The nation was treated — not tricked — to another weekend of top-notch college football on Saturday. The Georgia Bulldogs proved their dominance, while Oklahoma shook off some Kansas cobwebs. Here are the top performances from Week 9 action in our College Football Team of the Week.
College Football Team of the Week | Week 9
Halloween weekend proved to put the fear in some schools, while others braved scary conditions en route to victories. Some masks were revealed, and big brothers were beaten up by their little siblings. Which performances were the best of the weekend?
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: Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (FL)
Van Dyke? More like Van Dime. TVD was dealing for the Hurricanes in their upset victory over Pittsburgh. All told, Van Dyke completed 32-of-42 for 426 yards and 3 touchdowns. His best pass of the day was a throw glancing to his left that he perfectly layered past the closing defender for the go-ahead touchdown. Miami has their quarterback of the future it seems.
RB: Tyler Allgeier, BYU
If you stayed up to watch Tyler Allgeier run all over Virginia, you witnessed yet another dominant outing from one of the better stories of the college football season. Allgeier, who broke out last year, has become a household name in 2021. He helped power BYU to 66 points against Virginia and former BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, rushing for 5 touchdowns himself.
Allgeier ran the ball 29 times for 266 yards and even caught another 3 passes for 25 yards. His 9.2 yards per carry pushed his season average to 5.7 yards. He has now scored multiple touchdowns while averaging 6 yards per carry in back-to-back weeks.
RB: Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
Kenneth Walker III’s Heisman candidacy got a huge boost on Saturday. He was everything for the Spartans, rushing 23 times for 197 yards and 5 touchdowns. It was his play that sparked Sparty and ultimately gave Michigan State the game, as he scored all of MSU’s offensive touchdowns on the afternoon.
Walker now has carried the ball 175 times for 1,194 yards and 14 touchdowns. Powering the Michigan State offensive attack, he hasn’t even needed to add anything through the air. He’s been good enough on the ground to lead Michigan State to an 8-0 record.
WR: Nathaniel Dell, Houston
Nathaniel Dell and the Cougars haven’t dropped a game since their season-opening loss to Texas Tech, while they just handed SMU their first loss of the season in dramatic fashion on Saturday. “Tank” proved to be unstoppable through the air, hauling in 9 catches for 165 yards and 3 scores. While Marcus Jones gets a ton of notoriety for his game-winning kick return touchdown, Dell set the tone for Houston to have a lead for the majority of the game.
WR: Andrel Anthony, Michigan
The future at the wide receiver position for the Wolverines emerged in terrific fashion on Saturday. Despite the result, Andrel Anthony broke out to the tune of 6 receptions for 155 yards and 2 TDs. He hauled in a 93-yard touchdown in the first quarter and miraculously high-pointed the football for his second score. Making matters even better, he did it all in his hometown of East Lansing against MSU. In all likelihood, these kinds of performances will help lead Michigan to more victories.
WR: Bryce Ford-Wheaton, West Virginia
The catch of the weekend may even be the catch of the season — and we’ll always have Bryce Ford-Wheaton to thank for that. At full speed, Ford-Wheaton leaped for a pass in a place where only he could grab it, contorting his body in a fashion where he couldn’t even see the ground. Despite his speed, the awkward position of his body, and tight coverage, Ford-Wheaton somehow got his foot down for his second touchdown of the day.
Ford-Wheaton’s first score was nearly as good, but his highlight-reel play will be seen for years to come. He finished the day with 6 receptions for 106 yards and 2 TDs in the upset victory over Iowa State.
TE: Christian Sims, Bowling Green
Bowling Green put up 56 points on Buffalo on Saturday, and Christian Sims was certainly a huge reason why. He finished the day averaging 20.6 yards per catch, including an 81-yard touchdown that set the tone for the offensive onslaught. Sims had 5 receptions for 103 yards and 2 scores while also providing value for the Falcons’ rushing attack that averaged 8.2 yards per carry.
