While the opening week of the 2008 season didn't provide us with the earth-shattering upset 07 gave us (unless you're Pitt, Texas A&M, or Michigan), it still gave us some memorable individual and team performances.
It's time for us to recognize the dominant performers for the first week of the season with the first edition of the All-Anderson Team.
Now you're wondering what is the criteria to be considered All-Anderson. Well, it's pretty simple: Work ethic, maximizing your talent, making all the plays, and being the best at what you do.
So, with all due to respect to the Dating Game; HEERRRRRRRREEEEEEEEE THEY ARE....
QB: Juice Williams of Illinois (26-for-42, 451 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT)
For a guy who was known more as a run-first QB, Juice Williams had another breakout game in the loss to Missouri in the Arch Rivalry game in St. Louis.
While some of the credit should be given to the Tiger secondary for their less-than-stellar performance, Juice set career highs in completions, passing yards, and touchdowns.
He single-handedly kept the Illini in the game after being down 31-13 at halftime. If he can find a decent running attack behind him, the Juice could be on the loose once again.
Honorable Mention: Chase Daniel, Kevin Craft (2nd half only), John Parker Wilson
RB: Ryan Matthews of Fresno State (26 carries, 163 yards, 3 TD)
As a freshman last season, Matthews had 13 scores, and he looks like he's well on his way to continuing that after his performance against Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights had no answer for him during the second half, and Badger fans had better be ready for Matthews this Saturday in what many are calling the biggest game in Bulldog history.
RB: Shun White of Navy (19 carries, 348 yards, 3 TD)
I don't care if its FCS opponent Towson State. If you break your school's single-game rushing record by 50 yards and AVERAGE 18.3 YPC doing it, that's automatic All-Anderson membership.
Honorable Mention: Damion Fletcher
WR: Will Judson of Illinois (4 receptions, 122 yards, 2 TD)
For someone to equal his season total in receptions in his first game as a starter, that man deserves some All-Anderson love. Judson was the recipient of two of fellow AA QB Juice Williams' 5 TD's in their loss to Mizzou. Not bad for a guy who came into the game with 11 total receptions.
WR: Shane Morales of Oregon State (13 receptions, 151 yards, 1 TD)
See Will Judson from Illinois, PLUS Morales scored his first career touchdown in the 36-28 loss to Stanford. His performance was overshadowed by the return of Beaver standout WR Sammie Stroughter (12-157-2), but he gives Coach Riley a nice 1-2 punch in Corvallis, which could get them back in the top four in the Pac-10.
Honorable Mention: Stroughter, Dennis Pitta, Dezmon Briscoe
Offensive Line: Mizzou
Team Defense: Alabama
All the hype heading into the Alabama-Clemson game was about the duo of James Davis and CJ Spiller. Someone forgot to tell Nick Saban and his Tide D about the part where they roll over and lay down like a red carpet.
Minus a 93-yard kickoff return by Spiller to start the second half, Alabama held the potent backfield to a combined 15 yards rushing in their victory. Look out SEC, the Tide might be back a year earlier than you think.
Coach (tie): Skip Holtz and Rick Neuheisel
One coach began the process of restoring the glory days of his alma mater, while the other began his quest to become a BCS-buster.
You can't deny East Carolina is one of the favorites in Conference USA, but their win over No. 17 Virginia Tech and a shot at No. 5 West Virginia this week has some people in Greenville think more than just C-USA Title.
As for UCLA, give QB Kevin Craft a ton of credit for maintaining his poise after being picked off four times in the first half against No. 18 Tennessee (the final one returned for a TD) and leading the Bruins to a 27-24 victory.
Team: Arkansas State
You just don't walk into Kyle Field, the home of the 12th Man, and expect to get a victory. Apparently you do if you're Arkansas State.
Playing their first game with their new nickname, the Red Wolves marched into College Station and ruined Mike Sherman's Aggie debut, 18-14. This marks the second straight season a Sun Belt team went on the road to beat a BCS (remember Nick Saban's Pearl Harbor comparison when his Tide lost ON HOMECOMING to Louisiana-Monroe last year)
Stay tuned each Monday for the All-Anderson team...
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