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September 22, 2008

Rivals.com Week 4 National Awards

Picking award winners brought more debate this week than any other so far. It was the best week of the season for the SEC, for freshmen and for SEC freshmen.

LSU, Florida and Georgia had players worthy of mention. Vanderbilt safety Ryan Hamilton may have had the biggest impact on a game with three interceptions, a touchdown and a goal-line tackle to beat Ole Miss and help Vandy vault into the top 25 for the first time in 24 years.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Senior SS Kevin Patterson keyed the Demon Deacons' defensive effort at Florida State by forcing three (two interceptions, one forced fumble) of Wake's seven turnovers in a 12-3 win.
BIG 12
Darrell Scott came to Colorado with more fanfare, but true freshman RB Rodney Stewart carried the Buffaloes to a 17-14 win in overtime over faltering West Virginia. Stewart rushed 28 times for 166 yards against the Mountaineers.
BIG EAST
Connecticut running back Donald Brown helped keep the Huskies undefeated. Brown, the nation's leading rusher, had 34 carries for 150 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 win over Baylor.
BIG TEN
One spot behind Brown is Michigan State running back Javon Ringer, who carried 39 times for 201 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-7 win over Notre Dame.
CONFERENCE USA
Your new potential BCS-buster from C-USA is Tulsa. Senior QB David Johnson who is a first-year starter was 24 of 39 with 466 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-14 rout of New Mexico.
MID-AMERICAN
Ball State isn't just Nate Davis. Running back MiQuale Lewis carried the ball 30 times for 155 yards and four touchdowns in Ball State's 42-20 win at Indiana. It was the Cardinals' first win over a Big Ten team.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Darrell Mack kept Utah undefeated with a big second half in a 30-23 victory at Air Force. Mack carried 28 times for 101 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner.
PAC-10
In another rough week for the league, at least Stanford stayed afloat. Toby Gerhart rushed 21 times for 146 yards and a touchdown in a 23-10 win over San Jose State.
SUN BELT
QB Corey Leonard gave Arkansas State a leg up in the Sun Belt race with a 31-14 win over Middle Tennessee. He was 17 of 31 for 240 yards and scored four total touchdowns against the Blue Raiders.
WESTERN ATHLETIC
Boise State QB Kellen Moore was 24 of 36 for 386 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon in the Broncos' upset.
INDEPENDENTS
Navy upset Rutgers 23-21 behind a great effort from FS Wyatt Middleton. He made 13 tackles, including 11 solo, and forced a fumble for the Midshipmen.
Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green and LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee were considered for freshman honors in a huge week for rookies.

For national player of the week, we chose the biggest performance in the most contested game in the SEC.

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
RB Charles Scott, LSU

Keiland Williams had a big touchdown pass. Jarrett Lee was the big story. But Charles Scott was LSU's rock in the Tigers' 26-21 win at Auburn.

Auburn came into the game allowing only 59 rushing yards per game, and the past two teams to face Auburn couldn't crack 40 yards on the ground. Scott kept LSU's offense moving with 21 carries and 132 yards on the road in a win that put LSU in the driver's seat in the SEC West.

COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK:
Gary Crowton, LSU offense

Sorry, Jimbo Fisher, LSU is a lot more fun to watch now that Gary Crowton has your old job.

LSU had 398 yards of offense in its 26-21 win over Auburn despite playing against an excellent defensive team on the road with two inexperienced quarterbacks, one of whom was lost to an injury.

LSU rallied from a 14-3 deficit in the second half, thanks to some masterful but risky play-calling. Keiland Williams threw a go-ahead touchdown on a halfback pass in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, LSU gambled and went for a touchdown rather than settle for a field goal. Freshman Jarrett Lee threw the 18-yard, game-winning touchdown pass with1:03 remaining to give LSU the lead for good.

Others considered for coordinator of the week:
Brad Lambert's Wake Forest defense forced seven turnovers (five interceptions, two fumbles) and held Florida State to a field goal in a 12-3 win.

Charlie Strong led a Florida defensive unit that allowed Tennessee only 270 yards and one touchdown. The Gators have allowed just two touchdowns in three games.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK:
QB Kellen Moore, Boise State

Kellen Moore signaled that Boise State is back among the non-"Big Six" elite. He helped the Broncos take a 24-point lead into the fourth quarter before they held on for a 37-32 upset of Oregon.

Moore was making the first road start of his career and it came at raucous Autzen Stadium. He was 24 of 36 for 386 yards and three touchdowns against Oregon's experienced and playmaking secondary.

Others considered for freshman of the week:
N.C. State's Russell Wilson came of age as a quarterback and ended East Carolina's BCS bid. Wilson was 21 of 31 for 209 yards and three touchdowns in the 30-24 upset of the Pirates in overtime.

Colorado RB Rodney Stewart was named Rivals.com's Big 12 player of the week for his performance against West Virginia. He ran 28 times for 166 yards.

In his first career start, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2008, was 10-of-16 for 141 yards with four touchdowns and 62 rushing yards in a 28-10 victory over Troy.

DE Vince Browne did his part to keep Northwestern undefeated with three sacks and seven tackles in a 16-8 win over Ohio.

LSU QB Jarrett Lee came alive in the second half and finished 11 of 22 for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-21 win at Auburn. Most of the damage came after a concussion to starter Andrew Hatch.

Georgia WR A.J. Green keyed the Bulldogs' win at Arizona State with seven receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown in a 27-10 victory.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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