Who's Hot & Not ... Week
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Not ... Week 11
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10. Northern Illinois
The Huskies continue to steamroll everything in their path, crushing Toledo, 65-30, for a seventh straight win. The MAC West champion with two games left, Northern Illinois has been unstoppable on the ground and opportunistic on defense. A date with the East winner, likely next Tuesday’s Temple-Ohio winner, awaits.
9. East Carolina QB Dominique Davis
Sure, it helps to be the triggerman in a program that runs a pass-happy offense and can’t stop anyone, but Davis has made the most of his surroundings. The former Boston College transfer has now thrown 31 touchdown passes after posting five scoring strikes for a second consecutive week, leading the Pirates to a 54-42 win over UAB.
The Cougars are done rebuilding, a quick turnaround that looks as if it’ll produce a bowl game and the extra 15 practices that go along with it. Put on life support after starting the year 1-4, BYU has won four of the last five games to unexpectedly even its record. With rookie QB Jake Heaps throwing four touchdown passes and looking more and more like a sophomore, it won for the first time outside Provo, crushing Colorado State, 49-10.
7. Boston College LB Luke Kuechly
The driving force in the Eagles’ push back to the .500 mark, Kuechly tied a season-high for a player in 2010 with 21 tackles, two batted balls, and a forced fumble. The prototypical seek-and-destroy linebacker, he’s the main reason Boston College has yielded just 39 points in the last three games and is a win away from a 12th consecutive bowl game.
6. Connecticut RB Jordan Todman
It’s way too early to hand the Doak Walker to either Oregon’s LaMichael James or Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter. Todman is making sure of it. On Thursday night, he led the Huskies to a win over Pitt, two weeks after beating West Virginia, running for a career-high 222 yards on 37 carries. In just eight games, he’s gone over 1,000 yards on the ground for a second straight year.
5. The Military Academies
Navy defeated Central Michigan. Air Force handled New Mexico. Army pounded Kent State. The 45-28 Black Knight victory was especially poignant in the equation, meaning that all three service academies will go bowling in the same year for the first time in NCAA history. That it happened a few days after Veterans Day seems rather poetic in its timing.
4. Ohio State
Since losing to Wisconsin in Madison on Oct. 16, the Buckeyes have been terrific, winning all three games by an average score of 47-8. After a slow start against Penn State, they rolled to five unanswered touchdowns, including a pair from the defense on picks. With wins over Iowa and Michigan, Ohio State will earn at least a share of a sixth straight Big Ten title and a likely spot in one of the five BCS bowl games.
3. Wisconsin’s Backfield Depth
ou know you’re deep when you don’t miss your reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, RB John Clay. With a lot of credit going to the offensive line, the Badgers have gotten 294 yards rushing from Montee Ball over the last two weeks and 144 more from James White on Saturday. The pair spurred an 83-point explosion that matched the record for most points scored in a Big Ten game.
2. Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon
By catching nine passes for 145 yards and a touchdown against an outstanding Texas secondary, Blackmon tied a Cowboy mark with nine straight games of at least 100 receiving yards. A next-level sophomore and big-play specialist, he leads the country in receiving yards and touchdowns, and has a slight edge over Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery in the battle for the Biletnikoff.
1. Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan
Overlooked on a national scale because his Boilermakers are 4-6 and have lost four straight, Kerrigan continues to rise above his surroundings. A sure-fire All-American and three-year starter at Purdue, he enhanced his postseason honors resume by abusing the Michigan O-line on Saturday for 10 solo tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles.
Not ... Week 11