There’s no better time to make the Team of the Week than following rivalry week, as the memory of playing a top-notch game against a hated opponent will last a lifetime. This week’s top performances featured an outstanding game from a Heisman candidate while a number of defensive players built on their respective breakout seasons in a last-minute push for All-American status.
Here is your Week 13 Team of the Week:
Quarterback – Deshaun Watson, Clemson 92.8
This was the type of performance we’ve been expecting from Watson all season. He was sharp with his decision-making and even better with his accuracy, completing 26-of-32 passes for 343 yards and six touchdowns with four of his six incompletions being dropped. Watson is in the midst of another late-season run that could put Clemson back in the title game.
Running back – Kareem Hunt, Toledo 99.0 and Derrius Guice, LSU 85.6
Hunt had an absurd outing in which he ran for 201 yards on 20 carries, but it was the way he did it that was most impressive. He forced 17 missed tackles on those 20 carries while forcing another six on his three receptions in a dominant outing against Western Michigan. Guice continues to excel when given the opportunity, this time rushing for 285 yards and four scores on 37 carries. He forced 16 missed tackles of his own as ran right through the Texas A&M defense.
Wide receiver – Chad Hansen, Cal 83.4 and Keke Coutee, Texas Tech 82.1
Returning to the team, Hansen had an efficient day as seven of his 10 catches went for first downs on his way to 155 receiving yards. Coutee went for 221 yards and two touchdowns on his eight catches as Texas Tech dominated Baylor through the air.
Slot –Ryan Switzer, UNC 83.1
Another strong outing for Switzer who caught 13-of-16 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. He battled through injury to be North Carolina’s most reliable target against NC State and he did a fine job moving the chains at the intermediate and deep level.
Tight end – Jordan Leggett, Clemson 86.1
It was the best all-around game of Leggett’s season as he caught three passes for 58 yards and a touchdown while also ranking ninth in the nation with a 79.8 grade as a run blocker. Blocking has not been his strong suit the last three seasons, but he’s been much-improved over the last two weeks and it earned him the spot on the Team of the Week.
Offensive tackle – Zach Banner, USC 83.7 and Calvin Anderson, Rice 82.9
After a slow start, Banner has turned his season around much like the rest of the Trojans. He has not given up a pressure since Week 7 and he turned in one of his better run-blocking efforts this week against UCLA. Anderson stood out against Stanford with a clean day in pass protection and some fine work in the run game as his inconsistent season ends on a high note.
Guard –Johnny Caspers, Stanford 84.9 and Augie Conte, Virginia Tech 83.2
Caspers didn’t lose in the running game, making key blocks at the point of attack, at the second level, and on the move as a puller. Conte had by far his best game of the season, doing most of his work at the second level where he opened holes against Virginia linebackers while not allowing a pressure in pass protection on 30 attempts.
Center –Dylan Utter, Nebraska 84.3
Bouncing back from a difficult stretch of play, Utter was strong in the run game at the point of attack while staying clean on 41 snaps in pass protection.
Edge rusher –Harold Landry, Boston College 94.0 and Jordan Willis, Kansas State 90.1
Both edge rushers capped outstanding seasons with dominant efforts this week. Landry added three sacks to give him 16 for the season while also adding one QB hit and six hurries to go with four more stops in the run game. Willis continues to live in opponent backfields with three sacks of his own to go with two QB hits and 10 hurries on his 51 rushes.
Defensive interior – Montravius Adams, Auburn 89.5 and Jabari Dean, Central Michigan 88.2
Adams has been on a roll during the second half of the season and this was his best game of the year as he disrupted in the passing game and added four stops in the run game. Dean had an efficient 55 snaps with four hurries and four run stops in his best game of the season.
Linebacker –Jerome Baker, Ohio State 91.0; Cale Garrett, Missouri 90.0; D.J. Beavers, Washington 89.2
Baker was all over the field in Ohio State’s win over Michigan, finishing with a sack, two hurries, three stops, and an interception as he graded well in all three phases. Garrett did his best work in the run game with seven stops, but he also added an interception against Arkansas. Beavers had an interception of his own to cap his strong all-around game that featured four stops and a hurry.
