Between the Bama loss, Iowa and Oklahoma coming back from big deficits to hold off Penn State and Texas, BYU’s undefeated season coming to an end and Michigan surviving a scare at Nebraska, there’s a lot to break down from this weekend's action.
Now that the first run of analysis is finalized and available in PFF's CFB Premium Stats+, we get to fill you in on this week’s top performers. Here, we present PFF’s Team of the Week and player awards from Week 6 of the 2021 college football season.
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PFF TEAM OF THE WEEK
QB: Zach Calzada, Texas A&M
RB: Tyler Badie, Missouri
RB: Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
WR: Xavier Worthy, Texas
WR: Demario Douglas, Liberty
WR: Drake London, USC
TE: Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
LT: Kellen Diesch, Arizona State
LG: Bobby DeHaro, UTEP
C: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
RG: Nous Keobounnam, Oregon State
RT: Brandon Kipper, Oregon State
DI: Mike Williams, SMU
DI: DeVere Levelston, SMU
Edge: Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Edge: Turan Rush, Eastern Michigan
LB: Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati
LB: Chad Muma, Wyoming
CB: Jermaine Waller, Virginia Tech
CB: Matt Hankins, Iowa
S: Joe Foucha, Arkansas
S: Brad Hawkins, Michigan
Flex: George Hicks III, Washington State
Offensive Player of the Week: QB Zach Calzada, Texas A&M
The Texas A&M quarterback struggled to find his footing over the first five weeks of the 2021 season and entered his Week 6 game against Alabama as the second-lowest-graded passer in the SEC. From holding onto the ball too long to crumbling under pressure, there was a lot wrong with his play in his first few starts. But those issues were nowhere to be found on Saturday night.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback earned an 83.1 passing grade in Week 6 upon first review, the sixth-best mark ever earned by a quarterback going up against the vaunted Alabama defense.
Calzada and the Aggies generated a 56.8% successful pass play rate for the game. The only passing offense that has managed to generate a higher rate against Alabama since 2014? That would be the 2019 LSU Tigers.
Highest passing grade vs Alabama since 2019
Zach Calzada, Texas A&M – 83.1
Justin Fields, Ohio State – 82.9
Joe Burrow, LSU – 76.9
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) October 10, 2021
The Aggies signal-caller was as composed as can be against the Tide and looked anything but the quarterback who ranked fourth-to-last in the FBS in pressured-passing grade through Week 5.
Calzada was pressured on 11 dropbacks in total; he didn’t take a single sack and completed seven passes for 123 yards and two scores. He also recorded two big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays.
Defensive Player of the Week: Edge Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Hutchinson takes home PFF’s Defensive Player of the Week Award for the second consecutive week after posting a 92.7 grade against Nebraska on first review.
The Michigan star looked unblockable once again, generating eight pressures on 26 pass-rush reps. Hutchinson even tacked on a few more wins to give him a 40% win rate for the game.
That high level of play was there in the run game, too, as he earned a positive grade on over a third of his run plays. All of this led Hutchinson to a grade above 80.0 against the run and as a pass-rusher, something no other edge defender did in Week 6.
True Freshman of the Week: WR Xavier Worthy, Texas
Worthy was the Longhorns' No. 2 recruit in the 2021 cycle and the 62nd-ranked player overall in the class. But while he was inconsistent to kick off his true freshman season, the 6-foot-1, 160-pound speedster stepped up in a big way when it mattered most against the Sooners.
The Texas wideout hauled in nine of his 10 targets for 261 yards and two scores in Week 6 — a double-take stat line if ever there was one. Of those nine catches, six went for an explosive gain of 15 or more yards, the most by a true freshman wideout in 2021 and tied for the second-most overall in a single game this season.
His track background showed up on the screen he took 75 yards for a score on the first play of the game.
Offensive Line of the Week: Baylor Bears
Baylor claims PFF Offensive Line of the Week honors for the third time this season.
The Bears are significantly helped by a Jeff Grimes scheme that really limits their true pass set opportunities, but allowing zero pressures and losing only three reps combined on 31 pass-block snaps is still quite impressive. They made an even larger impact in the run game, too: The running back room saw 4.5 yards before contact per attempt on average, which was one of the five highest marks among Power Five offenses in Week 6.
Secret Superstar of the Week: Edge Turan Rush, Eastern Michigan
Eastern Michigan had never gotten a game-wrecking performance out of Turan Rush — who has consistently seen the field since his arrival in 2018 — until this past weekend against Miami of Ohio.
Rush earned one of the highest pass-rush grades of the week and the first 90.0-plus grade of his career. He won an astounding 21 pass-rush reps, giving him a win rate north of 50%.
Now, was the pass-protection the best in the country? No. It was Miami of Ohio. But, having that kind of production is rare to see, regardless of competition level.
Play of the Week: Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry’s game-winning touchdown grab against Syracuse
Wake Forest — who entered the week as the highest-ranked team in the ACC — were up against the wall all game long in their road showdown with Syracuse.
With the game in overtime and the ball in Wake’s court after the Orange came away with an opening-drive field goal, the Demon Deacons dialed up an end-zone shot to 6-foot-5 wide receiver A.T. Perry, who was in one-on-one coverage against a true freshman.
Perry made an unbelievable adjustment to the ball and made the catch of the day while falling to the ground to keep Wake’s undefeated season alive:
WAKE FOREST WALKS IT OFF IN OT!
The Demon Deacons are 6-0 for the first time since 1944. pic.twitter.com/LXuDEEpFgp
— ESPN (@espn) October 9, 2021
Biggest Game-Changing Moment: Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams and Marvin Mims connecting for a 52-yard touchdown with the game on the line
Oklahoma pivoted to true freshman quarterback Caleb Williams with Spencer Rattler struggling, and Williams wasted no time showing why he was a part of the exclusive five-star club.
Williams has the arm strength, athleticism in the ground game and the ability to make off-platform throws. He showed all three on his fourth-quarter strike to true sophomore receiver Marvin Mims, who made an incredible catch to give Oklahoma the biggest game-changing moment of the week.
Oklahoma’s win probability:
Before the play: 14.1%
After this insane throw/catch: 44.3%
After the 2-point conversion: 53.6%pic.twitter.com/IK7Wii5TQ9
— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) October 9, 2021