2013 Who's Hot & Not
Who's Not ... Week 9
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Western Connecticut RB Octavias McKoy
UConn may be winless, but the Nutmeg State can now boast the NCAA single-game record-holder for yards rushing. McKoy carried 43 times for 455 yards and five touchdowns in Saturday’s 55-35 win over Worcester State. McKoy, whose record spans across all divisions, smashed the set by Dante Brown of Marietta 17 years ago.
Offensive Coordinator of the Week: Alex Wood, Buffalo
The Bulls have won six in a row and stand atop the MAC East in large part because of Wood’s offensive attack. Buffalo has scored at least 32 points in each of the last five games, excelling at blending the running of Branden Oliver with the accurate throws of sophomore QB Joe Licata to WR Alex Neutz.
Defensive Coordinator of the Week: Derek Mason, Stanford
The Cardinal did on Saturday night what no one else has been able to do in 2013—slow down the passing game of Oregon State. QB Sean Mannion was mortal, and WR Brandin Cooks was ineffective until the second half, as Stanford collected eight sacks in a second straight dominant effort versus a quality opponent.
Stockpile more shares in … Michigan State
Might the Spartans be one of the most underrated programs in the entire country? Sure, the offense can be stale, to say the least, but the defense has been so good that the program is suddenly the favorite in the Legends Division. Michigan State had an easy time with Illinois on Saturday, 42-3, meaning it hasn't lost a game since the Sept. 21 trip to South Bend.
The Cougars have answered back from a 1-2 start with five consecutive wins. The rebound has been fueled by a Taysom Hill-led offense that’s helped produce at least 31 points in each of the victories. Hill has added a passing threat to his powerful running style, maximizing the skills of receivers Cody Hoffman and Mitch Mathews. BYU gets a week off before traveling to Madison for a chance to validate its recent run against Wisconsin.
Bucking for a promotion: Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart
Smart could have left Tuscaloosa a long time ago, but he has the luxury of being patient as Nick Saban’s right hand man. Does everyone take the Tide defense for granted these days? Guilty as charged. In the six games since getting lit up by Texas A&M on Sept. 14, 'Bama has allowed just 26 total points, a staggering number since it was protecting comfortable leads against desperate opponents in each of the routs. Best of all, the play of the defense has allowed the staff to build depth late in games for the stretch run.
Can I be your agent … Trent Murphy?
The entire Stanford D has been air-tight over the last two games against UCLA and Oregon State, with Murphy setting the tone in the pass rush. “The Yeti” was quick off the snap in Corvallis, harassing Beaver QB Sean Mannion all night in Saturday’s 20-12 win to raise his season totals to 13.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
He’s how young?! Houston QB John O'Korn
O'Korn continued to stake his claim to being the most prolific true freshman quarterback of 2013 by picking apart Rutgers on the road for 364 yards and five touchdowns on 24-of-30 passing. The rookie has now thrown 19 touchdown passes, while forming a great working relationship with true sophomore WR Deontay Greenberry.
He’s also how young?! UCLA LB Myles Jack
Jack has more than lived up to the hype that accompanied his arrival from Bellevue (Wash.) High School in February. The dynamite playmaker has become one of the young cornerstones of the Bruin D, making 46 tackles, four stops for loss, seven passes defended and his first career blocked punt in Saturday’s loss to Oregon.
Start designing the Fathead of … USC DE Leonard Williams
Big enough to play inside and quick enough to line up outside, Williams is already one of the nation's most complete linemen in just his second year at Troy. One of the stars of the Trojans' stifling defensive effort against Utah over the weekend, he had eight stops, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Williams leads the team in tackles, 10 of which have been for minus yards.
The Ohio State Backfield
If QB Braxton Miller and RB Carlos Hyde don’t form the best backfield tandem in America, they certainly belong in the top 5. Miller has been tight the last two games, despite not being at 100%, while Hyde has barreled ahead for at least 147 yards and two touchdowns in each of the last three games.
The ‘Horns remained unbeaten in Big 12, validating their Red River blowout of Oklahoma by beating TCU, 30-7, in Fort Worth. Texas has now won four straight since the Ole Miss, sans starting QB David Ash, thanks to the running game and the play of the Jackson Jeffcoat-led D-line.
The Golden Gophers are bowl-eligible before Halloween, courtesy of back-to-back wins over once-ranked Big Ten opponents, Northwestern and Nebraska. Saturday's 34-23 win over the Huskers snapped a 16-game losing streak in the series, a signature moment for a Minnesota program dealing with the absence on the sideline of head coach Jerry Kill.
Team of the Week: Duke
The Blue Devils earned their signature win of the David Cutcliffe era, shocking streaking Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Duke snapped a streak of 12 straight losses to the Hokies, defeated a ranked team for the first time since 1981 and became bowl-eligible for a second straight year ... all on the same afternoon. The 6-2 Devils haven't lost a game since Sept. 21, and they get Coastal Division favorite Miami in Durham on Nov. 16.
Who's Not ... Week 9