Even on a weekend without any ranked matchups, Week 3 of the college football season delivered a flurry of thrilling action and unbelievable performances for fans to enjoy.
It proved to be an outstanding week for running backs and quarterbacks. The action started early with a few jaw-dropping performances on Friday night and rolled into Saturday with even more stunning outings.
From Heisman Trophy contenders putting their best on display to unheralded names delivering their breakthrough moment, this week offered everything fans could hope for. Here are the 15 most jaw-dropping performances from college football Week 3.
Khalil Herbert, running back, Kansas Jayhawks
Nearly 11 years after Kansas won its last road game against a Power-5 opponent, Herbert led the way to a stunning victory on Friday night. Kansas’ senior running back turned Boston College’s defense into grated cheese on just 11 carries.
Herbert’s first two carries racked up two yards and he didn’t get any real chances until late in the second quarter. A stunning 82-yard run with under 30 seconds left in the half set up Kansas’ go-ahead score before halftime. Herbert capped off his special night with a six-yard touchdown run to seal the upset and his phenomenal 187-yard game.
J.K. Dobbins, running back, Ohio State Buckeyes
While quarterback Justin Fields is drawing most of the attention this season, Dobbins is Ohio State’s most vital player on offense. The Buckeyes run everything through Dobbins first and he showed why on Saturday.
The talented junior devastated Indiana’s defense every time he touched the football. Dobbins couldn’t be denied the extra yardage he wanted and he always fought for every last one. He finished the day with 193 rushing yards and two total touchdowns in a phenomenal performance that captured his greatness.
Michael Warren II, running back, Cincinnati Bearcats
After getting wiped off the field by Ohio State in Week 2, Warren II took out his frustration on Miami-Ohio’s defense this weekend. Even with Cincinnati still committed to a running back-by-committee approach, he dominated.
Warren II tore through the Redhawks’ defense with frequent stops in the end zone. The junior racked up 158 total yards on 17 touches and added three rushing scores for good measure in an easy 35-13 win.
Chris Robison, quarterback, Florida Atlantic Owls
Lane Kiffin’s program desperately needed a spark after an 0-2 start to 2019. Robison came through with a phenomenal performance that Kiffin hopes is a sign of better things to come for his program.
Florida Atlantic’s sophomore quarterback treated Ball State’s secondary like it didn’t even exist. Robison completed 33-of-41 pass attempts for 366 yards and did most of the damage in three quarters. Any time you can throw nearly as many touchdowns (four) as incompletions (eight), it’s a sign of a jaw-dropping feat.
Laviska Shenault Jr., wide receiver, Colorado Buffaloes
It took far too long for Colorado to start feeding Shenault Jr. the football in 2019. The Buffaloes finally made him a featured part of their offense on Saturday and he rewarded them with a sensational performance.
Shenault Jr. kicked things off in style by blasting through three defenders for a 42-yard touchdown. Colorado kept feeding him after that as he hauled in eight receptions for a season-high 124 receiving yards. Colorado’s playmaker added 25 rushing yards and a game-tying score in the fourth quarter for good measure.
Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama Crimson Tide
It feels like we’re out of adjectives to describe Tagovailoa’s greatness. Even when he faces SEC competition, every big throw looks routine for one of the country’s top quarterbacks.
Tagovailoa threw for 444 yards with five touchdowns in less than four quarters of work and set a school-record with the eighth four-plus touchdown game in his career. He needed a big game to relaunch his Heisman Trophy campaign. With the help of Henry Ruggs and Najee Harris, he easily accomplished that in Week 3.
Malcolm Perry, quarterback, Navy Midshipmen
Navy’s triple-option offense is already dangerous with Perry at quarterback and a week to prepare. Giving the Midshipmen two weeks to scheme up explosive plays for Perry is simply unfair. Perry made sure East Carolina remembered him on Saturday.
The Midshipmen ransacked the Pirates’ defense behind Perry’s 156 rushing yards, 151 passing yards and six total touchdowns. Navy’s offense scored 87 points in two games this year and it can keep the fireworks going in Week 4 against Memphis.
