Week 10 Maxwell Award Elite
In a Pac-12 statement game against USC, Oregon RB Kenjon Barner finally showed the country what he can do in a full game. On a hefty 38 carries, Barner ran for a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns, which ties a Pac-12 single game record. Barner, our Maxwell Award Player of the Week, is currently third in the nation with 1,295 rushing yards, eighth in yards per carry with 7.2, and second in rushing touchdowns with 19. Barner has been on fire for the undefeated Ducks and has totaled 885 rushing yards (8.6 YPC) and 13 rushing touchdowns in just his last five games. Barner is one of the four running backs Maxwell Award semifinalists.
Alabama QB AJ McCarron remained flawless in a must-win game in Baton Rouge against an unforgiving LSU defense, The Mobile native valiantly led the Crimson Tide to two essential touchdowns; a rushing touchdown at the end of the first half, and a game-winning screen pass to freshman halfback TJ Yeldon. Alabama continues to roll on with their perfect record, as their experienced leader fails to make mistakes. Perhaps one of the most underrated statistics in college football is AJ McCarron throwing for 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his 204 passing attempts.
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel or now better known as the “Johnny Football” continues to capture the nation’s attention week after week. In what was supposed to be a grueling road game against a highly touted Mississippi State secondary, Manziel stepped up going 30-36 with 311 yards and rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns. Manziel continues to torch defenses and is well on pace to throw for over 3,000 yards while rushing for over 1,000.
Week 10 Chuck Bednarik Award Elite presented by Cracker Barrel
In a close battle against Missouri, Florida S Matt Elam registered six tackles, two tackles for loss, and an interception which he returned for 47 yards in the 17-7 Gator win. Elam’s performance earned him recognition as our Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week presented by Cracker Barrel. The safety now has back-to-back games with an interception, giving him three total on the season. Elam continues to grow as a playmaker in key situations and has been instrumental for the rock solid Gator defense.
Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore resumes to give quarterbacks nightmares as he totaled the nation-leading sack number 11.5, which came against Mississippi State’s Tyler Wilson. But his most impressive play in this game came when hustling 40 yards downfield to chase down WR Chris Davis from a touchdown. Moore at 6-4 and 250 pounds, has phenomenal awareness with NFL quickness and pass rushing ability. Moore has been an unbelievable surprise this season with 69 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two passes broken up, five QB hurries, one forced fumble, and one blocked field goal in his breakout season.
After sitting out for nearly two games, Arizona State DT Will Sutton came back against Oregon State with one sack and two passes broken up. Sutton now has 8.5 sacks in essentially seven games. Sutton is a very dynamic defensive tackle with first-rate quickness and pass rushing ability and is one of three defensive tackles Chuck Bednarik Award semifinalists.
Week 11 Maxwell Award vs. Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists Faceoffs
Arizona State vs. No. 21 USC
Coming off of two losses to Arizona and Oregon, USC’s dangerous duo QB Matt Barkley and WR Marqise Lee will look to help the Trojans rebound with a win over ASU. Despite the losses, the tandem has connected 28 times for 502 yards and four touchdowns in these past two games. Previously mentioned DT Will Sutton will do his best to bring pressure up the middle, flushing Barkley out of the pocket and forcing him to make plays on the run. USC has only allowed 11 sacks in nine games this season.
No. 15 Texas A&M vs. No. 1 Alabama
This matchup is highly anticipated not only because the last time these two faced off was in 1988, but because the country is ackolwedging that the Aggies might be Alabama’s most worthy opponent this weekend. The Alabama defense will have to face one of the most lethal quarterbacks in nation in Johnny Manziel. Alabama has an extremely disciplined defense led by LB C.J. Mosley who will most likely spy the exciting QB. In the secondary Manziel will see CB Dee Milliner, who ranks in eighth in the nation with 15 passes defensed, luring in the secondary ready to jump on any mistake. The sound Alabama captain, QB AJ McCarron, will have to be sure to watch his blindside with SEC sack leader DE Damontre Moore coming faster than ever off the edge.
Chuck Bednarik Award Semifinalists Showdowns presented by Cracker Barrel
No. 22 Mississippi State vs. No. 9 LSU
This game features two outstanding defensive talents on each team. Mississippi State is headlined by stud shutdown corner Johnthan Banks, who can take it to the house if LSU QB Zach Mettenberger slips up. The LSU defense is led by DE Sam Montgomery, who has 3.5 tackles for loss in the past three games. Both players will be instrumental in what should be an offensive struggle.
Maxwell Award Semifinalists Potential Explosive Performances
Oregon rushing threats Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas face a Cal defense that gives up averages of 165.2 rushing yards and 27.6 points against. Both players combined average nearly eight yards per carry.
Wisconsin RB Montee Ball faces an Indiana defense that ranks 104th in the nation against the run giving up 204.3 rushing yards. Ball averages nearly 115 rushing yards per game and is expected to have a big game against the Hoosiers.
Georgia QB Aaron Murray turns 22 on Saturday against an Auburn defense who gives up 27.3 points against and has yet to win an SEC game. Murray has four games this season with at least three passing touchdowns.