Week 2 Maxwell Momentum Players of the Week and Week 3 Preview

Maxwell Award Player of the Week – Donnel Pumphrey – San Diego State, Sr., RB

Donnel Pumphrey has been named as the Maxwell Award Player of the week in recognition of his outstanding performance last weekend. He was also named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 281 yards and three touchdowns and posted the fifth-highest rushing total in school history in the Aztecs 45-40 victory over Cal.

The only other higher totals all are by NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, who rushed for 386 yards in a 1991 game against University of  the Pacific, 300 yards against Hawaii and 299 yards against BYU, both in 1992.

Pumphrey eclipsed Faulk’s career rushing record in the game. Faulk gained 4,589 yards in his three-year career. Pumphrey, two games into his fourth season, now has 4,651 yards. Pumphrey is the nation’s active career rushing leader. He also leads the nation this season in rushing yards with 379 and is second in all-purpose yards (449).
 
Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week – Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest, Jr. DL

Wake Forest defensive lineman Duke Ejiofor has been selected as the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the week for his dominant performance in the Deacons win over Duke last Saturday.

Ejiofor made seven total tackles, including four solo stops with three assists, in Wake Forest’s 24-14 win over Duke on Saturday.    Ejiofor finished one sack shy of the school single-game record, collecting three total sacks and four total tackles for loss.  He forced two fumbles, recovered one, and had a pair of quarterback hurries.  Wake Forest held Duke to just 37 yards rushing, the fewest by a Wake Forest opponent since the Deacons held Boston College to 12 yards on the ground in 2012.
Maxwell Football Club Weekly College Football Update – Week 2
Here are the highlights of notable candidates on the Maxwell Award Watch List for the week ending September 11th.
 
Who’s Hot
 
Jalen Hurts, Alabama, QB
Hurts finished 23 of 36 for 287 yards with two touchdown passes and no turnovers while leading Alabama to a 38-10 win over a Western Kentucky team that finished last year 12-2. In Saturday’s start Hurts became the first Alabama true freshman to start at quarterback since 1984.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB
 
Jackson followed up his big numbers from week one by accounting for an ACC-record 610 yards from scrimmage in Friday night’s 62-28 win at Syracuse. The sophomore rushed for 199 yards while setting a school record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with four. Jackson also completed 20-of-39 passes for a career-best 411 yards and one touchdown – including a 72-yard touchdown pass to James Quick on the first play of the game. He became the first player in FBS history to pass for 400 yards and rush for 175 yards in a game. Jackson currently ranks second nationally in total offense with an average of 507 yards per game, and has accounted for 13 touchdowns (six rushing, seven passing) to lead the Cardinals’ 2-0 start.
Kalen Ballage, Arizona State, RB
Ballage accounted for eight touchdowns – seven rushing, one receiving against the Red Raiders and, while yes the Texas Tech defense isn’t particularly good, that’s still incredible. It also tied the all-time NCAA record for touchdowns in a game. On top of it all, Ballage only had 13 carries against Texas Tech, but that was all he needed to rack up 137 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. He also added two receptions for 48 yards and another touchdown as the Sun Devils were able to pull away in a 68-55 shootout.
Austin Allen, Arkansas, QB
 
Allen led the Razorbacks to a double-overtime upset win over No. 15 TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns against the Horned Frogs in the win, adding a rushing touchdown in double overtime that clinched the Razorbacks’ 41-38 victory.
Wilton Speight, Michigan, QB
 
Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week for his performance Saturday against Central Florida. He threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns in the Wolverine’s 51-14 win. “If a quarterback throws for four touchdowns and over 300 yards, that’s a great performance,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game. “Will not be going out on a limb to say he’ll be our offensive player of the week, of the game.”
 
Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech, QB
 

Mahomes accounted for 584 yards of total offense and six total touchdowns at Arizona State to maintain his position as the FBS leader in total offense (1,124 yards). After compiling 540 passing yards with five TDs, he is also now the FBS leader in passing yards (1,023) and tied for the lead in passing scores with nine.
He scored six touchdowns for the second-straight week to rank second in the FBS in points responsible for (72), which is 24 points more than the next-highest total in the Big 12.

Quinton Flowers, USF, QB
 
Flowers keyed USF’s 48-17 win against Northern Illinois as he completed 21 of 33 passes for a career-high 350 yards and four touchdowns and added 53 rushing yards on 11 carries. Flowers had 403 yards of total offense, engineering the Bulls’ 658-yard performance that ranks second in school history.
 

The Maxwell Football Club will also honor the nation’s best defensive player with the Chuck Bednarik Award. Here is an update on standout performances from the Bednarik Award Watch List candidates.

