Week 6 College Football Team of the Week: Israel Abanikanda, Quinyon Mitchell Make History

Week 6 College Football Team of the Week: Israel Abanikanda, Quinyon Mitchell Make History

The Week 6 College Football Team of the Week is here as the college football schedule treated fans with a terrific set of games all weekend. With a bevy of remarkable contests in Week 6, this list aims to award the top performers at every position from across the slate of games at each level against any competition.

Week 6 College Football Team of the Week | First Team

It’s important to note that the PFN Week 6 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: C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

In a lights-out performance, C.J. Stroud finished with 361 passing yards and six touchdowns. He joined Drew Brees as the only Big Ten quarterbacks to have at least five passing touchdowns against the same team after he threw for 432 and six touchdowns against Michigan State last season. Stroud was nearly perfect on the afternoon despite a lone interception that was clearly a miscommunication between him and his receiver

Throwing receivers open at will, Stroud dotted the field with power, accuracy, and anticipation. His understanding of coverages and layering on his passes paved the way for yet another example of what makes Stroud a future high draft pick and potential Heisman Trophy winner this season.

Running Back: Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh

It was a performance that bested the best Pittsburgh AND the top ACC single-game rushing performance in history. Israel Abanikanda toted the rock 36 times against Virginia Tech and somehow still averaged 8.9 yards per carry by reaching 320 rushing yards.

Abanikanda was unstoppable as he used clean vision, patience, and burst to get through the line. He didn’t go down from any arm tackle and forced missed tackles at will.

His historic day also saw him run for six touchdowns and even chip in the all-purpose yards with a 24-yard kick return to boot. In the last 25 years, only LaDanian Tomlinson and Ricky Williams ran for over 300 yards and six touchdowns for a Power Five team.

Running Back: Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

Rumbling, bumbling, and doing anything but stumbling, Zach Charbonnet was integral in UCLA’s victory over Utah. When the Bruins needed a play, they turned to Charbonnet.

His straight-up running style was too much for the Utes to handle as he bounced off contact and used his balance to make the most out of every run. In total, Charbonnet finished with 22 carries, 198 yards, and a touchdown.

Wide Receiver: Quentin Johnston, TCU

Showcasing some elite-level skills, Quentin Johnston could not be contained by Kansas on Saturday. Johnston finished with 14 receptions for 206 yards and a touchdown, the latter being one of the top plays of the weekend.

With incredible body control and shiftiness for a man his size, Johnston was simply unstoppable as the Horned Frogs spoiled Kansas’ 2022 season.

Wide Receiver: Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss

Despite being down at halftime, the Ole Miss offense came roaring back in the second half, largely thanks to Jonathan Mingo. Ripping off an amazing 247 yards on just nine catches, Mingo scored twice and took the top off the Vanderbilt defense in the second half en route to victory.

Mingo’s speed and graceful nature in which he runs by defenders were on display, as were his route-running skills against the Commodores.

Wide Receiver: Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

With his third three-touchdown game in Ohio State’s last seven outings, Marvin Harrison Jr. has officially become a household name. Harrison Jr. utilized what makes him such a special player on multiple plays against Michigan State.

MORE: CFB Week 6 Players of the Week

Whether it was his incredible body control at the sidelines or his dominant ability at the catch point, Harrison Jr. wowed. He finished with seven catches for 131 yards and three scores.

Tight End: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

It was a dominant first-half performance for Michael Mayer. The big man from Notre Dame was too much for the BYU defense to handle throughout the game, and his hot first half led to 11 receptions, 118 yards, and two touchdowns.

Mayer was tough to bring down and was the safety valve for Drew Pyne, as his situational awareness saw him find soft spots in coverage. He was a factor in the passing game, and all the attention BYU paid his way paved the way for an impressive rushing display from their backs.

Flex: Daba Fofana, Navy

Having scored just 53 total points before this weekend, the Navy offense exploded for 53 points against Tulsa alone. Daba Fofana was a bully up the middle for the Midshipmen, breaking free multiple times.

As the game wore on, the stronger Fofana ran, and the more tired Tulsa’s defense got. In total, it led to 21 carries for 159 yards and three touchdowns, all of which stand as career-high marks for Fofana.

Offensive Tackle: Marcellus Johnson, Eastern Michigan

The Eastern Michigan offense was humming against Western Michigan on Saturday. Taylor Powell had clean pocket after clean pocket, and EMU running backs hardly were touched until well after the line of scrimmage.

Thanks largely to Marcellus Johnson’s efforts, the offensive line was dominant for the Eagles on Saturday. Johnson was routinely seen downfield in the run game or anchoring in pass protection. He was dominant against a skilled front WMU put on the field.

Guard: Marcus Minor, Pittsburgh

Abanikanda’s career day couldn’t have been done without some sound blocking, and Marcus Minor was the finest of the bunch in front of him. Minor utilized his athleticism to get out in front of Abanikanda at times while he secured the point of attack with front-side slide blocks just as well. Minor moved well and was dominant at both the first and second level against Virginia Tech.

