Week 13 College Football Team of the Week: Michael Penix Jr. Dazzles in the Apple Cup

Michael Penix Jr. dazzled in the Apple Cup for Washington, giving him the headline in our Week 13 College Football Team of the Week following Rivalry Week.

The Week 13 College Football Team of the Week is here, as the college football regular season schedule came to a close. Rivalry Week gave us highs and lows all week long, and these are the best performances we saw.

Week 13 College Football Team of the Week | First Team

It’s important to note that the PFN Week 13 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: Michael Penix Jr., Washington

With his left arm doubling as a rocket launcher, Michael Penix Jr. put on a show for those who watched him close out Rivalry Week against Washington State. Penix finished his incredible season with the Huskies on a high note, winning the Apple Cup and throwing for 485 yards.

Penix was on fire all night long, dominating with both his arm and his legs. He scored five touchdowns — three through the air and two on the ground. Penix dished accurate passes to every level and was incredibly sharp, leading the nation’s top passing attack for one final time this regular season.

For the first time this season, Utah Ute fans were cheering on Penix harder than perhaps the Washington fans were, as his performance in the Huskies’ victory pushed the Utes into the Pac-12 Championship instead of Oregon. With so much riding on this game’s outcome, Penix’s big night was that much more impressive.

Running Back: DeWayne McBride, UAB

On a historic night, DeWayne McBride was simply unstoppable for UAB. The Blazers running back ran his way into the history books with a 16-carry, 272-yard performance against Louisiana Tech.

McBride finished the game with the program’s record for most yards in a single game and the UAB record for most yards in a single season at 1,588. He broke Jordan Howard’s previous record of 262 rushing yards in a game on just 16 carries, averaging a massive 17.0 yards per carry.

He’s a bruising back with deceptive top-end speed, and Louisiana Tech had no answer for him between the tackles or in the open field.

Running Back: Donovan Edwards, Michigan

The offensive outburst from the Michigan Wolverines all but ended Ohio State’s College Football Playoff chances, and every Donovan Edwards run took the collective air out of Ohio Stadium on Saturday.

Edwards totaled 216 yards on 22 carries with two long touchdowns on the afternoon, scoring both touchdowns with eight minutes or less on the board.

Edwards scooted in from 75 and 85 yards out, securing the victory for Michigan dominantly. The offensive line was key to his success, but Edwards’ ability to navigate the second and third levels, combined with his vision, speed, and elusiveness, were on full display.

Wide Receiver: Sahmir Hagans, Duke

Sure, Jalon Calhoun topped Sahmir Hagans in receptions and yards, but it was Haggins’ 20-yard touchdown (his second of the day) that was the game-winning touchdown for the Blue Devils. And that is enough to earn the honors here.

Hagans took a back-shoulder go-route at the goal line for the game-winning score, leaping with late hands and creating that natural separation at the catch point for the game-winning score.

Hagans also opened the scoring for Duke back in the second quarter with a 30-yard touchdown catch, giving him eight catches for 139 yards and two scores in the win.

Wide Receiver: Jared Wayne, Pittsburgh

The best receiving performance of the weekend was saved for last when Jared Wayne exploded on the Miami secondary. Pittsburgh handed it to Miami on Saturday night, and Wayne paved the way.

Hauling in 11 receptions and 199 yards, Wayne’s three touchdowns more than doubled his season total at the time. Wayne averaged 18.1 yards per catch, and the ridiculous outing gave him 1,006 yards for the season. He couldn’t be stopped by anyone in the Miami secondary.

Wide Receiver: Rashee Rice, SMU

Making the most of his targets, assisting a clearly-injured quarterback, and helping their backup quarterback, Rashee Rice was every bit as dependable as you would imagine against Memphis. Needing every one of his 13 receptions, Rice’s 147 yards paced the action in a dramatic victory for the Mustangs.

Rice’s biggest impact came on a corner route he tracked beautifully, creating natural separation at the catch point and fielding over his shoulder for a touchdown. That touchdown, his 10th on the season, looked incredibly easy to a layperson but, in reality, showcased what makes Rice such a special talent.

Tight End: Rivaldo Fairweather, FIU

What a dominant outing it was for Rivaldo Fairweather. The FIU tight end saw the biggest benefit from Haden Carlson’s passing attack, as he made the most of his targets.

Fairweather even had a moment that you may see on the next segment of “You Got Mossed” when he snatched a touchdown from the defender in dramatic style on a goal line fade. In total, Fairweather hauled in eight catches for 153 yards and three scores against Middle Tennessee,

Flex: Keaton Mitchell, ECU

Counting them up in a celebration for the ages, Keaton Mitchell scored four touchdowns in a wild outing against Temple. The ECU running back was a menace on the ground and through the air for the Pirates.