Who’s Hot

Andre Smith, North Carolina, LB

Smith had a career-high 14 tackles, including eight solo and six assists in the Tar Heels’ 48-23 win at Illinois on Saturday night. He also had a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.  Three of his tackles came on third down to force punts.  His previous high was 11 tackles in a win last season at Pittsburgh. Smith was part of a defensive unit that limited Illinois to 309 yards, including just 127 in the air on 35 pass attempts.  UNC limited Illinois to just 3.6 yards per pass attempt.

Ryan Lewis, Pitt, CB

Lewis joined a long list of Pitt players to make unforgettable plays in the historic Penn State series, which resumed on Saturday with a 42-39 win by the Panthers at Heinz Field. With the Nittany Lions threatening at the Pitt 31 with 1:15 to play, Lewis intercepted a pass by Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley in the end zone, ending both the drive and the game. In addition to his interception, Lewis added a game-high nine tackles, all solo.

Micah Abernathy, Tennessee, DB

Abernathy, who made his second career start Saturday night in the Vols’ 45-24 win over Virginia Tech in the “Battle at Bristol,” set a school record by recovering three fumbles in the historic game at Bristol Motor Speedway, which was played in front of the largest crowd in college football history. Abernathy’s fumble recoveries set up two touchdowns for the Vols. His recovery at the start of the second quarter, with Tennessee trailing 14-0, led to Joshua Dobbs’ 5-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings. Abernathy’s second fumble recovery, which came early in the fourth quarter, halted a 10-play, 45-yard drive by the Hokies.

Nate Gerry, Nebraska, DB

Nebraska safety Nate Gerry earned honors Sept. 12 as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Although he is a two-time All-Big Ten selection, this is the first time the senior captain has earned weekly honors in the conference. He was honored after securing two of NU’s five interceptions in his first multi-interception game. In addition, he became the fifth defensive back in program history to record 200 career tackles and moved into the top five on the Nebraska career interception list. Gerry is now just three interceptions away from the school record of 14.

Orion Stewart, Baylor, DB

Stewart had eight tackles (five solo) and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown to help Baylor defeat SMU 40-13. It was his first game with two interceptions, which give him eight in his career with two returned for TDs. He is the only player in the Big 12 with two interceptions on the season and ranks tied for fourth nationally. Stewart’s 33 interception return yards brought his career total to 207, moving him from seventh to fourth on Baylor’s career interception return yardage list.

Sunia Tauteoli, Utah, LB

Tauteoli returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage for a 7-0 Utah lead and also intercepted a pass in the third quarter giving him two in the game and in his career. He also logged six tackles (tied for second on the team), and assisted in the tackle that stopped BYU’s two-point conversion attempt with 18 seconds remaining to secure a 20-19 win over BYU.

Alohi Gilman, Navy, LB

Gilman registered a team-high 10 tackles to go with a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in Navy’s 28-24 win against UConn in the American Athletic Conference opener. Gilman made a key defensive play with a fumble return for a touchdown after he stripped the ball, giving the Midshipmen a 21-0 lead.
Feature Game of the Week
 
Alabama vs. Ole Miss Game Preview
When: Saturday, September 17 – 2:30 p.m. CT
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
TV Broadcast: CBS

Alabama kept it’s momentum in Week 2, beating Western Kentucky 38-10 in a game where head coach Nick Saban was clearly not happy with his team’s effort. The Crimson Tide now face an Ole Miss squad which they have not beaten in the last two meetings.
The Rebs got their first win of the season this past Saturday, defeating Wofford, 38-13. Quarterback Chad Kelly was solid, completing 20 of 27 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns but the Ole Miss defense surrendered a whopping 233 yards to the Wofford rushing attack.

True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has apparently taken over the starting spot for the Bama offense, following up his great debut with 287 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Hilltoppers.

The Tide defense pressured an explosive Western Kentucky offense all game, allowing only 239 total yards but they will now face a severe challenge from Kelly and the fast strike Ole Miss offense. The quartet of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Marlon Humphrey, Eddie Jackson and Ronnie Harrison form the most formidable back end defense in the nation and Bama’s front seven rotate five star bodies from across the front.

Chad Kelly has been everything as advertised this season, and he has Evan Engram, Damore’ea Stringfellow and a couple of other receivers that can spread the field for the Rebels. Ole Miss needs to establish a solid run game so the Bama defense can’t sell out solely on Kelly.

Getting pressure on Hurts and stopping the powerful Alabama running game will be the two top tasks on the Rebels’ defensive task list. Linebacker DeMarquis Gates and defensive end Marquis Haynes provide a formidable pass rush that could cause trouble.

The Rebels and their fans will be fired up to do the unthinkable and make it three in a row against the Tide. Kelly will need at his best like he was in the first half of the Florida State game. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be electric. But the Bama defense is suffocating and will be the difference in this game.
— Maxwell Football Club
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