Every Monday, we will highlight the best and brightest performances from the weekend with the CBSSports.com Players of the Week. The honors will run through the end of the regular season right up until the CBS Sports All-America Team announcement on Dec. 17.
I don't know what is more astonishing, Garrett Gilbert's 635 yards of total offense or the fact that SMU needed every bit of his production overcome a 21-point deficit against Temple. Gilbert led the Mustangs to the end zone on seven of their final eight possessions, finishing with 538 yards and four touchdowns passing (10.2 yards per attempt) while leading the team with 97 yards and two touchdowns on the ground (12.1 yards per attempt). Bruce Feldman pointed out in his Big Picture column that Gilbert has averaged 448 passing yards per game while accounting for 15 touchdowns and one interception in the month of October.
Duke's linebacker Kelby Brown was sensational in the Blue Devils' monumental win at Virginia Tech on Saturday, recording 14 tackles (one for a loss) and pulling down a game-sealing interception with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Blue Devils needed their defense to overcome an offensive performance that included four interceptions and zero third down conversions. Brown and his teammates responded with four interceptions of their own to lead Duke to their first road win against a ranked team in more than 30 years.
Clemson's offense did not quite shake their funk after the embarrassing loss to Florida State, struggling to find the end zone early against Maryland on the road. Luckily, senior kicker Chandler Catanzaro, affectionally known as "Cat Man," was rock solid in the 40-27 win. Catanzaro connected on field goals from 31, 29, 25, and 24 yards to keep the Tigers out in front of a depleted, yet scrappy, Maryland squad. Without his 16-point performance -- Catanzaro also hit on all four of his PAT attempts -- the Tigers may have fallen victim to a letdown. Instead, Clemson hangs in the Top 10 and remains in contention for an at-large BCS bowl bid.
John O'Korn has been the most impressive freshman in college football west of Jameis Winston, and his contribution to Houston's eye-popping 49-14 win at Rutgers earns him the much-deserved Rookie of the Week honor. The Cougars played Homecoming spoiler for the Scarlet Knights, remaining unbeaten in conference play and making their case as American Athletic Conference title contenders. O'Korn was 24-for-30 for 363 with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The St. Thomas Aquinas product has thrown 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions on the season, helping the Cougars develop into one of the most intriguing stories in this post-realignment era.