Each week we witness something exciting in college football. In Week 4, fans witnessed some shocking upsets and even more jaw-dropping performances across the country.
This weekend’s top performances weren’t just limited to the stars either, though plenty of them showed out. A handful of unheralded players from programs usually off the radar, delivered explosive performances to capture some national spotlight.
Here are the 15 most jaw-dropping performances in college football Week 4.
McKenzie Milton, quarterback, Central Florida Knights
Talk about an stunning way to start the fourth week of college football. Milton walked onto the field and put on a show for fans in attendance and watching on ESPN Friday night.
Once again, he showed why he is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Milton led UCF on a 78-yard drive in 63 seconds with his arm to take a lead before the half. Then in the second half, he juked multiple defenders on his third touchdown run of the night. When the final whistle blew, Milton threw for 306 yards with three touchdowns and led the Knights in rushing with 81 yards.
The six-touchdown performance in a primetime game helps catapult Milton into the Heisman race. Now the junior needs to keep up the momentum and deliver a dominant performance next Saturday against the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Miles Sanders, running back, Penn State Nittany Lions
It must be difficult being the player to follow in the footsteps of Saquon Barkley. Comparisons are always made, yet fans are also expecting you to disappoint them.
Fortunately, Sanders is holding his own as the featured back in Penn State’s offense, and it culminated with a monster performance on Friday. Penn State fed Sanders often with a season-high 22 carries and the junior eviscerated Illinois’ run defense.
Sanders averaged 9.1 yards per carry with a career-high 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In one game, he surpassed his entire rushing totals from last season when he ran for 191 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. A sensational performance, and just the momentum and confidence he needed before the Nittany Lions face the Ohio State Buckeyes in a week.
Devin Singletary, running back, Florida Atlanta Owls
At this point, Singletary must be talked about as one of the best running backs in the country. It doesn’t matter what school he plays for, his talent stands out any time you watch him.
Singletary put that talent on display Friday night against Central Florida. While the Knights seemed to bottle him up early, the junior running back kept using his elusiveness and patience to find a hole and get the big yards when FAU needed a boost.
While the Owls failed to keep pace with UCF’s electrifying offense, it was through no fault of the running back. Singletary racked up 131 rushing yards with three trips to the end zone, and his numbers could get even better if FAU gets consistent play from the passing game.
Mitchell Guadagni, quarterback, Toledo Rockets
College football fans probably haven’t heard of Guadagni before. That should change after his dominant performance in Saturday’s win against the Nevada Wolf Pack.
It started through the air with two touchdown passes in the first half, then Guadagni ripped off a 27-yard touchdown run with only seconds before the half ended to give Toledo a 14-point lead.
The game turned into a shootout and the junior quarterback was prepared for it. He completed 15-of-24 passes for 211 yards and threw four scores. Meanwhile, Guadagni rushed for a team-high 131 yards with two touchdowns. Given Toledo’s light schedule, Guadagni is about to cause a lot of problem for its future opponents.
James Robinson, running back, Illinois State Redbirds
While few eyes were locked in on Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Redbirds and Colorado State, Robinson made sure to put on a show for those who did witness it.
The junior ripped off several big runs in the first quarter, setting the tone for what would come throughout the day. While Illinois State mixed touches in the backfield early, it eventually stuck with the hot hand. Robinson racked up 195 total yards on 23 touches with two rushing touchdowns.
Anyone who witnessed Saturday’s game was fortunate to see one heck of a performance by Robinson. Now the Redbirds are 3-0 on the season and ready to keep feeding Robinson as they ride a nice win streak.
Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama Crimson Tide
Finally, one of Alabama’s opponents stuck around long enough in the game for Nick Saban to unleash Tagovailoa for more than a half of football.
The sophomore was simply unstoppable Saturday afternoon against No. 22 Texas A&M, routinely finding a hole in the secondary and rocketing dimes in rhythm to his weapons. Alabama even showed new wrinkles to its offense with Tagovailo faking a handoff near the goal line then rolling out and walking in for a rushing touchdown.
Tua finished the game with four touchdown passes and 387 passing yards on 22-of-30 pass attempts. Meanwhile, the sophomore’s rushing touchdown showcased the other dimension opponents have to think about near the goal line. This is the best team in the country, and Tagovailoa is a big reason why.
Blake LaRussa, quarterback, Old Dominion Monarchs
In order to pull off the biggest upset of the CFB season, it takes a phenomenal performance by an unknown player. That’s exactly what happened on Saturday as LaRussa led the Monarchs to a monster upset over Virginia Tech.
Facing Bud Foster’s defense, the junior overcame everything thrown his way. Virginia Tech tried everything and none of it mattered as LaRussa worked over its secondary with a scalpel.
Behind his two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a winless Old Dominion knocked off the Hokies. LaRussa racked up 495 yards and four touchdown passes on the night with 49 pass attempts. He also added in a rushing touchdown and six rushing yards to finish with five total touchdowns and over 500 yards on offense — just an insane performance.
