2014 Who's Hot ... Week 10
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In one glorious afternoon for the Zoomies, they defeated Army at West Point, 23-6, became bowl-eligible and captured the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the 19th time. It’s been an important and timely rebound season at Air Force, which bottomed out with just a pair of wins under Troy Calhoun a year ago.
USC WR JuJu Smith
The next great Trojan receiver? Well, that honor belongs to Smith, assuming Nelson Agholor leaves school at the end of his junior season. Smith is the highly-coveted athlete from Long Beach, Calif., who’s wasted no time making an impact in his first year. He’s caught a touchdown pass in each of the last three games, added an exclamation point Saturday with six grabs for 74 yards and a career-best three touchdowns in the Week 10 blowout of Washington State.
Offensive Coordinator of the Week: Scott Frost, Oregon
The Ducks slapped 45 points on a Stanford team that had yielded just 100 points over the first eight games of 2014. Frost’s kids attacked early, with an unabashed blend of speed and tempo, and closed strong by scoring the game’s final three touchdowns. Marcus Mariota was Marcus Mariota, but the staff also did a great job of mixing in the tough running of Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner, who spearheaded a 267-yard, four-touchdown effort on the ground.
Defensive Coordinator of the Week: Phil Snow, Temple
Sure, Snow got an assist from the sloppy weather in the region. But his Owls still played very well in a 20-10 upset of No. 21 East Carolina that shook up the American race. Temple kept the usually-potent Pirates out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, becoming the first team to hold Shane Carden without a touchdown pass in 2014. At 5-3, the Owls are closing in on bowl-eligibility in Matt Rhule’s second season on the job.
Stockpile more shares in … Western Michigan RB Jarvion Franklin
How in the world did the Bronco rookie not end up on a Big Ten roster? He’s been a revelation for resurgent Western Michigan, which is bowl-eligible a year after winning just a single game in P.J. Fleck’s debut. Franklin has been the undisputed offensive catalyst, scoring 22 times, while running for more than 149 yards in each of the last four games.
Madden Cover Material: Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett
At times this season, Garrett has played like a young Jadeveon Clowney. On Saturday, Garrett surpassed Clowney to establish a new SEC record for sacks by a freshman. The 6-5, 255-pound man-child from Arlington, Tex. got to the quarterback 3.5 more times over the weekend, bringing his season total to an SEC-high 11.
Bucking for a promotion: Memphis head coach Justin Fuente
The 38-year-old Fuente has methodically changed the culture at Memphis, which is no small achievement. He’s turned the Tigers into winners, getting the perennial doormat to within a victory of bowl-eligibility. Tulsa was no match on Friday for Memphis, which got 199 yards and three touchdowns on the ground form one-time backup RB Brandon Hayes. Fuente will be on numerous AD’s short list in December.
He’s how young?! Florida State’s Budding Skill Players
The Seminoles survived a scare befitting of Halloween … again. This time, they were propped up by a trio of true freshmen with great futures. Florida State’s rally from a 21-0 deficit at Louisville would not have been possible without the heroics of RB Dalvin Cook and receivers Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane, who scored four of the team’s six touchdowns. Cook had scoring runs of 40 and 38 yards, the latter sealing the comeback win with 3:46 left.
He’s how young?! Wyoming RB Brian Hill
Hill left behind Big Ten country earlier this year seeking an opportunity wherever he’d get one. The rookie from Belleville, Ill. is making the most of his chance for reps in, of all places, Laramie. Hill established a new Wyoming and Mountain West single-game record Saturday with 387 all-purpose yards, including 281 yards and two scores on the ground on only 23 carries.
Can I be your agent … Scooby Wright?
The Arizona linebacker is just an animal on the field. And with a name like Scooby, just imagine the media and marketing opportunities. Wright is having an unequivocal All-American season, quite an ascent for the kid who was groveling for scholarship offers just a couple of years ago. He was everywhere versus UCLA Saturday night, making 19 stops, and he’s now made 15.5 tackles for loss in just the last five games.
Start designing the Fathead of … Washington LB (or RB) Shaq Thompson
So, what can’t Thompson do at this level? The Husky who has already scored four defensive touchdowns in 2014, one on a pick and three on fumble recoveries, took over the running back duties on Saturday versus Colorado. And he didn’t disappoint. Giving new meaning to being a dual-threat, Thompson spearheaded the U-Dub offense by rushing for 174 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Maybe, just maybe, everything is beginning to come together for Al Golden and the Hurricanes. Miami has started manhandling opponents, like nothing that’s been seen from the team in recent years. It’s won three in a row by an aggregate score of 132-60, including Saturday’s blowout of Carolina, and it has two weeks to prepare for a visit from Florida State. Rookie QB Brad Kaaya is maturing on the fly, Duke Johnson is wowing NFL scouts and the light is finally going on for Mark D’Onofrio’s D.
Team of the Week II: Auburn
It was the title fight of Week 10, and the Tigers were the only team left standing when the Round 15 bell rang. Auburn went toe-to-toe with Ole Miss in one of the games of the season, flourishing behind the playmaking of QB Nick Marshall and RB Cameron Artis-Payne and a game-saving tackle from LB Kris Frost. The Tigers now control their own destiny in the pursuit of a playoff berth.
Team of the Week: Oregon
The exorcism is complete now that the Ducks have defeated Stanford, 45-16, the roadblock to titles the past two seasons. For the second time in 2014, Oregon posted a statement win over the kind of physical, old-school opponent that’s given it problems of late. The Ducks are arguably playing better than anyone in the country right now, riding the HOV lane to a likely Pac-12 title and a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff.
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