College football All-Week 4 team: The best players at each position
Each week, we’ll be taking a look at the All-American 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 3 team
|Quarterback||Mitch Trubisky||North Carolina|
|Running back||Jeremy McNichols||Boise State|
|Running back||Dalvin Cook||Florida State|
|Wide receiver||Amba Etta-Tawo||Syracuse|
|Wide receiver||Ryan Switzer||North Carolina|
|Tight end||Evan Engram||Mississippi|
QB: Mitch Trubisky | North Carolina
Finally, a quarterback who isn’t Lamar Jackson appears on an All-Week team. It really could have been Jackson again after accounting for seven touchdowns, but the time has come to give someone else the spotlight. That honor goes to Trubisky, who was named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week after a stellar 35-of-46, 453-yard, five-touchdown performance. He gets bonus points for leading a buzzer-beating drive to come back and defeat Pittsburgh. The Ohioan has been a very under-the-radar star this year, as he has yet to throw an interception.
RB: Jeremy McNichols | Boise State
His second half was nothing special, but it didn’t need to be with how unstoppable McNichols was in the first. He finished the opening two quarters with 146 rushing yards and three touchdowns as well as a receiving score. He didn’t find the end zone among his 62 second-half rushing yards, but his first half was more than enough to earn him the spot.
RB: Dalvin Cook | Florida State
Cook was considered by many to be a Heisman contender coming into the season but hasn’t really lit up the stat sheets yet — that is, until Saturday. The junior ran for a 75-yard touchdown to start the game and never looked back, torching the USF defense for a career-high 267-yard performance. He finished the day with one more touchdown in addition to the tone-setter and also had 62 receiving yards to lead the Seminoles.
WR: Amba Etta-Tawo | Syracuse
The senior was a post-graduate transfer from Maryland, making this his first year with the Orange. Based on the chemistry he has with quarterback Eric Dungey, you never would have guessed. Etta-Tawo leads the nation in receiving yards with 706. He has gone over 100 in each of Syracuse’s four games, but none came close to his spectacular performance on Saturday. He pulled in 12 catches for a remarkable 270 yards, including two touchdowns, in a win over Connecticut.
WR: Ryan Switzer | North Carolina
Switzer was a big reason why Trubisky was able to have the game he did, as he tied the ACC record with 16 receptions. Of those, 11 came in the second half, making him an integral part of the comeback effort. He finished with 208 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Evan Engram | Mississippi
The senior tight end came to play in a must-win game for the Rebels against Georgia, as quarterback Chad Kelly found Engram six times for 95 yards and a touchdown in the blowout win. Engram has been the top pass-catching tight end in the nation this season, leading everyone in receptions and receiving yards.
K: Daniel Carlson | Auburn
Usually, a good kicker is a great complement to an offense. But for Auburn against a tough LSU defense on Saturday, Carlson was the offense. The third-year starter’s six field goals made up all of the Auburn Tigers’ points in an 18-13 upset. Granted, the average kick distance was only a little over 34 yards, but he still came through when his team needed it most. Carlson is yet to miss a kick this year and could be a legitimate Lou Groza Award contender.
|Defensive line||Derek Barnett||Tennessee|
|Defensive line||David Moa||Boise State|
|Defensive line||A.J. Wolf||Duke|
|Safety||Jessie Bates||Wake Forest|
|Safety||Armani Watts||Texas A&M|
|Cornerback||Curtis Mikell||Southern Miss.|
DL: Derek Barnett | Tennessee
Barnett was one of the driving forces of Tennessee’s massive second-half comeback over Florida. He finished with three tackles for loss, including two sacks. He also batted down a pass in the end zone that was very nearly corralled for the world’s shortest pick-six.
DL: David Moa | Boise State
Once the Moa Constrictor gets you in his grasp...Darkness. David Moa now has 2.5 sacks today! pic.twitter.com/dHlpVVbvA6— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) September 24, 2016
Oregon State had no answers for Moa, who was able to penetrate the line seemingly at will. The first-year starter finished with five tackles and 2.5 sacks, giving him four for the year.
DL: A.J. Wolf | Duke
The Blue Devils pulled off a big upset over Notre Dame, and Wolf was a big reason why. The redshirt senior had five tackles, a sack and a QB hurry, as he kept DeShone Kizer uncomfortable throughout much of the contest.
LB: T.J. Watt | Wisconsin
Watt continues to make a name for himself in the Badgers defense, and he is really showing the dominant traits that his older brother, J.J., possesses. The converted tight end had six tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in Wisconsin’s laugher over Michigan State.
LB: Tau Lotulelei | UNLV
The senior seemed to find himself wherever the ball was in UNLV’s overtime loss to Idaho. He finished with 15 tackles, including five of the solo variety, and assisted on a hit behind the line of scrimmage.
LB: Denzil Ware | Kentucky
In a very strong Kentucky defensive effort that held South Carolina to just 10 points and 91 rushing yards, Ware was the star. The SEC co-Defensive Lineman of the Week had five tackles and two sacks, including a big one on a late fourth-down play to put the game away.
LB: Tegray Scales | Indiana
Scales is one of the standouts of the Indiana defense, and that was on display on Saturday with a very complete performance against Wake Forest. He finished with 13 tackles, nine of which were solo, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a quarterback hurry.
CB: Travon Blanchard | Baylor
The nickelback doesn’t play a true corner position, but when he plays as well as he did in the Bears’ win over Oklahoma State, recognition has to be given. Blanchard received the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance that included 4.5 of his 11 tackles being for a loss, a forced and recovered fumble and a pass breakup.
S: Jessie Bates | Wake Forest
The freshman Bates enjoyed the biggest day of his short career, picking off two passes, returning one 39 yards at the goal line and the other 55 yards for a touchdown. He also added eight tackles in the win over his home-state Hoosiers to move to 4-0.
S: Armani Watts | Texas A&M
Armani Watts RIPPING the football out here to force a goal-line turnover pic.twitter.com/90apY1hnZY— 400lb Cyber Man (@TelcoAg) September 25, 2016
Watts had an incredible game and was awarded SEC Defensive Player of the Week as a result. It wasn’t just his nine tackles in the win over Arkansas that did it but the sheer magnitude of two of his sequences. In the first half, he stripped Arkansas ball-carrier Rawleigh Williams at the 1-yard line as he was charging into the end zone and recovered it for a turnover. Then, in the second half with the Razorbacks again at the goal line, Watts made stops on second, third and fourth down to deny Arkansas any points.
CB: Curtis Mikell | Southern Mississippi
Mikell had two interceptions in a win over UTEP, but it was really just the second one that earned him this spot. He picked off a pass in his own end zone and went the long way with it, returning the ball 100 yards for a touchdown to make the game a blowout. It’s pretty clear why he earned the nickname of “Speedy.”
P: Trevor Daniel | Tennessee
Players like Barnett and quarterback Joshua Dobbs were fantastic in Tennessee’s second-half comeback, but would it have been possible without the efforts of Daniel? The redshirt junior was close to perfect, punting it five times for an average of 43.2 yards. More importantly, each of those punts ended up inside the 15, with Florida beginning drives at the 2, 8, 7, 13 and 2.