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October 6, 2008

Rivals.com Week 6 National Awards

Seasons needed saving in the first Saturday in October. Illinois needed to stay alive in the Big Ten race against Michigan, Ohio State needed to prove its switch to freshman Terrelle Pryor at quarterback was the best decision and Pittsburgh needed to beat South Florida to assert itself in the Big East race.

North Carolina LB Bruce Carter stunned Connecticut with blocked punts on three consecutive attempts. He added seven tackles and a pass breakup in the 38-12 win.
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WR Dez Bryant helped keep Oklahoma State undefeated with five catches for 106 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in a 56-28 win over Texas A&M.
USF did not have an answer for Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy, who carried 28 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-21 win Thursday.
UTEP picked up its second conference win, against Southern Miss, thanks to QB Trevor Vittatoe. He was 26-of-44 for 282 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winner in double-overtime, in a 40-37 victory.
Eastern Michigan shocked conference contender Bowling Green with a 24-21 win. Andy Schmitt was 21-of-29 for 253 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
Louie Sakoda kept Utah undefeated in a win over Oregon State. Sakoda was 3-for-3 on field goals, including the 37-yard game-winner, and averaged 44.5 yards on six punts in a 31-28 victory.
Mark Sanchez proved USC isn't out of the Pac-10 race yet by going 19-of-28 for 323 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-10 win over Oregon.
Kentucky hadn't allowed a team to rush for more than 142 yards all year. Alabama's Glen Coffee kept the Crimson Tide undefeated with 25 carries for 218 yards and a touchdown in a 17-14 win.
Louisiana-Lafayette amassed a school-record 728 yards, led by 297 rushing yards and three touchdowns from RB Tyrell Fenroy in a 44-35 win over archrival Louisiana-Monroe.
Hawaii QB Inoke Funaki started the season buried on the depth chart but led the Warriors to a 32-29 upset of host Fresno State in overtime. Funaki was 17-of-25 for 170 yards and two touchdowns and also led Hawaii in rushing with 79 yards.
Army earned its first win of the season, thanks to RB Collin Mooney's 187 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 44-13 win over Tulane.

All three achieved their goals this week to earn Rivals.com national awards.

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: QB Juice Williams, Illinois.

Williams showed no hangover from last week's loss at Penn State with a record-setting performance at Michigan. He accounted for 431 yards of total offense (310 passing, 121 rushing), a record for any player in Michigan Stadium history.

Passing for two touchdowns and rushing for two more, Williams led the Illini to 45 points - the highest total for Illinois against Michigan since 1924. That team was led by Red Grange.

More important, Williams kept Illinois alive in the Big Ten race.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: QB Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State.

Pryor erased any doubt that he will lead Ohio State for the remainder of the season after rallying the Buckeyes to a road win against Wisconsin.

Pryor was 13-for-19 for 144 yards with an interception. He rushed for only 20 yards, but scored the game-winning touchdown on 11-yard run with 1:08 left.


In the absence of Jahvid Best, California RB Shane Vereen carried the ball 27 times for 93 yards and added 51 receiving yards in a 24-14 win over Arizona State.

Miami may have a playmaker on offense in WR Travis Benjamin, who had two touchdowns and 89 yards from scrimmage in a 41-39 loss to Florida State. LB Sean Spence also stood out for the Hurricanes, with 10 tackles and an interception for a touchdown.

Making his first career start, Cincinnati QB Chazz Anderson was 16 of 26 for 158 yards and three total touchdowns in a 33-10 win at Marshall.

COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Phil Bennett, Pittsburgh

Suddenly, everyone in the Big East is chasing Pittsburgh, who is 2-0 in the league. Pittsburgh held UCF to just 245 of offense in a 26-21 upset of the Bulls. USF QB Matt Grothe finished with just 154 yards of offense.


Behind coordinator Nick Holt, USC's defense rebounded against Oregon, allowing only 239 total yards and 60 rushing in a 44-10 win. The Ducks had averaged 308.6 rushing yards going into the USC game.

Ted Roof's defense held Indiana to 49 rushing yards and forced three turnovers in Minnesota's 16-7 win. Kellen Lewis was held to 185 yards of offense.

Bob Gregory's Cal defense allowed Arizona State to put up only 236 yards. The Sun Devils rushed for 71 yards and turned the ball over three times in a 24-14 loss.

Behind Dave Wommack, Georgia Tech shut out Duke 27-0. The Blue Devils amassed only 35 rushing yards and 97 passing yards in the loss.

Florida State has found answers on offense under Jimbo Fisher. The Seminoles rushed for 281 yards and Antone Smith rushed for four touchdowns in a 41-39 win over Miami.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.

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