FLEX: Tavion Thomas, Utah
The second state of Utah running back to blow up in the late window on Saturday, Tavion Thomas’ emotional day against UCLA was not to be overlooked. On the day the Utes retired former RB Ty Jordan and DB Aaron Lowe’s No. 22 jersey, it was fitting that Thomas would dominate on the ground. Thomas scored 4 times and ran for 160 yards on 24 carries. Behind Thomas and an improved offensive line, the Utes are now in the driver’s seat for the Pac-12 South.
LT: Ikem Ekwonu, NC State
The late ACC game of the night was treated to a vintage Ikem Ekwonu performance. Making our Team of the Week with power in the passing game and mauling in the rushing game, Ekwonu demonstrated the skills that will ultimately make him a highly drafted NFL player next April. He helped create ample time for Devin Leary to dissect Louisville’s defense for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns in the victory.
LG: Xavier Newman-Johnson, Baylor
Xavier Newman-Johnson demonstrated near-perfect pulling for an offensive guard on the get-back-in-it Gerry Bohanon touchdown against Texas. On a classic pin-and-pull play, Newman-Johnson led the way to the second level for Bohanon to punch it in from 6 yards out to close the gap to 4 points. Newman-Johnson and Baylor’s offensive line did the rest in the second half, dominating on the way to a victory over Texas.
C: Brock Hoffman, Virginia Tech
The veteran Hokies offensive lineman helped guide Virginia Tech to a victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday. Despite jumping out to a quick lead, the Yellow Jackets closed the gap, and Virginia Tech needed a couple of game-sealing long drives down the stretch to close it out. Brock Hoffman was integral over the course of the game but especially down the stretch, paving the way in the running game to victory.
RG: Cain Madden, Notre Dame
The former Marshall lineman has made his name known on the national stage with yet another dominant outing for the Fighting Irish. Cain Madden is a physically imposing guard with terrific hands and speed for his size. Thanks to Madden, the Irish ran for 3 touchdowns and averaged 7 yards per carry against North Carolina.
RT: Campbell Barrington, BYU
The other Barrington brother, Campbell has been a revelation for the Cougars in 2021. With his brother Clark making our Second-Team offense below, Campbell was terrific in all facets for BYU on Saturday night. He dominated in pass protection but was routinely spotted reaching the second level and clearing lanes for Allgeier to have yet another career performance.
Kicker: Nick Rice, Old Dominion
ODU got the victory late over Louisiana Tech thanks to two fourth-quarter Nick Rice field goals. Rice had ice in his veins down the stretch as he nailed 2 field goals with fewer than two minutes remaining to give ODU the 23-20 victory. All told, Rice nailed all 5 of his kick attempts on the day: 3 field goals and 2 extra points.
QB: Caleb Williams, Oklahoma
RB: Keontay Ingram, USC
RB: Tyler Badie, Missouri
WR: Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
WR: Trevon Bradford, Oregon State
WR: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
TE: Peyton Hendershot, Indiana
FLEX: Kyren Williams, Notre Dame
LT: Bamidele Olaseni, Utah
LG: Zion Johnson, Boston College
C: Sincere Haynesworth, Tulane
RG: Clark Barrington, BYU
RT: Max Mitchell, Louisiana
Kicker: Bijan Nichols, Navy
Honorable Mention Offense
QB: Jaren Hall, BYU | Carson Strong, Nevada
RB: Sean Tucker, Syracuse
RB: Jordan Mims, Fresno State
WR: Ryan O’Keefe, UCF
WR: Winston Wright Jr., West Virginia
WR: Gary Bryant Jr., USC
TE: Alec Holler, UCF
FLEX: Tyrone Broden, Bowling Green
LT: Tyler Beach, Wisconsin
LG: Nick Ford, Utah
C: Zach Frazier, West Virginia
RG: Doug Nester, West Virginia
RT: Logan Bruss, Wisconsin
Kicker: Peyton Henry, Washington