The Week 5 College Football Team of the Week is as dynamic as the college football action we saw on the field. With a bevy of remarkable contests in Week 5, this list aims to award the top performers at every position from across the slate of games at each level against any competition.
Week 5 College Football Team of the Week | First Team
It’s important to note that the PFN Week 5 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: Holton Ahlers, ECU
There were some impressive quarterback performances in Week 5. However, Holton Ahlers’ first half would have been good enough for him to land here as he tossed five first-half touchdowns en route to a 41-7 lead at the break.
Ahlers diced up the South Florida defense like swiss cheese, spotting his receivers left and right just as he did over the middle of the field. When it was all said and done, Ahlers threw for 465 yards and six touchdowns.
Running Back: Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
After multiple body blows, Jahmyr Gibbs found his stride against Arkansas. It was Gibbs’ consistent play that led to two long touchdown runs — 72 and 76 — that took the air out of the Razorbacks’ hopes.
Gibbs finished the day with 206 rushing yards and another 20 yards through the air. He was integral in keeping the Crimson Tide offense humming as Jalen Milroe got more comfortable in relief of an injured Bryce Young.
Running Back: Miyan Williams, Ohio State
Tying Ohio State history is one thing, doing it when you’re called into duty as the emergency starting running back is a feat in and of itself. Miyan Williams would likely start for well over 120 other FBS football programs, but he’s typically spelling TreVeyon Henderson in Columbus.
However, with Henderson out against Rutgers, it was Williams who ran for 189 yards and five touchdowns, the latter tying the record for most rushing touchdowns in a single game in Ohio State history. He was the first Buckeyes running back to accomplish the feat since 1984 and only the third person ever in the illustrious program’s history.
Wide Receiver: Xavier Worthy, Texas
It wasn’t just Xavier Worthy’s final statistical showing or his prowess on seemingly every target, it was how he came down with his receptions against West Virginia that landed him on our Team of the Week.
Worthy had a highlight-reel reception where he demonstrated some of the best concentration we’ve seen in some time, falling to his back in the end zone while adjusting to a ball that glanced off a defender’s hands.
Worthy finished with 119 yards and two touchdowns through the air but also threw for another touchdown on a reverse pass attempt to Jatavion Sanders.
Wide Receiver: Jacob Cowing, Arizona
In a record-setting performance, Jacob Cowing was the dominant receiver for Jayden de Laura’s dominant night for Arizona. While de Laura threw for six touchdowns, Cowing hauled in 12 receptions for 180 yards and a score.
Cowing was consistently open, using his route-running ability to create natural separation and also presented a catch-point threat. His transfer from UTEP has paid massive dividends this season for the Wildcats.
Wide Receiver: C.J. Johnson, ECU
Reaping the benefits of Ahlers’ big day, Johnson hauled in a whopping four receiving touchdowns. There wasn’t anything USF defenders could do to stop Johnson as he won all over the field.
It didn’t matter the level of the field or the velocity of the ball, Johnson was open and hauled in everything thrown his way against USF. He finished with 197 yards through the air on just seven receptions and four touchdowns.
Tight End: Luke Lachey, Iowa
It was an ugly performance for Iowa, for the most part. Except for tight end Luke Lachey that is. Lachey caught a seam route up the middle of the field as one of the biggest plays from Spencer Petras and the Iowa offense, one that gave them life and a chance to extend a drive that could’ve made it a one-possession game late in the second half.
Though that wasn’t to be, Lachey did get into the end zone later in the second half to make it more of a respectable final score.
Flex: Dante Cephas, Kent State
Dragging defenders — literally — to his spot on the Week 5 College Football Team of the Week, Dante Cephas simply went off against Ohio.
Cephas, who caught the would-be game-tying touchdown had he been able to drag the three defenders he was carrying for a mere half yard more, finished the day with 246 receiving yards.
He was exceptional all game long but put the Golden Flashes on his back in overtime.
Offensive Tackle: Bryson Broadway, Georgia State
Keeping his quarterback clean against a talented Army defensive front was the name of the game, and Bryson Broadway delivered.
Broadway had a terrific outing against the Black Knights in each facet. He was routinely spotted looking for second-level defenders to attack after creating massive rushing lanes off the left for the Panthers’ run game.
Guard: Steve Avila, TCU
Everything just went well for TCU on offense against Oklahoma. In that, Steve Avila had a bevy of highlight-reel moments both in the run game and in pass protection.
Avila was dominant at all levels and helped paved the way for a historic performance from TCU QB Max Duggan.
Center: Alex Philstrom, Illinois
Controlling the line of scrimmage on multiple occasions, Alex Philstrom was the pack leader for the Illinois offense.
