PFF’s Team of the Week selections following Week 3 of college football
Steve Palazzolo and PFF's team of analysts share their selections for national, Power-5 and Group of 5 Teams of the Week.
PFF’s Team of the Week selections following Week 3 of college football
An exciting Week 3 re-shaped the college football landscape and led to another week of incredible performances around the nation.
These are my selections for the national team of the week — be sure to scroll below to check out our selecitons for the Group of 5 and every Power-5 conference as well.— Steve Palazzolo
Quarterback: Lamar Jackson, Louisville 73.0
Jackson earns team-of-the-week status for the second straight week, and while he didn’t have the best overall grade in the nation, his dismantling of the Florida State offense was a sight to see. He did top the country with a 91.8 rushing grade that led to 146 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns that he paired with another 216 yards and a touchdown through the air. Louisville’s offense is rolling behind Jackson’s legs that have opened up the big-play passing game.
Running back: Elijah McGuire, Louisiana 76.9 and Kareem Hunt, Toledo 88.4
McGuire led the nation with 223 yards on the ground this week with an amazing 177 of those coming after contact (8.0 yards after contact per rush). Hunt rushed for 123 yards on 19 carries, but he did so behind one of the worst run-blocking performances of the week by the Toledo offensive line. He forced seven missed tackles on the day.
Wide receiver: KD Cannon, Baylor 87.0 and Jonathan Giles, Texas Tech 85.1
There were many great wide receiver performances this week, but Cannon’s nine catches on 10 targets for 213 yards and two touchdowns leads the way. Giles caught six of his seven targets for a ridiciulous 186 yards and three scores as he averaged 17.2 yards after the catch per reception.
Slot: Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia 84.6
McKenzie made plays both in the pass game and on the ground, finishing with 10 catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns to go with 19 yards on two carries and another score on the ground.
Tight end: C.J. Conrad, Kentucky 88.1
With only 154 career yards to his name coming into the game, Conrad picked up 133 on his five catches, three of which were touchdowns. He complemented the big numbers with one of the week’s best run blocking efforts among tight ends.
Offensive tackle: Connor Williams, Texas 84.2 and Andre Dillard, Washington State 86.1
Williams has yet to allow a pressure this season, building on last year’s top-notch effort as a true freshman. This week, he posted one of the top run blocking grades in the nation, leading to an impressive all-around performance. Dillard surrendered just one hurry on 52 attempts in Washington State’s spread scheme and he posted the best run blocking grade of his career.
Guard: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame 85.3 and Sam Jones, Arizona State 83.9
Nelson has bounced back from a subpar opening night effort in the run game, re-establishing himself as one of the nation’s best run blocking guards. He allowed just one hurry on his 43 attempts in pass protection. Jones was outstanding in the run game while not surrendering a pressure on his 41 attempts.
Center: Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, 81.4
Despite the loss to Ohio State, Alvarez was a bright spot along Oklahoma’s offensive line. He was solid in pass protection and strong in the running game with one of the week’s best grades.
Edge rusher: Derek Barnett, Tennessee 90.4 and Arden Key, LSU 86.1
Barnett bounced from a slow start to pick up three QB hits and nine hurries on only 43 rushes. It was a dominant pass rushing effort that was complemented by his usual strong work in the run game. Key was one of the week’s most efficient pass-rushers, picking up two sacks, two QB hits, and five hurries on only 29 rushes. He’s taken to his new role at outside linebacker in LSU’s scheme.
Defensive interior: John Stepec, Toledo 89.1 and Andrew Brown, Virginia 85.8
Toledo’s defensive front had a fine day against Fresno State and Stepec led the way with the top run-stopping grade and five total pressures on only 25 rushes. Brown is coming off the best game of his career, showing the talent that made him a 5-start recruit. It was a dominant run game performance that was capped by a sack, QB hit, and batted pass as a pass-rusher.
