October 3, 2010

James gets into gear, runs to top honor

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Virginia Tech CB Jayron Hosley intercepted Russell Wilson three times and added six tackles in a 41-30 victory at N.C. State.
BIG EAST
Pittsburgh backup RB Ray Graham rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-17 victory over Florida International in the absence of injured starter Dion Lewis.
BIG TEN
Michigan QB Denard Robinson was 10-of-16 passing for 277 yards with three touchdowns in a 42-35 victory at Indiana. He also rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
BIG 12
Baylor QB Robert Griffin was 26-of-36 passing for 380 yards and three touchdowns in a 55-7 rout of Kansas. He also rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown, and he set a school record for single-game total yardage.
CONFERENCE USA
Tulane DE Dezman Moses had six tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in a 17-14 upset of host Rutgers. Moses, a junior transfer from Iowa, is a New Jersey native.
MID-AMERICAN
Temple backup RB Matt Brown rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns on 28 carries in the absence of injured starter Bernard Pierce in a 42-35 victory over Army.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Air Force LB Jordan Waiwaiole had 15 tackles, a sack and an interception in a 14-6 victory over Navy.
SEC
Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw had seven tackles, four tackles for loss, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery in a 31-6 rout of visiting Florida.
SUN BELT
Louisiana-Lafayette QB Chris Masson was 18-of-32 passing for 310 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-27 victory over North Texas.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
Utah State QB Diondre Borel was 10-of-13 passing for 192 yards and a touchdown in a 31-16 victory over BYU. He also rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
INDEPENDENTS
Notre Dame LB Carlo Calabrese had 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack in a 31-13 victory over Boston College.

Bad news for the rest of the Pac-10: Oregon RB LaMichael James is just getting warmed up.

James missed the first game of the season because of a suspension, but he quickly has made up for lost time. Saturday, he rushed for 257 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries in a 52-31 victory over Stanford to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.

It was his second career 200-yard day, topping his 227 yards against Portland State on Sept. 18. He also rushed for three scores for the third time in his career.

"I felt that I hit on all cylinders," said James, a sophomore from Texarkana, Texas. "I played with a lot more energy than I did the last couple games."

Oregon trailed 31-24 at halftime, and James was instrumental in the Ducks' comeback. He rushed for a 3-yard touchdown to put the Ducks ahead for good, then erased any hope of a Stanford comeback with a 76-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. The touchdown capped a 173-yard second half.

Despite missing the opener, James is second in the nation in rushing yards per game and total rushing yards; he's behind Michigan QB Denard Robinson in both categories. Those numbers have put James into the discussion for national awards and Oregon into the national title hunt.

"I don't worry a lot about the yards," James said. "I worry about the wins. My focus isn't on being the best running back in the nation. It's on being the best team in the country. I don't care about winning a Heisman. I care about helping us stay undefeated."

NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Tom Wort, Oklahoma

After a couple of inconsistent performances, Wort, a redshirt freshman linebacker, found the perfect way to endear himself to Oklahoma fans: Put up a standout performance against Texas.

Wort had 10 tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in the 28-20 victory over the Longhorns, making up for a spotty performance in a close call against Cincinnati in the previous game.

Texas' offensive struggles continued as the Longhorns rushed for just 107 yards.

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK
Don Treadwell, Michigan State

Treadwell may have been the acting coach with Mark Dantonio out of commission, but let's not forget that he's been one of the Big Ten's best playcallers this season.

Treadwell earns National Coordinator of the Week honors after the Spartans rolled up 444 yards and 34 points on Wisconsin on Saturday.

As the fake field goal to beat Notre Dame in overtime two weeks ago illustrated, Michigan State never will be accused of playing it safe. The Spartans continued that trend Saturday by going for it three times on fourth down, converting two. One resulted in a B.J. Cunningham touchdown catch to put the game away late in the fourth quarter.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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