With the ninth 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 9:
College Football Week 9 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Walker carried Michigan State to a win over rival Michigan by running for 197 yards and five touchdowns on just 23 carries (8.6 yards per carry).
Defensive Player of the Week: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DL, Kansas State
Anudike-Uzomah recorded eight tackles (four for a loss) and four sacks and forced two fumbles in Kansas State’s 31-12 win over TCU.
Team of the Week: Michigan State
The Spartans earned team of the week honors after beating rival Michigan 37-33 on Saturday. Not only was the victory huge for bragging rights in the state of Michigan, coach Mel Tucker’s team remained squarely in the mix for the Big Ten title and a trip to the CFB Playoff. Michigan State fell behind 30-14 at halftime but rallied with 23 second-half points to secure the win. The play of running back Kenneth Walker (197 yards and five touchdowns) was crucial to the victory, and the defense stepped up in the second half, holding Michigan without a score on five of the game’s final seven drives.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Aaron Roderick, BYU
BYU’s offense recorded 734 total yards (8.8 per play) and scored 66 points in a 66-49 win over Virginia on Saturday night. Roderick’s group had plenty of balance (349 through the air and 385 on the ground), converted six of 11 third-down attempts and punted only twice over 15 drives.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s defense turned in a dominant effort in Saturday’s 27-7 win over Iowa. The Badgers allowed only 156 yards (2.8 per play) and held the Hawkeyes to 24 rushing yards on 30 attempts. Also, Iowa had only two plays of 20-plus yards and converted just two of 13 third-down attempts. Wisconsin recorded six sacks and 10 tackles for a loss and forced six three-and-outs over 13 drives.