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November 10, 2008

Rivals.com Week 11 National Awards

Iowa's 24-23 upset of previously undefeated Penn State likely ended the national championship hopes for the Nittany Lions and reorganized the BCS behind the top two of Alabama and Texas Tech.

Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans, also the National Freshman of the Week, rushed for a school-record 253 yards and a touchdown in a 23-13 win over Maryland on Thursday.
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Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell was excellent once again against a top-10 opponent, going 40-of-50 for 456 yards with six touchdowns in a 56-20 rout of Oklahoma State.
Quarterback Tony Pike helped Cincinnati take the lead in the Big East by going 16-of-30 passes for 178 yards and two total touchdowns - including the game-winning TD passes in OT - in a 26-23 victory over West Virginia.
UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe was 24-of-33 for 294 yards with five touchdowns and an interception in a 37-24 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Jamarko Simmons helped Western Michigan stun Illinois with 11 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 win.
Wyoming linebacker Ward Dobbs ruined Tennessee's homecoming with 13 tackles, four tackles for a loss, a sack and an interception return for a touchdown in a 13-7 win.
Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers became the top single-season freshman rusher in Pac-10 history with 31 carries, 144 yards and a touchdown in a 34-6 win over UCLA.
Safety Rashad Johnson kept Alabama undefeated and the leader in the national championship race with three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, in a 27-21 OT win over LSU.
Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton gave Florida International its third Sun Belt win with six catches for 199 yards and a 38-yard touchdown pass in a 22-21 victory over Arkansas State.
Nevada running back Vai Taua had 28 carries for 263 yards and a touchdown in a 41-28 win over Fresno State on Friday.
Army fullback Collin Mooney carried the ball 26 times for 207 yards with two touchdowns in a 38-31 loss to Rice.

The upset also earned the Hawkeyes Rivals.com National Player of the Week and National Coordinator of the Week awards.

It was no surprise Iowa's run game headed by Shonn Greene and stingy defense led the way again. The Hawkeyes' four losses this season have come by a total of 12 points. On Saturday, their ball-control offense and stout defense finally pulled out the close win they had waited for all season.


Greene - a junior - has rushed for at least 100 yards in each game this season, but his game against Penn State may have been his most impressive. Greene carried the ball 28 times for 117 yards and accounted for two of the Hawkeyes' three touchdowns in the 24-23 victory.

The Nittany Lions came into the game leading the Big Ten in rush defense after holding Ohio State's Chris Wells to 55 yards a game earlier.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Darren Evans, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is back in the ACC Coastal lead, thanks to a record performance from redshirt freshman Darren Evans. Evans continued the Hokies' tradition of winning on Thursday nights the Hokies are 15-3 on that day with a 25-13 win over Maryland.

Evans rushed for a school-record 253 yards and a touchdown against the Terrapins, putting the Hokies in position to strengthen their lead in the Coastal this Thursday against Miami.

Also considered for freshman of the week:

Julio Jones was Alabama's go-to receiver in the Crimson Tide's win over LSU, catching seven passes for 128 yards.

North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn forced two fumbles and recorded six tackles and a tackle for a loss in the Tar Heels' 28-7 win over Georgia Tech.

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor continued to spoil Northwestern's hot start by going 9-of-14 for 197 yards and three touchdowns and also rushing for 33 yards in the 45-10 romp.

In a 42-38 loss to Georgia, quarterback Randall Cobb kept Kentucky in the shootout by going 12-of-20 for 105 yards to go with 82 rushing yards and three touchdowns.

Houston running back Bryce Beall rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-14 win over Tulane.


Penn State came into its game against Iowa leading the Big Ten in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense. The Hawkeyes' defense answered the challenge.

Iowa held Penn State to 289 total yards and forced quarterback Daryll Clark, the Big Ten leader in passing efficiency, into a 9-for-23 night, with an interception.

Also considered for coordinator of the week:

Nick Holt's USC defense is allowing less than a touchdown per game after holding California to a field goal in a 17-3 win. The Trojans allowed only 165 total yards and 27 rushing yards in the victory.

Everett Withers' North Carolina defense forced three turnovers and kept Georgia Tech's offense out of the red zone in the Tar Heels' win.

Phil Bennett led the Pittsburgh defense to a dominant performance against Louisville, holding the Cardinals to 299 yards and 96 rushing yards. The Panthers forced five turnovers and returned an interception for a touchdown in the 41-7 win.

After a rough season, Michigan finally played to its potential as Scott Shafer's defense held Minnesota to 188 yards and 83 rushing in a 29-6 win.

Frank Spaziani's Boston College defense held Notre Dame to 66 rushing yards and intercepted Jimmy Clausen four times in a 17-0 victory.

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

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