Who's Hot? Week 11: Texas, McElwain, La Tech

The stud teams, players, coaches and trends from Week 11

2014 Who's Hot ... Week 11

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It wasn’t pretty. But it sure was effective. The Tigers slipped past Temple Friday night, 16-13, on a walk-off Jake Elliott field goal for their third victory in a row. Even more important, though, Memphis is now bowl-eligible for the first time in six years, and is still in the race for an American Athletic Conference championship.

Toledo RB Kareem Hunt
An injured ankle—it’s the only thing that’s proven to slow down Hunt this season. The sophomore missed three games with a bum wheel during the heart of the campaign. But in the other six games, he’s yet to be held below 100 yards, while averaging a healthy 8.4 yards per carry. The Rockets’ ability to run the ball—and stop the run—are two key reasons why they’re the last team unbeaten in MAC play.

Offensive Coordinator of the Week: Tom Herman, Ohio State
Herman is the next Urban Meyer disciple who’ll go on to nab a head job. It’s just a matter of time. He’s done a remarkable job with a Buckeye offense that lost linchpin QB Braxton Miller just prior to the start of the season. Ohio State, with rookie J.T. Barrett behind center, has rung up at least 49 points in six of the last seven games, with a monster performance Saturday night in East Lansing serving as the exclamation point.

Defensive Coordinator of the Week: Keith Patterson, Arizona State
The Sun Devils were on life support following a 62-27 loss to UCLA on Sept. 25. Since then, ASU has stormed back to Pac-12 and national relevance, in large part because of the attacking persona of Patterson’s D. In Saturday’s breakout win over Notre Dame, the Sun Devils torched the Irish for seven sacks and five takeaways, including a career-high four interceptions off the frazzled arm of Everett Golson.

Stockpile more shares in … Washington State QB Luke Falk
In his first career start, Falk delivered a spot-on impersonation of senior Connor Halliday, who’s college career ended with an ankle injury. Despite being on road facing a seasoned Oregon State secondary, the former walk-on still led the Cougars to an upset with 471 yards, five touchdowns and no picks. Falk is just a redshirt freshman, which means there’s plenty of time to fully digest Mike Leach’s Air Raid attack.

Stockpile more shares in … Louisiana Tech
Ever so quietly, the Bulldogs are one of the last remaining FBS teams without a conference loss this season. Tech ran its winning streak to five games, whipping UAB in Birmingham, 40-24. The Bulldogs have become a complete team for Skip Holtz, thanks to the emergence of Iowa transfer QB Cody Sokol, as they remain on a collision course with unbeaten Marshall in the Dec. 6 Conference USA title game.

Madden Cover Material: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
In the biggest moment of the Urban Meyer era, no one was more clutch in the 49-37 win over Michigan State than Barrett, who played eons beyond his years. In a Heisman-esque performance, the rookie strafed the ballyhooed Spartan D for 386 total yards and five touchdowns to help vault the Buckeyes into the Big Ten East Division lead, and contention for one of the four playoff spots.

Bucking for a promotion: Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain
If the 9-1 Rams can somehow wiggle into a New Year’s Six bowl game, with help from Boise State, there’s a slim chance McElwain will be coaching the team in that signature moment. He’s doing a remarkable job of turning things around in Fort Collins, guiding the Rams to a point where New Year’s bowl games are a part of the vernacular. McElwain was well-respected before the season, but now he has the breakout season to help further justify a huge promotion.

He’s how young?! Clemson WR Artavis Scott
The Tigers have found their next big thing in the passing game, the heir to Sammy Watkins on the outside. Scott may not be at Watkins’ level, but he has a tremendous future ahead of him. The true freshman from Oldsmar, Fla. helped bail out his team in Winston-Salem Thursday, catching eight balls for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Scott now leads Clemson in receptions and scoring grabs.

He’s how young?! Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter
The Bulldogs are set at the linebacker position for the foreseeable future. Not only is this program loaded with quality veterans, but Carter has begun to emerge as Leonard Floyd 2.0. The 6-6, 237-pound true freshman flashed glimpses of his enormous pass-rushing potential in Saturday’s obliteration of Kentucky, making seven tackles, 3.5 stops for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Can I be your agent … Gerod Holliman?
If they haven’t already, opposing quarterbacks are going to learn that throwing anywhere near Holliman’s catch-radius is a recipe for turnovers and a possible benching. Louisville’s sophomore safety picked off three more passes Saturday in a win over Boston College, giving him 13 for the season. Holliman is on the doorstep of breaking a single-season record established by Washington’s Al Worley almost a half-century ago.

Start designing the Fathead of … TCU QB Trevone Boykin
Boykin’s remarkable season, a year after playing a ton of reps at wide receiver, continued Saturday night in a pivotal win over Kansas State. The dynamic all-around playmaker accounted for four touchdowns, three on the ground, and 342 yards to help lead the Horned Frogs to a 41-20 victory over the team that held Auburn to 20 points earlier in the year. Barring an upset, TCU is going to carry an 11-1 record into the final playoff evaluation process.

UCLA (outside the Rose Bowl)
Get the Bruins outside of Pasadena, and they’re virtually unstoppable. UCLA has been victorious in its last nine road games, capped by Saturday night’s impressive 44-30 victory at Washington. The Bruins have been triumphant as far away as Charlottesville, Va. this season, and that annihilation of 8-1 Arizona State in Tempe just keeps getting more and more impressive as the Sun Devils burrow deeper into the top 10.

The Bears have answered their lone loss to West Virginia in convincing fashion, blowing out Kansas and Oklahoma in back-to-back weeks. The Sooner win was so dominant that Baylor has propelled back into the playoff discussion. The Bears outgained OU, 544-319, highlighted by the play of WR Corey Coleman and LB Bryce Hager, to post their first-ever win in Norman.

Team of the Week II: Texas A&M
Last week, this space was occupied by Auburn. This week, it belongs to a team that shocked Auburn … at Jordan-Hare. Who figured Texas A&M had any gas left in the tank after dropping three straight, and then almost stumbling to UL-Monroe a week ago? But with true freshman Kyle Allen flipping four touchdowns, and the Tigers imploding late in the red zone, the Aggies infused new life into their sinking season. And ended Auburn’s playoff dreams.

Team of the Week: Arizona State
Biggest win in Sun Devil history? Probably not. But beating Notre Dame in a battle of top 10 teams will appear somewhere on the program’s timeline. Since getting smoked by UCLA on Sept. 25, Arizona State has won five straight, with Saturday’s 55-31 defeat of the Irish serving as the exclamation point. Its defense beginning to carry more of the weight, ASU remains in the Pac-12 South driver’s seat, with playoff dreams more alive than at any point this season.

Football in Texas
Baylor trucked Oklahoma. Texas A&M shocked Auburn. Texas upset West Virginia. TCU moved a step closer to a Big 12 title by winning its showdown with Kansas State. And, well, lowly Texas Tech had a bye week, so there was no chance of the Red Raiders fouling up a good thing. The Lone Star State owned Week 11 in college football, owning the spotlight much the way the state of Mississippi did at times in the first half of the year.

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