Explosive players delivering insane yardage totals…
In recent weeks, college football fans haven’t witnessed quite as many electrifying performances across the country as they did earlier in the season. The cold spell is now over as Week 9 of the season provided a plethora of jaw-dropping performances.
We saw plenty of familiar faces shine over the past few nights of action. Several star quarterbacks were phenomenal this week, and some unheralded quarterbacks surprised everyone as well.
This week also treated fans to some dominant performances on the ground, both by running backs and quarterbacks. Between all of the high-scoring battles this week, plenty of explosive players delivered some insane yardage totals.
Here are the 15 most jaw-dropping performances in college football Week 9.
Will Grier, quarterback, West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia went into its bye week coming off a humiliating loss when its offense couldn’t muster anything against Iowa State. Grier made sure that wouldn’t happen again against Baylor.
The game quickly turned into a blowout, and frankly, Baylor should consider themselves fortunate. Grier threw for 353 yards on 27 pass attempts and stopped going deep when he had a big lead. He finished the game with a 209.5 quarterback rating — his first game with a 200-plus rating since Sep. 8 — and West Virginia cruised to an easy victory.
While any hopes of competing for the Heisman Trophy are over, this was a nice return to stardom for Grier.
Tobias Oliver, quarterback, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Oliver stepped in for TaQuon Marshall in Week 9 and delivered in an incredible performance against Virginia Tech.
The redshirt freshman became the focal point of Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense with 40 carries. Oliver turned the massive workload into a 213-yard, three-touchdown performance.
The young quarterback demonstrated he already has the toughness and instincts to be the starter in this offense. Given his numbers in the win, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got another chance to start next week.
Zach Moss, running back, Utah Utes
In a dominating win over the UCLA Bruins, Utah’s junior running back made his opponent learn what it’s like to get “Moss’d” in a whole new way.
Moss was a machine out of the backfield, hitting big plays and showing a nose for the end zone inside the 10-yard line. He rushed for three touchdowns and turned 26 carries into 211 yards in a masterful performance by one of the best backs in the country.
The 20-year-old has been a touchdown machine this season and is on the verge of consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons.
Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Clemson Tigers
Lawrence has now found his comfort zone at the collegiate level, and that should scare every opponent remaining on Clemson’s schedule.
The freshman’s arm strength is already off the charts, and that turned into elite production. Lawrence shredded Florida State’s defense for 314 yards with four touchdown passes, showing great chemistry with his receivers and moving this offense with ease down the field.
Lawrence has two consecutive 300-yard games and has thrown 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions on the year. He is so impressive at such an early age and he will only get better from here.
Matt Colburn, running back, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Coming off a productive junior season, not much went right for Colburn to start this season. The senior came into Saturday with a 3.6 yards-per-carry average and rushed for 100-plus yards just once this year.
A matchup against Louisville’s defense proved to be the remedy to his problems. Colburn eviscerated the Cardinals run defense on nearly every carry and ripped off a series of long runs throughout the game.
He rushed for a 74-yard and 56-yard score in Week 9 and racked up a stunning 243 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Talk about a jaw-dropping performance to flip the script on his senior season.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, running back, Vanderbilt Commodores
Vaughn’s junior season is providing plenty of home runs, in fact, it’s been his specialty this season. Vanderbilt decided to give its playmaker a heavier workload Saturday and it led to a monster outing.
The 5-foot-10 running back showed off his game-changing explosiveness early with a 63-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. What stood out even more from this performance is his ability to get chunks of yards on each carry and it reflected in his 173-yard, three-touchdown performance.
Vaughn deserves 15-plus carries a game, and performances like this should make it happen more going forward.
Bryce Perkins, quarterback, Virginia Cavaliers
Signed out of junior college, Virginia wanted to temper its expectations of Perkins upon his arrival. Now he is becoming a difference-maker for this offense and he delivered a game-changing performance against North Carolina.
The dual-threat quarterback caused problems with his arm and legs in the win. He rushed for 112 yards, his third 100-plus yard game this season, and ran in for a score early in the game. Even more importantly for Virginia, he shined as a passer with three touchdowns and 217 yards through the air. Perkins’ four-touchdown performance led the Cavaliers to a 31-21 victory and they are rolling into November with a 6-2 record.
Kyler Murray, quarterback, Oklahoma Sooners
Saturday presented Murray with an opportunity to make up ground in the Heisman Trophy chase against Tua Tagovailoa. He did just that in a very Tua-esque fashion, with jaw-dropping numbers and a comfortable spot to relax in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma kept Murray in the game for less than three quarters as he engineered a 48-point effort against Kansas State. He started things off with a 35-yard touchdown pass then hit wide receiver CeeDee Lamb for an 82-yard score, a common connection on Saturday.
