DALLAS (FWAA) Each week during the 2021 season, we will highlight the notable performances of first-year players and head coaches leading up to the selection of our annual Freshman All-America Team and the Steve Spurrier First-Year Coach of the Year Award presented by Chris Doering Mortgage. Here are the top performances from Week 13, the weekend of Nov. 27:
FIRST-YEAR PLAYERS: THE FRESH FOUR
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia (6-14, 230, Napa, Calif.): 3 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TD
The Swiss Army knife that is Brock Bowers showed off his versatile athleticism with blazing speed and impressive bounce in Georgia's 45-0 thumping of Georgia Tech. The true freshman now has the most touchdown catches of any Georgia receiver under Kirby Smart, and tied for the most among tight ends in the country. He will look to keep dominating next Saturday when the Bulldogs face off against Alabama for the SEC title.
Ikaika Ragsdale, RB, North Texas (6-0, 208, Las Vegas, Nev.): 20 rushes, 146 yards, 2 TD
Ragsdale helped North Texas play spoiler to UTSA's perfect season, upsetting its bitter rival 45-23. The redshirt freshman showed prominence weaving around and running through tackles in the win. Ragsdale and the Mean Green earned the program's first six-win season since 2018.
Josaiah Stewart, DL, Coastal Carolina (6-2, 245, Everett, Mass.): 5 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 TFL
Stewart continued to be an absolute backfield nightmare for Coastal Carolina in its 27-21 overtime win against South Alabama. The true freshman accounted for three of his team's four sacks and contributed to a defensive front that allowed minus-5 yards rushing. Stewart and the Chanticleers now await of bowl opponent.
Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami (6-4, 224, Glastonbury, Conn.): 34/49, 381 yards, 3 TD
Van Dyke continued to emerge as one of the better quarterbacks in the nation in Miami's 47-10 beatdown of Duke. The redshirt freshman delivered his sixth straight three-touchdown game. Over that stretch, the Hurricanes are 5-1 and have averaged over 35 points per game.
STEVE SPURRIER FIRST-YEAR COACHES
Bret Bielema, Illinois: Bielema's Fighting Illini were absolutely dominant Saturday, drowning Northwestern 47-14. Illinois' offense could not be stopped, aggregating 459 yards of total offense. The Fighting Illini rushed for 217 yards and four touchdowns. The Wildcats were limited to just 241 yards of total offense and turned the ball over twice.
Bryan Harsin, Auburn: They didn't win Saturday, but Harsin's Tigers came within inches and seconds of knocking off No. 3-ranked Alabama before falling 24-22 in four overtime periods. Auburn's defense was stingy all afternoon, limiting the Crimson Tide to 10 points by the end of regulation. Quarterback TJ Finley finished 17-of-26 passing for 137 yards, with two touchdowns.
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2021 Freshman Focus
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Weekend of Nov. 13
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Weekend of Nov. 27