Football, but college football in particular, always proves to be an exciting affair, because teams aren’t much of a known quantity in the early half of the season. That proved to be true this week as an unranked South Carolina team walked into Georgia’s house and upset the third-ranked team in the country. Meanwhile, an unranked Louisville team put a 62-burger on No. 19 Wake Forest and Miami’s defense locked down No. 20 Virginia’s offense. Take a gander below for those players that helped out their draft stock during a crazy week.
QB Joe Burrow (LSU)
Burrow’s rise as a quarterback prospect has been one of the huge stories this season, but there was always the caveat that the team hadn’t played a really tough pass defense. That excuse is no longer relevant, as Florida sports one of the most stocked defenses in FBS, yet Burrow found just as much success. He wasn’t asked to over do it — only 24 pass attempts —but he made those attempts count by completing all but three of them, to go with three touchdowns. Although he saw tons of pressure, he was able to navigate the pocket and still deliver pin-point passes throughout the contest.
S Brandon Jones (Texas)
The Texas offense wasn’t able to keep pace with the Oklahoma offense — which is why the Longhorns ended up losing — but Jones and the Texas defense game them a chance. With the Sooners in scoring possession and about to go up by two touchdowns, Jones locked down the Oklahoma tight end in coverage, then came down with an interception after Jalen Hurts started scrambling. That play helped allow the defense to hold the Sooner offense to only ten points in the first half.
LB T.J. Brunson (South Carolina)
The South Carolina Gamecocks were able to upset the 3rd best team in the country thanks to the physicality of their defense. As the leader of that defense, Brunson set the tone all day with tough, physical tackles, timely blitzes, and especially an opportunistic fumble recovery off of a muffed exchange. Watching the game live, Brunson’s pure effort seems to jump off the screen, and the stats bear that out. The senior middle linebacker finished with double-digit tackles for the second time this season.
WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)
Although he faces plenty of competition from the likes of Jerry Jeudy and Laviska Shenault Jr. , Lamb may have stamped his name as the best 2020 receiving prospect with his performance against Texas. Lincoln Riley’s scheme is designed to create plenty of space for wide receivers to work, but it wasn’t really Lamb’s receiving skills that made him stand out, it was his toughness and physicality. Two of his three touchdowns on the day were a result him out-muscling defenders and utilizing his amazing balance to stay on his feet.
OT Austin Jackson (USC)
It’s not easy going against Notre Dame’s group of pass rushers — a fact Virginia found out the previous week — but USC’s left tackle seemed to hold his own for most of the game. His feet look quick enough to handle speed rushers, and when he was faced with an outside rush, he was able to ride the defenders past the pocket more often than not. He isn’t the most physical run blocker when on the move, but Jackson has the look of a first- or second-round player.
EDGE Terrell Lewis (Alabama)
Having to deal with several nagging injuries hasn’t made things easy on the junior edge rusher, but for at least one game against Texas A&M it all came together for the talented Lewis. Appearing to be finally healthy, Lewis was able to flash the ability that made him a sought-after high school player, finishing with two sacks and two quarterback hurries. Lewis seems to be a peaking at just the right time.