Chuba Hubbard, running back, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Perhaps Hubbard just used Week 2 to rest. Oklahoma State’s star sophomore took the field in Week 3 and proved his jaw-dropping performance in Week 1 wasn’t a fluke.
Hubbard did most of his damage in the first quarter with 139 rushing yards, including a 75-yard scamper on the first play, and two visits into the end zone. He kept on rolling for the rest of the game with one big run after another to post his second 200-plus yard game, finishing with 256 yards and three touchdowns.
Ian Book, quarterback, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
A year after Book began to establish himself as the answer to Notre Dame’s quarterback woes, he delivered one of his best collegiate performances in Week 3. The senior made everything look easy against New Mexico after a slow first quarter.
He punched in a score early in the second quarter and kept adding on with three passing touchdowns in the quarter. Book finished his jaw-dropping outing with 360 passing yards, 46 rushing yards, six touchdowns and took a seat with a 52-7 lead before the third quarter came to a close.
Jaylond Adams, wide receiver, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
While countless other matchups caught everyone’s eye across the country, the Golden Eagles found themselves in a shootout with Troy on Saturday night. A few players on both sides delivered incredible stat lines, but one stood above the rest.
Adams just destroyed Troy when he took the field on offense. The sophomore hauled in 11 receptions for 180 yards and just kept finding open spots in the defense. Adams also excelled on special teams with a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown. If he can stay healthy for a full season, he’ll put up some big numbers.
Dillon Gabriel, quarterback, Central Florida Knights
Central Florida entered the summer hoping either Brandon Wimbush or Darriel Mack would emerge as a reliable, temporary replacement for McKenzie Milton. Now a few months later, Gabriel is making fans start to forget about their old star.
Gabriel took the field with a chance to help deliver UCF’s biggest win in years. He did more than prove this team deserves greater national recognition. Gabriel showed he is UCF’s future. He threw for 186 yards with three scores in the first quarter alone. He is a gunslinger who packs a lot of heat and his 347-yard, four-touchdown outing would have been even better if UCF didn’t blow out Stanford in a single half.
Tyler Johnson, wide receiver, Minnesota Golden Gophers
In a week where several receivers across the country put up great numbers, Johnson found a unique way to distinguish himself from the rest. While every touchdown is exciting, a game-winning touchdown is the crown jewel of scores.
Of course, touchdowns aren’t the only mark of Johnson’s domination. He led his team with 10 receptions for 140 yards and plenty of early domination. A go-to receiver got his chance in the final seconds and Johnson’s Randy Moss-esque touchdown grab literally won the game for the Golden Gophers.
LeVante Bellamy, running back, Western Michigan Broncos
In most weeks, a 150-yard, two-touchdown performance would be enough to land a running back on the jaw-dropping performance list. That wasn’t enough in Week 3 thanks to games like this one.
Bellamy squared off against Georgia State’s defense and promptly pushed them off the field. Western Michigan’s senior running back collected a mere 15 carries in Saturday’s blowout win and he turned them into 192 yards and three scores. We easily could have seen a 250-plus yard game had the Broncos not rested Bellamy in the second half.
Kaleb Barker, quarterback, Troy Trojans
While Troy fell short in a thrilling battle with Southern Miss, Barker delivered one of the greatest outings we’ll see from a quarterback this season. The senior signal-caller came back from a 33-21 deficit in the fourth quarter and seemed to answer every touchdown by Southern Miss. Barker delivered only the second 500-yard passing game in college football this season with four touchdowns and a 196.6 quarterback rating to be recognized for one of the best performances this weekend.
Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Oklahoma Sooners
Hurts must have heard that his former teammate jumped back into the Heisman race. Oklahoma’s phenom quarterback saw an opportunity to carve up UCLA’s defense and seized upon it.
The Sooners’ Heisman hopeful kicked things off with an impressive 30-yard touchdown run on fourth down to take an early lead. Hurts scorched UCLA’s secondary with his arm behind a 289-yard, three-touchdown act and stomped all over its front seven with 150 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown. He’s the best player in the country right now and that will only continue against Texas Tech.