Maxwell, Bednarik Week 1 National Players of the Week

Maxwell Award Player of the Week – Nick Chubb, Georgia, Jr, RB

Georgia junior tailback Nick Chubb has been named the Maxwell Award Player of the Week following his performance in Georgia’s 33-24 win versus No. 22 North Carolina.

Chubb, a 5-10, 228-pound native of Cedartown, Ga., shredded the Tar Heel  defense for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries (6.9 average). This marked the third game of his career over 200 yards and the 14th with more than 100 yards. This was Chubb’s first game back in action since sustaining a season-ending knee injury at Tennessee on October 10, 2015. His injury ended a streak of 13 games in a row with more than 100 yards.

The Bulldogs (1-0) host Nicholls State in the Colonels’ season opener in Sanford Stadium at 12 p.m. on Saturday.
 
Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week – DeMarcus Walker, Florida State, Sr., DE
Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker has been selected as the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week in recognition of his outstanding defensive performance in the No. 4 Seminoles’ win over No. 11 Ole Miss.

Walker, a senior from Jacksonville, finished with six tackles against No. 11 Ole Miss on Monday night, including 4.5 quarterback sacks for minus-37 yards. In addition to setting career highs for sacks and tackles for loss in a game, Walker forced the sixth fumble of his career that led to the go-ahead touchdown in FSU’s 45-34, come-from-behind victory over the Rebels.

Walker, last season’s forced fumble leader in the ACC, entered the 2016 season as the conference’s returning tackles for loss leader and ranks second on the active sacks list. His 4.5 sacks – all of which came in the second half – are the most in a game for a Seminole under head coach Jimbo Fisher and were just a half-sack fewer than the school record. Monday night’s sack total was the highest in college football for the 2016 opening weekend.
Maxwell Football Club Week 1 Update
Here are the highlights of notable candidates on the Maxwell Award Watch List for the Labor Day weekend ending September 5th.
Who’s Hot
 
Deondre Francois, Florida State, QB
 

Francois led Florida State’s record comeback by passing for 419 yards and two touchdowns versus No. 11 Ole Miss. Francois finished 33-of-52 on passing attempts in his collegiate debut at the Camping World Classic in his hometown of Orlando. The Seminoles trailed 28-6 in the second quarter, but Francois spearheaded 33 consecutive points as FSU defeated the Rebels, 45-34. Francois added 59 rushing yards to finish with 478 yards of total offense in the season opener. His 419 passing yards were the 15th most in school history and the most ever by a Seminole in his collegiate debut.

Greg Ward Jr., Houston, QB
 
Ward improved to 20-2 all-time as Houston’s starting quarterback as he completed 23 of 40 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cougars to a 33-23 win against No. 3 Oklahoma. Ward was 10-for-12 on third down against a defense that ranked ninth nationally in pass efficiency last season.
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State, QB
 
Barrett accounted for a school-record seven touchdowns in Ohio State’s victory over Bowling Green to improve to 16-2 as a starter. The junior completed 21 of 31 passes for 349 yards and six touchdowns, setting a personal best for passing yards and matching his career high for touchdown passes. He also added one rushing touchdown to finish the day with 379 total yards of total offense.
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, QB
 
Kizer went 15-of-24 for 215 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions, while adding 77 rushing yards and another TD in Notre Dame’s loss at Texas. What might be the most impressive part of his performance against the Longhorns is that he was able to put up those video-game numbers against a Charlie Strong defense, as pro-style as you’re going to get out of the Big 12.
Mike Williams, Clemson, WR
 
Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams was back as Deshaun Watson’s No. 1 receiver and shined with a career-high 174 receiving yards and career-high tying nine catches in No. 2 Clemson’s close 19-13 win over Auburn. Williams’ 2015 season came to an end after he caught a touchdown and fractured part of his neck while colliding with the goal post on the Tigers’ first drive of the season. While he was a vital part of Clemson’s offense, the Tigers still cruised all the way to a spot in the national championship game. Now with Williams back for Watson and a talented unit, the sky is the limit for the Tigers in their dreams of returning to title contention. Williams’ 2016 debut only justified that.
James Conner, Pittsburgh, RB
 

Conner’s return from Hodgkin lymphoma was emotional and successful, as he rushed the ball 17 times for a game-high 53 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers season opening 28-7 win over Villanova. He added three catches for 16 yards and another touchdown, that one the first TD reception of his career. Conner, 21, was named the Panthers’ starting running back just three months removed from his final PET scan, which declared him cancer-free on May 23. He took the field for the first time since last year’s season-opener against Youngstown State; he suffered a season-ending knee injury in that game.

The Maxwell Football Club will also honor the nation’s best defensive player with the Chuck Bednarik Award. Here is an update on standout performances from the Bednarik Award Watch List candidates.

Who’s Hot

Jonathan Allen, Alabama, DE

Allen led an Alabama defense that limited No. 20 USC to just 194 yards of offense and six points in the Crimson Tide’s 52-6 win. The six points surrendered last Saturday marked the seventh time in the last two seasons that Alabama limited an opponent to fewer than 10 points in a game. The senior leader recorded a team-high two sacks for a loss of 15 yards along with four solo tackles and two pass break-ups and was a disruptive force throughout the game. Allen’s play up front helped the Tide limit a Trojan rushing attack that averaged more than 180 yards a game in 2015 to just 64 yards on 30 carries, an average of just 2.1 yards per attempt. The defense forced the Trojans into nine three-and-outs and one four-and-out in 16 possessions. Five of USC’s possessions resulted in zero or negative yardage.

Mike McCray, Michigan, LB

The Michigan junior linebacker was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Week Monday after registering 9 tackles (3 1/2 for a loss), two sacks and one forced fumble during the Wolverines’ 63-3 win over Hawaii on Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 248-pounder made his first career start Saturday and was playing in his first game since the 2014 season. McCray missed all of 2015 due to injury.

