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 12 team
|Quarterback||Patrick Mahomes II||Texas Tech|
|Running back||Aaron Jones||UTEP|
|Running back||Derrius Guice||LSU|
|Wide receiver||Amba Etta-Tawo||Syracuse|
|Wide receiver||Anthony Miller||Memphis|
|Tight end||Maaseiah Francis||South Alabama|
|Kicker||Michael Badgley||Miami (Fla.)|
QB: Patrick Mahomes II | Texas Tech
With the type of fast-paced offense Texas Tech runs, Mahomes has had the opportunity for several monster games this year. And on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, the nation’s leading passer did it again.
Mahomes had his second-biggest game of the season in terms of passing yards, with his 586 yards only trailing his historic 734-yard performance against Oklahoma. He completed 30 of 46 passes and tossed six touchdowns with no interceptions in Texas Tech’s very solid win over Baylor. Even with the Red Raiders’ season now over, Mahomes should still be the leading passer in 2016 by a wide margin.
RB: Aaron Jones | UTEP
Jones had one of the better offensive performances we have seen this season on Saturday, torching North Texas for 301 yards and four touchdowns. The speedster needed only 24 carries to eclipse 300 yards for a remarkable 12.5 yard-per-carry average. That number was greatly inflated by an 83-yard burst in the first quarter, to be fair.
RB: Derrius Guice | LSU
It might seem like a small victory when you hear that Leonard Fournette is not playing, and then you realize who his backup is. Guice has done a tremendous job taking advantage of Fournette’s spotty health this season and has picked up over 1,200 yards. A whopping 285 of those came in LSU’s impressive win at Texas A&M in Week 13, as he was called on for 37 carries. Four of those resulted in touchdowns, including a 45-yarder on the game’s opening possession. The 285 yards were a school record, beating Fournette’s mark set earlier in the season by one yard.
WR: Amba Etta-Tawo | Syracuse
Etta-Tawo’s remarkable lone year in Syracuse after transferring from Maryland came to an end with a gigantic 178-yard, five-touchdown showing. In three years with the Terrapins, the Powder Springs, Georgia, native had 61 catches for 938 yards and three touchdowns. In one season with the Orange, he picked up 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns on 94 receptions. To put it lightly, that’s a nice way to end a college career.
WR: Anthony Miller | Memphis
Miller was quite clearly Riley Ferguson’s go-to guy in the Tigers’ big upset win over Houston. The connection was made 15 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were go-ahead scores in the final four minutes. The second one, with 19 seconds left, sealed the win.
TE: Maaseiah Francis | South Alabama
Francis had only played in five games this year coming into Saturday, hauling in 10 catches for 110 yards. He had everything working at Idaho, though, as he caught seven passes for 146 yards and two trips to the end zone. Seventy-five of those yards came on a touchdown grab in the second quarter on the first play of a Jaguar drive.
K: Michael Badgley | Miami (Fla.)
It was a 16-point day for Badgley in the Hurricanes’ win over Duke, as he connected on four field goals and four extra points. His kicks weren’t all easy, either, including makes from 47 and 43 yards. It’s been an up-and-down year for the junior, but he did a very nice job on Saturday.
|Defensive line||Harold Landry||Boston College|
|Defensive line||Taco Charlton||Michigan|
|Defensive line||DeMarcus Walker||Florida State|
|Linebacker||Raekwon McMillan||Ohio State|
|Linebacker||Brandon Bell||Penn State|
|Cornerback||Heath Harding||Miami (Ohio)|
DL: Harold Landry | Boston College
The Eagles’ game at Wake Forest was essentially a playoff contest, with the crucial sixth win for bowl elibility on the line. Boston College narrowly pulled it off, winning 17-14, and a gigantic part of that was due to Landry’s contributions. The nation’s co-leader in sacks had three on Saturday among his seven tackles. He finished with 4.5 tackles for loss as he refused to let his season come to an end.
DL: Taco Charlton | Michigan
Ohio State’s blockers had no solutions for how to keep Charlton at bay. When he wasn’t hitting the quarterback, he was putting pressure on him, as he finished with 2.5 sacks and three tackles for loss. In total, the senior had nine tackles but finished his career winless against his home-state foe.
DL: DeMarcus Walker | Florida State
DEMARCUS. WALKER. pic.twitter.com/uJhxIQqrfE— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 27, 2016
The man tied with Landry for the national lead in sacks is Walker, who added two more in the Seminoles’ win over rival Florida. Walker put on a show in primetime, getting the two sacks, which both came on the same drive, five tackles and two fumble recoveries. Simply put, the man is a beast.
LB: Raekwon McMillan | Ohio State
It was a team effort for Ohio State in its gutsy double-overtime win against Michigan, but if one man deserves the bulk of the credit it’s McMillan. The junior had 16 tackles, including 12 in the first half. He also applied some major pressure with Michigan backed up in its own end zone, forcing Wilton Speight to throw a mistake right to a Buckeye defender for the pick-six.
LB: Marcus Oliver | Indiana
Oliver did a tremendous job of penetrating the Purdue offensive line from the middle. He finished with four solo tackles for loss, as well as a sack and a forced fumble as Indiana picked up a must-win victory to become bowl eligible.
LB: Mike McCray | Michigan
When it wasn’t Charlton’s presence being felt in the Ohio State backfield, there was a good chance it was McCray’s. The two kept J.T. Barrett and the Buckeyes off-kilter for much of the game, not giving the offense any room to breathe. McCray swatted down two passes and finished with nine tackles and a sack.
LB: Brandon Bell | Penn State
The Penn State defense was reborn when Bell returned from a four-game absence in time for the Nittany Lions’ signature victory over Ohio State in late October. Since then, Bell has been one of the premiere linebackers in the nation, but no performance was better than the one he had in Penn State’s throttling of Michigan State on Saturday. The senior was all over the field with 18 tackles, earning him Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
CB: Sojourn Shelton | Wisconsin
Sojourn Shelton and the defense went absolutely bananas in the second half.— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 27, 2016
Four INTs https://t.co/qdmDO6E1OM
The Wisconsin defense went on one of the most dominant spurts we’ve seen this season in the second half on Saturday, intercepting Minnesota four times. Half of those picks belonged to Shelton, who returned one 40 yards. He played excellent coverage all night, as the Golden Gophers picked up just 158 passing yards in 26 attempts.
S: Tedric Thompson | Colorado
In a win-and-you’re-in game for a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game, Thompson refused to let his team down. Colorado beat Utah 27-22, but who knows where the Buffaloes would have been without Thompson’s two interceptions? Additionally, he knocked down four passes, made a quartet of tackles and returned one of his picks 51 yards.
S: Obi Melifonwu | Connecticut
No one in the nation this year has made more tackles than Melifonwu did against Tulane on Saturday. The senior closed out his college career in style, owning the secondary for an amazing 24 tackles. That mark tied the UConn single-game record and closed out a phenomenal senior year for the safety, who will next be seen in the Senior Bowl.
CB: Heath Harding | Miami (Ohio)
Ball State was unwise to keep throwing in Harding’s direction, as the Englewood, Ohio, product was hardly giving anything up. He intercepted a pass and knocked away three more. His interception proved pivotal, coming in the red zone in what ended up being a one-point win for the RedHawks.
P: Kenny Allen | Michigan
Allen knocked down both of his field-goal tries at Ohio State, but this recognition comes for his outstanding punting. The senior booted the ball seven times for 332 yards, good for an average of 47.4 yards per punt. Incredibly, five of his seven punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, including an absolute show on his first three that were picked up at the 8-, 11-, and 4-yard lines.