Murray was sensational in this game with 352 passing yards on 19-of-24 pass attempts, 46 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. While he still needs to make up more ground on Tua, this jaw-dropping performance will help him make up some distance.
Jordan Love, quarterback, Utah State Aggies
Love turned in a brutal start on Oct. 20 against Wyoming, but his teammates bailed him out and brought home the victory. The sophomore made sure to make up for it this weekend at New Mexico’s expense.
Utah State’s rising quarterback operated with surgical precision against New Mexico’s secondary and racked up 448 passing yards in less than three quarters. Love did most of his scoring damage with his arm throwing a touchdown to four different targets. He also rushed for a score in this game, showing a little extra dimension to his offensive repertoire.
Outside of his rocky start against Wyoming, Love has thrown 13 touchdown passes in three of his past four games and is quickly getting comfortable in Utah State’s offense. Now with this offense back on track, the Aggies will ride a seven-game win streak into their next game.
Daniel Jones, quarterback, Duke Blue Devils
On a day when his defense couldn’t muster a defensive stop against Pittsburgh, Jones did everything humanly possible to keep his team in this game.
The junior actually kept Duke in the lead for much of this game with 42 points on offense in three quarters. He also carried the weight for this offense with a season-high 42 pass attempts and a team-high 15 carries. He rushed for 38 yards on Saturday and threw for 398 yards with four touchdown passes, showing off impressive touch and great resiliency.
A high-scoring affair isn’t even the type of game fans would have expected him to do well in. Jones came into Saturday without a 300-yard game, but this matchup seemed to flip the switch for him and unleash a dangerous quarterback. He stepped up when called upon, yet it just wasn’t enough in a 54-45 loss.
K.D. Nixon, wide receiver, Colorado Buffaloes
Nixon is a fine example of a player who can put up monster numbers despite his small size. The sophomore showed signs of it against Colorado State in the season opener and it appeared again months later against Oregon State.
Oregon State’s defensive backs will likely have nightmares about him for weeks after Saturday’s performance. Nixon hauled in a team-high 13 receptions for 198 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Oregon State knew who the ball was going to on nearly every throw. Nixon had more receptions than the rest of the team combined (11), so there was no mystery about Colorado’s go-to target. Ultimately, he was just far too explosive and slippery in this one and he should remain a go-to weapon for the rest of the year.
D’Eriq King, quarterback, Houston Cougars
In a marquee matchup against No. 21-ranked South Florida, King made sure the Bulls wouldn’t sniff the top-25 rankings after Saturday’s game.
King did everything in this game offensively, taking on a role he has become very familiar with this season. The junior made two poor throws that led to interceptions, but demonstrated the pose to rebound from them and torch this secondary.
He threw for 419 yards, his third game this year with 400-plus passing yards and his second week in a row reaching the milestone. He was especially effective on the ground with a season-high 132 yards on 12 carries. After his seven-touchdown performance this week, King now has 30 total touchdowns on the year and is leading the Cougars on a big winning streak.
N’Keal Harry, wide receiver, Arizona State Sun Devils
This game saw two of Arizona State’s brightest stars shine. In this instance, the nod goes to the player who achieved it with the greatest efficiency and made the best catch of the year.
Harry’s jaw-dropping performance started with a 44-yard touchdown where he came out of the slot and roasted USC’s secondary for the long touchdown. The junior would bring out the wheels again in the third quarter when he took a punt inside the 10-yard line and returned it for a 92-yard score.
Between his two total touchdowns and 198 all-purpose yards, Harry demonstrated why he will be one of the most coveted offensive players if he enters the 2019 NFL Draft.
Kahlil Lewis, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bearcats
Playing in an offense that entered Saturday ranked 100th in passing yards per game has made this a tough final season for Lewis. He finally got a chance to shine on Saturday against SMU and showed what he can do when given a chance.
Lewis hauled in 12 catches, which more than doubled his previous season-high (five) coming into this game. As the Bearcats turned to their passing game more and more, their senior receiver made bigger plays.
He finished the day with a career-high 174 receiving yards and two touchdowns. It was Lewis’ first 100-yard game since 2016 and the second of his collegiate career, making this one of the most unexpected jaw-dropping performances in football this year.
Tyleek Collins, wide receiver, UNLV Rebels
In a disappointing game that saw UNLV lose to winless San Jose State, the Rebels can at least be excited about Collins’ continued excellence.
The 18-year-old delivered one of the best performances fans will ever witness from a teenager. He hauled in nine passes for a jaw-dropping 170 receiving yards, an even better game than his 139-yard performance two weeks ago.
Of course, this performance is taken to an even more sensational level because he scored four touchdowns. UNLV discovered a gem in its 2018 recruiting class and the program is already seeing rewards at this early stage. Football fans who love playmakers would be wise to keep an eye on this teenage wide receiver in the weeks and years to come.