NCF Nation: Helmet-stickers-091810

Pac-10 helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 19, 2010
Who deserves a sticker on his helmet for a job well done?

Arizona: The Wildcats posted the signature win of the weekend, beating No. 9 Iowa 34-27. Nick Foles passed for 303 yards and two TDs, while the defense shut down the Iowa running game and recorded six sacks and a pick-six. The special teams also were pretty special with a blocked PAT and 100-yard kick return for a TD.

Shane Vereen: Vereen, mostly quiet in the first two games, ran for a career-high 198 yards and three touchdowns in California's 52-31 loss at Nevada.

Allen Bradford: The forgotten man in the USC backfield had 131 yards on just 12 carries with a TD in a 32-21 win at Minnesota.

Andrew Luck: Stanford's QB threw four TD passes and ran 52 yards for another score in the Cardinal's 68-24 win over Wake Forest.

Arizona State's offense: The Sun Devils looked like a completely different team while gaining 380 yards in a 20-19 loss at Wisconsin. Credit to quarterback Steven Threet, the O-line that paved the way for a legitimate running game and coordinator Noel Mazzone, who brought in a spread scheme that worked well.

Jacquizz Rodgers: He ended a three-game slump with 132 yards on 24 carries with two TDs in a 35-28 win over Louisville. He also caught five passes for 27 yards.

UCLA: Everyone wrote off the Bruins after they started 0-2, including a 35-0 home loss to Stanford. But they bounced back with a 31-13 win over No. 23 Houston. The defense forced three turnovers and the offense rushed for 266 yards.

ACC helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 19, 2010
The ACC went 3-4 against its nonconference opponents this week, with wins over Cincinnati, East Carolina and BYU. Here's a look at your top-five performers from the ACC:

Virginia Tech: That's right, the whole team gets one this week for overcoming a 10-0 deficit at home against ECU and scoring 28 unanswered points in the second half -- without injured running back Ryan Williams, who pulled his hamstring in the second quarter. The Hokies are banged up, but they avoided an 0-3 start with a complete effort in the second half, winning 49-27.

NC State quarterback Russell Wilson: Rusty? Nah. Not this time. He threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-19 Thursday night win over Cincinnati. He completed 26 of 40 passes, including an 8-yard touchdown to Taylor Gentry with about 7 minutes left to make it 30-7. He also ran for 33 yards.

NC State's defense. The Pack has shown measurable improvement. The Wolfpack finished with five sacks, hurried quarterback Zach Collaros four times and came up with a big fourth-and-1 stop in the fourth quarter. NC State is 3-0 for the first time in eight years.

Florida State's defense: The Seminoles showed some needed improvement in their 34-10 win over BYU. FSU's defense yielded only 191 total yards. The Seminoles had eight sacks; the most in a game since registering nine against Miami in 2005. FSU's top four defensive ends -- Markus White, Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner and Dan Hicks -- combined for five sacks. The Noles had just four from the defensive end position last season.

Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt: He completed 75 percent of his passes (3 of 4), for 76 yards and a touchdown, and he ran for 104 yards and another touchdown on 26 carries in the 30-24 win over North Carolina. He also led the Jackets on a 44-yard scoring drive that ended in a field goal for the 27-24 lead.

Big 12 helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 19, 2010
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: Weeden threw for 328 of his 409 passing yards in the first half and left the game early in the third quarter. His six touchdown passes and no interceptions pushed Oklahoma State to a big halftime lead in its 65-28 win over Tulsa.

Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator, Texas: His defense locked down Texas Tech's offense, keeping them under 150 total yards for the first time since 1990. The Longhorns defense allowed just seven points and helped Texas earn a tough conference win in Lubbock over Texas Tech, 24-14.

Scott Smith, DE, Texas Tech: Smith was everywhere for a Texas Tech defense that played fantastic in its loss to Texas. He tipped a pass to himself for an interception, tipped another pass that ended up in the hands of Jarvis Phillips, who returned the pick 87 yards for a touchdown. He also had two sacks and a forced fumble to go with his six tackles.

