With the 10th weekend of the 2021 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 10:
College Football Week 10 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Aidan O’Connell, QB, Purdue
O’Connell connected on 40 of 54 throws for 536 yards and three touchdowns to lead Purdue to a 40-29 upset over Michigan State.
Defensive Player of the Week: Will Anderson, LB, Alabama
Anderson dominated the line of scrimmage in Alabama’s 20-14 win over LSU. The sophomore recorded 12 tackles (four for a loss), 1.5 sacks and a pass breakup.
Team of the Week: TCU
It’s a close call between TCU and a couple of other teams for honors here, but let’s give a tip of the cap to the Horned Frogs for their 30-28 win over Baylor. The program had to overcome two major personnel obstacles on Saturday, as the tenure of long-time coach Gary Patterson ended after Week 9, and starting quarterback Max Duggan was sidelined due to injury. But those obstacles weren’t an issue on Saturday. TCU’s offense gashed Baylor for 562 yards (7.3 per play) behind a standout effort from freshman quarterback Chandler Morris, and the defense stepped up to limit the Bears to 393 total yards. Also, the Horned Frogs came up with two clutch turnovers in the second half to help seal the victory. The win over Baylor gave TCU a huge victory over a rival, while keeping its bowl hopes alive under interim coach Jerry Kill deep into November.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Phil Longo, North Carolina
With North Carolina trailing 45-27 midway through the third quarter, every possession essentially became a must-score situation for Longo’s group. The Tar Heels executed that strategy, as the final five full drives resulted in scores to help lift this team to a 58-55 win over Wake Forest. Longo’s group totaled 546 yards (7.0 yards per play, with 330 coming on the ground and 216 through the air. North Carolina converted on 50 percent of its third-down attempts and scored on all seven red-zone opportunities. Additionally, Longo’s offense generated 25 plays in Saturday’s game that went for 10 or more yards.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Mike Elko, Texas A&M
Texas A&M’s defense led the way in Saturday’s 20-3 win over Auburn. The Aggies limited Auburn to 226 yards (3.2 per play) and no snap went beyond 15 yards. Elko’s group allowed just four third-down conversions over 16 attempts and generated four sacks. Also, this unit forced two turnovers, including a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.