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October 11, 2009

Oregon State's Rodgers answers critics

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Duke senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis was 40-of-50 for a career-high 459 yards and five touchdowns, and he also rushed for a score in a 49-28 beatdown of host North Carolina State.
BIG 12
Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recorded six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and the game-turning interception in a 27-12 victory at Missouri on Thursday.
BIG EAST
Pittsburgh freshman running back Dion Lewis carried 24 times for 158 yards in the Panthers' 24-21 comeback win over Connecticut.
BIG TEN
Minnesota linebacker Lee Campbell recorded 11 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, an interception and a blocked field goal in a 35-20 win over Purdue.
CONFERENCE USA
Memphis running back Curtis Steele rushed for 240 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries and also caught a touchdown pass in a 35-20 victory over UTEP.
MAC
Bowling Green wide receiver Freddie Barnes caught 22 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns as the Falcons rallied for a 36-35 win at Kent State.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah free safety Robert Johnson intercepted three passes and recorded five tackles in a 24-17 win over Colorado State.
SEC
Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes had 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and forced a fumble in a 13-3 win at LSU, which was held to 162 yards of offense.
SUN BELT
Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, and made four tackles in a 38-34 victory over North Texas.
WAC
Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick was 15-of-21 for 166 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-14 victory over Louisiana Tech on Friday. He also rushed for 89 yards and two scores on 12 carries.
INDEPENDENTS
Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for 104 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries in a 63-14 rout of Rice. He also was 2-for-3 passing for 66 yards.

Newspapers fear they are losing young readers. Oregon State sophomore running back Jacquizz Rodgers, at least, still keeps up with current events the old-fashioned way.

"People been talking bad about me in the papers, man," Rodgers told reporters. "They say, 'Quizz hasn't rushed over 100 yards in three games,' so I took that personal."

Going into Saturday's Pac-10 showdown with Stanford, Rodgers actually hadn't topped 85 yards in any of his past three games - all against Big Six conference competition. Rodgers answered his critics by rushing for 189 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries against Stanford to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors. Rodgers also caught five passes for 82 yards in the victory.

Rodgers outplayed Pac-10 rushing leader Toby Gerhart, who had led the Cardinal to a 3-0 start in conference play. Meanwhile, Oregon State looks as if it will continue its tradition of shaking off a slow start in September with standout performances in October and November. The Beavers started 2-2 this season, but have won their past two games, against Arizona State and Stanford.

NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK PLAYER OF THE WEEK: South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery

First, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier found a quarterback in Stephen Garcia. Now, maybe Spurrier has found a new star receiver in Alshon Jeffery, who caught seven passes for 138 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-26 win over Kentucky.

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart

Alabama further established itself as the class of the SEC West by dismantling Ole Miss 22-3 in Oxford. Kirby Smart's defense continued its dominance by holding the Rebels to 72 rushing yards and 140 passing yards. The Tide intercepted Jevan Snead four times.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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