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October 10, 2010

Gamecocks' Jeffery grabs top honor

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Florida State RB Jermaine Thomas rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries in a 45-17 victory over Miami. He also caught two passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
BIG EAST
Rutgers QB Chas Dodd was 18-of-29 passing for 322 yards with two touchdowns in a 27-24 victory over Connecticut. Dodd, a true freshman from Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes, where he teamed with South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, was starting because of an injury to Tom Savage.
BIG TEN
Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase was 15-of-19 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown in a 33-13 upset at Penn State. He also rushed for 61 yards on eight carries.
CONFERENCE USA
SMU QB Kyle Padron was 27-of-40 passing for 381 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in a 21-18 victory over Tulsa.
MID-AMERICAN
Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish was 20-of-25 passing for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-17 victory over Temple. He also rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah QB Jordan Wynn was 23-of-31 passing for 325 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in a 68-27 romp at Iowa State.
PAC-10
Oregon State QB Ryan Katz was 30-of-42 passing for 393 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for a score in a 29-27 upset of host Arizona.
SUN BELT
Troy QB Corey Robinson was 26-of-37 passing for 259 yards with three touchdowns in a 42-13 victory at Middle Tennessee on Tuesday.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
Hawaii QB Bryant Moniz was 29-of-49 passing for 376 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in a 49-27 victory at Fresno State.
INDEPENDENTS
Navy QB Ricky Dobbs rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in a 28-27 victory over Wake Forest. He also threw for 94 yards and two scores.

Simply being the best receiver in the SEC would be compliment enough with company such as A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Greg Childs.

Alshon Jeffery, though, is making a case to be the No. 1 receiver in the country.

In a 35-21 upset of No. 1 Alabama, he was South Carolina's top offensive player and the clear favorite target of QB Stephen Garcia. Jeffery, a sophomore, caught seven passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns against the Crimson Tide to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.

Garcia completed 10 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to his other receivers.

"That is a guy that you have to keep throwing at," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "When you get a guy that can fall forward for 3 or 4 yards, you just have to keep getting him the ball, so certainly that was in our plans."

If there was one slip-up on his day, it would have been a pass that bounced off Jeffery's chest for an Alabama interception. Jeffery made up for that bounce with a 45-yard catch to set up South Carolina's final touchdown to put Alabama away.

"I'm not dwelling on the interception," Garcia said. "The guy knocked it out of his hands as he was coming down. It doesn't matter anymore because he made up for it with that one-handed catch that he took 45 yards down the field. That was the game changer right there. You really can't say enough about that kid."

NATIONAL FRESHMAN/BIG 12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
QB Taylor Martinez, Nebraska

Nebraska fans had an extra week to stew over a lackluster 17-3 win over South Dakota State. In that game, Martinez threw two interceptions, completed fewer than half of his passes and rushed for a season-low 75 yards.

If that game revealed any underlying problems for the undefeated Huskers, they fixed them in a hurry.

Martinez, in particular, executed a dramatic turnaround. He rushed for 241 yards on 15 carries, including touchdown runs of 14, 35, 80 and 41 yards, in a 48-13 rout of Kansas State on Thursday night. His passing wasn't too shabby, either. He was 5-of-7 for 128 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown to Kyler Reed.

Martinez's performance was the best rushing performance for a quarterback in school history, surpassing Jammal Lord's 234 yards against Texas in 2002.

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK
Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State

A good defense beats a good offense. That's true even for Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

The matchup between the Wolverines' Heisman-contending quarterback and Michigan State's defense tilted convincingly in the Spartans' favor, earning Narduzzi the National Coordinator of the Week honor. His colleague on the other side of the ball, Don Treadwell, earned coordinator honors last week in a victory over Wisconsin.

Narduzzi's defense held Michigan to 162 rushing yards and 4.8 yards per carry. The Wolverines came into the game averaging 324.4 yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry. The Spartans held Robinson to a season-low 86 rushing yards and intercepted him three times, twice in the end zone.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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