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College Football's Top Player Performances from Week 4

Brian PedersenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2013

College Football's Top Player Performances from Week 4

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    The "Holy War" between Utah (red) and Brigham Young (blue) was among the few truly competitive games in Week 4.
    The "Holy War" between Utah (red) and Brigham Young (blue) was among the few truly competitive games in Week 4.Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 4 wasn't blessed with flashy matchups that had weeks of buildup and hype. Instead, it could easily have been called "Woodshed Week." As in, getting taken out behind the woodshed for a good ol' fashioned whooping.

    The Week 4 slate of games had woefully lopsided scores such as 72-0, 76-0, 70-7 and 77-7, which also included two contests with running clocks, by request, one of which also had an agreed-upon shortened fourth quarter to stem the bleeding.

    But even with a mostly non-competitive weekend absent of a major upset, there was still no shortage of standout performances worth noting.

     

     

Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

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    Martavis Bryant, shown during a game earlier this season against South Carolina State.
    Martavis Bryant, shown during a game earlier this season against South Carolina State.Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    At 6'5", 200 pounds, Martavis Bryant has the size that NFL scouts look for in wide receivers. In Thursday's 26-14 win at North Carolina State, the junior showed off some pro-level hands as well.

    Bryant had six catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns, with both TDs coming in a 10-minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters that turned a tight 13-7 game into a comfortable 26-7 lead.

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

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    Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

    Having an older brother who was a No. 1 overall draft pick leaves some big shoes to fill. It hasn't seemed to bother Derek Carr much, though.

    In a season that has already seen the senior throw for five touchdowns in an overtime win over Rutgers, Carr put together possibly his best career performance, throwing for 460 yards on 39-of-60 passing and four TDs to help Fresno State beat nemesis Boise State 41-40 on Friday night. 

    Carr's brother, David, starred for Fresno State in 2000 and 2001 before getting drafted first overall by the Houston Texans in 2002.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

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    Yes, North Carolina lost to Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels' eighth loss in the last nine meetings. But don't blame Eric Ebron for the final result; he used every inch of his 6'4" frame to try to lead UNC to victory.

    This was no more evident than on Ebron's highlight-reel one-handed touchdown catch in the first quarter, which at the time gave the Tar Heels a 13-0 lead. Ebron had six catches for 108 yards and the score, and he has become an integral part of UNC's passing game.

Louisville Cardinals Team Defense

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    Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    Yes, Florida International is horrible. Any team that requests a running clock cannot be considered a quality opponent.

    But still, to allow just 30 yards? It doesn't matter who Louisville was facing, its defense was phenomenal.

    FIU was held to just two first downs and converted only 1-of-13 third-down tries. The Golden Panthers managed a paltry three rushing yards on 34 attempts against the Cardinals defenders, who have allowed a mere 27 points in four games.

    If it wasn't for Teddy Bridgewater getting all the attention, Louisville might be known more as a defensive team than one with a great quarterback.

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

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    Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

    Baylor has taken full advantage of its super-soft nonconference schedule to put up video game-like numbers, and Bryce Petty is no exception to this.

    The junior had his best day yet, throwing for 351 yards and four touchdowns in the Bears' 70-7 throttling of Louisiana-Monroe. Two of his TD passes went for more than 60 yards, both to Antwan Goodley.

Mitch Leidner, QB, Minnesota

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    Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    With their starting quarterback out with a hamstring injury, the Minnesota Golden Golphers turned to redshirt freshman Mitch Leidner and his run-first approach. Leidner didn't disappoint, rushing for 151 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries to down a tough San Jose State team 43-24.

    Leidner's output was part of a 353-yard rushing effort by the Golden Gophers to help complete the nonconference portion of their schedule at 4-0.

Kenny Guiton, QB, Ohio State

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    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Is a record really a record when it comes against such inferior competition?

    That debate kicked off not long after Kenny Guiton set the Ohio State record for touchdown passes in a game with six TD throws in the Buckeyes' 76-0 annihilation of FCS opponent Florida A&M.

    Guiton, a senior making his second straight start in place of the injured Braxton Miller, had four TD throws before the first quarter was over. He finished 24-of-34 for 215 yards, along with an interception.

     

David Fluellen, RB, Toledo

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    Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

    David Fluellen rushed for 197 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries in Toledo's 38-17 win at Central Michigan, his third consecutive 100-yard game.

    The effort by Fluellen, a senior who ran for nearly 1,500 yards last season, was even more stellar because of the fact he was no doubt blinded by the hideous throwback uniforms worn by Central Michigan, a mustard-and-beet combination that should never be paired again.

Reggie Whatley, RB, Middle Tennessee State

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    MTSU's Reggie Whatley, shown during an earlier game at North Carolina.
    MTSU's Reggie Whatley, shown during an earlier game at North Carolina.Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

    Reggie Whatley ran for 154 yards—65 more than he'd gained in the previous three games—and three touchdowns on just 10 carries in MTSU's 42-35 overtime win at Florida Atlantic.

