NCF Nation: helmet stickers 11
Here are my choices for the coveted Big 12 weekly award:
Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr.: Rushed for 156 yards on 28 carries and scored three touchdowns to pace the Cornhuskers’ 31-17 victory over Kansas. Helu scored on touchdown runs of 20 and 14 yards -- both in the fourth quarter -- and also added another touchdown when he recovered a fumble by Zac Lee in the end zone earlier in the game. Helu accounted for 86 yards in the fourth quarter to pace Nebraska’s comeback, pushing his season rushing total to 962 yards.
Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones and running back DeMarco Murray: Both were key in the Sooners’ 65-10 victory over Texas A&M. Jones passed for a career-high 392 yards and five touchdowns. Murray rushed for 80 yards on 18 carries and added a career-high 143 receiving yards on five catches, two of which went for touchdown. Murray produced a career-long 67-yard reception for a touchdown.
Oklahoma State’s offensive line: The Cowboys dominated in the trenches in the second half of their 24-17 victory over Texas Tech thanks to O-line's work. Senior tackles Russell Okung and Brady Bond, guards Noah Franklin and Lane Taylor and center Andrew Lewis helped the Cowboys claim the gritty comeback victory. Three different rushers produced at least 68 yards for the Cowboys as they rolled up 243 rushing yards in the game. But the line's work was especially noticeable in the second half, when OSU put the game away with 207 yards on the ground and more than 22 minutes of time of possession.
Missouri wide receiver Danario Alexander: Produced 10 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns to help boost the Tigers to a 38-12 victory over Kansas State. Alexander scored on touchdown receptions of 54, 16 and 80 yards from Blaine Gabbert to enable the Tigers to gain bowl eligibility. Alexander has produced 414 yards in his past two games, including back-to-back 200-yard receiving games for the first time in school history.
Iowa State’s defense: It’s hard to split this sticker among the group that sealed the Cyclones’ 17-10 victory over Colorado, earning them bowl eligibility for the first time since 2005. The ISU defense notched three second-half turnovers and held its third conference opponent to 10 points or less in the victory.
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Now that we know for sure that Alabama and Florida will play in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 6, let's reward the primetime performers from this past weekend with some helmet stickers:
Rashad Johnson, safety, Alabama: How about Johnson's running skills? On his 54-yard interception return for a touchdown, he showed speed, vision and acceleration. It was his second interception return for a touchdown in as many weeks. Johnson tied a school record with three interceptions against LSU. All three were pivotal plays in the game, too. His first one set up the Tide's first touchdown. He scored the Tide's second touchdown, and his third one ended LSU's possession in overtime.
Tim Tebow, quarterback, Florida: For the second straight week, the Gators' junior quarterback accounted for five touchdowns. Tebow almost made it look too easy against Vanderbilt with three touchdown passes and two touchdown runs. In each of his last three games, he's had two touchdown runs and two touchdown passes. Sounds like Heisman Trophy stuff to me.
Kenny McKinley, receiver, South Carolina: He's fought back from a frustrating hamstring injury earlier this season to solidify his position as one of the Gamecocks' greatest receivers ever. McKinley had seven catches for 130 yards and a touchdown in South Carolina's 34-21 win over Arkansas. In doing so, he passed Sterling Sharpe as South Carolina's career receiving leader.
Demarcus Dobbs, defensive end, Georgia: These aren't the best of times for the Georgia defense, but Dobbs came through during crunch time for the Bulldogs. He intercepted Kentucky quarterback Randall Cobb's screen pass with 46 seconds to play after the Wildcats had driven to the Bulldogs' 13-yard line.
Julio Jones, receiver, Alabama: You can watch football a long time and not see a freshman as good and physically ready to play as Jones. He's oozing talent, but works feverishly on his game. There's not a tougher cover one-on-one in the SEC. Jones finished with seven catches for a season-high 128 yards in the win over LSU and set up the game-winning touchdown in overtime with a nifty 24-yard grab where he showed freakish body control to pull in the ball and then drag the defender to the 1.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
By no measure was it a good Saturday for the Big Ten. But it was for these guys.
Wisconsin WR David Gilreath and RB P.J. Hill -- Gilreath is listed as a wide receiver, but he did most of his damage as a ball-carrier against Indiana. The sophomore had a 90-yard touchdown run -- the team's second longest-run in the modern era -- and finished with eight carries for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Hill, the real running back, had 126 rushing yards and three touchdowns on only 19 carries.
Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor -- Pryor provided the perfect response to the Penn State loss, which he took especially hard. The freshman showcased his special skills against Northwestern, throwing three touchdown passes, keeping plays alive with his feet and converting several third-and-long situations. Pryor completed 9 of 14 passes for 197 yards.
Michigan defense -- After a surprising drop-off, this group regained its edge against Minnesota, holding the Golden Gophers to 46 total yards and one first down in the opening half. Minnesota finished with a measly 188 total yards and eight first downs at home. Defensive end Tim Jamison had a sack and a forced fumble, and safety Brandon Harrison had two tackles for a loss.
Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn -- Clayborn registered two tackles for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble that was nearly recovered in the end zone as Iowa stunned No. 3 Penn State. The sophomore is one of the Big Ten's top young defensive linemen and was among the pass-rushers who bothered Daryll Clark all game long.
Michigan K K.C. Lopata -- Lopata went 5-for-5 on field goals against Minnesota, twice connecting from beyond 40 yards. The five field goals tied a school record and marked a career high for Lopata, who hadn't attempted a field goal since Oct. 18.
Michigan State defense -- One of the league's unsung units punished Purdue quarterback Justin Siller, dropping the redshirt freshman for five sacks. Seven players were involved in tackles for losses and freshman cornerback Johnny Adams had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Vai Taua, RB, Nevada: Rushed for a career-best 263 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries to notch the sixth-best single-game performance in Nevada history.
James Starks, RB, Buffalo: Rushed 26 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns in a 37-17 Buffalo win over Miami (Ohio).
Nate Davis, QB, Ball State: Completed 18 of 22 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-14 win over Northern Illinois to keep the Cardinals undefeated.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU: Caught a school-record 199 yards and threw the game-winning touchdown pass with 2:04 remaining to give FIU a 22-21 over Arkansas State.
Jamarko Simmons, WR, Western Michigan: Had 11 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 upset victory over Illinois.
Wyoming: The Cowboys pulled off a huge upset in a 13-7 win over Tennessee in Knoxville to move them to 4-6 and stay in the hunt for bowl eligibility.
Austin Collie, WR, BYU: Had nine catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns to notch his eighth consecutive 100-yard receiving game in a 41-12 win over San Diego State.
Chase Clement, WR, Rice: Threw three touchdown passes to break a Conference USA record with 87 career touchdown passes in a 38-31 win over Army.
Ben Hartman, K, East Carolina: Kicked four field goals, including the game winner, in overtime, to put East Carolina in the driver's seat for the C-USA East title.
Kinsmon Lancaster, QB, ULM: Accounted for 326 yards of total offense in just three quarters -- was suspended for the first quarter -- including 126 on the ground in a 24-21 loss to Middle Tennessee.
Chris Williams, WR, New Mexico State: Had a career-high 221 yards and three touchdowns on just seven catches in a 42-30 loss to Hawaii.
Trevor Vittatoe, QB, UTEP: Threw for 294 yards and five touchdown passes to lead UTEP to a 37-24 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston: Threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns to lead Houston to a 42-14 win over Tulane. It was his 10th straight game passing for more than 300 yards, a school record.
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Helmet stickers for those who stood out during the weekend's games.
USC's defensive stars: Linebackers Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing and safety Taylor Mays led the Trojans with 10, 9 and five tackles, respectively, but they also led by setting a tone. A very physical one. All three posted multiple hits that drew gasps from the crowd in the Trojans' 17-3 victory, another gem for the nation's best defense.
Sean Canfield: It's one thing to come off the bench and lead a team to victory, which is what Canfield, Lyle Moevao's backup, did for Oregon State two weeks ago against Arizona State. It's another to start a game and lead a team to victory, which Canfield did Saturday in a 34-6 win over UCLA. He completed 16 of 22 passes for 222 yards with two touchdowns, and led the Beavers to a 31-3 advantage in the second half.
Keegan Herring and Michael Jones: This was supposed to be a big year for Herring and Jones -- both in their final years of eligibility -- but injuries and the general struggles of the Arizona State offense have mostly left them out of the picture. But both busted out against Washington. Jones hauled in 11 receptions for 146 yards with two touchdowns, while Herring rushed 144 yards on 22 carries.
California's defense: USC gained 411 yards and notched 22 first downs, but the Bears stiffened when the Trojans pushed into their territory. Nine such trips yielded just 17 points. The Bears were particularly tough on third down, holding the Trojans to a 4-for-11 conversion rate. Anthony Felder (team-high 10 tackles), defensive end Cameron Jordan (six tackles, a sack) and Zack Follett (five tackles, forced fumble) turned in noteworthy performances.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are my choices from a stellar group of candidates. To say it was a tough choice would be a huge understatement.
Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell -- Completed 40 of 50 passes for 456 yards and six touchdown passes to match his career high in a 56-20 blowout victory over Oklahoma State. After an early fumble on the first possession, Harrell directed seven straight drives that ended with touchdowns to spark the Red Raiders to their first 10-0 start since 1938.
Texas CB Ryan Palmer -- Provided a momentum-changing 22-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave Texas the lead for good. Also notched two tackles, produced a sack and broke up a pass in the Longhorns' 45-21 victory over Baylor.
Colorado QB Cody Hawkins - Rallied his team with four touchdown passes off the bench to direct the Buffaloes' 28-24 victory over Iowa State. Hawkins completed 20 of 29 passes for 226 yards -- all in the second half -- including a 5-yard toss to Cody Crawford for the game-winning score with 1:30 left.
Nebraska DT/FB Ndamukong Suh -- He might have produced the most unique statistical game in Big 12 history. Suh notched 12 tackles, including four for losses involving 2.5 sacks and a quarterback hurry to pace Nebraska's 45-35 victory over Kansas. And for good measure, also snagged a 2-yard TD reception -- his first career catch -- to help boost the Cornhuskers' fourth-quarter rally past the Jayhawks.
Missouri KR/WR Jeremy Maclin -- Rolled up 278 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Missouri to a 41-24 victory over Kansas State. Maclin had eight receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns, four carries for 84 yards and another TD and added 76 yards in returns. Maclin caught TD passes from Chase Daniel of 42 and 16 yards in a span of 106 seconds late in the first half and later added a 56-yard TD run on a direct snap.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
It was another week of impressive defensive performances in the ACC. These guys are making the race for defensive player of the year very, very difficult. Even NC State got a boost from its defense and the return of linebacker Nate Irving. Sorry, NC State fans, but there are only five helmet stickers to give, and a win against Duke in a game that meant little more than Pack pride just doesn't cut it when so much was on the line for everyone else.
Here are this week's top performers:
Florida State's defensive ends. Everette Brown recorded half of his team's six sacks, junior Markus White sacked Cullen Harper for a 7-yard loss in the second quarter and forced a fumble on the play, senior Neefy Moffett picked off Harper in the first quarter and returned the interception 18 yards for a touchdown, tying Saturday's game at 10-10. It was the Seminoles' first interception returned for a touchdown.
Wake Forest defense. It's tough to single one person out when three different players had interceptions, and linebacker Aaron Curry forced and recovered a fumble and had two-and-a-half tackles for loss. The Deacs scored 14 points off of the turnovers, including Kevin Patterson's 53-yard interception return for a touchdown, Wake's first defensive touchdown of the season.
Boston College safety Paul Anderson. He accounted for half of Jimmy Clausen's four interceptions, including one he returned 76 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Eagles handed Notre Dame the first shutout in the series and held the Fighting Irish to just 66 yards rushing. The BC defense created five turnovers and blocked one punt.
North Carolina's offensive line. They held their own against Georgia Tech's front four and paved the way for a strong running game led by sophomore tailbacks Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston. The Tar Heels rushed for a season-best 186 yards and 4.4 yards per carry. Houston had a career-best 74 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and Draughn had 90 yards on 17 carries.
Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans. He rushed for a school-record 253 yards and scored a touchdown, surpassing the previous record of 243 set by Mike Imoh against UNC in 2004. It was the first time this season a Virginia Tech running back surpassed 100 yards, and it was exactly what the Hokies' offense needed.
Cincinnati's defense: It's hard to single out just one guy on a Bearcats defense that played so well in a 26-23 overtime win over West Virginia. The Mountaineers were held to a season-low 98 rushing yards and had only seven points before a wild spree in the final 71 seconds.Matt Cavanaugh, offensive coordinator, Pittsburgh: Cavanaugh has been derided as being too conservative by some Panthers fans. But he showed how diverse his playbook can be on a day when Louisville was determined to stop LeSean McCoy. Pitt simply went to other things -- Bill Stull passing, Jonathan Baldwin catching, the Wildcat formation -- and cruised to a 41- 7 victory to clinch a winning season.
Kordell Young, RB, Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights also had a strong running game thanks to Young, who rushed 29 times for 143 yards and a score.