Off Tackle Empire’s Player of the Week for Week 1 is not Mohamed Ibrahim. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s yee’d his last haw this season (and as a college player entirely???), but he went out in memorable, dominating fashion, and he’s going to heal fully and quickly before he becomes one of the best value drafts in NFL Draft history. Not Russell Wilson or Tom Brady value, but still a great pick for whoever takes him. Mo finished out his 2021 season (let’s be honest: Minnesota isn’t playing a 2022 bowl) by pouring on 163 yards in three quarters of a game against The Ohio State Buckeyes—because of course it’s the Buckeyes who hurt Ibrahim—for 5.4 ypc and two touchdowns.
P good run, in my opinion.
After the end of the 2020 “season,” I wrote a few articles about great things that came out of a garbage season. Mohamed Ibrahim got his own piece in that series. Go read it: Every click gives me $0.05 OTE. To sum it up: Very sad and bad that Mo is out for the season, very happy and good that his team’s defense plays in the West, and Mo isn’t the Player of the Week.
OTE’s Player of the Week: Week 1
Kenneth Walker III - Running Back - Michigan State Spartans
23 carries, 264 yards, 4 touchdowns (11.5 ypc avg)
We’re doing things a bit differently in 2021. We’re (at beez’z sole discretion) just naming a Player of the Week, doing a slightly longer blurb than past years, and finishing off with short blurbs of Honorable Mentions, regardless of which game phase they are from. It’ll mean we’re more focused on offense—both because those stats are easier to contextualize, they’re easier to figure out and see as “good” just based on a box score, and they’re easier to write about—but there will absolutely be chances for defensive and special teams players. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, OTE added an entire column about punting, which will be both more informative and more interesting than a “Special Teams Player of the Week” column.
Green Akers—ignoring the fact that he tried to nominate an FCS linebacker for POTW—made a good point. “He felt like a menace, which is something MSU hasn’t had from its offensive weapons in a few years now.” That sounds about right, and people should serious reevaluate their preseason MSU opinions in light of a legitimate offensive threat (but not me! I knew they’d be 5-4 in the conference this year).
I mean, dang y’all, Walker put up those numbers against a classic Pat Fitzgerald “All Defense, Less Than Zero Offense” Northwestern team. A Northwestern program that has been seemingly forever immune to whatever potent rushing attack Wisconsin threw at it just gave up 264 yards and 4 TDs on 11.5 yards per carry? I’m not exactly sure how NFTs or the NIL stuff works yet, but if you can buy some K Will 3 stock, do so now.
As I’m researching and writing this article, I’m learning that there’s a bit of a controversy surrounding KW3. Apparently he won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week—a wise decision by Kevin what’s his name who apparently nobody hates anymore—but did not win national offensive player of the week? Something like that...a Texas Running Back who rushed for like 100 yards on way too many carriers got the award because he beat some overrated Sun Belt team that’s not even Appalachian State. He should have won national offensive player of the year, hands down. Get your act together, whatever organization it is that picks the national players of the week.
Finally, App State rolled to victory against Conference USA in-state opponent ECU. Despite living in C, I’m not sure whether E stands for E or Eastern, but they lost. App State ran all over them and also threw all over the and special team’d right in their faces. App is starting a transfer QB from Clemson this year, and after one game I can see why Clemson is so dang good. They recruit so many great players that even their transferring players are stars. Go Apps.
Riley Moss - Defensive Back - Iowa Hawkeyes
2 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 85 total return yards
Michael Penix just threw his 2nd pick six— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 4, 2021
I mean, was there really any other option? The column has been nothing if not consistent over the years, and Pick-6s = awards...usally. Moss is the first victim of the new column formatting, as he would have easily won DPOTW in years’ past. Sadly, he’ll have to settle for “only” winning something called “National Defensive Player of the Week.” Whereas the nameless, faceless award-awarding organization screwed up with respect to KW3 above, it sagely and correctly got the national DPOTW correct.
Dude in the second twitter video says it all. “Are you kidding me?” Moss was all over Penix this past Saturday, reading his eyes and knowing just when Penix was about to release, and knowing exactly when to jump into the path of Penix’s absolute seeds he was launching downfield. If we learned anything this past Saturday, it’s that the Big Ten QBs are just not good, especially when it comes to protecting the ball. Safe to say Penix will be far from the only person to succumb to Riley Moss’s hands this season.
stewmonkey13 helpfully points out that Moss had more “receiving” yards than any player on either team, and BuffKomodo rightly adds that he also crushed a million dreams. Riley Moss: Pretty good in that one game against Indiana to start the season.
Taulia Tagovailoa - Quarterback - Maryland Terrapins
26/36, 332 yards, 3 touchdowns
Very good stats against a real opponent! Maryland may have some offensive potential this year, and it’s going to be so annoying to hear about Taulia’s older brother every time he plays. Maryland fans will 100% not care at all that they hear the same three facts about their QB every single game if he puts up numbers like this going forward.
(Note: The first player of each game phase gets more details and a longer writeup. Sorry to the later players, but I guess sucks to suck? Or just play better!)
Max Melton - Defensive Back - Rutgers Scarlet Knights
3 tackles, 1 interception, 1 touchdown
If you’re in a hurry, Melton’s (Max) touchdown is the second half of that clip. His brother Bo apparently scored a touchdown like a minute before Max, but on offense, so there will be all kinds of discussion about that for games and years to come. Tough week when a pick-6 gets you listed so low, but life is tough in the Big Ten. We’re a defensive conference with bad QBs again!
Chris Olave - Wide Receiver - Ohio State Buckeyes
4 receptions, 117 yards, 2 touchdowns
He was the top receiver on the conference’s best team in a game they scored 45 against a conference opponent. Of course someone from that team deserves recognition. Plus, Olave just carries with him a sense of inevitability. Everyone knows he COULD score at any time, and of course he always does, so he’s more than just that silly stat line he put up. Or something. I dunno, give me a break.
Beez’z Thing He Liked Seeing This Week
I spent the entire weekend incapable of watching games, but I did get to spend a little of my Thursday (because of course it was on a Thursday) watching App State and their new QB...mentioned briefly above. For some reason, watching a team I root for have a QB who can throw the ball well is a void that never gets filled, but last week’s game at least tossed a couple handfuls of void sand into the void, shrinking it ever so slightly.
There’s also a crazy good 68-yard pass Brice threw to Hennigan, but I can’t find a clip of it. Oh well!.
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