College football Week 9 players of the week: Gardner Minshew put on a show

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 27: Gardner Minshew #16 of the Washington State Cougars looks to pass against the Stanford Cardinal during the first half of their NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 27: Gardner Minshew #16 of the Washington State Cougars looks to pass against the Stanford Cardinal during the first half of their NCAA football game at Stanford Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

This week’s college football players of the week sees Clemson Tigers freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence putting up Heisman-caliber numbers.

With Alabama, Michigan, LSU, Ohio State and UCF among the notable teams off this week, several familiar faces who have appeared on this list throughout the year will be absent this week.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is threatening to destroy every Alabama passing record and is the runaway favorite to win the Heisman, but he’s not among this week’s players of the week because he didn’t play a game. Neither did McKenzie Milton, Dwayne Haskins, Karan Higdon or Joe Burrow. With them off, that opened the door for several other great players across the nation to find their way on the Week 9 players of the week list.

College football Week 9 Players of the Week

Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia – 17/24, 240 yards, 3 TD

Fromm doesn’t have the gaudiest of stats among the other quarterbacks on this list this week, but no one else had as big of a win than the one he orchestrated vs. No. 9 Florida. Fromm had struggled much of this year, but he was deadly, especially on third downs in the 36-17 win that reasserted themselves as the clear-cut favorite to win the SEC East.

Nick Fitzgerald, QB, Mississippi State – 14/22, 241 yards, 2 TD; 11-88-2

We know Nick Fitzgerald can make plays and score points with his feet. We haven’t seen the same type of success with his arm, but that all changed in the win vs. Texas A&M that saw Fitzgerald have his most complete game of the year.

Daniel Jones, QB, Duke – 27/42, 396 yards, 4 TD

It came in a losing effort, but credit Daniel Jones for his outstanding performance to give the Blue Devils a chance at a win over Pitt if not for last-second heroics from the Panthers. Jones has been a rising star this year and helped his NFL Draft stock significantly in the process. Keep an eye on him the rest of the way.

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – 23/34, 448 yards, 4 TD

I’d say Jordan Love put up video game numbers in Utah State’s 61-19 win over New Mexico, but I’m not sure I could replicate those numbers unless I was playing on the junior varsity difficulty setting.

J.J. Taylor, RB, Arizona – 30 carries, 212 yards, 3 TD; 3 receptions for 16 yards.

Arizona beat Oregon for the third time in the last five meetings, and this one came on Homecoming behind a strong rushing effort from Taylor. Lost in a rough season for Arizona has been Taylor who entered the game 11th in the nation with 817 rushing yards.

Will Grier, QB, West Virginia – 17/27, 353 yards, 3 TD

Grier got back on track after a pair of lackluster performances. This is the type of performance fans have grown used to and the type of performance he’ll need if he hopes to get an invite for the Heisman ceremony.

Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State – 29 carries, 185 yards, 2 TD

Benjamin paces the Sun Devils offensive attack in their upset win at USC that snapped the Trojans’ 19-game home winning streak. Another huge win for Herm Edwards as Benjamin has come alive this year as one of the best players in the Pac-12.

Zack Moss, RB, Utah – 26 carries, 211 yards, 3 TD

In case you missed Utah-UCLA on Friday night, you missed a career night for the Utah ball carrier as he topped the 200-yard mark vs. a UCLA defense that isn’t really good, but anytime you run for 200-plus yards in a game, you’re getting rewarded with a helmet sticker. Utes look like the best team in the Pac-12 South.

Matt Colburn, RB, Wake Forest – 20 carries, 243 yards, 3 TD

Go back to 2015 and Louisville pulled their scholarship offer to Matt Colburn two days before National Signing Day. Fast forward to Saturday and Colburn got his long-awaited revenge on the Cardinals in the form of 243 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-35 win.

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma – 19/24, 352  yards, 3 TD; 5-46-1

Murray has been a frequent member of the players of the week club as you’d expect from a Heisman front-runner. He connected with CeeDee Lamb on two of his scores as Lamb finished with 160 yards of his own.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson – 24/37, 314 yards, 4 TD

Clemson’s freshman phenom is just getting better and better with every week. Last week, the Clemson quarterback set career-highs in completions, attempts and yards in the blowout win vs. NC State. This week, he set a new career-high in yards in the blowout win vs. Florida State and had the second four-touchdown game of his career. Amari Rodgers had 156 yards and two touchdowns to help out his quarterback.

Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse – 27/38, 411 yards, 3 TD; 15-32-1

Syracuse scored 51 in the win vs. NC State as Eric Dungey accounted for four total touchdowns as the Orange improved to 6-2 on the year. A really great season for Dungey in Dino Babers’ system as they are bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.

Taylor Cornelius, QB, Oklahoma State – 23/34, 321 yards, 3 TD; 12-23-2

Taylor Cornelius picked a great time to have the game of his life. The Oklahoma State first-year starter accounted for five touchdowns in the upset win over No. 6 Texas, the biggest win of his career and of Oklahoma’s State season thus far. He also had the game-clinching run on third-and-six to ice the game. This could be a win that propels them in November and gets Mike Gundy’s team new life after a lackluster first two months.

Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State – 40/50, 438 yards, 4 TD

The nation’s leading passer had a banner day after leading Washington State to a comeback win at Stanford when he was nearly perfect in the second half. He’s gotta be in the Heisman conversation with Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa.

D’Eriq King, QB, Houston – 28/41, 419 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT; 11-132-2

I hope you had D’Eriq King on your fantasy team this week because he stuffed the stat sheet. King led Houston to a 57-36 win over previously undefeated USF to improve to 7-1 and 4-0 in the AAC.

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