College Football: Week 1 Top Performers
Kenjon Barner torched New Mexico for 147 yards and four touchdowns
Now that all but two of the games have been completed in the first week of college football, it is important (and fun) to look back at the top performers and the gaudy numbers they put against their opponents. Since there were so many to choose from, they were narrowed down by teams facing FBS opponents, since it is relatively easier to put up video-gamelike stats against lesser quality opposition.
This list has the 10 best performances, by stat, of Week 1. Some of these names will be mentioned weekly, but others stepped into the spotlight for the first time by showing unbelievable talent and skill. Let's see who cracked the list.
Matt Barkley, USC
Barkley went 18-23 for 257 yards and five touchdowns
Barkley started his sophomore season in style against Hawaii by throwing five touchdowns. USC struggled on defense, allowing over 580 yards of offense and 36 points. However, USC's offense successfully converted seven out of 10 drives into touchdowns.
Barkley only missed five of his passes and located almost half of his passes and three of the touchdowns to Ronald Johnson. Barkley was protected well, having ample time in the pocket and only being sacked once throughout the game.
USC has their first home game next weekend against Virginia.
Jordan Wynn, Utah
Jordan Wynn led unranked Utah to an upset of #15 Pittsburgh
Jordan Wynn is a true sophomore in his first season as a starter. His first matchup was against one of the best Big East teams, Pittsburgh. This was definitely the place to make a name for himself, and Wynn did just that.
Wynn got Utah to a quick 17 points in the first half, with two touchdowns to Jerome Brooks. He followed that up with a 61-yard strike in the third quarter for his third touchdown of the day.
Wynn ended up with 283 yards and led the Utes successfully to a season-opening win against a very quality opponent. He also had an interception in the second quarter and slowed a little in the second half. However, he made very quick and correct decisions in order to set Utah up for the upset.
Utah stays home next weekend to face UNLV.
DeMarco Murray/Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Murray rushed for 218 yards and two touchdowns against Utah State
DeMarco Murray and Ryan Broyles brought Oklahoma's veteran leadership and combined for 360 yards of offense, 60 short of the entire team's total. Oklahoma had a closer matchup than most thought, as Oklahoma won 31-24.
Murray had 218 rushing yards on 35 carries, getting into the end zone once in each half. He averaged more than six yards per carry and had his longest run of 63 yards for a score.
Broyles was the main target for Landry Jones, catching nine out of the 17 total completions and having two strikes in the first half. Both players were the heart of the offense, and will need to continue this as more difficult competition awaits.
Oklahoma faces Florida State in a top-20 match next weekend
Kenjon Barner, Oregon
Kenjon Barner had five touchdowns in one half of play
Oregon racked up 720 yards of offense against New Mexico. 720! Almost 370 yards came on the ground alone. All of it started with Kenjon Barner. LaMichael James was unable to play and Barner was given the start in his place.
Barner played only one half of the game. In that time, he had 17 carries for 147 yards for four touchdowns and one catch for 60 yards and another touchdown. The fifth touchdown came with more than eight minutes left in the second quarter. That means in less than 20 minutes of the game, Barner put up five touchdowns and over 200 total yards en route to a 72-0 destruction.
We will see how much more time Barner gets in future games when James returns to the field. In this performance, Barner added his name to the list of contenders for future playing time.
Oregon travels to Tennessee for stiffer competition next weekend.
Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State
Kendall Hunter had 257 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a little over one half of play
Kendall Hunter made the most of his first start of his final season as a Cowboy. Hunter only carried the ball 21 times but averaged over 12 yards per carry en route to getting over 250 yards of offense. Hunter scored three first half touchdowns and the first one of the third quarter before his day was over.
Hunter has elusive speed and showed that against Washington State, as the Cowboys easily defeated them 65-17 and had 544 total yards of offense. Hunter was injured last season and will be key to a successful year for Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State stays home for visiting Troy University.
Cameron Newton, Auburn
Cameron Newton had 186 passing and 171 rushing yards, gathering five total touchdowns
Former Florida quarterback Cameron Newton has found his new home at Auburn. After one game, he seems to have fit in quite nicely. Newton broke the Auburn record for rushing yards by a quarterback, with 171 yards on 15 carries and added 186 passing yards and as many passing attempts.
Newton was all over the field. Newton is a physical specimen at quarterback and has blazing quickness and catlike agility. One of the five touchdowns was a 71-yard run. Newton will be trouble to SEC schools that have to face Auburn this season.
Auburn travels to Starkville to face Mississippi State next Friday evening.
Dominique Davis, East Carolina
Justin Jones catches Dominique Davis's fifth touchdown
Dominique Davis recently played for Boston College. He transferred to East Carolina and is now starting and winning games for the Pirates. In an offensive showdown, ECU and Tulsa went back and forth scoring 100 points combined.
Davis rushed for one touchdown and threw for five more, totaling 400 yards of offense. The most spectacular one came with no time left, as he heaved one to the corner of the endzone, where his freshman receiver waited.
Davis had four touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone, as neither defense could come up with a stop. If Davis continues this level of play and the defense can improve, East Carolina will be a frontrunner for another Conference USA title.
East Carolina stays home for conference opponent Memphis next weekend.
T.J. Yates, North Carolina
TJ Yates threw for 412 yards, more than double the average of the UNC 2009 season
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Yates almost led an impossible comeback against LSU Saturday evening. He came up one pass short as his tight end dropped the touchdown pass. Yates accounted for all of the touchdowns, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns, including a 97-yard touchdown from North Carolina'a own endzone.
Down 30-10 heading to the fourth quarter, Yates led North Carolina to two touchdowns and cut the lead to 30-24. After forcing a fumble with one minute to play, Yates drove the team to the LSU six yard line. A controversial holding call against an LSU defender will leave this game in doubt as to how the ending could have been; however, it was a major improvement for TJ Yates in his senior season.
North Carolina gets a bye week before facing Georgia Tech in two weeks.
Denard Robinson, Michigan
Robinson combined for almost 400 yards and two touchdowns against Connecticut
Robinson completed 19-of-22 passes for almost 200 yards and a touchdown. Robinson carried the ball 29 times for almost 200 yards and a touchdown. Had he been able, he might have thrown the ball to himself. He was unstoppable.
Robinson seems to be fitting well into Rich Rodriquez's system in his sophomore season. Robinson was very efficient in his passes, utilizing eight different receivers and carrying the ball around 50% of the time. From this one performance, there has been a buzz around Michigan football again.
Next weekend, Robinson will be challenged by travelling to Notre Dame for a very heated and long-standing rivalry.
Jacksonville State stuns Mississippi 49-48 in 2OT
Every now and then, the unthinkable happens. Not that Mississippi was a ranked team or even one of the top in the SEC this season, but to be up by 21 points at home to an FCS school and eventually lose is very humbling.
Jacksonville State, as a team, is the final top performer for clawing back from a three touchdown deficit to force double overtime and eventually win. Besides that, Jacksonville State did not start to make this run until the end of the third quarter, when they were still down by 18.
In the second overtime, Jacksonville State had two unbelievable conversions. First, they had fourth and 15 and were able to hit a receiver in the corner of the endzone for the touchdown. Then, they opted to go for the two-point conversion to end the game in place of an extra point and another overtime. Added to that, the quarterback had never played a collegiate game in his life.
For Jacksonville State, this probably is the biggest win of the season. For Mississippi, it does not get any easier from here.