As the college football season heats up in Week 6 with some title contenders upping their game as others tumble down the rankings, the number of jaw-dropping performances across the country continued to amaze.
This week proved to be especially explosive for quarterbacks and running backs. In Week 6, we also saw a running back rush for 300-plus yards for the second straight weekend, though it wasn’t the same running back as Week 5.
The race for the Heisman Trophy continues to be tightly contested, especially with quarterbacks delivering phenomenal stat lines on a weekly basis. Of course, some stood out more than others on Saturday.
Here are the 15 most jaw-dropping performances in college football Week 6.
Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama Crimson Tide
Another week and another jaw-dropping performance in less than three quarters for Tagovailoa. Frankly, it only took him a half of football to wreck Arkansas and amaze everyone on Twitter.
Tagovailoa finished the first half with four touchdown passes and 334 yards. Those numbers were even more stunning because they came on 10 completions. Tua made a plethora of outstanding throws, including a 42-yard touchdown strike, and each of them look easier than the last. It’s quite clear who is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in 2018 and it’s difficult to see anyone competing with Alabama.
Sam Ehlinger, quarterback, Texas Longhorns
In a matchup where so much of the attention centered on Kyler Murray, Ehlinger rose to the occasion and made a name for himself with a win in the Red River Showdown.
Through the air, the sophomore picked Oklahoma’s defense apart. Ehlinger completed 24-of-35 attempts for 314 yards and two touchdowns and seemed to engineer one scoring drive after another.
Once Texas got inside the 10-yard line, Ehlinger took this to the next level with three rushing touchdowns on the day. He also used his legs to pick up first downs and finished with 72 rushing yards.
Ehlinger became the first Texas quarterback since Vince Young to have five-plus touchdowns in a game against a ranked opponent, which in itself is a statement about this program’s potential turnaround.
Kyler Murray, quarterback, Oklahoma Sooners
Murray will not forget his two turnovers in this game, and they were costly. However, the mark of a great quarterback is one who can overcome his own mistakes and make up for them.
Oklahoma trailed 45-24 after three quarters and everyone wrote it off even with plenty of time left on the clock. Murray responded in the fourth quarter with three straight scoring drives, including a stunning 67-yard touchdown run, to tie the game with little time remaining.
While Ehlinger ultimately drove down the field and won the game, Murray finished with five total touchdowns and nearly 400 yards in total offense in a tremendous performance.
Qadree Ollison, running back, Pittsburgh Panthers
Following a quiet start to the 2018 season, Pittsburgh’s senior running back had to be wondering if this would be a final season to regret. Saturday’s performance against Syracuse hopefully made his final collegiate season a little better.
Ollison played a critical role in Pittsburgh’s upset victory in Week 6. After early success on the ground, the Panthers stuck to the running game and he clawed Syracuse’s run defense to shreds.
The senior racked up over 200 total yards on the day and put on a display that reminded fans of the exciting back they saw in 2015. After being held under 100 rushing yards for three consecutive weeks, Ollison fell just eight yards shy of 200 rushing yards in Week 6.
Kevin Marks, running back, Buffalo Bulls
As a freshman running back, even making the field in your first season is a major accomplishment. That doesn’t seem to be enough for Marks, who always wants to be on the field and rack up crazy numbers against his opponent.
In a tight win against Central Michigan, Marks made a big impact with an outstanding performance on the ground. Not only did he set a season-high with 167 rushing yards, he also saw his yards per carry skyrocket in this contest to 9.3 yards per attempt.
As the freshman continues to earn more touches in this offense, the chance for big plays and even bigger games to follow. It’s been a season full of breakout freshmen stars and Marks is quickly adding his name to the list.
Lil’Jordan Humphrey, wide receiver, Texas Longhorns
Ehlinger was sensational on Saturday, but the first spark from the passing game and Texas’ first points actually came from Humphrey’s arm.
He took a direct snap near the goal line then rolled out and made a jump pass to Collin Johnson to tie the game. After giving the Longhorns an early score, he returned to his role as a receiver.
Humphrey quickly became Ehlinger’s go-to target and Oklahoma never had an answer for either player. He hauled in nine receptions for 133 receiving yards and average nearly 15 yards per catch on the day. Texas is back, and it has a pair of exciting receivers to go with a quarterback on the rise.
Travis Etienne, running back, Clemson Tigers
Every year we see sophomore running backs emerge as breakthrough performers, and this year Etienne has become that player.
Following a jaw-dropping performance in Week 5, Clemson’s star sophomore came through with another exceptional outing. While Clemson’s blowout win may have limited his workload, it didn’t limit his explosiveness as he needed only 10 carries to rack up 167 rushing yards and three scores.
Etienne has now rushed for 654 yards and nine touchdowns in his past four games. On a team where Trevor Lawrence was expected to star, it’s now the sophomore running back who is becoming one of the best players in the country.
Jordan Ta’amu, quarterback, Ole Miss Rebels
It’s not often that the state of Hawaii produces multiple exciting quarterbacks playing at the same time, but things are changing. Tagovailoa and McKenzie Milton are the primary stars, but another Hawaiian quarterback is putting up eye-popping numbers, too.
