College Football 2011 Week 1: 5 Most Under-Appreciated Performances

Matt SmithContributor IIISeptember 7, 2011

College Football 2011 Week 1: 5 Most Under-Appreciated Performances

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    It's safe to say we're all happy to have college football back.

    And who enjoys it more than the athletes who get to play the game (although there have been some debates about what the athletes should get for their playing time)?

    However, there are some who just aren't feeling the love as much as others.

    With the spotlights set on upsets such as Baylor over TCU and debuts such as Russell Wilson and Isaiah Crowell, some performances have been flying under the radar.

    It's time to expose the five most under-appreciated performances from Week 1 of college football.

Case Keenum, QB, Houston

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    Case Keenum is, in some people's eyes, a dark-horse Heisman contender.

    After all, Keenum does throw for over 5,000 yards a lot, and if he was in a similar system on a more prominent team, he wouldn't just be a dark horse.

    The sixth-year senior was impressive in Week 1, completing 30-of-40 attempts for 310 yards and two TDs. He also did a little on the ground as well, contributing seven rushes for 30 yards.

    Keenum's numbers were great against UCLA, but since it was UCLA he was playing, not many people took notice.

Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas

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    Because Arkansas was facing Missouri State, Joe Adams didn't receive the national attention several other players got.

    Another reason Adams was a mere afterthought was because his QB, Tyler Wilson, was making his debut as the starter.

    However, Adams had quite the day himself. Despite a disappointing day receiving (one catch for 11 yards), the Arkansas star had a stellar day returning punts.

    Adams returned six punts for 174 and two touchdowns. 

    After returning a punt for a touchdown midway through the first quarter, Missouri State still decided to kick to him and he made them pay, taking it to the house again.

    With punt returns for touchdowns of 61 and 69 yards, coupled with an average of 29 yards per punt, it's safe to say Adams had a good day.

Matt Daniels, S, Duke

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    Though most of the national attention towards cornerbacks went to participants/non-participants in the Oregon vs. LSU game, some of the spotlight should've been shined on Daniels.

    Daniels, a senior safety, did a little bit of everything in the game against Richmond (which was lost 23-21).

    Not only is he the nation's leader in passes defensed with six, but he also recorded nine tackles, one of which was for a loss.

    In other words, Daniels did his best to find the ball in the air or destroy the person who had it.

Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

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    Despite destroying his opponent week by week, it seems that Kuechly never gets the respect that he deserves. That's especially true when he loses.

    In a loss to Northwestern, Kuechly was an absolute monster. The Boston College MLB recorded 18 tackles, two tackles for a loss and an interception that was returned for 29 yards.

    Due to the loss, all the press coverage went to how Northwestern won without school-proclaimed Heisman candidate Dan Persa.

    We've seen Kuechly put up numbers like this before and it's time that the nation takes more notice.

Nordly Capi, DL, Colorado State

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    Chances are, you haven't heard of Nordly Capi.

    After all, he plays for a small-school team in Colorado State and is only a sophomore.

    After seeing the sophomore defensive end's numbers, you may be in shock.

    In a winning effort versus the New Mexico Lobos, Capi racked up seven tackles, 4.5 which of were for a loss, 3.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.

    Capi picked up a penalty early but rebounded for an NCAA record four forced fumbles.

    If he keeps this up, Capi will be on the list for the nation's top small-school prospects.