NCAA Football

Top-10 Individual Performances From Week 1 of College Football Season

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Week 1: Top Ten Individual College Football Performances

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The first week of the 2013 NCAA Football season is in the books. Teams have prepared all summer long and were finally able to take the field once again.

The first week is usually full of dominant teams beating up on lesser opponents. Some coaches like to have a "warm-up game" before they ramp things up against tougher opponents. While there was some of that last week, it seems that there were more high profile matchups in Week 1 than there used to be. The most anticipated game from the opening week of the 2013 season was fifth-ranked Georgia traveling to South Carolina to take on the eighth-ranked Clemson Tigers. That game certainly did not disappoint as it went down to the wire, with Clemson walking away with a huge 38-35 victory.

The first week of the season is a great time to not only put your program on the map, but yourself as an individual football player. Football fans are dying to watch some meaningful games this time of year and if a guy impresses, many people are watching.

There were a ton of incredible individual performances in the first week of the college football season. Although there is still a very long way to go, these guys really put themselves on the map last week and are now legitimate contenders for the major awards in college football.

To be honest, I am just glad that football is back and we have performances of note to talk about once again. Here are the 10-best individual performances from the first week of the college football season.

Daniel is a writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @D_Schmelzer, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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10. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

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Marcus Mariota is back for another season as the starting quarterback for the Oregon Ducks, and he started off 2013 in a big way. Oregon destroyed Nicholls State 66-3. In very limited time, Mariota threw for 234 yards and a touchdown and ran for 113 yards on only five carries and another score. Mariota is the driving force behind the incredible Oregon offense and he is a legitimate Heisman candidate this season.

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9. Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame

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Quarterback Tommy Rees has mostly been a disappointment for Notre Dame. He played a lot in 2011 and was decent, but not as good as is expected out of a Notre Dame quarterback. He lost the starting job last season to Everett Golson, who helped lead the Irish to a National Championship appearance. Golson is now gone, so the job belongs to Rees once again.

Rees was very good in Notre Dame's Week 1 win over Temple. He completed 16-of-23 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Rees was very effective and led the offense nicely. Even though Temple was not a very strong opponent, this game from Rees is encouraging. If he continues this, the 14th-ranked Irish could be legitimate National Championship contenders once again.

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8. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

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Todd Gurley is a very quick and physical runner. Georgia lost to Clemson in Week 1, but their young running back was very impressive. Gurley rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns on only 12 carries, including a dynamic 75-yard scamper to the end zone. If the Bulldogs expect to compete in the tough SEC, Gurley will be a huge key.

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7. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

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One of the best games of the week was the Thursday night matchup between Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Ole Miss won the game 39-35, but Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews burst onto the scene in a big way. Matthews was incredible for Vanderbilt racking up 178 yards on 10 receptions, including a 55-yard touchdown catch. Matthews left it all on the field, as cameras caught him vomiting in between plays. He still continued to play; this kid is a gamer.

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6. Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska probably expected an easy victory when they scheduled Wyoming for the 2013 opening game. They got the win, but it was certainly not easy. The Nebraska offense won this game, as their defense struggled to stop the Wyoming offense led by quarterback Brett Smith.

Smith is a dual-threat quarterback who makes plays out of nothing. He completed 29 passes on 43 attempts for 383 yards and four touchdown passes. He also rushed for 92 yards on eight attempts. He is a dynamic player and certainly somebody to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

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5. Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

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Washington's victory over Boise State was one of the most surprising stories from Week 1 of the college football season. The Huskies dominated in a 38-6 victory, and the game was never close. The star for Washington was running back Bishop Sankey who ran for 161 yards on 25 carries and two scores. The Huskies have a lot of talent offensively with NFL prospects like Keith Price and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. If Sankey can continue to produce for Washington, this offense can be very good.

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4. C.J. Brown, QB, Maryland

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C.J. Brown had an incredible game for Maryland in their 43-10 victory over Florida International. Brown wen 20-for-23 for 281 yards and three touchdown passes. The dual-threat quarterback also showed off his wheels with 105 yards rushing on 11 carries and two touchdowns on the ground. While, Florida International is not exactly Alabama, Brown was very impressive.

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3. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami

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Duke Johnson is one of my favorite running backs in college football. He has outstanding speed and athleticism, and while he is on the small side, he is a very tough and physical player. Johnson had a monster game for Miami in their Week 1 victory over Florida Atlantic, 34-6. Johnson rushed for 186 yards on 19 carries, including a 53-yard touchdown run. That is an incredible 9.8 yards per carry average. Johnson is a special player and I expect big things out of him this season.

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2. Christion Jones, WR/RET, Alabama

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Christion Jones was incredible for the top-ranked Crimson Tide in a Week 1 thrashing over Virginia Tech, 35-10. He had a 72-yard punt return, 94-yard kick return and caught a 38-yard pass, all going for touchdowns. Jones has incredible speed and elusiveness and he showcased that against a Virginia Tech team that prides itself on solid special teams. Jones is a huge weapon for Alabama, who already has a full arsenal.

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1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

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Tajh Boyd led Clemson to their opening week victory over Georgia. Boyd threw for 270 yards, rushed for 42 and had five total touchdowns against a ferocious SEC defense. Boyd is an obvious leader for the Tigers and he was a huge part in their big victory over Georgia. He has a ton of talent and seems to have all of the intangibles needed at the quarterback position. Expect big things out of Boyd and Clemson this season.