BY DAVID CHOUGH
Wesley Fields, RB, Georgia Southern
Appalachian State probably had not felt this good about its program since its legendary upset over Michigan. The Mountaineers were riding high at 5-1, sporting a Top 25 ranking in the nation, and they were going to have the perfect stage to show off their newfound success against a high-profile opponent. As it stood, however, Georgia Southern wasn’t about to just roll over and let the Mountaineers have their way. In particular, senior tailback Wesley Fields delivered a memorable performance to grind Appalachian State into a pulp.
It took a little while for the Eagles offense to start rolling, but once opportunities started coming their way, they began to display their vaunted rushing attack. After a costly turnover by the Mountaineers, Fields took one cut and followed the daylight into the end zone to give Georgia Southern a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. Slowly but surely, Fields and the rest of Georgia Southern’s rushing attack began wearing down the Appalachian State defense, a point that would be all to clear starting in the second half.
Fields converted a third down with a beautiful 32-yard run that showed just what makes him so dangerous. The playcall was a simple inside give, but the captain managed to break two arm tackles like they were nothing and keep churning his legs downfield, cutting outside and back in to follow his blockers. Even after the defense managed to get two bodies on him, he rumbled ahead to get more yardage.
The Eagles continued to distribute the carries among their running backs, but Fields got the bulk of them, especially as the game started to unfold in the fourth. With Georgia Southern hammering away at the clock and Appalachian State struggling to find its offense, Fields pushed the Mountaineers into submission on a rush that could be thought of, in a vacuum, as the easiest score that anyone’s ever had. Thanks to his efforts up to that point, Fields was able to find the open hole against a run blitz and jog into the end zone.
What was supposed to be a highly-anticipated and excitable match up turned out to be a one-sided avalanche, as Georgia Southern toppled Appalachian State, 34-14. Fields and the Eagles might not have a ranking next to their name, but at 7-1, they have to feel pretty good knowing that when their star running back is feeling it, as he did with 98 yards on the ground and two touchdowns this past weekend, they have a shot against anybody.
Damion Willis, WR, Troy
The Trojans needed to rebound in a big way after their loss to Liberty last week, and an unlikely hero took the stage for Troy. Willis had not yet eclipsed the 80-yard receiving mark this season, but against South Alabama, he broke out for 132 yards on just five catches.
Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky
With all the offenses around the country seemingly scoring at will, Kentucky is trying to restore some balance to the equation. The Wildcats have had an incredibly stout defense all season long, and it showed up once again in their SEC clash against Missouri. Allen led the way, notching 11 tackles — nine of which were solo, as well as two huge sacks. In case that wasn’t enough, he also showed incredible tenacity and heart in forcing not one but two fumbles in a 15-14 win.
Dakari Monroe, CB, San Jose State
With UNLV deciding to go through the air on offense for much of Saturday’s game, Monroe made the Rebels pay with two outstanding interceptions. Both turnovers showcased not only his ability to get after the ball, but also to burst ahead with speed as he took one 50 yards to the house. The Spartans would go on to win 50-37 for their first victory.