MORE: Week 13 CFB Players of the Week

He finished the game with 29 touches, 300 total yards of offense, and four touchdowns. Mitchell was disruptive on the ground with his vision and burst, as no one on Temple’s defense could catch him in the open field.

He had 27 carries for 222 yards and three of his scores while he hauled in a long receiving score, totaling two catches for 78 yards and his final score.

Offensive Tackle: Nick Kidwell, JMU

They started off slow, but Coastal Carolina couldn’t stop the James Madison offensive onslaught once they got rolling. JMU racked up 502 yards of offense and averaged 7.6 yards per play, cruising to a 47-7 victory over the Sun Belt East representative in the Sun Belt Championship Game.

Nick Kidwell was dominant for the Dukes, commanding the edge with his presence on the ground and keeping a clean pocket in the passing game. Kidwell was routinely seen flattening defenders at both the first and second level against a usually-dependable Chanticleers defense.

Guard: Brandon Kipper, Oregon State

In one of the wilder finishes in this rivalry game’s history, Oregon State overcame a large deficit to defeat their archrival Oregon Ducks. Brandon Kipper and the Beavers’ offensive line were imperative to their success, dictating the pace of the game and dominating the point of attack.

Beaver running backs had ample running lanes in their come-from-behind efforts and ultimately weren’t contacted until they were past the line of scrimmage when it mattered most.

Kipper’s right guard spot doubled up with Taliese Fuaga at right tackle to form a dominant side that head coach Jonathan Smith could depend on when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter.

Center: Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan

There hasn’t been a better center in college football this season than Olusegun Oluwatimi. On Saturday, Oluwatimi once again delivered for the Wolverines in the biggest game of his career.

In a dominant second half, Oluwatimi and Michigan literally ran over Ohio State. The Wolverines dominated the point of attack against the No. 2 Buckeyes, rushing for 252 yards and three scores.

MORE: Week 14 CFB Playoff Predictions

Oluwatimi was integral in the Wolverines’ success on the ground, commanding the first level of the Buckeyes’ defensive front. He also moved incredibly well, as usual, to the second level and beyond.

It was a master class for a player who should be in consideration for the best offensive player in the country.

Guard: Daniel King, Troy

Needing a spark in the second half to clinch their spot in the Sun Belt Championship Game, the Troy Trojans turned to the ground game. They also turned to the prowess of the right side of their offensive line, led by Daniel King at right guard.

King was a ferocious blocker, a true road grader for Kimani Vidal and the Trojans’ ground game. He helped seal blocks and move the point of attack far downfield. King was seen multiple times on top of defenders or turning Bulldog linebackers away from the play side in a terrific outing.

Offensive Tackle: Kadeem Telfort, UAB

Consistently moving the point of attack, Kadeem Telfort and the entire UAB offensive line were on fire against Louisiana Tech. While the offensive line was great in pass protection, the bread and butter of their dominant outing was their performance on the ground.

Telfort, in particular, was always on the move, looking for work. When he did find work, he was sealing big gaps for McBride or Jermaine Brown to run through. When it was all said and done, UAB ran for 406 on the ground and nearly averaged 10 yards per carry.

EDGE: Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan

It was a dominant effort back on Friday night for the Shrine Bowl-bound Jose Ramirez. The Eastern Michigan pass rusher was dominant against Central Michigan, setting the edge and keeping contain on the talented Bert Emanuel Jr. as much as any other defense has this season.

Ramirez ripped through for three sacks and was integral in forcing errant throws that ultimately led to interceptions. EMU had three interceptions and held CMU to just 68 yards passing, mainly due to the immense amount of pressure Ramirez and Co. provided.

EDGE: Koby Cumberlander, Marshall

What a way to end the season for the super-senior as Koby Cumberlander ripped through the Georgia State offensive line for three sacks. Cumberlander was a menace for the Panthers to contend with, finishing with five solo tackles and a handful of more pressures that ultimately led to seven total sacks for Marshall.

He was unblockable at times and disposed of any pass blocker they put in front of him in the victory. Cumberlander was also great in pursuit of the ball carriers in the ground game, as Marshall held Georgia State to just 1.7 yards per carry.

Defensive Interior: Lazarus Williams, New Mexico State

It was perhaps the performance of the season for the entire New Mexico State team, and Lazarus Williams led the defensive charge. Keeping the Liberty offensive attack completely at bay, Williams constantly pushed the pocket from the inside, doing so from a multitude of alignments.

