College football's All-Week 11 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: The All-Week 10 team
|Running back||Thomas Koufie||Louisiana Monroe|
|Running back||Tim McVey||Air Force|
|Wide receiver||ArDarius Stewart||Alabama|
|Wide receiver||Mike Williams||Clemson|
|Tight end||Scott Orndoff||Pittsburgh|
|Kicker||Mike Weaver||Wake Forest|
QB: Jalen Hurts | Alabama
For all the dominance and defensive recognition Alabama has earned this year, huge offensive performances have been few and far in between for the Tide. That changed in Week 11 with the freshman Hurts leading a 51-point offensive explosion against Mississippi State, the Tide’s highest total since dropping 52 in Week 1. Hurts did it both through the air and on the ground on Saturday. He completed 28 of 37 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns, with just a single interception standing as a blemish. But he made up for that with his legs, carrying the ball 11 times for a cool 100 yards, including a 60-yard breakaway, and an additional score.
RB: Thomas Koufie | Louisiana Monroe
Koufie absolutely went off at Georgia State, and the best part of it is how out of nowhere it was. Coming into Saturday, the sophomore had seen the field in seven of the Warhawks’ nine games. In those seven games, he had 36 rushes for 179 yards and four touchdowns. Well, on Saturday he topped or neared his season total in just about every category, rushing 31 times for 201 yards and five touchdowns. With the exception of a safety early on, each point the Warhawks scored on the day was due to Koufie getting into the end zone.
RB: Tim McVey | Air Force
Not far behind Koufie was McVey, who also exploded unexpectedly. For McVey, his nine-game season total coming into Saturday’s win against Colorado State was 48 carries for 333 yards and six touchdowns. Against the Rams, the junior had 15 rushes for 184 yards, finding the end zone four times. He shattered has previous season-high in yardage of 78, besting it by over 100 yards.
WR: ArDarius Stewart | Alabama
ArDarius Stewart was rolling as No. 1 Alabama defeats Mississippi State 51-3 pic.twitter.com/aRGPOUF1eB— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 12, 2016
Great passing games are often, for obvious reasons, accompanied by a big performance by a receiver, and that was absolutely the case for the Tide between Hurts and Stewart. There was nothing Mississippi State could do about the 6-foot-1 junior, as Stewart used his speed to get past the coverage and haul in eight passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns. That was highlighted by an untouched 67-yard touchdown on a pitch off a sweep that was more like a run but technically went down as a reception.
WR: Mike Williams | Clemson
Clemson lost to Pittsburgh at home, yes, and it was a very bad loss. But that was not for the efforts of Williams, who eclipsed 200 yards for the first time this year with a 202-yard, one-touchdown afternoon. Deshaun Watson had a ridiculous 580 passing yards, and a lot of that was due to either hooking up with Williams or having other receivers with less attention paid to because the secondary was preoccupied with trying to stop Williams.
TE: Scott Orndoff | Pittsburgh
Now on the winning side of that upset, Orndoff was a total beast. The senior had the game of his life with nine catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns, all season-highs. The first touchdown showed off impressive catching abilities for a tight end, catching an over-the-shoulder deep ball and scoring from 55 yards away, while the second was a more traditional catch inside the 10. He also played a huge role in the running game, providing great blocking to help James Conner make a big impact.
K: Mike Weaver | Wake Forest
Sure, he didn’t exactly have to deliver the most clutch kicks in a 44-12 loss to Louisville, but Weaver delivered when his number was called, and that’s all you can control. He scored all 12 of the Demon Deacons’ points on four field goals, all of which were longer than 30 yards. His longest came from 45 yards away to give Wake Forest a 6-0 lead at the time.
|Defensive line||Hunter Dimick||Utah|
|Defensive line||Pita Taumoepenu||Utah|
|Defensive line||Charles Harris||Missouri|
|Linebacker||Nick Cuthbert||Kent State|
|Cornerback||Adoree' Jackson||Southern California|
|Punter||Caleb Houston||Central Florida|
DL: Hunter Dimick | Utah
Hunter Dimick set a Utah record for sacks in a game with 5 and he ties the school record with 27 career sacks. He leads the nation with 12. pic.twitter.com/37ruGUe1DW— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) November 14, 2016
Dimick’s performance against Arizona State, in a word: ridiculous. The senior won Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors after picking up five sacks in the Utes’ win — and no, that wasn’t a typo. Overall, he had 6.5 tackles for loss and nine total tackles in arguably the most dominant defensive performance by anyone this season.
