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2023/24 College Football season: Standout performers from Week 0

We got our first taste of College Football this weekend with Week 0 and there were a number of teams and players who stood out above the rest.

Several of the top players in the country started their season on a great note, like Heisman Trophy favorite Caleb Williams and Notre Dame’s new quarterback Sam Hartman.

Let’s dive into who showed out in their season debut as we head into Week 1.

Caleb Williams, QB - USC

After a slow first half, the USC Trojans kicked into gear in the second half and ended with a 56-28 victory over San Jose State.

Quarterback Caleb Williams also had a slow start, but everyone knows you can’t keep him down for long.

The +500 Heisman Trophy pick finished 18/25 for 278 yards and four touchdowns. That included completing nine of his final 10 passes, so Williams was nearly perfect in the second half of the game.

Williams was making light work of San Jose State’s secondary as he fed his receivers balls down the middle of the field and was rarely missing his mark.

It’s clear that he will be one of the best quarterbacks in College Football this season.

Zachariah Branch, WR - USC

Williams wasn’t the only star in USC’s Week 0 win. Zachariah Branch, a true freshman, made his college debut a memorable one.

Branch is a former five-star recruit out of high school and finished his Trojans debut with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown, along with a 96-yard kickoff return for a score.

The freshman can catch passes from Williams, return the kickoff and be a punt returner for the Trojans, so his versatility will be well used this season.

With Branch’s excellent mix of quick hands and elite speed, he will be a major part of USC’s bid for glory, with the Trojans +1400 to win the NCAAF Championship.

Remember the name Zachariah Branch as we approach Week 1.

Sam Hartman, QB - Notre Dame

After an incredible career at Wake Forest University, quarterback Sam Hartman transferred to Notre Dame for this upcoming season.

It was an interesting move considering the Fighting Irish aren’t exactly known for their offense, but maybe that’s exactly why he chose them.

In Week 0, Notre Dame took on Navy in Dublin, Ireland and the Fighting Irish - +2800 to win the NCAAF Championship - came away with a dominant 42-3 win.

Hartman was obviously a big reason for that as he finished 19/23 for 266 yards and four touchdowns.

He distributed the ball brilliantly to his receivers, as eight different players caught a pass from the signal-caller.

The Wake Forest transfer is +2000 to win the Heisman and he already looked comfortable in the pocket behind Notre Dame’s exceptional offensive line.

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