The seventh weekend of the college football season brought with it more than its share of heroes and goats. College Football 24/7 takes a look at who had a game to remember, and who needs to turn the page.
Paxton Lynch: An unbeaten start to the season hadn't been enough to get the Memphis quarterback the recognition he deserves. Topping a ranked Ole Miss team with 384 passing yards should be. Final score: Memphis 37, Rebels 24, and you can bet the 6-foot-7 fourth-year junior scored with NFL scouts, as well.
Everett Golson:Don't look now, but the player who lost the quarterback job at Notre Dame last year due to turnovers has yet to throw an interception this year after transferring to Florida State. He connected on 26 of 38 passes in a 41-21 win over Louisville Saturday and maintained his zero in the INT column.*
Michigan State:The Spartans reached 10 seconds left in their game with rival Michigan with a 0.2 percent chance of winning, according to ESPN analytics. And with help from a fumbled punt snap, MSU snatched a win from the all-but-certain-loss, 27-23. The Spartans remain undefeated at 7-0, and clearly have burned all reasonable expectation of lucky bounces, timely penalties, or other manifestations of good fortune for the rest of the season.**
Jaylon Smith:The Notre Dame linebacker, arguably the best in the nation, was everywhere for the Fighting Irish defense in a 41-31 win over USC. Smith ended up with a game-high 14 tackles, assisting one of them for a loss. He now leads the team with 56 stops, putting him on roughly a 100-tackle pace for the year.*
Eddie Jackson: After struggling at cornerback last season, the Alabama junior is flourishing with a move to safety. Saturday, he broke a single-game school record with 119 interception return yards, including a 93-yarder for a first-half touchdown. Alabama housed three interceptions for scores in the win, the others from freshman Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Andrew Billings: The Baylor defensive tackle was quite the nuisance for West Virginia on Saturday, making three tackles for loss and a sack for the Bears. Named College Football 24/7's strongest player in the game in July, Billings is a junior who has played extremely well this season, even though he's not particularly well-suited to excel against the spread offenses of the Big 12.
Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson: The dynamic passing connection from TCU hasn't been held to less than 100 yards since Sept. 12. Boykin found Doctson Saturday in a 45-21 rout of Iowa State for 10 catches and 190 yards.
Jim Harbaugh:The new Michigan coach will have trouble sleeping on this one. When you have a two-point lead plus possession with 10 seconds to go and lose, it qualifies as gut-wrenching.
Christian Hackenberg: You had to know Penn State's leaky pass protection would make an appearance against a defensive line like Ohio State's. Sure enough, the PSU quarterback was sacked five times in a 38-10 loss. That would be bad enough if he had attempted 35 or 40 passes. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, he attempted just 13.
DB U:Florida and LSU spent the offseason chirping about which school has the best defensive backfield. When they met with a chance to settle it head to head, two relatively inexperienced quarterbacks exposed both secondaries enough, at least, to table the conversation. Florida's Treon Harris and LSU's Brandon Harris (no relation) combined to complete 30 of 51 passes for 473 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. DB Who?*
West Virginia: It's officially a bad year in Morgantown after a 62-38 loss to Baylor. The Mountaineers are far from the only team to get blown away by the Baylor offense, but at 0-3 in Big 12 play, they are fading fast.