DL: Pita Taumoepenu | Utah
With all the sacks and tackles for loss Dimick had, it almost seems impossible that there would be any to go around for fellow senior Taumoepenu. But somehow he managed to complement his mate on the defensive line with three more sacks and four tackles for loss. It’s unclear if the Arizona State offensive line still knows what hit it, as the Utes finished with 11 sacks in the win.
DL: Charles Harris | Missouri
Harris had flown under the radar since his three sacks in the SEC opener against Georgia, as opposing offenses has made it a priority to double- or triple-team him at all times. It hasn’t seemed to matter in recent weeks, as he followed up his two sacks against South Carolina with 2.5 more on Saturday against Vanderbilt. He also forced a fumble and finished with nine tackles.
LB: Jordan Evans | Oklahoma
The Week 11 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week earned the award by way of a phenomenal all-around performance. Evans had two interceptions, two sacks, nine tackles and two pass break-ups. It’s hard to have a much more complete game than that.
LB: Tyus Bowser | Houston
Bowser returned from a five-game injury absence with a great game against Tulane. The big 6-foot-3 senior had 11 tackles, three of which were sacks. He also had two QB hurries and 3.5 tackles for loss in the win.
LB: Nick Cuthbert | Kent State
Hey look, it’s the MACtion debut on these weekly teams. In a Tuesday night loss to Western Michigan, Cuthbert was all over the place. He finished with 19 tackles, 11 of which were solo. That 19-tackle total tied him for the third most by anyone in the FBS this season.
LB: DeVonte’ Fields | Louisville
The Week 11 sack parade was rounded out by Fields, who had three of his own. He finished the contest with nine tackles, all but two of which were solo, and 4.5 tackles for loss. He earned ACC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.
CB: Horace Richardson | SMU
If you pick off two passes, there’s a pretty good chance you will get a spot on this list. If you return one 80 yards and the other 70, finding the end zone on both, you’re as easy a pick as it gets. Richardson did just that against East Carolina, totaling 150 return yards on his two picks. He also broke up two more passes and did his part in holding Zay Jones to 12 catches. That seems like a lot, but it’s actually Jones’ second-lowest total since Week 4.
S: Leo Musso | Wisconsin
Like Richardson, Musso had two interceptions, though he did considerably less work after hauling in the picks with just one 16-yard return that was assisted by a fortunate kick that put the ball right in his hands. Still, it was an excellent game for the senior who is a nice, steady presence in the Badgers secondary. The interceptions were his second and third of the season.
S: Chase Hansen | Utah
Dimick and Taumoepenu were the superstars in Utah’s win at Arizona State, but Hansen’s contributions shouldn’t be overlooked either. The sophomore picked off his third pass in four weeks and returned it 34 yards to help put the game away in the fourth quarter. He also broke up two passes and finished with six tackles.
CB: Adoree’ Jackson | Southern California
If one name stood out in USC’s signature win at Washington it was probably Jackson’s, and not just because his first name is fun to say. He was outstanding, keeping one of the best passing offenses in the nation in check and playing a huge role in the win. He picked off Jake Browning twice, including a diving grab late in the fourth quarter to all but seal the win. He helped out on offense too, rushing once for eight yards and acting as a decoy a couple of other times.
P: Caleb Houston | Central Florida
Houston was called upon often in a gritty, low-scoring win over Cincinnati. In total, the senior booted the ball nine times for 414 yards, an average of 46 yards per punt. Four of his punts traveled over 50 yards and three ended up inside the 20, as Houston played a key role in keeping Cincinnati off the scoreboard completely save one field goal.