Believe it or not, we have come down to the final five weeks of the 2021 season, and things are getting predictably intense.
In addition to being treated to arguably the best game of the season between Michigan and Michigan State, this also marks the week for the arrival of the College Football Playoff rankings.
In week 9, we saw one player take the mantle as the best running back in the nation, as he rose to the occasion in a historic way. As always, we saw quarterbacks put together impressive stats, but not all of them led to victories in their respective games. Lastly, one team continues to prove that a dominant defense can win games.
Kenneth Walker III - Running Back - Michigan State
Stats vs. Michigan: 23 carries, 197 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns*, 8.6 yards/carry
What else can be said about this talented, young running back at this point? There are not enough adjectives to describe the performance Walker III put forth in the biggest game of the year. Simply put, Michigan State's comeback victory over Michigan, would have not been possible without his production. What makes Walker III a unique specimen of running back, is his ability to gain substantial year after taking contact. In this game, Michigan found out the hard way how difficult it is to take him down. His five rushing touchdowns were the most ever scored by a player against Michigan. In the end, Michigan State stays undefeated, while Walker III is the clear frontrunner for this year's Heisman Trophy.
Nick Herbig - Linebacker - Wisconsin
Stats vs. Iowa: 6 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Wisconsin's big win over the #9 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, was made courtesy of a collective defensive effort by the Badgers. From this group, Herbig put together the best game of his career to this point. To say the least, he was often in the Hawkeyes backfield making splash plays. Prior to this game, Herbig did not register a sack in four straight games. Not only did Herbig break this streak, he may have found his groove, which only means good things from the Badgers defense going forward.
Caleb Williams - Quarterback - Oklahoma
Stats vs. Texas Tech: 23 completions, 402 passing yards, 6 touchdowns* 76.7 completion%
If there were any doubts, freshman Caleb Williams is the true starting quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. During Spencer Rattler’s tenure, the offense was inconsistent and was seemingly not playing to their potential. Since Williams took over, the Sooners offense has been firing on all cylinders. Again, the Red Raiders on this day, Williams put together a Heisman-worthy performance, as he set career highs in completions, passing yards, and
touchdowns. With this young man at the helm, the Sooners have an excellent chance at clinching a spot in this year's College Football Playoff.
Miami Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke and Pittsburgh Quarterback Kenny Pickett
Combined stats: 71 total completions, 945 passing yards, and 6 touchdowns
In a game that saw a combined 947 yards of total offense, Miami quarterbacks Tyler Van Dyke and Kenny Pickett, were the stars of the game. In D'Eriq King's absence, Van Dyke has averaged 339 passing yards per game, while posting a completion percentage average of 65.5. Pickett has been one of the most prolific passers in the nation, as he continues to strengthen his Heisman Trophy resume. In this game, Van Dyke and his Hurricanes just made a few more plays than the Panthers. In a closely contested match like this with questionable officiating, it is only appropriate that both quarterbacks receive recognition.
Tyler Allgeier - Running Back - BYU
Stats vs. Virginia: 29 carries, 266 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns*, 9.2 yards/carry
Since earning the starting running back job in 2020, Tyler Allgeier has been among the top running backs in the nation. This year has been no exception, has he continues to carry the load for the BYU offense. In their victory over Virginia, which featured a whopping 1,322 yards of total offense, Allegeier's production stood above everyone. To say the least, Allgeier is having a season for the ages, as he became the first BYU running back to with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since Harvey Unga achieved this feat. With
With each game, Allgeier establishes new standards which should someday make him the greatest running back in program history.
QB Sam Hartman - Wake Forest
QB Malik Willis - Liberty
QB Cade McNamara - Michigan
RB Kyren Williams - Notre Dame
RB Breece Hall - Iowa State
RB TreVeyon Henderson - Ohio State
RB Tyler Allegeier - BYU
WR Nathaniel Dell - Houston
QB Clayton Tune - Houston
QB Sean Clifford - Penn State
RB Cantavious Digsby - Auburn
WR Marvin Mims - Oklahoma
RB Travis Dye - Oregon
QB Anthony Brown - Oregon
RB Xazavian Valladay - Wyoming
LB David Ojabo - Michigan
LB Zakoby McClain - Auburn
LB Quay Walker - Georgia
DL Zach McCloud - Miami
LB Josh Chandler Semedo - West Virginia
LB Darius Hodges - Tulane
LB Jaquez Jones - Kentucky
DE Jermaine Johnson - Florida State
DB Key Lawrence - Oklahoma
LB Trenton Simpson - Clemson