Athlon hands out the awards from the Week 3 action.
Week 3 featured several high-profile matchups, but the big winners on Saturday were Louisville, Alabama and Ohio State. The Cardinals dominated Florida State to take a huge step forward in the ACC title race, while Alabama knocked off Ole Miss to end a two-game losing streak to the Rebels. A revamped and reloaded Buckeye team with several new stars emerging handled Oklahoma in Norman.
With the third weekend of 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 3:
College Football Week 3 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Jackson takes home Athlon Sports Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second week in a row. The sophomore completed 13 of 20 throws for 216 yards and one score, while rushing for 146 yards and four touchdowns in Louisville’s 63-20 dismantling of Florida State. Through three weeks of the 2016 season, Jackson is averaging 10.5 yards per play and ranks second nationally by averaging 459 total yards per game.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan
Colorado found out why Peppers is considered one of the nation’s most versatile and best all-around threats on Saturday afternoon. The sophomore linebacker delivered a standout performance on defense with nine tackles (3.5 for a loss) and one sack, recorded two carries on offense for 24 yards and returned a punt 54 yards for the game’s final score.
Coordinator of the Week: Ed Warinner, Offensive Coordinator, Ohio State
Saturday night’s victory at Oklahoma was a complete team effort for Ohio State, but Warinner earns this honor for his play-calling and overall development for the Buckeye offense. Ohio State averaged 6.5 yards per play in the 45-24 win over the Sooners, with quarterback J.T. Barrett completing 14 of 20 passes for 152 yards and four scores. The ground attack was just as effective, with Mike Weber (123 yards) leading the way. Despite all of the new faces on offense this season, Ohio State is averaging 7.1 yards per play and ranks third nationally with an average of 56.7 points a game.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jacob Eason, QB, Georgia
Eason wasn’t rattled in his first road start and delivered a clutch performance with the game on the line. Georgia edged Missouri 28-27 on Saturday night, as Eason completed 29 of 55 throws for 308 yards and three scores. The Bulldogs faced a fourth-and-10 from the Missouri 20 with less than two minutes remaining, but Eason calmly fired the game-winning strike to receiver Isaiah McKenzie. The true freshman also averaged 10.6 yards per completion against a good Missouri defense.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Jabari Zuniga, DL, Florida
Zuniga has quietly been a force for Florida’s defense through the first three weeks of the season. In Florida’s 32-0 win over North Texas, Zuniga recorded three tackles (two for a loss), one forced fumble and two sacks. The freshman leads all Florida defenders with four sacks so far this year.
Unsung Heroes of the Week: Mason Rudolph, QB/James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
The dynamic duo of Rudolph and Washington share this honor this week. Oklahoma State’s offense torched Pitt for 640 total yards, with Rudolph completing 26 of 46 throws for 540 yards. James Washington was Rudolph’s favorite target, as he grabbed nine of those completions for 296 yards and two touchdowns.
Team of the Week: Louisville
Any doubts about Louisville’s legitimacy as a playoff contender were answered in Saturday’s easy win over Florida State. And it’s not just a one-man show (Lamar Jackson) for coach Bobby Petrino. The defense was outstanding in containing a potent Seminole offense to just 4.2 yards per play. The next hurdle for Petrino’s team is a road date at Marshall next Saturday, but the Oct. 1 matchup against Clemson is another huge opportunity to make a statement.