Week 13 College Football Players of the Week: Sydney Brown, E.J. Warner Provide Brilliance During Rivalry Week

E.J. Warner dominated for Temple, Kai Kroger booted South Carolina into history, and Sydney Brown's performance leads our Week 13 College Football Players of the Week.

The Week 13 college football players of the week are a star-studded affair and a coming-of-age story as the regular season came to a close. With a plethora of options to choose from during College Football Week 13, this group of student-athletes dominated this week.

Week 13 College Football Players of the Week

Quarterback of the Week: E.J. Warner, Temple

A welcome change of pace for the Temple Owls, E.J. Warner has been a revelation this year. The true freshman quarterback became the first Temple quarterback to throw for over 500 yards in a single game, dishing for 527 against ECU on Saturday.

Though it was in defeat, Warner was dominant and found his receivers at every level of the field with ease. He was 45-of-63 for 527 yards and found four different receivers for five touchdowns.

MORE: Week 13 CFB Team of the Week

The future is bright for Warner — the son of NFL Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner — as he’ll enter the 2023 season with all kinds of hope after this performance.

Honorable Mentions: Caleb Williams, USC; Michael Penix Jr., Washington; Tyler Shough, Texas Tech; Riley Leonard, Duke; Frank Harris, UTSA

Offensive Player of the Week:  DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB

Setting a new UAB record for rushing yards in a game, DeWayne McBride needed just 16 carries to reach 272 yards against Louisiana Tech. McBride scored once on the ground but his average of 17.0 yards per carry is more than enough to carry him here.

On the same day that he set the school record for most yards in a game, McBride also set the school record for yards in a season. Not bad for a player who missed the season opener and played only 11 games in 2022.

Honorable Mentions: Keaton Mitchell, ECU; Kimani Vidal, Troy; Brad Roberts, Air Force; Lincoln Pare, Texas State; Donovan Edwards, Michigan

Defensive Player of the Week: Sydney Brown, S, Illinois

You don’t score two defensive touchdowns and not get named the Defensive Player of the Week in our books. And that’s just what Sydney Brown did.

Playing his final regular season game for the Illini, Brown recorded two defensive scores, on back-to-back drives, putting an emphatic exclamation mark on a dominant defensive display for Illinois.

Brown recorded a fumble recovery for a touchdown and made two interceptions, returning one of those for a touchdown. He also recorded six total tackles, including four solo stops as he was the best player on the field for one of the nation’s top defenses.

Honorable Mentions: Chris Chukwuneke, JMU; Jarrian Jones, Florida State; Reddy Steward, Troy; Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan

Special Teams Player of the Week: Kai Kroeger, South Carolina

Needing every one of his punts to help upset Clemson, Kai Kroeger was integral in South Carolina’s victory over their archrival. Kroeger booted the ball seven times for 376 yards and had a long of 63 yards.

But it was his five punts inside the Clemson 20-yard line that gives him the edge here. Kroeger was almost automatic in terms of pinning Clemson down deep as the Tigers just simply couldn’t move the ball after finding their way down on the scoreboard and backed up in their own territory.

Honorable Mentions: Griffen Kell, TCU; Nathaniel Dell, Houston; Dee Williams, Tennessee; Kenneth Almendares, Louisiana

Freshman of the Week: E.J. Warner, Temple

This one is a duplicate but in no way could Warner not get the top billing here as the top freshman. Warner threw for 527 yards and that gave him a whooping 3,028 yards for the season.

For a player that didn’t start the season as the clear-cut starter at quarterback, reaching the 3,000-yard plateau is a miraculous feat. He also threw for 18 touchdowns this year and had four games with multiple touchdowns.

Honorable Mentions: Connor Weigman, Texas A&M; Dane Key, Kentucky; Trevor Etienne, Florida

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