    Whatley, a junior, scored on runs of 15, 19 and 64 yards in the Blue Raiders' first-ever Conference USA league game. Interestingly, it came against an FAU team that MTSU previously played annually when both were members of the Sun Belt Conference.

Kevonte Martin-Manley, WR/KR, Iowa

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    Kevonte Martin-Manley, shown during a game earlier this season at Iowa State.
    Kevonte Martin-Manley, shown during a game earlier this season at Iowa State.Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sport

    Kevonte Martin-Manley paced Iowa's 59-3 blowout of Western Michigan by returning two consecutive punts for touchdowns during the second quarter.

    His 83-yard return gave the Hawkeyes a 17-0 lead with 11:45 left in the second, then 59 seconds later he was crossing the goal line again following a 63-yard TD return.

    Martin-Manley's scores were among four return TDs for Iowa, which also got a pair of interception returns from B.J. Lowery.

Matt Wyman, K, Kansas

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    John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

    It figures that Kansas' first win over a non-FCS opponent since 2011 would come thanks to a clutch play from a walk-on.

    Kicker Matt Wyman drilled a game-winning 52-yard field goal as time expired to give the Jayhawks a 13-10 win over Louisiana Tech, snapping the school's 22-game losing streak to FBS foes. Kansas had beaten FCS program South Dakota each of the last two seasons, but it lost all of its games to big-boy schools.

Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

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    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    It was the kind of game in which Aaron Murray probably figured he'd be spending a lot of the second half watching backups get some playing time. Instead, the senior had to put forth a full-game effort normally reserved for foes like Florida, LSU or Alabama.

    Murray completed 22-of-30 passes for 408 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score in Georgia's 45-21 win over North Texas. One of Murray's TDs went for 98 yards to Reggie Davis, the longest pass play in school history.

    The three TD passes gave Murray 102 for his career, making him the second quarterback in SEC history with triple-digit TD throws.

Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh

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    Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

    In a game that featured more points than some Pittsburgh basketball games from the past season, Tom Savage tied an ACC record by throwing six touchdown passes in the Panthers' 58-55 shootout win at Duke.

    Savage, who previously played for or spent time at Rutgers and Arizona before landing at Pittsburgh, threw for 424 yards on 23-of-33 passing. The senior hit Tyler Boyd for three scores and tossed two scoring strikes to Devin Street as Pittsburgh won its first-ever ACC game.

Terrel Hunt, QB, Syracuse

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    Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

    Terrel Hunt had a heck of a debut for Syracuse, throwing four touchdown passes and running one in as well in the Orange's 52-17 thumping of visiting Tulane.

    The sophomore completed 16-of-21 passes for 181 yards and added 39 yards on six carries in his first career start.

Damien Proby, LB, and Dean Lowry, DL, Northwestern

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    Damien Proby (right) had one of Northwestern's two defensive touchdowns.
    Damien Proby (right) had one of Northwestern's two defensive touchdowns.Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Northwestern's expected rout of FCS Maine didn't go as smoothly as it hoped, especially on offense. But the Wildcats defense stepped up with two interception returns for scores in a 35-21 win.

    Damien Proby returned an interception 49 yards for a TD in the final minute of the first half, then five minutes into the third quarter Lowry picked off a pass from Maine's Marcus Wasilewski and brought it back 19 yards for a score that gave Northwestern a 21-0 lead at the time.

A.J. Hendy, DB, Maryland

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    Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

    Maryland's 37-0 win over rival West Virginia was the result of a balanced offense, a ball-hawking defense and bold red uniforms.

    A.J. Hendy was integral in the Terrapins defensive effort, recovering two fumbles and returning an interception 28 yards for a touchdown that put Maryland up 14-0 in the first quarter.

Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    Leonte Carroo had five catches for 80 yards, but it was the last two that mattered most for Rutgers in its 28-24 comeback win over Arkansas.

    Carroo pulled in a 33-yard TD pass from Gary Nova on 4th-and-12 to pull the Scarlet Knights within a field goal midway through the fourth quarter, then with 5:18 left he caught a four-yard scoring pass for the go-ahead points.

Ryan Keiser, S, Penn State

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    Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

    The Nittany Lions' first shutout victory in three years had a lot of contributors, including Ryan Keiser, a senior who had an interception and a sack in Penn State's 34-0 win over Kent State.

    Keiser's play in the secondary was a key to holding Kent State to just 190 yards of total offense.

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Gary Andersen got his first Big 10 victory as Wisconsin's coach thanks to an overwhelming run game typical of Badgers teams in the past.

    Leading the rushing charge in Wisconsin's 41-10 win over Purdue was Melvin Gordon, who had 147 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. All told the Badgers ran for 388 yards and five TDs.

