Time for our final regular-season edition of Did You Know? Special thanks to the sports information directors at the conferences and schools for the notes below.
Both Boise State and Nevada have won at least 10 games this year and Hawaii is on the verge of doing so as well. If Hawaii beats UNLV this weekend or wins the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, then the WAC will have three teams with 10 or more wins for the first time since 1994 when BYU, Colorado State and Utah all finished the season with 10 victories.
New Mexico State junior Taveon Rogers finished the season with 1,410 kick return yards, setting a new WAC and NCAA record. The previous WAC record of 1,214 was set by San Jose State’s Deonce Whitaker in 1998, and the NCAA record was 1,382 yards set by Tulsa Damaris Johnson in 2008. Rogers’ 52 returns for the season also broke Whitaker’s WAC record of 51, but were short of the NCAA record of 55 set by Army’s William White in 2002. Utah State’s Kerwynn Williams has a chance to break both records this week as he has 47 returns for 1,287 yards.
Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick needs 253 passing yards to reach 10,000, and 65 rushing yards to reach 4,000 for his career ... he also needs two rushing TDs to tie the WAC’s career record of 58 (Ian Johnson-BSU).
SMU and UCF have met just twice with UCF holding a 2-0 series edge, having topped SMU in 2007 and 2008.
SMU receiver Aldrick Robinson is the first player in school history to record two 1,000-yard seasons. He has had TD catches in six straight games entering the Conference-USA title game, and has pulled in a school-record 12 TD catches this season.
Four of SMU’s starting 22 are seniors - Pete Fleps, Sterling Moore, Robinson and Youri Yenga. A staggering 82 percent of SMU’s 2010 starters are slated to be back in 2011.
FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger will coach his 300th game Saturday, against Troy, a team the Owls have been able to defeat once (2007). Running back Alfred Morris needs 118 yards to become the first FAU player to record back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
The Sun Belt has two of the top three running backs in the country in terms of yards gained. Western Kentucky's Bobby Rainey leads the nation with 1,649 yards rushing, and North Texas' Lance Dunbar is third with 1,553 yards. Rainey had nine 100-yard rushing games this year, tying him with Antwan Floyd (1994) and Jon Frazier (2002) for the most 100-yard games in a season in school history. Dunbar’s 1,553 yards ranks third in North Texas history. Only Jamario Thomas and Patrick Cobbs have rushed for more yards in a single season. Both are juniors and will be back next season.
Several non-AQ players have been nominated for the Rudy Award, honoring student-athletes who demonstrate exemplary character, courage, contribution and commitment. The award is named for former Notre Dame walk-on Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, immortalized in the movie "Rudy."
Here are the non-AQ nominees: Chris Banjo of SMU, Austin Contreras of UTEP, Doug Deakin of San Diego State, Kyle Delahooke of Navy, Kevin Fogler of Air Force, Derek Good of Colorado State, Jeremy Kellem of Middle Tennessee, Mitch Krotz of Miami (Ohio), Levi Koskan of Utah State, Dustin Lineback of East Carolina, Phillip Livas of Louisiana Tech, Darius Nall of UCF, Ashlyn Parker of FIU, Andrew Rich of BYU, Kevin Pool of Rice and Bronson Tiwanak of Hawaii.
Fans can review nominations and vote until Dec. 13 for the most deserving player at www.CollegeRudyAwards.com.