Maxwell Award Player of the Week – Donnel Pumphrey – San Diego State, Sr., RB
Donnel Pumphrey has been named as the Maxwell Award Player of the week in recognition of his outstanding performance last weekend. He was also named Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 281 yards and three touchdowns and posted the fifth-highest rushing total in school history in the Aztecs 45-40 victory over Cal.
The only other higher totals all are by NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk, who rushed for 386 yards in a 1991 game against University of the Pacific, 300 yards against Hawaii and 299 yards against BYU, both in 1992.
Wake Forest defensive lineman Duke Ejiofor has been selected as the Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the week for his dominant performance in the Deacons win over Duke last Saturday.
Mahomes accounted for 584 yards of total offense and six total touchdowns at Arizona State to maintain his position as the FBS leader in total offense (1,124 yards). After compiling 540 passing yards with five TDs, he is also now the FBS leader in passing yards (1,023) and tied for the lead in passing scores with nine.
He scored six touchdowns for the second-straight week to rank second in the FBS in points responsible for (72), which is 24 points more than the next-highest total in the Big 12.
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.
Andre Smith, North Carolina, LB
Smith had a career-high 14 tackles, including eight solo and six assists in the Tar Heels’ 48-23 win at Illinois on Saturday night. He also had a tackle for loss and a pass breakup. Three of his tackles came on third down to force punts. His previous high was 11 tackles in a win last season at Pittsburgh. Smith was part of a defensive unit that limited Illinois to 309 yards, including just 127 in the air on 35 pass attempts. UNC limited Illinois to just 3.6 yards per pass attempt.
Ryan Lewis, Pitt, CB
Micah Abernathy, Tennessee, DB
Abernathy, who made his second career start Saturday night in the Vols’ 45-24 win over Virginia Tech in the “Battle at Bristol,” set a school record by recovering three fumbles in the historic game at Bristol Motor Speedway, which was played in front of the largest crowd in college football history. Abernathy’s fumble recoveries set up two touchdowns for the Vols. His recovery at the start of the second quarter, with Tennessee trailing 14-0, led to Joshua Dobbs’ 5-yard touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings. Abernathy’s second fumble recovery, which came early in the fourth quarter, halted a 10-play, 45-yard drive by the Hokies.
Nate Gerry, Nebraska, DB
Nebraska safety Nate Gerry earned honors Sept. 12 as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Although he is a two-time All-Big Ten selection, this is the first time the senior captain has earned weekly honors in the conference. He was honored after securing two of NU’s five interceptions in his first multi-interception game. In addition, he became the fifth defensive back in program history to record 200 career tackles and moved into the top five on the Nebraska career interception list. Gerry is now just three interceptions away from the school record of 14.
Orion Stewart, Baylor, DB
Stewart had eight tackles (five solo) and two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown to help Baylor defeat SMU 40-13. It was his first game with two interceptions, which give him eight in his career with two returned for TDs. He is the only player in the Big 12 with two interceptions on the season and ranks tied for fourth nationally. Stewart’s 33 interception return yards brought his career total to 207, moving him from seventh to fourth on Baylor’s career interception return yardage list.
Sunia Tauteoli, Utah, LB
Tauteoli returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage for a 7-0 Utah lead and also intercepted a pass in the third quarter giving him two in the game and in his career. He also logged six tackles (tied for second on the team), and assisted in the tackle that stopped BYU’s two-point conversion attempt with 18 seconds remaining to secure a 20-19 win over BYU.
Alohi Gilman, Navy, LB
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
TV Broadcast: CBS
True freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has apparently taken over the starting spot for the Bama offense, following up his great debut with 287 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Hilltoppers.
The Tide defense pressured an explosive Western Kentucky offense all game, allowing only 239 total yards but they will now face a severe challenge from Kelly and the fast strike Ole Miss offense. The quartet of Minkah Fitzpatrick, Marlon Humphrey, Eddie Jackson and Ronnie Harrison form the most formidable back end defense in the nation and Bama’s front seven rotate five star bodies from across the front.
Chad Kelly has been everything as advertised this season, and he has Evan Engram, Damore’ea Stringfellow and a couple of other receivers that can spread the field for the Rebels. Ole Miss needs to establish a solid run game so the Bama defense can’t sell out solely on Kelly.
Getting pressure on Hurts and stopping the powerful Alabama running game will be the two top tasks on the Rebels’ defensive task list. Linebacker DeMarquis Gates and defensive end Marquis Haynes provide a formidable pass rush that could cause trouble.