What does rock bottom look like for a college football program?
Perhaps the school most qualified to answer such a question is Nebraska. Once one of the most storied programs in history, this season has been nothing short of a disaster so far. Following a week when their former head coach, Scott Frost, was fired, they had an opportunity to redeem themselves with a strong performance against their long-time rivals, Oklahoma. Instead, they were thoroughly embarrassed in front of a capacity crowd at Memorial Stadium. Perhaps at this point, Urban Meyer may be their only hope of helping salvage a program that is at its lowest point.
On the other hand, Washington pulled off the only big upset of Week 3, and one of the biggest wins in recent memory, as they remain undefeated. Their program continues to prosper.
All aside, this week did not have the same type of drama or measure of upsets as in Week 2, but we did receive some spectacular performances; one particular player introduced himself to the nation in a big way. Without any further ado, here are our picks for the Week 3 top performers.
Florida State Receiver Johnny Wilson
Stats vs. Louisville: 7 receptions, 149 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
If you did not know the name Johnny Wilson before Friday night, well, he's no longer a secret to the nation. The transfer from Arizona State terrorized the Louisville Cardinals secondary in a multitude of ways. Whether he was beating them on crossing routes, beating them vertically, or "mossing" them in the end zone, this 6'7 dynamo was virtually unbeatable. After what we witnessed him do, it would not be farfetched to place him among the top receivers in college football. One can be assured that he is no flash-in-the-pan receiver. Expect him to dominate other opposing defensive backs this season.
Texas Running back Bijan Robinson
Stats vs. UTSA: 20 carries, 183 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, 9.2 yards/carry
After a spirited effort against Alabama in Week 2, the question coming into Week 3 was how would the Texas Longhorns respond against UTSA without Hudson Card? Many people may have forgotten that they had arguably the best running back in the country in Bijan Robinson. Simply, he was impactful all game long. When things seemed bleak offensively at times for the Longhorns, Robinson would come up with a play that would turn the momentum their way. His 77-yard touchdown in the third quarter broke the tie and his team would never look back. The Longhorns are a team looking to redefine themselves this season. With players like Robinson, they are heading in the right direction.
LSU Linebacker BJ Ojulari
Stats vs. Mississippi State: 4 Total tackles , 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss
With everything that has been said about LSU head coach Brian Kelly, he has steered this ship of the program in the right direction by picking up a big win against Mississippi State. BJ Ojulari used this game to remind the nation why he is one of the top pass rushers in the nation. He, along with freshman linebacker Harold Perkins Jr., were too much for the Bulldogs' offensive line to handle. The term "man amongst boys" is often thrown around. In this game, Ojulari looked very much the part as he looked unblockable. If he continues to produce at the rate he did in this game, LSU should be rising in the ranks very quickly.
Washington Quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
Stats vs. Michigan State: 24 completions, 397 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, 176.4 passer rating
When you think of it, Michael Penix Jr. is deserving of this moment. His career with Indiana was filled with peaks and valleys, but he always had the potential to breakout if given the right situation. Who would have known that the Washington Huskies were going to be the team where he would engineer the biggest win of his career? This left-handed prodigy gave Michigan State problems from the very first quarter of their contest. It is no fluke that the Huskies are undefeated. They have plenty of talent on offense and a quarterback like Penix Jr. to lead them. This was not just a victory for the Huskies; it was one for the PAC-12 Conference.
Georgia Tight End Brock Bowers
Stats vs. South Carolina: 5 reception, 121 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns, 24.2 yards per reception
There is no question that Georgia is the best team in college football right now. Perhaps what needs to be acknowledged is that they have the best tight end in the nation, and it is not even close. There are few players at this position who possess both the route running and ball skills of Brock Bowers. In their blowout win over South Carolina, he was the star of the show as the Gamecocks' secondary had no answers for him. It is clear that fans will be seeing him play on Sundays in the NFL soon enough. Till then, he and the Bulldogs are on a mission to repeat as national champions. So far, it is heading in that direction.
Ohio State Quarterback C.J. Stroud
Stats vs. Toledo: 22 completions, 367 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 81.5 completions%
The only word to describe Stroud's performance on Sunday was colossal. Putting aside his five touchdown passes, he helped produce three receivers who finished the game with over 100 receiving yards. The only semblance of hope Toledo had in this game was early in the first quarter when they tied the game. From that point, Stroud took over and let them know that when it comes to performance, there are levels to it. Right now, Stroud is in a different hemisphere than a majority of the quarterbacks in the nation.
Best Of The Rest
QB Chris Reynolds - Charlotte
RB Aidan Robbins - UNLV
RB Zach Evans - Ole Miss
WR Raheim Sanders - Arkansas
RB Richard Reese - Baylor
WR Will Sheppard - Vanderbilt
QB Aidan O'Connell - Purdue
QB Darren Grainger - Georgia State
QB Malik Cunningham - Louisville
RB Mohamed Ibrahim - Minnesota
RB Nicholas Singleton - Penn State
QB KJ Jefferson - Arkansas
QB Spencer Sanders - Oklahoma State
QB Bo Nix - Oregon
RB Eric Gray - Oklahoma
RB Cj Donaldson - West Virginia
LB Derrick Smith - Western Kentucky
LB Khalib Johns - Kent State
DE YaYa Diaby - Louisville
LB Kalen Deloach - Florida State
LB Will Anderson - Alabama
DL Isaiah Foskey - Notre Dame
LB Harold Perkins Jr. - LSU
DL Jayson Ademilola - Notre Dame
DL Jacob Lacey - Notre Dame
LB Henry To'oTo'o - Alabama