6. EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, RB, OHIO STATE
Talk about efficient: 122 yards on just 11 carries, Ezekiel Elliott made every opportunity count. His knack for explosive plays, oh-so evident during the Buckeyes’ College Football Playoff run, was again on display.
Elliott will have no trouble filling the highlight. The challenge is standing out on a team so loaded with star power. Urban Meyer and Ed Warriner spread the ball among the receiving corps early as Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster went heavy against the run.
The resulting dearth of carries for Elliott in the first half obfuscated his stellar night, which also included a couple receptions for 16 yards.
5. CODY KESSLER, QB, USC
Much of the nation was probably settling in for the night while Cody Kessler was dissecting Arkansas State. If you missed his performance, here it is in a nutshell:
— Inside SoCal Sports (@InsideSoCalSpts) September 6, 2015
Kessler passed for four touchdowns, rolling right along near the pace he set in a record-setting 2014. But Kessler also took five sacks, an ominous stat with some of the stellar pass-rush defenses USC will see this season.
“The offensive line is going to take the brunt of [criticism], obviously, hwen you hear the word ‘sack,'” USC head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “You can point to Cody on a couple of them, quite honestly, and he’ll be the first one to tell you.”