NCAAF: Week Four Maxwell Momentum
Maxwell Award: What we noticed
- RB Jeremy Hill led LSU with 183 rushing yards and three touchdowns, handing Auburn its first loss of the season. Hill has now rushed for over 100 yards in two straight games, while totaling totaled six touchdowns. He’ll look to help keep LSU undefeated in Athens this weekend against Georgia.
- For the fourth consecutive game, Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon rushed for over 140 yards. This past weekend, against Purdue, he took 16 carries for 147 yards and a season-high three touchdowns. Gordon currently leads the nation in rushing yards with 624, and yards per attempts at 11.8.
- In a conference shootout against Duke, Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage broke out with 424 passing yards and six touchdowns on 23 completions. Savage has helped Pitt to a 2-1 record heading into Saturday’s game against Virginia.
Chuck Bednarik Award: What we noticed
- Explosive Clemson DE Vic Beasley recorded five tackles, three sacks, two passes broken up, and one forced fumble in the Tigers’ win over NC State. Beasley now has five sacks on the year, only three away from his 2012 total.
- Oregon State CB Steven Nelson had a game-winning interception for a touchdown to give the Beavers a 34-30 comeback win over San Diego State. Nelson is tied for the nation’s lead with four interceptions in the early season.
- In a very close game, Connecticut LB Yawin Smallwood challenged Michigan with 13 total tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack, one pass broken up, and one forced fumble. This was Smallwood’s third consecutive game of 13 tackles or more.
Maxwell Award: Matchups to watch this week
- Blake Bortles (QB, UCF) vs. South Carolina
Bortles has had almost two weeks to prepare for the Clowney-led defense, and he’ll look to make a statement proving he belongs in the group of elite quarterbacks. Through three games, Bortles has 816 passing yards, a 71.4 completion percentage, and eight total touchdowns.
- Bo Wallace (QB, Ole Miss) vs. Alabama
So far Wallace has taken down Vanderbilt and Texas, but he’ll now face his biggest challenge against Alabama. Wallace is seeking redemption after struggling against Bama a year ago with 123 yards and two interceptions.
- Blake Bell (QB, Oklahoma) vs. Notre Dame
Bell broke out against Tulsa in Week Three, and he’ll need to keep the momentum going this weekend to overcome a stout Notre Dame defense. This will be Bell’s first and most likely hardest test as a starting quarterback this season.
Chuck Bednarik Award: Matchups to watch this week
- Will Sutton (DT, Arizona State) vs. USC
Sutton has been surprisingly quiet so far and has yet to record a solo sack. However, the defensive lineman’s future looks bright this weekend against a USC line that has let up nine sacks. A breakout performance could get him back on track for a double-digit sack season.
- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB, Oregon) vs. Cal
Ekpre-Olomu will match up against two explosive wide receivers in Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper. Sonny Dykes’ Bear Raid has been successful so far, but this week Cal will have to outplay one of the best one-on-one defenders in order to take down the Ducks.
- Chris Smith (DE, Arkansas) vs. Texas A&M
The end has totaled 6.5 tackles for loss, five QB hurries, and a nation-leading 5.5 sacks through four games. Smith will look to pressure the crafty Johnny Manziel this weekend; an impactful performance from the senior is essential for a Razorback upset.