Offensive Player of the Week: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Sure, it's easy to look good on offense when going up against a squad like Kent State, but this was a week when simply living up to expectations was enough to look spectacular. It didn't hurt that Barrett matched a school record en route to a 66-0 beatdown of the Golden Flashes.
With his 312-yard, six-touchdown performance, Barrett equaled the most touchdown passes every thrown by a Buckeye in a single game. That might not be too impressive when you consider that Kenny Guiton accomplished the same feat last year versus Florida Atlantic, but Barrett also become the first Buckeye to throw for at least 300 yards in a game since Troy Smith did so in 2006. That's kind of ridiculous.
Defensive Player of the Week: Penn State defense
The way some Rutgers fans describe Penn State's 13-10 victory on Saturday night, you'd think quarterback Gary Nova just handed off the ball to Nittany Lion defensive backs. Sure, Nova wasn't at his best this week, but did we really expect him to tear apart the PSU defense like he did with Washington State and Howard?
Nova got some help from the Penn State defense, most notably from Trevor Williams -- who came down with two of Nova's five interceptions -- and Anthony Zettel -- three tackles for loss including a devastating sack on the final drive. Here's what RU boss Kyle Flood said about Zettel's night:
They have a good defensive line in general but No. 98, we couldn't handle him in the second half. And when you look at the lack of production on offense, it won't be the only place to look but it's probably the place to start. That kid is a good football player and we didn't do enough to control him. He controlled the second half of that game.
Honorable Mention: Rutgers defense
Of course, the Penn State defense was not the only one that played well that night. Many thought that Penn State would have its way with a Scarlet Knight unit that allowed over 500 pass yards to Washington State a little over two weeks ago. That was not the case as Christian Hackenberg was under pressure all night and the Penn State offense struggled to get anything going in the right direction until it was almost too late. Beastly defensive lineman Darius Hamilton led the way with one-and-a-half sacks, while linebacker Kevin Snyder led the team in tackles and Lorenzo Waters picked up an interception that nearly ended Penn State's night early.
Special Teams Players of the Week: De'Mornay Pierson-El and Peter Mortell
After letting McNeese State hang around all day at home, Nebraska made sure to put Fresno State to bed early on Saturday. It certainly didn't hurt that punt returner Pierson-El broke loose for an 86-yard touchdown in the second quarter. As crazy as it sounds, that one return was greater than the total of all Husker punt returns in 2013. Pierson-El wasn't done there, though. He gained 51 yards on another return later in the game to solidify his Player of the Week status.
It wasn't a nice day for Minnesota in Forth Worth this week, but at least one Gopher brought his A-game. That was Mortell, who was forced to punt eight times by an inept Minnesota offense. It didn't appear that Mortell's leg was getting tired, though, as he averaged a booming 46.6 yards per kick while totaling 373 punt yards for the afternoon. While Saturday was a setback for those expecting the Gophers expecting to be a surprise contender in the Big Ten West, Mortell's talents should be able to keep them in conference games that fail to develop an offensive pulse.