This Saturday marked Rival Week in the college football season which is when teams with longstanding, and some not so longstanding, rivalries face off against one another. This usually creates some very entertaining games. This held true on Saturday when four top-ten ranked teams were upset and five previously unbeaten teams lost. Below are some of the names that stood out.
Mason Rudolph, quarterback (Oklahoma State)
Playing against a team like Baylor, a team who has no defense to speak of, you’d expect a productive quarterback like Rudolph to pick them apart. That’s exactly what happened on Saturday. Rudolph had his way all day, throwing it short, intermediate and deep to the tune of 19 completions on 31 attempts for 459 yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s really improved this season and his stock has been rising as a consequence.
Philip Lindsay, running back (Colorado)
One of my sleeper prospects at the position, Lindsay is nicknamed “The Tasmanian Devil” for a reason. He’s small at 5’8”, but that size gives him a low center of gravity to keep his balance when hit. He also has great acceleration, which was evident in his 75-yard touchdown run against Oregon State.
Brian O’Neill, offensive tackle (Pitt)
Highlighted in my week 7 college football preview, the former tight end stonewalled the vaunted NC State defensive line. He wasn’t perfect, but his movement skills stood out in pass protection. He also almost scored a touchdown on a swing pass, which shows you how athletic he is.
Maurice Hurst, defensive tackle (Michigan)
Dominant defensive performance against Indiana. Largely shut down the run game and brought constant pressure on the quarterback. Also blocked a field goal. His explosion off the snap is clearly evident and his hand usage is improving. This will be the highlight tape that gets shown when he gets drafted in the first round.
Mark Andrews, tight end (Oklahoma) - Like most great tight ends, Andrews is Baker Mayfield’s safety blanket. Baker Mayfield loves to extend the play and more often than not, Andrews is able to find the open areas of the field. Having said that, his biggest play against Texas came when the defense completely lost him on a vertical route for a 59-yard touchdown.
Clelin Ferrell, defensive end (Clemson)
Ferrell has been getting praise all season but hasn’t really had the stats to back it up. Well, despite the eventual upset by Syracuse, Ferrell had his coming out party. He’s essentially Shaq Lawson with better size and length; he has the huge frame to bull rush tackles but has the hips to dip around the edge as well. He finished the game with 3.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and 9 total tackles.
DJ Chark, wide receiver (LSU)
Chark has elite, blazing deep ball speed and deadly punt return skills, but the LSU offense was never able to take advantage of either talent. That changed this week against Auburn. Chark caught several long throws for a total of 150 yards and also had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown. His play powered LSU to an eventual upset.