Week 6 of the 2017 college football season was filled with several intriguing matchups and storylines. Iowa State upset Oklahoma in Norman to knock the Sooners from the ranks of the unbeaten. Michigan also suffered its first loss of the 2017 season, as rival Michigan State won in Ann Arbor in a 14-10 slugfest. Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Washington and Georgia picked up key victories in conference play, and TCU continued to impress with a huge win over West Virginia. Miami also snapped a seven-game losing streak to Florida State with a touchdown in the final seconds.
With the sixth 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 6:
College Football Week 6 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona
Tate delivered a breakout performance for Arizona’s offense after Brandon Dawkins was forced to leave Saturday night’s game due to injury. The sophomore came off the bench to complete 11 of 12 throws for 142 yards and a touchdown and gashed Colorado’s run defense for 327 yards and four scores on the ground. The 327 rushing yards are the most in FBS history by a quarterback. Additionally, Tate’s 23.4 yards per carry is a new school record.
Defensive Player of the Week: Joe Bachie, LB, Michigan State
Bachie helped Michigan State’s defense hold Michigan to just 10 points and an average of 4.1 yards per play on Saturday night. The sophomore recorded 10 tackles (one for a loss), one interception, one sack and one forced fumble. Additionally, his lone pass breakup took place on the last play of the game, which batted a Michigan Hail Mary attempt to the turf to give the Spartans a victory over their hated rivals.
Best All-Around for Week 6 (Offense): Kenny Hill, QB, TCU
Hill’s hot start to the 2017 season continued with a clutch performance against West Virginia on Saturday. The senior threw for 188 yards and one touchdown, rushed for 28 yards and a score and also caught a pass for a 48-yard touchdown.
Best All-Around for Week 6 (Defense): Joel Lanning, QB/LB, Iowa State
Lanning’s transition from quarterback to linebacker has been a seamless one, but the senior was needed back on that side of the ball on Saturday. With Jacob Park away from the team, Lanning played a handful of snaps on offense to spell starter Kyle Kempt, completing two of three passes for 25 yards and rushing for 35 yards on nine carries. Lanning also recorded eight tackles (one for a loss) and one sack on defense.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Eliah Drinkwitz, NC State
Drinkwitz seemed to push all of the right buttons in NC State’s win over Louisville on Thursday night. The Wolfpack offense generated 520 total yards (7.3 ypp), had only one three-and-out and scored on three out of their first five possessions. NC State also scored two key touchdowns in the second half to seal the victory against the Cardinals.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Greg Schiano, Ohio State
One word sums up Ohio State’s defensive effort on Saturday: Dominant. Maryland was held to just 66 total yards on 55 plays (1.2 ypp), with 35 yards coming on one play. The 66 yards were the fewest allowed by an Ohio State defense since 1960. The Terrapins converted just one of 15 third-down attempts, lost two turnovers and failed to record a drive of longer than 27 yards. Schiano’s defense also recorded 12 tackles for a loss and five sacks.
Co-Freshman of the Week (Offense): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Taylor once again led the way for Wisconsin’s powerful ground attack. The true freshman gashed Nebraska for 249 yards and two touchdowns on 25 attempts. This is the second time Taylor has eclipsed the 200-yard mark this season.
Co-Freshman of the Week (Offense): Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
Ehlinger completed 30 of 50 throws for 380 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 107 yards on 20 carries to lift Texas to a 40-34 victory over Kansas State in overtime on Saturday night.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Shaka Toney, DL, Penn State
Toney was a key cog in Penn State’s dominant defensive performance against Northwestern on Saturday. The freshmen recorded two tackles (two for a loss), two sacks and forced one fumble.
Team of the Week: Iowa State
The Cyclones were a four-touchdown underdog, on the road in a tough environment (Norman) and had to play without their starting quarterback. Despite those obstacles, Iowa State stunned Oklahoma 38-31 on Saturday to knock the Sooners from the ranks of the unbeaten. Former quarterback and current starting linebacker Joel Lanning pitched in as a change-of-pace option under center, with Kyle Kempt torching the Oklahoma secondary for 343 passing yards and three touchdowns on 18 attempts. The Cyclones gave up some yardage on defense (513) but made two key stops in the second half (along with a missed field goal) to give coach Matt Campbell’s team a chance to win.
Unsung Hero of the Week (Offense): Darrell Langham, WR, Miami
Coming into Saturday’s game against Florida State, Langham had just three catches in three previous appearances in 2017. However, the junior delivered in the clutch for the Hurricanes and helped coach Mark Richt’s team snap a seven-game losing streak to their in-state rivals. With less than 10 seconds left, Langham outdueled Florida State cornerback Tarvarus McFadden for a 23-yard touchdown pass. That was Langham’s only reception of the day, but the little-used junior’s catch lifted Miami to a 24-20 victory.
Unsung Hero of the Week (Defense): Brandon Snyder, S, Iowa
Snyder was expected to miss the 2017 season after an ACL tear in April. However, a quick recovery allowed him to make his first appearance in Saturday’s game against Illinois. Snyder contributed three tackles, two pass breakups and returned an interception for a touchdown.