With the 14th 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 14:
College Football Week 14 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
Young delivered a clutch performance to lift Alabama to a SEC title against Georgia. Against the No. 1 defense in college football, he completed 26 of 44 passes for 421 yards (a SEC Championship Game record) and three touchdowns and added 40 yards and a score on the ground.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jairon McVea, S, Baylor
McVea made the biggest defensive play of the week, forcing Oklahoma State running back Dezmon Jackson out of bounds and just short of a touchdown on fourth-and-goal with less than 30 seconds left to secure a win for Baylor. He also recorded nine tackles, a pass breakup and an interception in the Bears’ 21-16 victory.
Team of the Week: Cincinnati
The Bearcats are headed to the College Football Playoff after beating Houston in the American Athletic Conference title game to finish the regular season at 13-0. Cincinnati’s offense averaged 8.9 yards per snap against the Cougars, with quarterback Desmond Ridder scoring three times through the air and running back Jerome Ford rushing for 187 yards and two scores. Coach Luke Fickell’s defense limited Houston to 336 yards (4.6 per play), generated eight sacks and forced a key turnover in the third quarter to help seal the victory.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Anthony Tucker, Utah State
Utah State posted a strong all-around performance in Saturday’s win at San Diego State to clinch the Mountain West title, but a tip of the cap goes to Tucker’s offense after its output of 410 total yards and 46 points. The Aggies averaged 5.8 yards per snap against the best defense in the conference and converted on 50 percent of their third-down attempts. Utah State also punted just one time after the first quarter.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Derrick Jackson, Northern Illinois
Defense was a big reason why Northern Illinois defeated Kent State to claim its first MAC title since 2018. The Huskies did not allow the Golden Flashes’ high-powered offense to score a touchdown until late in the third quarter and came up with a couple of key stops, including two forced turnovers. Kent State did not have a play longer than 26 yards, while the bulk of the team’s production came in the fourth quarter.