T.J. Moe, WR, Missouri: Missouri's season was preparing for an early black eye after back-to-back interceptions from Blaine Gabbert. But with under a minute to play, Moe took a pass from Gabbert, made a few defenders miss and raced 68 yards into the end zone for a 27-24 win over San Diego State that rescued an otherwise lackluster night for the Tigers.

Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska: T-Magic made it happen all day in a lot of different ways in Nebraska's 56-21 win over Washington. His 80-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the second half put the Huskers up by 21, and he ran for 137 yards on 19 carries with three scores. He also threw for 150 yards on 7-of-11 passing and got his first career touchdown pass on his first pass of the day.

Non-AQ helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 19, 2010
Time to dole out a few non-AQ helmet stickers:

Andy Dalton, QB, TCU. The Horned Frogs looked absolutely unstoppable against Baylor, and they can thank their stud quarterback for that. Dalton went 21-of-23 for 267 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in the 45-10 win. He set a TCU single-game record for completion percentage (91.3), and opened the contest with 11 straight completions. Dalton, who leads all active quarterbacks with 32 career wins, has now completed 74.6 percent (53-of-71) of his passes on the season.

FIU defense. For the second straight game, the Panthers fell just short of a major upset over an AQ opponent. But you have to give credit to new defensive coordinator Geoff Collins and the work he has done in making this a much more aggressive, opportunistic unit. Yes, the Panthers blew a 20-6 third-quarter lead in a 27-20 loss to Texas A&M. But FIU had six sacks and forced five turnovers in the loss. Anthony Gaitor returned an interception 54 yards for a touchdown, one of four interceptions in the game. The narrow loss followed a narrow loss to Rutgers to open the season last week.

Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State. The true freshman has been one of the key reasons why the Aztecs have been able to run the ball this year. Hillman had 228 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-24 loss to Missouri, including long runs of 75 and 93 yards. The 93-yard run is the second longest in school history, but the longest in the Division I era. The last time a San Diego State player ran for over 200 yards in a game was Lynell Hamilton, who had 218 against Wyoming in 2003. Hillman has a rushing touchdown in three straight games and a total of seven on the season.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada. Do we sound like a broken record player when we keep giving Kaepernick helmet stickers? He was deserving once again this week after Nevada's 52-31 win over California on Friday night -- the school's first win in seven games against opponents from automatic qualifying conferences. Kaepernick had 329 yards of total offense and five touchdowns -- 148 yards rushing and 181 yards passing. He moved into a tie for seventh with Brad Smith of Missouri with 45 career rushing touchdowns on the NCAA list.

Adrian Robinson, DE, Temple. Robinson forced Connecticut running back Jordan Todman to fumble and went 24 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:28 left in the game in the Owls' 30-16 win. Robinson forced two fumbles on the afternoon as Temple went to 3-0 for the first time since 1979. The win was the first over an AQ conference team in the Al Golden Era, and the first since a win over Syracuse in 2004, when it was still a member of the Big East.

Jackie Williams, WR, UAB. Williams made a leaping 44-yard touchdown catch at the goal line on the final play of the game, giving the Blazers a come-from-behind 34-33 win over Troy. The touchdown ended a 99-yard drive led by backup quarterback Bryan Ellis, who had 1:09 and no timeouts when the series began. Williams ended up with six catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 19, 2010
Time to recognize the best and the brightest from Week 3 in the Big Ten. There were a lot of great plays and performances, so it made things very tough.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio: Dantonio made the gutsiest call of the year, and it lifted Michigan State to a huge win against Notre Dame. We can debate the play clock issue all you want, but I never thought Dantonio would call a fake field goal in overtime with the game on the line. He had faith in punter Aaron Bates, who went to his second read and hit tight end Charlie Gantt for a 29-yard touchdown. This could be a major turning point for Dantonio, who has struggled to win the close games at MSU.

Opportunistic defenses (Ohio State, Penn State and Northwestern): All three units delivered dominant performances and forced mistakes from their opponents. The Buckeyes have continued their opportunistic play from 2009, forcing five turnovers Saturday against Ohio and 12 for the season. Northwestern recorded four takeaways in a rout of Rice, including a pick-six by star linebacker Quentin Davie. Penn State forced two Kent State turnovers and held the Golden Flashes to 58 rushing yards and zero points.

