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November 17, 2008

Rivals.com Week 12 National Awards

The past week was uneventful by this season's standards: Only one game featured ranked teams, the Big 12 was quiet for the first time since the Red River Rivalry and no major upsets took place.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Boston College running back Montel Harris rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown in a 27-17 win over Florida State.
BIG 12
Joe Ganz led Nebraska past Kansas State 56-28. Ganz was 16-of-25 for 270 yards with two touchdowns and an interception to go with 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
BIG EAST
Rutgers is a win away from bowl eligibility after its 49-16 rout of USF. Cornerback Jason McCourty led the way with two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, a fumble recovery and five tackles.
BIG TEN
Iowa running back Shonn Greene continued to rip through defenses with 30 carries for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-17 win over Purdue.
MID-AMERICAN
Running back James Starks put Buffalo in first place in the MAC East with 50 touches in a 43-40 win over Akron in quadruple overtime. Starks rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns to go with 13 catches for 90 yards.
MOUNTAIN WEST
BYU wide receiver Austin Collie caught seven passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-24 win over Air Force. It was his ninth consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
PAC-10
Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli helped Oregon build a big lead, then survive an Arizona comeback in a 55-45 win. Masoli was 21-of-26 for 298 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns.
SEC
Vanderbilt is bowl eligible for the first time since 1982 thanks to D.J. Moore's effort on both sides of the ball. Moore had two interceptions from his usual cornerback position and caught three passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-24 win over Kentucky.
SUN BELT
Florida Atlantic evened its record at 5-5 with a win over Sun Belt leader Louisiana-Lafayette. Quarterback Rusty Smith was 17-of-26 for 290 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-29 victory.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick led Nevada to its sixth win of the season with a 41-17 victory over San Jose State. Kaepernick was 15-of-31 for 192 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed for 147 yards and two more scores.
INDEPENDENTS
Backup linebacker Toryan Smith led Notre Dame with 10 tackles and scored a touchdown on a blocked punt in a 27-21 win over Navy.

But try telling the ACC, Vanderbilt and Houston the week was business as usual. The week brought upheaval in the ACC and the Conference USA West Division. And the Commodores finally got their long-awaited sixth win.

For their efforts, Boston College, Houston and Vanderbilt were among those that earned Rivals.com weekly honors.

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: QB Case Keenum, Houston

The Cougars knew they'd need a near-flawless performance out of their offense to keep up with Tulsa. Keenum delivered, going 24-of-37 for 402 yards with six touchdown passes and a touchdown run in the Cougars' 70-30 romp.

The victory puts Houston in a three-way tie for first place in Conference USA West with the Golden Hurricane and Rice. Houston faces Rice on Nov. 29.

Houston scored 42 first-half points against Tulsa and finished with 641 total yards.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: RB Montel Harris, Boston College

Harris, a true freshman from Jacksonville, Fla., punished the 14th-ranked run defense in the country with 25 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown in the 27-17 win over Florida State.

Also considered for freshman of the week:

Miami linebacker Marcus Robinson recorded seven tackles, four tackles for a loss and three sacks in a 16-14 win over Virginia Tech.

Quarterback Robert Griffin was 13-of-23 for 241 yards and two touchdowns in Baylor's 41-21 win over Texas A&M. It was only the second time in 23 meetings the Bears beat the Aggies.

Quarterback Russell Wilson was 16-of-33 for 152 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown as N.C. State upset Wake Forest, 21-17.

DeAndre Brown caught eight passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns as Southern Miss (5-6) beat East Carolina 21-3 and inched closer to bowl eligibility.

Oregon State running back Jacquizz Rodgers continued to shred Pac-10 defenses with 27 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown in a 34-21 win over Cal.

COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Mark Banker, Oregon State

Oregon State continued its surprising run for the Rose Bowl with a stifling defensive effort against Cal.

Banker's defense held the Bears to 232 total yards, forced two turnovers and recorded five sacks. Other than a 65-yard touchdown run from Jahvid Best, the Beavers held Cal's ground game in check.

Oregon State capped the game with Keenan Lewis' 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Also considered for coordinator of the week:

Florida got a boost from its defense and special teams against South Carolina, but Dan Mullen's offense still racked up 519 total yards - including 346 on the ground - against a Gamecocks unit that had been third in the nation in total defense.

Virginia Tech's Darren Evans rushed for 253 yards a week earlier, but Bill Young's defense held him to only 43 yards. Miami's defense held the Hokies to 250 total yards, including just 77 on the ground.

Frank Spaziani's defense held Florida State's rushing attack to 73 yards, and Boston College intercepted FSU quarterback Christian Ponder three times.

San Jose State had struggled to run the ball all year, but never as much as against Nigel Burton's defense. Nevada held the Spartans to minus-23 rushing yards in the 41-17 win.

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



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