Week 1 of the 2017 college football season lived up to the hype. With several marquee matchups in the opening weekend, the action at the FBS level didn't disappoint. Alabama remained the team to beat after a win against Florida State, Michigan dominated Florida, Louisville rallied to beat Purdue, Tennessee knocked off Georgia Tech in overtime, and Virginia Tech beat West Virginia in a thriller at FedEx Field in Landover.
With the first weekend of the 2017 seasonin the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team, freshman and unsung hero from Week 1:
College Football Week 1 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Thanks to a huge performance in the fourth quarter by Rosen, the Bruins engineered one of the biggest comebacks in college football history. The junior torched Texas A&M for 491 yards and four touchdowns through the air, including a 10-yard score with less than a minute remaining to win 45-44.
Defensive Player of the Week: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
Jewell was instrumental for Iowa’s defense to contain Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen and limit the Cowboys to just three points and 233 overall yards. Jewell stuffed the stat sheet with an all-around standout performance on Saturday, recording 14 stops (2.5 for a loss), two sacks and one pass breakup.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Walt Bell, Maryland
Bell is one of college football’s top coaches on the rise, and Saturday’s win at Texas should only continue to raise his profile. The Terrapins gashed the Longhorns for 482 yards (8.3 yards per play), scored six offensive touchdowns and averaged 6.1 yards per rush on 43 attempts. Adding to Bell’s impressive play-calling on Saturday was the play of true freshman quarterback Kasim Hill, who was pressed into action after an injury to starter Tyrrell Pigrome.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Dave Aranda, LSU
LSU’s defense didn’t have standout edge rusher Arden Key and utilized a handful of freshmen against BYU on Saturday night. However, the Tigers didn’t miss a beat and suffocated the Cougars offense for 60 minutes. Aranda’s group only gave up 97 total yards, as BYU never crossed midfield and only one drive went longer than 20 yards. LSU also registered three sacks, one interception, five pass breakups and allowed the Cougras to convert just 2 of 10 third-down attempts.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Josh Jackson, QB, Virginia Tech
After Sunday night’s win over West Virginia, it’s clear the Hokies have found their next standout at quarterback. Jackson was steady all night in his first start, throwing for 235 yards and a touchdown on 15 completions, and rushing for 101 yards and one score on 11 attempts.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Byron Murphy, DB, Washington
The Huskies lost a couple of standouts in the secondary, but the next wave of stars is already in place in Seattle. In his first career start, the redshirt freshman picked off two passes and registered one tackle for coach Chris Petersen. Murphy was also part of a secondary that limited Rutgers to just 178 yards through the air.
Team of the Week: Alabama
The path to the national championship runs through Tuscaloosa once again. The Crimson Tide showcased their rebuilt defense in a standout effort against Florida State, as Nick Saban’s team won 24-7 over the Seminoles. In addition to creating a couple of breaks on special teams, Alabama limited Florida State to 250 yards, recorded nine tackles for a loss and forced three turnovers.
Unsung Hero of the Week: TaQuon Marshall, QB, Georgia Tech
Marshall made a strong case for offensive player of the week honors in Monday night’s overtime loss to Tennessee and deserves a tip of the cap somewhere on the weekly Athlon Sports awards. In his first start at quarterback, the former A-back rushed for 249 yards and five touchdowns on 44 carries and completed 5 of 9 throws for 120 yards.