. Rousseau is quickly climbing Miami’s record books and this is only the beginning for him.
Chuba Hubbard, running back, Oklahoma State Cowboys
It’s simply ridiculous at this point. Even on an offense with a passing game defenses don’t respect, Hubbard makes 200-yard games feel routine. TCU spent a week scheming up ways to stop CFB’s leading rusher — it worked for two quarters.
Hubbard went into halftime frustrated with his 31-yard performance. He returned for the third quarter and ruined TCU’s joy. The sophomore ripped off a 92-yard touchdown and kept hammering TCU’s defense with 192 yards in the second half. He’ll sprint to the bye week with 1,604 yards and a path to a 2,000-yard season.
Mason Fine, quarterback, North Texas Mean Green
The senior delivered an excellent performance in Week 9 with 394 passing yards and five touchdowns. He made that stat line look just okay after this stunning game against UTEP. Fine completed 24-of-30 attempts for 332 passing yards and a jaw-dropping seven touchdowns. When you throw seven touchdowns in a single game, you deserve to dress up in a T-Rex costume for the post-game press conference.
Bryce Thompson, cornerback, Tennessee Volunteers
It’s one thing for a defensive back to record multiple interceptions in a single game. Thompson, somehow, achieved the unthinkable feat of picking off three passes in a single half.
The freshman All-American cornerback came into Saturday’s game with three interceptions in 16 career games. While he might not get many opportunities to show off his playmaking abilities, we certainly saw it this weekend. Hopefully, UAB quarterback Tyler Johnston III, and future quarterbacks, learned a valuable lesson about throwing anywhere near Thompson.
Holton Ahlers, quarterback, East Carolina Pirates
Even in a home game, everyone expected the Pirates to get wiped out by the Bearcats this weekend. Instead, East Carolina’s sophomore quarterback delivered a shocking performance against an excellent team.
Cincinnati’s defense rolled into Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium allowing less than 21 points and 210 passing yards per game. It took Ahlers two quarters to blast right through those marks with 265 passing yards and four total touchdowns. The quarterback who came in averaging under 240 passing yards in seven games found a way to ransack Cincinnati’s secondary with 535 passing yards, 21 rushing yards, five total touchdowns and nearly delivered an upset victory.
Bryce Perkins, quarterback, Virginia Cavaliers
Perkins arrived at Chapel Hill on Saturday night and put on a clinic in a thrilling shootout victory over North Carolina. The senior kept the Tar Heels off-balance throughout the game with big plays on the ground and in the air.
Perkins rushed for season-highs in rushing yards (110) and touchdowns (three). He also blew past several season-best marks in the passing attack with 378 yards and three touchdowns. The Cavaliers are now bowl-eligible and their quarterback is rolling with the schedule about to get even easier.
C.J. Johnson, wide receiver, East Carolina Pirates
On a night when his quarterback dominated, Johnson deserves a hefty share of the credit for the incredible performance. The freshman recorded 399 receiving yards in his seven prior contests and he nearly reached that in four quarters on Saturday.
Johnson hauled in 12 receptions, nearly surpassing his total from the past three games (14), and blew the proverbial roof off the stadium with 283 receiving yards. It’s evident after this performance that Johnson is a player everyone must keep an eye on in the weeks and years to come.
Antonio Gibson, wide receiver, Memphis Tigers
We’ve seen jaw-dropping performances on the ground, through the air and even on special teams this season. Gibson pulled off the trifecta with his game-winning performance against No. 15 SMU.
The senior started things through the air by hauling in a 50-yard touchdown to kick off the scoring explosion in the second quarter. Gibson then excited the crowd in the second half with a blazing 97-yard kickoff return touchdown. He later moved into the backfield and broke SMU’s hopes on a wild 78-yard touchdown run. He finished with 97 rushing yards, 130 receiving yards and 159 return yards — simply phenomenal.