“Big time players make big time plays in big time games”- Santana Moss
1. Matchup: #6 Missouri vs #14 Nebraska
Roy Helu Jr, RB, Nebraska: Helu started the game with a 66 yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. He finished the game with the Nebraska record for rushing yards in a single game with 307 on 28 carries. Three of Helu’s runs went for over 50 yards with a long carry of 73. Helu has good size at 6’0 220 and runs with a solid combination of strength and speed. It was his fourth game rushing for over 100 yards this season.
2. Matchup: #16 Florida State vs North Carolina State
Russell Wilson, QB, North Carolina State: With 2:40 left in regulation, Wilson threw a touchdown pass on 4thand goal to ultimately win the contest 28-24. It was Wilson’s fourth touchdown of the game, he also added three scores on the ground. The clutch performance puts North Carolina State atop the Atlantic Division in the ACC Conference.
3. Matchup: #5 Michigan State vs #18 Iowa
Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa: Ricky Stanzi’s performance wasn’t spectacular, finishing the game 11-of-15 for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns. But it was extremely efficient and Stanzi showed great poise in a big game against a top five opponent. Stanzi has made a noticeable improvement this season in his decision making and progression reads from the pocket. He has ideal size at 6’4 230 for the position, and while he doesn’t have great arm strength he has enough to make most NFL throws with accuracy and zip. His stock continues to rise with error-free performances.
4. Matchup: Michigan vs Penn State
Evan Royster, RB, Penn State: Neither team came into the game ranked in the AP or BCS Top 25, but for these two programs the rivalry always has meaning. Evan Royster became Penn State’s leading rusher, finishing with 150 yards on 29 carries with two scores. The record was formerly held by Curt Warner, who had the record since 1982. Royster now has 4,418 yards with four games left on the schedule. Curt Warner finished his career with 3,398 yards rushing.
5. Matchup: #2 Oregon vs USC
Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon: Thomas showed up big in a prime-time game, on the road, against a talented conference rival- and he made it look easy. He converted on third down regularly and finished the contest with 288 yards passing on 19-of-32 attempts with four touchdowns and 42 yards rushing. Darron Thomas is a very similar player to former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon. As long as he continues to progress with his pocket awareness and patience, there is no reason Thomas isn’t dressing for an NFL team when his career in the NCAA is over.
Honorable Mention: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn, 18-24 209yds 2td, 11 carries 45yds, 1 rec 20yds 1td. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma, 9rec 208yds 3td. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas, 27-44 404yds(school record) 3td.