Week 12 College Football Team of the Week: Spencer Rattler Makes History

The Week 12 College Football Team of the Week awards the top performances from all the FBS action across the nation, including Spencer Rattler's historic day.

The Week 12 College Football Team of the Week is here, as the college football schedule was in top form all week long. The Saturday noon slate kicked off the second-to-last regular season weekend with a bang, and the Pac-12 and Mountain West wrapped it up in style.

Week 12 College Football Team of the Week | First Team

It’s important to note that the PFN Week 12 College Football Team of the Week awards players based on their impact in their respective games and is not necessarily based on total statistical output.

The strength of competition is accounted for, as is the situation — both time of the game and score. These individual awards are also solely based on a player’s ability on Saturday and do not look into their future stock or NFL draft prospects.

Quarterback: Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

In what was South Carolina’s biggest SEC offensive output in some time, Spencer Rattler looked like his old self against Tennessee. South Carolina’s 63 points output went down as the most by an unranked opponent against a top-five team in the AP Poll since the poll’s inception in 1936.

You would have thought Rattler was the Heisman favorite, future No. 1 overall draft pick, and the one at the helm of a top-five team with how he outperformed Hendon Hooker and the Volunteers all night long.

Rattler finished the day throwing 30 for 37 and had 438 yards with six touchdowns. He was accurate to every level, throwing downfield darts and progressive-read throws at will. Some of his shots were to wide-open receivers, but others were thrown away from coverage or into holes in coverage that few quarterbacks could make.

It was a terrific reminder of the immense talent Rattler possesses.

Running Back: Bijan Robinson, Texas

In what was likely his penultimate college football game, Bijan Robinson dominated the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday. Robinson was unstoppable against Kansas, providing highlight-reel run after highlight-reel run.

Between the tackles or out in space, Robinson could do no wrong. He totaled 243 rushing yards on just 25 carries and scored four touchdowns. Every carry seemingly went for a first down or a touchdown when he touched the rock.

Robinson was at his best when the Longhorns needed him yet again. His likely last game will be next week against Baylor in his final game from DKR.

Running Back: Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

Running for more yards on the Iowa defense than their previous four opponents had combined, Mohamed Ibrahim single-handedly gave Minnesota a chance to win on Saturday. In total, Ibrahim ran for 263 yards on 39 carries in freezing temperatures.

For context, Iowa’s last four opponents ran for just 232 yards combined:

  • Ohio State: 66 yards
  • Wisconsin: 51 yards
  • Purdue: 87 yards
  • Northwestern: 18 yards

It also serves to mention that when Minnesota took to the air is ultimately where they lost, as the best player on the field was mitigated on passing attempts. Minnesota threw a costly interception despite Ibrahim’s success, and Iowa was able to kick a game-winning field goal after the interception.

Ibrahim now has run for over 100 yards in 19 straight and in every game since the calendar flipped to 2020. He has 1,524 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns this season and should absolutely be in the running for the Doak Walker Award come season’s end.

Wide Receiver: Odieu Hiliare, Bowling Green

Remember back on Tuesday night when Odieu Hiliare could do no wrong? The speedy senior carved out a place in Bowling Green history with his dramatic eight-catch, 246-yard, and two-touchdown performance against Toledo.

Hiliare made several memorable catches, including a one-handed reception that saw him break free and use his speed to beat the Toledo secondary on a 59-yard touchdown. He made the difficult look easy and used his separation skills both on his routes and after the catch to dominate the action.

Wide Receiver: Keanu Hill, BYU

Sure, the level of competition looked like it was inferior on paper. But when the whistle blew, Utah Tech really gave BYU all it had for the first 30 minutes. And in those 30 minutes, Keanu Hill took over.

In the first half alone, including two straight drives to close out the second quarter, Hill hauled in three receiving touchdowns, each of varying levels of difficulty. Hill’s route-running was on full display, as were his strong hands and dominance at the catch point.

For the game, Hill turned those three first-half touchdowns into a six-catch, 137-yard performance. Hill improved his career-high numbers on the season by nearly double with his dominant outing.

Wide Receiver: Antwane Wells Jr., South Carolina

It wasn’t just the final output, it was how Antwane Wells Jr. did it. In the blowout victory over Tennessee, Wells put on a show with 11 receptions and 177 yards. He also scored on a three-yard run that really showed off his speed and the total efficiency of the South Carolina offense at the same time.

Wells was a high-point machine, dominating Tennessee’s defensive backs at the catch point. He was also a terror after the catch, blowing past Volunteer defenders with his mix of elusiveness and speed. For a man who stands at 6’1″, 207 pounds, Wells moved like a slot receiver after the catch while looking like Randy Moss at the catch point.

