With the eighth weekend of the 2019 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 8:
College Football Week 8 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Shane Buechele, QB, SMU
Buechele completed 30 of 53 passes for 457 yards and six touchdowns in SMU’s 45-21 win over Temple.
Defensive Player of the Week: Bradlee Anae, DL, Utah
Anae recorded three tackles (three for a loss), one pass breakup and three sacks to lead the way for Utah’s dominant defensive effort versus Arizona State.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Marcus Arroyo, Oregon
The Ducks recorded 434 yards (5.6 per play) and 35 points in a crucial win over Washington on Saturday afternoon. Arroyo’s offense notched three scoring drives in the second half that went at least 70 yards, including an eight-play effort that resulted in the game-winning touchdown.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Phil Snow, Baylor
Baylor’s defense held Oklahoma State to just 5.5 yards a play and 27 points, while also generating three takeaways in a key road win for coach Matt Rhule’s team. The Bears did not allow a pass longer than 29 yards and also scored a touchdown to help put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Team of the Week: Illinois
The Fighting Illini pulled off the biggest upset of the year by defeating Wisconsin 24-23 on Saturday. Illinois took advantage of two fourth-quarter turnovers by the Badgers to score 10 points, including a last-second field goal to earn the victory. Coach Lovie Smith’s defense held Wisconsin to just 156 rushing yards and did not allow a play longer than 35 yards. In addition to this game being the biggest upset of the year, this win was the best of Smith’s tenure in Champaign.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis
Gainwell became the first player since 1997 to rush for over 100 yards (104) and account for more than 200 receiving yards (203) in Saturday’s win over Tulane. Gainwell reached the end zone three times and recorded 307 overall yards against the Green Wave.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Riley Sharp, LB, Oregon State
Sharp recorded five tackles (three for a loss), one pass breakup and five sacks in Oregon State’s 21-17 upset win over California.