- Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
The opportunity is there every Saturday. Some players seize it. Others let it slide away. Here's a look at the players who shined or slipped in Week 8:
Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
McFadden, a true freshman, experienced a breakout performance versus a most unlikely opponent Saturday. After averaging 82 rushing yards through the Razorbacks' first six games, McFadden rushed for a career-high 190 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries against a Georgia defense that entered the contest with the SEC's second-ranked run defense. Granted, the Bulldogs were without starting DTs Gerald Anderson and Kedric Golston, as well as MLB Tony Taylor, but the showing was impressive nonetheless -- nearly good enough to push Arkansas past No. 4 Georgia.
Billy Pittman, WR, Texas
Pittman's big-play impact should not go unnoticed. The 6-0, 198-pound sophomore has an impressive combination of size, speed and athletic ability, and he has developed into an explosive playmaker both on vertical routes and after the catch. Pittman used those qualities to exploit an overmatched Red Raiders' secondary Saturday, accounting for 138 yards and two touchdowns on three receptions. The 15-yard touchdown strike from QB Vince Young to Pittman put the Longhorns ahead 24-10 in the second quarter, and Pittman's 75-yard touchdown to open the second half proved to be a backbreaker for Texas Tech. Before the start of this season, Pittman was not being counted on as a consistent contributor. After seven games, though, he leads the Longhorns with 548 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.
While Brad Smith and DeAngelo Williams are on the rise this week, Auburn kicker John Vaughn's stock has taken a hit.