He isn't the only candidate as Matt VandeBerg, Cole Croston, Boone Myers, LeShun Daniels, C.J. Beathard and Jerminic Smith could all get this honor but Miami week's game ball goes to Akrum Wadley. He went for 121 yards on 12 carries and 2 touchdowns. It was also the way he did it. Wadley just stood out on the field and flashed time after time. He looked a little faster, a little quicker, a little more explosive, and a little more powerful. They're going to need all their backs at some point so it's a positive that they had Daniels and Wadley humming early and often.
There isn't as many candidates on this side of the ball as they underperformed by all intents and purposes. Desmond King was avoided. The secondary has had better days. The line of scrimmage wasn't controlled and they did not stop the run. The linebackers did not fly to the ball the way we saw last year from Ben Niemann and Josey Jewell. But one guy that did step his game up and emerged was definitely redshirt freshman defensive end Anthony Nelson. He recorded 2.5 sacks in his first action and was the only consistent presence in the Miami (Ohio) backfield as a pass rusher. He was quick off the line of scrimmage and used his length to his advantage at the line of scrimmage and showed some improved strength. It was a big day for him. Now he'll need to become more of a complete player to continuously be out on the football field, and show that he can be more than respectable against the run. But on this Saturday, Anthony Nelson was key.
I can think of three candidates right away on the special teams unit that is deserving of the game ball. Ron Coluzzi punted it very well in his first game with the Hawkeyes and was dominant on kickoffs, forcing a touchback on all but one. Desmond King was consistently flipping the field as a returner. But we'll go with Keith Duncan, a true freshman kicker that had no problems with any extra points and made his chip-shot field goal. There was little difficulty in what he had to do in his debut, but he had no blemishes in his first outing which should only grow his confidence going forward.