College News & Analysis

College Football Week 6: PFF Team of the Week & Player Awards

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back Israel Abanikanda (2) runs the ball against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

  • Mayer Shines: College Football Week 6 had a few historic performances on the offensive side of the ball —notably, Notre Dame first-round prospect Michael Mayer broke the program’s tight end all-time reception record on one of his two touchdowns in addition to totaling 11 receptions in their big win over BYU in Las Vegas. 
  • Abanikanda Dominates: Mayer was edged out by Pittsburgh running back Israel Abanikanda, who put up video game-like numbers in the team's win over Virginia Tech, for PFF's Offensive Player of the Week honors.
  • Aaron Lewis Thrives: While the usual stars showed up on the PFF Defensive Team of the Week, an under-the-radar talent out of Rutgers took home the top honor for PFF's Defensive Player of the Week.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes



QB: CJ Stroud, Ohio State Buckeyes
RB: Israel Abanikanda, Pitt Panthers
RB: Bijan Robinson, Texas Longhorns
WR: Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State Buckeyes
WR: Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss Rebels
WR: Chimere Dike, Wisconsin Badgers
TE: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
LT: Ryan Hayes, Michigan Wolverines
LG: Cooper Beebe, Kansas State Wildcats
C: Bryan Hudson, Louisville Cardinals
RG: Hunter Woodard, Oklahoma State Cowboys
RT: Hollin Pierce, Rutgers Scarlet Knights


DI: Kobie Turner, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
DI: Darrell Jackson, Miami Hurricanes
EDGE: Aaron Lewis, Rutgers Scarlet Knights
EDGE: Dallas Turner, Alabama Crimson Tide
LB: Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State Buckeyes
LB: Ventrell Miller, Florida Gators
CB: D’Shawn Jamison, Texas Longhorns
CB: Jaydon Hill, Florida Gators
S: Kamo’i Latu, Wisconsin Badgers
S: Jardin Gilbert, Texas A&M Aggies
Flex: Clark Phillips III, Utah Utes

Offensive Player of the Week: RB Israel Abanikanda, Pitt Panthers

Thirty-six carries, 320 rushing yards and six touchdowns. 

Most backs strive to post those numbers over the course of a few games, but Abanikanda did it in one game against a Power Five defense.

  • The Pitt running back did receive some help from his blocking up front, as he averaged 6.4 yards before contact across his 36 attempts, but he took advantage of the open lanes like very few ever have.
  • Abanikanda racked up seven breakaway runs of 15-plus yards against Virginia Tech in Week 6, four of which went for a touchdown. The latter tied the PFF record (since 2014) in a single game at the collegiate level.

Defensive Player of the Week: EDGE Aaron Lewis, Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Lewis had been enjoying a nice breakout season entering Week 6’s showdown against Nebraska, and his performance against the Cornhuskers took it to another level.

  • Lewis personified the “if you beat the hands, you beat the man” mantra all throughout the contest, racking up a total of 10 pressures from 38 pass-rush opportunities.
  • The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Scarlet Knight won in a variety of ways all night long, as his double swipe, stab-club and club-swim were his most dominant moves. He should receive more national recognition for his play this season — he’s the real deal.
  • Lewis also put up a positively graded run play rate over 20% for the game while simultaneously not recording a negatively graded run play.

True Freshman of the Week: T Kelvin Banks Jr., Texas Longhorns

Banks is a true freshman who was playing inside one of college football’s biggest rivalries this past weekend. Typically, this screams disaster for an offensive lineman, but this was a different story. The five-star true freshman looked like a seasoned veteran in Longhorns' big win.

  • Banks earned the highest PFF grade of his young career against Oklahoma in Week 6 on first review.
  • The 6-foot-5, 318-pound tackle allowed just one pressure — which wasn’t a sack or a hit — en route to an 80.8 pass-blocking grade. This makes it five of six games this season where Banks allowed less than two pressures in a single game.
  • Texas has a zone-centric run scheme, but Banks shined on his gap-run opportunities against Oklahoma, postting an 89.3 run-blocking grade on those runs.
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