NCF Nation: helmet-stickers-092510

Pac-10 helmet stickers: Week 4

September, 26, 2010
Who deserves a sticker on his helmet for a job well done?

UCLA: While individuals played big roles -- linebacker Akeem Ayers, the offensive line, quarterback Kevin Prince, free safety Rahim Moore, running backs Johnathan Franklin and Derrick Coleman, etc. -- the Bruins shocking 34-12 domination of Texas was a total team effort and should be credited as such.

Stanley Havili: Havili, USC's fullback, had four carries for 80 yards, including a 59-yard TD in the Trojans' 50-16 win at Washington State. He also caught five passes for 107 yards -- including a 58 yarder -- with a TD.

Nate Whitaker: Playing against his old team, Notre Dame, he tied a Stanford record with five field goals: 24, 41, 36, 33 and 29 yards during the Cardinal's 37-14 win.

Juron Criner: He wasn't supposed to play due to a turf toe, but in a game devoid of offense, Criner made the two biggest plays on Arizona's 77-yard, game-winning TD drive against California. First, he hauled in a 51-yard pass from Nick Foles. Then, on third down, he caught a 3-yard TD from Foles to give the Wildcats a 10-9 win.

John Boyett: The Oregon safety had a game-high 11 tackles and an interception he returned 39 yards for a TD. He also had three pass breakups in the 42-31 win at Arizona State.

SEC helmet stickers: Week 4

September, 26, 2010
What a weekend of football in the SEC.

The two headliners both lived up to their billing, and there was no shortage of terrific performances across the board.

With that, we pass out the helmet stickers for Week 4:

Alabama running back Mark Ingram: You could watch football for a long time and not see a better run than Ingram’s 54-yard romp on Alabama’s first touchdown. How he kept his balance and stayed inbounds those final few yards was nothing short of amazing. He finished with 157 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s come-from-behind 24-20 win over Arkansas. Yes, this is the same guy who had arthroscopic knee surgery less than a month ago.

Florida quarterback Trey Burton: The Gators’ true freshman came close to matching his new jersey number. Having switched to No. 8 earlier in the week, Burton scored a school-record six touchdowns -- five rushing and one receiving -- in Florida’s 48-14 spanking of Kentucky. Burton was in the Wildcat formation for most of his damage and is the kind of weapon the Gators were missing around the goal line.

Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton: There might not be a more valuable player to his team in all of college football. Where would the Tigers be right now without Newton? He accounted for five touchdowns in Auburn’s 35-27 win over South Carolina and amassed 334 yards of total offense. Included were 176 rushing yards, the second time this season Newton has rushed for more than 170 yards.

Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden: The Rebels were looking for any trace of good news after losing two of their first three games against Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt. They got it in a 55-38 win over Fresno State that included Bolden’s career-high 228 yards on 19 carries. His 71-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the third quarter broke the game open after the Rebels went into halftime with a 27-10 lead.

Arkansas fans: The result was not what they were looking for, but it was no fault of theirs. Razorback Stadium was pure bedlam all game long, and the buildup all across town was the kind of thing that makes SEC football so special. The Alabama players admitted afterward that they were affected by the crowd noise. It had been 31 years since a Top-10 matchup had come to Fayetteville, and these fans were ready in a big way.

Big East helmet stickers: Week 4

September, 26, 2010
Cody Endres, QB, Connecticut: Coming on in relief of struggling starter Zach Frazer, Endres went 7-for-11 for 139 yards and two touchdowns to spark a 45-21 win over Buffalo.

Jerome Junior, S, Connecticut: Junior had two interceptions, including one he returned 27 yards for a score, against Buffalo.

Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati: Collaros completed 23 of 38 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in the Bearcats' 31-29 loss to Oklahoma.

D.J. Woods, WR, Cincinnati: Woods had seven catches for 171 yards and a score against the Sooners.

Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse: Without a lot of other candidates, I break my rule of not picking players who succeeded against FBS candidates. Carter rushed 14 times for 172 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-7 win over Colgate.

Big 12 helmet stickers: Week 4

September, 26, 2010
Time to pass out a few helmet stickers to put a cap on a set of games that proved to be interesting. Plenty of this week's "What to watch" came into play all day on Saturday.

Iowa State defense: No sense in picking out one player on a defense that pitched a shutout against Northern Iowa in a 27-0 win. The defense scored two touchdowns to the offense's one, and forced five turnovers. This one was never in doubt, and the defense was the reason why. Jeremy Reeves (94 yards) and A.J. Klein (25 yards) returned interceptions for scores. Any more credit goes to coordinator Wally Burnham.

