College Football Week 2: Team of the Week honors

Week 2 of the college football season separates the casual fans from the diehards. It also makes it more difficult to find players worthy of our Team of the Week. With 82 games featuring FBS teams, finding the right mix of elite performances against better competition becomes even more taxing.

College Football Week 1: Team of the Week

The college football Team of the Week for Week 2 is a great mix of players across the board. Some beat up on inferior opponents, while others dominated against in-conference foes. Finding the players who played their best wasn’t difficult; it was finding who did it when it mattered most and against who.

First-Team Offense

We begin with the offense in our Week 2 Team of the Week.

QB: Brennan Armstrong, Virginia

The Week 2 Saturday slate kicked off with a bang at 11 AM ET when Armstrong lit up the field. The Cavs dominated from the start against Illinois, and their signal-caller was the reason why. Armstrong threw 3 first-half touchdowns to set the tone. He became just UVA’s fourth quarterback in history to throw for over 400 yards.

RB: CJ Verdell, Oregon

Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead deserves a lot of credit for the Ducks’ win over Ohio State. CJ Verdell deserves just as much. Finding something that worked, Moorhead utilized Verdell’s skill set on a variation of what felt like the same play over and over against the Buckeyes. And it kept working.

Verdell finished the game with 20 carries for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. He set the tone early and secured crucial first downs late. It was a dominant performance, easily landing him on our Team of the Week.

RB: Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky

Rodriguez certainly had large holes to run through against Missouri, but he manufactured plenty of his own yardage. He finished the game with 27 carries, 206 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He opened up the scoring on the evening with a 5-yard touchdown reception to boot.

A rare blend of speed and power, Rodriguez bullied his way to a career-high rushing yard total. His 4 touchdowns also included the go-ahead score to win it for the Wildcats.

WR: David Bell, Purdue

Proving to be too much single-handedly for UConn, David Bell made the most of his limited targets in Week 2. Bell was targeted just 6 times but made all 6 receptions for 121 yards. He scored 3 touchdowns on the afternoon, each one as impressive as the next.

Bell showcased what separates him from most other FBS receivers with his incredible yards-after-the-catch ability. He bounced off defenders the same as he ran around them or made them miss in an unforgettable performance.

WR: Jayden Reed, Michigan State

Welcome back to the Team of the Week, Jayden Reed. The one-time Western Michigan transfer finally showcased what made him such a sought-after transfer player back in 2018. With a 4-reception, 181-yard, 2-touchdown performance under his belt, Reed has already eclipsed half of his production from a season ago.

Perhaps the nation’s top slot receiver at his best, Reed proved it on Saturday, earning a team of the week spot with ease.

WR: Calvin Austin III, Memphis

Talk about your dominant performances. Austin went off for 239 yards and 3 touchdowns against Arkansas State. Though the Red Wolves aren’t quite known for their coverage prowess, Austin’s dominant performance was a thing of beauty.

Targeted mainly in the short area of the field, Austin weaved his way through defenders more often than not. He averaged a whopping 39.8 yards per catch.

TE: Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

It wasn’t as strong a showing as they’d prefer, but the Fighting Irish snuck away with a victory against Toledo. Proving too much for the middle of Toledo’s defense, Mayer hauled in 2 scores on 7 receptions. He helped churn out 4 more first-down receptions in the game that saw first downs become more and more crucial.

Flex: Anthony Richardson, Florida

Richardson’s historic outing for Florida likely caused more problems than it solved for the Gators moving forward. With his true emergence just two games into the season, Florida head coach Dan Mullen has to figure out which QB is best for continued success this season.

Team drama aside, Richardson was ridiculously effective in Week 2 against USF. He completed all 3 of his pass attempts for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ran another 4 times for 115 yards and 1 touchdown. His lone “non-touchdown” was the best throw of the afternoon — when he glanced to his left side and dropped a beautiful downfield shot against the sidelines to Jacob Copeland.

Richardson has all the arm talent in the world. He’s also perhaps the best athlete whenever he steps on the football field, regardless of opponent.

LT: Blake Freeland, BYU

The Holy War went the way of the Cougars late Saturday night, and the offensive line production was a big reason why. Freeland gets the nod as our left tackle on our Team of the Week after producing big holes in the run game and keeping Jaren Hall’s blindside clear in the passing game. Freeland has taken over for current Carolina Panthers OT Brady Christensen and hasn’t looked back.

LG: Xavier Newman-Johnson, Baylor

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand just how good this Baylor offensive line has become. Just two games into the Eric Mateos era in Waco, the Bears have become the nation’s top offensive line. Newman-Johnson (and see below) is the latest to earn Team of the Week honors after a dominant performance inside against Texas Southern.

It took all of two plays to see the dominance on film as the Bears rushed for an average of 11.1 yards per carry on true run plays.

C: Jacob Gall, Baylor

Gall rounds out the top two Baylor performers on the offensive line. We likely could have placed all five starters and all five reserves on the Team of the Week. Gall was dominant at the point of attack and routinely found the second level in the run game.

It was a dominant performance, and Gall (the Buffalo transfer) led the way.

RG: Eli Cox, Kentucky

Cox was crucial to the Wildcats’ success against Missouri. He not only paved the way for big gains on the ground and kept Will Levis clean from pressure, but he also saved the day, whether it counted or not.

Cox pounced on a ball in the end zone that was fumbled (or not) by Rodriguez. The play wasn’t reviewed as there was a clear recovery in the end zone so it went unidentified in the box score. Nevertheless, Cox’s recovery proved to be the difference in the game.

RT: Connor Finucane, Army

The Black Knights won in impressive fashion on Saturday against Western Kentucky. While their defense held the Hilltoppers’ Air Raid offense in check, Finucane was remarkable on the outside for Army’s triple-option attack. His efforts both at the point of attack and all the way as far as the third level did not go unnoticed.

Kicker: Diego Guajardo, South Alabama

“Single-footedly,” Guajardo won the game for the Jaguars in Week 2. Tied at 19 points apiece, Guajardo’s 44-yard field goal won it against Bowling Green. He was perfect on the afternoon, hitting 3-of-3 field goals and his lone extra point.

Second-Team Offense

QB: Seth Henigan, Memphis
RB: Blake Corum, Michigan
RB: B.J. Baylor, Oregon State
WR: Randle Jones, Temple
WR: Jacob Copeland, Florida
WR: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
TE: Jelani Woods, Virginia
Flex: Sean Dykes, Memphis
LT: Andre Harris Jr., Arkansas State
LG: Josh Seltzner, Wisconsin
C: Olusegun Oluwatimi, Virginia
RG: Jack Nelson, Wisconsin
RT: Andrew Stueber, Michigan
K: Blake Grupe, Arkansas State

Honorable Mention Offense

QB: Anthony Brown, Oregon | Terry Wilson, New Mexico | Stetson Bennett, Georgia
RB: Zach Evans, TCU | Trey Potts, Minnesota
RB: Brandon Thomas, Memphis | Harrison Waylee, Northern Illinois
WR: Devin Maddox, Toledo
WR: Samori Toure, Nebraska
WR: Deven Thompkins, Utah State
TE: Trae Barry, Boston College
Flex: Christian Anderson, Army
LT: Obinna Eze, TCU
LG: Austin Cook, New Mexico
C: Matthew Lee, UCF
RG: Grant Miller, Baylor
RT: Gavin Byers, Baylor
K: Thomas Cluckey, Toledo

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