Week 10 of the 2016 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments. Alabama used a timely offense and stout defensive effort to beat LSU 10-0, Clemson, Washington and Michigan remained unbeaten with huge performances in conference play, while Mississippi State ended Texas A&M's playoff hopes with a 35-28 victory in Starkville. Ohio State dominated Nebraska to stay in the playoff mix, while Wisconsin, Florida State, Arkansas, USC, Louisville and Auburn picked up key wins in conference action.
With the first weekend of November games in 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 10:
College Football Week 10 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Another week, another big performance from Jackson. The sophomore completed 12 of 17 throws for 231 yards and four touchdowns and added 185 yards and three scores on the ground in a 52-7 rout of Boston College. Jackson has recorded seven or more touchdowns in three games this year and is a heavy favorite to win the Heisman in December.
Defensive Player of the Week: Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama
This award could go to the entire Alabama defense for its standout performance against LSU. But let’s give a tip of the cap to Anderson, who had a clutch outing as one of the Crimson Tide’s edge rushers. Anderson recorded six tackles (one for a loss), one sack, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Ivin Jasper, Navy
Navy’s offense accumulated 368 total yards (5.8 ypp) and scored 28 points in Saturday’s win over Notre Dame. Jasper’s play-calling kept the Fighting Irish defense off balance, as the Midshipmen converted 8 of 13 third-down attempts, went 4 of 5 on fourth-down conversions, held the ball for 33:53 and used a 14-play drive that spanned 7:28 to seal the victory in the fourth quarter.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama
A rejuvenated LSU offense was completely dominated on Saturday night by Alabama’s defense. The Crimson Tide held the Tigers to just 125 overall yards (a paltry 2.5 ypc), allowed only six first downs, forced one turnover and 12 tackles for a loss. Additionally, Alabama’s defense held Leonard Fournette to 35 yards on 17 carries and none of LSU’s final eight drives went longer than 15 yards.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama
Hurts was steady and delivered a clutch performance in Alabama’s 10-0 win over LSU. The true freshman was under fire in a tough road environment against one of the nation’s best defenses, but Hurts didn’t flinch. The true freshman connected on 10 of 19 passes for 107 yards and added 114 yards and one touchdown on 20 attempts. Hurts scored the game’s only touchdown on a fourth-quarter run and accounted for 221 of Alabama’s 323 overall yards.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Jessie Bates, DB, Wake Forest
Wake Forest clinched a bowl trip with Saturday’s 27-20 victory over Virginia. Bates delivered the biggest play of the game, as the freshman intercepted quarterback Kurt Benkert and returned the pick 39 yards for the game-winning score with just under seven minutes to go. Bates also recorded four tackles, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
Team of the Week: Mississippi State
With several new faces seeing significant snaps on both sides of the ball, Mississippi State is in the middle of a transition year. However, coach Dan Mullen’s rebuilding project received a boost on Saturday, as the Bulldogs – nearly a two-touchdown underdog – upset Texas A&M 35-28 on Saturday. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald accounted for 391 total yards and four scores, while the defense held the Aggies to 382 total yards (second-lowest total of the season for Texas A&M) and only four of 15 drives went longer than 55 yards.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma
Oklahoma was down to just one scholarship running back in Thursday’s game against Iowa State, prompting Flowers to slide from fullback to help with production in the ground game. The junior delivered a solid performance, recording 115 yards on 22 carries. Prior to Thursday night’s game, Flowers had zero carries in his career.