10 College Football Players Guaranteed to Light Up the Stat Sheet in Week 9
Several players will put together performances in Week 9 that will have college football fans talking.
Some will continue an unreal stretch of play against a lesser opponent. Others should turn around a slump and put together a showing that will have people screaming, “he’s back!”
All in all, while the matchups themselves may not be all too intriguing, expect some stellar performances to make up for that.
Here are 10 players that should put together mind-numbing stat lines this weekend.
RB Andre Williams (Boston College)
Week 9 Matchup: at North Carolina (1-5), Oct. 26, 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
It was only three weeks ago when running back Andre Williams gave Army a taste of its own medicine. In a 48-27 victory, the senior rushed for 263 games and five touchdowns.
After getting shut down by Clemson on Oct. 12—70 yards on 24 carries—expect Williams to get back to work against the woeful Tar Heels.
Through six games, the team ranks No. 103 against the rush, allowing a little over 203 yards per game on the ground. That includes giving up 12 rushing touchdowns and 4.29 yards per carry.
In a game that the Eagles will likely be leading by double digits, expect the team to give a healthy dose of Williams all day.
RB Bishop Sankey (Washington)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. Cal (1-6), Oct. 26, 11 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
It was only a couple weeks ago that we considered running back Bishop Sankey one of the best in the nation.
However, his performance against a questionable Arizona State defense—22 yards on 13 carries—left many second-guessing themselves.
Still, through seven contests, the junior has rushed for an impressive 921 yards and 10 touchdowns on 172 carries. Even more impressively, he’s recorded a touchdown in each one of the Huskies’ games.
Fortunately, both Sankey and Washington’s slide should come to an end against the atrocious defense of the Bears.
Thus far, the team ranks No. 124 in scoring defense (44.4 PPGA) while ranking No. 82 against the rush (178.7 YPGA). That includes conceding 18 touchdowns on the ground while giving up a generous 4.72 yards per carry.
If Sankey can’t run on these guys, then something must really be up.
QB Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. Eastern Michigan (1-6), Oct. 26, 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
Quarterback Jordan Lynch is coming off a record-setting performance.
In the Huskies' 38-17 win over Central Michigan, the senior rushed for 316 yards and three touchdowns. In the process, he set the FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
It’s just the latest highlight in a season packed full of them.
Through seven games, Lynch has thrown for 1,488 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions on 61.3 percent passing for a quarterback rating of 133.0. He’s added another 932 yards and seven scores on the ground.
Against the Eagles, expect Lynch’s success to continue.
Entering this weekend, Eastern Michigan’s defense ranks among the nation’s worst. The unit is No. 122 in scoring defense (42.3 PPGA), No. 114 in total defense (475.0 YPGA), No. 118 against the run (246.3 YPGA) and No. 61 against the pass (228.7 YPGA).
Did we mention that the Eagles have conceded 50 points or more in three of their last four games?
Lynch should have no problem improving Northern Illinois to 8-0, and it'll be a little closer to clinching its second straight at-large berth into a BCS bowl.
QB Derek Carr (Fresno State)
Week 9 Matchup: at San Diego State (3-3), Oct. 26, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
If he played for any other team but the Bulldogs, quarterback Derek Carr would get a lot more hype for being one of the elite quarterbacks in the nation.
With all things considered, it’s impressive that he has even popped up on the radar of ESPN’s Heisman Watch.
Through six games, the senior has thrown for 2,276 yards, 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions on an impressive 70.4 percent passing. He ranks second in the nation in both touchdowns thrown and passing yards per game (379.3).
Carr should only improve his numbers against the Aztecs.
Thus far, the team ranks No. 111 against the pass (280.2 YPGA). Not only has San Diego State conceded 13 touchdowns through the air, but the unit has also recorded just one interception on the year.
That’s not going to cut it against a quarterback that has topped 400 yards of passing in three of his last four games.
QB Zach Mettenberger (LSU)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. Furman (3-4), Oct. 26, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN3
After putting up 35 or more points in their first six games, the Tigers have scored just 41 over the last two.
The same drop-off in production can be seen in quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s play. The senior recorded two of his worst statistical performances of the season in that span.
Against FCS’ Furman Paladins, expect all that pain to go away.
Through seven games, among other FCS schools, Furman’s defense ranks No. 41 in both scoring (24.1 PPGA) and against the pass (201.6 YPGA). Furthermore, the unit has only five interceptions on the year.
And that’s against just FCS competition.
