With the fourth weekend of the 2020 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, team and freshman from Week 4:
College Football Week 4 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: K.J. Costello, QB, Mississippi State
Costello had a record-setting debut in the season opener for Mississippi State. The Stanford transfer connected on 36 of 60 throws to set a new SEC record with 623 passing yards. Costello tossed five touchdown passes, including a 24-yard toss with less than four minutes left to give the Bulldogs a two-score lead.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jahron McPherson, S, Kansas State
McPherson led Kansas State’s defense with 11 tackles (one for a loss), recorded one forced fumble and picked off one pass in the upset win over Oklahoma.
Team of the Week: Mississippi State
Mike Leach’s debut at Mississippi State was expected to provide plenty of fireworks, and Saturday’s matchup against the defending national champions didn’t disappoint. The Bulldogs sent shockwaves through the SEC by beating LSU 44-34 in Death Valley. Quarterback K.J. Costello torched the Tigers for 623 yards and five touchdowns, while the defense recorded seven sacks and limited LSU to just 80 rushing yards. The win over the Tigers was also the highest-ranked team Mississippi State has defeated on the road in program history.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Will Hall, Tulane
Tulane posted 572 yards (7.6 per play) and 66 points in Saturday’s 66-24 victory over Southern Miss. Of those 572 yards, 430 came on the ground (8.0 per carry). Additionally, Hall’s offense scored on eight of the team’s final nine drives.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Ryan Smith, Virginia Tech
With coordinator Justin Hamilton sidelined, Smith – in his first game at Virginia Tech – stepped into the play-calling role for Saturday’s win over NC State. The Hokies held the Wolfpack to 386 yards (5.1 per play), registered six sacks and did not allow a run longer than 14 yards. Smith had to direct a shorthanded defense in the opener and did an admirable job guiding the unit to a solid all-around performance.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Deuce Vaughn, RB, Kansas State
Vaughn was instrumental in Kansas State’s upset over Oklahoma. The freshman ran for 45 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 129 yards.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Jamal Ligon, LB, UTSA
Ligon shined in UTSA’s Friday night win over Middle Tennessee. The freshman paced the defense with 19 tackles (1.5 for a loss) and also recorded 1.5 sacks.