Terrance Broadway, QB, Louisiana-Lafayette

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    Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

    Terrance Broadway was deadly with his arm and his feet in ULL's 35-30 win at Akron, throwing for 305 yards and three touchdowns and adding a pair of running scores.

    The junior accounted for more than 80 percent of the Ragin' Cajuns offense in the victory.

Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky

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    Antonio Andrews, shown during a game earlier this season against Tennessee.
    Antonio Andrews, shown during a game earlier this season against Tennessee.Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

    Antonio Andrews' production has increased each game this season, and it took its biggest jump in Western Kentucky's 58-17 win over Morgan State.

    The senior ran for 213 yards and five touchdowns on 17 carries, scoring on a 65-yard run on the Hilltoppers' first offensive snap en route to setting a school record for TDs in a game.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    There's a big difference between Alabama and Southern Methodist, but you couldn't tell that from Johnny Manziel's effort.

    The sophomore accounted for 346 yards of total offense in the Aggies' 42-13 win, rushing for 102 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 244 yards and a score.

Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State

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    Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

    It's normally Oregon State's offense that has to save the day. But to beat San Diego State, the Beavers needed a big, late defensive stop, and Steven Nelson came through.

    The junior returned an interception 16 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter of OSU's 34-30 win. It was his fourth pick of the season, and it came nine seconds after the Beavers scored to get within two points of the Aztecs.

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State

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    Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

    Dak Prescott was a triple threat in Mississippi State's 62-7 crushing of Troy. The sophomore accounted for 322 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, including three consecutive in a six-minute span in the second quarter.

    Prescott threw for 233 yards and a TD, ran for two scores and 53 yards and also caught a 36-yard TD pass on a trick play where tailback Jameon Lewis took a lateral from Prescott then threw it back to his quarterback.

     

Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

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    Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Spor

    Since sitting out of LSU's first game due to a suspension, Jeremy Hill has been given increasingly more opportunities to contribute to the Tigers rushing attack.

    His performance in the 35-21 win over Auburn was the best yet, as the sophomore ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Hill scored on runs of 49 and 10 in the first quarter, then added a six-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

Fitzgerald Toussaint, RB, Michigan

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    David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

    Down 14 points in the second half to a winless opponent looking for one of its biggest wins in school history, Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint scored on runs of 35 and 12 yards to tie the game and pace the Wolverines' 24-21 comeback win at Connecticut.

    Toussaint, a senior, finished with 120 yards on 24 carries.

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

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    Kony Ealy, shown in a game last season against Kentucky.
    Kony Ealy, shown in a game last season against Kentucky.Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

    The offensive numbers for Missouri were at their usual high level against Indiana, but Kony Ealy's athletic play late in the first half of the Tigers' 45-28 win was probably the most influential to the victory.

    Ealy picked off a pass from Indiana's Nate Sudfeld at the line of scrimmage and then lumbered 49 yards for a touchdown that gave Missouri a 28-14 lead just before halftime.

Johnathan Gray, RB, Texas

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    Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

    The calls for Mack Brown's head were at least briefly silenced following Texas' 31-21 win over Kansas State, with Johnathan Gray spearheading the Longhorns offensive attack.

    Gray, a sophomore, ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns.

Autrey Golden, RB/KR, UTEP

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    Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sp

    There wasn't a lot for UTEP to be happy about in its 32-13 home loss to UTSA. But Autrey Golden at least provided one big highlight for the Miners, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at one touchdown apiece in the first quarter.

    Golden was also UTEP's leading rusher, with 39 yards on six carries.

Brock Hekking, DE, Nevada

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    Brock Hekking (53), shown during a game last season against Air Force.
    Brock Hekking (53), shown during a game last season against Air Force.Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

    Brock Hekking was a one-man wrecking crew for the Nevada defense in its 31-9 win over Hawaii.

    The junior recorded three sacks and an interception. The interception set up a quick scoring drive for the Wolfpack.

Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Brett Smith accounted for 511 yards of total offense in Wyoming's impressive 56-23 win at Air Force, setting the school career passing touchdown mark in the process.

    The junior was 35-of-41 for 373 yards and four TDs, giving him 60 for his career. He also ran for 138 yards and a six-yard TD.

Jordon James, RB, UCLA

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    Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

    Jordon James had 19 carries for a career-high 164 yards and two touchdowns in UCLA's easy 59-13 win over New Mexico State.

    It was the third consecutive 100-yard rushing performance for James, a junior.

Connor Halliday, QB, Washington State

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    Connor Halliday, shown during a game earlier this season at USC.
    Connor Halliday, shown during a game earlier this season at USC.Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Connor Halliday made yet another positive step forward in Mike Leach's offense, throwing for 300-plus yards for the third time this season in Washington State's 42-0 win over Idaho.

    Halliday, a junior, threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half.

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