Penn State running back, #26
After Barkley ran the kickoff back to the house on the game’s opening play last week, Ohio State never kicked to him for the remainder of the game. However, they didn’t let him run too much either. The junior back was held to 44 yards on 21 carries in the Nittany Lions’ 39-38 loss to the Buckeyes.
Penn State’s inability to establish a run game against the Buckeyes proved to be its demise, as late-game, short-yardage situations ended up favoring Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions will have a chance to rebound when they play at Michigan State this weekend. The Spartans are also coming off a loss heading into this game, so expect a sense of urgency from both sides.
Stanford running back, #20
A hamstring injury kept Love out of action for Stanford when the Cardinal faced Oregon State last Thursday.
Stanford prevailed, 15-14, proving the importance Love has to its offense. Despite sitting out, Love still leads the nation in running, and his Heisman stock did not waver.
Oklahoma quarterback, #6
Mayfield found himself back in his element this past weekend in the Sooners’ first home game since they lost to No. 14 Iowa State three weeks ago. Mayfield accounted for five total touchdowns in a convincing 49-27 victory over Texas Tech.
Through eight games, the redshirt senior has established himself as one of the country’s premier quarterbacks, leading the nation in total quarterback rating. His ability to keep the Sooners engaged in any type of offensive shootout makes Mayfield and the Sooners primed to compete with the best in college football.
The No. 10 Sooners will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma to renew their rivalry with No. 11 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game. Expect a duel of Heisman proportions between Mayfield and Oklahoma State senior quarterback Mason Rudolph this weekend.
Notre Dame running back, #33
Adams ran wild on a stingy NC State defense last weekend, rushing for 202 yards and a touchdown, including a 77-yard scamper to the end zone. Notre Dame prevailed, 35-14, over NC State, largely due to Adams’ contributions.
The junior back continues to dazzle after being under the Heisman radar for the majority of the season. With the Fighting Irish making a serious case for a College Football Playoff spot, expect Adams to be the focus of Notre Dame’s approach. Adams averages 8.9 yards per attempt, good for third in the nation, and will look to maintain his torrid pace at the business end of the season.
The No. 5 Fighting Irish will host Wake Forest in South Bend, Indiana this weekend. Expect Adams to have success against a porous Demon Deacon defense which allows over 180 rushing yards per game.