With the eighth 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 8:
College Football Week 8 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Ridder guided Cincinnati to a huge road win at SMU on Saturday night. The junior completed 13 of 21 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown and added 179 yards and three scores on the ground.
Defensive Player of the Week: Nick Andersen, S, Wake Forest
Andersen picked off three passes and led Wake Forest’s defense with 11 tackles in a 23-16 win over Virginia Tech
Team of the Week: Indiana
The Hoosiers beat Penn State to score their first victory over a top-10 team in Bloomington for the first time since 1967. Quarterback Michael Penix scored on a one-yard touchdown run with just 22 seconds left to send the game to overtime. And in overtime, Penix delivered a nine-yard strike to Whop Philyor and ran in the two-point conversion to win 36-35 over the Nittany Lions. After coming close to a few upsets under coach Tom Allen, Indiana got just enough timely offense and defense, along with a clutch play in overtime to secure a huge victory.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Brian Brohm, Purdue
With head coach Jeff Brohm sidelined due to COVID, Brian Brohm – the program’s co-offensive coordinator – filled in as head coach for Purdue’s 24-20 win over Iowa. The Boilermakers averaged five yards a play and converted six of 16 third-down conversions, but the offense delivered two of its best drives with the game in doubt in the fourth quarter. Purdue’s 72-yard touchdown drive with less than three minutes remaining secured the victory for Brohm in his one-game stint as head coach.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Don Brown, Michigan
Michigan’s defense held Minnesota to just 326 yards (4.5 yards a snap), forced two takeaways and registered five sacks in Saturday night’s win. Also, the Wolverines scored on a fumble return in the first half and made a key stop on a fourth down in the third quarter to help secure the victory.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Graham Mertz, QB, Wisconsin
Mertz completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in Friday night’s win over Illinois. The redshirt freshman completed his first 17 passes and his 95.2 completion percentage set a new single-game high in Wisconsin program history.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): BJ Ojulari, DE, LSU
Ojulari recorded four tackles (three for a loss) and three sacks in LSU’s win over South Carolina.