Cornerback – Heath Harding, Miami (OH) 95.8 and Brandon Facyson, Virginia Tech 95.7
Harding got his hands on four passes, breaking up three and intercepting another while only allowing four catches on 10 targets. Facyson gave up only six yards on two catches while breaking up three of the six passes thrown his way.
Safety – Tedric Thompson, Colorado 91.5 and Nico Small, TCU 89.4
Thompson has been the best safety in the nation the last few weeks, and he had yet another strong game against Utah. He allowed only two catches and one yard on 11 targets while intercepting two passes and breaking up two more. Small gave up only one catch on seven targets, finishing with a pass breakup and an interception against Texas.
From special teams analyst Gordon McGuinness:
Kicker – Michael Badgley, Miami
The Hurricanes’ kicker ended the regular season on a high note, connecting on all four field goal tries, including two from 40 yards or longer. On kickoffs he saw five of his nine kicks result in touchbacks.
Punter – Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
Our top punter of the year makes our team of the week one last time! Averaged 42.2 yards per punt, giving up just one return yard from the two of his six punts that were returned. Three of his punts landed inside the opposing 20 yard line. Wishnowsky has been head and shoulders above his peers as the nations top punter this year, and should run away with the Ray Guy award based on our grading.
K/PR – Adoree’ Jackson, USC
Jackson made a huge impact for USC on special teams this week, scoring on a 97 yard kick return and also on a 55 yard punt return. Not many players can boast two special teams touchdowns this season, let alone in a single game.
Big Ten — Josh Liskiewitz
QB: Clayton Thorson, Northwestern, 73.6
RB: Ty Johnson, MAryland, 85.9; LeShun Daniels, Iowa, 76.7
WR: Malik Turner, Illinois, 81.1; Chris Godwin, Penn State, 79.9
TE: Josiah Price, Michigan State, 84.3
OT: Jamarco Jones, Ohio State, 78.3; Austin Schmidt, Illinois, 75.7
OG: Connor Mayes, Minnesota, 76.3; Dan Feeney, Indiana, 74.2
C: Dylan Utter, Nebraska, 84.3
DI: Ryan Glasgow, Michigan, 82.2; Brian Mone, Michigan, 81.1
ED: Vince Biegel, Wisconsin, 86.0; Sam Hubbard, Ohio State, 85.6
LB: Jerome Baker, Ohio State, 91.0; Markus Bailey, Purdue, 87.3; Josh Banderas, Nebraska, 84.7
CB: Isaiah Wharton, Rutgers, 85.6; Jaylen Dunlap, Illinois, 82.5
S: Jonathan Crawford, Indiana, 84.4; Darnell Savage Jr., Maryland, 83.9
K/P: Kenny Allen, Michigan
SEC — Gordon McGuinness
QB: Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt, 83.4
HB: Derrius Guice, LSU, 85.6
FB: Christian Payne, Georgia, 77.6
WR: Caleb Scott, Vanderbilt, 81.1; Trent Sherfield, Vanderbilt, 80.0
TE: Jordan Thomas, Mississippi State, 77.2
OT: Greg Pyke, Georgia, 79.4; Jermaine Eluemunor, Texas A&M, 77.7
OG: Nick Haynes, Kentucky, 82.5; Lamond Gaillard, Georgia, 80.0
C: Barrett Gouger, Vanderbilt, 82.8
ED: Tashawn Bower, LSU, 85.8; Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 83.7
DT: Montravius Adams, Auburn, 89.5; Davon Godchaux, LSU, 83.8
LB: Cale Garrett, Missouri, 90.0; Reuben Foster, Alabama, 84.6; Otaro Alaka, Texas A&M, 84.0
CB: Quincy Wilson, Florida, 91.4; Jamal Peters, Mississippi State, 90.8
S: Kivon Coman, Mississippi State, 82.5; Mike Edwards, Kentucky
K: Austin MacGinnis, Kentucky
P: Trevor Daniel,
K/PR: Stephen Roberts, Auburn
