College football Week 13 players of the week: Tua Tagovailoa dominates Iron Bowl


In his first Iron Bowl start, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa put together arguably his greatest performance of his college football career.

It’s been a magical season for Alabama Crimson Tide true sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. His team is a perfect 12-0 after trouncing the arch rival Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl. The Crimson Tide will have more than their hands full with the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship next week.

However, Tagovailoa straight up dispelled any doubts about his Heisman Trophy candidacy. Auburn certainly did its best to hang in there, but Tagovailoa’s five passing touchdowns and one scamper for six points were enough to catch the Tigers by their toes, 52-21.

Like it is every week, it wasn’t just the Heisman Trophy front-runner that shined. Some teams got elite play out of their star quarterback en route to victory. Others still got gems out of their star signal-caller, albeit defeat. Then, there were a few tailbacks that paved the way for their schools’ huge wins during rivalry week.

Here are the 10 stars of the week that was in Week 13 of the 2018 college football season. Who challenged Tagovailoa for the top spot this week? Find out now.

10. Cade Carney, RB, Wake Forest

  • 31 carries, 223 yards, 2 touchdowns

After falling to the ACC Coastal champion Pittsburgh Panthers last week, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons needed a win over the cross-divisional rival Duke Blue Devils to achieve bowl eligibility. Apparently, all Dave Clawson needed to do was give the rock to running back Cade Carney. His 223 rushing yards and two touchdowns were instrumental in Wake Forest’s 59-7 rout of Duke in Durham.

9. Reggie Gallaspy II, RB, North Carolina State

  • 27 carries, 129 yards, 5 touchdowns

The North Carolina State Wolfpack got more than a scare in their rivalry game with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Needing overtime to yield an eighth victory on the season, running back Reggie Gallaspy II was everything for NC State. He scored all five of the Wolfpack’s touchdowns, as North Carolina State won 34-28 on the road in overtime in Chapel Hill.

8. Jake Bentley, QB, South Carolina

  • 32-50, 510 yards, 5 touchdowns

Jake Bentley gave his best shot against the juggernaut Clemson Tigers on the road at Death Valley on Saturday evening. His South Carolina Gamecocks may have come up a few scores short, losing 56-35. However, Bentley showed why he had so much promise heading into the 2018 NCAA season. His 510 passing yards and five aerial strikes for six points are nothing to scoff at.

7. Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington

  • 27 carries, 170 yards, 3 touchdowns

The Washington Huskies were up against it in the Apple Cup versus the arch rival Washington State Cougars. Even though it was a snow game in Pullman, Washington was able to upset Washington State thanks in large part to a great performance by Huskies running back Myles Gaskin. He found pay dirt three times on the ground for 170 yards to rip the Pac-12 North title out of Washington State’s hands.

6. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

  • 11 receptions, 243 yards, 2 touchdowns

With the Texas Longhorns beating the listless Kansas Jayhawks earlier in the day on Friday, the winner of the Oklahoma Sooners at the West Virginia Mountaineers would end up facing Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game down in Arlington. With Marquise Brown’s 11 grabs for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Oklahoma made sure it would have the right to mess with Texas down in Jerryworld next week.

5. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

  • 32-49, 539 yards, 4 touchdowns

Even though it was a losing effort, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier put up impressive numbers in a Big 12 barn burner versus Oklahoma. His 538 passing yards and four touchdowns helped give the Mountaineers 56 points at home versus Oklahoma. Too bad West Virginia needed 60. Regardless, Grier will almost certainly be invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in a few weeks. He’ll lose there, too.

4. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

  • 20-27, 364 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception; 9 carries, 114 yards, 1 touchdown

Kyler Murray has been easily one of the most electric players in college football this season. He did everything for the Sooners offense on Friday night in Morgantown versus West Virginia. His four combined touchdowns helped Oklahoma clinch a spot for the Big 12 Championship Game versus Texas. Like Grier, he’s bound to be a finalist for what will be Tagovailoa’s Heisman Trophy.

3. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

  • 19-30, 318 yards, 5 touchdowns

Some things never change. The Ohio State Buckeyes continue to own the Michigan Wolverines. While everybody and their brother knew for sure that Michigan was going to reach the College Football Playoff this season, Dwayne Haskins and Ohio State had other plans. His five passing touchdowns were key in the Buckeyes’ 62-39 obliteration of Michigan on Saturday afternoon in The Horseshoe. Ohio State will be the overwhelming favorite over the Northwestern Wildcats in the Big Ten Championship next Saturday.

2. Eric Dungey, QB, Syracuse

  • 21-34, 362 yards, 3 touchdowns; 18 carries, 34 yards, 3 touchdowns

After getting hurt early last week against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Syracuse Orange quarterback Eric Dungey bounced back with a great performance for this solid ACC team. Dungey had six combined touchdowns in the Orange’s 42-21 victory over the division rival Boston College Eagles. Don’t look now, but Syracuse has nine wins on the year and could get its first 10-win season since 2001 with a win in its bowl game.

1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

  • 25-32, 324 yards, 5 touchdowns; 4 carries, 26 yards, 1 touchdown

What can’t Tagovailoa do? Though Auburn kept it interesting for a bit, Tagovailoa was the driving force of the Alabama offense that blew the Tigers out of the water. Six total touchdowns in a game after seeing his team struggle in the first half versus The Citadel Bulldogs was impressive. Look for Alabama to build on this dominating performance versus arch rival Auburn before it takes the field with the other elite SEC team in Georgia next Saturday.

Next: 50 greatest college football players this century

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