Freshman Focus: Week 5

DALLAS (FWAA) – Each week during the 2022 season, we will highlight the notable performances of first-year players and head coaches leading up to the selection of our annual Freshman All-America Team and the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award presented by Chris Doering Mortgage. Here are the top performances from Week 5, the weekend of Oct. 1:


Jaden Hicks, DB, Washington State (6-3, 209, Las Vegas Nev.): 10 tackles
Hicks’ team-leading 10 tackles helped Washington State beat California, 28-9. The Cougars (4-1) limited a red-hot California run game to just 31 yards on 24 attempts. The redshirt freshman’s 35 total tackles are tied for the most among FBS freshmen. Hicks and the Cougars look to keep rolling defensively against a high-powered, 6th-ranked USC this Saturday.

Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (6-4, 220, Huntersville, N.C.): 26/36, 363 yards, 3 TD; 13 rushes, 73 yards, 2 TD 
Maye logged his fourth five-touchdown game this season in a convincing 41-10 win over Virginia Tech. The redshirt freshman is responsible for an FBS-leading 134 points through North Carolina’s (4-1) first five games. Maye is also tied for the national lead with 19 passing touchdowns. North Carolina aims to improve to 2-0 in the ACC Coastal with a win over a struggling Miami squad on Saturday.

Devin Mockobee, RB, Purdue (6-0, 195, Boonville, Ind.): 11 carries, 112 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 5 yards 
Mockobee’s unexpected emergence combined with the first 100-yard game of his career helped Purdue upset then-No. 21-ranked Minnesota, 20-10. The redshirt freshman walk-on saw an increase in touches after an injury to senior running back King Doerue. Mockobee’s 66-yard sprint to set up his 2-yard touchdown run iced the game for the Boilermakers (3-2). Now the team’s leading rusher with 249 yards, Mockobee will try to run rampant again at Maryland this weekend.

Kobe Prentice, WR, Alabama (5-10, 171, Calera, Ala.): 3 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD
Prentice and the Crimson Tide made a statement against then-No. 20-ranked Arkansas to the tune of a 49-26 road win. The speedy true freshman scored the first touchdown for Alabama (5-0) by burning the Razorback defense on 47-yard slant-and-sprint. The former four-star recruit also led the Crimson Tide in receiving. Prentice and the Alabama receivers – who could be without starting quarterback Bryce Young this weekend – will look to avenge last year’s regular season loss against Texas A&M on Saturday.


Sonny Dykes, TCU: Dykes’ Horned Frogs upset then-No. 18 Oklahoma 55-24 and earned the program’s first 5-0 start since 2017. TCU is one of just 16 FBS teams that remain undefeated. Max Duggan’s 418 total yards and five total touchdowns led an offensive effort that garnered 668 total yards of offense. TCU aims to play spoiler again this Saturday with a matchup at No. 19 Kansas (4-0) on tap.

Mike Elko, Duke: Elko’s Blue Devils covered Virginia in a dominant 38-17 win, snapping a 13-game ACC losing streak. Duke (4-1) quarterback Riley Leonard threw for 129 yards and a touchdown with 59 yards and two more scores on the ground. The Blue Devils outgained the Cavaliers 377-295 and forced two turnovers in the win. Elko will look to keep his team atop the ACC Coastal standings with a win at Georgia Tech this weekend.

Brian Kelly, LSU: Kelly earned his second SEC West win of the season in a 21-17 comeback win at Auburn. The purple and gold Tigers (4-1) scored 21 unanswered points thanks to a 23-yard scoop-and-score and a pair of rushing touchdowns. LSU rushed for 185 yards on 49 attempts and forced four turnovers. Things do not get easier for Kelly’s squad, though, as they host No. 8 Tennessee on Saturday.

Dan Lanning, Oregon: Lanning’s Ducks dominated Stanford in a 45-27 beatdown and notched their second Pac 12 win of the year. Bo Nix ran wild, adding 141 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns to 161 yards passing and two scores through the air. Lanning’s run defense stood strong, limiting the Cardinal to 127 yards on 34 rushes. Oregon (4-1) will try to move to 3-0 in the conference with a win at Arizona this weekend. 

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