Maxwell College Football Weekly Update

September 17th, 2020 by FootballWiz | Filed under Football, General, NCAA, Sports.
Maxwell Football Club
Weekly College Football Update
Week 2  
By Rich Cirminiello

Highlights of notable Maxwell Award candidates
for the week ending Sept. 12  
   
Who’s Hot  

WR Jonathan Adams, Arkansas State  

The abbreviated September slate is providing a bigger spotlight to the Sun Belt Conference… and the league is capitalizing on it. The Red Wolves went into Manhattan and shocked Kansas State, 35-31, for just their second-ever win over a Power 5 opponent. Adams led the way with three TD catches, including a spectacular one-handed grab and the game-winner with 38 seconds left.

QB Micale Cunningham, Louisville

Cunningham has picked up where he left off in 2019. And that’s going to make for some exciting times this fall in Louisville. There are still some kinks and a little rust, but the junior still accounted for 367 total yards and four scores in Saturday’s 35-21 win over a dangerous Western Kentucky squad. Cunningham’s 70-yard scoring strike to Dez Fitzpatrick put the game out of reach in the third quarter.

QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas 

UTEP was on the other side of the ball, so no one should get too carried away after one weekend. But the Longhorn passing game was potent in Saturday’s 59-3 rout, despite using a slew of new and young receivers. Chemistry was no problem for Ehlinger, who completed 25-of-33 for 426 yards and five touchdown passes to five different teammates.

QB D’Eriq King, Miami 

King spent much of last Thursday night reminding fans why he was one of the game’s most dynamite playmakers while at Houston. The versatile import accounted for a score on the ground and through the air for an FBS-record 16th straight game to help lead the Canes to a 31-14 win over UAB. King accounted for 224 total yards, 83 with his feet, and will just keep getting better with more reps.

QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

Lawrence could have opted out of the 2020 campaign, like other stars have already done. Instead, he’s playing… like at midseason form. Lawrence was on point in Saturday’s 37-13 win at Wake Forest, rushing for two scores while completing 22-of-28 for 351 yards and a touchdown. He was Pro Football Focus’ highest graded quarterback of
Week 2.   
RB Sincere McCormick, UTSA 

In the most unlikely game of Week 2, the Roadrunners outlasted Texas State in double-overtime behind the backfield of McCormick and QB Frank Harris. UTSA squandered a 13-point lead late in the fourth quarter before surviving in OT. Harris accounted for four scores, while McCormick jetted for a school-record 197 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries.

QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma 

Missouri State is the weakest team on the Sooners’ 2020 schedule. Duly noted. However, that’s no reason to understate just how impressive Rattler was in his starting debut. Performing as if he’s ready to become Lincoln Riley’s next star behind center in Norman, Rattler connected on 14-of-17 for 290 yards, four touchdowns and no turnovers.

RB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame 

The Irish are in the market for a feature back. They may have already found their guy in Williams. Starting his first game, the St. Louis native was the offensive star in Notre Dame’s 27-13 victory over Duke. Williams accounted for 205 yards from scrimmage, 112 on the grounds and 93 as a receiver, while using his determination and balance to score two of ND’s three touchdowns.    
The Maxwell Football Club also honors the nation’s best defensive player with the Chuck Bednarik Award. Here’s a look at last week’s standout defenders
Who’s Hot 

S Percy Butler, Louisiana

The Ragin’ Cajuns aren’t necessarily known for defense. But after spearheading the program’s first Top 25 win in 24 years, that’s about to change. Louisiana held Brock Purdy and Iowa State to just 303 yards, including no plays of more than 20 yards. Butler forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, broke up two passes and was instrumental in holding Purdy to just 16-of-35 for 145 yards and no touchdowns.

DE Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina  

Gunter transferred to NC State earlier this year before electing to remain in Conway. The Chanticleers are thrilled he pulled out of the transfer portal. Gunter played a key role in Coastal Carolina’s second straight upset of Kansas in as many seasons. Forming a disruptive tandem with Tarron Jackson, he registered four tackles, two stops for loss, a sack and an athletic interception at the line of scrimmage.