They didn’t quite move the ball as well as they had in the first few weeks of the season, but Philstrom kept Tommy DeVito clean from interior pressure and paved the way for large rushing lanes against Wisconsin.
Guard: Emil Ekiyor Jr., Alabama
Seen road grading on multiple long runs for the Crimson Tide, Emil Ekiyor Jr. should certainly get credit for wearing out the Arkansas defense before breaking off multiple 70-yard runs.
It was Ekiyor’s block that sprung Gibbs on his 76-yard touchdown run, backing his man down before flipping hips and clearing the lane with ease.
Offensive Tackle: Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
Controlling his talented pass-rushing matchup, Jaelyn Duncan had a great showing in all facets. In particular, when matched up with Michigan State’s fabulous rusher Jacoby Windmon, Duncan held his own and kept Taulia Tagovailoa clean and upright.
Duncan was also on his game on the ground as the Terps ground out a big win against Michigan State.
EDGE: Jadrian Taylor, UTEP
It was Jadrian Taylor who scooped up a goal line fumble and rumbled and bumbled 100 yards for a scoop ‘n score touchdown for the Miners.
It was also Taylor who recorded a whopping three sacks on Chris Reynolds, single-handedly responsible for essentially ending multiple Charlotte drives.
Taylor capped his big night with the 100-yard touchdown as he was simply unstoppable for UTEP.
EDGE: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State
Speaking of unstoppable, Felix Anudike-Uzomah was back on his game against Texas Tech. Despite an offense that specializes in getting passes off quickly, Anudike-Uzomah led the charge to six total sacks.
Anudike-Uzomah had three sacks himself, rushing his way into the backfield more often than not. He was sound in the run game, but his biggest influence was in the passing game, where he dominated.
Defensive Interior: Brandon Dorlus, Oregon
Brandon Dorlus was too much for the interior of Stanford’s offensive line to handle. He rushed from all over the Oregon defensive front, but it didn’t matter where he lined up, Dorlus made an impact.
Big No. 3 whipped through the line multiple times and had a handful of quarterback pressures, including multiple sacks and pressuring Tanner McKee into bad decisions.
Defensive Interior: Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
The big man in the middle for Bowling Green had himself a day against Akron. Karl Brooks was too much to handle for the Zips, reaching 2.5 sacks and 3.5 total tackles for loss in the win. Brooks won with power and speed, as well as from a variety of alignments off BGSU’s defensive front.
He forced DJ Irons off his spot on multiple occasions, most of which led him into the awaiting arms of Brooks’ teammates or forced an errant decision that went the way of the Falcons all the same.
Linebacker: Steele Chambers, Ohio State
Against Rutgers, Steele Chambers put forth one of the more dominant linebacking performances of the season. Patrolling the middle of the field, Chambers wreaked havoc on the Scarlet Knights all game long.
Chambers reached 11 total tackles, eight of which were solo stops, as he ran the alley brilliantly and played with terrific sideline-to-sideline speed. Chambers capped his night with a highlight-reel interception that showcased his well-rounded versatility on defense.
Linebacker: Mohamoud Diabate, Utah
If the Utah Utes weren’t taking the ball away, you can bet Mohamoud Diabate was causing problems for Oregon State on Saturday.
Diabate finished with six tackles, four of which were behind the line of scrimmage as his high-level instincts were on display. Between Diabate and R.J. Hubert, the Oregon State offense had no chance in either facet of offense.
Linebacker: Max Tooley, BYU
It was Max Tooley that sparked the BYU Cougars once again back on Thursday night. Tooley jumped an underneath route against Utah State, returning it 34 yards for the touchdown that gave the Cougars their first lead of the game.
Tooley also recorded two tackles — a sack and a tackle for loss in the run game — that showcased his all-around talent.
Cornerback: Clark Phillips III, Utah
Quite literally taking the game away from Oregon State, Clark Phillips III put on a show for Utah on Saturday. Phillips got things started on defense for the Utes, snatching an interception in the first quarter off a brilliant read and running it back 38 yards for a touchdown.
He wasn’t done there as Phillips made two more terrific interceptions, each of which showcasing his ball skills and athleticism at the catch point. Phillips put his name on the map for the Thorpe Award with this performance.
Cornerback: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
Speaking of the Thorpe Award, Emmanuel Forbes recorded his fourth interception returned for a touchdown of his career and his 10th and 11th career interceptions against Texas A&M.
Forbes has oily hips and great instincts that allowed him the ability to find the football twice in coverage.
He also had a terrific special teams play, blocking a field goal with a swift inside move that was then returned for a touchdown that put the game out of reach for the Bulldogs.
Cornerback: Ridge Texada, North Texas
Get to know the name Ridge Texada. Perhaps one of the fastest players on the field, Texada put forth a dominant performance on Saturday against FAU. Texada came down with two interceptions, both of which had big returns to go along with them.
