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College Football Week 8 Awards

College Football Week 2 Awards

College Football Week 8 Awards

With the eighth 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 8:

College Football Week 8 Awards

Offensive Player of the Week: Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest
Hartman connected on 23 of 29 throws for 458 yards and five scores and rushed for 22 yards and a touchdown in Wake Forest’s 70-56 victory over Army.

Defensive Player of the Week: Kayvon Thibodeaux, DL/LB, Oregon
Thibodeaux dominated the line of scrimmage in Oregon’s win over UCLA. The junior accounted for nine tackles (4.5 for a loss), one forced fumble and recorded two sacks.

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Team of the Week: Illinois
The Fighting Illini pulled off the biggest upset in Week 8 by defeating Penn State 20-18 in overtime. After the game ended regulation in a 10-10 tie, the two teams played two normal periods of overtime play, followed by a period of two-point shootouts that extended into the ninth overtime. Coach Bret Bielema’s squad broke the extended scoring drought between the two teams with a short catch by receiver Casey Washington for the game-winning score. Illinois fell behind 10-0 but rallied behind the play of its ground attack and defense. Running back Chase Brown pounded the Nittany Lions’ defense for 223 yards, helping the offense run for 357 yards overall on 67 attempts. The Fighting Illini defense limited Penn State’s offense to just 227 yards, with 62 coming through the air and no second-half drive going beyond 27 yards. It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but Saturday’s outcome was a crucial victory for Bielema’s rebuilding effort in Champaign.

Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Mark Whipple, Pitt
The matchup between the best defense in the ACC (Clemson) against the No. 1 offense (Pitt) went in favor of the Panthers. Whipple’s offense posted 27 points against the Tigers, with the unit averaging 5.7 yards per snap for 464 yards. Pitt had a significant edge in time of possession (36:07 to 23:53), converted 10 of 18 third-down attempts and scored on four of the team’s final five drives to put the game away.

Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jon Heacock, Iowa State
Iowa State trailed Oklahoma State 14-7 at halftime, but the program rallied thanks to a strong second half on both sides of the ball. The defense played a key role in the comeback, as Heacock’s group limited the Cowboys to just seven points and 144 yards in the final two quarters and allowed zero third-down conversions over five attempts. Additionally, Iowa State held Oklahoma State’s standout ground game to just 20 rushing yards in the second half. Heacock’s defense also delivered with the game on the line. The Cowboys were driving for a game-tying field goal or game-winning touchdown with just over a minute left, when the Cyclones made a crucial fourth-down stop just inches from the first down marker to secure the victory.