BY DAVID CHOUGH
Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Ole Miss
It’s never easy being the starting quarterback of an SEC team, but Jordan Ta’amu is doing his best to keep the Ole Miss afloat in the ever-competitive conference. While the Rebels quarterback has been labeled a dual-threat ever since his days as a high school recruit, his arm talent holds up quite well on its own. However, this past weekend’s matchup against Arkansas saw Ta’amu break out every tool he has at his disposal.
After Ta’amu threw an interception and Arkansas converted the turnover into a score that dug a 17-3 deficit, things were looking pretty bleak for Ole Miss. But the senior quarterback bounced right back from that mistake, using his arms and his legs to lead the Rebels on a five-play, 75-yard drive that he capped with an 18-yard scamper into the end zone.
The flood wasn’t plugged quite yet, though as the Razorbacks poured it on later in the half to go up 27-10. With just over two minutes before halftime, Ole Miss desperately needed to get the ball into the end zone. Cue the music. Ta’amu delivered some picturesque passes to all areas of the field, finding four different receivers on the drive before finishing it off with a 6-yard scoring toss that cut the lead to 10.
That momentum poured into the second half, with Ta’amu finding a wideout for 66 yards and a score to start the third quarter. Down two with two minutes to play in regulation, Ole Miss again looked to its quarterback for an answer. Ta’amu delivered once again, masterfully moving the Rebels from their own 3-yard line with big throws and a 15-yard scamper for first down to set up the touchdown that would seal their first SEC win of the season.
During the 37-33 victory, the senior completed nearly 75 percent of his 35 passes for 387 yards and two touchdowns, while also chipping in with 141 yards rushing and a score. Given the way the game broke, the Rebels needed every last one of those yards, and there’s sure to be plenty more to come in the games that will follow. It isn’t easy, but when Ta’amu is leading the Rebels, there’s always a chance.
Kyle Rachwal, LB, Eastern Michigan
Rachwal looks the part of an intimidating force over the middle, and on the off chance that anyone doubted it, he showed just why he’s a terror to opposing offenses with his performance against Toledo. The senior registered 11 total tackles, posted a sack, and even displayed his ability to disrupt passing lanes with a pass break up as the Eagles won 28-26.
Wesley Fields, RB, Georgia Southern
The going was tough against Texas State, but Fields never stopped believing in himself, and the team put its trust in him as well. In a low-scoring affair, Fields churned out 93 yards and one touchdown to pave the way in a 15-13 victory.
Juwan Foggie, LB, Charlotte
Western Kentucky might be known as the Hilltoppers, but Foggie was most certainly at the top of his game this past Saturday. He was all over the field, registering eight tackles (seven of them solo) and was a menace in the backfield, including one sack. Of course, his coup de grace was when he snagged a pair of passes of interceptions for the 49ers as they cruised to a 40-14 win.