Center: Zeke Correll, Notre Dame

The combination of Zeke Correll and left guard Jarrett Patterson routinely controlled the line of scrimmage for the Fighting Irish. Against BYU, Correll was impressive, firing off the line of scrimmage with a controlled dominance.

He moved well in Notre Dame’s outside-zone rushing attack and was sound in pass protection. BYU got very few pressures, if any, and was held without a sack because of Correll’s efforts.

Guard: Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame

Patterson was completely dominant on the move for the Fighting Irish. Like his teammate at center, Patterson had quite a strong performance when he got out in front of the Irish’s rushing attack. Patterson also had a dominant day in pass protection, but it was his reps in the running game that ultimately sealed the deal for the Notre Dame victory.

Offensive Tackle: Christian Jones, Texas

First-level dominance is one thing but hunting for victories at the second level is another thing. Christian Jones not only went second-level hunting, but he also bagged himself some Sooners in the process.

Jones was one of the more impressive players on the field for Texas’ offense that shut out Oklahoma 49-0. He was great in pass protection but certainly at his best on the move for his backs, searching for work, and getting home with some dramatic pancake blocks on multiple occasions in the Red River Showdown.

EDGE: Brock Martin, Oklahoma State

There isn’t much that Brock Martin hasn’t seen on a football field. The five-year veteran Oklahoma State defensive lineman was terrific in the Cowboys’ pass-rushing rotation.

Martin ripped his way through the offensive line to the tune of two sacks and two more hurries. But it was his savvy IQ plays that saw him keep Behren Morton and Donovan Smith inside on RPO attempts, bringing down both quarterbacks on different occasions for a loss or no gain.

Martin’s athleticism and wrestling background were on display as he won quickly and disrupted the point of attack on multiple plays.

EDGE: Jose Ramirez, Eastern Michigan

Bringing the noise on seemingly every play, Jose Ramirez put forth a dominant effort with four sacks against Western Michigan. Ramirez won with speed just as he won with power, backing down his tackles or running right around them.

His high motor was on display as he crushed through the line and consistently pushed the pocket, even if he didn’t get a sack. Ramirez did the majority of this damage on just three-man rushes, making the final numbers of four sacks and six total tackles that much more impressive.

Defensive Interior: Michael Hall Jr., Ohio State

With a heavy motor and a bad attitude, Michael Hall Jr. is not the interior defender you want to see coming at you if you’re an opposing quarterback. Hall Jr. recorded 2.5 sacks as he consistently pushed the pocket and freed up favorable pass-rushing matchups for his edge defenders.

He finished at the quarterback and utilized some savvy football knowledge, peeling off one pass-rushing snap in the third quarter and clogging the middle of the pocket, not allowing Payton Thorne any room for one of his sacks.

Defensive Interior: Tuli Tuipulotu, USC

Rushing a ton from the edge, Tuli Tuipulotu is still one of our interior defensive linemen of the weekend because of his natural alignment. Against Washington State, he lined up off the tackles on multiple splash plays and back inside all the same, making play after play.

Tuipulotu ripped through for three sacks, four total tackles for loss, and a handful more QB hurries in a dominant outing.

Linebacker: Darius Muasau, UCLA

Showcasing how difficult it is to move the ball against the UCLA defense, the Utah Utes were stymied for the most part on Saturday.

Darius Muasau kicked off the UCLA victory with an impressive play in coverage, dropping back inside of UCLA’s Tampa-2 scheme, feigning his intended direction, and fooling Utah QB Cam Rising into throwing the wrong football.

Muasau intercepted Rising with a savvy football play, and he was everywhere else on the field, finishing with eight total tackles and the interception.

Linebacker: Cole Pearce, Ball State

Making play after play, Cole Pearce made his name known to the MAC on Saturday. Pearce ripped off blockers in the run game to secure several stops. He was also impressive in patrolling the flats, making multiple tackles in pursuit against the Chippewas’ short-area passing attack.

Keeping CMU QB Daniel Richardson off his game is no easy task, but Pearce and the Ball State linebacker corps each did it with great success, limiting Richardson to a sub-50% completion percentage en route to the victory.

Linebacker: Ryan Smenda Jr., Wake Forest

It wasn’t quite the barnburner that their contest was last year, but Wake Forest came out victorious against Army once again.

Stuffing the Army rushing attack, Ryan Smenda Jr. and the Demon Deacons played sound defense against the Black Knights and limited Army to just 4.3 yards per carry and no rush longer than 25 yards all game long.

Smenda Jr. finished with 12 total tackles, most of which came as a stop or a tackle that kept the offense out of a favorable down-and-distance on their next play.

Cornerback: Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Quinyon Mitchell had a defensive performance for the ages and the best individual defensive performance we’ve seen in 2022. Mitchell was on fire in coverage, jumping passes before they reached their intended target and pulling passes away from the receiver just the same.

His anticipation of NIU QB Ethan Hampton saw him jump multiple routes as he finished the dominant day with a whopping four interceptions, two of which he returned for a touchdown.

Mitchell wasn’t avoided in coverage, and he made the Huskies pay with one of the top performances from a cornerback in years.

