Penn State running back
For the first time since its battle with Iowa two weeks ago, Penn State did not have to depend on Saquon Barkley to singlehandedly win the Nittany Lions a game. Barkley added two second-half touchdowns to go along with his 75 yard rushing performance, helping quarterback Trace McSorley and Penn State defeat Northwestern 31-7.
While Barkley didn’t raise too many eyebrows with his performance last week, the timing of his touchdowns in game and his poise in late game situations prove why he is such a valuable asset to this Penn State team. The junior back continues to show that it isn’t only about the numbers, but also the leadership and toughness in all situations.
The Nittany Lions will have a bye week before hosting No. 17 Michigan on Oct. 21, a team that will be a hungry for a win after a tough home loss to Michigan State last week. Barkley will have his hands full with the Wolverine run defense which only allows 87 yards per game.
Stanford running back
The floodgates opened for Love once again this past weekend, as he added another 152 yards to this season’s rushing total. His 68-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter put the game on ice, sending Stanford back into the AP Top 25 rankings.
The junior extended his streak of games with 100 yards or more to eight, and made the right plays at the right time. After being the back behind former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey for the early part of his career, Love continues to run past the records set by his predecessor.
The No. 23 Cardinal will host Oregon in Palo Alto, California, this weekend in what could be a feeding frenzy for Love — Oregon’s run defense allows almost 300 yards per game.
Two weeks of preparation for the Sooners’ showdown with Iowa State didn’t seem to be enough for Oklahoma. Mayfield and the Sooners, coming in as 28 point favorites, dropped a shocker to Iowa State at home in a 38-31 defeat.
Although Mayfield did not turn over the ball and accrued a season-high rushing total, he could not lead the Sooners back to tie the game at the end of regulation, eventually costing them a victory. A game like this may tarnish Mayfield’s Heisman resume, but will probably deal a bigger blow to the Sooners’ College Football Playoff hopes.
The No. 12 Sooners will renew their annual Red River Rivalry with Texas in Dallas this weekend, a team Mayfield holds a 1–2 record against. A newly energized Texas defense should pose a challenge for Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense.
Washington State quarterback
Falk set the tone for the Cougars almost immediately, tossing a 41-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. The senior quarterback ended the game with 282 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-10 victory over the Ducks.
Falk continued to showcase his arm to NFL scouts as the game went on, including a sweet 25 yard touchdown toss to seal the game. Falk has thrown for 2000 yards and 19 touchdowns this season, and favorable matchups on the schedule shouldn’t slow him down.
The Cougars will look to maintain their unblemished record this weekend as they host California. The Golden Bears have had a tendency of pulling out big upsets, and Falk and the Cougars will be sure to take control of this game from the start.