November 7, 2010

TCU's Dalton passes big test, grabs honor

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
North Carolina QB T.J. Yates was 24-of-35 passing for 439 yards and three scores in a 37-35 upset at Florida State.
BIG 12
Texas A&M LB Michael Hodges recorded 19 tackles and two sacks in a 33-19 upset of visiting Oklahoma.
BIG EAST
USF QB B.J. Daniels was 10-of-17 passing for 149 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-27 victory over Rutgers on Wednesday.
BIG TEN
Penn State QB Matt McGloin was 18-of-29 passing for 225 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-21 come-from-behind victory over visiting Northwestern.
CONFERENCE USA
UCF freshman QB Jeffrey Godfrey was 15-of-19 passing for 294 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-33 victory at Houston on Friday. He also rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
MID-AMERICAN
Temple QB Mike Gerardi was 21-of-29 passing for 368 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score in a 28-10 victory over Kent State.
PAC-10
Stanford QB Andrew Luck was 23-of-32 passing for 293 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-17 rout of visiting Arizona.
SEC
LSU DT Drake Nevis had seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble, which set up the eventual winning field goal, in a 24-21 victory over visiting Alabama.
SUN BELT
Florida International wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had two touchdown catches, a touchdown run and a kickoff return for a touchdown in a 42-35 double-overtime victory over visiting Louisiana-Monroe. Hilton caught four passes for 96 yards, rushed twice for 34 yards and had 196 yards on four kickoff returns.
WAC
Boise State junior QB Kellen Moore was 30-of-37 passing for a career-high 507 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-7 demolition of visiting Hawaii.
INDEPENDENTS
Navy QB Ricky Dobbs was 6-of-8 passing for 75 yards and two touchdowns in a 76-35 victory over East Carolina. He also rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries for the Midshipmen, who clinched bowl eligibility.

If TCU continues to play games like this, the Horned Frogs' reputation as a defense-minded stalwart will start to fade.

Of course, that's no fault of TCU's defense, which held Utah to a fourth-quarter touchdown in a 47-7 romp Saturday. It was the sixth consecutive game in which the Horned Frogs held their opponent to a touchdown or less.

In the critical matchup against Utah, TCU's offensive prowess was on display, too. QB Andy Dalton was 21-of-26 passing for 355 yards and three touchdowns in the win to earn Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors. It was TCU's first win in Salt Lake City and boosted the Horned Frogs' credentials in the BCS championship race.

"We took some shots," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "When we came in here last time, we did not play very well offensively. We had a lot of yards, but when we got into the red zone we didn't make any plays, so we wanted to take some shots."

Dalton and TCU's offense shocked Utah in the first quarter when Dalton capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to freshman Josh Boyce. The Horned Frogs were even more efficient two possessions later, when Dalton hit Boyce for a 93-yard touchdown to cap a 21-0 run in the first quarter.

"He was actually going to run a comeback route on that play, but he beat his defender," Dalton said. "I just threw it up there. He broke a tackle and took it all the way."

While TCU leads the nation in total defense and scoring defense, the offense isn't too shabby, either. Dalton is fourth nationally in pass efficiency, and the Horned Frogs are eighth in scoring offense and total offense.

NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Miami RB Lamar Miller

Miami still needs help to reach its first ACC championship game, but the Hurricanes remain in the race thanks to two freshmen in the backfield who made the first starts of their career.

All eyes were on QB Stephen Morris, who was starting in place of the injured Jacory Harris, but Miller, replacing the injured Damien Berry, was even more effective.

Miller rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries and caught two passes for 20 yards in a 26-20 comeback win over Maryland.

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK
Texas Tech's James Willis

With a final stretch that included games against Missouri, Oklahoma and Houston, Texas Tech's bowl hopes depend upon a shaky pass defense. The Red Raiders went into the weekend ranked 119th nationally in pass defense and last in the Big 12 in total defense.

Willis' defense regrouped against Missouri, giving the Red Raiders hopes they can end the season on a hot streak.

Texas Tech held Missouri to a season-low 95 passing yards in the 24-17 win. The Red Raiders were the first team since Nebraska on Oct. 8, 2009, to prevent Blaine Gabbert from throwing a touchdown pass.

This was the Tigers' worst output in the passing game since throwing for 72 yards in a win over Baylor on Nov. 12, 2005.

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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