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September 24, 2006

Week 4 top performers

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Joe Cox and Nate Longshore would have been unlikely candidates to lead their teams to big wins after the first week of the season, but Georgia and Cal proved otherwise.

Although the two signal-callers led the way this week, it was a good week to be a wide receiver.

Three wideouts followed Cox and Longshore among the top 10 players of the week. Mario Manningham and Sidney Rice each had huge games for the second week in a row, while Calvin Johnson bounced back from a leg injury.

Cox and Longshore stood out among a pack of quarterbacks that struggled this week including Drew Stanton. Brady Quinn needed three fourth-quarter touchdowns to erase a poor first half.

Find out who stood out and who didn't in this week's Top 10 Performers:

Rivals.com Week 4 Top Performers
1. Joe Cox, Georgia quarterback
The numbers: 10 of 13 passing, 154 yards, 2 TD
The result: Georgia 14, Colorado 13
The SEC seemed to be immune from the out-of-conference upsets until Saturday when Colorado opened a 13-0 lead over Georgia. The offense fell flat for nearly three quarters behind heralded true freshman Matthew Stafford before Mark Richt made a change. Cox saved the day when he entered the game with 3:09 left in the third quarter, directing Georgia's only two scoring drives. When the Bulldogs face Ole Miss next week, Cox could become Georgia's third different quarterback to start after Stafford and Joe Tereshinski started earlier this year.
2. Nate Longshore, Cal quarterback
The numbers
: 18 of 26 passing, 270 yards, 4 TD, INT
The result: Cal 49, Arizona State 21
All Nate Longshore had to do was get out of Knoxville. After a rough day against Tennessee in the first game of the season, Longshore looks like he will join the long list of successful quarterbacks under Jeff Tedford. Arizona State's defense had been steady in the first three weeks, but Longshore picked apart the Sun Devils for four touchdown passes to four different receivers. He's won all three of his starts at home since losing in the opener.
3. Mario Manningham, Michigan wide receiver
The numbers
: 7 receptions, 113 yards, 2 TD
The result: Michigan 27, Wisconsin 13
If there was any doubt before, Manningham has eclipsed Steve Breaston as the Wolverines most dynamic playmaker. After a slow start, Michigan got a much-needed lift from Manningham. His third-quarter touchdown catch of 38 yards broke the 10-10 tie and was Michigan's first third down conversion of the game. The two-touchdown day gave him five TDs in the last two games.
4. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech wide receiver
The numbers
: 6 receptions, 165 yards, 2 TD
The result: Georgia Tech 24, Virginia 7
Johnson overcame a leg injury on Thursday against the Cavaliers to show why he is one of the best receivers in the country. Johnson caught touchdown passes of 58 and 66 yards, both the longest TD catches in his career. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound wideout broke the game open with his first TD catch at the end of the first half to give the Yellow Jackets at 17-0 lead.
5. Daymeion Hughes, Cal cornerback
The numbers
: 10 tackles, 2 INT, TD
The result: Cal 49, Arizona State 21
Hughes was the main headache in a long day for Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter with two first-half interceptions. His first set up Cal's fifth touchdown of the half. He then punctuated Cal's 42-point first half with a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was his fifth interception in three games.
6. Sidney Rice, South Carolina wide receiver
The numbers
: 9 receptions, 161 yards, 5 TD
The result: South Carolina 45, Florida Atlantic 6
7. Brady Quinn, Notre Dame quarterback
The numbers
: 20 of 36 passing, 316 yards, 5 TD, INT
The result: Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37
8. Isaiah Stanback, Washington quarterback
The numbers
: 18 of 29 passing, 200 yards, 3 TD, INT; 11 carries, 48 yards
The result: Washington 29, UCLA 19
9. Branden Ore, Virginia Tech running back
The numbers
: 25 carries, 170 yards, TD; 1 reception, 34 yards
The result: Virginia Tech 29, Cincinnati 13
10. Terrail Lambert, Notre Dame cornerback
The numbers
: 2 INT, TD
The result: Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37
Week 4 Goats
1. Alabama kicker Leigh Tiffin
Alabama and Auburn fans now have something in common. Weeks after kicking the game-winning field goal against Vanderbilt, Tiffin echoed the Tigers' John Vaughn, who missed five field goals against LSU a year ago, by missing two field goals during regulation and a field goal and an extra point in overtime. Alabama lost 24-23.
2. Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter
The nation's most efficient passer last year has been anything but this year with four interceptions with two returned for touchdowns against Cal on Saturday. After throwing only two picks last year, he's thrown eight in four games.
3. Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton
Blowing a 17-point halftime lead at home in the rain was certainly a team effort for the Spartans, but Stanton's two fourth-quarter interceptions sealed the loss. Notre Dame cornerback Terrail Lambert returned a pick for the game-winning touchdown and added a second to seal the Irish win on the last play of the game.
4. Freshman quarterbacks
Fans who clamor for a true freshman to start at quarterback should take heed. Despite throwing the game winning touchdown pass, Arkansas' Mitch Mustain threw three interceptions and completed only 7 of 22 passes. Georgia's Matthew Stafford was pulled against Colorado and Illinois' Isiah Williams was 9 of 32 with three interceptions.
5. North Carolina
The Tar Heels aren't just losing, they're ugly doing it. North Carolina has been outscored 108-33 in its last three games against Division I-A teams, including the 52-7 rout against Clemson on Saturday. The main culprits have been poor quarterback play, no matter who it is, and a pitiful run defense that allowed 324 yards to the Tigers on Saturday.



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