Carson Coffman, QB, Kansas State: If you're the difference in a close win, you're going to earn a helmet sticker. Carson Coffman, that means you. The maligned senior quarterback spearheaded a lengthy 13-play, 67-yard drive capped by his go-ahead, 7-yard rushing touchdown in the final minute of Kansas State's 17-13 win over Central Florida. Coffman completed a pair of third-down passes, including an 18-yarder on 3rd-and-10 to keep the drive alive. The win means the Wildcats are 4-0 for the first time since 2003.

Jonathan Nelson, DB, Oklahoma: Did you think I was kidding? Oklahoma managed a tight road win, and Nelson was the difference. He chased down Cincinnati receiver D.J. Woods on a 73-yard catch-and-run, and poked the ball out and into the end zone, where the Sooners recovered for a touchback in the second quarter of their 31-29 win over Cincinnati. Later in the second quarter, he intercepted a pass in the end zone for another touchback. A missed extra point kept the Bearcats from being able to go for the tie in the fourth quarter, but without Nelson's plays, the Sooners would be 3-1 right now.

Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor: Griffin wanted plenty of his throws back from last week's loss to TCU, but he took advantage of the ones he got against Rice. Griffin tossed two touchdowns longer than 40 yards and added another short one in Baylor's 30-13 win over Rice. He completed 20 of 28 passes for 268 yards and ran for 50 yards on 11 carries.

Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska: Bo Pelini wasn't exactly singing his praises ("He has a lot to fix. It goes well beyond statistics.") after the game, and David downplayed his effort, saying it "doesn't feel like it," but the first-year starter racked up 19 tackles against South Dakota State in Nebraska's 17-3 win. That's the most of any Nebraska linebacker since Barrett Ruud in 2004. David also broke up two passes.

Honorable mention: Kansas' D.J. Beshears, who scored three touchdowns, including a 96-yard kick return in Kansas' 42-16 win over New Mexico State.

Non-AQ Helmet Stickers: Week 4

September, 26, 2010
Yes, Hawaii is still battling Charleston Southern, but the game may as well be over. Bryant Moniz had six touchdown passes in less than two quarters of work as the Warriors took a 49-7 halftime lead.

Now on to some non-AQ helmet stickers:

Army defense. The Black Knights forced four turnovers that were converted into 28 points in the 35-21 win over Duke. Stephen Anderson, Donnie Dixon and Richard King each had an interception, while Jarrett Mackey forced a fumble that was recovered by Donovan Travis. In addition, Josh McNary recovered another fumble. Army (3-1) is two games above .500 for the first time since ending the 1996 campaign at 10-2.

Vincent Brown, San Diego State. Caught five passes for 177 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season in a 41-7 win over Utah State. His two touchdowns went for 65 and 82 yards. He also went over the 2,000yard mark for his career, becoming just the 12th Aztec player to reach the milestone and the first since Jeff Webb in 2005.

Colorado State. Kudos to the Rams for breaking a 12-game losing streak and beating Idaho 36-34. Ben DeLine kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired to give the Rams the win. A team that had struggled to score, with a combined 19 points in its first three games, exploded for its highest point total since beating Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl 40-35 in 2008. True freshman quarterback Pete Thomas went 29-of-37 for 386 yards and three touchdowns, while Raymond Carter ran for 104 yards, caught four passes for 120 yards and had a total of three touchdowns.

UNLV, you get one, too, for winning your first game of the season, 45-10 over New Mexico.

Corey Robinson, Troy. Robinson went 18-of-38 for 316 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and directed a late-game rally to help the Trojans avoid an upset to Arkansas State. Trailing 28-27, Robinson threw for 67 yards on the game-winning drive, connecting on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Southward with 22 seconds left for the 35-28 win.

Chad Spann, Northern Illinois. Spann had not gone over 100 yards against an FBS school this season, but busted out in a big way over Minnesota. Spann ran for a career-high 223 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead the Huskies to a 34-23 win. He had 106 yards rushing in the first half alone, and his 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter essentially sealed the victory. Spann had the first 200-plus yard game by a Huskie running back since Garrett Wolfe ran for 203 against Central Michigan in 2006.