He may play just a half, but it won’t be a surprise to see Mettenberger get back to throwing for over 250 yards and two or three touchdowns.
RB Tre Mason (Auburn)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. Florida Atlantic (2-5), Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3
Life is good for the Tigers.
The team has doubled its win total from last season in just seven games, head coach Gus Malzahn is putting together a worthy campaign for Coach of the Year and Auburn is coming off its biggest win in quite some time.
Against the lowly Owls, the good vibes should only keep rolling in.
One of the Tigers’ keys to success is their No. 8-ranked rushing attack. Led by running back Tre Mason—who has 119 carries, 693 yards, and eight touchdowns—the team is putting up a little more than 300 yards per game on the ground.
Mason has been especially terrific, rushing for 100 yards or more in three of Auburn’s last four contests while finding the end zone six times during that span.
Now, the junior gets ready to go head-to-head with a defense that ranks No. 84 against the run (181.4 YPGA), a unit that has already given up 200 yards or more to three opponents this year—that includes 303 to Miami.
Yards should come easily for Mason and the Tigers this weekend.
RB Lache Seastrunk (Baylor)
Week 9 Matchup: at Kansas (2-4), Oct. 26, 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU
After being held to just 59 yards and no touchdowns against Kansas State on Oct. 12, running back Lache Seastrunk got back to business during the Bears 71-7 pounding of Iowa State last weekend.
The junior racked up 112 yards and a pair of scores on 18 carries. That ups his season total to 760 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
Backed by Seastrunk’s stellar play, Baylor averages a little over 300 yards per game on the ground while scoring a nation-best 64.7.
Don’t expect the Jayhawks to slow them down.
Through six games, the team ranks No. 90 against the rush, allowing 186.8 yards per game. Although the unit has given up just nine scores on the ground, Kansas concedes a generous 4.6 yards per carry.
Furthermore, the team has allowed two straight opponents to rush for more than 200 yards on the ground.
That's not a good sign for the Jayhawks.
DE Michael Sam (Missouri)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. No. 21 South Carolina (5-2), Oct. 26, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2
The Tigers are 7-0 and one of college football’s biggest surprises. However, the biggest shock of them all has to be the strong play of the team’s defense.
Through seven games, Missouri has only conceded 22.1 points per game. That includes holding every single one of its opponents under 30 points.
Furthermore, the Tigers lead the SEC in sacks (23) and the nation in interceptions (14).
Defensive end Michael Sam is a big reason for that.
Thus far, the senior leads the nation in both sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (13.0). He’s also registered 27 tackles, forced a fumble and returned a fumble for a touchdown.
Against a Gamecocks offensive line that ranks No. 70 in sacks allowed, and with backup quarterback Dylan Thompson under center, expect Sam to feast.
QB Jameis Winston (Florida State)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. North Carolina State (3-3), Oct. 26, 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2 (Coverage Based)
Over the last two weeks, quarterback Jameis Winston and the Seminoles have thwarted aside two formidable opponents with ease—63-0 against then-No. 25 Maryland and 51-14 over then-No. 3 Clemson.
In the process, the redshirt freshman asserted himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He averaged 418.5 yards per game in those games while accounting for nine touchdowns and throwing just one interception.
This weekend, he’s going against a Wolfpack defense that ranks No. 28 against the pass (204.8 YPGA). The unit has allowed just nine touchdowns through the air this season.
However, North Carolina State only has six interceptions on the year.
Against a team that has lost three of four games and hasn’t scored more than 23 points in four of six, Winston and Florida State should make light work on Saturday.
It would be a surprise to see anything but a performance that increases both the team’s BCS title hopes and Winston’s Heisman stock.
RB Kenyan Drake (Alabama)
Week 9 Matchup: vs. Tennessee (4-3), Oct. 26, 3;30 p.m. ET on CBS
When you think of the Crimson Tide rushing attack, you’re quick to think of T.J. Yeldon. After all, the sophomore has rushed for a team-high 657 yards and seven touchdowns.
However, it’s fellow running back Kenyan Drake who will light it up this weekend.
In six games, the sophomore’s numbers of 402 yards and seven touchdowns won’t really blow you away. But you need to keep in mind that he’s only carried the ball more than 10 times twice in Alabama’s seven games.
That makes his 210 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries over the last two contests all the more impressive.
This weekend, the Tide match up against a Vols defense that has given up a little over 180 yards per game on the ground. That includes conceding 456 over the last two games.
Expect Drake to have a field day and continue Tennessee’s woes on the road.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com.
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