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Top Performances of Week 10 in College Football: Heisman Hopefuls Stand Out on Saturday

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Welcome back to Saturday Superlatives, our review of the best players, plays, games, moments and more from Week 10 in college football. This was without a doubt the best Saturday of the season so far. When the biggest games on the slate all live to the hype, you’re going to have a good time.

Game of the Week: Too close to call! You really could make a strong argument for many of the Top 25 showdowns we witnessed on Saturday. If you were sitting on the couch and trying to take them all in, you were treated to a phenomenal day from start to finish.

No. 8 Alabama’s 42-28 win against No. 14 LSU was an epic back-and-forth battle for three quarters and easily could’ve taken this honor, but once LSU QB Jayden Daniels got knocked out of the game early in the fourth quarter on a nasty hit from Dallas Turner, that one was effectively over. It was thrilling to watch Daniels (219 passing yards, 163 rushing yards, three TDs) and Jalen Milroe (219 passing yards, 155 rushing yards, four TDs), two of the most dangerous dual-threat talents in the sport, go shot for shot on the big stage. In the end, Alabama reasserted itself as fully belonging in the College Football Playoff debate and put itself one win away from a trip to the SEC title game.

Crimson Tide QB Jalen Milroe: ◽️Rushing TDs entering Saturday: 5 ◽️Rushing touchdowns vs. LSU: 4 No. 8 Alabama takes the lead over the No. 14 Tigers once again. 🎥 @CBSSportspic.twitter.com/EuVbAyvgEc — The Athletic (@TheAthletic) November 5, 2023

But Week 10 was so satisfying that I wouldn’t fault you for putting a different game in the No. 1 spot. If you love touchdowns and the relentless suffering of defensive coordinators, No. 5 Washington’s 52-42 shootout win against No. 20 USC was quite satisfying. If you wanted drama from start to finish with an overtime nail-biter, Texas–Kansas State was the game for you. If you wanted good old-fashioned hate, Bedlam more than lived up to the hype. And if you wanted to see someone challenge Georgia, the No. 2 Bulldogs did get a nice little test from No. 12 Missouri in a 30-21 win. Clemson–Notre Dame and Ole Miss-Texas A&M were worth watching closely until the very end, too. What a day. I’m not sure even rivalry weekend later this month will be able to top this one.

Offensive Player of the Week: Washington RB Dillon Johnson. Look, I get it, I know exactly what you’re saying: Well duh, he was playing USC’s defense. I hear you. But it was still one of the most dominant performances we’ll see all year long. Johnson destroyed the Trojans with 256 rushing yards and four TDs on 9.8 yards per carry. The Mississippi State transfer’s previous career high was 100 rushing yards. The Huskies were averaging 102 rushing yards per game. At one point late in the fourth quarter, Kirk Herbstreit noted that Johnson had 199 rushing yards BEFORE contact. That’s absurd. It’s also the most individual rushing yards an Alex Grinch defense has allowed since he teamed up with Lincoln Riley in 2019. Johnson was off to the races! 💨@UW_Football pic.twitter.com/9JFOV1b3ri — FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 5, 2023

Defensive Player of the Week: Clemson LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. It’s tough to have a much better game than Trotter did in a 31-23 upset of No. 15 Notre Dame. The junior racked up 11 tackles, two sacks and this pick-six of Sam Hartman in a dominant day to help the 5-4 Tigers get back on the right track.

WHAT A PLAY FROM JEREMIAH TROTTER JR. 🤯 LET’S GO TIGERS 🗣️📺 ABC pic.twitter.com/ZHFq8ydnt7 — Clemson Athletics (@ClemsonTigers) November 4, 2023

Best finish: No. 7 Texas 33, No. 23 Kansas State 30 (OT). Texas looked terrific early on. K-State fought back with a 23-point rally in the second half. The Wildcats drilled a last-second field goal to force overtime and played for the win in OT. Down by 3, Chris Klieman went for it on fourth-and-goal at the 5. The Longhorns’ defense brought the pressure and forced Will Howard into an incompletion for the win, its seventh in a row against K-State. It was a wild ending to a thrilling fight between two of the Big 12’s best.

BEST FINISH: No. 22 Oklahoma State 27, No. 9 Oklahoma 24. In what is likely to be the last Bedlam game in a long time due to conference realignment, Mike Gundy and the Cowboys pulled off a win that they’re going to remember in Stillwater for a mighty long time. Alan Bowman threw for 334 yards, Ollie Gordon II rushed for 137 and the Pokes’ defense got a fourth-down stop in the final minute to knock their rival out of the CFP race and secure some serious bragging rights. Gudy’s squad is now well on its way to a Big 12 title game berth with a very winnable stretch of games — at UCF, at Houston, BYU — to finish out their November schedule. They played “we are never getting back together” after Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma in the last Bedlam ever pic.twitter.com/IO5sIpFV6j — Rodger Sherman (@rodger) November 4, 2023

Best upset: Army 23, No. 25 Air Force 3. The Falcons are undefeated no more. After rising as high as No. 17 in the AP poll, Air Force fell apart against an 18.5-point underdog that was 2-6 in their showdown at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver. How did Army do it? Four fumble recoveries, two interceptions, two fourth-down stops and a second-half shutout plus a tough 170-yard rushing yard performance and two TDs from Bryson Daily. James Madison and Liberty are now the lone Group of 5 teams still undefeated at 9-0.

Gong bowling: Congratulations to Arizona, Boston College, Coastal Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, NC State, Texas State, UTSA, West Virginia and Wyoming for notching their sixth win of the season and securing bowl eligibility this week.

Arizona took that big step forward in Year 3 under Jedd Fisch after quarterback Noah Fifita led a third consecutive win versus a Top 25 opponent. Those fans who stormed the field at the end of the Wildcats’ 27-10 home win against No. 19 UCLA deserved it. This program has won eight of its last 12 games and is finally pointing in a promising direction after enduring losses in 17 of Fisch’s first 21 games. 𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝟐 𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝟐 𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊 𝐖𝐈𝐍𝐒 𝐀𝐆𝐀𝐈𝐍𝐒𝐓 𝐀 𝐑𝐀𝐍𝐊𝐄𝐃 𝐎𝐏𝐏𝐎𝐍𝐄𝐍𝐓 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/rPCLgQuqMx — Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) November 5, 2023

Best throw: Here’s Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. scrambling and extending on third-and-18 before tossing a 22-yard touchdown strike to Devin Culp. MICHAEL PENIX JR, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE⁉️ A Heisman-worthy play from the Huskies QB 🔥📍@NissanUSA pic.twitter.com/BTncZaLfuq — ESPN (@espn) November 5, 2023

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