Dakota Warren, UTEP. Warren kicked an 18-yard field goal as time expired to give UTEP a 16-13 win over Memphis. The Miners trailed the entire game until the winning field goal. Warren had two other kicks in the game: a 50-yarder and 57-yarder. They are his first two 50-plus field goals in his UTEP career.

Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 4

September, 26, 2010
It's time to recognize the best and the brightest around the Big Ten on Saturday. Again, I get only five of these and there were a ton of huge performances Saturday, so here are some tough choices.

Don't worry, guys like Ben Chappell, Nick Sukay, Kirk Cousins and Dan Persa will be recognized in Monday's review/preview.

QB Terrelle Pryor: Pryor did what great players are supposed to do against weak competition and kept himself very much in the Heisman Trophy race. The junior went 20-for-24 passing for 244 yards and four touchdowns against Eastern Michigan. He added 104 rush yards and a touchdown on seven carries and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass. Pryor can share part of the sticker with receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, who caught all four of those touchdown strikes and had 108 receiving yards.

Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi: Stanzi was once again The Manzi against Ball State, completing 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns. His numbers would have been even better if not for several dropped passes. Stanzi has elevated his efficiency and decision-making this season, and he made a beautiful throw to Derrell Johnson-Koulianos on a 45-yard touchdown.

Michigan State LB Greg Jones: One of the Big Ten's best players can finally breathe a little easier after recording the first two interceptions of his career. Jones had done it all but pick off a pass, and he made pass coverage a priority in returning to East Lansing for his senior season. He recorded both interceptions in the first half against Northern Colorado, leading to Spartans scores, and added four tackles, a forced fumble and two quarterback hurries.

Penn State RB Evan Royster and Michigan QB Tate Forcier: The two men were slumping for different reasons, but both turned in breakout performances Saturday. Royster rushed for 187 yards on 26 carries, including a 50-yard burst on Penn State's first play from scrimmage against Temple. Forcier, who had to reprove himself to coach Rich Rodriguez, saw his first action of the season against Bowling Green and completed all 12 of his pass attempts for 110 yards and a touchdown. Forcier became only the third FBS player since 2004 to complete all of his passes with a minimum of 10 attempts.

Wisconsin RB James White: Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell isn't the only standout freshman running back in the Big Ten. White continued to impress Saturday with 145 rushing yards and four touchdowns on only 11 carries against Austin Peay. He added a reception and two kickoff returns to finish with 200 all-purpose yards for the Badgers. It's also worth noting that Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien completed 15 of 17 passes for 217 yards and three scores.

ACC helmet stickers: Week 4

September, 25, 2010
Tough call this week, but there are only five of these to give away. Had to take into consideration the competition (sorry, Virginia) and impressive performances by a rookie (sorry Christian Ponder). Here's a look at this week's top performers:

Virginia Tech’s defense: Lunch pails for everyone! After having to replace seven starters, Bud Foster’s group finally came together and they did it when it counted most -- on the road against an ACC opponent in a 19-0 win over BC. The Hokies earned their first shutout since 2006, and it was the first time the Eagles had been held scoreless at home since 1998. In the second half, BC only had 39 yards of total offense and didn’t cross midfield.

NC State: It’s impossible to single out one player or coach, as it was a group effort in a 45-28 win over Georgia Tech. NC State linebacker Nate Irving had a career-high 16 tackles, quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a career-high 368 yards and NC State is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2002.

Miami linebacker Sean Spence: He had seven tackles in the first half of a 31-3 win against Pitt and finished with nine tackles for the game. He also had 2.5 tackles for loss including 1.5 sacks. Spence entered the game tied for ninth averaging 2.0 tackles for loss per game.

UNC’s defense: Even though the defense was short-handed in a 17-13 win at Rutgers, UNC couldn’t have won this game without the players it did have on the field. Matt Merletti intercepted Tom Savage’s pass at the Tar Heels’ 6-yard line with less than three minutes remaining, and linebacker Bruce Carter set up 10 points with an interception and a blocked punt.

Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien. It was his first career start, and O’Brien led the Terps to a 42-28 win over FIU. He threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. His performance should give coach Ralph Friedgen a second thought about who his starter will be even when Jamarr Robinson is healthy. O’Brien, who was the first freshman quarterback to start for Maryland since Latrez Harrison1999, and just the fifth in school history, threw touchdown passes of 9 and 68 yards. O’Brien led the Terps on four scoring drives and had an efficiency rating of 168.89, the sixth-highest mark by a freshman in the FBS this season (not including other games today).