Week 13 of the 2017 college football season was filled with several intriguing matchups and storylines. Rivalry weekend wasn't short on intrigue or big performances, as Auburn knocked off Alabama in the Iron Bowl, Pitt upset Miami on Friday, and Ohio State rallied to beat Michigan in Ann Arbor. Oklahoma, Clemson and Wisconsin all scored huge victories to remain in the hunt for a CFB Playoff bid.
With the 13th 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 13:
College Football Week 13 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
Stidham led the way for Auburn’s offense in Saturday’s win over Alabama. The sophomore completed 21 of 28 for 237 yards and rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Week: Mat Boesen, DL, TCU
Boesen dominated the line of scrimmage in Friday’s win over Baylor. He collected 10 tackles (5.5 for a loss), 5.5 sacks, one quarterback hurry and forced a fumble against the Bears.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Chip Lindsey, Auburn
Lindsey and coach Gus Malzahn outcoached Alabama in Saturday’s Iron Bowl win. The Tigers scored 26 points (the most allowed by the Crimson Tide in 2017) and recorded 408 total yards on 78 snaps. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham was efficient (21 of 28 for 237 yards), connected on a few throws downfield and also picked up 51 yards on the ground. Another key stat: Auburn scored on its first three drives after halftime, which proved to be more than enough to knock off the Crimson Tide.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Pete Kwiatkowski, Washington
Kwiatkowski seems to have the right formula to slow down Washington State’s high-powered passing offense. In four years as Washington’s defensive coordinator, the Cougars have not scored more than 17 points on Kwiatkowski’s defense. On Saturday night, Washington limited Washington State to just 14 points and 345 total yards. The Huskies registered five sacks, forced four turnovers, broke up five passes and did not allow a drive longer than 50 yards until the fourth quarter.
Co-Freshman of the Week (Offense): Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt
Pickett wasn’t intimated by Miami’s standout defense or the turnover chain in his first career start. The true freshman completed 18 of 29 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown and added 60 rushing yards and two scores on 13 carries to guide Pitt to the 24-14 upset.
Co-Freshman of the Week (Offense): K.J. Costello, QB, Stanford
Costello was sharp in Saturday’s win over Notre Dame. The redshirt freshman connected on 14 of 22 throws for 176 yards and four touchdowns.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern
Fisher recorded 10 tackles (1.5 for a loss), one interception and a pass breakup in Saturday’s 42-7 victory over Illinois.
Team of the Week: Auburn
After a loss to LSU in mid-October, Auburn faced long odds to get back into consideration for the CFB Playoff. However, the Tigers have been a different team since that game, and coach Gus Malzahn’s program is just one win away from the CFB Playoff. Auburn knocked off Alabama 26-14 in the Iron Bowl to claim the SEC West title and a trip to the conference championship in Atlanta. The Tigers posted 408 total yards against one of college football’s top defenses, as quarterback Jarrett Stidham completed 21 of 28 passes, and running back Kerryon Johnson posted 104 yards on 30 carries. Auburn’s defense never allowed Alabama’s offense to find its rhythm, limiting the Crimson Tide to 314 total yards and just 3 of 11 on third downs.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Mike Hughes, DB, UCF
Hughes clinched the AAC East Division title (and potentially a New Year’s Six bowl) with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in Friday’s game against USF. The score gave UCF a 49-42 victory, and the defense held onto the lead by forcing a fumble on the Bulls’ next drive.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Haskins was pressed into duty after J.T. Barrett suffered a knee injury in the second half against Michigan. The redshirt freshman calmly led the Buckeyes to a 31-20 victory, as he completed 6 of 7 passes for 94 yards and added 24 yards on three carries.