Six secondary standouts from the football weekend:
Desmond King, CB, Iowa (NCAA): As a unit, the Hawkeyes’ defense thwarted 19th-ranked Wisconsin in a 10-6 upset victory on Saturday, Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent in 10 tries. As an individual, the junior King was the standout with nine tackles, two interceptions and two pass breakups.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Rams (NFL): Odell Beckham Jr. almost recreated his famous one-handed catch in the Giants’ win over the Bills on Sunday, but he landed out of bounds. Which means the best catch of the NFL’s Week 4 that counted was Jenkins’ end-zone interception of Arizona QB Carson Palmer in which he trapped the ball against the back of his helmet — similar to David Tyree’s famous Super Bowl snag. Jenkins added five tackles and two pass breakups in the Rams’ 24-22 victory, handing the high-powered Cards their first loss of the season.
Arjen Colquhoun, CB, Michigan State (NCAA): The senior corner had five tackles and a sack against Purdue on Saturday, but it was his breakup of a fourth-down pass late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Spartans’ 24-21 victory. Earlier in the Boilermakers’ final drive, Colquhoun broke up a pass on fourth down, but he was called for defensive holding. Refusing to let that call get into his head, he was just as aggressive playing the ball when Purdue had fourth down and targeted him again.
T.J. Ward, SS, Broncos (NFL): Ward spent so much time in the Vikings’ backfield on Sunday, you’d think he had switched positions to a pass-rushing linebacker. Ward had six tackles, two sacks and one QB hit, and he helped secure Denver’s 23-20 victory on Minnesota’s final drive, slipping past Adrian Peterson and getting a strip-sack of Minnesota QB Teddy Bridgewater with 30 seconds to play.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama (NCAA): From the “star” position on defense (Crimson Tide terminology for nickelback), the freshman Fitzpatrick had four tackles, one sack and one pass breakup in Bama’s 38-10 rout of eighth-ranked Georgia on the road. On special teams, Fitzpatrick blocked a punt and scooped it up at the goal line for a touchdown in the second quarter of the blowout.
Josh Norman, CB, Panthers (NFL): The fourth-year pro out of Coastal Carolina has thrust himself into the conversation for the title of best cornerback in the NFL. Last week, Norman made a diving, game-saving interception against the Saints. On Sunday, Norman had two picks in a 37-23 win over the Buccaneers, returning one of them 46 yards for a touchdown. He added four tackles and three pass breakups and, perhaps more impressively, took the Panthers’ spotlight away from the QB Cam Newton for at least one week.