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October 20, 2008

Rivals.com Week 8 National Awards

As Texas claimed the top spot in the first BCS standings, Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy is landing on the top spot of more and more Heisman lists.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Maryland quarterback Chris Turner led the Terps to a 26-0 upset of Wake Forest by going 28-of-41 for 321 yards and a touchdown against a Demon Deacons team that had led the nation in pass efficiency defense.
BIG EAST
Pittsburgh is the favorite to win the conference because of tailback LeSean McCoy, who carried 18 times for 156 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-21 win over Navy.
BIG TEN
Iowa running back Shonn Greene had 25 carries for 217 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-16 win over fading Wisconsin.
CONFERENCE USA
Tulsa's Brennan Marion caught touchdown passes of 97, 51 and 40 yards in a six-catch, 233-yard day against UTEP. Marion averaged 38.8 yards per catch in the 77-35 win.
MID-AMERICAN
Backup quarterback Brian Brunner led Central Michigan to a critical win in the MAC with a 38-28 victory over Western Michigan. Brunner, who started because star Dan LeFevour was injured, was 20-of-28 for 346 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
MOUNTAIN WEST
TCU handed BYU its first loss of the season, 32-7, and the Horned Frogs' defense was dominant. End Jerry Hughes finished with four sacks and two forced fumbles for the Horned Frogs. Hughes has 11 sacks and 14 tackles for loss this season.
PAC-10
Arizona freshman Keola Antolin replaced starting running back Nic Grigsby early in a 42-27 win over California. Antolin had 21 carries for 149 yards and three touchdowns in the upset.
SEC
Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown and added 10 tackles and a sack in a 34-3 win over Mississippi State. Berry's 72-yard interception return helped him break the SEC record for career interception return yards: 397 on 10 picks.
SUN BELT
Louisiana-Lafayette remained undefeated in the Sun Belt with a 28-23 win over Arkansas State in a showdown of teams that had been perfect in league play. Tyrell Fenroy carried 22 times for 128 yards and scored the winning touchdown with 32 seconds left.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
San Jose State defensive end Carl Ihenacho recorded eight tackles, six tackles for a loss and a sack in a 31-14 win over New Mexico State, which had averaged 38 points in its past four games.
INDEPENDENTS
Collin Mooney led Army with 16 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-24 overtime loss to Buffalo. It was his third consecutive game with more than 170 yards rushing.
McCoy continued his assault on Big 12 defenses against Missouri. McCoy is 80-of-97 passing for 876 yards and five touchdowns in three conference games; he also has rushed for two scores in league contests.

He is Rivals.com's national player of the week for his latest effort: 29-of-32 for 337 yards and two touchdowns, with 23 rushing yards and two more scores. In his past two games against ranked opponents, McCoy is 57-of-67 for 614 yards and three touchdowns. The state of Texas also provided this week's top coordinator, with Dick Bumpas' TCU defense shutting down high-powered BYU. The freshman of the week was Arizona's Keola Antolin, who had been a seldom-used backup running back before becoming a game-breaker against California.

Here are the award winners for Week 8:

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: QB Colt McCoy, Texas

McCoy helped solidify Texas' hold on No. 1 with his performance in a 56-31 demolition of Missouri. The Longhorns scored on all five of their first-half possessions and led 35-3 at halftime.

In completing 90.6 percent of his passes against Missouri, McCoy raised his season completion percentage to 81.2. At his current pace, he would shatter Daunte Culpepper's NCAA single-season record. UCF's Culpepper completed 73.6 percent of his passes in 1998.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: RB Keola Antolin, Arizona

Arizona starting running back Nic Grigsby fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and was replaced by Antolin, a true freshman from Las Vegas. There was no need for Grigsby to return as Antolin rushed for 149 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-27 win over Cal.

The victory puts Arizona one win away from bowl eligibility, and Antolin's performance gives USC more to think about when the Trojans visit Tucson this week.

Also considered for freshman of the week:

Miami quarterback Jacory Harris may have earned more playing time by going 18-of-28 for 185 yards and accounting for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in the second half of a 49-31 win over Duke.

Southern Miss wide receiver DeAndre Brown caught 12 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-40 loss to Rice.

Jonathan Baldwin has become a downfield threat for Pittsburgh. He caught three passes for 101 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown, in the win over Navy.

Terrelle Pryor was efficient in Ohio State's 45-7 win over Michigan State. He was 7-of-11 passing for 116 yards and a touchdown and added 72 rushing yards and a score.

Wide receiver A.J. Green helped Georgia avoid an upset with seven catches for 132 yards and a touchdown in a 24-14 win over Vanderbilt.

COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Dick Bumpas, TCU

There will be one fewer potential BCS-buster, thanks to TCU's defense. The Horned Frogs held BYU to 297 total yards just 23 rushing in a 32-7 rout Thursday night. Bumpas' defense sacked Max Hall seven times and forced four turnovers.

Also considered for coordinator of the week:

Greg Davis' offense had a flawless game plan as Texas scored on all five of its first-half possessions on the way to 591 total yards in the rout of Missouri.

Will Muschamp's defense was just as effective for Texas as the Longhorns held Missouri to 348 yards and likely knocked Chase Daniel out of the Heisman race.

LSU's two-quarterback system was seamless in a 24-17 win over a stingy South Carolina defense. Gary Crowton's offense put up 363 yards with Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch sharing time.

Gus Malzahn's offense deserves mention because of its sheer numbers against UTEP. Tulsa amassed 791 yards of offense 470 passing and 321 rushing against the Miners.

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



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