Ta’amu has often been the heart of the Rebels’ offense this season and that heart pumped loudly on Saturday. The senior obliterated UL Monroe’s defense with a dominant dual-threat attack that saw him rack up five total touchdowns and finish with a 259.6 quarterback rating.
Ole Miss ultimately put their backups in, but Ta’amu still put up outstanding numbers before his early exit. While he fell just short of his third 400-plus passing yard performance, the senior now has 16 total touchdowns this season.
Alex Barnes, running back, Kansas State Wildcats
It’s been a rough season for Kansas State, especially lately with issues in the running game. Barnes made sure the running game wasn’t a problem in Week 6.
Behind a dominant performance by the offensive line, the junior running back didn’t waste a carry. On 22 carries, Barnes rushed for a career-high 250 rushing yards, three touchdowns and added 22 receiving yards as well.
After rushing for 254 yards combined in his previous four contests, he nearly passed that mark on 22 carries against Baylor. Just a ridiculous performance that will certainly help provide Kansas State with some needed momentum going forward.
Jordan Cronkrite, running back, South Florida Bulls
At this point, college football is spoiling us. A week after Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin rushed for 300-plus yards, Cronkrite joined the club in Week 6.
The junior became the center of South Florida’s offense and it absolutely needed him in a 58-42 win over UMass. Cronkrite carried the football 23 times and posted a jaw-dropping 302 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Cronkrite entered this week with 304 rushing yards in three games and fell two yards shy of matching it in a single contest. It’s even more insane that more than 180 of his rushing yards came in the third quarter alone. On Saturday, he was simply an unstoppable force running against an invisible object.
Andy Isabella, wide receiver, Massachusetts Minutemen
It’s difficult to say what is more impressive by Isabella. Is it that he posted consecutive games with 190-plus receiving yards, or that this performance was actually slightly less impressive than what he did in Week 5?
The senior wide receiver demonstrated how important he is for Massachusetts once again. Whether the Minutemen need a big play or just a receiver to move the chains, Isabella is always there.
South Florida saw Isabella torch Ohio and had a week to prepare for him, it didn’t matter. He set a season-high with 13 receptions, caught a 53-yard touchdown and finished with 191 receiving yards. There are simply no words to describe his jaw-dropping numbers at this point.
Andrew Clair, running back, Bowling Green Falcons
After a freshman season peppered with highlight games, Clair is starting to find his way back to that form in his sophomore season.
Even in a losing effort against Toledo, Clair was a dangerous weapon that Bowling Green frankly didn’t feature enough offensively. When the Falcons put the ball in his hands, he rewarded them with 118 rushing yards and two scored on 12 carries. Meanwhile, Clair turned five receptions into 74 yards and another score.
A player who can rack up over 190 yards in total offense and score two 60-plus yard touchdowns is worthy of more touches. Bowling Green just didn’t do that and it cost them in this game.
Dwayne Haskins, quarterback, Ohio State Buckeyes
Early in this game, it started to look like Ohio State might be in a little trouble. Indiana jumped out to an early 17-14 lead midway through the second quarter and the idea of an upset popped up.
Haskins made sure even the slightest thought of an upset disappeared. He would lead the Buckeyes on two scoring drives and finished the half with three touchdown passes and a 28-20 lead. The Buckeyes flipped a switch and a close game turned into a blowout. Haskins hooked up with Parris Campbell for a 71-yard score to open the second half, then tossed two more scores in the fourth quarter to give Ohio State a decisive 49-26 win.
Following his six-touchdown, 455-yard performance, the sensational sophomore quarterback now sits at 1,919 passing yards, 25 touchdown passes and just four interceptions.
Brock Purdy, quarterback, Iowa State Cyclones
We’ve seen some impressive collegiate debuts this season across the country, but it’s hard to find anything like Purdy’s performance in Week 6.
A three-star recruit in the 2018 recruiting class, Purdy entered the game on Iowas State’s second drive against No. 25-ranked Oklahoma State. The 18-year-old took control over the offense and quickly grew comfortable in a surprise appearance.
The teenage quarterback completed 18-of-23 passes for 318 yards and tossed four touchdown passes with a lone interception. Purdy also eviscerated Oklahoma State’s defense with his legs and finished with one touchdown a team-high 84 rushing yards. Iowa State has no choice at quarterback now, the teenager must be the starter moving forward.
Darrell Henderson, running back, Memphis Tigers
In Week 5, we saw Henderson held under 70 rushing yards for the first time all season. He made sure to turn things around in Week 6 with a jaw-dropping outing against UConn.
The nation’s leading rusher added to his lead over his peers and narrowed the distance to his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Henderson ran for three scores, which gave him 14 total touchdowns on the season, and picked up 174 rushing yards on 14 carries in less than three quarters.
Through six games, Henderson has rushed for over 900 yards on 79 carries and is now averaging 11.8 yards per rush attempt this season. A 2,000-yard season is certainly a possibility at this point for the junior running back.