There are lot of unique features to like about college football uniforms. There’s the classic get-ups from schools like Notre Dame and Alabama, and the stylish, ever-changing equipment put out by programs like Oregon.
But one minute detail that often gets overlooked nowadays are the helmet decals featured by teams like Ohio State and Florida State. It uses a reward system to honor players who have special performances or made impact plays with a sticker to put on one’s helmet. The more plays you make, the more stickers you accumulate.
This season, NCAA.com will install the same system. Every Sunday, we will choose three standout players from the weekend to earn “stickers” for their team. Let’s see who has the most decorated helmet at the end of the season.
Alabama – Jalen Hurts (quarterback)
No. 1 Alabama ran past No. 9 Tennessee 49-10 Saturday behind 438 rushing yards at an astounding 8.9 yards per carry clip. Leading the way on the ground was no running back, though, but instead the Tide’s quarterback.
Jalen Hurts finished with 132 rushing yards and a trio of touchdowns on the ground to bury the Vols in an insurmountable second-half hole.
Hurts’ first score came on his longest carry of the day, when he faked a handoff on an option play and then raced down the right side untouched for the 45-yard score.
That came after Tennessee scored its first points of the day and trimmed the Tide’s lead to 14-7 midway through the second quarter. Catalyzed by Hurts’ long run, Alabama ended the game on a dominant 35-3 run.
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The freshman signal caller added two-yard and one-yard scores in the second half before giving way to backup Blake Barnett in the final quarter. Hurts was 16-of-26 for 143 yards through the air and outgained Tennessee’s whole offense 275-163.
Alabama has made a living of winning its titles behind “game manager” quarterbacks that don’t make mistakes but also don’t wow you with spectacular plays or standout stat lines. But Hurts may be the biggest play-making threat under center that Nick Saban has had at his disposal during his run of success.
And that’s a scary thought for the rest of college football.
Louisiana Tech – Carlos Henderson (wide receiver)
Week 7 saw a couple of eye-popping performances from talented wideouts. That started early in the day with Oklahoma’s Dede Westbrook’s second-straight, three-touchdown performance and continued with Travis Rudolph’s 13-catch, 238-yard game for Florida State.
But none of those other worthy candidates touched the day that Louisiana Tech’s Carlos Henderson had against Massachusetts.
The 5-11 redshirt junior tallied a mind-boggling 326 yards and five touchdown catches on 12 receptions in a 56-28 win over the Minutemen. Those five scores set a new single game program record while the yardage ranked second behind Troy Edwards, who set the FBS record with 405 yards in a 1998 game.
He’s only the 12th player in FBS history to reach the 300-yard mark.
Henderson accounted for five of the Bulldogs’ seven touchdowns Saturday and made the most on each catch, picking up three scores of at least 42 yards. His longest came on an 83-yard play in the third quarter that gave La. Tech a two-touchdown lead that would only build over the final 20 minutes of play.
Henderson now has 558 receiving yards and eight touchdowns over his last two games after missing a week due to injury. It’s safe to say he’s healthy again.
Western Michigan – Jarvion Franklin (running back)
ICYMI: Now this is a stiff arm. pic.twitter.com/oTKTU8mLRe— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 15, 2016
There was no letdown for Western Michigan a week after reaching the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in program history. The Broncos rolled past MAC foe Akron 41-0 Saturday and remain one of the final 11 undefeated teams across the FBS.
Jarvion Franklin has played a large role in Western Michigan’s meteoric ascension and that was the most apparent against the Zips.
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The junior broke free for 281 rushing yards and a touchdown in the shutout victory and fell one yard short of reaching 300 yards of total offense. Saturday’s performance marked Franklin’s third-straight game of at least 130 rushing yards after failing to reach 100 in each of WMU’s first four games.
His 281 yards on the ground marks the second-highest total among FBS teams this season and broke the program’s record that previously stood at 279.
Western Michigan keeps rolling behind the emergence of Franklin and the reliability under center from the mistake-free Zach Terrell. The Broncos are a serious threat to represent the Group of Five in a New Year’s Six bowl game if it can close out its MAC schedule on a high note.
2016 helmet sticker leaders: Louisville (2), Washington (2), Alabama (1), Arizona State (1), Arkansas (1), Clemson (1), Florida State (1), Georgia (1), Houston (1), Louisiana Tech (1), Michigan (1), North Carolina (1), North Carolina State (1), Ohio State (1), Oklahoma (1), Stanford (1), Tennessee (1), Texas A&M (1), Western Michigan (1)
(Photos courtesy of Matt Kartozian | USA Today, Louisiana Tech Athletics, Mike Dinovo | USA Today)