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October 10, 2010
Gamecocks' Jeffery grabs top honor
Alshon Jeffery, though, is making a case to be the No. 1 receiver in the country.
In a 35-21 upset of No. 1 Alabama, he was South Carolina's top offensive player and the clear favorite target of QB Stephen Garcia. Jeffery, a sophomore, caught seven passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns against the Crimson Tide to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.
Garcia completed 10 passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to his other receivers.
"That is a guy that you have to keep throwing at," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "When you get a guy that can fall forward for 3 or 4 yards, you just have to keep getting him the ball, so certainly that was in our plans."
If there was one slip-up on his day, it would have been a pass that bounced off Jeffery's chest for an Alabama interception. Jeffery made up for that bounce with a 45-yard catch to set up South Carolina's final touchdown to put Alabama away.
"I'm not dwelling on the interception," Garcia said. "The guy knocked it out of his hands as he was coming down. It doesn't matter anymore because he made up for it with that one-handed catch that he took 45 yards down the field. That was the game changer right there. You really can't say enough about that kid."
Nebraska fans had an extra week to stew over a lackluster 17-3 win over South Dakota State. In that game, Martinez threw two interceptions, completed fewer than half of his passes and rushed for a season-low 75 yards.
If that game revealed any underlying problems for the undefeated Huskers, they fixed them in a hurry.
Martinez, in particular, executed a dramatic turnaround. He rushed for 241 yards on 15 carries, including touchdown runs of 14, 35, 80 and 41 yards, in a 48-13 rout of Kansas State on Thursday night. His passing wasn't too shabby, either. He was 5-of-7 for 128 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown to Kyler Reed.
Martinez's performance was the best rushing performance for a quarterback in school history, surpassing Jammal Lord's 234 yards against Texas in 2002.
The matchup between the Wolverines' Heisman-contending quarterback and Michigan State's defense tilted convincingly in the Spartans' favor, earning Narduzzi the National Coordinator of the Week honor. His colleague on the other side of the ball, Don Treadwell, earned coordinator honors last week in a victory over Wisconsin.
Narduzzi's defense held Michigan to 162 rushing yards and 4.8 yards per carry. The Wolverines came into the game averaging 324.4 yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry. The Spartans held Robinson to a season-low 86 rushing yards and intercepted him three times, twice in the end zone.