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December 8, 2008

Rivals.com Week 15 National Awards

Too bad the Heisman isn't decided until after the bowl games.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
ACC
Virginia Tech linebacker Cody Grimm had eight tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the 30-12 victory over Boston College.
BIG 12
Last week, it was Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham. This week, it is OU wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias. He caught nine passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a 62-21 rout of Missouri.
BIG EAST
Senior quarterback Mike Teel put an exclamation point on his career at Rutgers by helping the Scarlet Knights embarrass Louisville 63-14. Teel was 21-of-26 for 477 yards and seven touchdowns.
CONFERENCE USA
Cornerback Travis Simmons led East Carolina's defensive effort in a 27-24 upset of host Tulsa. Simmons returned an interception for a touchdown and added a fumble recovery. He amassed 112 yards on the two returns.
MAC
Buffalo wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt caught 10 passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulls' 42-24 upset of previously unbeaten Ball State.
PAC-10
California running back Jahvid Best gashed the Washington defense for 311 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries in a 48-7 win. His performance gave him the Pac-10 rushing title.
SUN BELT
Troy clinched the Sun Belt title and the resultant trip to the New Orleans Bowl with a 35-9 win over Arkansas State. Levi Brown was 15-of-23 for 181 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
INDEPENDENTS
Senior running back Shun White helped Navy win its seventh in a row over Army with 13 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-0 rout.

Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Florida's Tim Tebow, two of the front-runners for the award, meet up in the national title game.

Tebow, though, gets a prize this week Rivals.com National Player of the Week honors. Bradford got a long look for Big 12 player of the week and national player of the week, but we opted for his top receiver for conference honors instead.

A Stoops did earn coordinator honors for his work last week, and a running back in a conference championship game received Freshman of the Week recognition.

NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: QB Tim Tebow, Florida

One of the few holes in Tebow's resume was the lack of a comeback victory. Entering the SEC title game, he never had led his team to a win when it trailed in the second half.

That changed in Atlanta. Tebow led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives to give Florida a 31-20 win over Alabama and clinched the Gators' spot in the national championship game.

Without injured playmaker Percy Harvin, Tebow was the focus of the offense. He was 14-of-22 for 216 yards and three touchdowns to go with 57 rushing yards in the win.

NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: RB Darren Evans, Virginia Tech

The ACC Championship Game was a defensive struggle, but Evans - a redshirt freshman - provided enough offensive punch for the Hokies against the Eagles' stout run defense.

Evans rushed for an ACC title game-record 114 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries. Boston College came into the game allowing only 57 rushing yards per game in the previous five weeks.

Also considered for Freshman of the Week:

Linebacker Greg Williams led Pittsburgh's defensive effort against Connecticut with two picks and a touchdown in a 34-10 win.

Alabama had its best chance to win the SEC Championship Game when Julio Jones was catching the ball. Jones caught five passes for 124 yards against the Gators.

NATIONAL COORDINATOR OF THE WEEK: Mark Stoops, Arizona

Arizona's defense led the way in the Wildcats' first win over Arizona State since 2004.

Stoops' defense held the Wildcats to 38 rushing yards and 124 passing yards in a dominant performance. The 31-10 victory was the most lopsided Arizona win in the series since a 30-6 rout in 1964.

The win clinched Mike Stoops's first winning season at Arizona. Mark is Mike's younger brother.

Also considered for Coordinator of the Week:

Brent Venables led the Oklahoma defense in a stifling effort that held Missouri to 60 rushing yards and forced two interceptions.

Connecticut quarterbacks were a combined 6-for-31 with five interceptions against Phil Bennett's Pittsburgh defense. The Panthers won 34-10.

Tulsa's David Johnson led the nation in passing efficiency going into the Conference USA title game, but Greg Hudson's East Carolina defense intercepted Johnson five times.

Navy recorded its second consecutive shutout as Buddy Green's defense held Army to 102 rushing yards.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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