J.J. Taylor, running back, Arizona Wildcats
There are jaw-dropping rushing performances and then there’s what Taylor did on Saturday.
The sophomore entered this week with 193 rushing yards. This game, Arizona made him the focus of its offense and repeatedly fed him the football. Run after run, he gashed Oregon State’s defense and left them in the dust.
Taylor finished the game with a ridiculous line of 284 rushing yards and 10.5 yards per carry. He probably could have finished with even more than his two rushing touchdowns if he wasn’t running track against this defense. Simply an unforgettable performance by the sophomore.
Jonathan Duhart, wide receiver, Old Dominion Monarchs
While an argument could be made for his teammate Travis Fulgham delivering the best performance by a Monarchs’ receiver, Duhart gets the nod.
Duhart more than held his own in the yardage department with a whopping 142 receiving yards on nine receptions. What separates him from Fulgham’s 188-yard performance is Duhart’s three touchdowns.
The senior was a menace inside the red zone with two scores from inside the 20-yard line in the first half. Ultimately, it was the senior’s go-ahead 29-yard touchdown catch that ultimately made the difference in this game. He might be unknown to many but with six touchdowns and 503 receiving yards in four games, it’s time for him to be on the radar.
Dwayne Haskins, quarterback, Ohio State Buckeyes
This game may have started with the spotlight on Urban Meyer’s return, but Ohio State’s star quarterback redirected the attention back to himself with a near perfect performance. Haskins threw for 304 yards with five first-half touchdowns in this one and somehow finished with just three incompletions on 24 attempts.
While he certainly benefited from a soft matchup, his production also came in a single half of football. Now with 17 total touchdowns in four game, Haskins is firmly among the leaders for the Heisman Trophy.
Isaiah Buggs, defensive end, Alabama Crimson Tide
Texas A&M’s offense did everything it could to keep Saturday’s game competitive. Then Alabama started rolling and the Aggies quickly developed a serious fear of Buggs.
The senior defensive end simply outmatched whatever blocks Texas A&M threw at him. Even with quarterback Kellen Mond’s athleticism, he could never completely escape the defensive end’s pressure.
Buggs finished the day with seven total tackles, three sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries. Coming off a 2017 season with 1.5 sacks in 13 games, Buggs has now recorded five sacks in just four games this year.
Bryton Barr, linebacker, Massachusetts Minutemen
The journey to even make it onto a college football field can be grueling. That has been even truer for Barr, who originally signed with Tulane out of high school in 2012, then saw much of his collegiate career derailed by injuries.
In his seventh year of eligibility, Barr is enjoying a monster season for the Minutemen. The 24-year-old already recorded 17 tackles and 15 tackles in two games this season, but he raised the bar even higher on Saturday.
Barr registered 21 tackles in Saturday’s win over Charlotte. Even more impressively, the seventh-year linebacker got a sack and four tackles for loss. After years of health issues, Barr is now healthy and putting up massive numbers in the heart of Massachusetts’ defense.
Benny Snell Jr., running back, Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky’s miraculous season continues, and in another upset win, the Wildcats called once again upon their star back to carry this team to a victory.
Snell was simply outstanding all night against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The junior was certainly effective in the first half, but he brought this thing home with a jaw-dropping finish in the final two quarters.
He found the end zone three times in the second half, including a 36-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a two-score lead followed by a 23-yard score late in the game to put it away for good. He was a man on a mission in this victory and finished with 25 carries for 165 yards and four scores.
Adrian Hardy, wide receiver, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
There is no better time to make an impression on your teammates than during an in-state rivalry against the No. 6-ranked LSU Tigers.
Even while the Bulldogs ultimately fell short, their sophomore wide receiver provided them with plenty to get excited about. Fresh off a career-best 111 yards on Sept. 8, Hardy returned from the bye and eviscerated LSU’s defensive backs for 181 receiving yards and two scores.
The sophomore hauled in four passes for 20-plus yards and caused problems on nearly every drive for the Tigers. Against one of the best secondaries in college football, Hardy demonstrated the talent to take down the top competition. While Louisiana Tech usually doesn’t attract much attention, a lot more eyes should keep a close eye on its star sophomore.
Dillon Mitchell, wide receiver, Oregon Ducks
It seems the Stanford Cardinals were not prepared for Mitchell. Perhaps the junior’s six receptions for 98 receiving yards in three games made them shift their attention elsewhere. One thing is for certain, future opponents won’t sleep on him anymore.
Mitchell quickly became Justin Herbert’s go-to target, and their chemistry quickly turned into big plays. He more than doubled his total catches from his first three games, and his 239 yards is nearly than half his 517 receiving yards from 2017. In an exciting Pac-12 battle, Mitchell stood out with a jaw-dropping performance.