Cornerback: Jordan Clark, Arizona State

Getting the luck of a bounce at one point, Jordan Clark returned a Michael Penix Jr. throw for a touchdown that helped spark the upset by Arizona State.

Penix hit his guard’s helmet with a throw, vaulting the ball up into the sky and ultimately into the waiting arms of Clark, who returned it for six points the other way.

Clark finished the day with the pick-six and a whopping nine solo tackles, as he was a constant force in both facets of the game.

Cornerback: Jaydon Hill, Florida

The Florida offense needed a spark, and they certainly got one from Jaydon Hill against Missouri. Hill recorded two interceptions off Brady Cook, returning one of them 49 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

Hill sealed the dominant performance with a second pick as he was hard to complete anything on in coverage. His anticipation and closing burst were on display all throughout the contest.

Safety: Macon Clark, Tulane

After exploding for six touchdowns and over 450 yards last week, ECU QB Holton Ahlers was held under 300 yards and with just one touchdown through the air against Tulane.

Pivotal to Tulane’s success in coverage was Macon Clark, their free-ranging safety/slot hybrid who roams the field with reckless abandon. Clark smashes any receiver in his area and shortens the game for opposing offenses with his violence over the middle of the field.

Yet, he’s calculated and controls his angles brilliantly. Clark was integral in the Green Wave’s defense, keeping ECU at bay with his nine total tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception.

Safety: Kamo’i Latu, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin defense got back on track, fittingly, in Jim Leonhard’s debut as the Badgers’ interim head coach. Kamo’i Latu intercepted Northwestern QB Ryan Hilinski two times, setting up the Badgers with short fields that they would indeed capitalize on.

Latu was sound all afternoon in coverage, making multiple plays on the ball and recording three solo tackles as well.

In total, Wisconsin limited Northwestern to 79 yards rushing and 263 yards passing, the majority of those coming in garbage time after the game was well out of reach.

Flex: Tory Spears, Texas State

It was Tory Spears who sparked one of the bigger upsets of Week 6 as he intercepted Appalachian State QB Chase Brice and sprinted down the sidelines for a 94-yard interception return for a touchdown.

And it was Spears who led the game with a whopping 10 solo tackles as he bent but didn’t break in coverage nor in run defense.

Spears and the Texas State Bobcats upended App State as they kept everything in front of them and played sound assignment football against the Mountaineers.

Kicker: Daniel Davies, Navy

Navy matched their season total of points in the game against Tulsa, largely thanks to Daniel Davies. Going 3-for-3 on field goals and 6-for-6 on extra points, Davies notched a whopping 15 of those points in the rout.

Davis was true on all his kicks, including field goals of 25, 34, and 46. Not bad for a player who last saw his major action come as the team’s punter in 2020.

Punter: Hugh Robertson, Illinois

Is there really any surprise that the top punter of Week 6 came in the 9-6 Illinois win over Iowa? Maybe the surprise would be that it’s not Tory Taylor that earns the top spot here, and instead, it’s Hugh Robertson who out-punted the out-punter.

Robertson booted it six times for 249 yards but, most importantly, knocked four of his punts inside the 20-yard line. Against offenses that simply couldn’t move the ball, getting it inside of your own 20 was essentially a death sentence.

Kick Returner: Jayce Rogers, Houston

The long kick returner to take it the distance this week, Jayce Rogers was the easy choice for the top spot here. Rogers’ 100-yard kick return touchdown against Memphis was also a thing of beauty and went a long way at keeping the Cougars in the game before Clayton Tune’s magic in the waning stages of the fourth quarter.

Punt Returner: Dee Williams, Tennessee

Special teams were the name of the game early for Tennessee, going up 10-0 early off special teams plays. Dee Williams kept that momentum going against LSU and was a shoestring tackle away from scoring on a dramatic 58-yard punt return.

Williams had the best punt return of the day easily, and then he was completely avoided by Jay Bramblett following that.

Week 6 College Football Team of the Week | Second Team


QB: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA; Graham Mertz, Wisconsin
RB: Bijan Robinson, Texas
RB: Percy Agyei-Obese, JMU
WR: Tyrone Shropshire, UAB
WR: Chimere Dike, Wisconsin
WR: Devontez Walker, Kent State
TE: Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas
FLEX: Xavier Weaver, USF
OT: Carter Warren, Pittsburgh
G: Joshua Pena, Navy
C: David Hixon, Navy
G: Jake Kradel, Pittsburgh
OT: Raiqwon O’Neal, UCLA


EDGE: Khordae Sydnor, Purdue
EDGE: Isaac Ukwu, JMU
IDL: Byron Young, Tennessee
IDL: Keondre Coburn, Texas
LB: Dallas Gant, Toledo
LB: De’Rickey White, Vanderbilt
LB: James Patterson, Buffalo
CB: Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
CB: Jarvis Brownlee, Louisville
DB: Larry Brooks, Tulane
DB: Matthew Bailey, Illinois
DB: Matthew Salopek, Miami (OH)
Flex: Seth Coleman, Illinois

Special Teams

K: Ben Sauls, Pittsburgh
P: Lucas Borrow, Ball State
KR: Kazmeir Allen, UCLA
PR: Amin Hassan, Navy