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November 24, 2008

Rivals.com Week 13 National Awards

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.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich intercepted two passes, returning one 34 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and added nine tackles in BC's 24-21 win over Wake Forest. BC is one win away from a return trip to the ACC title game.
BIG EAST
West Virginia quarterback Pat White enjoyed a record-breaking game in a 35-21 win over Louisville. White was 6-of-11 passing for 122 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns to break Brad Smith's NCAA record for career rushing yards by a quarterback.
BIG TEN
Penn State locked up the Big Ten's automatic BCS bid with a dominant performance from Daryll Clark. The Nittany Lions quarterback was 16-of-26 passing for 341 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-18 win over Michigan State.
CONFERENCE USA
Rice's Chase Clement was 25-of-41 passing for 315 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception, in a 35-10 win over Marshall. The victory kept the Owls in contention for the Conference USA title.
MID-AMERICAN
Toledo freshman running back Morgan Williams had 28 carries for 330 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-14 romp over Miami University.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah wrapped up a second BCS bid in five seasons by defeating rival BYU 48-24. Utes quarterback Brian Johnson was 30-of-36 passing for 303 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
PAC-10
Wide receiver Sammie Stroughter preserved Oregon State's Rose Bowl hopes with five catches for 116 yards and a late touchdown in a 19-17 win over Arizona. Most of Stroughter's production came in the final three quarters, after freshman running back Jacquizz Rodgers was sidelined with a shoulder injury.
SEC
Ole Miss could head to a New Year's Day bowl after snapping a six-game losing streak to LSU. Rebels quarterback Jevan Snead was 16-of-25 passing for 274 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-13 win.
SUN BELT
Troy remained in the lead in the Sun Belt with a 48-3 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Trojans running back DuJuan Harris had 28 carries for 234 yards and two touchdowns; he also threw a touchdown pass.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
Wide receiver Austin Pettis helped Boise State remain undefeated with nine catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-34 win over Nevada.
INDEPENDENTS
Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate caught seven passes for 142 yards in a 24-23 loss to Syracuse.

The Heisman race has gone through the Big 12 South, from Colt McCoy to Graham Harrell to Sam Bradford.

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.

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma

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.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: QB Russell Wilson, N.C. State

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.

COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Brent Venables, Oklahoma

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.

Tom Bradley's defense held Javon Ringer to only 42 rushing yards in Penn State's win over Michigan State.

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



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