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September 25, 2011

Weeden passes coach on way to weekly honor

For the second time in his career, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden knocked his coach down a peg in the school's record book.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd was 22-of-37 for 344 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-30 victory over Florida State. He also rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown.
BIG EAST
Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu caught 16 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-26 triumph over Ohio.
BIG TEN
Michigan QB Denard Robinson rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in a 28-7 victory over San Diego State. As a passer, he was just 8-of-17 for 93 yards and two interceptions.
CONFERENCE USA
Southern Miss QB Austin Davis was 27-of-41 for 313 yards and three touchdowns in a 30-24 upset of Virginia.
MID-AMERICAN
Temple RB Bernard Pierce rushed for 149 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-7 rout of host Maryland.
MOUNTAIN WEST
Boise State CB Jerrell Gavins intercepted two passes and had three tackles as the Broncos cruised past Tulsa 41-21.
PAC-12
Oregon RB LaMichael James rushed for 288 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries as the Ducks rolled past host Arizona 56-31.
SEC
Alabama RB Trent Richardson rushed for 136 yards on 17 carries in a 38-14 rout of Arkansas. He also caught three passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.
SUN BELT
North Texas RB Lance Dunbar rushed for 127 yards on 24 carries in a 24-21 upset of visiting Indiana. He also caught seven passes for 152 yards and a touchdown.
WAC
San Jose State RB Brandon Rutley rushed for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries in a 34-24 victory over New Mexico State.
INDEPENDENTS
Notre Dame LB Darius Fleming had two sacks, three tackles for loss and four tackles overall in a hard-fought 15-12 victory at Pittsburgh.
Mike Gundy's 429 yards against Kansas in 1989 stood as the Cowboys' single-game passing record for 18 years before Zac Robinson surpassed it in 2007.

Since then, Weeden twice has passed his coach and his quarterback predecessor in the record book. The latest came Saturday in a key win over Texas A&M, which solidified Oklahoma State as a Big 12 contender and a top-10 team.

[Rankings: AP/coaches poll]

Weeden was 47-of-60 for a school-record 438 yards and two touchdowns in a second-half comeback that saw the Cowboys edge the Aggies 30-29. His performance earned Weeden Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors.

"We have a lot of momentum going forward now," Weeden said. "This is my biggest win."

Oklahoma State trailed 20-3 at halftime, but the Cowboys ran the up-tempo, no-huddle offense to near-perfection in the third quarter. Weeden was 22-of-27 for 230 yards in the third period alone. His numbers could have had an even greater had wide receiver Justin Blackmon not turned the ball over on an unforced fumble through the end zone.

[Week 4 winners and losers: Cowboys come alive]

"We just couldn't get there in the second half," Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said. "Kids lost their legs and were cramping. Certainly when you bring pressure and you're not able to harass or change the rhythm of the quarterback, there's a problem. He was able to hang on to the ball for quite a long time and was very effective when he did."

NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins

After facing Oklahoma's Kenny Stills and Ryan Broyles last week and Clemson's Sammy Watkins this week, Florida State's secondary deserves a break.

Watkins, on the other hand, is just getting started.

Watkins, a five-star recruit from Fort Myers (Fla.) South Fort Myers caught eight passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in a wild 35-30 victory over Florida State to earn National Freshman of the Week honors for the second week in a row. Watkins has 296 receiving yards in his past two games and at least one touchdown reception in every game this season.

Despite his growing reputation, Watkins still was able to sneak past the Florida State secondary for a 62-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, which put the game away.

"I most definitely know I'm going to catch the ball," Watkins said. "On that third-and-6, I told the coaches to call the play because I was so confident that we could get it."

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK
Clemson's Chad Morris

Two seasons ago, Morris was the coach at Austin (Texas) Lake Travis High. Last season, Morris was the coordinator at Tulsa in defense-challenged Conference USA. Now, after just four games at Clemson, Morris is proving he can lead an offense at any level.

Under Morris, Clemson passed for 344 yards and rushed for 111 in the 35-30 win over Florida State. A week after Clemson ran 92 plays against Auburn, Morris' offense ran 86 against FSU.

The next game may be the biggest test yet for Morris, as Tigers visit Virginia Tech.

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David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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