Week 4 College Football Players of the Week: Zaylin Wood magnificent as Middle Tennessee State mauls Miami in shocking win

Which playmakers impressed enough to be awarded Player of the Week honors following a wild Week 4 of college football action?

College football Week 4 somehow exceeded all expectations. Sensational storylines, unbelievable upsets, and incredible individual performances defined the weekend’s action. There were too many explosive offensive performances to mention them all, and narrowing them down — and the defensive standouts thwarting their efforts — was a herculean task.

However, we’ve picked out the star players for our Week 4 College Football Players of the Week, starting with a quarterback who has been much maligned but delivered in the biggest moment for his team.

Quarterback of the Week: DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson

Where have you been for two years, DJ Uiagalelei?! As Clemson battled, fought, and scraped their way past a Wake Forest team who were equal parts stubborn and sensational behind Sam Hartman, we finally saw glimpses of the Tigers quarterback that we’d been promised during his 2020 Trevor Lawrence duty of relief tour.

In the months that have passed since he tore apart Boston College and Notre Dame in that 2020 season, he’s been doubted and ridiculed, but at the biggest moment in Clemson’s season, Uiagalelei delivered.

Was it all pretty? No. Were there throws that Uiagalelei would want back? Sure. However, he delivered dime after dime, time after time, as the Clemson and Wake Forest offenses went back and forth in a 51-45 overtime showdown for the ages.

The Tigers QB ended the day with 375 passing yards and five touchdowns while adding 52 yards on the ground. His touchdown strike to Dennis Allen that won the game was just one of several beautiful throws that are worthy of a Quarterback of the Week performance.

Honorable mentions: Jalon Daniels, Kansas: 19/23, 325 passing yards, four touchdowns, 83 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown. Will Rogers, Mississippi State: 39/50, 409 passing yards, six touchdowns.

Offensive Player of the Week: Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

Blake Corum is simply too good to be denied Offensive Player of the Week honors after another sensational showing during college football Week 4. While he may not have replicated the program record-tying five touchdowns accomplishment of the previous week, Corum was commanding, with a consummate performance that was critical to the Wolverines continuing their unbeaten streak into October.

The Michigan running back rumbled for 30 carries, tallying 243 rushing yards while finding the end zone twice. Corum’s 33-yard touchdown run at the end of the second quarter gave Michigan an important psychological advantage heading into the half. Meanwhile, his 47-yard long run of the day broke the back of Maryland’s attempts to keep with the Wolverines, opening up an ultimately unassailable 34-19 lead.

With his cut-and-go explosiveness and long speed to rip off chunk plays for fun, Corum is shaping himself as one of the top-tier running backs in the nation. Despite some extremely impressive performances around the nation, he certainly earned the Offensive Player of the Week award in college football Week 4.

Honorable mentions: DJ England Chisolm, WR, MTSU: Two receptions, 169 receiving yards, two touchdowns. Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville: 186 passing yards, one touchdown, 113 rushing yards, three touchdowns. Foko Kokosioulis, WR, Fordham:13 receptions, 320 receiving yards, four touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Week: Zaylin Wood, DT, MTSU

Middle Tennessee State is the pin-up team for college football chaos. They were utterly dominated in their season opener against JMU, but they pulled off one of the biggest shocks in college football Week 4.

A 25.5-point underdog coming into the contest, they hurried, hustled, and harangued the Miami Hurricanes all night long and emerged with a memorable 45-31 victory.

6’1″, 270-pound tackle Zaylin Wood was the defensive architect of the Hurricanes’ downfall. His defensive mastery consistently caused misery for Miami and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke.

A first-quarter “Thicc Six,” where he disrupted Van Dyke’s passing lane, snagged the ball out of the sky, and rumbled home from 16 yards out was. It was the first touchdown of the game and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Wood also added two sacks to his résumé against the Hurricanes. Prior to college football Week 4, he’d only logged a half sack during his MTSU career. Impressively, the interception of Van Dyke was the second of his career.

Honorable mentions: Derick Hall, Auburn: Six tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries. Cooper DeJean, Iowa: Six tackles, one interception touchdown.

Special Teams Player of the Week: Andre Szmyt, K, Syracuse

Andre Szmyt turns 24 on Monday, and he gave himself an early birthday present while being the dominant force in Syracuse’s latest installment in their still undefeated college football campaign.

One of the most experienced kickers in the nation, he suffered some struggles last season, but he’s back to his imperious best. He’s on pace to add another Lou Groza Award to the one he received as a redshirt freshman in 2018.

After converting the extra point following Garrett Shrader’s 17-yard touchdown run — the only Syracuse touchdown of the day — Szmyt hit five consecutive field goals of differing lengths that included a 40-yard strike late in the third quarter.

When the pressure was at its greatest, the Syracuse kicker rose to the occasion, putting through a 31-yarder that sealed a 22-20 win over Virginia — the Orange’s fourth win of the season.

Honorable mentions: Tory Taylor, P, Iowa: Five punts, 51 long, four inside 20. Trey Wolff, K, Texas Tech: 3/3 field goals including the game-winner in OT, 4/4 extra points. Jaylon Jackson, KR, Eastern Michigan: two kick returns, 123 yards, one touchdown

Freshman Player of the Week: Jaydn Ott, RB, Cal

There must have been something in the water in the 2022 running back recruiting class. Week after week, we’ve seen standouts from multiple true freshman running backs who have come in and made an instant impact for their program.

In college football Week 4, it was the turn of Cal’s former four-star rusher Jaydn Ott to grab the attention and Freshman Player of the Week honors.

Ott obliterated an Arizona defense that has been susceptible to ground attack early this season. However, they’d only allowed four rushing touchdowns before college football Week 4.

The Cal running back almost doubled that total in just 60 minutes of scintillating running back brilliance. Ott rushed for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Those three scores included two 70+ yard runs that bookended the rest of the action from Memorial Stadium.

Honorable mention: Quinshon Judkins, RB, Ole Miss: 140 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns. 

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