With the 12th 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, and team from Week 12:
College Football Week 12 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
A strong first half of production was more than enough for Stroud to earn this honor for Week 12. The California native helped Ohio State jump out to a 49-0 lead at halftime and finished with completions on on 32 of 35 throws for 432 yards and six touchdowns in Ohio State’s dominant 56-7 victory over Michigan State. Additionally, Stroud also set a new program record with 17 consecutive completions during Saturday’s win over the Spartans.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jalen Redmond, DL, Oklahoma
Redmond was a key cog in Oklahoma’s standout defensive effort in Saturday’s 28-21 win over Iowa State. He recorded two tackles (1.5 for a loss), a sack and four quarterback hurries and recovered a fumble and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. Also, Redmond’s performance helped limit the Cyclones to just 51 rushing yards.
Team of the Week: Utah
The Utes clinched the Pac-12 South title in a dominant 38-7 victory over Oregon on Saturday night. The outcome over the Ducks also made Kyle Whittingham the program’s winningest coach and gives the team its third Pac-12 South Division title since 2018. All three sides of the ball contributed in a big way in Utah’s victory. Receiver Britain Covey returned a punt for a touchdown, the offense was efficient and balanced, and the defense limited Oregon to only 294 yards. The Utes won in a big way in the trenches, generating six tackles for a loss and three sacks on defense, while the offense generated 208 yards on the ground.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Mark Whipple, Pitt
Pitt’s offense led the way in Saturday’s 48-38 win over Virginia. Quarterback Kenny Pickett connected on 26 of 41 throws for 340 yards and four touchdowns, with receiver Jordan Addison grabbing 14 of those passes for 202 yards and four scores. Pickett’s contributions, along with 169 yards on the ground, lifted the Pitt offense to an average of 6.4 yards per snap. The Panthers went two-for-two on fourth-down attempts and clinched the victory (and the ACC Coastal Division title) with a key third-and-five pass from Pickett to Addison to score a 62-yard touchdown.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jim Knowles, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State booked a trip to the Big 12 title game on the strength of a defense that limited Texas Tech to just 108 yards. Knowles’ group surrendered just 1.9 yards per snap to the Red Raiders and pitched a shutout in the 23-0 victory. Also, this unit dominated the line of scrimmage with five sacks and allowed just three third-down conversions over 14 attempts.