With the sixth 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, team, and freshman from Week 6:
College Football Week 6 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Zach Calzada, QB, Texas A&M
Calzada was flawless in Texas A&M’s upset of Alabama. The sophomore connected on 21 of 31 throws for 285 yards and three touchdowns and made a couple of clutch plays to guide the team to a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Defensive Player of the Week: Matt Hankins, CB, Iowa
Hankins was instrumental in Iowa’s strong overall defensive effort and in helping to limit Penn State to just 180 passing yards on Saturday. The standout cornerback finished the game with five tackles and one interception, with one of his stops coming on a fourth down late in the contest.
Team of the Week: Texas A&M
The Aggies scored the biggest upset of the 2021 college football season with a 41-38 victory over Alabama on Saturday night. Texas A&M opened a 17-7 lead in the first quarter and managed to stay in front until late in the game when the Crimson Tide held a 38-31 edge. However, the Aggies answered the bell with a late touchdown, followed by a clutch drive for the game-winning score. Coach Jimbo Fisher’s team made just enough timely stops against a high-powered Alabama attack, while the Texas A&M offense stepped up behind quarterback Zach Calzada. Also, after allowing a blocked punt for a touchdown, the Aggies’ special teams responded with a kickoff return for a score. Coming into Saturday's game, Alabama coach Nick Saban was 24-0 against former assistant coaches. Fisher is the first to earn a victory over Saban, notching a marquee win for the program in the process.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Jay Johnson, Michigan State
The Spartans moved to 6-0 thanks to a dominant 31-13 win over Rutgers on Saturday. The offense averaged nine yards per play over 65 snaps, and Johnson’s group recorded four touchdowns of 60-plus yards. Running back Kenneth Walker ran for 233 yards over 29 attempts, while quarterback Payton Thorne threw for 339 yards on 16 completions.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Brad White, Kentucky
Kentucky’s defense turned in a dominant effort on Saturday night in a 42-21 win over LSU. The Wildcats limited the Tigers to just 5.6 yards per play, with most of the offensive production coming over the final two quarters when the outcome wasn’t in doubt. White’s defense recorded four sacks and nine tackles for a loss and held quarterback Max Johnson to just 6.9 yards per attempt.
True Freshman of the Week: Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma
Williams sparked Oklahoma’s comeback win over Texas by connecting on 15 of 24 throws for 211 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 88 yards and a score.