Updated: Sep 26
As the level of competition rises, the real stars come to the forefront.
Generally, around this time of the year, teams are starting to round into form. For others, it may be a painful reality that they are not able to compete with the very best. Either way, it makes for very compelling football games, which are very entertaining to watch.
With this noted, here are the players we believe performed at the highest level this week.
Michigan Running Back Blake Corum
Stats vs. Maryland: 30 carries, 243 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns, 8.1 yards/carry
In their first true test of the season against Maryland, Michigan's passing offense had its share of struggles due to a stingy Terrapins secondary. Not only was Blake Corum the best player on the Michigan offense, he was arguably the best player on the field, period. His ability to hit holes with his brand of speed and physicality made it difficult for the Terrapins' defense to stop him. As the level of competition starts to increase, Michigan will likely rely on him more for high-level production.
Clemson Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei
Stats vs. Wake Forest: 26 completions, 371 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 179.7 passer rating
To say the least, Clemson and Wake Forest put on one of the best offensive showings of the season. In this dogfight that went into triple overtime, DJ Uiagalelei had easily the best game of his career, going toe-to-toe with Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, who was tremendous in defeat. He was everything a coach could ask for in a quarterback: confident, efficient, and clutch when it counted. Above all things, he showed everyone why he is more than worthy of holding the title of Clemson QB1.
Tennessee Quarterback Hendon Hooker
Stats vs. Florida: 22 completions, 349 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 13 carries, 112 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown.
With the showing he had on Saturday against Florida, Hooker has made a strong case for the title of top dual-threat quarterback in college football, period. As good as his counterpart, Anthony Richardson, was in this game, Hooker was seemingly that much better. His ability to throw off-platform and with accuracy is something that Volunteers fans have not seen in a long time. Hooker not only makes this team a threat to win the SEC title, but they have the potential to become a playoff team as long as he continues playing at this level.
Pittsburgh Running back Israel Abanikanda
Abanikanda has been a revelation this season for the Pitt Panthers. In a game where quarterback Kedon Slovis was not at his best, Abanikanda carried the load with four touchdowns on the ground. Abanikanda came into this game leading the ACC with 302 rushing yards. This performance should place him among the top rushers in the nation, and he has a strong case for First Team All-ACC.
Rest Of The Honor Roll
QB Tim DeMorat - Fordham
QB Anthony Richardson - Florida
QB Bo Nix - Oregon
RB Jayden Ott - California
QB Adrian Martinez - Kansas State
QB Kurtis Rourke - Ohio
QB Sam Hartman - Wake Forest
QB Austin Reed - Western Kentucky
QB Chase Cunningham - Middle Tennessee
RB Brad Roberts - Air Force
QB Will Rogers - Mississippi State
RB Deuce Vaughn - Kansas State
RB Devon Achane - Texas A&M
QB Bryce Young - Alabama
QB Will Levis - Kentucky
RB Braelon Allen Wisconsin
WR Jacob Cowing - Arizona
WR Jahmal Banks - Wake Forest
RB Quinshon Judkins - Ole Miss
QB Jalon Daniels - Kansas
WR Devontez Walker - Kent State
WR Troy Franklin - Ole Miss
QB Malik Cunningham Louisville
WR Ja'Corey Brooks - Alabama
WR Tayvion Robinson - Kentucky
WR DJ England-Chisolm - Middle Tennessee
QB Tommy DeVito - Illinois
DL Calijah Kancey - PITT
DT Tyler Davis - Clemson
LB Amari Burney - Florida
DE Bralen Trice - Washington
LB Ryan Henry - Old Dominion
DT Devin Brandt-Epps - Old Dominion
DL Rylie Mills - Notre Dame
DE Dani Dennis-Sutton - Penn State
LB Jamon Dumas-Johnson - Georgia
LB Bryson Jackson - Baylor