Week 9 Maxwell Award Elite
USC WR Marqise Lee was dominant against Arizona with 16 catches, a Pac-12 record 345 receiving yards, 123 return yards, and two receiving touchdowns earning him Pac-12 Player of the Week. Lee now has five games of ten or more receptions, and has already eclipsed last year’s mark of 73 catches; Lee has 76 receptions for 1,129 yards and ten touchdowns, and ranks second in the nation in all three categories.
In a last second win over Arizona State, UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin shined the entire game with 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns averaging 6.3 yards per carry. With that game Franklin surpassed 1,000 rushing yards as he now has six games of 100 rushing yards or more on the season.
After beating Auburn, in another huge performance Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel received his fifth SEC Freshman Player of the Week award. Manziel went 16-23 with 260 yards and two touchdowns, while on the ground running the ball nine times for 90 yards and three touchdowns. Passing, Manziel now has 2,216 yards with 16 touchdowns, and rushing the ball he has 793 yards and 13 touchdowns.
UNC RB Giovani Bernard took on the Wolfpack defense with 304 all-purpose yards (124 rushing and 95 receiving) and three total touchdowns including a game-winning 74-yard punt return touchdown. Despite missing two games, Bernard has 930 rushing yards, with average of 7.4 yards per carry, and he’s scored at least one rushing touchdown in all seven games he’s played in.
Week 9 Chuck Bednarik Award Elite presented by Cracker Barrel
In a pivotal win against Florida, Georgia LB Jarvis Jones was a force with a career-high 13 tackles (12 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries earning him SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Jones now has recorded 22 sacks in 20 games consistently proving he’s one of the best pas rushers in the nation.
In a tough atmosphere in Norman against Oklahoma, Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o impressed the nation once again with 11 tackles, one interception, two tackles for loss, and one sack in the 30-13 victory. Through eight games Manti has recorded 80 total tackles, five interceptions, three passes broken up, four QB hurries, and 4.5 tackles for loss.
The dynamic South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney registered four tackles, one sack, two QB hurries, and one forced fumble in a win over Tennessee. This sack gives Clowney 8.5 on the season, which ranks him fifth in the country and tied for second with Jarvis Jones in the SEC sack race.
Week 10 Maxwell Award vs Chuck Bednarik Semifinalists Faceoffs
No. 16 Texas A&M vs. No. 17 Mississippi State
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel will have to face a dangerous secondary led by the physical CB Johnthan Banks, who has been labeled by experts as the top NFL corner prospect. On the year, Banks has four interceptions and five passes broken up, while Manziel has 16 passing touchdowns and six interceptions. The freshman’s best bet is to throw away from Banks, but then again Manziel is a bit fearless and could make a Maxwell statement attacking the Miss State secondary. The Texas A&M defense will be lead by DE Damontre Moore who leads the SEC in sacks with 10.5.
No. 1 Alabama vs No. 5 LSU
Although there are multiple matchups to keep an eye on in this game, be sure to watch out for LSU DE Sam Montgomery attempt to keep the mistake-less Alabama QB AJ McCarron pressured and off-balance. McCarron comes into the game with 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his 177 passing attempts, while Montgomery comes in with four sacks and three QB hurries. Montgomery’s pressure on McCarron could be a huge factor in a potential upset for the Tigers. On the other side of the ball for Alabama, LB C.J. Mosley and CB Dee Milliner will look to make a huge impact as they have all year long forcing turnovers and getting stops on third downs.
Week 10 Maxwell Award Semifinalists Shootouts
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 18 USC
Finally the most anticipated Pac-12 game is here. However this was expected to be an undefeated shootout with a team receiving its first loss after the game. Regardless, both teams come into The Coliseum with their same explosive offenses, and each defense knows that any team can score from anywhere at any point. Oregon will be led by there RBs Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas who are both coming off of huge performances after destroying Colorado. USC is led by QB Matt Barkley and WR Marqise Lee, who both have set prestigious USC records after the past two weeks. Oregon comes in averaging the most points out of any team with 53.4 while USC still holds their own with 35.0 per game. Don’t expect these teams to come back down to earth with the weapons they each have.