College Football Team of the Week: Purdue QB Aidan O’Connell delivers against Michigan State

The Week 10 College Football Team of the Week showcases some dominant performances from a full week of action (and MACtion).

The college football weekend saw multiple top-10 teams fall while others survived. Michigan State and Wake Forest were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten while Cincinnati made a goal-line stand to preserve their likely jump in the College Football Playoff rankings. With these games in mind, here are the top performances from Week 10 in our College Football Team of the Week.

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College Football Team of the Week | Week 10

Midweek MACtion is in place here as well, so our Team of the Week may have a different feel all the way through November. With action as far back as Tuesday, some players may be “out of mind” due to their game time as we aim to highlight the best performances from the entire week of play.

Statistics matter, but so does the strength of the opponent, the time in which the player performed at his best, the individual players he went against, and where he won. For more specifics on the selections, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@CamMellor).

QB: Aidan O’Connell, Purdue

Aidan O’Connell was on point against Michigan State. Upsetting the third-ranked team in the country, O’Connell connected on 40-of-54 passing for 536 yards and 3 touchdowns. He didn’t throw a pick and led the Boilermakers to their second victory over a top-three ranked team in the country this season.

RB: Ty Chandler, North Carolina

The Tar Heels defeated Wake Forest in a shootout, thanks mainly to their efforts on the ground. While QB Sam Howell ran in 2 scores early, it was Ty Chandler who dominated down the stretch. He finished the game with 22 carries for 213 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Chandler’s 35-yard touchdown run on the very next play after a fourth-down stop by their defense iced the game for the Demon Deacons.

RB: DeWayne McBride, UAB

DeWayne McBride and the Blazers outlasted a pesky Louisiana Tech team, rushing for a whopping 7 touchdowns on the ground. McBride scored 4 of those touchdowns, needing just 14 carries to get the job done. He rushed for 210 yards against the Bulldogs, averaging a ridiculous 15 yards per carry.

WR: Trayvon Rudolph, Northern Illinois

Back on Wednesday night, Trayvon Rudolph did all he could to help the Huskies defeat Kent State. Northern Illinois may have come up short, but Rudolph sure didn’t. Despite the result, Rudolph was tremendously impressive against Kent State. He hauled in 14 receptions for 309 yards and 3 scores.

Rudolph was the catalyst to an early-game surge, hauling in touchdowns of 34, 36, and 75 yards in the game.

WR: Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Jahan Dotson‘s routes were as impressive as his final statistical line against Maryland. And that’s saying something after he hauled in 11 catches for 242 yards and 3 touchdowns. He became the focal point for Maryland to stop, but it didn’t matter. Dotson was truly unstoppable.

WR: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

Setting a program record with 15 receptions, Jaxon Smith-Njigba did all he could to make up for the loss of Garrett Wilson for Ohio State. He finished the game with 240 yards on those 15 catches, including a 75-yard score. Nebraska couldn’t do much to stop the rising Buckeyes star.

TE: Ryan Jones, East Carolina

The Pirates ran past Temple on Saturday, but before they took to the ground, it was Ryan Jones who dominated. Jones finished the game with 6 receptions for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Impressively, Jones got all this done in about 2.5 quarters worth of action, as the starters played very little in the second half. ECU’s starting offense only attempted 4 passes after the halftime break.

FLEX: Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State

The flex spot here was essentially created to showcase players like Deuce Vaughn. Against their in-state rival, the Wildcats completely overmatched the Jayhawks on Saturday, dispatching Kansas easily. Vaughn was the offensive focal point for Kansas State, accumulating 3 rushing touchdowns.

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In total, Vaughn had 11 carries for 162 yards and 3 scores on the ground, with another 5 receptions for 60 yards through the air. He is now averaging 141.9 all-purpose yards per game this season.

LT: Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

The big man on the left side for the Wolfpack dominated the action in Tallahassee against FSU. Ikem Ekwonu was a stalwart in pass protection and dominant in the rushing game. He kept Jermaine Johnson II quiet when they matched up and had a tackle on a once-promising interception return for FSU to boot.

LG: Josh Sills, Oklahoma State

The longtime Big 12 offensive lineman has continued his dominance in his second year with Oklahoma State. Josh Sills, who formerly played three seasons for West Virginia, was dominant against his former team. He paved clear rushing lanes while keeping the passing lanes clear as well. A terrific outing for a terrific story.

C: Ahofitu Maka, UTSA

There were several individual battles to watch during the UTSA-UTEP matchup late Saturday night. One of those battles was Ahofitu Maka against the interior defensive line of the Miners. Maka won this battle on multiple occasions but most noticeably on the game’s very first play, helping spark Sincere McCormick up the middle for a 75-yard touchdown run to open the game.

RG: Darrell Simmons Jr., Iowa State

The Cyclones dominated action late, thanks largely in part to their offensive line paving the way in the second half. Darrell Simmons Jr. and the rest of the line cleared the path for 2 second-half rushing touchdowns from Breece Hall as they upended Texas, handing the Longhorns their fourth straight loss.

RT: Braeden Daniels, Utah

It wasn’t hard to spot Braeden Daniels (or any member of the Utes’ offensive line for that matter) on Friday night. Daniels opened up huge rushing lanes for Utah RBs against Stanford and was great in pass protection, but they hardly needed to pass.

Utah averaged 9.6 yards per carry, and that only tells half the story. It felt like their ball carriers weren’t touched until they met the second level all night.

Kicker: Noah Ruggles, Ohio State

Nailing all 6 of his kicks, Noah Ruggles helped the Buckeyes over the hurdle that is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Ruggles drilled 2 field goals from 46 yards out and 2 more from 26 and 35 yards. He was perfect on the day, a day that the Ohio State offense was far from it.

Second-Team Offense

QB: Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (FL) | Brett Gabbert, Miami (OH)
RB: Travis Dye, Oregon
RB: Rachaad White, Arizona State
WR: Jack Sorenson, Miami OH
WR: David Bell, Purdue
WR: Deven Thompkins, Utah State
TE: Trent Pennix, NC State
FLEX: Tavion Thomas, Utah
LT: Greg Long, Purdue
LG: Nick Ford, Utah
C: Paul Maile, Utah
RG: Christian Mahogany, Boston College
RT: Jarrid Williams, Miami (FL)
Kicker: Jake Moody, Michigan

Honorable Mention Offense

QB: Chandler Morris, TCU | Dustin Crum, Kent State
RB: Sincere McCormick, UTSA
RB: Bryant Koback, Toledo
WR: Bryce Singleton, FIU
WR: Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky
WR: Matt Landers, Toledo
TE: Trey McBride, Colorado State
FLEX: Zakhari Franklin, UTSA
LT: Obinna Eze, TCU
LG: Josh Rivas, Kansas State
C: Manase Mose, North Texas
RG: Joe Tukuafu, BYU
RT: Aaron Frost, Nevada
Kicker: Brandon Talton, Nevada

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can find his writing here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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