• A statement game from an Alabama CB: Transfer Eli Ricks excelled in Week 8 after struggling to see the field in the first half of the season, but he was beaten out for Defensive Player of the Week honors by an SEC foe at Vandy.
• Another week, another Michael Mayer show: The Notre Dame tight end had another week of being the engine to the Irish passing offense. He continues to show why he is TE1 and the No. 13 player overall on the 2023 PFF Midseason Draft Board.
Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins
PFF TEAM OF THE WEEK
QB: Bo Nix, Oregon Ducks
RB: Damien Martinez, Oregon State Beavers
RB: Titus Swen, Wyoming Cowboys
WR: Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee Volunteers
WR: Luke McCaffrey, Rice Owls
WR: Roderic Burns, North Texas Mean Green
TE: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
LT: Jordan McFadden, Clemson Tigers
LG: Jaxson Kirkland, Washington Huskies
C: Jake Levengood, Oregon State Beavers
RG: Brandon Kipper, Oregon State Beavers
RT: Blake Fisher, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
DI: Jonah Tavai, San Diego State Aztecs
DI: Leonard Taylor, Miami Hurricanes
Edge: Owen Porter, Marshall Thundering Herd
Edge: Stephen Herron, Stanford Cardinal
LB: Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt Commodores
LB: Jack Campbell, Iowa Hawkeyes
CB: Eli Ricks, Alabama Crimson Tide
CB: Darius Rush, South Carolina Gamecocks
S: John Torchio, Wisconsin Badgers
S: Dante Trader Jr., Maryland Terrapins
Flex: Jerrin Thompson, Texas Longhorns
Offensive Player of the Week: QB Bo Nix, Oregon Ducks
Bo Nix had the best performance of his 2022 season with the Ducks in Saturday’s big win over the previously unbeaten UCLA Bruins.
• The former Auburn Tiger was nearly flawless from a clean pocket in Week 8, completing 18-of-20 pass attempts for 215 yards and four touchdowns on such plays.
• Nix posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating when throwing at or beyond the sticks against UCLA.
• He almost avoided mistakes altogether in the game. He didn’t record a turnover-worthy play, he didn’t take a sack on any of his eight pressured dropbacks and he threw just one quarterback-fault incompletion.
Defensive Player of the Week: LB Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt Commodores
Orji hit the trifecta in terms of high-impact plays on Saturday against Mizzou. He recorded an interception, a strip-sack fumble that was scooped up for a score and a forced fumble against the run. All of this helped him to a career day and one of the most productive outings PFF has seen in 2022.
• Orji earned a 93.2 PFF grade for the game in their narrow loss to the Tigers — a career-high for the Vandy linebacker and the second-best mark PFF has on record in an SEC game.
• In addition to the forced fumble against the run, Orji recorded eight total run stops, four of which were a tackle for loss or no gain.
• The 6-foot-2, 230-pound linebacker attempted 12 tackles for the game, and he didn’t miss a single one.
True Freshman of the Week: RB Damien Martinez, Oregon State Beavers
Martinez had been getting some reps in a limited role from the Beavers coaching staff throughout the first half of his true freshman campaign. On Saturday, though, he was the focal point on offense. And he certainly did not disappoint.
• Martinez saw a season-high 22 carries against Colorado and converted a first down or touchdown on 59% of those. That’s the highest mark in a single game this season among running backs with at least 15 carries in a game.
• Thanks to the offensive line and his vision, the true freshman averaged a whopping 5.4 yards before contact per attempt.
• Martinez saw three carries inside the five-yard line and punched each one in for a touchdown on his first attempt.