Linebacker: Robert Spillane, Western Michigan 90.0; Antonio Kinard, Cincinnati 88.9; Steven Taylor, Houston 87.9
Spillane was sound against both run and pass as he kept the ball in front of him and tacked on an interception. Kinard was all over the field for Cincinnati, finishing with 13 solo tackles by our count and nine stops. Taylor made his mark rushing the passer as he notched three sacks and three hurries on only 25 rushes.
Cornerback: Howard Wilson, Houston 93.2 and Breon Borders, Duke 88.7
Wilson was another playmaker for Houston, allowing only five receptions on 10 targets to go with two interceptions and a pass defensed. Borders posted gaudy numbers, allowing only two receptions on eight targets while intercepting a pass and deflecting four more to lead the nation in passes defensed.
Safety: DeVon Edwards, Duke 90.8 and Austin Hall, Memphis 86.8
Edwards has assumed Duke’s defensive back pass rushing role from departed Jeremy Cash and he got into the backfield for a sack and six hurries on only 15 rushes. Hall finished with seven stops on the day to go with one of the nation’s top grades in coverage this week.
Kicker: Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State
The Sun Devils strong-legged kicker continued his impressive start to the 2016 season on Saturday. He connected on 4-of-5 field goal attempts, including going 2-for-3 on kicks from 50+ yards and boomed kickoffs, with six of the eight resulting in a touchback.
Punter: Rigoberto Sanchez, Hawaii
Our highest-graded punter from this week, Sanchez averaged 50.4 yards per punt, with a net average of 42.4. He impressed with his hang-time on punts, including one punt which was in the air for 5.22 seconds, the second-longest hang-time of any punt in college football this week.
Pac-12 — Jordan Plocher
QB: Brandon Dawkins, Arizona, 79.6
WR: N’Keal Harry, Arizona State, 84.6; Chad Hansen, Cal, 85.1
OT: Andre Dilllard, Washington State, 86.1; Jackson Barton, Utah, 80.0
OG: Sam Jones, Arizona State, 83.9; Cody O’Connell, Washington State, 86.5
C: Coleman Shelton, Washington, 83.4
TE: Dalton Schultz, Stanford, 76.8
RB: Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 75.6; J.J. Taylor, Arizona, 72.4
ED: Hunter Dimick, Utah, 88.7; Joe Mathis, Washington, 85.6
DI: Greg Gaines, Washington, 81.8; Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA, 83.4
LB: Jayon Brown, UCLA, 87.0; Kenneth Olugbode, Colorado, 82.3
CB: Alijah Holder, Stanford, 89.0; Adoree’ Jackson, USC, 84.1; Arrion Springs, Oregon, 86.2
S: Marcus Williams, Utah, 85.0; Luke Rubenzer, Cal, 80.9
Big Ten — Josh Liskiewitz
QB: Tommy Armstrong Jr., Nebraska 71.9
WR: Noah Brown, Ohio State 84.1; R.J. Shelton, Michigan State 79.3
OT: Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin 81.4; Ike Boettger, Iowa 75.5
OG: Tommy Doles, Northwestern 78.6; Brian Allen, Michigan State 72.7
C: Derrick Nelson, Rutgers 82.9
TE: Jake Butt, Michigan 82.6
RB: Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska 79.2
FB: Khalid Hill, Michigan 82.2
ED: Rashan Gary, Michigan 81.1; Xavier Washington, Northwestern 80.7
DI: Darius Hamilton, Rutgers 83.4; Malik McDowell, Michigan State 82.7
LB: Jon Reschke, Michigan State 86.8; Ben Gedeon, Michigan 82.5; Jack Cichy, Wisconsin 86.2
