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November 29, 2009

Gerhart earns top honor with Heisman-like effort

N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson was 20-of-27 passing for 259 yards and four scores in a 28-27 upset of North Carolina.
West Virginia safety Robert Sands recorded seven tackles, three pass breakups and an interception in a 19-16 win over Pittsburgh.
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Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was 24-of-40 passing for 304 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-39 victory over Texas A&M. He also rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and finished with 479 yards of total offense.
UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe was 28-of-40 passing for 517 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-21 romp over Marshall.
Ohio quarterback Theo Scott was 17-of-21 passing for 324 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-17 victory over Temple. He also rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns on six carries to help the Bobcats earn a spot in the MAC title game.
Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels was 13-of-21 passing for 137 yards in a 17-16 victory over Colorado State. He also rushed for 34 yards and two TDs to seal bowl eligibility for the Cowboys.
Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 39 carries in a 30-24 overtime victory at Kentucky.
Middle Tennessee quarterback Dwight Dasher was 10-of-18 passing for 116 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries in a 38-19 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore was 17-of-33 passing for 262 yards and five touchdowns in a 44-33 victory over Nevada that clinched the WAC title.
Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate caught 10 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-38 loss to Stanford.

With a crush of fans surrounding Stanford running back Toby Gerhart and coach Jim Harbaugh after Saturday night's come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame, the coach endorsed his player for a certain postseason award.

"He deserves the Heisman Trophy. That's what I say," Harbaugh told the TV audience.

Not that Gerhart really needed his coach to bring up the "H" word. Gerhart had done a good job of making his own statement with his play against Notre Dame. In his final game of the regular season, Gerhart punished the Irish defense for 205 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.

Stanford also mixed in a halfback pass for Gerhart, allowing him to throw an 18-yard touchdown pass for the tying score in the 45-38 victory. Gerhart also scored the winning touchdown in the final minute. On Stanford's final drive, he carried the ball seven times for 54 yards, including the 4-yard touchdown run to clinch the win.

It was Gerhart's third 200-yard game of the season, and he has 26 rushing touchdowns.

"How can you not at least invite him to the ceremony?" Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck asked. "He took the team on his back."

CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina

Once South Carolina finally unveiled its version of the "Wildcat" with Gilmore, a true freshman, the Gamecocks never looked back. Gilmore rushed for 20 yards and completed a 39-yard pass on the way to a first-quarter score in a 34-17 upset of rival Clemson. Gilmore also started on defense, where he recorded four tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. In addition, Gilmore averaged 10.3 yards on three punt returns. Coach Steve Spurrier said the package had been part of the offense all season, but coaches didn't decide to use it until Saturday.

Brent Venables, Oklahoma defensive coordinator

Entering the "Bedlam Game," Oklahoma had little to gain besides bowl positioning and bragging rights. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, had an opportunity to secure a spot in its first BCS game. The Sooners' pride won out in a big way, especially on defense. Venables' defense held Oklahoma State to season-lows in rushing (62 yards), passing (48) and total offense (109) in a 27-0 whitewashing. The shutout was Oklahoma's third of the season, but the first against a Big 12 opponent.

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



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