College Football All-Week 9 Team
Although the matchups weren't as intriguing as past weeks, there were still various players who had a terrific day in Week 9 of the college football season. Six ranked teams suffered a loss, and on the winning side, there were plenty of guys who brought their lunch pail and went to work.
But if you had to pick one player at each position who shined brightest, who would it be?
It's tough to pick against a receiver who had more than 200 yards, a quarterback who played injured and sick or a defensive player who racked up an incredible 19 tackles.
Connor Shaw, South Carolina
Shaw was nursing a sprained knee and was feeling ill before the game. He wasn't even supposed to play against Missouri. But with Dylan Thompson struggling, the senior quarterback was given a shot anyway.
He ended up having the best game of his career, throwing for 201 yards and three touchdowns to help the Gamecocks pull out a double overtime victory.
Shaw has had his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career, but thanks to his gutsy performance, South Carolina is back in the SEC Championship picture. This type of game could give the Gamecocks the motivation they've lacked throughout the year.
Bishop Sankey, Washington
Sankey has been remarkable all season long. So, when he sets a new career-high in rushing yards, it's only right he makes this list. The junior running back carried the ball 27 times for a whopping 241 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-17 win over Cal. He averaged close to nine yards per carry and the performance helped Washington snap a three-game losing streak. Sankey now has 1,162 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on the season.
Duke Johnson, Miami
Johnson set a career-high with 30 carries and he needed every one of them to help Miami get by Wake Forest. For whatever reason, the Hurricanes offense just wasn't clicking for the second straight week. The best way to fix that is to hand the ball to one of the top backs in the game. Johnson ran for 168 yards and scored twice to help the Canes win the game 24-21. Both of his scores came in the fourth quarter to help keep Miami's BCS hopes alive.
Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
Texas Tech put up a great fight against Oklahoma, but Saunders proved to be too much when it was all said and done. The senior had his best game of the season with six receptions, 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Both of his scores either tied or gave Oklahoma the lead in the second quarter. The Sooners won the game 38-30 and are officially back in the BCS picture.
Odell Beckham, LSU
Regardless of the competition, racking up more than 200 receiving yards in a single-game is pretty impressive. That's exactly what Beckham did in a 48-16 win over Furman. The junior receiver caught six passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. He was the big-play wideout for LSU all day long and really made quarterback Zach Mettenberger's job quite easy. Beckham is the first LSU player to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season since Michael Clayton in 2003.
Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
It seems like Amaro is in this spot just about every week. Well, what do you expect? The kid has become an elite target for Texas Tech and is putting up big boy numbers.
Although the Red Raiders lost to Oklahoma, the junior caught eight passes for 119 yards. It was his seventh straight game with at least eight receptions.
Simply put, he's the real deal. Just ask Charles Davis of NFL.com:
How about an old-school comparison? Mike Ditka. Remember those old clips of Ditka catching the ball and bodies falling off of him as he's running through people? That's what you see with Amaro. He's a big-time target and continues to pile up huge stats even though everyone knows the ball is going to him.
Amaro puts on a show every week.
Duke's Offensive Line
Virginia Tech has one of the best defensive lines in the country. Going up against Duke? Well, those big boys should have been licking their chops all week and preparing to rack up sacks approaching double-digits.
Come on, there's no way Duke could block the Hokies!
Actually, the Blue Devils allowed only one sack and one quarterback hurry all afternoon. For the most part, quarterback Anthony Boone had a clean pocket and more than enough time to throw the football. Getting the ball to his receivers accurately was a different story. Still, this unit held up better than expected and the big uglies deserve their credit.
Trevor Reilly, Utah
Utah may have lost to USC, but Reilly continues to play at a high level and did just about everything he could to give the Utes a shot to win the game.
The senior defensive end finished the contest with 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He harassed quarterback Cody Kessler all day and really limited the Trojans offensively. It's disappointing that Utah could only produce three points and 201 yards of offense.
Somebody owes the defense a nice dinner.
David Helton, Duke
Time to give Duke a little more credit for its 13-10 win over Virginia Tech. Hey, it's one of the biggest wins in program history. And with basketball season quickly underway, it's critical we give the Blue Devils football team as much credit as possible. It's been nice knowing ya!
Anyway, Helton played a key role in the most shocking game of the week. He led the way with 19 tackles. Nope, that is not a misprint. He also added a tackle for loss and only his second tipped pass of the season helped produce the interception in the fourth quarter that sealed the game.
Helton now leads the ACC with 78 tackles on the season.
Avery Patterson, Oregon
Patterson continues to make plays in all sorts of ways for Oregon. Yup, this team is balanced. There's a lot more that goes into the Ducks' success than just speedsters and touchdowns every 13 seconds.
In Oregon's 42-14 beat down against UCLA, the senior cornerback had seven tackles, three tackles for loss, a tipped pass and intercepted a pass that he returned 34 yards.
Patterson was all over the field and made Brett Hundley and company uncomfortable for much of the game.