He stepped in front of a N’Kosi Perry pass midway through the second quarter and returned it 58 yards for a score before grabbing another and returning that 60 yards but not being able to reach the end zone for what would’ve been his second pick-six of the day.
Texada had a touchdown-saving tackle early in the game and a TFL in run defense that rounded out an incredibly impressive day.
Safety: Jason Taylor II, Oklahoma State
Showcasing range and brilliant eye discipline, Jason Taylor II all but ended the game for Baylor when he intercepted Blake Shapen in the fourth quarter.
Taylor read Shapen’s eyes the entire way and showed off his range in coverage as he patrolled from his safety position to the boundary before snatching the throw out of the air and getting his toes down in bounds.
Taylor played a pivotal role in keeping the Baylor offense off schedule as well, recording seven solo tackles, most of which came at or around the line of scrimmage.
Safety: Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State
The Penn State Nittany Lions got a big assist from the rain, taking the air out of Northwestern’s sails on Saturday. But when the Wildcats did go to the air, Ji’Ayir Brown made play after play.
Brown recorded an interception on a pass that sailed on Northwestern QB Ryan Hilinski, and he notched six total tackles and a tackle for loss in run defense, coming downhill incredibly well.
Flex: Cam Allen, Purdue
The Purdue defense really confused the Minnesota offense in Week 5. Entering the week as one of the most efficient offenses, Purdue really stymied the Minnesota attack, forcing multiple turnovers and keeping them to under 2.0 yards per carry on the ground.
When they did throw, Purdue intercepted Tanner Morgan three times, including a monster day from Cam Allen, who had two of the three interceptions. Allen roamed the field brilliantly and was johnny on the spot to overthrows or underthrows, stepping in front of both at will.
Kicker: Gavin Stewart, Georgia Tech
Scoring the majority of Georgia Tech’s points in a massive upset, Gavin Stewart had all of the Yellow Jackets’ points for the majority of the game against Pittsburgh.
Stewart connected on field goals of 30, 33, 37, and 40 yards away before Georgia Tech even got the ball into the end zone.
Stewart also knocked home both extra point attempts on the night, scoring 14 total points to almost outscoring their opponents entirely.
Punter: Jay Bramblett, LSU
With the offense struggling and the LSU Tigers’ win against Auburn largely carried by the defense, it was unsung hero Jay Bramblett that put them in a position to do so.
Bramblett was busy, punting the ball nine times, but it was his work at pinning the Auburn offense back with a redshirt-freshman quarterback that paid massive dividends.
In total, Bramblett knocked four inside the 20-yard line, including multiple that landed inside the five.
Kick Returner: Johnnie Lang, Arkansas State
Providing a massive spark to Arkansas State, it was Johnnie Lang’s 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the waning stages of the third quarter that also took the wind out of UL-Monroe’s sails at the same time.
Lang had three kick returns for 146 total yards and got in the end zone three total times for the Red Wolves (1 rushing touchdown, 1 receiving touchdown).
Punt Returner: Eric Garror, Louisiana
The Louisiana offense was largely shut down by South Alabama on Saturday, In fact, Eric Garror almost outgained the Louisiana passing attack with his punt return yards against the Jaguars.
In total, Garror had three punt returns for 80 yards, as it was his 69-yard punt return for a touchdown that initially gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a lead to start the game.
Week 5 College Football Team of the Week | Second Team
QB: Max Duggan, TCU; Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
RB: Latrele Palmer, James Madison
RB: Harrison Waylee, Northern Illinois; Marquez Cooper, Kent State
WR: Zay Flowers, Boston College
WR: Monaray Baldwin, Baylor
WR: David Cormier, Air Force
TE: Xavier Gravette, Coastal Carolina
FLEX: Dae Dae Hunter, Liberty; Sean Tucker, Syracuse
OT: Julian Pearl, Illinois
G: T.J. Bass, Oregon
C: Darrian Dalcourt, Alabama
G: Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
OT: Brandon Coleman, TCU
EDGE: BJ Ojulari, LSU
EDGE: Khalid Duke, Kansas State
IDL: Mike Morris, Michigan
IDL: Zaylin Wood, Middle Tennessee
LB: Jailin Walker, James Madison
LB: Dorian Williams, Tulane
LB: Shaka Heyward, Duke
CB: Gabe Taylor, Rice
CB: Jadon Canady, Tulane
CB: Steven Gilmore, Marshall
DB: Jay Ward, LSU
DB: Jaden Voisin, South Alabama
Flex: Jahmin Muse, Buffalo
K: Alex Raynor, Georgia Southern
P: Nick Haberer, Washington State
KR: Jaden Nixon, Oklahoma State
PR: Robert Ferrel, Washington State