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).

First-Team Defense for Week 10 in college football

Which defensive players made the first-team Team of the Week for Week 10? A few repeat performers return once again.

EDGE: Brock Martin, Oklahoma State

The entire Cowboys defense played incredibly well, but Brock Martin stole the show. He recorded a bevy of QB pressures, seemingly on every Jarret Doege dropback. Martin finished the dominant night with 2 sacks and 4 total tackles, 3 of which were for a loss.

DI: Dom Peterson, Nevada

At this point, we’ll just copy and paste the Team of the Week from the week prior, as long as Dom Peterson is on it. Once again, Peterson moved the pocket in the passing game and forced SJSU rushers to change their point of attack regularly in the rushing game.

Peterson finished the game with just 2 total tackles, but his influence in the game was unmatched.

DI: Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois

The Fighting Illini knocked off 20th-ranked Minnesota by dominating on the defensive side of the ball. While their offense attempted just 10 passes, Illinois’ defense limited Minnesota to just 289 yards and 6 points in the game. Newton was a pocket pusher and game wrecker in the run game.

EDGE: Will McDonald IV, Iowa State

In a marquee matchup against solid Texas tackles, Will McDonald IV won more often than not on Saturday night. He led the team in total tackles and recorded 2.5 sacks on the night. McDonald was a force and would have had several other plays had Hudson Card not been able to scramble away.

LB: Cam Bright, Pittsburgh

It took them a bit, but the Pittsburgh defense figured out the Duke offense en route to a victory. Cam Bright was a big reason for their success, recording 5 solo tackles and 2.5 sacks on the night. His perfectly-timed blitzes were beautiful, as was his ability to patrol the short area of the field in coverage.

LB: Ivan Pace Jr., Miami (OH)

Quite literally all over the field, Ivan Pace Jr. looked like a man possessed against Ohio. The result didn’t follow, but Pace looked like a world-beater for the Redhawks. He finished the game with 18 total tackles, including 2 sacks. It was reminiscent of his 5-sack game in 2019. That’s how dominant he was on Tuesday night.

LB: Devin Lloyd, Utah

In a dramatic pick-six moment, Devin Lloyd leaped into the passing lane against Stanford and nabbed an interception, needing just 2 yards to score a touchdown on the return. He was terrific throughout the whole game, but his interception was what highlight reels are made of.

CB: Steven Jones Jr., Appalachian State

Steven Jones Jr. single-handedly outscored Arkansas State on the night. He recorded 2 interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns in the opening and closing frames, respectively. Jones locked down one side of the field in one of the more dominant performances from a cornerback we’ve seen this season.

CB: Beanie Bishop, Western Kentucky

Beanie Bishop helped WKU pull away in the first quarter after MTSU scored the opening points of the game. With time waning in the opening frame, Bishop intercepted Nicholas Vattiato and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. That capped 21 unanswered points for the Hilltoppers en route to their fourth straight victory.

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Bishop added another interception in the game and recorded 2 total tackles as his 2-interception game was more than enough to warrant his spot on our Team of the Week.

CB: Jaylon Jones, Texas A&M

On back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter, Jaylon Jones came up big for the Aggies. At first, there was a perfect play in coverage on third down where he played the down marker and recorded a pass breakup. He then intercepted Bo Nix on the very next play on fourth down, all but ending the game for Auburn.

Jones recorded 4 total tackles, 2 pass breakups, and the interception as he was crucial to keeping Auburn out of the end zone all night long.

S: Cam’Ron Kelly, North Carolina

The Tar Heels, like most teams, struggled to stop the Wake Forest offense on Saturday. However, unlike all other eight teams that had played the Demon Deacons this season, UNC’s defense did just enough to win against Wake. Cam’Ron Kelly was integral in that, intercepting Sam Hartman twice, including the game-sealing pick in the fourth quarter.

S: Matthew Criddle, BYU

Matthew Criddle’s impact against Idaho State came early and often. It was the first pass attempt that he recorded a pass breakup. Then, it was the first drive of the third quarter that he intercepted a pass. He finished the game with 5 total tackles, including 3 solos, most of which felt like they came at or around the line of scrimmage.

FLEX: Javon Solomon, Troy

The Troy defense may be one of the best in the country, and Javon Solomon deserves praise as one of the best at his position. He was a true game-wrecker against South Alabama on Saturday afternoon.

Solomon recorded 2 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a bevy of other QB pressures. He constantly forced Desmond Trotter from the pocket and forced an errant throw that KJ Robertson intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Solomon is now tied for second nationally with 10 sacks.

Punter: Blake Hayes, Illinois

Blake Hayes earns his spot on the Team of the Week for his impressive performance against Minnesota. He solidified his spot after his “Breaking of the Oar” celebration in mocking Minnesota’s “Row the Boat” expression.

Celebration points aside, Hayes punted the ball 7 times for 306 yards, routinely pinning Minnesota back. Of those punts, 4 of them pinned the Gophers inside their own 20.

Second-Team Defense

EDGE: David Anenih, Houston
DI: Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State
DI: Elijah Morris, ECU
EDGE: Sam Williams, Ole Miss
LB: KJ Robertson, Troy
LB: Steele Chambers, Ohio State
LB: Chad Muma, Wyoming
CB: Theo Jackson, Tennessee
CB: Chase Lucas, Arizona State
CB: Kaonohi Kaniho, Boise State
S: Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State
S: AJ Finley, Ole Miss
FLEX: Marcus Jones, Houston
Punter: Matt Araiza, San Diego State

Honorable Mention Defense

EDGE: Byron Young, Tennessee
DI: Cory Durden, NC State
DI: Adin Huntington, Kent State
EDGE: Richard Jibunor, Troy
LB: Jaden Hunter, Western Kentucky
LB: Grant Morgan, Arkansas
LB: Tarique Barnes, Illinois
CB: Dorian Strong, Virginia Tech
CB: Cameron Jones, Army
CB: Berdale Robins, Nevada
S: JL Skinner, Boise State
S: Xavion Alford, USC
FLEX: Dane Belton, Iowa
Punter: Zach Harding, Army

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