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October 4, 2009

UTEP's Buckram runs away with top honor

West Virginia junior running back Noel Devine rushed 22 times for a career-high 220 yards and a touchdown in a 35-24 victory over Colorado on Thursday.
Wisconsin RB John Clay rushed 32 times for 184 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 victory at Minnesota.
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Baylor quarterback Nick Florence was 20-of-27 passing for 216 yards in a 31-15 victory over Kent State. Florence, a true freshman, also rushed for 60 yards and two touchdowns in his first start taking over for Robert Griffin.
Toledo wide receiver Stephen Williams caught 10 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-30 victory over Ball State. His second TD came on a 51-yard pass-and-run with 27 seconds left that provided the winning margin.
San Diego State strong safety Dey Juan Hemmings had an interception, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, a tackle for loss and six total tackles in a 34-17 victory over New Mexico State.
Stanford RB Toby Gerhart rushed 29 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-16 victory over UCLA that gave the Cardinal a 3-0 conference record.
Auburn RB Ben Tate carried 25 times for 128 yards and a touchdown in a 26-22 victory at Tennessee. He also had two receptions for 16 yards as Auburn rolled up 462 yards of offense.
Louisiana-Monroe RB Frank Goodin carried 19 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-35 victory over Florida International.
Nevada RB Mike Ball rushed 15 times for 184 yards and five touchdowns in a 63-28 rout of UNLV.
Notre Dame WR Golden Tate caught nine passes for 244 yards and a touchdown in a 37-30 overtime victory over Washington. He also rushed for 31 yards.

Houston's defense had done its job against prolific offenses in the Cougars' 3-0 start.

Houston's defense found a way to contain Oklahoma State's triumvirate of Zac Robinson, Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter in the second week of the season. Last week, the Cougars limited the damage from Texas Tech's "Air Raid" offense.

But Saturday night, Houston couldn't contain UTEP running back Donald Buckram, and it almost certainly means the end of the Cougars' bid for a BCS appearance.

Buckram, a junior, carried 32 times for 262 yards and four touchdowns in a 58-41 upset of the Cougars to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors. His four touchdowns came in the second half. Buckram's 262 yards is the highest single-game total this season.

"The most I ever imagined was 150," Buckram said. "It was a fantastic feeling."

CB Kenny Okoro, Wake Forest

Making his first start at cornerback, Okoro, a redshirt freshman, helped the Demon Deacons beat N.C. State 30-24 in a key ACC game. Okoro intercepted N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson in the end zone with 2:02 left in the game to end the Wolfpack's chances for a late rally. Okoro also had six tackles and a forced fumble to earn Rivals.com ACC player of the week as well.

Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State

Narduzzi's much-maligned defense answered critics the most emphatic way it could - by beating rival Michigan for the second consecutive season. Michigan State's defense had been shredded by the Spartans' past opponents, but MSU responded by holding Michigan to 87 yards through the first three quarters of a 26-20 overtime win. Michigan finished with 28 rushing yards and 251 total yards, the Wolverines' lowest totals of the season in both categories. Michigan State's Chris L. Rucker had an end-zone interception in OT.

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

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