CB: Trae Williams, Northwestern 83.3; Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State 85.2
S: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan 82.3; Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern 80.3
ACC — John Breitenbach
QB Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech, 76.2
WR Stephen Louis, NC State, 79.3; Ervin Philips, Syracuse, 76.4
TE David Njoku, Miami, 88.1
T John Heck, UNC, 83.2; Brian ONeill, Pitt, 79.9
G Tyler Hayworth, Wake Forest, 77.5; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech, 81.1
C Jay Guillermo, Clemson, 78.5
HB Brandon Radcliff, Louisville, 73.1
ED Ejuan Price, Pitt, 79.9; Danny Doyle, Duke, 79.1
DI Andrew Brown, Virginia, 85.8; Justin Jones, NC State, 83.2
LB Micah Kiser, Virginia, 87.0; Andrew Motuapuaka, Virginia Tech, 83.9; Ben Humphreys, Duke, 80.6
CB Breon Borders, Duke, 88.7; Mook Reynolds, Virginia Tech, 83.1
S DeVon Edwards, Duke, 90.8; Rayshawn Jenkins, Miami, 81.2
SEC — Gordon McGuinness
QB: Austin Allen, Arkansas, 71.4
HB: Rawleigh Williams III, Arkansas, 81.4
FB: Chandler Cox, Auburn, 74.8
WR: Isaiah McKenzie, Georgia, 84.6; Donald Gray, Mississippi State, 81.2
TE: C.J. Conrad, Kentucky, 88.1
LT: David Sharpe, Florida, 73.4
LG: Zack Bailey, South Carolina, 81.3
C: Bradley Bozeman, Alabama, 80.0
RG: Ramsey Meyers, Kentucky, 81.0
RT: Justin Senior, Mississippi State, 78.9
ED: Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 90.4; Arden Key, LSU, 86.1
DI: Jonathan Allen, Alabama, 85.3; Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama, 85.2
LB: Reuben Foster, Alabama, 85.9; Brooks Ellis, Arkansas, 85.6; Michael Scherer, 84.2
CB: Ryan Pulley, Arkansas, 84.1; Chris Westry, 83.0; Tre’Davious White, 76.3 (Slot)
S: Marcus Maye, Florida, 83.4; Dominick Sanders, Georgia, 82.4
Big 12 — Bryson Vesnaver
QB: Seth Russell, Baylor, 79.2
HB: Chris Warren III, Texas, 71.4, Joe Mixon, Oklahoma, 70.9
WR: KD Cannon, Baylor, 87.0, Jonathan Giles, Texas Tech, 85.1, James Washington, Oklahoma State, 83.7
LT: Connor Williams, Texas, 84.2
LG: Patrick Morris, TCU, 81.4
C: Austin Schlottmann, TCU, 82.2
RG: Terrale Johnson, Kansas State, 80.7
RT: Dalton Risner, Kansas State, 82.4
ED: Jordan Willis, Kansas State, 81.8, Reggie Walker, Kansas State, 79.6
DI: Vincent Taylor, Oklahoma State, 80.6, Paul Boyette Jr., Texas, 80.6
LB: Aiavion Edwards, Baylor, 84.8, Anthony Wheeler, Texas, 79.2, Jordyn Brooks, TCU, 78.6
CB: Justis Nelson, Texas Tech, 86.5, Verkedric Vaughns, Baylor, 83.2, D.J. Reed, Kansas State, 83.2
S: Niko Small, TCU, 84.3, Kendall Adams, Kansas State, 80.8
Group of 5 — Zoltan Buday
QB: Colin Hill, Colorado State 78.6
RB: Kareem Hunt, Toledo 88.4
WR: Zay Jones, East Carolina 78.1; Marcus Kemp, Hawaii 79.1
TE: Gerald Everett, South Alabama 78.1
OT: Clint Van Horn, Marshall 82.9; Darrell Brown, Louisiana Tech 80.9
OG: Jeremy Macauley, Nevada 80.6; Colby Gossett, Appalachian State 80.7
C: Junior Diaz, Tulane 85.3
ED: Terence Waugh, Kent State 90.2; Keion Adams, Western Michigan 84.7
DI: John Stepec, Toledo 89.1; Treyvon Hester, Toledo 88.3
LB: Steven Taylor, Houston 87.9; Antonio Kinard, Cincinnati 88.9; Robert Spillane, Western Michigan 90.0
CB: Howard Wilson, Houston 93.2; Drell Greene, Western Kentucky 85.7
S: Nate Holley, Kent State 88.1; Austin Hall, Memphis 86.8