With the first weekend of the 2018 season in the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances. Each week, Athlon Sports will highlight some of the top performers in college football with its weekly awards section. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team and freshman from Week 1:
College Football Week 1 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
Grier threw for 429 yards and five touchdowns in West Virginia’s 40-14 win over Tennessee on Saturday.
Defensive Player of the Week: Nick Coe, DL, Auburn
Coe was a key cog in Auburn’s defensive effort on Saturday, recording two tackles (two for a loss), a forced fumble and one sack against Washington.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Jeff Grimes, BYU
BYU’s offense showed marked improvement in Grimes’ first game. The Cougars recorded 392 yards (5.5 per play) and scored 28 points in Saturday night’s win over Arizona. BYU’s offense showed good balance (209 passing to 183 on the ground), did not lose a turnover and had only three-and-out drive.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Bud Foster, Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech's defense lost a handful of key contributors from last year's unit, but this group didn't miss a beat in the opener against Florida State. The Hokies held the Seminoles to 327 total yards (5.2 per play), did not allow a touchdown, forced five turnovers and also scored on a punt that was blocked for a touchdown in the first half. Foster's defense also dominated the line of scrimmage, recording five sacks and 14 tackles for a loss.
Coach of the Week: Matt Canada, Maryland
Canada deserves a mention in this space for guiding Maryland to a victory over Texas on Saturday afternoon. After a tumultuous offseason in College Park, Canada - in his first year with the program - had the Terrapins ready to play and focused for the Longhorns. Additionally, Canada's offense recorded 407 yards and 34 points in the win. An interim coach role is never easy, but Canada excelled in that role in Week 1.
Team of the Week: Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish scored a huge victory to open the 2018 season, as coach Brian Kelly’s team defeated Michigan 24-17 on Saturday night. Notre Dame’s defensive front dominated the line of scrimmage, and quarterback Brandon Wimbush delivered enough big plays to lead the Fighting Irish to victory.
Co-Freshman of the Week (Offense): Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
Moore accounted for a school-record 313 all-purpose yards in Thursday night’s game against Northwestern. The true freshman rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on two carries, caught 11 passes for 109 yards and a score and accounted for 125 yards on five kickoff returns.
Co-Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jeshaun Jones, WR, Maryland
Jones passed, rushed and caught a touchdown in Saturday’s win over Texas. The freshman accounted for 121 overall yards on his four touches.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Farley recorded two tackles (one for a loss), one sack and two interceptions in Virginia Tech’s 24-3 win over Florida State on Monday night.