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November 24, 2008
The races for the Heisman Trophy and the ACC title have one thing in common, though their relative excellence is up for debate: The front-runners change on a weekly basis.
The new Heisman leader was named Rivals.com's National Player of the Week, while the National Freshman of the Week helped change the ACC race with an upset Saturday. Oklahoma's defensive effort against the Red Raiders also earned National Coordinator of the Week recognition.
Bradford has become the top Heisman contender in the Big 12 after his head-to-head matchup with Texas Tech's Graham Harrell.
Bradford was remarkably efficient for an Oklahoma offense that demolished the Red Raiders; it was the Sooners' third consecutive game with more than 60 points.
Oklahoma opened a 42-7 halftime lead, and Bradford was 14-of-19 for 304 yards and four touchdowns in the 65-21 rout.
Wilson continued to revive the Wolfpack's program by spoiling North Carolina's ACC title hopes. Wilson was 17-of-28 passing for 279 yards with two touchdowns and added 50 rushing yards in a 41-10 rout of the Tar Heels.
With the win, NCSU swept the North Carolina schools on its schedule: East Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and North Carolina.
Also considered for freshman of the week:
? It wasn't just an offensive show for Oklahoma against Texas Tech. Freshman linebacker Travis Lewis had a team-leading 13 tackles,? an interception and a forced fumble.
? Houston running back Bryce Beall carried 19 times for 167 yards and a touchdown and caught eight passes for 96 yards and a score in a victory over UTEP.
? Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was 29-of-48 passing for 414 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in the win over Nevada.
? Running back Antwon Bailey was a revelation for Syracuse, carrying 16 times for 126 yards and a touchdown in the upset of Notre Dame.
Oklahoma's defense was able to do what few have done this season: It stymied Texas Tech's offense.
The Red Raiders finished with 406 yards, but Oklahoma dismantled Texas Tech in the first half, which ended with the Sooners leading 42-7. The Red Raiders punted on their first three possessions and turned the ball over on downs on the next two.
Venables' defense may have knocked Graham Harrell out of the Heisman race, sacking him four times and forcing two turnovers from him.
Banker's defense held the Bears to 232 total yards, forced two turnovers and recorded five sacks. Other than a 65-yard touchdown run from Jahvid Best, the Beavers held Cal's ground game in check.
Oregon State capped the game with Keenan Lewis' 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Also considered for coordinator of the week:
? Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson's attack rolled up 625 yards, included 326 passing, and had two running backs rush for more than 100 yards.
? North Carolina State's defense held North Carolina to 56 rushing yards and only 203 total yards under coordinator Mike Archer.
? Iowa's defense under Norm Parker ended the season with a 55-0 shutout of Minnesota, holding the Golden Gophers to 7 yards rushing.
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.