Troy Dye, Oregon, LB

In his first career start and game as an Oregon Duck, Dye led all players with 11 total tackles, seven of which being solo tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack and blocked one field goal. Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich said, “He has just been one of those guys that’s electric. I think he talks with his play. He talks a little bit, too, he likes to mix it up, but we appreciate that kind of a guy that can play that hard and make that many plays and kind of earns that right to play with confidence. He set a great benchmark for how he’s going to play in the future.”

Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, DE

The marquee 1-on-1 matchup of the week was Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett vs. UCLA left tackle Conor McDermott. The junior edge rusher had three tackles and a sack in the game, which is impressive considering how frequently UCLA ran plays away from him. Against McDermott, Garrett showed a variety of moves. He nearly got a first quarter sack thanks to a fancy inside spin that came after he worked the edge. Garrett has unique movement skills for a 6’5, 270-pound junior, and will be a nightmare for offensive lineman this season.

Trent Martin, Tulsa, LB

Martin, a senior from Jenks High School, led a Tulsa defense that held San Jose State to 287 total yards and just 53 rushing yards for a 1.7 average per rush in a 45-10 victory over the Spartans. He had a team-high 11 tackles, including seven solos, and had 1.5 TFLs for -6 yards. Martin also tipped a pass that ended up in the arms of defensive lineman Jesse Brubaker who ran 24 yards to give Tulsa a 24-7 lead only eight second after the Hurricane went up 17-7.

Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, DB

This was a game that showed why Humphrey, Alabama’s redshirt sophomore cornerback, is widely considered a potential top-10 pick in next year’s NFL draft. The 6-foot-1 Hoover native helped the Tide limit Smith-Schuster, arguably the top wide receiver in the country, to just one catch for nine yards. Humphrey also had an interception that he returned for a touchdown during Alabama’s 52-6 win over Smith-Schuster and No. 20 USC.

Feature Game of the Week
 
PITT (1-0, 0-0 ACC) vs. PENN STATE (1-0, 0-0 BIG TEN)
September 10, 2016 * Noon, ET
Heinz Field (68,400/Natural Grass) * Pittsburgh, Pa.
ESPN * Pitt IMG Sports Radio Network
PittsburghPanthers.com * @Pitt_FB * #PSUvsPITT
GAME STORYLINES
  • One of college football’s most historic rivalries returns as Pitt and Penn State meet for the first time in 16 years. Pennsylvania’s lone “Power 5” programs have not met since the 2000 season when the Panthers blanked the Nittany Lions, 12-0, in Three Rivers Stadium.
  • At one time an annual Keystone State clash, the series began in 1893 and has pitted former high school teammates and even family members against one another. This year’s contest marks the first of a four-game agreement that will be played from 2016-19.
  • Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi grew very familiar with Penn State while in the Big Ten as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator from 2007-14. During that span, the Spartans went 3-2 against the Nittany Lions. In facing James Franklin’s team in the 2014 regular-season finale, Narduzzi’s defense yielded just 233 yards-and only 38 on the ground-in a 34-10 victory.
  • Pitt opened the season in winning fashion, defeating Villanova, 28-7. The game marked the highly anticipated return of running back James Conner, who scored the Panthers’ first two touchdowns after missing virtually all of last season due to a knee injury.
  • Conner’s journey back to the field has been nothing short of heroic. Three months after his knee injury, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Declared cancer free in May, Conner is back as Pitt’s starting tailback and was elected a captain by his teammates.
  • Quadree Henderson had the longest kickoff return on college football’s opening Saturday. His 96-yard kick return for a touchdown to open the second half gave Pitt a 21-0 lead and marked his second kick return TD in as many games. Henderson had a 100-yard kickoff return to open the Military Bowl against Navy last season.
SERIES NOTES
Pitt and Penn State meet for the 97th time in a series that dates back to 1893…the Nittany Lions lead the all-time series, 50-42-4…despite being located less than three hours apart, the schools have not played since the 2000 season…the Panthers won that last meeting, 12-0, in Three Rivers Stadium…Pitt-Penn State was once an annual affair-the teams played every year from 1900-31 and then again from 1935-92…the last four games took place between 1997-2000…Pitt and Penn State embark on a new four-year agreement that will run from 2016-19…in addition to this season’s renewal, the rivalry will also be played in Pittsburgh in 2018 (Sept. 8)…Penn State will host in 2017 (Sept. 9) and 2019 (Sept. 14)…Pitt’s longest winning streak in the series is 14 games, which took place under Coach Jock Sutherland from 1922-38…from 1913-38, Pitt achieved an incredible 20-1-2 run against the Nittany Lions (the lone loss occurring in 1919)…Penn State’s longest winning streak against the Panthers is 10 games, achieved under Joe Paterno from 1966-75.
SERIES IN BRIEF   

Series Began: 1893

Series Overall: PSU leads 50-42-4
At Pittsburgh: Pitt leads 35-28-4
At Penn State: PSU leads 17-6
At Neutral Sites: PSU leads 5-1
OT Games: DNA
Last Meeting at Pitt: Sept. 16, 2000 (Pitt 12, Penn State 0)
Last Meeting at PSU: Sept. 11, 1999 (Penn State 20, Pitt 17)
Current Series Win Streak: Pitt has won 1 (2000)
Longest Pitt Series Win Streak: 14 games (1922-31, 1935-38)
Longest PSU Series Win Streak: 10 games (1966-75)
Largest Pitt Victory Margin: 35 points (41-6, 1931)
Largest PSU Victory Margin: 59 points (59-0, 1903)

Information from the Maxwell Football Club.

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