Tight End: Ben Sinnott, Kansas State

It’s been an impressive two-week stretch for Kansas State’s offense and especially their tight end. In a blowout victory over West Virginia, Ben Sinnott hauled in three receptions for 85 yards, including a 15-yard score that opened the second quarter.

MORE: CFB Week 12 Players of the Week

Sinnott was terrific on the day in all facets, but his scoring play was brilliant. He fought through tight coverage, showed late hands at the catch point, and came down with essentially a one-handed score in the back of the end zone.

With this performance in hand, Kansas State is in line for a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game, as Sinnott has hauled in at least 85 yards in each of his last two games.

Flex: Raheim Sanders, Arkansas

It was a beatdown from the Arkansas Razorbacks against Ole Miss, and Raheim Sanders lived up to his nickname. Rocket was dominant against the Ole Miss defense, rushing for three scores and accumulating a total of 261 yards of offense.

Sanders ran for 232 yards on just 24 carries, averaging a whopping 9.6 yards per attempt, and chipped in with another five catches for 29 yards. His night could have been even bigger, but the offensive gameplan certainly changed once the Razorbacks went up 42-6 in the third quarter.

Nevertheless, Sanders lived up to the hype with his mix of speed, elusiveness, balance, and power through defenders.

Offensive Tackle: Isaiah Adams, Illinois

The Illinois Fighting Illini gave Michigan all it could handle. A massive reason for their success against Michigan’s stout defense was their massive tackle, Isaiah Adams. It didn’t matter the play call or the play side — Adams was routinely in the middle of the action or integral to the play’s success.

Adams was dominant in pass protection, setting, and keeping pickets clean for Tommy DeVito. But he was at his best on the ground, where he paved large rushing lanes for the Illini backfield. Adams was stellar all day long.

Guard: Mose Jeffery, Baylor

Filling in at left guard, Mose Jeffery made the most of his opportunity in the starting lineup for Baylor. The big man paved the way for impressive rushing lanes and was in lockstep with the rest of the stalwarts on the Baylor offensive line.

If this is how deep the Bears’ offensive line is, then this unit will once again give fits to Big 12 defensive lines in 2023 and beyond. Jeffery was awesome in all facets, but his run-blocking at the second level is what earned him the spot.

Center: Alan Ali, TCU

TCU’s offense came to play when it mattered the most, and they also heavily counted on their center Alan Ali. The former long-time SMU linemen paved the way for success in both facets, calling the shots for the Horned Frogs come-from-behind victory over Baylor.

With Ali paving the way, TCU gained nearly 450 yards of offense on a stout Bears’ defense.

Guard: D’Mitri Emmanuel, Florida State

In what continues to be a fabulous chance of pace for Florida State, their offensive line was once again dominant. Against Louisiana, D’Mitri Emmanuel had a strong outing.

He was terrific in all facets as FSU ran for 200 yards in yet another game. Emmanuel fired off the ball well and controlled the pace of the game for the Noles while the starters were in, which wasn’t long into the second half before they all got the day off.

Offensive Tackle: Broderick Jones, Georgia

Georgia’s offensive struggles certainly aren’t pinned to arguably their best offensive player: Broderick Jones. Against Kentucky, the big tackle was on another level, clearing rushing lanes, and keeping Stetson Bennett clean from pressure against a tough Kentucky front.

Jones was in top form, blocking a variety of pass rushers and clearing lanes on the ground despite just 16 points from UGA’s offense in total.

EDGE: Zach Harrison, Ohio State

The two-play series to end the game for Ohio State goes solely to Zach Harrison. And yet, that tells just a small fraction of Harrison’s impact against Maryland.

MORE: CFB Week 13 Power Rankings

Harrison finished the game with two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss, as both sacks came on the final two plays of the game. He slowplayed his dramatic impact when it mattered most, but he was still a true edge-setter all game long for OSU’s defense.

He forced a fumble that was recovered by Steele Chambers to give Ohio State a much more convincing final score, and by all accounts, that final score is perhaps how dominant Harrison was all game long.

EDGE: Brendan Mott, Kansas State

After a first-quarter firework show, the Kansas State and West Virginia game boiled down to one thing: Which defense was going to make the biggest adjustments? Well, it appeared that the answer to the question was clearly Kansas State.

The Wildcats won the game in convincing fashion, and it was Brendan Mott who kept WVU QB Garrett Greene on his heels all game long in his first start. Mott recorded three sacks and led all Kansas State tacklers with eight total tackles and five solo attempts.

Defensive Interior: Keion White, Georgia Tech

Securing a massive upset victory over No. 13-ranked North Carolina, it was the defensive doing as Keion White and the Yellow Jackets wrecked UNC’s outside hopes of a College Football Playoff berth and even a potential Heisman for Drake Maye.

