College Football Rankings: Week 2 Top Performers

Chris VafinisContributor IIISeptember 14, 2010

College Football Rankings: Week 2 Top Performers

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    Week 2 top performers start with Denard RobinsonJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This year is definitely the year of the dual-threat quarterback.  Many of the top-ranked teams are there due to this type of leader.  Sadly, many of these do not make the transition to the NFL; however, while in college, they rule the stat charts.

    This week, with many upsets and statement-making games, there were certain players that stood out by making a big impact on the game's outcome.  Some of the top performers were names that are hard to miss; others, though, flew under the radar.  All of them led their team are very important to their team's success.

    Let's look through the top 10 performers of week two.

Denard Robinson, Michigan

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    Robinson had a school-record 502 total yards of offenseJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The highlight tape starts and ends with Denard Robinson.  This out-of-nowhere quarterback has set schools records for two consecutive weeks.  Wanting to make a bigger statement than his week one performance, Robinson put up 502 total yards of offense. 502.  Let that sink in.

    Not to be considered only a running quarterback, Robinson completed 24 of 40 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown while also using his legs on 28 carries for 258 yards and two touchdowns.  If you ever get to see Robinson run, it is a combination of speed and agility that few can match.  With his long strides, he simply outruns the secondary.

    Do not forget that this happened at Notre Dame in his second game of the first year as a starter.  His name is in the top two for Heisman on most polls.  Let's hope his quick start does not end in dud by the end of the season.

Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina

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    Marcus Lattimore rushed for 182 yards against GeorgiaMike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    As a true freshman, Lattimore is making a name for himself as a big-time player.  One of college football's highest sought-after recruits, he was able to get his first start in a very difficult setting.  This weekend, South Carolina started its SEC campaign at home against top-25 ranked Georgia.

    Lattimore was not to be intimidated.  Taking 37 carries, he obliterated the Georgia defense for 182 yards and accounted for both of South Carolina's touchdowns.  Not bad for your first college start.  Stephen Garcia definitely enjoyed not having to depend solely on the passing game.

    Lattimore has definitely put himself as the number one starter and will have a lot to prove facing SEC competition week after week.  In two weeks, the Gamecocks will travel to Auburn for a very pivotal SEC East matchup.

Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State

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    Pryor led Ohio State over Miami with 350 total yardsJamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Pryor has struggled in his first two years to win the big game (i.e. Southern Cal at Ohio State).  Now, in his junior season, he seems to have come into his own.  This was on display in this big win over top-15 ranked Miami.

    First, Pryor did not have the best passing day (less than 45% completion percentage), but he made no costly mistakes.  He committed no turnovers and ended up throwing for 233 yards and one touchdown.  What was important was his play with his feet.  On 20 carries, Pryor had 113 yards and another touchdown.

    With a solid defense and a valid run game, Pryor does not have to put up huge numbers, like Denard Robinson, in order to win the game.  Pryor, though, is becoming a master of field command and should have no problem against the Ohio Bobcats next week.

Landry Jones, Oklahoma

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    Jones pummelled the Florida State defense for four touchdownsRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Oklahoma was blasted after the week one close win to Utah State and looked to have a contest on its hands against Florida State.  Landry Jones wanted to put the game away early and show who was the best team on the field.

    In one half of play, Jones accumulated over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, leading 34-7.  There was no doubt who the better team was.  After the day was over, Jones had 380 yards and four touchdowns on 30 out of 40 completions.

    Jones had his offense to the line of scrimmage so quickly, the defense barely had returned to their position.  Honestly, he could have thrown for as many yards as he wanted.  Jones put his name back in contention for the Heisman and his team for a national title.

Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M

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    Johnson had four passing touchdowns against Louisiana TechAaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images

    Johnson's name has gone quiet with the dominance of Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy in the Big 12.  However, his skill is just as good.  Against Louisiana Tech at home, Johnson put on a show, leading his team to a 30-point victory.

    Johnson completed 25 of 38 for almost 350 yards and four touchdowns while also adding 50 more rushing yards while committing no interceptions.  Johnson should be considered for the Heisman and will receive more publicity once Texas A&M begins facing the top-level Big 12 conference teams.

    Johnson is in his final year of eligibility and should lead a very strong team in the coming games at Oklahoma State and Arkansas.

Jake Locker & Jamaal Kearse, Washington

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    Locker looked more like a Heisman candidate against SyracuseOtto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Locker is developing a repertoire with Kearse and has already hooked up with him for four touchdowns and over half of his passing yards.  Locker, who was a preseason Heisman favorite, struggled against BYU last week but made up ground at home against Syracuse.

    Locker had 300 total yards and four touchdowns while connecting nine times with Jamaal Kearse for 179 yards and three touchdowns.  Locker needed a dependable receiver if the Huskies offense is going to have consistent success, especially in the Pac-10.

    Washington has two straight, difficult matches ahead.  First, they have Nebraska visiting and then get a bye week before opening conference play at Southern Cal.  The Washington offense needs big games from Kearse and, especially, Jake Locker.

Trent Richardson, Alabama

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    Richardson sliced through the Penn State defenseKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    As a "fill in" for Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson has a made a name to be the starter and almost make fans forget that Ingram sits on the sideline.  Against the traditionally tough defense of Penn State, Richardson had a field day.

    Richardson had 190 total yards (144 rushing, 46 receiving) and one touchdown.  He averaged over seven yards every time he touchded the ball.  Richardson seems to have a faster speed than Ingram which bodes well for the Alabama offense since it still is not sure when Ingram will return.

    Alabama has their first away game at Duke before also travelling to Arkansas to begin conference play.  Richardson has definitely made a case for gaining more carries when Ingram does return.

Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State

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    Ronnie Hillman is making a name for himself at San Diego State

    Ronnie Hillman is a name that is not heard of much; however, he is pivotal to San Diego State winning the WAC conference.  This freshman is having a very big season and this is definitely his biggest game of his career.

    Against a New Mexico State that is not very defensively sound, Hillman took advantage of this chance.  Rushing for 150 yards on 22 carries, he accounted for four touchdowns, all in the second half. 

    San Diego State travels to Missouri before starting conference play.  Hillman needs to have a big game against the Tigers for the Aztecs to have a chance of winning.

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada

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    Kaepernick leads a high-powered Nevada offense in rushing and passingJamie Squire/Getty Images

    Another west coast player whose name gets lost among the more elite teams, Colin Kaepernick has been doing what Denard Robinson is doing this year since 2007.  In his senior season, Kaepernick is having his best season thus far.

    Against Colorado State, he completed 21 of 29 passes for 241 yards and rushed for 161 yards on 11 carries for a total of four touchdowns.  This was the second week in a row for Kaepernick to have over 350 yards and four touchdowns.  He is Nevada's key to any offensive success.

    Kaepernick and Nevada have California coming next week before travelling to Brigham Young. 

James Madison Dukes

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    James Madison upset Virginia Tech 21-16

    For the second week in a row, we have an FCS team that has upset one of the better FBS schools on their home turf.  This time, it was against a top-15 ranked Virginia Tech.  Coming off a close loss to Boise State, Virginia Tech seemed to have an easy match against James Madison.

    The Dukes did not see it this way at all.  Forcing three costly turnovers, James Madison managed the game well and was able to score two final touchdowns to win 21-16.  This was one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

    Virginia Tech never believed they would start the season 0-2.  James Madison, and many other FCS schools, are making a statement that they are not an easy win.  Three other FCS schools had upset wins against FBS -- South Dakota over Minnesota, Gardner-Webb over Akron, Liberty over Ball State.