Week 13 of the 2016 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments. The Thanksgiving slate provided one of the best weeks of action of the year, starting with the Michigan-Ohio State showdown from Saturday. The Buckeyes edged the Wolverines in overtime to keep their playoff hopes alive and earn their fifth straight win in this rivalry. Alabama handled rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl, Washington and Colorado scored victories to clinch spots in the Pac-12 Championship Game, and Florida State knocked off Florida to maintain bragging rights in the Sunshine State.
With the last 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 13:
College Football Week 13 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Mahomes capped a prolific 2016 season by guiding Texas Tech to a win over Baylor on Friday afternoon. The junior completed 30 of 46 passes and torched the Bears for 586 passing yards and six scores. Mahomes finished his 2016 season ranked first nationally in total offense per game (444.8) and accounted for 53 overall scores.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State
Ohio State’s defense came up big in Saturday’s win over Michigan. The Buckeyes held the Wolverines to just 91 rushing yards and delivered a handful of key plays to keep this team in the game until the offense was able to get on track. Baker finished with 15 tackles, recorded one sack and intercepted a pass in the third quarter that changed the momentum in the second half.
Best All-Around Player of the Week: Adoree’ Jackson, DB, USC
This category isn’t a weekly award, but Jackson’s unique performance was simply too good to ignore. The dynamic junior was a factor in all three phases of the game in USC’s 45-27 rout against Notre Dame. On offense, Jackson rushed for 12 yards and caught a pass for a 52-yard touchdown. He chipped in two tackles and two pass breakups on defense and accumulated 227 total return yards on special teams, including a 55-yard punt return for a score in the second and a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Joe Moorhead, Penn State
The Nittany Lions clinched the Big Ten’s East Division with a 45-12 victory over Michigan State on Saturday afternoon. A big reason for Penn State’s trip to Indianapolis was the development of the offense under Moorhead in his first year in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions recorded 463 yards against the Spartans (8.1 ypp) and scored on seven of their last nine drives.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Pete Kwiatkowski, Washington
Containing Washington State’s high-powered offense is no easy task. However, for the third consecutive year, Kwiatkowski’s defense won the battle against the Cougars. In Friday’s 45-17 victory, the Huskies limited Washington State to just 17 points and 4.5 yards per play, while forcing four turnovers and generating six tackles for a loss. Washington also made two goal-line stands on fourth down to prevent the Cougars from reaching the end zone.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Martell Pettaway, RB, West Virginia
Injuries in the West Virginia backfield forced the coaching staff to remove Pettaway’s redshirt in Saturday’s game against Iowa State. The freshman provided a much-needed boost to the backfield, recording 181 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries. He also caught one pass for 25 yards.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Brian Burns, DL, Florida State
The Seminoles dominated the line of scrimmage in Saturday’s 31-12 victory over Florida. In addition to a standout performance from senior DeMarcus Walker, Burns wreaked havoc throughout the game in the Gator backfield. The freshman recorded four tackles (1.5 for a loss) and 1.5 sacks.
Team of the Week: Ohio State
The Game certainly lived up to the hype. And after two overtimes, Ohio State knocked off Michigan 30-27 to keep its playoff hopes alive and secure its fifth straight win in this series. The Buckeyes had trouble maintaining drives on offense, but the defense stepped up and delivered a couple of clutch plays. Safety Malik Hooker returned an interception for a score, linebacker Jerome Baker’s pick set up a touchdown in the third quarter, while Davon Hamilton recovered a fumble with Michigan poised to score from the one-yard line. In overtime, quarterback J.T. Barrett and receiver Curtis Samuel delivered a couple of clutch plays, including a fourth-down conversion from Barrett and Samuel’s 15-yard touchdown run to seal the victory.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Tedric Thompson, S, Colorado
Colorado’s win over Utah on Saturday night clinched the program’s first trip to the Pac-12 Championship. The Buffaloes have several standouts on this defense, but a tip of the cap goes to Thompson for his performance against Utah. He recorded four tackles (one for a loss), four pass breakups and two interceptions.