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True freshmen come up big in season’s opening week

September 2, 2018
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Maryland wide receiver Jeshaun Jones, right, runs past Texas defensive back Brandon Jones for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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Maryland wide receiver Jeshaun Jones, right, runs past Texas defensive back Brandon Jones for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The 2018 college football season started the way last season ended - with big performances from true freshmen.

One year after Alabama freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm squared off in the College Football Playoff championship game, plenty of other newcomers across the country garnered playing time and made the most of it in the season’s opening week.

Here’s a rundown of some of the noteworthy freshman contributions.

Maryland’s Jeshaun Jones threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown and also had a 65-yard touchdown reception in the Terrapins’ 34-29 victory over No. 23 Texas.

Southern California’s JT Daniels threw a touchdown pass to freshman classmate Amon-Ra St. Brown in the Trojans’ 43-21 victory over UNLV. Daniels was 22 of 35 for 282 yards. St. Brown caught seven passes for 99 yards.

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, regarded as the nation’s top overall prospect in his high school class, came off the bench and threw three touchdown passes in the second-ranked Tigers’ 48-7 blowout of Furman. Lawrence went 9 of 15 for 137 yards.

Georgia’s Justin Fields backed up Jake Fromm and went 7 of 8 for 63 yards with a touchdown pass in a 45-0 victory over Austin Peay. The Bulldogs also got a nice contribution from freshman James Cook, who had six carries for 66 yards.

Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman replaced an injured McLane Carter and went 29 of 49 for 273 yards with a touchdown in the Red Raiders’ 47-27 loss to Mississippi.

The big games from freshmen actually started Thursday night.

Purdue’s Rondale Moore had 313 all-purpose yards to break a 46-year-old school record Thursday in the Boilermakers’ 31-27 loss to Northwestern. Moore had 11 catches for 109 yards, two carries for 79 yards and five kickoff returns for 125 yards.

Minnesota quarterback Zack Annexstad, a walk-on who won the Golden Gophers’ starting job, had two touchdown passes without an interception Thursday in a 48-10 triumph over New Mexico State.

Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman threw for 378 yards - the 10th-highest total in school history - as the Demon Deacons squeaked out a 23-17 overtime victory over Tulane on Thursday.

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