The return of the Big Ten in Week 8 of college football provided us with near perfect performances and incredible quarterback play.
Six signal callers made this week’s list and combined for a ridiculous 26 touchdowns. Although these quarterbacks tormented defenses across the country, two defensive backs made this week’s list after snagging multiple interceptions in their respective games.
Perhaps the most unusual performance came from a wide receiver who totaled 189 yards and didn’t catch a single pass.
Ranking the top 10 performances from Week 8
1. Malik Willis, Liberty, QB: Willis accounted for a ridiculous seven touchdowns in Liberty’s 56-35 win over Southern Mississippi. The Auburn transfer threw for 345 yards and six touchdowns and had 97 yards and one score on the ground to round out the stellar all-around performance.
2. Nick Andersen, Wake Forest, DB: Andersen did not seem like a freshman when he picked off three passes and led his team with 11 tackles in Wake Forest’s 23-16 win over Virginia Tech. Nine of Andersen’s tackles were solo.
3. Phillip Brooks, Kansas State, WR: Without catching a single ball, Brooks dismantled Kansas in what may be the special teams performance of the year. Brooks returned four punts for 189 yards and two touchdowns to help Kansas State to its 55-14 win.
Kansas State wide receiver Phillip Brooks tries to avoid the tackle of Kansas punter Donovan Gagen during a punt return at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. (Photo: Scott Sewell, USA TODAY Sports)
4. Zac Thomas, Appalachian State, QB: On his way to leading the Mountaineers to a 45-17 defeat of Arkansas State, Thomas threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns and tacked on 82 yards and a scoring on the ground.
HIGHS AND LOWS: College football winners and losers from Week 8
MAJOR MOMENTS: Five biggest plays from Week 8 of college football
WILD FINISH: Indiana stuns Penn State with overtime two-point conversion
5. Graham Mertz, Wisconsin, QB: Making his first career start, Mertz threw for 248 yards and five touchdowns as the Badgers started its season by handling Illinois 45-7. Mertz, who was 20-for-21 passing, tied a school record with 17 consecutive completions.
6. Dillon Gabriel, Central Florida, QB: Gabriel led UCF’s explosive offense with 422 passing yards to go with his five touchdown passes. Tulane just wasn’t able to keep up with the Knights with the final score 51-34.
7. Marlon Williams, Central Florida, WR: Helping Gabriel put up those big numbers was Williams, who was a nightmare for the Tulane secondary. The senior receiver caught nine balls for 174 yards and three touchdowns.
8. Rodney Owens, Memphis, DB: Owens made an impression on defense with two interceptions and added five tackles in his impressive outing where Memphis defeated Temple 41-29.
9. David Bell, Purdue, WR: Bell caught everything that came his way in Purdue’s 24-20 win against Iowa. He hauled in 13 catches for 121 yards and scored all three touchdowns, including