Week 13 Maxwell Finalists Performances
Against all odds, Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o led the Fighting Irish to a perfect season with a final win on the road against USC. Te’o recorded five stops, breaking 100 tackles for the third consecutive season (the third player in school history to do so). He also picked off USC QB Max Wittek for his seventh on the year, ranking him 2nd in the FBS. This feat is particularly remarkable considering Te’o had zero career interceptions coming into this year. It’s simply unheard of to see a linebacker with over 100 tackles with seven interceptions, and with football gradually becoming a more pass-happy game, Te’o might be the new breed of the future linebacker. Te’o has consistently stepped up in big games, and we shouldn’t expect anything less in the BCS National Title Game. On the year he finished with 103 tackles, seven interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, four QB hurries, and four passes broken up.
In a rout over Missouri, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel dazzled once again going 32-44 with 372 yards and three touchdowns, to go along with 67 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. Remarkably this was Manziel’s sixth game of five or more touchdowns, and perhaps even more impressively he broke the SEC total offense record totaling 4,600 yards surpassing 2010 Maxwell Award winner Cam Newton. After the regular season the redshirt freshman registered 3,419 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, eight interceptions, 1,181 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns.
Week 13 Chuck Bednarik Award Finalists Performances presented by Cracker Barrel
In a beatdown against Georgia Tech and their triple-option, Georgia LB Jarvis Jones excelled with nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. Despite missing two games, Jones still ranks third in the SEC with 19.5 tackles for loss, recording at least .5 TFL in every game he’s played in. Jones will have the opportunity to add more to his stats this weekend in the SEC Title game.
In a significant win over Clemson, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney made history after totaling 4.5 sacks by setting the single-season school record for sacks with 13. The sophomore completely terrorized Tajh Boyd, and the Tigers found no answer for the phenom. With that game, Clowney finishes his regular season leading the entire nation in tackles for loss with 21.5.
Week 14 Maxwell Award Finalists Matchups
After a week of recovering from his first loss this season, Kansas State QB Collin Klein goes up against a hungry No. 18 Texas team. The Longhorns have a solid pass defense ranked 38th in the country, but severely struggle against the run, giving up just over 200 rushing yards per contest. Klein will be seeking revenge and satisfaction in his last home game and should put up exciting numbers. Going into the game Klein has 2,306 passing yards with 14 passing touchdowns complimented by 787 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns.
Week 14 Chuck Bednarik Award Finalists Matchups
In Week 14 Jarvis Jones faces the biggest game of his early career, the SEC Championship Game against No. 2 Alabama. Jones has made an impact this season by absolutely disrupting anything in the backfield, with 10.5 of his 19.5 tackles for loss coming from sacking the QB. It’s understandable that Alabama will be sure to keep a blocker on Jones, whether it’s a tight end, running back or lineman. The last thing Bama wants is “Sackman Jones” living up to his nickname, and adding onto his to his 17 QB Hurries among other stats. But the junior linebacker is motivated, aggressive and resilient, and we can expect a memorable performance from the Bulldog.