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Georgia's Todd Gurley is Athlon Sports Week 5 National Player of the Week

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Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley

After his team lost by 3 to Georgia, Tennessee coach Butch Jones likened defending Georgia’s run game to defending the wishbone.

Don't give Georgia any ideas. It's scary what Todd Gurley might do if he played in that kind of offense. Playing in the Bulldogs pro-style is scary enough.

The Georgia tailback rushed for a career-high 208 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns in a 35-32 win over Tennessee to earn Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.

The Bulldogs needed every bit of Gurley’s production, and despite playing the deepest backfield in the country, Gurley may be the nation's most indispensable player.

Gurley rushed for a 51-yard touchdown to boost a fourth-quarter lead, hurdled over a Tennessee defender and picked up a fourth-and-3 conversion with a gutty four-yard gain.  

"Earlier in the year, I said he is at least one of the best players in the country,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “Now, I'm saying he's the best player in America. I can't imagine anyone being more talented, a guy who loves his team more, and a guy who means more to his team than he does to us.”

National Defensive Player of the Week: Ishmael Adams, UCLA

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Arizona State may have racked up 626 yards against UCLA but couldn’t stop the Bruins in the big-play department in any phase of the game. Defensive back Ishmael Adams helped changed the momentum twice. First, he recorded a 95-yard pick six as Arizona State was driving for a score to close the first half. Adams then returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown after the Sun Devils cut the lead to two touchdowns in the third quarter.

National Freshman of the Week: Deshaun Watson, Clemson

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Deshaun Watson flashed his potential in extended work against Florida State. He delivered against defense-challenged North Carolina in his first career start. Watson completed 27-of-36 passes for 435 yards with six touchdowns and an interception in a 50-35 win over North Carolina. 

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National Coordinator of the Week: Brian Stewart, Maryland

Injuries have been mounting for the Maryland defense, and Indiana is fresh off a win at Missouri. All signs would point to a shootout for a Terrapins team that two weeks ago gave up 40 points to West Virginia. The Terrapins, though, keyed the program’s first Big Ten victory, a 37-15 win over Indiana. The high-powered Hoosiers were limited to a season-low 332 total yards. Indiana was 14-of-37 passing with 126 yards and an interception.

Conference players of the week:

ACC: Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya completed 21-of-25 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns in a 22-10 win over Duke.

Big 12: Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman completed 17-of-31 passes for 370 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in a 45-35 win over Texas Tech on Thursday.

Big Ten: Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in a 45-14 win over Illinois.

Pac-12: UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was 18-of-23 for 355 yards with four touchdowns in a 62-27 win over Arizona State on Thursday. He also rushed for 72 yards on eight carries.

American: Temple quarterback P.J. Walker completed 20-of-29 passes for 231 yards with a touchdown in a 36-10 win over Connecticut. Walker also rushed for a touchdown.

Conference USA: Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky completed 38-of-54 passes for 387 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a 36-27 win over Navy. Doughty also rushed for a touchdown.

MAC: Akron linebacker Jatavis Brown had 11 tackles and a sack in a 21-10 win over Pittsburgh. The Zips are the first team to hold James Conner to fewer than 100 yards this season.

Mountain West: Air Force safety Weston Steelhammer had three interceptions, two tackles for a loss a sack and four tackles in a 28-14 win over Boise State.

Sun Belt: Georgia Southern quarterback Kevin Ellison rushed for 151 yards and a  touchdown on 21 carries in a 34-14 win over Appalachian State. He also completed 6-of-10 passes for 73 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Independents: Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson completed 31-of-39 passes for 362 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in a 31-15 win over Syracuse. Golson completed 25 consecutive passes at one point.