College football All-Week 2 team: The best players at each position
Each week, we’ll be taking a look at the All-week first team, with the assessment being for the body of work of that week alone. Because the contributions of offensive linemen are more big picture and difficult to gauge on a week-by-week basis, they will be excluded from this exercise.
ICYMI: All-Week 1 team
|Running back||Kalen Ballage||Arizona State|
|Running back||Donnel Pumphrey||San Diego State|
|Wide receiver||Chad Hansen||California|
|Wide receiver||D.J. Moore||Maryland|
|Tight end||Jake Butt||Michigan|
QB: Lamar Jackson | Louisville
Jackson makes it 2-for-2 in Walter Camp National Player of the Week awards in the early stages of the season, following up his eight-touchdown half in the opener against Charlotte with some robust numbers against Syracuse. Jackson torched the Orange in record-setting fashion, setting the ACC single-game record for total yards with 610. He threw for 411 yards and ran for 199, missing out on the first 400/200 game in FBS history by just three feet. His five touchdowns now give him an absurd 13 on the year in just 5.5 quarters of work (he sat out the final seven minutes). We will get a read of just how good he can be next week at home against No. 2 Florida State in a giant matchup for the Cardinals.
RB: Kalen Ballage | Arizona State
Speaking of absurd, record-book numbers, Ballage found the end zone eight times in the Sun Devils’ win over Texas Tech. That tied an FBS record. The junior carried the ball 13 times for 137 yards and seven touchdowns, including a 75-yarder for his eighth, and caught two passes for 48 yards and another score. Ballage had as many rushing touchdowns Saturday as he did in his first two seasons combined. If scoring eight touchdowns isn’t crazy enough, scoring one in over half of your touches is next-level stuff.
RB: Donnel Pumphrey | San Diego State
Not to be outdone, Pumphrey exploded for 281 rushing yards in an Aztec win over California. The senior averaged nearly 10 yards per carry and added three touchdowns. The effort was also notable for pushing him over NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk as the San Diego State all-time leading rusher. Pumphrey currently leads the nation in rushing yards with 379.
WR: Chad Hansen | California
Here is another national leader in the late Saturday matchup, as Hansen’s 350 receiving yards pace the field by a good margin. Even more amazing might be his 28 receptions through two games, as he is clearly new quarterback Davis Webb’s favorite target, and for good reason. He caught 14 passes in the loss for 190 yards and a touchdown, which went for 49 yards. The 6-foot-2 junior should have many more big games ahead of him as long as Cal keeps throwing as much as it has been.
WR: D.J. Moore | Maryland
Moore, one of the speediest receivers around, entered the 2016 season looking to build off a really promising true freshman campaign. And yes, it was against Florida International, but he showed just how dangerous he can be with 147 yards and two touchdowns on six catches. New coach D.J. Durkin has a lot of work to do to turn around a Maryland team that went 3-9 last year, but the Terrapins already have two-thirds of that win total in the bag, and having a weapon like Moore on offense only helps.
TE: Jake Butt | Michigan
It seems like Butt has been around forever as a reliable pass-catching tight end for the Wolverines, but the senior seems to only be getting better. After hauling in seven catches for 86 yards and two scores, the Ohioan has already matched last year’s touchdown total of three. He approached a career high in yardage in the win over Central Florida, and he should get a steady dose of targets from Wilton Speight all year long, especially with the attention that Jehu Chesson receives in the backfield.
K: Emmit Carpenter | Minnesota
The new Golden Gophers kicker was money against Indiana State, scoring 16 points via seven extra points and three field goals in as many tries. The three-pointers were especially impressive given the distances: 42, 44 and 45 yards. It’s only been four attempts, but the Green Bay, Wisconsin, native is yet to miss a kick, with each of the attempts coming from longer than 40 yards.
|Defensive line||Ejuan Price||Pittsburgh|
|Defensive line||Duke Ejiofor||Wake Forest|
|Defensive line||Kendal Vickers||Tennessee|
|Linebacker||Connor Strachan||Boston College|
|Cornerback||Marshon Lattimore||Ohio State|
DL: Ejuan Price | Pittsburgh
It’s difficult to argue that any player had a bigger impact on either side of the ball in Pitt’s narrow victory over Penn State on Saturday than Price. The sixth-year senior had a sack, two tackles for loss, three QB hurries and forced Nittany Lion quarterback Trace McSorley to fumble twice. It was a nightmare of a day for the Penn State offensive line trying to block him.
