Week 1 of the 2023 college football season is in the books, and there were big-time performances from a handful of players.
With the opening weekend in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look at the top performers from Week 1 across the Power 5 and Group of 5.
Saturday marked an early-season Heisman statement from a couple of players, but Michael Penix Jr. made the biggest impact in our estimation.
The Washington quarterback threw for 450 yards and five touchdown passes en route to a dominant 56-19 drubbing of Boise State at home.
Penix should put up gaudy numbers all season as part of a Washington offense that is an absolute machine and will score in bunches.
He is second in the Heisman Trophy odds at +800.
Shedeur Sanders is getting a ton of praise for his performance in Colorado’s shocking victory over TCU on Saturday, and rightfully so. After all, the quarterback threw for over 500 yards and 5 scores against a porous TCU defense in the victory.
However, Colorado simply wouldn’t have a chance in this game without Travis Hunter.
Hunter is a 2-way superstar, impacting the game tremendously on offense and defense.
This unique skillset shone on Saturday, as Hunter played a whopping 129 snaps and became the first Division I player over the past 20 seasons to have 100 receiving yards (he finished with 119) and an interception in the same game.
Hunter also added three tackles and a pass breakup for a defense that desperately needed his elite contributions. It’s no surprise that Hunter’s Heisman odds changed dramatically following the game.
Lost in the shuffle of all of the great action over the weekend was the play of Michael Pratt.
The Tulane quarterback is quietly one of the best in the nation at his position, and he showed out against a quality South Alabama team to start the season, tossing four touchdowns while racking up 294 passing yards and a 93% completion percentage.
Pratt also ran for 39 yards as well, showcasing his dual-threat abilities the most on key downs when his team needed the use of his legs the most.
The American Conference is full of strong quarterbacks, but some of them didn’t have their best day under center on Saturday, including Frank Harris at UTSA.
Pratt’s performance showed that the Green Wave are eager to pick up right where they left off a season ago as Cotton Bowl champions.
Last but certainly not least, we have Keon Coleman, who had quite a day to start off his tenure at Florida State.
The Michigan State transfer found himself as the main focal point in the Seminoles’ passing attack after Johnny Wilson proved to be largely ineffective as he was plagued by drops, but Coleman took over that top wide receiver spot without a hitch,
In his Florida State debut, Coleman grabbed three touchdown passes, with two of them coming at very important points in the game.
Coleman finished with 122 yards on 9 catches, good for an impressive average of 13.6 yards per reception.
It was a phenomenal effort from a player that will prove to be very important to any success FSU has down the road.