Another season of college football is finally here, and as has been the case the past few seasons, there were some highly anticipated matchups in Week 1. We got to see some great games with a few close finishes, but there were still some players who stood out above the rest. Three members of The Athletes Hub staff put together their top players from the opening week of games in what should be another exciting college football season.
Brian’s 3 Stars:
1. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
25/34, 429 Yds, 5 TD
Grier solidified his preseason Heisman hype with a 429 yard, 5 touchdown performance against Tennessee. After a lightning delay extended the halftime break by more than an hour, Grier threw for three touchdowns in the third quarter as West Virginia ran away with a 40-14 victory over the Volunteers. Two of his favorite targets, David Sills V and Gary Jennings Jr, combined for 13 receptions, 253 yards, and three touchdowns. If all three can stay healthy for the full season, the Mountaineers should have one of the more exciting offenses in college football.
2. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
13 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 QB pressures
Although Isaiah Chambers recorded the only three sacks in Houston’s 45-27 win against Rice, Oliver was still a menace with 13 tackles, including 3.5 for losses. He looked explosive on the defensive line for most of the game, and was able to help hold Rice to 3.4 yards per carry. Houston will have a tougher matchup against Khalil Tate and Arizona next week, and we will see if Oliver can contain Tate like he contained Lamar Jackson in his freshman season.
3. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
6 Rec, 226 Yds, 3 TD
In a game where star running back Bryce Love was held to 29 yards on 18 carries (with 14 of those yards coming on one play), Stanford’s passing game stepped up after a slow start to beat San Diego State 31-10. Arcega-Whiteside led the way with 6 receptions for 226 yards and 3 touchdowns. He scored on a 38 yard pass from KJ Costello with 27 seconds left before halftime to give Stanford a lead they never surrendered. With defenses likely loading the box to stop Love from running all over them, Stanford will need Arcega-Whiteside and their other receivers to step up, especially with a matchup against USC coming in Week 2.
Miles 3 Stars:
1. Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State
21/36, 230 Yds, 3 TD (1 passing & 2 rushing)
While Penn State had a tough game against giant-killer Appalachian State, McSorley showed his versatility with his legs and feet. Although he was only able to complete 58% of his passes, not close to his 2017 completion percentage (66%), it’s only one game. McSorley made a phenomenal throw, under pressure, to tie the game with 42 seconds left and eventually win the game in overtime. Expect more big time throws from the Heisman candidate.
2. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
9/11, 209 Yds, 2 TD
It’s not easy to replace a Heisman trophy winner but Murray is off to a good start. In the 63-14 rout of Florida Atlantic, Murray only made 9 completions on 11 attempts but had 209 yards passing and 2 TD’s. That is called a good day in anybody’s book. Oh yeah, he’s also a top 10 draft pick for the Oakland Athletics, so there’s that.
3. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
20 Att, 240 Yds, 3 TD
In a week dominated by QB play, Williams had a phenomenal game against Northwestern State by racking over 200+ yards rushing and 3 TD’s. He only had 1 reception for 2 yards in the game, but that shows he is a true every down running back. His Thursday night performance will put him on the radar of players to watch going forward this season.
Kaleb’s Three Stars :
1. . Nick Brossette, RB, LSU
22 Att, 125 Yds, 2 TD
This was definitely a major upset for LSU knocking off the #8 ranked Miami Hurricanes, and what was the most impressive was LSU’s run game thrashing through the Miami defense. Brossette took advantage of the lackluster effort from Miami’s front seven and made the Hurricane’s defense look like swiss cheese. Brossette gets my player of the game award here
2. Caleb Farley, DB, Virginia Tech
2 tackles, 1 sack, 2 INT
Redshirt Freshman Caleb Farley played like an absolute ball-hawk Monday night and he came away with two interceptions. He was also rushing the passer throughout the game and came away with a sack. Focusing on his pass coverage ability, Farley didn’t give up anything to the receivers and fought all the way to the end. He should have an interesting season this year and if he keeps this up he could be among the premier DBs in the Nation.
3. Keytaon Thompson, QB, Mississippi State
13/31, 473 total yds, 7 total TD
Out of all the great QB play in the opening week of College football, Thompson was the flashiest of all of them. Given, against an unranked opponent, Thompson showcased his dual threat ability rushing for just over the century mark and passing for 364 yards. If Thompson can work on his accuracy and decision making (a 41.9 completion percentage is less than ideal) he could become a game-planning nightmare for coaches and coordinators across the nation.
Image Credit: Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports