Kentucky Wildcats' Stephen Johnson a Manning Award "Star of the Week"

Coming off his stellar performance in Kentucky's 41-38 win over No. 11 Louisville on Saturday, Stephen Johnson has been selected as one of eight quarterbacks from around the country to be a Manning Award "Star of the Week."

Fans can vote for the top overall performer by visiting the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page through Noon ET on Thursday.

Johnson, a junior from California, passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the Wildcats' upset of the Cardinals in the Governor's Cup rivalry game. He also rushed for 83 yards for a UK offense that racked up 581 yards on the day. 

The UK signal caller threw touchdown passes of 75, 63 and 35 yards, showcasing his impressive deep ball skills. 


The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in 2004 to honor the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

This week’s eight Manning Award Stars of the Week are:

Riley Ferguson, Memphis (30-of-45, 409 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 89.8)

Ferguson tallies his first career 400-yard game and connects on a 10-yard touchdown with 19 seconds to go to lift the Tigers to a 48-44 upset of No. 20 Houston.

Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State (8-of-17, 109 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 99.5)

Fitzgerald rushes for a school-record 258 yards and two touchdowns as he leads the Bulldogs to a 55-20 SEC road win over archrival Ole Miss.

Skyler Howard, West Virginia (12-of-21, 330 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 92.9)

Howard has his fourth 300-yard game of the season and matches his career-best in passing TDs as he leads the Mountaineers to a 49-19 Big 12 road victory over Iowa State.

Stephen Johnson, Kentucky (16-of-27, 338 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 98.0)

Johnson, who also rushes for a career-high 83 yards, registers his career-best in passing yards and touchdowns, including a 75-yard score, as he leads the Wildcats to a 41-38 upset victory over No. 11 Louisville on the road.

Pat Mahomes II, Texas Tech (30-of-46, 586 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 94.9)

Mahomes notches his fourth 500-yard game of the year while matching his career-high in passing touchdowns in a 54-35 Big 12 victory over Baylor.

Trace McSorley, Penn State (17-of-23, 376 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 89.8)

McSorley tallies career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns as he leads the Nittany Lions to a 45-12 road victory over Michigan State to clinch the Big Ten East title.

Kyle Shurmur, Vanderbilt (21-of-34, 416 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 91.8)

Shurmur shatters his career-high for passing yards while leading the Commodores to 21 unanswered points to close a 45-34 SEC win over Tennessee to make his team bowl eligible.

Deshaun Watson, Clemson (26-of-32, 347 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 95.4)

Watson matched his career-best for touchdown passes as he leads the Tigers a 56-7 win over archrival South Carolina, their largest margin of victory against the Gamecocks since 1900.

The 10 finalists for the Manning Award will be announced on Wednesday, November 30 and the winner is scheduled to be announced following the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday, January 9.

In its first 12 years, the Manning Award has recognized the top names in college football. It has honored quarterbacks from 11 different schools and from four different conferences. The Southeastern Conference leads the way with four Manning Award winners (Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, JaMarcus Russell, Tim Tebow), while Texas is the only school with two winners (Colt McCoy and Vince Young). Watson was the third winner from the Atlantic Coast Conference, joining Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007) and Jameis Winston (Florida State, 2013).

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