Big 12 — Bryson Vesnaver
QB: Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech, 80.4
HB: JaMycal Hasty, Baylor, 72.1; Da’Leon Ward, Texas Tech, 64.7
WR: Keke Coutee, Texas Tech, 82.1; Shelton Gibson, West Virginia, 81.6; Bryon Pringle, Kansas State, 78.2
OT: Dalton Risner, Kansas State, 82.8; Connor Williams, Texas, 79.2
OG: Kyle Bosch, West Virginia, 81.5; Matt Pryor, TCU, 81.0
C: Austin Schlottmann, TCU, 80.9
ED: Jordan Willis, Kansas State, 90.1; Jhaustin Thomas, Iowa State, 80.4
DI: Will Geary, Kansas State, 84.3; Daniel Wise, Kansas, 81.4
LB: Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech, 88.3; Ty Summers, TCU, 87.1; Justin Arndt, West Virginia, 82.8
CB: Donnie Starks, Kansas State, 86.8; Ranthony Texada, TCU, 86.7; Ryan Reid, Baylor, 81.7
S: Niko Small, TCU, 89.4; Jeremy Tyler, West Virginia, 85.9
K: Cole Netten, Iowa State
P: Michael Dickson, Texas
KR: Deante’ Gray, TCU
Pac-12 — Jordan Plocher
Pac-12 TOTW 13
QB: Jake Browning, Washington, 73.4
HB: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 90.3; Lavon Coleman, Washington, 85.9
WR: Chad Hansen, Cal, 83.4; Dante Pettis, Washington, 78.0
TE: Ricky Ortiz, Oregon State, 80.3
T: Zach Banner, USC, 83.7; Sean Harlow, Oregon State, 83.2
G: Johnny Caspers, Stanford, 84.9; David Bright, Stanford, 82.9
C: Jesse Burkett, Stanford, 86.1
ED: Cameron Saffle, Cal, 87.2; Takkarist McKinley, UCLA, 85.2
DI: Filipo Mokofisi, Utah, 85.3; Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State, 81.5
LB: D.J. Beavers, Washington, 89.2; Kavika Luafatasaga, Utah, 84.4
CB: Frank Buncom, Stanford, 90.6; Treston Decoud, Oregon State, 90.1; Alene Harris, USC, 87.5
S: Tedric Thompson, Colorado, 91.5; Justin Reid, Stanford, 88.5
ACC — John Breitenbach
QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 92.8
WR Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse, 77.7; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina, 83.1
TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson, 86.1
OT Yosuah Nijman, Virginia Tech, 81.1; Eric Smith, Virginia, 82.1
OG Augie Conte, Virginia Tech, 83.2; Danny Isidora, Miami, 80.9
C Jon Baker, Boston College, 80.8
HB Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 85.4
ED Harold Landry, Boston College, 94.0; Bradley Chubb, North Carolina State, 82.6
DI Drew Bailey, Louisville, 76.9; RJ McIntosh, Miami, 84.2
LB Ben Boulware, Clemson, 84.5; Zach McCloud, Miami, 85.7; Thomas Brown, Wake Forest, 82.7
CB Brandon Facyson, Virginia Tech, 95.7; Adonis Alexander, Virginia Tech, 87.3
S Chucky Williams, Louisville, 75.1; Jamal Carter Sr., Miami, 84.8
Group of Five — Zoltan Buday
QB: Brogan Roback, Eastern Michigan, 94.6
RB: Kareem Hunt, Toledo, 99.0
WR: Linell Bonner, Houston, 79.7; D.J. Thompson, Southern Miss, 88.5
TE: Maaseiah Francis, South Alabama, 90,2
OT: Jemar Clark, Arkansas State, 83.3; Calvin White, Idaho, 84.2
OG: Ben Steward, Bowling Green, 84.3; J.J. Beggan, Bowling Green, 87.9
C: Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, 81.9
ED: Praise Martin-Oguike, Temple, 90.2; Bunmi Rotimi, Old Dominion, 84.8
DI: Treyvon Hester, Toledo, 86.0; Jabari Dean, Central Michigan, 88.2
LB: Keith Brown, Western Kentucky, 90.4; Trenton Greene, Bowling Green, 86.3; Kaden Elliss, Idaho, 90.6
CB: Michael Egwuagu, UTSA, 85.7; Heath Harding, Miami (OH), 95.8
S: Roderick Teamer, Tulane, 86.8; Jayshawn Jordan, Idaho, 81.9