2013 Who's Hot & Not
Who's Not ... Week 14
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San Jose State QB David Fales
Fales delivered a game for the ages on Friday, leading his Spartans to bowl-eligibility, while ending Fresno State’s dream of a BCS berth. The senior went toe-to-toe with Derek Carr, completing 37-of-45 passes for 547 yards, six touchdowns and no picks in the 62-52 shootout with the Bulldogs.
Offensive Coordinator of the Week: Rhett Lashlee, Auburn
Lashlee is a Gus Malzahn disciple, which means he’s one of the bright young minds in the game. He and Malzahn crafted a simple gameplan, running right at the heart of the Alabama D, and succeeding at it. The Tigers rushed for nearly 300 yards against a unit that began the weekend allowing less than 100 yards a game. QB Nick Marshall did just enough through the air, including throwing a 39-yarder to Sammie Coates to knot the game with 32 seconds left.
Defensive Coordinator of the Week: Dave Steckel, Missouri
If Mizzou was going to turn things around in 2013, it would be driven by the up-tempo offense, right? Uh-uh. Steckel’s D has been the catalyst all year long for the Tigers’ run to an SEC title shot. Mizzou hasn’t allowed more than 28 points in a game, while holding Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M in check in Saturday night’s East Division clincher.
Bowling Green defensive coordinator Mike Elko
Elko’s defenders were at it again on Friday, keeping an opponent to less than 10 points for a fourth consecutive game. The Falcons are light on bona fide stars, yet long on production and fundamentals, limiting Buffalo to just 236 yards to capture a MAC division crown for the first time since 2003.
Stockpile more shares in … Marshall
The Thundering Herd didn’t just beat a very good East Carolina team to win the East Division of Conference USA; it obliterated the Pirates on Friday, 59-28. Marshall heads into the league championship game on a five-game winning streak, scoring no less than 45 points in any one of those wins. Head coach Doc Holliday has done a terrific job in leading the program to its first nine-win season since 2002.
Stanford RB Tyler Gaffney
If Gaffney isn’t the most underrated back in America, he’s on the watch list. The senior has rushed for 17 scores and nearly 1,500 yards, yet you’d hardly know it based on the amount of attention he’s been getting nationally. He trucked Notre Dame for a career-high 189 yards on Saturday, his sixth 100-yard effort in the last seven games.
Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch
What more can Lynch do to prove that he’s one of the premier players in college football and a serious Heisman contender? He ranks among the nation’s leaders in rushing, while guiding his Huskies to a perfect record and a possible second straight BCS bowl bid. On Tuesday versus Western Michigan, Lynch broke his own single-game FBS rushing record for quarterbacks with 321 yards.
Bucking for a promotion: Jim McElwain, Colorado State
A year after going 4-8 in McElwain’s debut in Fort Collins, the Rams are bowl-eligible for the first time in five years. Colorado State finished the regular season 5-2, capped by Saturday’s 58-13 obliteration of Air Force, in which it broke the school record for total yards in a season.
Can I be your agent … Carlos Hyde?
The Heisman folks are digging deep for viable candidates just in case Jameis Winston becomes too toxic. Where might Hyde be had he not been suspended for the first three games of 2013? The Ohio State power back shook off a costly fumble to rush for more than 200 yards, the second time in the last three games that he eclipsed that threshold on the ground.
He’s how young?! Miami WR Stacy Coley
Coley showcased his blazing jets at Heinz Field on Friday … over and over and over again. The 6-1, 180-pound true freshman from Pompano Beach, Fla. scored on three of his four offensive touches in the win over Pittsburgh, making two scoring grabs and zig-zagging 73 yards on an end-around through the Panther D.
He’s how young, too?! Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller
Fuller made another strong statement that he’s the next big thing in the Hokie defensive backfield, doing his part to shut down Virginia in Charlottesville. The rookie—and Freshman All-American lock—broke up four passes on Saturday, picked off his sixth pass of the year and tied with a game-high eight tackles.
Him too?! Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Hackenberg got the catapult to his sophomore year that he was looking for in Madison. The former five-star recruit from the 2013 Signing Day ended his debut with an exclamation point, completing 21-of-30 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns to help upset a Wisconsin team that began the weekend on a six-game winning streak.
Start designing the Fathead of … Oregon WR Josh Huff
Huff saved one of the best games of his Duck career for this year’s Civil War with Oregon State. One of the underrated cogs in the Quack Attack caught nine balls for a career-high 186 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner with 29 seconds left. Huff has the strength and the speed that will shine during Combine drills.
The Blue Devils have successfully navigated the months of October and November without a loss, battling back to defeat streaking rival North Carolina and preserve a school-first Coastal Division crown. Head coach David Cutcliffe has done a remarkable job in Durham, guiding Duke to 10 wins for the first time in school history.
Team of the Week: Auburn
Words alone cannot begin to describe just how good the Tigers have been during their eight-game winning streak, but especially in the last two miracle wins over Georgia and Alabama. By ending the Tide’s perfect season—and likely its quest for a three-peat, Auburn is now in a position to capture the SEC championship and even play for a national title, all in Gus Malzahn’s debut as the head coach.
Who's Not ... Week 14