Week 2 didn’t feature any ranked matchups, but that didn’t prevent it from containing plenty of excitement. There were upsets, close games that shouldn’t have been close and a number standout performances.
Each week, we here at CBS Sports make our picks for the National, SEC and Freshman Players of the Week.
There were some tough decisions this time around, but ultimately, these are our selections.
National Player of the Week
Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State: With apologies to Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who thrilled on Friday night, Ballage’s performance in the desert against Texas Tech late on Saturday night was the most ridiculously impressive showing of the weekend.
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. Let us repeat: Ballage scored eight touchdowns on 15 touches. That’s absurd.
SEC Player of the Week
Austin Allen, QB, Arkansas: 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.
Allen, who took over this season after sitting behind his brother Brandon, made significant strides after a shaky outing in the opener against Louisiana Tech. If he can be that good all year and continue limiting the mistakes, the Razorbacks can make some noise in the SEC West that lacks a definite No. 2 team behind Alabama right now.
Freshman Player of the Week
Cade Carney, RB, Wake Forest: Carney is a big, burly running back who, if you aren’t paying attention to where he lines u,p will look like a beefy fullback rumbling down the field for the Demon Deacons. Carney tore up the Duke defense in the Deacs’ upset 24-14 win in Durham, North Carolina, on Saturday afternoon.
The frosh accounted for all three of Wake’s touchdowns, carrying the ball 17 times for 107 yards and the three scores. Carney is a 5-foot-11, 215 pound ball of power, and he ripped through the middle of the Blue Devils’ defense on Saturday. Wake might have found themselves a workhorse for an offense that has been in desperate need of a playmaker in recent years.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / College Football Players of the Week: Kalen Ballage runs for all the touchdowns