Williams finished with 2.5 sacks and four tackles in a pocket-pushing performance for the ages.

Defensive Interior: Anthony Booker Jr., Maryland

Making his name known to the entire state of New Jersey, Anthony Booker Jr. was dominant when he was on the field for Maryland. The big man in the middle recorded the game’s first big play when he collapsed the pocket from the inside and recorded a sack on Rutgers QB Gavin Wimsatt.

Booker followed that up with an impressive tackle for loss in run pursuit on a fourth-down stop. He recorded two tackles for loss and the sack in a dominant first half, as he was immovable and crashed the pocket on multiple occasions.

Collectively, Booker helped Maryland’s defense limit Rutgers to just 135 total yards of offense.

Linebacker: KD Davis, North Texas

Calling game, KD Davis recorded the play of the day for North Texas when he intercepted Rice QB AJ Padgett in the waning stages of the fourth quarter.

The game-sealing interception propelled North Texas into the Conference-USA Championship Game against UTSA as the Mean Green needed all 13 of Davis’ tackles as well.

Davis was a man on a mission against Rice, single-handedly affecting the game plan with his prowess against both the run and the pass. He finished with 13 total tackles, a run stop, a hurry, and the game-winning interception.

Linebacker: Lee Kpogba, West Virginia

Sometimes, a linebacker’s value to his defense goes far beyond the stat sheet. For Lee Kpogba, that was the case against Oklahoma State. And yet, his statistical outing looks impressive enough.

Kpogba recorded a game-high 13 total tackles, including seven solo tackles, 1.5 sacks, and two total tackles for loss. Except for Kpogba, he also far exceeded that statistical production.

Flying to the football and altering the point of attack on the ground, Kpogba kept Oklahoma State’s rushing attack at bay all game long. He also patrolled the underneath passing lanes well and reached home to Garrett Greene on multiple blitz attempts.

Cornerback: Jarrian Jones, Florida State

It was a career resurgence for Jarrian Jones against Florida. The FSU cornerback had himself a day for the Seminoles, reeling in an impressive interception to go with a couple of defensive stops.

On a throw glancing to his opposite side from Anthony Richardson, Jones made the veteran decision to undercut the route by the tight end brilliantly. He stepped in front of the pass with incredible quicks and made the dramatic interception that thwarted a Florida drive.

Jones was also in on several other plays, making another pass breakup in the red zone in what was the best performance in a long time for Jones.

Cornerback: Reddy Steward, Troy

Sparking his team in what was a one-point game at the time, Reddy Steward’s biggest play of the season came at the perfect time for Troy. Steward read a hitch route brilliantly from the opposite hash and jumped in front of the long throw with speed and quickness.

His reaction speed was so on point that he looked more like the receiver than the intended Arkansas State player was, and as such, he took the interception back 67 yards for a touchdown.

He also had another interception and finished a dominant, lockdown performance in every facet, with a pass breakup to boot.

Defensive Back: Jakobe Thomas, Middle Tennessee

At the end of every season, you can find diamonds in the rough. Players that give hope for the future. Athletes that you can sink your hope into for a brighter tomorrow at your favorite program.

Well, Middle Tennessee fans, get ready to know and root for Jakobe Thomas in the secondary. Intercepting two passes and returning one for a touchdown against FIU, Thomas made his presence known in a big way.

He had flashed a ton of potential earlier in the season, but Thomas’ two-interception game saw him return one for a 28-yard touchdown that became the game-winner for the Blue Raiders.

Defensive Back: Sydney Brown, Illinois

On an afternoon when the Illinois defense asserted its will, Sydney Brown led the Fighting Illini’s incredible defensive effort against Northwestern. Brown picked off two passes of his own and scored two defensive touchdowns in a career-stamping performance for the longtime Illini defender.

First, Brown was in perfect position on a safety blitz that forced an errant handoff in the backfield. He scooped up the mishandled read-option play and scooted 53 yards for a fumble return touchdown.

But Brown wasn’t done, recording a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown on Northwestern’s next drive. The interceptions were the fifth and sixth of his season and gave him 10 career interceptions for Illinois.

Safety: Seyi Oladipo, Boise State

It was always going to be hard for a safety to top what Seyi Oladipo did on Friday night for Boise State. The sophomore finished a career performance against Utah State with a season-high nine total tackles, seven of which were solo stops.

Oladipo, playing extended minutes following JL Skinner’s ejection, made his presence felt in more ways than that. He stepped in front of a Cooper Legas pass for an interception that he returned 48 yards in the game’s waning moments that iced the game and secured the cover for Boise State.