White ripped through the UNC offensive line at will, bringing down three sacks on Maye. He also had a tackle for loss on a run play, giving him four total TFLs as he brought it in each facet for the Wramblin’ Wreck.

Defensive Interior: Jordan Kelley, Oklahoma

Dictating the pace from the jump, Jordan Kelley and the Oklahoma Sooners made their arch-rival uncomfortable all night long. Kelley led the way with two sacks against Oklahoma State as the Sooners held OSU to just 13 points and caused four turnovers.

Kelley was a pocket-pushing menace for the Sooners, consistently winning his reps against interior pass protectors. He also was on top of his game against the run, helping OU limit Oklahoma State to just 103 yards on the ground and just 2.9 yards per attempt.

Linebacker: John Marshall, Navy

The Saturday slate got kicked off early with the rare 11 am ET kickoff between Navy and UCF. And you didn’t have to wait very long to see one of the top linebacker performances of the weekend from John Marshall.

Keeping John Rhys Plumlee in check while adjusting to a new quarterback midway through the game is no easy feat for linebackers, but that’s just what Marshall did. In fact, Marshall may have actually gotten better as the game went on, as he recorded a whopping four sacks against UCF.

It was Marshall and the rest of the Midshipmen’s defensive prowess that propelled Navy to victory despite gaining just 248 yards of offense and not completing a single pass.

Linebacker: Xavier Cullens, Memphis

An absolutely dominant performance from a linebacker, Xavier ‘Zay’ Cullens put on a show for Memphis fans against North Alabama. Cullens recorded a fumble recovery and led the defense with 10 total tackles.

However, it was his savvy coverage that saw him make the biggest impact. Cullens returned a beautiful interception 54 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. He weaved his way around traffic to get to the end zone and leaped from the 5-yard line to get over the goal line, showcasing elite athleticism in the process.

Linebacker: Noah Sewell, Oregon

What happens when an unstoppable force takes the field against a … well, against anything? You get Noah Sewell and a dramatically emphatic performance against Utah; that’s what you get.

Sewell was simply the best player on the field for the Ducks when they were on defense, ripping his way through blockers for awesome tackles for loss, finding his way to defensive stops in run defense, or being a ballhawk off a tipped pass early in the third quarter to round out his ridiculous game.

He proved once and for all that he’s in the conversation for the top linebacker in the country and a lock for the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Cornerback: Benjamin Morrison, Notre Dame

You couldn’t see much by the end of the game but you could certainly see Benjamin Morrison all game long for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish cornerback recorded a whopping three interceptions against Boston College, dominating the action physically and athletically.

Morrison was perfect in coverage on the outing. He did his part in limiting BC’s offense to just 173 total yards of offense. He baited QB Emmett Morehead on one attempt and outmuscled his receivers on another. It was a terrific showing from a budding star at cornerback.

Cornerback: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State

Recording his record sixth interception returned for a touchdown, Emmanuel Forbes etched his name in the college football record books on Saturday. Forbes — who kicked his career off with a bang back in 2020 when he returned three interceptions for that season now has another three this year.

He took his latest pick-six back for 82 yards against East Tennessee State as the talented cornerback also chipped in in all facets before his day was done. Forbes is now the record-holder for most career interceptions returned for a touchdown in SEC and FBS history.

Defensive Back: Jaden Voisin, South Alabama

Leading the team in total tackles is one thing, but coming up clutch with your stops and takeaways is another. For a safety to do all of those things speaks volumes to his impact in a game, and that’s what Jaden Voisin did for South Alabama against Southern Miss.

Voisin led all tacklers with 17 total tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He nabbed an interception when Southern Miss was attempting to cross midfield on the opening drive of the second quarter, officially stealing momentum in the process.

South Alabama would outscore Southern Miss 14-10 following the interception as the Jaguars — led by the Voisin brothers — improved to 9-2 on the year.

Safety: Bennett Williams, Oregon

Oregon hung on and survived to defeat Utah late on Saturday night — or Sunday morning, depending on where you were watching it. They did so on the heels of a strong defensive performance as Bennett Williams powered the Ducks to victory.

On the evening, Williams totaled 13 tackles as he was terrific in each facet of play. He recorded two interceptions, each more significant than the other, as he stole the momentum and the Utah spirit with his second pick.

Up three points but down in momentum after throwing their own interception on offense, Williams stepped in front of a pass and a Cam Rising pass intended for TE Dalton Kincaid. It was Williams’ second of the day and the third off Rising as a team, but it meant so much more than just ticking a box in the score sheet.

Williams secured the fate of the Ducks by grabbing the ball and momentum back as Oregon was placed firmly on his back in this one.

