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December 1, 2008

Rivals.com Week 14 National Awards

This week's Rivals.com award winners saved the best for last. All set career or season highs in their final regular-season games.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Georgia Tech's Jones rushed for 214 yards and a touchdown against Georgia to also earn national freshman of the week honors.
BIG EAST
Pittsburgh couldn't win the conference title, but the Panthers made sure West Virginia didn't, either. Panthers running back LeSean McCoy had 33 carries for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 19-15 win.
CONFERENCE USA
Tight end James Casey was a one-man scoring machine for Rice. Casey had 12 catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw a TD pass and ran for a score as the Owls upset Houston 56-42, keeping the Cougars from winning the C-USA West title.
MID-AMERICAN
Eastern Michigan quarterback Andy Schmitt broke an NCAA record with 58 completions in a 56-52 win over Central Michigan. Schmitt set school records with 80 pass attempts and 516 yards, throwing five touchdown passes and running for a sixth in the upset.
PAC-10
Oregon running back Jeremiah Johnson spoiled Oregon State's Rose Bowl bid with 17 carries for 219 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks' 65-38 win in Corvallis.
SEC
Running back Glen Coffee helped Alabama win its first game over Auburn in seven years with 20 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown in a 36-0 rout.
SUN BELT
Rusty Smith helped Florida Atlantic to its sixth win of the season by going 25-of-50 for 389 yards and five touchdowns against rival Florida International. Smith threw three TD passes in the fourth quarter and the game-winner in overtime.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
Nevada improved its bowl positioning with a 35-31 win at Louisiana Tech. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was 24-of-42 for 397 yards and four touchdowns.
INDEPENDENTS
Quarterback Ricky Dobbs helped Navy to its seventh win of the season with 25 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown in a 16-0 win over Northern Illinois.

Oklahoma junior tight end Jermaine Gresham had his first career 100-yard game in winning our national player of the week award. Georgia Tech running back Roddy Jones shattered his previous career best with 214 yards against Georgia on a season-high 13 carries to earn top freshman honors. In the Pac-10, Chip Kelly's Oregon offense put up a season-high 694 yards against Oregon State.

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: TE Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma

Oklahoma's offense doesn't need many fortuitous bounces, but the Sooners got one against Oklahoma State.

A Sam Bradford pass tipped off the hands of receiver Manny Johnson right to Gresham, who then rambled for a 73-yard touchdown that put Oklahoma up 30-19 in the third quarter. Gresham finished with nine catches for 158 yards; he also scored on a 3-yard reception in the second quarter.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: RB Roddy Jones, Georgia Tech

Yellow Jackets sophomore Jonathan Dwyer has received most of the headlines this season, but Jones grabbed the attention for his performance against rival Georgia.

Jones carried 13 times for 214 yards, including touchdown runs of 8 and 54 yards. Jones also ripped off a 62-yard run in the third quarter to set up a field goal.

Georgia Tech rushed for 409 yards and ended a seven-game losing streak to Georgia.

Also considered for freshman of the week:

Ole Miss defensive tackle Jerrell Powe helped lead the Rebels to a 45-0 shutout of Mississippi State with two tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and an interception.

Running back Dennis Johnson helped Arkansas upset LSU for the second consecutive season. Johnson had 18 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 win.

N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson came up big once again by throwing for 220 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-28 win over Miami. He also rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown to make the Wolfpack bowl eligible.

COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Chip Kelly, Oregon

The absence of Jacquizz Rodgers was huge for Oregon State, but Oregon's offensive onslaught was the true difference-maker in the Ducks' 65-38 win in the Civil War.

Kelly's offense rushed for 385 yards and passed for 309 in the highest-scoring game in the rivalry's history. Oregon State entered the game ranked second in the Pac-10 in rushing defense and total defense.

Also considered for coordinator of the week:

Dan Mullen led the Florida offense to a 502-yard performance against Florida State. The Gators rushed for 317 yards in the 45-15 win over the Seminoles, who entered the game as the country's No. 7 defense.

Frank Spaziani's defense again made big plays in a Boston College win. The Eagles held Maryland to minus-6 rushing yards, intercepted Chris Turner twice and sacked him five times in a 28-21 win.

Tyrone Nix's Ole Miss defense smothered rival Mississippi State for its first shutout in the series since 2003. The Rebels held the Bulldogs to 37 total yards and recorded 10 sacks.

Phil Bennett's defense held West Virginia to 157 rushing yards and intercepted Pat White twice as Pitt beat the Mountaineers 19-15.

Navy shut out Northern Illinois as Buddy Green's defense held the Huskies to 251 total yards and intercepted Chandler Harnish twice.

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



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