Updated: Sep 12
The process of selecting the weekly top performers is not an easy one.
With numerous games taking place at the same time and a large number of players putting together impressive performances, the task of finding the best of the best can be taxing, to say the least.
For this week, we did something a little different. Instead of a single player, we honored a team unit that played an inspiring game against one of the best teams in college football. With all this noted, here are our picks for Week 2's top performers.
The Texas Longhorns Defense
For the Texas Longhorns, ultimately, the outcome was going to be determined by their defense's ability to neutralize the Alabama offense, led by Heisman Trophy quarterback Bryce Young. Well, they succeeded in doing this in a huge way, relegating Young to 213 passing yards and just one touchdown.
Aside from the blunder on Jace McClelland's 81-yard touchdown in the first quarter, the Longhorns' defense played as well as a unit could play against one of the premier programs in college football. Despite the defeat, their performance today helped put Texas football back in the national spotlight.
Ohio State Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
Stats vs. Arkansas State: 7 receptions, 184 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, 26.3 yards/reception
With Jaxon Smith-Njigba out, the question coming into their contest against Arkansas State was who could quarterback CJ Stroud rely on? Well, we found out very early that Harrison Jr. was going to be that person. His performance in this game let the nation know Smith-Njigba was not the only lethal weapon in their receiving corps. With Harrison Jr. rising to the occasion the way he did, he let everyone know that Stroud has two star receivers, which should make it increasingly difficult for opposing defenses to handle the Buckeyes offense.
Maryland Quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa
Stats vs. Charlotte: 27 completions, 391 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 229.2 passer rating
At this point, Taulia Tagovailoa should be mentioned among the top quarterbacks in the nation. In Week 1 against Buffalo, he posted a 70.6 completion percentage. This week against Charlotte, he posted an incredible completion percentage of 87.1%. When it comes to accuracy, there are few quarterbacks in the nation as good as Tagovailoa. In essence, he is the most important player on the Terrapins' offense. Without Tagovailoa, none of it works.
Ohio State Quarterback C.J. Stroud
Stats vs. Arkansas State: 24 completions, 351 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 66.7 completion%
After a lackluster Week 1 performance against Notre Dame, Stroud came into this game on a mission from the very first offensive sequence. He played as one would expect; accurate in his throws, poised in the pocket, and exploiting weaknesses in the Red Wolves' defense. Although Marvin Harrison Jr. was the biggest beneficiary of Stroud's impressive throws, fellow receiver Emeka Egbuka received his fair share of targets, as he finished with 118 yards on four receptions and a touchdown in his first start. Stroud is unquestionably one of the top three quarterbacks in the country, and this performance cemented his position.
Marshall Running back Khalan Laborn
Stats vs. Notre Dame: 31 carries, 163 rushing yards, 1 touchdown, 5.3 yards/carry
Laborn's story is one of perseverance and determination. While with Florida State, he dislocated his kneecap. After being dismissed by the program in 2020, he went the Juco route before deciding to transfer to Marshall. One year ago, he was an Uber driver. One year later, he carried the Thundering Herd offense on his back and guided them to one of the biggest wins in the program's history. With back-to-back 100-yard rushing games so far this season, Laborn is headed in the right direction, and this performance can only give him the confidence to continue evolving.
Best Of The Rest
QB Caleb Williams - USC
QB Hendon Hooker - Tennessee
WR Jordan Addison - USC
QB Sam Hartman - Wake Forest
QB Malik Cunningham - Louisville
QB Donovan Smith - Texas Tech
TE Dalton Kincaid - Utah
RB Mohamed Ibrahim - Minnesota
QB Spencer Rattler - South Carolina
RB Raheim Sanders - Arkansas
WR Antwane Wells Jr. - South Carolina
LB/DE Derek Parish - Houston
LB Drew Sanders - Arkansas
DL JaCorey Johns - Wake Forest
DE Andre Carter II - Army
LB Noah Taylor - North Carolina