The first week of the 2018 college football season is officially in the books, and oh what a weekend it was. From big upsets to record-breaking performances, it was exactly what fans have been craving for months.
Now it is time to look at the best performances from across the country from August 25 through September 3.
Offense: K.J. Carta-Samuels (Colorado State)
Statistics: 34-for-50, 537 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1 interception vs. Hawaii
There were some ridiculous stat lines posted during the first week of the season. West Virginia quarter Will Grier comes to mind with his 429 passing yards with five touchdowns. So does Ohio State running back Mike Weber with 186 rushing yards with four total touchdowns (one receiving). However, anytime throws for over 500 yards with five touchdowns, that has to get the nod. Yes, the game was over one week ago. Yes, the Rams actually lost the game somehow. It was still technically part of the opening week and Carta-Samuels, the Washington graduate transfer, was impressive.
Defense: Nick Coe (Auburn)
Statistics: Two tackles for loss (one sack), forced fumble vs. Washington
At 6-foot-5 and 282 pounds, Auburn defensive lineman Nick Coe is hard to miss on the football field. When he plays as dominant as he did over the weekend, it’s nearly impossible. The big sophomore didn’t have a major statistical game, but he was instrumental during No. 9 Auburn beating No. 6 Washington 21-16. Coe finished with two tackles, but both were for loss, including one sack, and he forced a key fumble in the red zone. There is no denying his impact on the game or the kind of force he was for the Huskies to stop.
Special Teams: Isaiah Zuber (Kansas State)
Statistics: 3 returns, 108 yards, 1 touchdown vs. South Dakota
K-State was down 12 points to South Dakota at the start of the fourth quarter. Obviously things were not going exceptionally well. Then, the Wildcats got exactly what they needed when Zuber housed a punt for 85 yards to give K-State the momentum to pull off the 27-24 victory. It also helped the Georgia native caught the game-winning touchdown, too, but if not for the punt return, who knows what could have happened. It’s definitely one of the top game-changing returns of the opening weekend.
Freshman of the Week: Rondale Moore (Purdue), Jeshaun Jones (Maryland)
Statistics: 313 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Northwestern (Moore), 121 all-purpose yards, 3 touchdowns vs. Texas (Jones)
College football got a big-time introduction to Rondale Moore in his record-setting debut, and Jeshaun Jones did the most to make his name known, too. During the Terrapins’ upset over Texas at home, Jones registered a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown all in the first half. The last freshman to do that was Marcus Mariota in 2012. These two wide receivers are incredibly dynamic and have already proven they can be lethal game changers.