With the first week of college football now in the books it’s time to look back at some of the best, and unfortunately worst performances. While nobody is going to win the Heisman on week one it’s always nice to make a good first impression. So, without further ado here are some of the first week’s studs and duds.
1. Denard Robinson: Quarterback, Michigan
The 2011 season couldn’t have started much worse for the Heisman hopeful Robinson. He completed just nine passes for 98 yards in Michigan’s new look offense and was never really able to show off his scrambling ability with just 46 yards on the ground. To make matters worse Robinson only played three quarters due to the game being called late in the third quarter due to weather concerns. If Robinson wants to get back in the hunt for the Heisman he will need to have a bounce back performance against a Notre Dame team looking to rebound themselves.
2. Auburn University Defense
For Auburn fans Saturday showed one thing. There will be no easy games this year. Not even hosting 21 point underdog Western Atlantic Conference doormat Utah State is safe apparently. Auburn looked lost on defense, allowing Utah State true freshman QB Chuckie Keeton to complete 70% of his passes for 233 yards on Saturday. The Tigers also lacked any pass rush whatsoever only getting to Keeton for a sack once. Even worse, they allowed a startling 227 yards rushing and FIVE rushing touchdowns, two of which were Keeton. If not for a perfectly executed onside kick the Tigers would have had one of the more embarrassing losses in recent memory and a week two matchup with a Mississippi State Bulldog team that looked extremely impressive against Memphis. If Auburn hopes to avoid the loss column in week two they will need their defense to come to the party in a big way.
1. Robert Griffin III: Quarterback, Baylor Bears
It took only 24 hours for college football to really get exciting. In a game where the Bears were 4.5 point underdogs at home to TCU it was up to Griffin to put his team on his back. Friday night in Waco, Texas Griffin certainly didn’t disappoint, carving up a revamped Hornfrogs defense Griffin showed that he has matured into an all around QB. Griffin completed 21 of 27 passing attempts (78%) for 359 yards and five touchdowns. Griffin also added 10 carries for 38 yards with a long of 14 yards.
2. Matt Barkley: Quarterback, USC and Robert Woods: Wide Receiver, USC
These two are listed together because each was the main factor in the others success. While the Trojans looked terrible as a whole against a rebuilding Minnesota team, these two players were stars. Barkley had a historic day on Saturday breaking Todd Marinovich’s 22 year old record for completions in a single game. Barkley who completed 34 of 45 passes (76%) for 304 yards had three touchdowns on the day. But Barkley wasn’t the only Trojan rewriting the record books on Saturday. Sophomore WR Robert Woods also stood out as he surpassed Johnnie Morton’s single game catch record against Houston in 1993. Woods, who had 17 catches finished with 177 yards and all three of Barkley’s touchdowns.
3. Russell Wilson: Quarterback, Wisconsin
There may not have been a player with more pressure to perform instantly then Russell Wilson. Ever since the former Wolfpack star transferred to Madison the Badgers have been labeled as Big 10 frontrunners and a dark horse for the National Title. It didn’t take long for Wilson to make that talk grow louder. Wilson completed 10 of 13 passes (77%) for 255 yards and two scores Thursday night against UNLV. Wilson had an astonishing average of 19.6 yards per attempt and also added two carries for 62 yards with a 46 yard touchdown run.
4. David Wilson: Running Back, Virginia Tech
Along with questions of how they would replace Tyrod Taylor another question surrounding Virginia Tech during the offseason was if Wilson could be a feature back. With Darren Evans and Ryan Williams now playing on Sundays the Hokies will have to rely on Wilson to carry the load. Saturday, at least, he showed that wouldn’t be a problem. Wilson knifed his way through the Appalachian State defense and racked up 162 yards on 16 carries. Along with his gaudy average Wilson also was able to reach pay dirt three times on the day. If Wilson can produce at this level on a weekly basis the Hokies may find themselves with an ACC title and a trip to New Orleans for the BCS Championship. And Wilson, he may find himself in New York City striking the Heisman pose.