Illinois RB Mikel LeShoure: LeShoure is for real, folks, and he showed again today why he's one of the Big Ten's best running backs. The Illini junior had 24 carries for 180 rushing yards and a 29-yard touchdown with one minute and 43 seconds remaining to ice a victory against Northern Illinois. LeShoure has eclipsed 110 rushing yards in each of his first three games this season.

Wisconsin safeties Jay Valai and Shelton Johnson: It was a rough day on special teams for the Badgers and the rest of the Big Ten, but Valai and Johnson saved seven points in a 20-19 win against Arizona State. Johnson tripped up Sun Devils kick returner Kyle Middlebrooks just shy of the goal line as the second quarter expired, saving a touchdown. Valai blocked a potential game-tying PAT attempt, and Wisconsin ran out the clock.

Indiana QB Ben Chappell: The senior ripped apart Western Kentucky's defense for a career-high 366 pass yards and three touchdowns, completing 32 of 42 attempts with no interceptions. Chappell spread the ball to seven receivers and hooked up with Damarlo Belcher nine times for 118 yards in a 38-21 win.

SEC helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 19, 2010
Time to hand out our version of the game balls in SEC country.

A couple of great games highlighted the day -- Auburn’s overtime win against Clemson and Arkansas’ win in the final seconds at Georgia -- and there was also the return of a great player.

That’s where we’ll start with our Week 3 helmet stickers:

Alabama running back Mark Ingram: For a guy who had knee surgery in late August, Ingram couldn’t have looked any better. He was fabulous for the Crimson Tide in their 62-13 mauling of Duke. Ingram popped loose for 48 yards on the first offensive play of the game. He ran for 50 yards on his third carry of the game and had 119 rushing yards on five carries by halftime. He finished with 151 yards on nine carries, serving notice that he is indeed back after missing the first two games. Who knows? He might be right back in the Heisman Trophy race, too.

Vanderbilt coach Robbie Caldwell: His own team awarded him the game ball after Vanderbilt snapped its 10-game SEC losing streak with a 28-14 victory at Ole Miss. Caldwell had vowed that the Commodores would hang in there after losing 27-3 last week at home to LSU, and that’s exactly what they did. Even after Ole Miss came back to tie the game at 14-14, Vanderbilt never blinked and made every play it needed to to send the Rebels packing. Warren Norman had an 80-yard touchdown run. The offensive line paved the way for 227 rushing yards, and the defense forced three turnovers.

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett: Forget about the big numbers for a minute. Yes, he threw three more touchdown passes and has nine in his first three games. But when the Hogs needed him Saturday, Mallett was there front and center. He engineered a three-play touchdown drive with just 47 seconds to play, which was capped by Mallett’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Greg Childs. There was never any panic in Mallett’s eyes. He just wanted the ball one more time, and he delivered in the biggest win the Hogs have had under Bobby Petrino to date.

Auburn receiver Darvin Adams: The SEC is full of outstanding receivers, and Adams is certainly one of them. Despite catching 10 touchdown passes last season, he still probably didn’t get the credit he deserved. He’ll get plenty of props after his five-catch, 118-yard performance in the 27-24 overtime win against Clemson. Adams was a big part of the Tigers’ comeback in the second half. He had four catches for 95 yards after halftime, including an 8-yard touchdown catch and another 34-yard catch that set up a touchdown.

LSU place-kicker Josh Jasper: On a night when the LSU offense couldn’t find the end zone as much as it wanted to, Jasper came on to break his own school record with five field goals in a 29-7 win over Mississippi State. He connected from 51, 44, 37, 32 and 21 yards and is now 7-of-8 on field goal attempts this season.

Big East helmet stickers: Week 3

September, 18, 2010
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: The sophomore completed 19-of-29 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns in the Mountaineers' 31-17 win against Maryland.

Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Austin had seven catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia: The junior recorded three sacks against Maryland.

Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut: Despite a costly late fumble, Todman had a big day in rushing 26 times for 192 yards and a touchdown in a 30-16 loss at Temple.

Adam Froman, QB, Louisville: The senior completed 22-of-38 passes for 288 yards, a touchdown and an interception in a 35-28 loss at Oregon State. He also ran for 46 yards and two scores.