Safety: JL Skinner, Boise State

The massive safety from Boise State propelled the Broncos into the Mountain West Championship Game with not one but two interceptions off Wyoming. Skinner — who stands at a massive 6’4″ — played brilliant coverage seemingly all game long and came up big in the clutch.

After his offense has gifted Wyoming a favorable field position for a potential game-tying field goal with under a minute left, Skinner played safe coverage against a deep route to the end zone. He was in the perfect position to make a play on the ball after the Wyoming receiver all but quit on the route.

Skinner’s second pick of the night pushed the Broncos into the MWC title game once again as the Broncos moved to a perfect 7-0 in Mountain West play.

Flex: Vince Sanford, Air Force

The race to be the best edge defender in the Mountain West is certainly going to have Vince Sanford in the conversation. Returning to his top form against Colorado State, Sanford recorded four sacks and five tackles for loss against the Rams.

MORE: PFN Mock Draft Simulator

Sanford, who had 9.5 sacks last year, pushed his season total to 5.5 sacks in 2022 after this dominant outing. No matter what CSU tried to do offensively, it was Sanford who changed their game plan or ultimately ended their drives.

In fact, it felt like Colorado State’s best offensive plays came when they were forced outside of the structure to play “backyard ball.” And you can bet the reason they were forced out of the structure was because of Sanford’s ability.

Kicker: Jake Moody, Michigan

For how cold it was in Ann Arbor, you would’ve thought Jake Moody indeed has ice in his veins for the Wolverines. Moody won the game for Michigan against Illinois — not quite in as dramatic fashion as TCU won their game — as he was automatic on the day.

Making all five of his kicks, Moody scored 13 of Michigan’s 19 points in the win against Illinois, and his game-winning field goal secured their 11-0 start. Moody kicked field goals of 33, 35, 41, and 46 yards, including three in the fourth quarter, the only fourth-quarter points this week.

Punter: Tory Taylor, Iowa

In true Iowa form, the Hawkeyes utilized their big leg to pin Minnesota back and keep points off the board. Tory Taylor punted it five times for Iowa, averaging just over 40 yards a boot but nailing four of those punts inside Minnesota’s 20-yard line.

Impressively enough, only one of Taylor’s punts led to points for the Gophers, as he truly did pin Minnesota and their chances back into unfavorable situations.

Kick Returner: Nicholas Singleton, Penn State

The true freshman sensation needed just one kick return attempt to get going against Rutgers. After the Scarlet Knights took a quick 3-0 lead, they kicked off back to Penn State and watched as Nicholas Singleton blew through their coverage unit for a 100-yard touchdown.

Singleton’s vision was elite on the kick return, but his ability to build up speed throughout the return was just as impressive. After Singleton’s return touchdown, Rutgers avoided him, and the Nittany Lions never looked back offensively.

Punt Returner: Eddie Lewis, Memphis

Against North Alabama, the Memphis Tigers showcased just how talented their team can be going forward. Eddie Lewis scored twice against UNA, returning a punt for a 60-yard touchdown that showcased most of his skills.

Lewis — who also caught a touchdown pass — weaved in and out of defenders and outran the punt coverage unit to the pylon for a touchdown that incited the rout.

Week 12 College Football Team of the Week | Second Team

Offense

  • QB: Caleb Williams, USC; Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
  • RB: Deneric Prince, Tulsa
  • RB: Kimani Vidal, Troy
  • WR: A.T. Perry, Wake Forest
  • WR: Jordan Moore, Duke
  • WR: Natniel Dell, Houston
  • TE: Michael Ezeike, UCLA
  • FLEX: Daejon Reynolds, Florida
  • OT: Connor Galvin, Baylor
  • G: Grant Miller, Baylor
  • C: Juice Scruggs, Penn State
  • G: Hunter Nourzad, Penn State
  • OT: Valentin Senn, UConn

Defense

  • EDGE: Isaac Ukwu, James Madison
  • EDGE: David Perales, Fresno State
  • IDL: Darius Hodges, Tulane
  • IDL: Ethan Downs, Oklahoma
  • LB: Jack Campbell, Iowa
  • LB: D.J. Lundy, Florida State
  • LB: Drew Sanders, Arkansas
  • DB: Clark Phillips III, Utah
  • DB: D.J. James, Auburn
  • DB: Brendon Harris, Wake Forest
  • DB: Daylan Carnell, Missouri
  • DB: Daniel Scott, Cal
  • FLEX: Brian Branch, Alabama

Special Teams

  • K: Griffen Kell, TCU
  • P: Jamieson Sheahan, Cal
  • KR: Jahwar Jordan, Louisville
  • KR: Jaylin Lucas, Indiana
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