DE DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky

Sure, it came in a losing effort, but Malone continues to impress scouts with his get-off, speed and ability to wreck the pocket. At Louisville on Saturday night, he impressed again with a team-high eight stops, 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Even when facing double-teams, Malone has a knack for creating disruption.

CB Shemar Jean-Charles, Appalachian State 

Go ahead and avoid Mountaineer lockdown corner Shaun Jolly. But it’s not as if Jean-Charles is a cakewalk over on the other side of the secondary. Charlotte QB Chris Reynolds can vouch for it after completing only 11-of-30 for 140 yards, no touchdowns and two picks this past Saturday in Boone. He went after Jean-Charles, who responded with four pass breakups to go along with seven tackles.

LB Jon Rhattigan, Army

The Black Knights have yielded just seven points through the first two games. Rhattigan has starred in both blowouts of Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe. The senior, who has had a quiet career to this point, notched six tackles, 2.5 stops for loss and 1.5 sacks this past weekend to earn Pro Football Focus’ highest mark for a linebacker in Week 2.

DE Curtis Ryans, Georgia Tech 

Ryans is sort of a microcosm of what’s happening on the Flats. The foundation went down in 2019, Geoff Collins’ first year on the job… and now it’s time to build. After playing sporadically last year, the 6-5, 265-pound Ryans looks ready to become one of the ACC’s top young pass rushers. In Saturday’s upset at Florida State, he earned the game’s highest Pro Football Focus grade with four tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles, the second one setting up the Yellow Jackets’ go-ahead field goal.

DE Cameron Sample, Tulane 

With Patrick Johnson at Joker and Sample back for his senior year, Tulane is going to be a big problem for opposing blockers this fall. Johnson is the all-star, but Sample was the defensive MVP in the Green Wave’s rally back from an 18-point deficit to defeat South Alabama. The quick-handed Sample tormented the Jaguar blockers for seven tackles, 3.5 stops for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble and two QB hurries.

LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina  

The Tar Heel offense sputtered early on in the opener. But the D picked up the slack, holding Syracuse to just 202 yards and no touchdowns in a tougher-than-it-looked 31-6 victory. Surratt, Carolina’s top defender, was predictably disruptive with a team-high nine tackles, 2.5 stops for loss, two sacks and a pair of hurries of Orange QB Tommy DeVito.

Must-See Week 3 Games

Appalachian State (1-0) at Marshall (1-0)

Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network)

The Sun Belt, which is off to a wicked start, remains in the spotlight with one of the marquee Week 3 games. Appalachian State has won at least a share of the last four Sun Belt titles, and is favored to make it five straight. Leading the Mountaineers are veteran QB Zac Thomas and a salty D. Marshall, though, is fast, tough at home and coming off a bye week. In the opener, the Herd stampeded Eastern Kentucky, 59-0, as redshirt freshman QB Grant Wells sparkled in his debut.

South Florida (1-0) at Notre Dame (1-0)

Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

The Bulls and the Fighting Irish are coming off opening day wins and looking to start 2-0. South Florida defeated The Citadel, 27-6, to give Jeff Scott his first victory as a head coach. The Antonio Grier-led D played well, but the offense still has a long way to go. Playing in its first-ever conference game, Notre Dame handled Duke, 27-13, to get a fast start in ACC play. The Irish leaned heavily on young RB Kyren Williams and a defense that’s getting big plays out of Rover Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
 
UCF (0-0) at Georgia Tech (1-0)

Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

What can you do for an encore, Tech? The Yellow Jackets will have the wind at their backs after starting Geoff Collins’ second season with an upset of Florida State in Tallahassee. Tech is bullish on true freshman QB Jeff Sims who accounted for 341 total yards in the 16-13 win. UCF, which has won at least 10 games in each of the last three seasons, is playing its first game. The Knights are fast everywhere, and the backfield of QB Dillon Gabriel and runners Bentavious Thompson, Greg McCrae and Otis Anderson is as dangerous as any in the Group of Five.

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