Week 9 Power 5 Players of the Week

ACC Player of the Week

QB Jerod Evans – Virginia Tech Junior

Passing: 24-of-40, 406 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: 11 carries, 33 yards

Virginia Tech defeated Pittsburgh 39-36 Thursday night to maintain control of its destiny in the ACC’s Coastal Division. The win improved the Hokies to 6-2 (4-1), where they are tied atop the Coastal — but hold the head-to-head tiebreaker — with North Carolina. Evans’ 406 passing yards marked a new career high, and his 33 rushing yards were the second most on an offense that only gained 150 as a team. The Virginia Tech offense stalled early, ending three drives with field goals, but when the Panthers cut the lead to 9-7 with less than five minutes remaining in the second quarter, Evans responded by throwing his first touchdown pass — an 11-yarder to Chris Cunningham — with only two minutes remaining in the first half. The game bounced back and forth in the second half, but again, it was Evans providing an answer, finding Isaiah Ford for a 16-yard TD to push the Hokies’ lead to 39-29 midway through the fourth quarter. Ford, Bucky Hodges and Cam Phillips each had over 100 receiving yards as they accounted for 397 — or 97.8% — of Evans’ 406 passing yards. Week 10 holds another divisional matchup for Virginia Tech as they go on the road to face Duke (3-5, 0-4).

Big 12 Player of the Week

RB D’Onta Foreman – Texas Junior

Rushing: 32 carries, 250 yards, 2 touchdowns

Every time the conversation heats up about Charlie Strong’s job at Texas he seems to come up with a massive win. It happened again this past weekend as the Longhorns upset No. 8 Baylor 35-34. Foreman was a huge part of picking up the win. His 250 yards was a new career high. Foreman has been extremely reliable this season. He has run for a minimum of 124 yards in all seven games he has played this season. Foreman’s 32 attempts were also a season high. He ran for an average of 7.8 yards per attempt for a team that only put up seven total rushing yards outside of Foreman’s carries. Texas is 4-4 (2-3) with the win and will play at Texas Tech (4-4, 2-3) this Saturday.

Big Ten Player of the Week

RB Saquon Barkley – Penn State Sophomore

Rushing: 18 carries, 207 yards, 2 touchdowns

Receiving: 3 receptions, 70 yards

The final score — 62-24 — of the Purdue game was about as lopsided as possible. That wasn’t the case until the third quarter. The Nittany Lions and Boilermakers were tied 17-17 at the break. Barkley was a part of a ground game that outrushed Purdue 257-46. He scored just three-and-a-half minutes into the game to put Penn State up 7-0. Then, on his longest run of the day, Barkley took an 81-yard run to the end zone early in the fourth quarter to put the game essentially out of reach, 48-24. The Nittany Lions (6-2, 4-1) will host Iowa (5-3, 3-2) in Week 10.

Pac-12 Player of the Week

QB Luke Falk – Washington State Redshirt Junior

Passing: 33-of-46, 415 yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions

Rushing: 3 carries, -3 yards

The Cougars trailed Oregon State 21-0 on Saturday. After ending each of the their first four possessions with either a punt or a turnover, Washington State then scored a touchdown on four of their next five possessions. Falk began the scoring with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Tavares Martin Jr. with under five minutes remaining in the first half, but the extra point attempt was blocked. The Cougars trailed 24-6 at the half. In the third quarter, he completed a 66-yard TD pass to Jamal Morrow (plus a pass to Kyle Sweet for a 2-point conversion) and 37- and 28-yard touchdown passes to Gabe Marks to give the Cougars their first lead of the game at 28-24. After the Beavers retook the lead at 31-28 in the fourth quarter, Falk led a seven-play, 80-yard drive that concluded with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Robert Lewis to provide the 35-31 final score. With the win, Washington State moved to 6-2 (5-0) and will host Arizona (2-6, 0-5) this week.

SEC Player of the Week

RB Kamryn Pettway – Auburn Redshirt Sophomore

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Rushing: 30 carries, 236 yards, 1 touchdown

Auburn defeated Ole Miss 40-29 on the road to stay within one game of No. 1 Alabama in the SEC West standings. Pettway got the scoring started for the Tigers with a 41-yard touchdown run to give Auburn a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter. He may not have scored again, but Pettway punished the Rebels’ defense again and again with his 6-foot, 240-pound frame. He carried the ball at 7.9 yards per attempt. Early in the second quarter, Pettway took his longest carry of the night for 56 yards to set up an eventual 1-yard TD run from Kerryon Johnson to give Auburn a 17-16 lead. The Tigers are 6-2 (4-1) and will host Vanderbilt (4-4, 1-3) this weekend.

National Player of the Week – Luke Falk

Falk, as usual, was responsible for the large majority of the Cougars’ offensive production this past week. His yardage accounted for nearly 75% of the Washington State offense as a whole. Falk completed passes to 10 different targets throughout the game, and his protection of the football was vital to the Cougars’ comeback victory. Also, note that each of Washington State’s five scores came off the arm of Falk as he reached a new season high with his five touchdown passes. After a 0-2 start, it’s been a quick turnaround to reach bowl eligibility at 6-2 and to remain a perfect 5-0 in conference play for Falk and the rest of the Cougars.

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