Athlon hands out the awards from the Week 2 action.
Week 2 of the 2017 college football season was filled with several intriguing matchups and storylines. And once again, a Saturday full of action didn't disappoint. Oklahoma upset Ohio State in Columbus, Clemson defeated Auburn in Death Valley, Georgia edged Notre Dame in South Bend, and USC handled Stanford in a key Pac-12 conference matchup.
With the second 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 2:
College Football Week 2 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Sooners got revenge for Ohio State’s win Norman last year by knocking off the Buckeyes 31-16 on Saturday night. Mayfield was instrumental in leading Oklahoma to the road upset over Ohio State. The senior connected on 27 of 35 throws for 386 yards and three touchdowns against the Buckeyes, and led the Sooners’ offense to scores on five out of its final seven drives.
Defensive Player of the Week: Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
A couple of Clemson defenders could earn this honor following Saturday night’s dominant effort against Auburn. Bryant gets the nod for defensive player of the week honors after recording seven tackles (four for a loss), four sacks and one quarterback hurry.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Tee Martin, USC
USC’s offense was hitting on all cylinders in Saturday night’s win against Stanford. Quarterback Sam Darnold threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns, and the ground attack – led by Ronald Jones and Stephen Carr – rushed for 307 yards. Martin’s offense averaged 8.4 yards per play, converted 10 of 12 third-down attempts and punted only once on 10 drives.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Brent Venables, Clemson
Dominant. That’s simply the best way to describe Clemson’s defense on Saturday night. The Tigers limited Auburn to just 117 yards on 66 plays – an average of just 1.8 yards per play. Additionally, Venables’ group recorded 11 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, allowed only 38 rushing yards and only one of Auburn’s 12 drives went longer than 25 yards. From the trenches to the secondary, Clemson completely suffocated Auburn’s offense on Saturday night.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Taylor has quickly emerged as the next star running back in Madison. In Saturday’s win over FAU, Taylor gashed the Owls for 223 yards and three touchdowns, averaging a healthy 8.6 yards per rush on 26 carries.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Thomas Graham, CB, Oregon
Graham was one of the top recruits in coach Willie Taggart’s first class in Eugene, and the true freshman has been a key contributor in the secondary through the first two weeks of 2017. In Saturday’s win over Nebraska, Graham collected seven tackles (one for a loss), two pass breakups and two interceptions.
Team of the Week: Oklahoma
Saturday night’s win in Columbus was a statement victory for Oklahoma and first-year coach Lincoln Riley. Quarterback Baker Mayfield delivered strikes against Ohio State’s secondary, and the offensive line prevented the deep Buckeye line from dominating the trenches. The Sooners posted only two three-and-outs on 12 overall drives and scored on the first two drives in the second half to take control of the game. Oklahoma’s defense continued to build on its late-season improvement from 2016, limiting Ohio State to just 5.1 yards per play and allowing only one play of more than 25 yards.
Unsung Hero of the Week No. 1: Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
Wadley helped Iowa secure its third straight win over rival Iowa State on Saturday, as the senior rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown and added 72 yards and a score on four receptions. Wadley’s catch and run for a 46-yard touchdown with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter was one of the top plays on Saturday, allowing the Hawkeyes to tie the game at 38 just prior to overtime.
Unsung Hero of the Week No. 2: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Penny led the way for San Diego State in a road upset against Arizona State on Saturday night. The senior gashed the Aztecs for 216 rushing yards and one touchdown, caught four passes (one for a score) for 38 yards and returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.