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College Football Week 6 recap: Rise of the seniors

Week 6 featured several dominant performances by the members of the senior class.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 6 of the college football season was possibly the most eventful and exciting of the season so far. No. 19 Texas is, apparently, “back” after outscoring No. 7 Oklahoma in a track meet. Mississippi State upset Auburn, to the detriment of the Tigers’ College Football Playoff hopes. No. 22 Florida poked a hole in No. 5 LSU’s CFP balloon as well, thanks to a superb defensive effort. Glance below for the players that stood out during Saturday’s slate of games.

CB Brandon Watson (Michigan)

The Maryland passing attack was grounded thanks to Michigan’s secondary and the superb play of Watson in particular. Terrapin receivers couldn’t earn any separation from Watson, and freshman quarterback Kasim Hill was forced to hold on to the ball and take unnecessary sacks. The senior corner put an exclamation point on his day when he intercepted Hill on a crossing route and took it to the house for a pick-six in the fourth quarter.

RB Dexter Williams (Notre Dame)

Virginia Tech had bottled up No. 6 Notre Dame’s run game for one half the game when Williams scampered 97 yards for a touchdown on a long sweep to put the Fighting Irish up by eight. That run shifted the game’s momentum, and Virginia Tech never really threatened to pull ahead after that point. While not the most agile runner, Williams excelled at hitting his top speed quickly and attacking the hole.

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (Florida)

Gardner-Johnson was Florida’s Swiss-army Knife against No. 5 LSU. During the game he played traditional safety, covered slot receivers, and acted as a third safety in a “big nickel.” The latter role is where he really stood out—his ability to tackle in the open field single-handedly short circuited several LSU drives. Gardner-Johnson ended up second on the team in tackles with 11 as well as two for-a-loss.

RG Deion Calhoun (Mississippi St.)

The Bulldogs didn’t give up a single sack against the vaunted Auburn defensive line, and while quarterback Nick Fitzgerald’s running ability was responsible for much of that, Calhoun’s efforts against Derrick Brown deserves recognition. It wasn’t just in the passing game where Calhoun was noticed, his pancake block on a linebacker late in the fourth quarter led to a Fitzgerald touchdown run, putting the game out of reach for Auburn.

WR Lil’ Jordan Humphrey (Texas)

The Longhorns upset the Oklahoma Sooners in a shootout with the help of receiving plays made by wide receivers Collin Johnson and Humphrey. Of the two, Humphrey made his hay on tunnel screens, and various short and intermediate routes. He also came up big in the red zone and third down. The junior finished with nine catches for a 133 yards, a touchdown catch, and a touchdown throw on a trick play.

LB Germaine Pratt (NC State)

The ACC’s leading tackler, Pratt used his size and long arms to wrap up ball carriers all day while proving very effective on blitzes. He led his team in tackles on the day with 13. But perhaps Pratt’s best play on the day was on one that was impossible to witness. With Boston College driving to bring the game within five, the senior linebacker found himself in the middle of a scrum with the running back and managed to somehow steal the ball away from him at about the five yard line.