Athlon hands out the awards from the Week 11 action.
Week 11 of the 2017 college football season was filled with several intriguing matchups and storylines. And considering what transpired in Week 11, it's safe to say the rankings will look a lot different prior to Week 12. Auburn knocked off Georgia in a convincing 40-17 victory, setting up a huge Iron Bowl to decide the SEC West title on Nov. 25. Miami made a statement to the rest of the nation for the second week in a row, as coach Mark Richt's team dominated Notre Dame on Saturday night. Also, with Virginia losing to Louisville, the Hurricanes clinched their first trip to the ACC Championship Game. Oklahoma's offense torched TCU's defense for 533 yards, with quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Rodney Anderson leading the way for coach Lincoln Riley's high-powered attack.
With the 11th weekend of the 2017 season 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 11:
College Football Week 11 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
The national offensive player of the week award stays in Norman for the second week in a row. Baker Mayfield claimed this honor last Saturday, but this week’s trophy goes to running back Rodney Anderson for his performance against TCU. The sophomore rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries and caught five passes for 139 yards and two scores.
Defensive Player of the Week: Hercules Mata’afa, DL, Washington State
Mata’afa dominated the Utah offensive line in Saturday’s win in Salt Lake City. He recorded eight tackles (five for a loss), three sacks and forced a fumble.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Warren Ruggiero, Wake Forest
Saturday’s win over Syracuse ensured Wake Forest will play in a bowl game for the second year in a row under coach Dave Clawson. The Demon Deacons’ offense was on fire during the victory over the Orange, as this unit scored on its final eight possessions (not counting kneel downs) to post 64 points (the ninth-most in school history). Ruggiero’s group amassed a school-record 734 total yards (8.2 per play), 33 first downs and averaged 7.3 yards per rush. Quarterback John Wolford led the way with 363 yards through the air, and running back Matt Colburn chipped in 237 yards and two scores on the ground.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Manny Diaz, Miami
Dominant. That’s the easiest and best way to describe Miami’s defense on Saturday night. The Hurricanes held the Fighting Irish to just eight points and 261 total yards (4.1 per play) and generated four turnovers. Additionally, Diaz’s group recorded five sacks and nine tackles for a loss. This defense limited Notre Dame to just one drive of more than 35 yards and held a powerful Irish rushing attack to just 109 yards on 36 attempts.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Taylor continues to pile up the yardage in an impressive freshman campaign and was instrumental in the win over Iowa on Saturday afternoon. He recorded 157 yards on 29 carries to earn his fifth effort of at least 100 yards over the last six games.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Tuf Borland, LB, Ohio State
The Buckeyes were without two starters at linebacker due to injury on Saturday, but the defense didn’t miss a beat thanks to Borland. He recorded 11 tackles (two for a loss) and one sack.
Team of the Week: Auburn
Saturday’s showdown between Georgia and Auburn was supposed to be one of the must-see matchups of Week 11. Instead, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry turned into a one-sided affair, with coach Gus Malzahn leading the Tigers to a huge 40-17 victory. Auburn dominated up front on defense, limiting the Bulldogs to just 46 yards on the ground. With the ground game held in check, Georgia’s offense was never able to consistently move the ball through the air. Auburn’s offense was balanced (251 via the pass and 237 on the ground) and averaged 6.9 yards per play against one of the SEC’s top defenses. Running back Kerryon Johnson consistently found yardage against the Bulldogs and put the game away for good with a 55-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. The win over Georgia also sets up a huge showdown in the Iron Bowl against Alabama and will decide the winner of the SEC West.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Marcell Ateman/Dillon Stoner, WR, Oklahoma State
With James Washington limited due to injury and largely used a decoy, the secondary receivers in Oklahoma State’s deep receiving corps stepped up in the win over Iowa State. Ateman grabbed four receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns, while Stoner chipped in four catches for 41 yards and the game-winning touchdown with less than four minutes remaining.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada
Baber scored three times in Saturday’s 59-14 rout over San Jose State. In addition to scoring on a blocked punt, the junior took two interceptions back for six points.
Unsung Hero of the Week: J.R. Osborn, K, Navy
Navy’s starting kicker (Bennett Moehring) was out for Saturday’s game due to injury. The Midshipmen used punter Owen White on extra points, but Osborn connected on an 18-yard field goal (his first of 2017) to give Navy a 43-40 victory over SMU.