DL: Duke Ejiofor | Wake Forest
Speaking of which, Ejiofor also had himself an afternoon of stuffing the stat sheets. In Wake Forest’s win over Duke, he had four tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and two quarterback hurries. The Demon Deacons held Duke to just 14 points, and the impact of Ejiofor was a key reason why.
DL: Kendal Vickers | Tennessee
Vickers had a decent game on the stat line, picking up four total tackles and a sack. But it was the magnitude of his play in the fourth quarter when he hustled into the open field to strip Virginia Tech Cam Phillips in the red zone that elevated his performance. That play led to a 14-point swing and put the Battle at Bristol away for the Vols.
LB: Sammy Douglas | TCU
TCU might have suffered a bad loss at home to Arkansas, but it was in no way the fault of Douglas, who was all over the field. The redshirt junior nearly matched his career tackle total of 24 (in 24 games) by registering 17 in the loss. Three of those tackles were for a loss, and he also added a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry. Douglas has had to work to get his starting job back after an injury last year, but this game likely put a lock on it.
LB: Sunia Tauteoli | Utah
The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week played ballhawk in the Holy War win over BYU. He hauled in career interceptions Nos. 1 and 2 on Saturday, including one returned for a 41-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. The 25-year-old finished with six total tackles in addition to the two picks.
LB: Brooks Ellis | Arkansas
The senior briefly had to leave the Razorbacks’ win over TCU with a cramp, but he returned for the end of regulation and overtime to make an impact down the stretch. It was a good thing, too, because he was phenomenal. He finished the night with 13 tackles, including three for loss, and an interception returned for 47 yards.
LB: Connor Strachan | Boston College
The Massachusetts offense had no answer for the Eagles, thanks in large part to the pressure that Strachan was able to apply at will. The linebacker sacked the quarterback 2.5 times, including a strip-sack which he then picked up. He finished with six total tackles in the 26-7 win. The Minutemen finished with an incredible negative-23 rushing yards due to that kind of pressure.
CB: Marshon Lattimore | Ohio State
The Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week was the second member of the Ohio State secondary in as many weeks to have a breakout performance. With only three returning starters in the entire defense, the Buckeyes needed some players to step up, and safety Malik Hooker and Lattimore have done just that. Lattimore had two interceptions, including a pick-six, and cemented his place as Ohio State’s No. 2 corner.
S: Orion Stewart | Baylor
Stewart was a handful for SMU on Saturday, picking off two passes, one of which he returned for a touchdown and the other in the end zone, and finishing with eight tackles. He received his first Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors in recognition of his performance.
S: Mike Tyson | Cincinnati
Mike Tyson with the knockout yesterday. Watch all THREE of his interceptions during UC's 38-20 win over Purdue pic.twitter.com/5ysenG2VRA— Cincinnati Bearcats (@GoBEARCATS) September 11, 2016
The two interceptions that Tauteoli, Lattimore and Stewart notched were certainly impressive, but Tyson took it a step further by picking off a third. All three of those passes went on to lead to Cincinnati touchdowns, which proved to be the difference in the Bearcats’ 38-20 win at Purdue.
CB: Aarion Penton | Missouri
Penton has been playing at a really high level for the last few years as one of the better lockdown corners in the nation, and that continued in Missouri’s win over Eastern Michigan. He broke up three passes and intercepted another, returning it 63 yards down to the 1-yard line.
P: Wade Lees | Maryland
Lees, an Aussie who is as old a freshman as you will ever find at 28 years old, was in top form in Friday’s win. On his five punts, the ball was placed at the 3, 12, 8, 14 and 11, though a holding call on the last one spotted the ball at the 21-yard line and ruined his perfect day. Still, four punts inside the 20 makes for about as good of a day as a punter can have.