Four formerly undefeated teams suffered their first losses of the season on a Saturday filled with upsets, but none of the teams featuring our players of the week for Week 9 had any issues.
A week after downing Ohio State in a stunning home upset, Penn State traveled to Purdue for what could have been a trap game. Instead, the Nittany Lions dominated in West Lafayette thanks to a tremendous performance on the ground from our National Player of the Week.
National Player of the Week
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: Barkley had a monster day on the ground for the Nittany Lions in their 62-24 woodshedding of Purdue. Barkley rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries (11.5 yards per carry) and added 70 yards on three receptions. Penn State’s running back is up to 888 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns this season on 147 carries as the Nittany Lions improved to 6-2 with the win on Saturday.
SEC Player of the Week
Christian Kirk, WR/PR, Texas A&M: It hasn’t been quite the breakout season some expected from the all-purpose star of the Aggies, but Saturday he had not one but two punt returns for touchdowns against New Mexico State. Kirk only had two returns on the day but made them count with 70- and 73-yard touchdown returns. On top of the two punt return touchdowns, Kirk caught five passes for 36 yards and one touchdown as the Aggies rolled 52-10.
Freshman Player of the Week
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: The Ducks appear to have found their quarterback of the present and future in Herbert. Against Arizona State, Herbert completed 31 of 42 passes for 489 yards and four touchdowns as the Ducks earned their first Pac-12 win of the season by a 54-35 final over the Sun Devils. Herbert isn’t the rushing threat that previous Oregon quarterbacks have been — he had 11 rushes for 23 yards — but his arm talent is undeniable as he carved up Sparky in Eugene.