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MAC Football Grinders of the Week: Week 1

Who played the best in college football's opening week?

Franklin found open space all day long against the Boilermakers
Franklin found open space all day long against the Boilermakers
Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Each week after the dust settles on the football fields of Mid-America, we'll take a look back at what happened and try to figure out who had the best performances. The three most deserving players will get an honorable mention as one of Hustle Belt's Grinders of the Week for their hustle and excellence on the football field. This week is tough as most teams had simple opponents, but Hustle Belt will still give credit where credit is due:

Phillip Ely - Quarterback, Toledo Rockets

Ely played his first game as a Rocket after transferring from Alabama. The Rockets got off to a slow start, but once they found their rhythm there was no turning back. Ely was excellent completing 24 of 34 passes for 337 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also added four carries for 23 yards on the ground and led his team back from an early 14-3 deficit to a 54-20 win.

Jarvion Franklin - Running Back, Western Michigan University

The Broncos played a tremendous game offensively against Purdue in Week 1, and while they may not have won Franklin is very deserving of a spot on this list. In his collegiate debut Franklin, all 6 foot, 220 pounds of him, carried the ball 19 times for 163 yards rushing, and three touchdowns.  Franklin averaged a solid 8.6 yards per carry. The Boilermakers couldn't stop him, and the rest of the MAC might want to take notes as Franklin is the real deal.

Kent Kern - Linebacker, Miami RedHawks

Kern was all over the field Saturday in the RedHawks' season-opener against the highly touted Marshall Thundering Herd. The Miami junior applied pressure on Rakeem Cato the entire game, severely impacting Marshall's offense in the second half. Kern recorded 13 tackles and two sacks and seemed to always be around any Marshall player holding the ball. The RedHawks did not win the game, falling 42-27, but they stayed competitive late in the game and Kern played a big role in it.