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Around the nation CAMERON NEWTON, QB, AUBURN
Newton just keeps finding ways to help his team win. It’s as simple as that. And as he does it, he improves his Heisman resume. Two weeks ago against LSU, the Tigers held him to just 86 yards through the air. Instead, Newton ripped off a season-best 217 yards on the ground and two scores to push his team to a 24-17 win. His 1,122 yards rushing is good enough for fourth-best in the country, and his 14 rushing touchdowns are tied for the NCAA’s best mark. Through the air, Newton has been nothing less than solid. True enough, he’s never topped 250 yards passing this year, but he’s been efficient and accurate with 3-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
LAMICHAEL JAMES, RB, OREGON
There’s no real debate here — James has easily been the best running back in the country in 2010. He leads all tailbacks with 1,210 yards rushing and has an astonishing 7.1 yards per carry. But perhaps even more impressive is that he has three games of more than 225 yards already this season. Last week against USC, James carried the ball 36 times for 239 yards and three touchdowns. His 14 rushing touchdowns are tied with Newton for the highest total in the country. This weekend, James and the Ducks take on a lowly Washington team, so expect this electrifying sophomore to have another huge game.
KELLEN MOORE, QB, BOISE STATE
Moore and the Broncos just keep rolling along in 2010. Another week, another double-digit win. That’s six in a row, if you’re counting. Last week against Louisiana Tech, Moore threw his first interception since Sept. 18 against Wyoming. In that four-game, pick-free stretch, Moore totaled 11 passing touchdowns and 982 yards. He leads the country in quarterback rating and yards per attempt and is sixth in completion percentage. The Broncos have one more game against a ranked opponent (Nov. 26 @ Nevada) in which Moore can make a statement to Heisman voters.
ANDREW LUCK, QB, STANFORD
Ever since the Cardinal suffered a disappointing loss to then-No. 4 Oregon three weeks ago, Luck has responded by leading his team to three straight wins. His 20 touchdown passes are tied for ninth in the nation, and he is 10th nationally in quarterback rating. Luck showed off his legs in last week’s dominating win over Washington. In addition to his 192 yards and a touchdown through the air, he also carried the ball five times for a season-high 92 yards and a score. Saturday’s game against Arizona will be a tough test for Luck, as he goes up against one of the nation’s Top 10 defenses.
courtesy of auburn media relations
GAMES TO WATCH No. 4 Texas Christian vs. No. 6 Utah In this matchup of two unbeatens, someone’s hope of playing for the national championship will be crushed. With these two
schools and No. 2 Boise State all ranked in the Top 10, there are three non-BCS schools with a legitimate shot at finishing the season undefeated. Saturday’s game will be an
offensive showdown with national-title implications on the line. Both the Horned Frogs and the Utes come into the game scoring at least 40 points per game this season and in the Top 25 in total offense. After this game, neither team plays a ranked opponent for the remainder of the season. For either TCU or Utah, Saturday is an audition for a possible chance to sneak into the national title game. No. 5 Alabama vs. No. 12 Louisiana State It feels like there is a good game every week in the SEC, and this one is no exception. Two teams with identical records (7-1, 4-1 SEC) are fighting for a chance to get to the league’s title game. Although the Tigers are the underdog this weekend, playing the game in Baton Rouge, La., is a huge advantage. The Tigers are undefeated at home this season, and its only home loss last year was to No. 1 Florida. Les Miles’ defense allows just 16 points per game, good for 10th in the nation. And if the Tigers want to come out on top in this one, that defense will have to shut down an Alabama offense that hasn’t scored fewer than 21 points all year. No. 17 Arkansas vs. No. 18 South Carolina The Gamecocks (6-2) control their own destiny as they pursue a trip to the SEC title game. Currently sitting atop the East Division, South Carolina could punch its ticket to Atlanta with a win Saturday and a Florida loss to Vanderbilt. Though the Razorbacks
— Compiled by Asst. Copy Editor Michael Cohen
and SEC passing leader Ryan Mallet are no slouch of an opponent, the Gamecocks are fortunate in that Mallet will be without one of his best playmakers. Wide receiver Greg Childs, who had led the team in receptions, yards and touchdown receptions, is out of the season with a patella tendon injury. Thus far in 2010, the Gamecocks allowed a conference-worst 260 yards per game through the air, so head coach Steve Spurrier and his defense might be breathing a sigh of relief that Childs is out. No. 13 Arizona vs. No. 10 Stanford Behind the stellar play of quarterback Andrew Luck, the Cardinals are off to their best start in 40 years at 8-1. Luck, who many project to be the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, is 10th in the country in quarterback rating. He will take on the No. 10 defense in the country when Arizona arrives in California Saturday. These two teams both trail Oregon in the Pac-10 race. A win keeps them alive for the conference’s BCS berth if the Ducks slip up along the rest of the way. Saturday’s game is going to come down to whether or not the Wildcats can keep Luck under control and limit big plays downfield. So far, though, he has at least two passing touchdowns in six of his team’s eight games this season.