Safety: Johnathan Baldwin, UNLV

Flying all over the field for the Rebels, Johnathan Baldwin ultimately won the game for UNLV on Saturday night from Allegiant Stadium. With the game on the line in the final seconds, Baldwin’s pass breakup sealed the 27-22 victory for the Rebels.

But that wasn’t his first play of the night, as Baldwin had recorded an interception and eight total tackles on the night. He made two breakups on the night, his final play being the most impressive as it meant the most for a UNLV team that ended their 2022 season on a high note and snapped a six-game losing streak.

Flex: Chris Chukwuneke, JMU

Defining why the flex position on defense is here, Chris Chukwuneke was all over the field for the Dukes on Saturday. Playing JMU’s rover position, Chukwuneke was unstoppable against Coastal Carolina’s unique offense.

MORE: Week 14 CFB Power Rankings

Chukwuneke recorded eight total tackles, including five solo stops, as he was able to set the edge and patrol the underneath area of the field brilliantly. He was also a force in every other facet, playing well in coverage against a talented Coastal tight end room, recovering a crucial fumble, and recording a sack on a blitz.

It was the finest performance to date for an emerging star on the Dukes’ defense, that will return with high hopes in 2023.

Kicker: Griffen Kell, TCU

A perfect 10-of-10 on his kicks against Iowa State, Griffen Kell once again made headlines this weekend. After nailing the kick heard around the world last week that saved TCU’s perfect season, Kell was perfect once again.

He made all eight of his extra point attempts and was true from both 36 and 54 yards out on field goals.

Punter: Kai Kroeger, South Carolina

Impressively, Kai Kroeger finished South Carolina’s upset bid against Clemson as one of the team’s most valuable players. Kroeger made multiple highlight-reel punts within the upset win, including five that pinned Clemson back inside their 20-yard line.

He skied punts left and right and didn’t allow much on punt returns except for one long return that the South Carolina coverage team punched out. In total, Kroeger’s ball placement gave the Tigers long fields all game long, and they couldn’t overcome them as he punted seven times for a whopping 376 yards.

Kick Returner: Jsi Hatfield, ECU

Though it was lost in the chaos that was the second half, Jsi Hatfield’s 97-yard kickoff return touchdown in the second quarter stole momentum back from Louisiana in a key moment.

After Temple had taken the lead with a 40-yard touchdown pass, Hatfield weaved in and out and outran the coverage unit for an impressive 97-yard touchdown that gave the Pirates the lead back.

Hatfield had another long return as well, fielding two kicks for a total of 140 yards on the afternoon.

Punt Returner: Nathaniel Dell, Houston

On one of the most impressive punt returns of the season, Nathaniel “Tank” Dell provided much-needed fireworks for the Houston Cougars. Dell fielded a punt with a defender in his face, took a quick sidestep, and meticulously weaved his way through the Tulsa punt coverage team.

He flashed snappy moves, all the quickness, and the long-field speed that makes Dell such a talented player. It led to a 68-yard punt return touchdown. Oh, and Dell also hauled in nine receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Week 13 College Football Team of the Week | Second Team

Offense

  • QB: Caleb Williams, USC; E.J. Warner, Temple
  • RB: Michael Wiley, Arizona
  • RB: Bijan Robinson, Texas
  • WR: Rome Odunze, Washington
  • WR: Trey Palmer, Nebraska
  • WR: JuanCarlos Santana, Tulsa
  • TE: Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota
  • FLEX: Diego Pavia, New Mexico State
  • OT: Roger Rosengarten, Washington
  • G: Cole Potts, JMU
  • C: Jake Andrews, Troy
  • G: Jaxson Kirkland, Washington
  • OT: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

Defense

  • EDGE: Viliami Fehoko, San Jose State
  • EDGE: Dayon Hayes, Pittsburgh
  • IDL: Jamare Edwards, JMU
  • IDL: Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
  • LB: Dorian Williams, Tulane
  • LB: Ryan Selig, Western Michigan
  • LB: Chase Wilson, Colorado State
  • DB: Tariq Drake, Ohio
  • DB: Corey Trice, Purdue
  • DB: Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
  • DB: Tyson Durant, Akron
  • DB: Josh Newton, TCU
  • FLEX: Millard Bradford, TCU

Special Teams

  • K: Kenneth Almendares, Louisiana
  • P: Dom Dzioban, Miami (OH)
  • KR: Malik Knowles, Kansas State
  • KR: Dee Williams, Tennessee
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