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College football's top performers: Big defensive plays highlight early games

Tense games and dynamic duos highlighted the afternoon slate of college football in Week 6.

Saturday's afternoon slate was not short of tense games and surprises.

No. 3 Clemson barely was able to overcome unranked NC State, while Georgia lost to rival Vanderbilt.

However, some games went smoothly for the ranked teams, including No. 19 Oklahoma's breezy victory over Kansas State with the help of quarterback Baker Mayfield and his favorite target.. 

Here are the players of Week 6 who were able to make the magic happen:

Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, WR

Westbrook had a fantastic game with three touchdowns and 184 receiving yards. He was quarterback Baker Mayfield's favorite target as the Sooners downed Kansas State 38-17. Westbrook has exploded these past three games. In his first three games of the year he only had 154 receiving yards and no touchdowns compared to 574 yards and eight scores in his last three.

Rushel Shell, West Virginia, RB

Shell scored two touchdowns and posted 104 rushing yards in No. 20 West Virginia's 48-17 victory over Texas Tech. Both of Shell's touchdowns came in the fourth quarter and put the icing on the cake for the Mountaineers' win.

Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt, LB

In Vandy's 17-16 win over Georgia, Cunningham posted six solo tackles and 13 assisted tackles, helping the Commodores' defense keeping the Bulldogs stifled. His biggest play came on a fourth-and-1 play with a minute left in the game. Cunningham tackled Bulldog running back Isaiah McKenzie short of the line to gain and ensured the Vanderbilt win.

Rodney Smith, Minnesota, RB

Smith's two touchdowns and 144 rushing yards propelled Minnesota to a 31-10 win over Maryland — the Gophers' first Big Ten win this season. Smith had a career-long 70-yard touchdown run with fewer than 10 minutes left in the game.

Marcus Edmond, Clemson, CB

Edmond was the savior of the day for Clemson. He was able to intercept Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley in overtime, ending the game with Clemson up 24-17. The play secured Clemson's perfect record and kept its home win streak alive at 20 games.